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COUNTY: Jackson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Its hard to explain how to get there unless you know the area. Its near Little Grassy and Devils Kitchen Lake in the Crab Orchard Wild Life Refuge
NEAREST TOWN: Makanda or Cobden
NEAREST ROAD: Water Valley road
OBSERVED: It was in the summer of 2012 around 7 pm. It was very hot outside and we had been in a long drought. The nearest town is Makanda IL. The nearest road is Progress Lane which is off of Water V vcalley road. I believe it is near Union county.
I had been told from a friend about some weird creature he had seen in the woods around this area. He claimed to have seen it once directly and heard it stalking him another time. He never said he thought it was a Bigfoot but I was still curious so I went out there to look around and see what he was talking about. He had told me that he had been out there many times and most of the time there was nothing strange. However, his girlfriend’s grandfather had told him that there were weird creatures out in the woods. He described them to me as being 7 to 8 feet tall with glowing eyes and only moved at night for the most part. I have never seen any creatures out there but on one of my several trips out there in search of anything weird I could find I came upon a few trees with branches that had been snapped. I’m 6’4 and 230lbs and tried hanging on limbs in similar trees and couldn’t even come close to breaking them. I took pictures of one of the trees with my friend who is 5’3 standing next to the broken branches for reference. I thought that it was awfully strange that they were broken the way they were. It was as if something had broken them. We kept walking through the woods and about 10 yards past the trees with broken limbs; we found a poorly crafted hut. It was just big enough for me (being 6’4) to fit in. It was made out of very large logs and tree limbs. They were big enough that I couldn’t move them at all. They were leaned together perfectly to create a shelter. While I was sitting in this shelter wondering how it could have been put together so well so far out in the woods I noticed a path leading out of it and into the woods. I followed the path and it led me to a place where water runs to when it rains to form a watering hole. I walked back to the shelter and took a picture of it. Sadly it isn’t a great one but I know it is still standing and can walk to it. It began to get dark and so we headed back to the truck and left. It was months later I saw an episode of Finding Bigfoot where Matt and Bobo found something very similar to what I found only the one I found was much bigger. It occurred to me that my friend who told me about the weird creatures and personal experiences I have been told relates to the behavior of Bigfoots.
While investigating more about this area and its history, I found a map of the area in which all this occurred and the area was very close to a lake that I fish often with a friend. On several of our fishing trips we would stay out late after dark and catfish. While we were fishing those nights we kept hearing very strange sounds coming out of the woods. They were strange enough that both of us were a bit nervous about them because out of all of our fishing trips we had never heard these sounds. Shortly after we talked about them and kind of brushed it off as “the woods” we heard a giant splash in the water, as if a big rock was thrown at us. It was close enough to us that I jumped grabbed our spotlight and tried to see what happened. It sounded like it was within 30 or 40 feet of us but I couldn’t see anything. I remember joking about it being Bigfoot trying to warn us away from his area then hearing more strange noises and another giant splash. It was a slightly windy night and very dark and with only one light I couldn’t see where the splash came from or anything in the woods. Shortly after that we decided it was time to call it a night and left.
This happened on at least 3 occasions in about a month’s time. Every time the conditions were the same, it was a cool night slightly windy and very dark. The lake we were on was Little Grassy Lake. In the area of the lake we were on there are many lily pads and a large area of very shallow water. On those nights we thought we could hear something moving around in the water but it was far enough away that the spotlight couldn’t reach it. We stopped fishing there because the water level dropped so low that there was no water to fish in or even to put a boat during the rest of the year.
The incident at the lake took place in early April of 2012. It was during the summer of 2012, only a few months later, that I found the shelter and broken tree limbs. The way it looks to me is that a Bigfoot was in the area at the time of the fishing trips. There was plenty of water, food and shelter in an unpopulated rural area. When the summer came we experienced the longest drought in over 50 years. It would make sense to me that the Bigfoot would move to a different location because all the water in the area dried up.
When I was out there was in September of 2012 I was taking my friends out there to show them the shelter and see if it was still there. While standing in a nearby graveyard I heard a large amount of chattering. I couldn’t determine where it was coming from but it was like voices off in the distance. At first I thought I had to be people talking, but as I walked around trying to find them I realized I couldn’t understand anything being said no matter how close the voices sounded. While watching an episode of Finding Bigfoot I heard them talk about Bigfoots chattering and how it sounded like people that you couldn’t understand.
I believe that there are Bigfoot that inhabit this area.
I went out again March 1st, 2013 at about 11pm to try and do a night trip. I had never been out at night and wanted to try and see if I could find anything different than what I had already found. We walked about a mile and a half out into the woods staying near a beaten path. After we reached a certain point where the woods open up a bit we went off the path and started wandering. We took a break and were standing quietly talking about where to go next or if we should stay. It was lightly snowing and very cold so we weren’t sure how much longer we wanted to stay being as it was already 2:30am. While standing there I was talking to my friend who is a marine and another guy said “is that a… moan?” we stopped instantly and all 4 of us hear loud groaning or moaning sound. Its hard to describe but it put all of us on edge as it stopped. We decided to continue searching around a little longer and we walked down along the edge of the woods and I shined my light into the woods maybe 50 yards (not 100% sure on distance) away from where we were when we heard the moan only 5 minutes before. When I shined my light into the woods I say what seemed to be a thumbtack on a tree, there are many thumbtacks on trees in this area and I’m not sure why. As I watched to make sure it was a thumbtack a head turned and looked at me and I could clearly make out two eyes. I stared at them and they stared back and I said “guys… guys… I see eyes are you seeing this?” My friends ran back to me, I never took my eyes off of the eyes, my marine friend made it to me first and the eyes were still just staring at me. As he started looking for them and more flashlights were turned on I watched as the head disappeared behind the tree it was standing next to.
I have seen many eyes from deer having grown up in southern Illinois and these just didn’t seem like deer eyes. The way they were positioned on the head wasn’t right. They were closer together than deer eyes. Usually deer will run when there are multiple people moving around them as closely as we were. The eyes seemed to be about 40 feet away and it was like they sidestepped behind the tree, never looking away from me. I’m not sure if they can but I have never seen a deer sidestep. The eyes seemed to be 5 to 6 feet off the ground. I was also looking downhill at them. I went into the woods within 45 seconds of them going behind the tree and never heard anything run away but we were unable to move through the woods quietly at all. When we reached the tree I believed they went behind there was nothing there and we could find no tracks in the half snow half dead leaf covered ground. At this point it was nearly 3 and we decided to start making our way back.
What I believe happened is that a Bigfoot saw us up the hill and made a call which was the moaning sound we all heard. I don’t know that was I saw was a Bigfoot but I can’t explain it saying it was for anything else either. I find it hard to believe a deer would have acted the way what I saw did. The eyes didn’t seem like a deer but there are no other animals in this area that have eyes that big that could be that far off the ground. The angle of the head wasn’t right for it to be an animal like a raccoon on the tree. It was as if something peaked out as we were walking by and I just happened to see it. The eyes stayed in sight for maybe 45 seconds and disappeared behind back behind the tree and the height of the head never changed.
The next night I went out with almost the same group of people. We got there at 1:30am and left at roughly 4am. It was much colder and not snowing. We walked the same path we did the night before. All the way to the spot where we heard the moan the night before it sounded like something was moving through the woods. At first I didn’t think anything of it but we walked for a solid mile and constantly heard something moving to our left. The two people in the back occasionally claimed to hear something on the right that sounded almost like a pig snorting or a horse sighing heavily. I never heard these things but I was also at the front of the line and 15 feet in front of them. I almost turned around and left several times because I had the strong feeling something was stalking us. Constant twig snaps and I heard one woodknock all from the left side of the path. Like I said we walked at least a mile and I heard these things the entire way. Once we reached the area where we had heard the moan the night before we heard nothing. We stayed and walked around the area just as we did the night before and heard nothing and saw nothing and after the cold really started to get to us we decided to leave. It was not as interesting as the night before that but the sounds from the woods were very strange to say the least. I’ve been in the woods, those woods, many times and haven’t heard the twig snaps or a woodknock before and I’d never had such a feeling of being followed/watched.
ALSO NOTICED: I have sent in a report of previous things/activity that I have observed in the same area
OTHER WITNESSES: The first night there were 4 of us total and the second night there were 5
OTHER STORIES: I have heard of things happening out there such as seeing something stalking someone through the woods and shaking tree branches. A creature waking up a friend of mine at his campsite. he described it to me as 7 to 8 feet tall with the body of a man but not a man, he fired his gun and it ran.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was night both times. the first night it was lightly snowing and very cold. The 2nd night it wasn't snowing but in the 20s.
ENVIRONMENT: Its a heavily wooded area with many hills and ponds. 2 big lakes nearby.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with both witnesses by phone.
The witness referred to several incidents which are in different locations, all close to county lines.
April of 2012 - Rock throwing
Jackson County - Little Grassy Lake, east of Makanda
• The two witnesses were fishing about a hundred yards from shore.
• Within a month's time they experienced three rock throwing incidents in the same area of the lake while fishing.
• The witnesses were convinced that what was being thrown at them was large rocks and not fish jumping.
September of 2013 - Vocalizations
Union County - West Liberty Cemetery
• Witnesses heard voices and chattering while in a wooded remote cemetery.
Photo # 1 of what the witness described as a hut.
Photo # 2 of the hut.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions and travels throughout Illinois giving presentations on "Bigfoot In Illinois". See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com