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COUNTY: Spencer County
LOCATION DETAILS: As you travel south on highway 131 from Gentryville, you will hit a curve that turns east from an intersetion with a highway that comes from boonville, IN. At a sharp curve back to the south towards Chrisney, IN, you turn off to the east and follow a one lane country road east to an T intersection with a another country road. You will be about 1/4 mile off 131. Then you turn left on this gravel road and head north. You will see the old barn and farmhouse just to your right. Today a cell tower stands on the property which makes it easy to spot and identify.
NEAREST TOWN: Chrisney
NEAREST ROAD: country gravel road or Highway 131
OBSERVED: I was just a young boy then staying at my grandfather's farm in the summer time. I slept up in the attic at night with my uncle Donnie who was helping my grandfather with his dairy farm. We had just laid down when my uncle Donnie got right back up and headed downstairs. I was on my stomach looking East out the window. (We had two windows in the attic for ventilation. One was on the west and the other was on the east end.)
We had a small brooder house just east of the farm house. I also was looking out over the kitchen roof which was actually an add on to an old house porch. Suddenly a "man" walked out in the open from just north of the brooder shed as a truck pulled into the driveway. At the same time a truck pulled into the drive way.
The driveway came up the hill (the one lane gravel road ran north to south) to the east and then curved toward the north (to the kitchen area). The headlights glanced or lit up the creature. Three things I noticed. First the hair, face, or body did not shine or reflect any light. The creature was very dark. This could be one reason big foot is difficult to spot or see in wooded areas. Secondly, I realized it did not look like a man because the arms were abnormally long. Just like a man the arms were swinging, but closer to the knees than the ordinary person. Height appeared close to that of a normal adult male. I would say under six foot tall but not under five foot tall. The head was fairly rounded.
The creature dashed off to the west, and quite frankly I was petrified with fear. My uncle Donnied liked to scare me with "Boogie Man" stories, and I had just seen my first real live one.
A little later the truck left and my uncle Donnie came up. I told him I had seen somebody outside by the shed. He went back downstairs, told my grandfather, and they grabbed their shotguns and searched around the house, and then drove the old ford pick-up up and down the road several times with flash lights. They did not see or find anyone.
ALSO NOTICED: Despite all the disturbances and changes in the area, some interesting things have occurred since then. Coyotes returned in large numbers, bobcats made a come back and are quite common, my grandfather claims to have seen a small black bear in the intervening years on the farm (about 16 years ago), turkey, and other kinds of wildlife. Lincoln State Park is to the north about ten miles of my grandfather's farm and a strip of woods still covers a lot of the area between the farm and the state park.
I suspect this big foot was a young animal searching for a place to live. Minining had just started, farms were becoming more intensive, and other changes were taking place. The return of predators might have also caused the animal to relocate. (A black bear might have been more than a match for young big foot). What still strikes me was the non relective quality of the fur. If what I saw was truly big foot, this is an animal that moves in the shadows of deep forest, and at night. Day light observations must be abnormal in this part of the world. The other thing that struck me was the animal was used to humans, but reacted quickly when head lights hit it. It did not freeze like so many other animals will such as deer. I suspect it doesn't like large groups of people. That the best or most likely encounters are when the animal doesn't feel exposed or when only one or two other humans are around. This would fit the behavior of an animal who had mostly solitary and scattered territories.
I think to catch a big foot - you must work alone or in pairs (too many people drives them off), be willing to set up blinds where you lay down (standing up may provoke a natural flight response in young animals and may allow the animals to see you), your best chances of spotting one is at night under thick canopies or moonless nights, and the animal can not only smell, see and hear you, he has above average intelligence. Or at least he is smart enough to bolt instead of staring into the headlights. Someone once told if a turkey could smell as well as he could see and hear, you would never manage to shoot one. Throw a little simian intelligence and you have a real job of ever finding or catching or shooting one. One other thing that really struck me. He didn't follow a natural ridge or water way like most animals do. He was cutting across terrain featuress. The one advantage perhaps an upright ape has over other creatures. He doesn't follow or trek across the easiest routes or is funneled by terrain. Something I could speculate about again.
OTHER WITNESSES: No. No one else saw it.
OTHER STORIES: No. Except for the occassional story in the Evansville Courier and Press.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The incident occurred right after sun down. Somewhere between 8 and 9 PM since we usually went to bed by then.
ENVIRONMENT: The environment was in the open, next to farm land in a three crop rotation with dairy cattle. The house sits on top of a small hill. The creature was coming up from a field and drainage ditch and from the vicinity of a small farm pond. At the time the east side of the farm was heavily wooded and far fewer houses existed in the area. Principally three farmers farmed the land in and around this area to the south and east of the farm. On the otheside of the water shed or drainage at the time was forest wood lots and abandon farm fields. The land is hilly and the Ohio River is only several miles south of there. In the years since this incident, the land east and south of the farm has been developed. More houses and people now exist along the roads, a power plant was built just south of Chrisney near Rockport Indiana. Also the land east was heavily stripped mined for coal.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
I spoke with the witness by phone. He was about eight or nine years old at the time of his sighting. The creature was in view from the headlights for about three seconds. It "turned and looked toward the lights, then took off running". The gait was described as "odd, long strides with its long arms swinging by its sides". The arms seemed to reach below knee length. He described the body build as on the thin side and it did not seem to have a distinct neck. He had no real impression about the length of the body hair. He stressed how unreflective the creature was, that even it's face did not seem to reflect much light.
About BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
Tony Gerard is a community college biology professor.