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Geographical Index > United States > Illinois > Massac County > Report # 37972
Report # 37972  (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Monday, December 3, 2012.
Nighttime observation involving a pond on a farm near Metropolis

YEAR: 2010

SEASON: Summer

MONTH: September


STATE: Illinois

COUNTY: Massac County

LOCATION DETAILS: fruit farm on a pond


OBSERVED: too long to describe if you would contact me feel free to do so there was three people that saw the entire thing there is more than three sightings on this property

ALSO NOTICED: tree knocks and roars

OTHER WITNESSES: 5 others have seen it


TIME AND CONDITIONS: might with a 5 million candela spotlight at 30 yards till batteries ran out

ENVIRONMENT: just come see it if I don't see or hear I will be surprised

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:

The following is an interview by phone with the witness. His first name has been changed. I also contacted one of the other witnesses.

Stan - Can you explain what happened?

Tom - Yes, me and three other people with a 5 million candlewatt spotlighted one at about 30 yards in a pond. It was Labor Day weekend 2010. That was the last time I actually saw it. Me and two other friends were sitting on the front porch. My mom and the whole family was at the farm. We have a big farm in Southern Illinois. We only go to it, its like a family getaway or retreat. People are only down there for four or five days at a time. And its forty acres, it has a big apple orchard on it and a farm pond. About thirty-five acres is in alfalfa and clover.

We had been out on the porch but me and one of my friends went inside, his girlfriend was out on the porch, she ran inside and said "Hey, something just flashed in the pond and it is making all kinds of noises." So I grabbed a big spotlight, its a big 5 million candlewatt spotlight. I shined it in the pond and saw it in the corner.

We walked all the way to the edge of the pond and watched it go down in the water, meander around, pick stuff up. It was about chest deep in five and a half foot of water where he was standing. It would bend over pick something up and like chew on it, put it back down. We watched it until the batteries went dead in the spotlight.

The we heard a splash, then tromping through the woods, then we heard boom, boom, boom and then a real loud bellow. Then behind the house in the woods there was another boom, boom, boom and then that bellowing sound. It did it back and forth two more times.

What I saw last year, what I saw when I was younger and what my brother saw. This is more than just a coincidence.

I am an avid deer hunter, I am in the woods day in day out, all day, night, everything. I don't go to the woods alone anymore. When I go to my deer stand one of my buddies walks with me and waits until I get up the tree and they go to their deer stand. I do not go in the woods after dark. I spent 17 years in the army. Short of thermal, I've got the best night vision money can buy, just so I don't run into one of these things in the middle of the night. Because I know they are there, I know they exist. I've seen them with my own two eyes.

Stan - If you put the spotlight on it why did it stay there?

Tom - It stayed right there, because it was chest deep in the pond, it did not run off.

Stan - Did you see it come out of the water?

Tom - No, the light died. And we went back into the house. We only saw it in the water from chest up. You could see the arms, shoulders and head.

As a child I was never allowed to go into the woods behind our house.

Stan - How far were you from the animal?

Tom - I am guessing 35 to 40 yards. He was chest deep, you could see the top part of his pectoral muscles and when he turned around you could see where his fur split on his back where his shoulder blades would be. He was foraging, take four or five steps, bending over, like reaching down. He would pull something out of the water and he would gnaw on it.

Stan - What color was it?

Tom - Well he was wet, so he looked very dark brown to black.

Stan - And how tall?

Tom - Probably eight and a half feet tall. There was about three and half feet of him sticking out of the water. The next day I took my john boat over there and measured the water depth at five and a half feet deep.

Stan - And what about weight?

Tom - Probably well into 350 lbs, maybe closer to pushing 400. It was really, really wide. His arms were huge.

Stan - And how long did you watch it?

Tom - Until the spotlight died.

Stan - Did it look at you?

Tom - Yeah, it turned around at looked right at the light. You could see his eyes and face, everything. You could see everything on that creature, from his hair, to his armpits, he had dark brown skin underneath. His armpit was a little lighter than the rest of his skin, I mean you could see everything.

Stan - When did you hear the sounds?

Tom - Within 20 seconds of us hearing it come out of the water. Yes then we hear boom, boom, boom and then a roar. An ungodly roar. And then from completely on the other side of the farm there was a boom, boom, boom and then the same roar.

We have had four game cameras up there on that place and all four game cameras have either been chewed up, smashed where even the sim card would not read or completely disappear. I went and bought the M-80 Blackout Moutrie that has no flash, thinking that I am going to be out with this thing, it's gone. I went through $400 worth of game cameras on that piece of property and the three that got smashed were smashed to obliteration.

Stan - The odd part of the encounter is that the animal did not attempt to leave when the spotlight was on. As soon as the spotlight lost it's power the animal left the water and started vocalizing. Perhaps the animal felt like it was less exposed by staying in the water.

The witness also submitted another report, see: Report # 39569

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 for recordings he has collected over the years.

Stan Courtney can be reached at