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COUNTY: Liberty County
LOCATION DETAILS: The area was in the back of Woodland Acres off FM1409. It was off of Magnolia Lane. One of the last roads in the subdivision.
NEAREST TOWN: OLD RIVER-WINFREE
NEAREST ROAD: FM 1409
OBSERVED: First off I was a young boy when this happened so please forgive some memory errors. I was riding my bike in the woods and going home on a trail, I could "feel" something watching or "following" me. I raced out of the woods to a better trail I could hear in the bush as something was keeping pace with me. The bush was being thrashed about as if it were chasing me or just following me. I cleared the woods and turned to look and I could see something that had reddish-brown hair all over it. It stood very tall well over 8 feet. It had "blackened skin" along the facial areas that I could see. This incident has haunted my childhood and adulthood dreams. The area in which I had seen this "creature" is now cleared and a subdivision is built upon it. Most of it is still very wooded. As a young boy I hunted these woods often and would smell a horrid stench and often attributed it to a decaying animal, but after the chase I quickly remembered the smell as it filled the air. I was now looking at as this thing stood there. I remember my father telling my about bigfoot and that he and some friends had seen something he could not identify as a boy in West Virginia.
ALSO NOTICED: There was no forest noises, ie birds or wild game running around. That is what made me feel uncomfortable and why I began to leave most quickly.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me.
OTHER STORIES: As a child I used to hear tales of bigfoot in the swamps of Louisianna and possibly a swamp thing in the Trinity River area. Mostly old camping stories of swamp men in the river beds who would snatch up kids who went camping. The old houses out on the river beds and river shores were supposedly abandoned because the bigfoot had ran everyone out.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid afternoon, very clear sky and unlimited visability. The weather was about the 90 degree mark and it hadn't rained for some time that I recall.
ENVIRONMENT: The enviroment is like almost any other in the area very wooded with different types of tree and brush very heavily populated with small game and deer at the time. A large creek bed or gully was also very near and access to the Old River was very near as well.
Follow-up investigation report:
East Texas is not short on stories about the “swamp man,” “wild man,” “swamp ape,” “wooley booger,” or bigfoot. Anecdotes about inhuman screams in the night or strange encounters with large, upright, hairy ape-like creatures are very much a part of the culture here. That being said, many who have heard the stories would simply dismiss them as rural legend. When I spoke to the witness who submitted this report, he was very quick to point out that what he encountered was certainly no fictional, rural legend. Up until that summer day of August 1983, the witness had not given much thought to tales of a “swamp man” that was said to roam the local woods and river bottoms. However, for the better part of six months following his encounter, the witness refused to set foot in the woods. Even now, he is still bothered by what he saw.
As the witness (now 32 years old) rode his bicycle on a trail through the woods, he could hear the sounds of something just inside the trees as it seemingly shadowed him. When the witness finally turned to look over his shoulder as he attempted to quickly flee the area, he saw what he described as a “reddish-brown or rusty beast.” The witness said he can still recall the face of the animal having very little or no hair, and its facial skin was dark or black. The witness said the creature was huge and when he saw it, it was standing there just outside the trees watching him ride away on his bicycle. The witness did not hear any type of vocalization from the animal. The hair of the animal appeared “shaggy.” Overall, the witness thought that his encounter lasted perhaps one half minute.
For a long time afterward, the witness told no one of his encounter for fear of ridicule. Finally, several years later, the witness told his father, at which time his father admonished him for not having spoken up sooner about the incident. Apparently, the witness’s father had some sort of strange encounter years before in West Virginia.