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COUNTY: Lee County
LOCATION DETAILS: Moved to private investigatiors section.
NEAREST TOWN: Opelika
NEAREST ROAD: Lee county road 156
OBSERVED: One evening my wife and I decided to go to my hunting club property to a place where we used to go sit and talk. We got there just before dark and had been there for several hours when it happened. The place where we were is on a large power transmission line right of way.There is a small stream that crosses the clearing, and a very steep hill on the side where we parked. In fact, so steep that it is difficult to drive a four wheel drive down to the stream. On the other side of the stream there is a low level spot that then becomes another steep hill. I would say that the hills are a good 50 feet higher than the stream.
I had parked my truck on the hilltop, and we sat on the tailgate facing the stream. Around 11:00 pm we heard a very loud snorting noise coming from the bottom of the hill, and the sound of brush moving and breaking. I thought that it was a wild hog, because they are plentiful in this area, so I told my wife to get in the truck, because I was afraid it would attack us. She got in the truck while I tried to find my flashlight and my gun.
When she slammed the door, I heard a loud, low growl/grunt and it sounded like something large started running up the hill towards us. I was standing in the bed of my truck by now trying to shine my light down the hill, but the batteries were weak and I couldn't see very far.There was a very bright moon out so I turned off my light, and could see a large shadow moving around about halfway up the hill towards us.
I was listening to it move around and make the same growl/grunt noise. I could also hear what sounded like breathing noises.
I then caught scent of a strange, musky, sour odor and heard more brush breaking and what sounded like stomping noises. I was certain by now that this was not a wild hog, but couldn't figure out what it might be. So I told my wife to start my truck and rev the engine a few times and when she did, I heard what sounded like something crashing through the brush heading down hill and moving fast. We were both a little spooked by now so we left.
As I pulled out onto the dirt road off the power line trail, I turned toward the bridge that crosses the small stream (the road roughly parallels the power line) a large number of deer ran at high speed across the road,heading away from the stream.
I tried to convince myself that it was just deer that I heard,but couldn't explain the shadow I saw.
ALSO NOTICED: Two days later I went to the same location during the day and walked down the hill.In several places there were heavily trampled places in the tall grass and brush,and some brush and saplings pulled up by the roots and broken.(Approx. 1 inch dia.)
OTHER WITNESSES: Two,myself and my wife,but she said she didn't see or hear much after she got in truck.We had been sitting on the tailgate of my truck talking with the radio on softly.
OTHER STORIES: About a week later at work I was talking to a long time member of the hunting club(that was my first year as a member)and told him about it.He started laughing and when I asked why he told me that several years earlier,a former member of the club had been hunting from a treestand on the top of the opposite hill,and swore to everyone that a "Bigfoot" had walked across the power line along the edge of the stream at the bottom of the hill.I was told that the man never went back into the woods by himself afterwards and left the club at the end of the season.I do not know the man but he was apparently a trustworthy fellow.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was between 11:00 and midnight.It was a clear,cloudless night with a very bright moon.Not a full moon,but it was very bright.It was humid,and the temperature was in the mid 80's.I remember that the next day we had a pretty bad storm.
ENVIRONMENT: Cleared off power transmission line,lots of pines and a few hardwoods near creek bottom.The bottom itself is damp/slightly swampy.There is a fairly large swamp approx 150-200 yds upstream.A lot of fairly big hills around and the small stream empties not to far downstream into a large creek known as Halawakee Creek.The creek itself empties into Lake Harding within a mile or so.At the time,there were few houses within a couple of miles but some of the property nearby is now being developed.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Morris Collins:
I visited the area with the couple on Sunday, April 01, 2007. During the scouting of the area, two other details were determined. During the interview, the witness remembered that he could see a shadow moving on the slope below him after his wife got in his truck. There was the sound of brush breaking and being pushed down. The witness returned to the sight 3 days later and found pine saplings had been pulled up including the roots and thrown up slope in the direction of where he had been parked. Due to rains, there were no prints noted.
The witness remembered times when the dogs used to run deer would either refuse to get out of the truck or would cease to chase deer and return to the trucks and try to get back in their boxes.
He also remembered hunting with two other members who had placed two deer carcasses in a creek to keep cool until later in the day. When they returned to retrieve the deer, one of the carcasses was gone. The water level was too low and slow to have floated the dead deer away. He feels someone or something took the dead deer.
About BFRO Investigator Morris Collins:
Morris holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Auburn University and additional coursework toward an MBA in International Business. He is an avid backpacker and SCUBA diver. Morris attended Georgia 2006, 2008, 2009 & 2011; North Carolina 2006 and SC 2007 expeditions. He is a member of the SE BFRO Tracking Team and has completed a first course in visual tracking.