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DATE: Betw Christmas & NYE
COUNTY: Williamson County
LOCATION DETAILS: NW corner of 511 S. Second St in Marion, IL. A neighborhood of homes built in the mid-50s.
NEAREST TOWN: Marion
NEAREST ROAD: South 2nd St
OBSERVED: In 1977 my family and I were visiting my grandmother in Marion, IL (Williamson County) for the Holidays during what was called "the blizzard of '77". This being my first experience of heavy snow I was amazed at how hushed and insulated it felt outside and was pleased when the forecast called for more snow since I was fascinated by the intense quiet.
As a 10yr old boy, I warrented my own bedroom in the front of her small house with my parents staying the back bedroom and my grandmother in the middle room. Several hours after going to sleep (2am-ish?) I was awakened by the most blood curdling scream that I could (and still can) imagine. In thinking critically about what I heard the most shocking aspect was it's volume and duration. Waking in the middle of the night to such a scream produced a sense of "nightmare" and confusion, but I was distinctly aware of direction/location of the source, which was outside the window to which my bed abutted (and not under the house). I was petrified and stayed quiet and frozen in my bed for several minutes listening for other sounds. Hearing none, I ventured out to see if others heard this and found my parents and grandmother awake and confused but still in bed. It is worth mentioning that my parents were very sound sleepers and since my grandmother was prone to nightmares we were accustomed to her yelling out from time to time. (odd, I know) After recounting what I had heard to my parents, my (our) fears were immediately dismissed by the idea that it was most likely a cat giving birth in the crawlspace under the house, under my window, and that the duration and change in timbre was blending of the cat noise into the howling of the wind.
There are several points to which I offer conflicting evidence. The night in question was very quiet and though it was snowing heavily the snow was falling vertically and the same intense muffled quiet was present. Secondly, I repeatedly listened for any further noise from the crawlspace (movement, meowing, etc) for the duration of our trip and heard nothing. Subsequent questions to my grandmother about "the cats in the crawlspace" yielded only quizzical looks. The next summer, I accessed the crawlspace through the opening under my window and found no evidence of a cat bedding there, only rubble. Additionally, if I were a cat looking for a secure den to birth in, there would have been many other more desireable locations further from the opening and closer to the furnace and hot water heater which were at the other end of the house. Lastly, the morning following the incident I went out to examine the area outside my window and found only inches upon inches of new snow.
I do not know what screamed outside my window that night but know that it matched almost exactly the screams and low trailing off that I have heard on variuos recordings of vocalizations.
ALSO NOTICED: The environment before during and after was that of the 'hush' that comes during heavy snowfall. Large flakes, no wind, vertical snowfall. No drifting snow the following day which might indicate wind.
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: Only reading of another incident in the same county near the Lake of Egypt.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 2am-ish. Snowing heavily but no wind, snow falling vertically and very cold.
ENVIRONMENT: This event occurred in the middle of a neighborhood and as such I have dismissed it for years as something other than bigfoot, but the recordings are so similar and the general proximity to other postings in the area (Lake of Egypt) caused me to post.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
I spoke to the witness by phone, who was glad to discuss his experience. The vocalization was heard around 2 AM in late December, 1977. When it was heard, it woke everyone in the house up. It sounded as if it was right next to the house, like a freight-train sounding its horn as it sped by your bedroom window. It was also compared to a 'masculine, woman-like scream', or a 'big guy with a falsetto and a deep resonance'. It lasted about 5 seconds, and trailed off into a steady, consistent growl/howl. The Ohio howl is similar, but not exact, to what was heard. According to the witness, it could not compare to any known animal sounds.
The vocalization was heard from a residential area. There is a small forested area nearby, close to a VA hospital, and a larger forested area on the other side of Interstate 57. The area is still similar to what it was back in 1977, but with a significant increase in population.
It is interesting to note that the residents of the area would leave their garbage and waste out in the alley, where it would sit for days before being collected.
About BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
Eric Lester is a medical professional and has been investigating possible Sasquatch sightings since 2004.
BFRO expeditions include:
- 2005 CA Redwoods Expedition
- 2006 Ohio Expedition
- 2006 Wisconsin II Expedition
- 2006 West Virginia Expedition (Pocahontas County)
- 2007 Michigan UP, Utah, Arkansas
- 2008 Texas, W. Virginia, Michigan U.P.
- 2009 Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan U.P., Oklahoma
- 2010 private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2011 Minnesota, private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2012 private expeditions in Indiana/Iowa
- 2013 private expeditions in Indiana
- 2014 Iowa, Kentucky expeditions
- 2016 Iowa expedition