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COUNTY: Mercer County
LOCATION DETAILS: About 7 miles west of South Lineville Mo on south side of State Line Road, just barely in Mo
NEAREST TOWN: Lineville, IA and South Lineville, MO
NEAREST ROAD: US 65 Hwy
OBSERVED: My brother and I were looking at a piece of land to lease. We were sitting in a pickup truck when we noticed something large and black about 400 yards south of us in an open field, but close to the far timberline. It appeared to be kneeling or bending over. On seeing us it stood erect on two legs, turned, and walked into the timber disappearing from sight.
ALSO NOTICED: Never saw anything like this before. We are both experienced hunters and woodsmen. Note: there are no bears native to this area.
OTHER WITNESSES: My brother was with me and saw it as well
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 8:00 am on a bright sunny morning.
ENVIRONMENT: Flat farmland bordered by timber
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brian R. Woods:
I communicated with the witness via email and telephone conversation, and found him to be consistent and convincing with the description of his experience. The sighting took place outside of South Lineville, in Mercer County, MO, approximately 7 miles West of U.S. Highway 65.
The witness describes himself and his brother as lifelong outdoorsmen and hunters, with much knowledge and familiarity with animals that are common to this area of the United States. He stands by his experience that April morning, and has given much thought to what he saw, and what he knows it was not. The witness and I discussed the common rationalization that it might have been a bear. This is extremely unlikely, as bears are not native to this area, and any bear sighting or activity would quickly become common knowledge in the area among landowners, law enforcement and other residents. When I researched the state of Missouri for reported bear sightings, I found information detailing the home ranges of radio-tracked bears, from the years 2010-2013. In the image below, you will notice that the "home ranges" of the bears being studied remain to the south central area of the state. This would further decrease the likelihood of the figure being a bear, as even two years after the end of the referenced study, the home ranges would not have expanded such a great distance, to the Mercer County area. Such a rapid expansion of the home ranges would have been quite noteworthy.
In speaking with the witness, a few additional details emerged concerning the experience he and his brother had on that April morning, which I will relate. The witness describes the morning as "bright and sunny". Using the perceived height of a brush pile that the tall figure walked past, the witness and his brother estimate that the figure stood at a height of between 8 and 9 feet. He approximates the distance from the truck to the figure at between 350 and 400 yards. Due to this distance, they were unable to discern much fine detail, but describe dark brown or black hair covering it's body. When the figure stood from a crouching position in the pasture, it began walking on two legs in the direction of the treeline, with no sense of urgency or hasty motion. Very relaxed, deliberate, and unhurried. The two men were able to observe the figure for a total of 3 minutes, beginning from when they first spotted it crouched in the pasture,until it was completely out of sight among the trees it advanced into.
About BFRO Investigator Brian R. Woods:
Brian is a former Emergency Medical Technician, as well as an outdoor enthusiast, and proud Scouting father. He's been a lifelong resident of the Midwest, surrounded by many miles of Missouri forests, waterways, and wildlife.