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COUNTY: Cook County
LOCATION DETAILS: The road is abandoned now but at that time in 1974 was Bachelor Grove Road west of Ridgeland Road and north of 143rd Street. This is three and half miles west of Midlothian. It was about one half mile north of 143rd Street.
NEAREST TOWN: Midlothian
NEAREST ROAD: 143rd Street and Ridgeland Road
OBSERVED: The following on-site interview was conducted by Stan Courtney. The first name of the witness has been changed.
Stan - Jim, can you explain what happened?
Jim - When I was about 16 years old, myself and two friends were parked by the woods, weren't drinking or anything, which is an important factor there. I actually saw a hand come around a tree, like you were gripping a tree, or something, but a big furry hand. And being a kid I thought it was a werewolf, the first thing I thought. And I told my buddies and they looked but didn't see it a first. Not even a moment later a big, I didn't know what it was, a big furry head stuck around the corner, peeked at us, and went right back. It didn't charge us and it didn't move. And then we took off from there like wildfire, just flew out of there. But, that is something we never really talked about because we never knew what it was.
Stan - What year would this have been?
Jim - That would have been in about 1974.
Stan - And in summer?
Jim - Yes, it would be middle of summer. It was just one of those little Forest Reserve cutoffs where you pull-in, and your car is kind of almost in the woods.
Stan - How tall was it?
Jim - I would have to say eight foot range. The hand was up there high, that is what caught me off-guard.
Stan - And what color was it?
Jim - It was a blackish-brown, I just remember seeing a big hand. You would almost mistake it for a gorilla-type thing. It is something that is not natural in Illinois.
Stan - And were you able to see the face?
Jim - Yeah, have you ever played peek-a-boo with the kids? You know how you do that? It was kind of like that, it stuck around the corner and went right back. I just remember it wasn't a person, eight foot tall and it was all furry, but it wasn't a gorilla face. We thought it was a werewolf, because we were all kids.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was with two other friends.
OTHER STORIES: None
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Warm, clear summer evening.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavy woods.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
On the morning of the 2nd of November 2010 I met with the witness about a half mile from the sighting. As the road has been abandoned, the woods have now grown up so we were not able to get back to the exact location.
- The animal was seen with their headlights.
- The animal was assumed to be about eight feet tall by where the hand and face appeared.
- The color of the hair was a blackish-brown.
- Both the hand and head area appeared to be fur covered.
- Although he saw the face for only a brief moment it did not appear to be gorilla-like.
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