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COUNTY: Calhoun County
LOCATION DETAILS: This happened on the Mississippi River Road in Calhoun County, Illinois near the Reds Landing entrance.
NEAREST TOWN: Hardin
NEAREST ROAD: Mississippi River Road
OBSERVED: I was riding with a friend in the summer of 1974, on the back roads at night when we had to stop to relieve ourselves. First thing we noticed upon opening the car doors was the worst odor we had ever smelled. We walked to the back of the car and heard deep breathing. I looked toward the breathing sound up a 5 foot embankment. Standing still, next to a fence post was a dark tall wide figure facing me. I could clearly see the outline and it appeared dark with the skyline behind it. The fence post it was standing by only came up to its waist. Its shoulders raised and fell with its deep,loud breathing. That was enough for us, as this was about 20 feet away. We jumped in the car and sped away. We didn't talk for 10 miles or so down the road.
When we did talk, we swore never to mention this to anyone else because we would have been ridiculed to no end.
ALSO NOTICED: We didn't go back to check.
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend who was driving the car, but he couldn't talk about it with me years later. He just turned white and locked up when I asked him about it.
OTHER STORIES: Yes, another friend of mine saw one trying to hide behind a tree while he was out squirrel hunting. I will try to contact him to see if he would be willing to make a formal report.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10 pm clear sky
ENVIRONMENT: In 1974 there were no homes near this spot and the entire area was less populated than it is now.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone.
• The animal stood twice the height of the fence so probably seven feet tall.
• Witness was unable to estimate the animal's weight but was impressed by the width and bulk of the animal.
• The hair was dark colored.
• The witness was unable to see any facial features.
• The animal was only 20 feet from the car.
• Although it was dark out, the headlights of the car were on and the witness was able to make out the animal's figure being backlit by the clear night sky.
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