The RFP Research Project
Clarke County, AL Studies Area
Field Investigation Report
August 10, 2006
Background: On August 2, 2006, THB (Tal) received a phone call from an adult resident of Clarke County who said that four people had recently seen a large hirsute primate in a particular area of the county during the past few weeks. The caller supplied the names of one of the parties, and THB was able to contact two of the witnesses by phone. During the next few days several other people from Clarke County also called to volunteer additional information about the sightings and the people involved, and Tal was able to contact the relatives of the witnesses who live in the same area. Two of the witnesses finally agreed to discuss the events as long as the location of the encounter was not revealed. The relatives had their own stories of unusual events, and agreed to discuss them with our investigators under the same condition. Local members of The RFP Research Project were notified of the events, and CMM (Mike) was able to meet with the family on Sunday afternoon August 6. The businessman whose wife and daughter had seen the animal very graciously gave Mike a guided tour of the large tracts of private land surrounding the sighting area.
Site: Actual location not disclosed. The site is within a few miles of the City of Jackson, AL, and within a few miles of both the Alabama and the Tombigbee Rivers..
Initial RFP Report Reference: See report dated August 6, 2006.
Introduction: On Monday August 7, 2006 THB made the 9 hour drive from central Arkansas to Jackson, Alabama. After obtaining a room at a local motel, Tal arranged to meet Mike and both went to the home of the two witnesses. At the home were the mother & daughter, the husband/father, the daughter’s grandmother (her father’s mother) and a female cousin of the daughter of about the same age.
After the introductions, the daughter grinned and quickly told Tal that, “You should have been here a little earlier! When he asked why, she told him she had seen the animal near the same spot about 4:00pm that day – about 2 hours earlier. It seems that she and her mother were on their way home and the girl spotted the animal standing behind a pipe gate on a narrow dirt road leading to a nearby deer camp. She immediately told her mother to look out the driver’s side widow at the animal, but her mother refused, saying she did not want to see the animal again. (Her mother explained that after she had seen the animal on the way to work one morning she had a severe migraine headache all day. She thought the headache was the result of seeing the animal, and having to work with people all day who might not believe her if she had told them about the sighting.)
In describing her latest sighting the girl said that the animal she saw was “a lot bigger than the first one.” Although she said it was larger than the first, its color and shape were the same.
Field Observations & Comments: With permission from the family, the two girls accompanied Mike and Tal to both the sighting locations. Tal’s parked his truck at an open area along the sandy county road where the girl’s father had previous dumped the fish remains mentioned in the original report. That area was checked closely, but no unusual tracks were noted, although it was obvious that coyotes and buzzards had fed on the remains.
We walked the sandy road to the first sighting location, and the girl pointed out the exact spot the animal had been standing when seen. After being assured by the young witness that she was certain of the location, it became apparent that the initial report contained some erroneous estimates that may have affected her judgement about the animal’s size.
The roadway embankment on which the animal was standing was measured to be 5 feet above the roadbed. The two witnesses originally stated they thought the bank was about 2 feet high, but stated they were not sure. Mike and Tal later determined that if the girl was seated in the small car, the top part of the embankment would have blocked her view of about 2 or 3 feet of the animal’s legs. Measurements showed that the girl would have been about 10 feet from the concealed portions of the animal’s legs.
The spot on which the animal was reportedly standing was closely inspected but no impressions were noted. Two old and indistinct humanoid-like feet impressions in the thick layer of duff were noted about 6 feet from that spot.
We then walked a few hundred yards to the spot the girl had seen the animal earlier that day. At that location there is a narrow road that is blocked by a two-piece gate made of metal pipe. The top of the gate is about 4 feet above the ground. The road near the gate is hard-packed sand mixed with alluvial gravel. The girl stated the animal was standing on the road just inside the gate when she first saw it, but that it wheeled and started to run off the road as the car passed.
We closely inspected the old road for unusual tracks but saw none, but we did find tracks a few yards from the gate in softer sand that some of the family members had made shortly after the girl saw the animal when they came to inspect the road.. Dense thickets with small deer trails bordered the road near the gate. No large tracks nor hair samples were noted.
The girl stated that because the animal was standing behind the pipe gate, she could see that it was a lot taller than the one she saw in July.
It should be noted that Tal and one of the girls detected and mentioned a particularly foul odor about 100 yards from the gate. The smell quickly faded, and the actual source was not determined.
It appears the girl probably saw the same animal twice. It is believed she misinterpreted the animal’s height the first time because she could not actually see a large part of the animal’s legs.
During the first encounter both witnesses were impressed by the enormous size of the animal’s thighs. Its thighs may have appeared oversized for its visible height when in fact much of the lower legs would have been blocked from view by the road bank and their perspective seated in the car.
A sketch of the animal that the girl saw the first time was created by the girl’s grandmother under the girl’s directions . The sketch was modified several times, but the girl stated the sketch still did not accurately depict the animal’s nose and mouth. She did say that the nose was somewhat flat, but similar to a human’s. She also said the lips were fuller than shown in the photo, but not as human-like as drawn.