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COUNTY: Tattnall County
LOCATION DETAILS: [First heard within 50 yards of the western boundary of Fort Stewart]
NEAREST TOWN: Glennville
NEAREST ROAD: unknown
OBSERVED: Myself, an infantry squad leader, and two other squad leaders, with 2 privates, were assigned to do a recon of another unit a few miles away. We did not have time to decide a route. As it was getting dark we set out with a map and compass.
Our route took us through near chest deep swamp for several hundred meters. We came out of the water probably about a mile from the other unit. Shortly after exiting the water we could hear something or someone following us. We thought maybe it was our instructors, but then decided it couldn't be. No one in their right mind would have followed us through the water and no one knew the route we took.
Although we didn't see it, it was easily within 25 yds. It would come up behind us. When you would expect to see it, it would cut off to the right or left, go around us, fade off, and then we would hear it coming again. This went on for 10 or 15 minutes.
Wanting to see it we tried to trick it by having Sgt. W. and Pvt. P. sit tight and the rest of us would move out slowly, then in 5 minutes they would pick up and move out.
The thing started weaving in and out of the two groups like in a figure-8. Then we couldn't hear it anymore. We met up a couple of hundred yards later with the other 2 soldiers and they said the same thing -- that it came between the 2 groups, around them, toward us, like it knew exactly where we were even though we couldn't see it.
Later about 400 meters from our objective we set in a patrol base and decided we would conduct the last phase in 2 man teams with myself and Sgt. H. going first, Sgt. W., Pvt. P. and Pvt. S. staying at the patrol base until our return in a couple of hours, at which time 2 others of the patrol would go out.
This is when it got really wierd, we were about half way to the objective when we heard something following us again. We got to the opposite side of a somewhat open area and laid down facing the direction of the noises. Probably 5 minutes passed and all of a sudden this scream-roar is the only way I can explain it. We looked at each other and I said "what the hell was that". We had never heard anything like that before.
About a minute later it screamed again and then we heard what sounded like a huge rotten tree falling, and brush breaking. That was the last we heard and the last I wanted to hear.
A little about myself, 27 yrs. old at the time, from the mountains of WV , combat veteran, hunted small and large game since 8 yrs. old.
The soldier with me was from NC, outdoorsman, very woodswise, 28yrs. old at the time of the incident.
Hard for me to sit down and write this. I haven't told very many people of this in fear of being laughed at. I know that whatever it was it didn't want us there and it was intelligent.
ALSO NOTICED: Not that I know of. We were out of the area before daylight. Ft. Stewart is 40 miles wide and 20 miles deep, and [is full of] uninhabited swamp. If you wanted to go somewhere and never be seen that would be the place to go.
OTHER WITNESSES: 5 other witnesses. We were on a reconaissance patrol.
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: EST 11 pm till 3am ; Mist, full moon good visibility
ENVIRONMENT: swamp, with some higher dry ground, mostly pine with alot of under growth
Witness report and eyewitness sketches from a 1979 encounter in a remote section of Fort Gordon, GA, 130 miles north of Fort Stewart
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
Fort Stewart in Georgia is north of Savannah and about 30 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. This large military reservation is full of wildlife, including alligators and pumas.
The witness [Sgt. R.B.] had patrolled other parts of Fort Stewart many times at night over the course of seven years. On many of those occasions he was alone on patrol. He had never heard anything like this before, and heard of no other incidents from other soldiers/personnel on the base.
When this incident happened, he and his unit were on patrol in a nearly inaccessible swampy section of the reservation where there are no roads. RB had never been in this area before, and says no more than 3-4 people pass through this section each year.
The stalking and circling of the soldiers went on for a while, in two phases, before the screaming and the tree fall. Two screams were heard. One a moment before the tree fall, and the second almost simultaneous with the tree fall. The animal was heard running away right after the tree fall. RB said it was obvious the screams were coming from a very large animal.
During the stalking and circling episodes the soldiers could hear that the animal was running on two legs. It was running and circling the soldiers in the darkness, at high speed through the brush. RB said his patrol group was intimidated by how fast the animal could move as it circled them repeatedly, just out of view.
The patrol wasn't carrying any bright lights or spotlights. They only had small flashlights with red filter lenses for reading maps. They weren't carrying any nightvision devices either.