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COUNTY: St. Clair County
LOCATION DETAILS: Around Moody, Alabama.
NEAREST TOWN: Moody
OBSERVED: When I was around 11 years old, I had a strange encounter in the field behind my house. At that time, I believed I saw a crazy old man, but I now realize that is all I could rationalize it to be.
I was walking alone at dusk with my dog. This was not unusual as I loved to be outside- my parents often had to force me inside by calling me in for the night. Well, from what I can remember of that particular night, I was picking up rocks in a ditch and looking at them. I might have been looking for a certain kind of rock but I can't remember exactly what I was doing. It was definitely getting dark, but I could still see well enough to keep after the rocks for awhile longer. I remember holding a stick I was using to pry rocks out of the dirt. It was very quiet and still and there wasn't much wind. As I was looking at the ground, I heard a noise in front of me and I looked up to see what it was, and that is when I saw him. He stood right in front of me at a distance of 5 to 10 feet, he was tall, but hunched and quietly staring right at me. He wasn't much taller than a normal man, but I got the impression he was old because he was hunching. He looked like Rip Van Winkle to me, and that is what I thought of when I saw him. He had a long shaggy beard around his facial area, but he was completely naked but for the long shaggy hair that was in matts all over his body. I remember the hair was thin at his face, the base of his neck, and upper torso, but thicker around his beard, lower torso and legs. All the hair was grayish white and very long and shaggy. Mats of hair dangled from him in tatters. His feet were bare. His face was very humanlike, but not quite normal as it had very exaggerated wrinkles- again, a reason I thought he was a crazy old man. His head seemed normal, but there was so much hair it was hard to make out his features except where the hair was thinner. He appeared gaunt and thin, but in just a moment I would realize he was not like an old man at all. I screamed as loud as I could out of fear and I noticed my dog bolted towards the house while I was taking in the sight of this strange thing in front of me. The shaggy old man let out a scream of his own when I screamed. He was staring right at me screaming in a voice that sounded like a woman shrieking- he seemed very scared of me as well. I turned to run for my house. I looked over my shoulder to see if he was following me and I saw him run up the ditch in the other direction. He was extremely agile and fast- he was definitely not Rip Van Winkle. He ran in a full sprint, very quickly for someone so hunched.
I think I caught the dog running back to the house, as I was so frightened. I remember running into the kitchen and telling my Mom there was a crazy old Rip Van Winkle in the field. I remember describing how he was old looking, hunched, naked, and his hair was very long and matted like he hadn't cut it in 20 years. I told her about how he had hair all over his body. Needless to say, I wasn't believed. I became obsessed with what I called "the Shaggy old man" or "the Crazy old man". I believed that he must have been an old deformed hermit. I kept a notebook in which I drew many sketches of him. I remember keeping the notebook secret from my family, hiding it out of fear of being ridiculed. I wish I had those sketches now but sadly I've misplaced that notebook. I remember I went back to the spot in the field looking for him on other occasions, but I never ran into him again. I wasn't aware enough to look for prints or anything like that, but I knew that he was out there somewhere and I wanted to prove he really existed to others.
What changed my opinion of this sighting was a late night visit to a bigfoot website. I was just browsing their sightings index and I came across several sightings in the same county I lived in and all described white or grayish colored creatures. Honestly, I didn't realize bigfoot were sighted in this part of the country at that time, or even for most of my life, and just seeing all those other sightings was a revelation. I realized for the first time that what I witnessed may not have been a crazy old shaggy man, but rather a bigfoot. When I think back on the sighting, it all makes sense in that light. There would be no reason for a naked old man to wander that field, much less to be covered in grayish, white, shaggy tattered hair. The only reason I never thought of it as a bigfoot before was that I had never heard of an Alabama bigfoot, so the thought never entered my mind. Also, I had never heard of a whitish gray colored bigfoot, and this creature was thinner than a typical bigfoot description- maybe he was older or maybe even younger. He looked a bit hungry to me, as he was not some hulking powerful creature, but he was still strong looking and extremely agile.
ALSO NOTICED: I looked for anything unusual the next day, but I did not find anything to substantiate my sighting. I did not smell any odors or anything other people relate about their sightings either.
OTHER WITNESSES: There was no other witness, other than my dog.
OTHER STORIES: I've read other reports on www.gcbro.com - similar accounts near this location, but other than that, no, I have not heard any stories by the locals when I lived there.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Right around dusk, just after sunset. The weather was clear and dry, as I was in a ditch that would usually have water in it if it wasn't really dry. The ditch was lower in elevation than the rest of the field, so it was hidden from view of the road and houses nearby.
ENVIRONMENT: The field was about 100-150 yards across, and a small two lane road ran one side of it. On two other sides, were homes. There was one remaining side that was forest. That forest was quite large at that time, and even now is still quite undeveloped. It was mostly pines near the field, but became mostly oaks on the mountain nearby. The ditch I was in when I spotted him ran across the field and sometimes had water in it, but it had dried up due to a dry spell.
Follow-up investigation report:
During a phone conversation with this observant, articulate witness, a few more details surfaced. The witness stated that when he first noticed the animal, its arms were at its sides as it quietly stared at him. The animal was very still. He noticed a "dusty-grayish" tone to the skin at the chest area. He stated that the animal's very matted hair was about 5-6 inches long. The unkempt hair gave the animal a "scruffy" look. The face was "human-like, but scary and unusual." The matted hair on the head was continuous with the beard, and there was thin hair on the face. He noticed the hair hanging from the calves, but stated that the hair was thinner at the knees and near the upper thighs. The nose was "human-looking." The scream was very loud, piercing, and high-pitched.