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COUNTY: Madison County
LOCATION DETAILS: From I-270 take Exit 9. Travel north on Illinois 157 and then continue on University Avenue. Turn left on Bluff Road at about 1 1/2 miles. Turn left at St. Paul's United Church Of Christ. Continue west along unnamed road.
NEAREST TOWN: Edwardsville
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 157 @ South University Dr (Bluff Rd)
OBSERVED: I've been wanting to talk about this years, to give this report about what happened to me. I went and reported it when it happened to the local police but they didn't make an official report because of the circumstances, this happened back in 1978.
I was a teletype operator in the United States Air Force, I was a crypto guy, we monitored Russian and Chinese teletype. In 1978 I had just come out of tech school and went back home to Southern Illinois, where I was raised. The reason I found you was through some other guys website who had something to do with Southern Illinois University in Edwardwardville. I grew up in East St.Louis, which is four miles south of Monk's Mound, Cahokia Mound. I went home on leave in 1978, the fall of '78. I have a top secret clearance, in fact I went one above top secret my last year of the service overseas. So I was very leery of saying anything.
I was just on my way up to visit a friend one morning, on home on leave, I had my dad's car, he's at work. I'm driving up to the campus, up on University Drive, and there is a little old church (St. Paul's United Church Of Christ) right there on the frontage road, right before you head up into the bluffs, into the university proper.
I had driven down there, for some reason, just to see what was down there, I had never driven down there before. It was a kind of foggy morning, kind of misty and rainy, there is nothing behind this old church other than a bunch of hay fields, there were a bunch of hay rings where the guy had just drug through and done the hay thing. I'm driving down the road, I was going to turn around in the grass behind the church and I see this bear way down on the dirt road and it is bent over splashing water in a puddle in the middle of the road. As I pull down closer to this thing, it's not a bear and it is huge. I bring my car within about ten yards of it and then veer off into the field, and get out with my door between me and the thing.
[ The small road and woods as it looks today ]
And, it stands up and it's like eight or nine feet tall, it looked like a black humanoid.
I grew up in Southern Illinois, I am a hunter, my dad was a hunter. I had a goose gun in the trunk. I get the gun out. Something in my head clicked and I'm thinking, of course there were all these stories about these things up by Alton, Illinois but I had never really heard anything about my area. But something in my head clicked, I remember hearing about bigfoot in California, and I thought "This is one of those bigfoots and I am going to wound this thing and Barnum & Bailey here I come".
I shot off with this goose gun to the left of this thing, and it didn't move, and then I shot off to the right and it didn't move again.
Something inside of me said "You can't hurt this thing and if you try to hurt it, it is only going to hurt you."
And with that it shrugged, what it looked like it's shoulders at me and it binged off into the woods that are just north of that road. And each one of its leaps, bings, jumps, whatever it was 15 to 20 feet at a time and it was gone.
Well, I completely freaked out, I went into the local gas station and washed my face off, and I drove right into Edwardsville and to the Madison County Sheriff's office and there was an old time deputy, and he looked at me after I told him the whole thing and he said "You know I would think you were crazy or on drugs if it weren't for the fact that I have heard this same story in the last couple of weeks, and three of them were from good friends of mine who were out hunting and saw the same thing you did. If I was you, knowing the kind of job you got and you're getting ready to do I wouldn't tell anybody about this for a long time, and you would be a lot better off."
And that was probably the most sound advice I ever got, because if I had told somebody about this they would have jerked my clearance and messed me around in the Air Force.
ALSO NOTICED: nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: None
OTHER STORIES: County deputy mentioned five other occurrences at this time time period.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11am, misty and rainy.
ENVIRONMENT: Bluffs, woods and hay fields.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by telephone.
- The animal was between eight and nine feet tall.
- The body was much larger in the upper torso than the lower part extremities.
- The animal's body was very bulky and muscular.
- The animal was totally black in color.
- The witness was unable to make out any facial features because of the large amount of hair.
Although this report is older, the terrain has not changed much since 1978 and exemplifies the "Halibut Effect".
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com