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COUNTY: Barbour County
LOCATION DETAILS: County Road 79 South and Highway 30
NEAREST TOWN: Clayton
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 30/Barbour County Rd 79 S
OBSERVED: I have been reluctant to share my story because of my field of work, and do not want to have people think I am “crazy” as this could damage my career. But, as I get older, I feel this incident needs to be documented.
The incident occurred in the winter of 1980 a few miles east of Clayton, Alabama in Barbour County. I was traveling with my Aunt, Grandmother and four younger cousins to a relative’s house. It was dark and probably around 9pm from the best I can remember. For some reason, my Aunt needed to turn around and proceeded to pull off the roadway by a small clearing. I was in the front seat of the car with my Aunt, who was driving, and my Grandmother. As we turned off the road, the headlights caught a figure in mid-stride. It then immediately froze and did not move anymore. It was about 30 yards from the car – very close. I could see the entire side view of this creature and its body was slightly turned so that it was looking at us. The most terrifying thing in my memory is this things huge eyes glaring at us. The best way I can describe the creature’s expression is “stunned.” The face was covered in hair except for around the eyes. The hair was dark and appeared longer and wavy looking on the arms and legs. It was very tall and massive yet lean looking. I would say it was easily over 7 feet tall, if not more. When it “froze” in the headlights, one arm was slightly extended behind the creature and it held this position.
At this point, my Grandmother was crying and begging my Aunt to drive away. Two of my younger cousins were huddled on the floorboard in the backseat crying. I was terrified but could not look away. My Aunt kept telling my Grandmother “there is no way he can get in this car” and she kept the car still and we watched this motionless creature for about two to three minutes. It was almost completely motionless. It was as if the creature thought we could not see him if he did not move. I don’t know how it stood so still. The hair on my neck is standing on end as I type this. It scared me terribly. He kept staring at us with his eyes stretched very wide. I’ll never forget that “look” he gave us.
Finally, my Aunt decided to flash the lights on and off real quick. The instant she did this, the creature jumped towards the woods and was gone. He was about 10 yards from the woods but made it there in less than a second. I can’t believe how fast this huge creature could move.
This event traumatized me. I have never been able to go in the woods alone or enjoy camping since this event. I tried to deer hunt but could not enjoy it and quit – I can’t sit alone in a tree-stand without thinking of this creature and becoming tense. I can’t imagine coming upon this thing alone in the wilderness. I know these creatures exist. There is no doubt in my mind. I saw one up close and personal. We never saw the creature again.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing to report.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were 7 witnesses in the car driving to see a relative.
OTHER STORIES: My grandmother (same person as in this report) says she and my late grandfather saw a strange creature near their home in the early 1950s. This home is located about four miles from the 1980 sighting detailed in this report. She and my grandfather went out on the front porch late one night and saw a creature standing in the edge of the woods near the house. They could only see its chest and arms in the shadows. She said it was tall and hairy. My grandfather yelled at the creature and it ran back into the wood towards a stream and made a great deal of noise thrashing through the trees and brush. She said they did find some strange “3 toe” footprints the next day. But, they never had another encounter with the creature after this incident.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 9pm at night. It was a dark, clear, crisp winter evening.
ENVIRONMENT: The area was thick pine woods at the time. It is close to Martin Pond. This was a very rural area in 1980 and is still heavily wooded. There is also a little known lake in the vicinity, called "Indian Lake" in the woods not far from this area - less than a mile
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mary Ross:
When I spoke to the gentleman about the brief sighting he and his family had many years ago I was impressed with the detail he was able to recall. The sighting area was a sparsely populated rural area.
Witness stated that the approximate height of the animal to be over 7 feet tall, with dark brown/black hair in color. The creature must have already crossed the road, and was heading in the direction of the wood line when he was caught in the headlights. As the witness stated when the headlights were shined on him "he" froze in mid-stride for several minutes.
The witness seemed very credible and sincere.
Additional note by editor Matt Moneymaker
As the witness mentioned, this area is still very forested, as can be seen in Google map imagery (area east of Clayton, Alabama).
The incident location appears to be a classic habitat for sasquatches in the eastern U.S., judging by the aerial images alone.
The area is mostly forest, interspersed with cultivated fields that attract deer herds. There are multiple unexposed water sources nearby. There's also a power line route connecting various fields that would be used by deer.
Sightings and encounters near Martin Pond could be expected, even today -- because it's an unexposed water source close to a power line route through a heavily forested area that is dotted with grazing fields. Transient deer will move along that power line route and provide reliable ambush opportunities for a predator, especially in the late Summer and early Fall.
About BFRO Investigator Mary Ross:
Mary is originally from the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York and currently resides in Western KY. She has 10 years of military experience and loves the outdoors.
Expeditions attended - Georgia, Tennessee, Vancouver Island South,and Oklahoma Fall 2009. North Carolina, Georgia 2010; Georgia, Colorado 2011, 2012; North Carolina 2013 and several private outings.