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COUNTY: Rabun County
LOCATION DETAILS: Minnehaha Falls is 1.6 miles from the Lake Seed Dam. To reach the falls Follow US441 north out of Tallulah Falls for 2 miles and turn on Old 441 at the Rabun Beach Recreation Area sign. Follow Old 441 for 2.5 miles and turn left on Lake Rabun Road. Proceed along the shore of Lake Rabun for 6 miles (2 miles past the Rabun Beach Recreation area) to the Lake Seed Dam. Cross the lake below the dam on a one-lane bridge. Go about 150 Yards and turn left on Bear Gap Rd. Follow Bear Gap Rd. for 1.5 miles to the Minnehaha Falls sign on the right.
NEAREST TOWN: Lake Rabun
NEAREST ROAD: US 441
OBSERVED: I feel pretty stupid reporting this now after some time has passed, but I felt like someone should hear about this.
Back in May 1998, I had taken my first trip to the North Georgia Mountains, specifically the Tallullah Gorge area. After hiking to the bottom of the gorge I hiked to another local area near a lake called Lake Rabun and I viewed some water falls called Minnehaha Falls. The sun was already setting and when I completed the fairly easy stroll to the falls I noted that I was the only person at the falls. I did not observe anything weird at that time, but I did catch a whiff of something smelly in the area. Not quite the smell of a dead animal, but the smell of something very musty and almost sweaty.
I stayed until it was completely dark and I fished my flash light out of my backpack. As I finished my ham sandwhich, I began to get up off the ground to hike out. It was at this time I noticed a figure of what I thought was a person squatting to the right of the falls in some bushes. I thought it was another hiker I had either failed to see sitting there or someone who had arrived after me. I did not turn my light on yet and I did not want to turn it on so as to blind the other person.
I began to walk in the direction of the other person to say hello and that is when it stood up and I could obviously tell the thing was about 9 to 10 feet tall. I still thought it was a very tall person until I got to within 20 feet of it and the smell became extremely bad. I could hear the thing breathing shallow and it kind of sounded like when a person has a chest cold with some gurgling or rattleing in the chest.
I stopped and turned my light on and tried to shine it on the thing, but it began to turn away from me as it took very long strides as it walked on two legs. It was dark brown in color and had matted hair covering it's body. It stopped and turned towards me from about 60 feet away and took about 5-6 steps towards me in the bushes.
I became scared and drew my service pistol from my fanny sack (I am a police officer) and stood my ground while yelling at it to stop. It stopped and then turned away. The creature walked away without turning back.
I left the area and drove back to my apartment in Marietta Georgia. I did not tell anyone about this, as I thought they would think I was crazy or lying.
ALSO NOTICED: No. The smell lingered.
OTHER WITNESSES: No. That is why I was scared and reluctant to report it.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Dusk turning to night. Partly cloudy skies and around 60 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Hardwood trees & pine trees. Rock water fall with surrounding low cliffs & bushes.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I had a lengthy conversation with the witness by phone.
The witness said the animal was walking along the edge of the water and the bushes were about two feet tall.
The witness stated that the smell was almost overpowering. He said that it was very pungent with "body odor and fecal smell" all mixed together.
After he noticed the "other person," the witness walked in that direction and spoke to it. Being a police officer, he is trained both to pay attention to details and to respond to stressful situations. When he did not receive a response, he became more concerned and his senses went into full alert.
The witness said that it is customary for him during crisis situations to draw his weapon and keep it close to his body without it showing.
He described the animal as being dark brown in color. He said that it had a thick, short neck and very broad shoulders. He said it reminded him of "Darth Vader" because of the way the animal's neck was attached to its body.
The following is a photo of Minnehaha Falls:
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org