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COUNTY: Atkinson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Approximately 1.3 miles west of Willacoochee, GA. Right off the highway at edge of woods on left side of highway. This is also a very populated area for deer gathering.
NEAREST TOWN: Willacoochee
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 82 west
OBSERVED: I commute daily to work driving 49 miles one way each day. My route is from Coffee County Georgia to Tift County Georgia. I've been commuting over a year now. The date was early November, 2011. The time was approximately 9:00 am. It was a clear, cool sunny day. I was on Hwy 82 West heading to Tifton when I was about a mile out of Willacoochee, Georgia, I looked over to the left, as I have always scanned the woods as I'm driving to work. I noticed at the edge of the opening in the woods, a very large creature just standing there. It was all covered in black hair and its arms were dangling to its sides, which is what made me notice it in the first place.I'd say it was over 8 feet tall. It was huge!! I think it saw me too, looking at it. When I first spotted this, I slammed on my brakes as I was getting ready to accelerate on the highway at that moment. Now because I had a medium strip between me and the other side I didn't have a chance to turn around and get over on the side of highway I'd seen it at. I had to get going onto work so I just kept going. I wish I would have turned around up the highway and went back and maybe it might have still been there. But I did not want to be late for work.
ALSO NOTICED: None.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself
OTHER STORIES: None
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9:00 am. Clear day sun shining.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest. Next to the path cut into woods right at the area I spotted it.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Benjamin C.:
I spoke at length with the witness about her sighting, the witness no longer lives in southern Georgia but I found her statements and recollection of events to be quite compelling. I feel strongly that she is a very credible witness.
Over the course of the conversation she disclosed that she had not one but two sightings, the second sighting occurring the year after her submission of this report. In the interests of clarity, I encouraged the witness to submit a second report for the second sighting. I will be publishing this to the database in the near future.
The first sighting, as mentioned in the original report above, occurred on a November morning in 2011 as the witness was conducting her morning commute to work. The witness was driving westbound on HWY 82, approximately three miles west of the town of Willacoochee. The road divides with a grass median at this point, and the witness had just pulled into the left lane when she noticed movement on the opposite side of the road, across the oncoming eastbound lane. The witness stated that she has a habit of looking for wildlife while she drives, and constantly scans the sides of the road in the hopes of seeing something, and she believes this is why she was so fortunate with her sighting.
The witness stated that approximately 50 – 70 yards away she saw standing in the side of a clearing on the opposite side of the road was a large bipedal creature on two legs. The witness immediately pulled over onto the shoulder of the grass median and sat there observing the creature for almost two minutes. The witness said that when she saw the creature she just about soiled herself.
In the clearing, the witness viewed an animal at least eight feet tall, and judging by the width of the shoulders, approximately four feet wide. The witness could not get over how massive this creature was. The creature was described as being covered with hair that at a guess appeared to be approximately eight inches long, had no visible neck, and was very muscular. The coloration of the hair appeared to be black with tinges of brown with a unique patch of whitish hair in the shape of an upside triangle on the creature’s chest, spanning from inside the shoulders and narrowing down to just above the start of the creature’s abdomen. It is worthwhile noting that this type of piebald coloration is not without precedent, and as a little known fact, the term “skunk ape” actually came from the name given ape-like creature observed in north Florida that had a white stripe of hair on its back rather than from any associated smell.
Of the creature’s face, the witness said she was focused on its eyes, describing them as “big, dark eyes.” The head was round on top, the facial shape was boxy, with a square jaw, but due to the overall distance she could not see details for a mouth, nose, nor ears although she assumed they were there. Skin color was described as black in appearance.
The creature was swaying slightly back and forth, but it was the movement of the arms and arm hair that caught her attention, as the hanging arm hair was waving back and forth as the creature swung it’s arms in a short arc. The legs appeared short in proportion to the length of the arms. The creature was slightly narrower at the waist than at the chest, and presented a very thick appearance.
The witness left after observing the creature for approximately two minutes due to multiple drivers honking their horns at her as she had not fully pulled her vehicle off the road and left the rear of her vehicle projecting into the left lane. The witness continued on to her workplace and only upon arriving realized that she didn’t get a photo of the creature. To this day, the witness regrets not having the wherewithal to take a picture.
The witness said that she brought up her sighting with some older customers whose families have deep roots in the area. The witness stated that several of the customers she spoke to referred to the creatures she had seen as “monkey people” and related that most of the stories they heard were simply passed down from generation to generation.
The witness has since moved to Wisconsin from southern Georgia in 2016, but is adamant that if she returned she could show me the exact spot where her sightings took place, as that is how deeply they are burned into her memory.
As for the sighting location, I have driven past the exact spot multiple times, and know exactly where the witness is referring. The forest on either side of the road is an older pine plantation with thick underbrush. Less than eight hundred feet due south of the sighting is the Alapaha River and accompanying flood plain. The Alapaha River, is a 202-mile-long north to south tributary of the Suwannee River, possessing a floodplain greenbelt that ranges from 1/8 to 1 mile wide that is essentially devoid of human habitation. Other reports from southern Georgia demonstrate similar congruence in terms of the proximity of sighting locations to regional forested floodplains.
About BFRO Investigator Benjamin C.:
B. has attended multiple BFRO expeditions: North Georgia 2018 Fall, North Georgia 2019 Spring, Tennessee 2020 Fall, South Carolina 2021 Spring, and Pennsylvania 2021 Fall, Pennsylvania 2022 Fall, New Jersey 2022 Spring and Fall.
He has also conducted private expeditions in New Jersey, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, and southern Georgia. His area of responsibility as a BFRO investigator is central Pennsylvania.