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COUNTY: Murray County
LOCATION DETAILS: near Cohutta Wilderness
NEAREST TOWN: chatsworth
NEAREST ROAD: 411
OBSERVED: it was autumn, and 4 or 5 of us decided to go camping. we went to the chattahoochee national forest in murray county ga.we had been there many times before, and seen many kinds of wildlife bear, deer, turkey and wild hogs. we set up camp and built a fire beside a creek. we sat there talking and telling stories and such. well around 11:oo p.m we started hearing strange noises like a high pitch shrill .someone in the group said it could be a panther since they have been known to scream. we sat there about another hour or so with the noises happening around every 20 minutes or so.then we heard limbs moving and twigs cracking from the other side of the creek. so we all looked that direction and just could make out the brush and trees at the edge of the creek. it sounded like whatever it was started getting closer.when all of a suuden we all seen limbs from the magnolia trees moving and out step this figure into the fire light.it took 2 more steps, then we all could plainly see it.it was around 6'5'' or 7' tall with a huge broad chest maybe 3' wide. one of my friends got scared and dove into the tent and made a bit of noise,but it didnt seem startled. it looked at us and then squated by the edge of the water. it appeared to be doing something with its hands,all the while keeping a dead stere on us.then we all pretty much paniced, and it calmly stood up and walked out of distance of the light and our flashlights.
ALSO NOTICED: later that morning two of us heard the same shrills/screams but it sounded like multiple animals
OTHER WITNESSES: yes at least 3 others
OTHER STORIES: yes me and someone else who was present have heard screams and seen trees about 3'' to 5'' in diameter snapped in what looked like a path in the national forest and the cohutta wilderness
TIME AND CONDITIONS: it occured around mid night and the lighting conditions werent that good but we could plainly see when we shined our flashlights
ENVIRONMENT: riparian habitat at the edge of a large creek in some what of a vally with very high hills on either side
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Morris Collins:
I met with the witness who submitted the report, as well as a second witness to the incident. Both were adamant as to the details of the encounter.
An additional detail from the on-site interview was that one of the witnesses was a pre-teen who had been crying loudly earlier in the evening. The group began hearing screams from the top of the ridge and up the mountain from the stream side camp site. There were 2-3 that were 15 to 20 minutes apart prior to hearing something moving down the hill and toward the camp site.
The creature came down the hill side and stepped out in front of a tree that overhung the creek. The stream was about 30 feet from the fire, and about 4 feet wide at that point. It squatted by the side of the stream in full view of the campers. Its hands were in the water, and it stared back at the campers with no fear. The encounter lasted approximately 1 minute. The creature then stood up and walked back around the tree. The witnesses could hear it moving back up the mountain and away from the stream. The head was rounded and sat on the shoulders. The eyes were amber in color. The arms hung almost to the knees and the legs were muscular with big calves. They could clearly see the feet on stream edge.
This report is interesting, in that it could have been the crying of the child that drew the attention of the animal. This has been noted in several reports where children are present during sightings.
The witness had another incident in September of 2008 while camping near this area. They returned to camp and heard something run away. The second night they felt something was lurking around the camp all night. They heard wood being broken during the night and found 3 inch diameter pine trees snapped off about at about 4 foot in height in a pattern that suggested a trail.
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.