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COUNTY: Pearl River County
LOCATION DETAILS: At the end of the road off the Honey Island Swamp exit. It initially took place by the collapsed bridge.
NEAREST TOWN: Picayune, MS
NEAREST ROAD: I-59
OBSERVED: My mother and I had taken my young Doberman to the Honey Island Swamp to let him run and get some exercise. We had driven to the end of the road where the bridge had collapsed and you could not go any further back by car. The area is a few miles from the Honey Island exit off of Interstate 59 in Mississipi. The road was built up about 8 feet from the ground since it flooded back there. The area around the road was swampy and had a lot trees. The ground was covered in leaves since it was fall. We had been there about ten minutes and my dog had been pretty much just staying on the road as he ran around. I went to get something out of the car and when I started walking back to where my mother was on the road, she was looking out into the wooded area at something. She pointed out what appeared to be something dark beside a large cypress tree. We could not make out a head, but it appeared to be a grey/black fur covered torso. Whatever we were looking at was large because it stood above some bushes and the top part was behind the branches of the tree. It had to have been well over 6 feet tall, since the bushes were at least 3 feet tall. It was definitely not another tree because the texture was so different from the big tree it was next to. It was approximately 1:00 pm and the sun was bright. The light was dappled through the tree cover, but we could see that it was shining off of what appeared to be hair or something with a "hairy" texture. It seemed to shift back and forth, as if you were to shift your weight from one leg to another. It was probably 50 to 75 feet away from us, so we could not get a real good look at it. We did not hear or smell anything and my dog did not seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. After looking at it for at least 2 - 3 minutes, we got very uncomfortable and decided that we would drive a mile or so up past one of the bridges on the way back to the interstate. We put my dog in the car and drove at least a mile up the road before we stopped again to let my dog back out. We had been there approximately 5 minutes when we heard footsteps in the woods. We could hear them getting closer. This time, my dog picked up on the sound and became alert. We could hear it stop and then move forward a few steps a couple times. We could not see anything, but my dog was definitely trying to figure out what he was hearing. We got a little scared, so we loaded up again and this time drove up to where there are some nature trails and a shooting range (probably at least 1.5 to 2 miles up the road). We got out of the car again and were not there 2 minutes when we heard what sounded like something running through the woods toward us. At that point, my dog got so scared that he ran back to the car and hit the closed car door to try to get back in. My mother and I ran to the car and all three of us got out of there as fast as we could. We never saw what was making the noise in the woods, but whatever it was, was big enough to make a lot of noise both walking and especially running through the woods. After leaving and having major discussion about what had happened, my mother and I got our nerve up to go back to the end of the road later that day (about 4:00 pm) to see if what we had seen earlier was still there. When we got there, we could not find what we had seen before. We saw what we are pretty sure was the big tree, but we didn't see what was by it originally. We were not brave enough to go down into the wooded area for a closer look, so we basically left with even more questions than we started out with. We never had a clear view of what we saw, but what we heard, definitely scared us.
ALSO NOTICED: I think I pretty much covered everything in the other part.
OTHER WITNESSES: It was just my mother and me. We were trying to get my dog to run around and get some exercise.
OTHER STORIES: I once met a girl (approx. 11) in Slidell that told me that her family used to camp in the Honey Island Swamp and that something came up one night while they were sitting around the campfire. She said that her dad and uncle scared it off by shooting in the air, but not before one of her family members managed to get a couple of pictures of it. She said that they weren't very clear, but that you could definitely tell there was something there. She said that they had sent them to LSU for them to review. I do not know her name since I only met her once. She told me about this at least 5 years before my experience took place.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approximately 1:00 pm and it was clear and sunny.
ENVIRONMENT: It was a swampy, wooded area by a creek. The ground was covered in leaves and vegetation.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
The reporter's mother initially noticed the animal as their dog was out running.
She first noticed something against a nearby tree that appeared to have gray-black hair and it caught her attention because it appeared to be swaying.
The reporter said from what she remembered, the tree was likely a mature water oak that was approximately two and one half to three feet wide.
Her mother asked her to look at what she was seeing. When she did, she realized she was looking at something she’d never seen before and her hair stood up all over. She then loaded her mother and dog into the car and they drove away.
They drove approximately one mile before stopping to let the dog get out and finish exercising. Their speed was no greater than 50 M. P. H..
This time, within five minutes of stopping, both the reporter and her mother were positive they heard bipedal footsteps approaching them from the direction they had just come from, so they got the dog back into the car and drove away again.
This time they drove for approximately two miles before stopping. Once again, they stopped and let the dog out of the car, and they again heard bipedal footsteps, except this time something was running towards them. This time not only did she and her mother hear it, but the dog did as well. The dog appeared to be very frightened and immediately tried to get back into the vehicle and upon doing so, ran head first into the passenger side door of the vehicle.
The reporter said the animal was originally sighted on the driver's side of the car, but the noise was heard approaching from the passenger side of the car both times.
Note two other reports from adjacent counties/parishes:
About BFRO Investigator John G. Callender:
John Callender hails from Mississippi where he received a BA degree in Accounting from the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). He now resides south of Seattle, WA and he works as a pilot for a major airline. John has done extensive field work in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Mississippi, and he has attended the following expeditions: WA - Oly Pen (Aug. '04); New Mexico (Jicarilla Apache SEP '04); WA - Oly Pen (October '04); CA - Redwoods (May '05); WA -Oly Pen -3, (AUG '05 ); WA Cascades Expedition (AUG '06); Central Oregon Expedition (JUNE '07), BC, Vancouver Island Expedition (SEPT 2007), WA Cascades Expedition (June '09), 2009 Washington Olympic Peninsula Expedition