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DATE: 28 NOV
COUNTY: Franklin County
LOCATION DETAILS: OFF OF HWY 33 TURN ON BUNKLY RD.GO ABOUT 5 MILES AND TURN ON #101.THIS IS A GOV.RD IN THE HOMMOCHITTO NATIONAL FORREST.
NEAREST TOWN: KNOXVILLE
NEAREST ROAD: BUNKLY RD
OBSERVED: FIRST I WILL SAY THAT A CREATURE REALLY EXIST WITHOUT A DOUBT.I HAVE NOT DISCUSSED THIS WITH MANY PEOPLE BECAUSE IT WOULD DO NO GOOD.IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND SOMEONE MUST EXPERIENCE A ENCOUNTER PERSONALLY.IT WAS NOV 28TH 1978 OR 79.I REALLY LIVE TO DEER HUNT AND SEASON HAD BEEN OPENED A WEEK OR SO.I WAS NOT OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE AND JUMPED AT A CHANCE TO GO HUNTING WITH A COUPLE OF MY BROTHERS OLDER FRIENDS.WE ARRIVED TO THE AREA OFF OF BUNKLY RD IN KNOXVILLE WELL BEFORE DAYLIGHT.THE HIKE TO OUR INDIVIDUAL STANDS WAS APPRX1-1-1/2 MILES.ONE OF THE MEN LEFT US WHEN WE PASSED HIS STAND.ME AND THE OTHER MAN CONTINUED ON UNTIL WE REACHED HIS STAND.HE THEN INSTRUCTED ME OF SOME GOOD BUCK SIGN THAT HE HAD FOUND IN A CREEK BOTTOM ABOUT 300YDS AWAY.IT WAS STILL DARK AS I CROSSED A SMALL FIELD TO TAKE A STAND IN THE FAR TIMBER.HALF WAY ACROSS THE FIELD AN ERRIE FEELING OF BEING WATCHED CAME OVER ME.I STOPPED AND SHINNED THE FLASHLIGHT SCANNING THE TREE LINE BUT SAW NOTHING.I CONTINUED MAYBE 100 YDS INSIDE THE WOOD LINE AND FOUND A LARGE TREE THAT WOULD BE SUITABLE FOR A BACK REST.I SETTLED IN TO WAIT ON DAYLIGHT.IT WAS VERY COLD AND THE FROST FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE MADE THE FALLEN OAK LEAVES IMPOSSIBLE TO MOVE IN WITHOUT MAKING TREMENDOUS NOISE.AS ABOUT 9 AM I SPOTTED A DEER ON A SMALL KNOLL ABOUT 75-80 YDS AWAY.HE WAS MOTIONLESS STARING IN MY DIRECTION.I REMAINED STILL BUT THE DEER TURNED AND BOLTED AWAY AND INTO A THICKET AWAY FROM ME.THERE WAS A STEADY BREEZE IN MY FACE SO I KNEW HE COULD NOT HAVE SMELLED ME AND I HAD NOT EVEN BLINKED.WHILE I WAS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED I BEGAN TO HEAR HEAVY BREATHING BEHIND ME BUT IT WAS NOT CLOSE.HOWEVER IT BEGAN TO GET LOUDER AND LOUDER.LOOKING OVER MY LEFT SHOULDER I COULD SEE MY SHADOW THE SHADOW OF THE TREE I WAS SITTING AGAINST AND THE SHADOW OF A LARGE UP RIGHT CREATURE DIRECTLY BEHIND ME.STARTLED I QUICKLY JUMPED UP AND SIDE STEPPED BACK AND AWAY FROM THE TREE.NOT 5 FEET AWAY STOOD A CREATURE LOOKING AT ME.HE WAS COVERED WITH MEDIUM LENGTH PINE STRAW COLORED HAIR.HIS FACE DID NOT HAVE ANY HAIR ON IT.HIS ARMS HUNG DOWN TO HIS KNEES AND WAS AT HIS SIDES.HE HAD SUNKEN COAL BLACK EYES.HE STOOD AROUND 7 FT TALL AND I COULDN'T GUESS HIS WEIGHT.WE MADE EYE CONTACT FOR ONLY A COUPLE OF SECONDS AND I WAS IN STRIDE VACATING THE AREA LEAVING ME GUN BEHIND.I YELLED THE WHOLE TIME I WAS RUNNING.ONE OF THE MEN WITH ME HEARD ME YELLING AND WAS IN THE FIELD WHEN I RAN OUT OF THE WOOD LINE.HE ASKED WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND I TOLD HIM.WE WENT AND GOT THE OTHER MAN AND WE RETURNED TO RETRIEVE MY GUN.THEY LAUGHED AND PICKED AT ME UNTIL WE REACHED THE TREE WHER MY GUN LAID.IN THE LEAVES BY THE TREE WERE VERY LARGE TRACKS.IT HAD 3 TOES AND MEASURED ABOUT 14" LONG AND ABOUT 4-5" WIDE.WE COULD SEE THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL THROUGH THE LEAVES.WE FOLLOWED FOR ABOUT 75 YDS NO ONE SAID A WORD.COMING TO THE CREEK WHERE THE TRACKS DROPPED OFF THE BANK.LOOKING OFF THE BANK WE COULD SEE THE TRCKS CLEARLY IN THE SAND.YOU COULD ALSO SEE WHERE THE CREATURE SLID DOWN THE SIDE OF THE DROP OFF.WE LEFT IMMEDIATELY.TO THIS DAY I HAVE NOT RETURNED TO THAT PARTICULAR AREA.THE MEN NEVER MENTIONED THIS TO ANYONE TO MY KNOWLEDGE.I HAVE SEEN MANY BEARS AND OTHER WILDLIFE BUT I ASSURE YOU AT 5FT AWAY THERE IS NO CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.
ALSO NOTICED: THE STRANGE THING WAS THERE WAS NOT A FOUL SMELL PRESENT.ALSO I HEARD NO SOUNDS IN THE LEAVES AS IT APPROACHED.THE HEAVY IRREGULAR BREATHING STANDS OUT VIVIDLY IN MY MIND.TO THIS DAY I STILL GET GOOSE BUMPS WHEN I THINK OF IT.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 OTHER MEN.I DONT WISH TO REVEAL THEIR NAMES.THE THREE OF US WERE DEER HUNTING.
OTHER STORIES: YES,I HEARD TWO TEENAGERS WHERE HUNTING IN ANNAS BOTTOM A LITTLE NORTH OF NATCHEZ AND THEY SAW A LARGE DARK COLORED CREATURE ABOUT 400YDS AWAY ACROSS A SOYBEAN FIELD.THEY GUESSED IT TO BE ABOUT 8-9 FT TALL.IT TURNED AND DISAPPEARED INTO THE FAR WOOD LINE.THIS IS A LARGE PIECE OF LAND THAT CONTAINS PATCHES OF WATER AND SWAMP FROM WHEN THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER FLOODS.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: AROUND 9 AM.IT WAS A CLEAR COLD MORNING
ENVIRONMENT: SMALL FIELD WITH MATURE HARDWOOD.THERE WAS AN OLD DRIED UP POND ABOUT 2FT DEEP AND 20YDS WIDE.A SANDY FLOWING CREEK FLOWED THOUGH THE AREA.MOSTLY JUST A LARGE CREEK BOTTOM
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
I spoke with the witness for approximately one hour about his experience. Although he wasn’t exactly certain whether his encounter took place in 1978 or 1979, he was able to recall in great detail events of his encounter.
Just prior to spotting the deer, he noticed that the woods had gotten extremely quiet; there were no squirrels, birds, or any of the normal sounds that he could hear associated with being out in the woods. He told me that after spotting the deer and seeing it spook, it suddenly took three or four steps “straight back, turned in a whirl, and ran away”. The witness told me that he’s never seen a deer ever do this before, or since that day. Immediately after this he noticed the sounds of heavy breathing which he described as “real raspy, coarse breathing”.
He commented that the animal wasn’t “humped over” but that its shoulders were kind of “leaned forward” and that it stood “really erect” with no visible neck. Although his written report stated he was uncertain of the animal’s weight, he told me that he would have estimated its weight to be in the neighborhood of 600-700 pounds.
The witness said that he was close enough to the animal that he could have nearly touched it. He went on to say “I could have reached out and scratched him he was so close”. The witness said although he was terrified, the animal wasn’t at all aggressive. He went on to say he believed that “it kinda was like a curious animal just looking to see what I was doing up there”.
The witness said the animal was covered in a “pine straw-colored hair, maybe a little darker than the orange look”. When I asked him to compare it to the color of an orangutan he said it was a little bit darker than an orangutan’s hair. He said the roots of the hair were darker than an orangutan’s hair, but the ends were lighter than an orangutan. He commented that while the hair wasn’t very thick, it was coarse. The hair length over the entire body was probably four to five inches in length except for the arms and legs, where the hair was longer. He said there was no hair around the face except for the fact that “it had a mustache”. He said the nose, mouth and eyes were very visible.
The witness described the animal as having a dominant ridge in the eyebrows and that its eyes were “set back”. He described seeing what he thought were the pupils and his impression was that they were all black with no white whatsoever in the eyes. He described the pupils as having that “deep coal-black look”. He stated there was no similarity to a human's eye.
The witness said its nose was flat, but it might have been “turned up just a little bit”. He said it looked more like a human nose with just a little “flat” to it. He went on to describe the nose as “mushed in”. Although he didn’t really see nostrils, only the top part, he made a comment that at the end on the nose it kind of “tilted up just slightly”.
I asked the witness why he dropped his gun and he said he felt like he could run faster without his gun than he could with the gun.
Regarding the tracks, he said they were “like a human, it narrowed in the center but widened back out, but it didn’t have but three toes”.
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