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STATE: South Carolina
COUNTY: Colleton County
LOCATION DETAILS: Unknown what the stand number was but could heard occassional boat traffic on the river
NEAREST TOWN: Erhardt
NEAREST ROAD: Cross Swamp Rd
OBSERVED: I was Hunting for Feral pigs at the Cinnamon Ridge Hunting lodge in Erhardt, SC. We had not seen any hogs the first day so on the second day we hunted in the swamp.
On the way over in the morning our guide was telling us about strange noises he had heard back in the area while hunting himself. I love to hunt in the swamps for deer and ducks and have for years.
At about 5:30 pm I started hearing several great horned owls calling back and forth in the area behind me which is swamp. My stand was located on a dike between a oak ridge and the water. There was a large gator hole about 100 yrds away. As the owls started calling I heard what sounded like a noise an ape would make but very loud. The "ooow, ooow" sound was very quick and repetetive. All the animal noises stopped suddenly and it was very still. The wood ducks and squirrels that we feed took flight in a sudden burst of movement. After the calls none returned and the area was very quiet, even the song birds.
I waited until a little before dark and walked out to meet the pick - up vehicle. I have heard several vocalizations similar to this before. Once as a teenager in Delaware while hunting the swamps around Phillips Landing in the Nanicoke Foest in southern Delaware. I could also hear something very large moving around. The second time was in Washington State while stationed there in the Navy. While walking thru the Bremerton Watershed area with my new wife. That night we were followed down the logging road by something large that stayed in the brush and would stop when we did. That was also accompanied by a foul odor and even had an 80 lbs Rottweiller cowering and we had to hold him with a leash to keep from running off.
ALSO NOTICED: Noises have been heard in the area by the lodge foreman in the past while hunting. Sometime during the end of deer season.
OTHER WITNESSES: None of the rest of the hunting party was near me. We were spread out on 4 different stands.
OTHER STORIES: Same as above
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 5:30 pm. The weather was clear and in the upper 40's with a variable wind with occassional gusts. Cold front was pushing trough after a day of steady rain.
ENVIRONMENT: Cypress and hardwood mixed swamp. Standing water to oneside and a oak ridge on the other. Along the dike road which was about a mile long back into the swamp
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
I spoke with the witness regarding his experience. While speaking about his hunting incident, he started by explaining how the woods go from day to night almost like a “click of a switch” as the nocturnal animals start to become active. He said it was about this time of day (approximately 5:30 PM EST) when the ape-like sounds started. What he heard raised the hairs on the back of his neck.
He said the sounds were almost “orangutan-like” in a series of seven vocalizations. He said almost instantly, to the south of him in the distance, he could hear a response to the seven vocalizations. He then heard a second set of vocalizations from the direction in which the original vocalizations were first heard, as if something was responding to the vocalizations to his south. There was not a second set of return vocalizations from the south, however.
The witness was adamant these sounds were natural and not man-made because he stated after all of the vocalizations ended, the birds briefly stopping chirping, and then matter-of-factly resumed their chirping, almost as if this was a daily occurrence.
Even though the personal account of the witness states, "After the calls none returned and the area was very quiet, even the song birds." he told me that after a brief time the birds did resume their chirping and singing as is these sounds were something they were used to.
His dog, a Rottweiller, ran when the vocalization started and did not want to return to the area. As he left the woods that day he said he estimates the animal came within fifty to sixty yards of him, although he couldn’t completely say due to the fact the area was very thickly wooded and covered with a thick growth of Palmettos.
According to the witness, “a lot of hunters” have heard these same sounds, although he believes he’s the first to officially make a report. He is very familiar with bear, alligators, and wild hogs and he’s certain that what he heard was not any of these animals. He stated that he heard vocalizations almost identical to what he heard on a Mysterious Encounters episode in early June of 2005.
The swamp he was hunting in comes off the Edisto River and its tributaries. He was hunting off a dike road with water approximately eight feet deep off to the sides. He did look for tracks, but said the road was very soft sand and no tracks or footprints were found.
He also made a brief reference to hunters hearing similar sounds in the Dismal Swamp area of North Carolina, although he’s not had an encounter himself there yet. He also said he was aware of three encounters near Camp Lejeune (Jacksonville, N. C). and New Bern, N. C. with Marines who were on military training missions. At the conclusion of their training missions they were followed out of the woods by something that sounded very large and bipedal. After this experience they refused to go back into the area without weapons. The witness believes it's possible that the same animals are traveling back and forth between North Carolina and South Carolina by using the Intracostal Waterway as a possible “avenue” or “road” of travel.
About BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
John Callender hails from Mississippi where he received a BA degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). He now resides south of Seattle, WA and he works as a pilot for a major airline. John has done extensive field work in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Mississippi, and he has attended the following expeditions: WA - Oly Pen (Aug. '04); New Mexico (Jicarilla Apache SEP '04); WA - Oly Pen (October '04); CA - Redwoods (May '05); WA -Oly Pen -3, (AUG '05 ); WA Cascades Expedition (AUG '06); Central Oregon Expedition (JUNE '07), BC, Vancouver Island Expedition (SEPT 2007), WA Cascades Expedition (June '09), 2009 Washington Olympic Peninsula Expedition