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COUNTY: Tuscaloosa County
LOCATION DETAILS: Go south on I59 towards Tuscaloosa to exit 100. Take a right onto HWY216. go about 10-15 miles and hang a right at the sign to Rocky Branch.
NEAREST TOWN: Brookwood Al
NEAREST ROAD: HWY216
OBSERVED: A friend and I were fishing on Holt lake in tuscaloosa county on day after work. It was a thursday about mid july of last year (1999). We had gotten on the water about 6:30 and started fishing. We put in at Rocky Branch and went up river towards the upper end lock. Towards night fall we started fishing back toward the launch. about 11:30 we were fishing a secluded part of the shoreline. The nearest house was probably 2-3 miles down river. We were fishing close to the bank when I heard something walking at the top of the hill. I figured it was a deer and didn't pay it any more attention. As we proceeded down the bank the sound started down the hill towards us. There were two distinct foot steps instead of four like a deer. I thought I was hearing things so I looked back at my buddy and he was looking up the hill towards the sound. We decided to go look for another fishing spot (because we were getting a little spooked)and started putting everthing up to make our run. As we were doing that, whatever it was broke into a run towards us. Before we could get the boat cranked the creature let out the most herendous snarl and growl I had ever heardand then hit the water after us. We both love to hunt and spend alot of time outdoors but neither of us had ever heard anything like that, nor could we duplicate it when we would tell people of our encounter. I hadn't thought anything else about it until we got on this web site and heard the recording of the growl sound. That was the closest thing I have heard to the sound we heard that night. I'v read that usually there is a strong musty smell preceeding most encounters, but we didnt smell anything unusual. Perhaps this was due to the fact that we were in a cross wind with the creature. We don't know exactly what it was because we havent gotten up the nerve to go back and look around. That was probably the last time I have been on the lake. Everyone we told about this said we were crazy and were hearing things, but none of them will go back with me at night to look for it. Due to the pale color of my face when I got home about 45min-1hrs later, my girlfriend will not even go the lake. Its about 30min off of HWY59 exit 100 in brookwood Al.
ALSO NOTICED: Seems like everybody else on the river knew something we didn't because at dark they all left and we were pretty much by our selves.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were 2 witnesses. We were fishing prior to the incident
OTHER STORIES: Havent talked to anyone because I just figured they would call me crazy.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Occured about 11:30pm. There was no moon. the only light we could see was that of the mines about 10 miles away. The weather was clear with a 3-5mph breeze
ENVIRONMENT: Steep heavily wooded hill side. Mix of hardwood and pine trees. Hill faded down into the river.
Follow-up investigation report:
Primary BFRO Investigator: Tommy McElyea
Below is a description of the incident by the other witness, T.B. :
It all happened on a late july night in 1999.We were fishing holt lake near tuscaloosa,about 10 or 11 o'clock we were fishing a long stretch of the shore where the nearest house is about 2-3 miles from where we were at.We were sitting about 25ft of the bank in J.F.'s boat when we heard something coming down the hill towards us.I stopped fishing and just started looking thinking that i might get to see a deer come down to the water to drink.As I stared up into the woods it kept getting closer to us and we could hear 2 distinct footsteps and they sounded pretty heavy.Both J. and myself are avid outdoorsmen we spend our spare time hunting or fishing or trying to improve our hunting and fishing sites,so we can pretty much distinguish between a deer or other four legged animal and a two legged one.As this thing got closer we decided to move to another spot while we were getting ready we moved away from the bank and it sped up and kept getting closer by the time we were ready to go it was already on top of us so to speek.when we sat down in our seats to go J. was trying to crank the motor and we heard it jump in the water and let out a strange growling roaring sound that I had never before and never since heard.I did hear a sound that came real darn close on your website I believe.