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YEAR: 1988 or 89
COUNTY: Rutherford County
NEAREST TOWN: Smyrna
NEAREST ROAD: Weakly Lane
OBSERVED: I was coming home from work one night in the summer of 1988 or 1989. It was about 8:50 PM, dark and there was a heavy fog on the ground. I had my low-beams on be better see through this ground fog which was about 1 to 2' deep in most places. This area around Percy Priest lake was sparsely populated at that time. There were no homes and no street lights. It's 6 miles from the nearest town. My place was one of a few homes along this stretch of road.
As I turned down my road, going around 35 mph in this fog I saw something move on the right hand side of the road, about (I'm guessing here) 150' from my driveway, which was on the left. The area this movement was seen was by a fresh clearing in the woods where a new home was to be built later that year. Having seen deer cross this road at night I thought it was a deer about to cross so slowed down and prepared to stop. When I was perhaps (guessing again) 100' to 125' from it I hit the brakes hard - terrified to see a Bigfoot / Sasquatch stepping out onto the road.
He (?) looked towards my car for no more than a few seconds, then proceeded across the road at a walk. He went down the slight embankment where there were felled trees, rock rubble and other things on the ground from the construction crew. This lot on the left hand side and was in the process of being cleared for another home. It adjoined my property. I watched, in utter shock, hands shaking and unable to move as he simply vanished into the fog and darkness. He had to be able to see in the dark to negotiate that partly cleared lot. He never looked back. He made no threatening moves. I got the impression he just wanted to go his way and be left alone.
I sat there for some time before the shaking stopped enough for me to drive. No other cars passed. When I was calm enough I drove down my driveway and parked there, window open a bit to listen. It was silent except for the usual crickets. I saw nothing moving around my home. The outside light was on and my two dogs, as usual, suddenly appeared out of the darkness to greet me. I got the car as close to the front porch as I could, got my key ready and ran up the steps as quickly as I could to get inside. Once inside I closed and locked every window, bolted the door and waited for my room mate to get home. Although this creature was not at all threatening I couldn't shake the fear that it would come looking for me. I had never heard of one of these animals harming anyone but the fear lingered. It was a truly terrifying experience. For weeks I couldn't sleep at night. I would fall asleep at dawn and wake up in time to go to work.
His description: This creature was no more than about 6' tall, fully covered with a reddish brown fur (hair?) including it's face. It was not built like the Sasquatch pictures I have always seen on TV or in the papers. It was more slender and manlike, not apish at all. From that distance I couldn't see it's facial features except to see the face was covered in fur. Since there were no prominent breasts and the genital area was covered with long hair, I'm assuming it was a male.
I still live in the same place and have never seen this creature again. The area is much more built up now so they may have moved on to a less populated area around the lake.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing unusual was ever seen or heard either before or after this incident.
OTHER WITNESSES: No witnesses. I was alone in the car on my way home from work.
OTHER STORIES: Who would mention something like this to a neighbor? They would think you're crazy or delusional. Most people here stay to themselves and are not social to start with. So no, no one has mentioned anything unusual.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It happened around 8:50 PM. There was a heavy ground fog which isn't unusual near the lake where I live.
ENVIRONMENT: My road at the time ran through heavy cedar, oak, hackberry, elm and Judas tree forest. The land had recently been divided into lots and the lots were being sold and developed at the time. I was the first person to move out here. Percy Priest lake lies about 1/4 mile the way the crow flies. There were no outstanding landmarks. It was all heavily wooded and full of wildlife.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone.
She stated that except for being covered all over with hair, the animal was very humanlike in its general appearance. She was unable to see any facial features.
As the animal walked away its gait seemed to be similar to a human's. The low-lying fog did hide the lower part of the animal's legs.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions and travels throughout Illinois giving presentations on "Bigfoot In Illinois". See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org