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Report of Encounter

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter


Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: October 27, 2006
Dates of Encounters: (1st: Late summer of 1953.)  (2nd : Winter of 2005)
Time of Incidents: (1st during midday.)  (2nd: About 8:30 at night.)
Weather Conditions: Clear on both occasions.
State: Alabama
County: Winston
Nearest City or Town: Houston
Location: West of Houston in the Bankhead National Forest near the head of Yellow Creek.
Nearest highway or road: Highway 63 south of U.S. 278/State 74.
General Land Use Description: Timber production & recreation.
General Terrain Description: Rolling hills with numerous streams that cut through the sandy surface soils and the underlying limestone and loosely compacted sandstone to form steep cliffs and ledges alongside the stream beds. The area reportedly contains some limestone caves.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: Both the sightings occurred between the Sipsey River and Brushy Creek forks of what is now the large Lewis Smith Lake.
Witness Profile: A life-long resident who has spend much of his spare time since a small child searching the area for Indian relics.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounters/Incidents: (1st encounter. “Looking for arrowheads.”)  (2nd encounter: Driving and looking at wildlife.)
Details of Encounters / Incidents: (1st encounter.) One summer day when the  witness was eight years old he was walking through a large track of land from which the timber had been recently harvested. The logging operations had exposed fresh ground and he was searching those areas for Indian relics. He was slowly walking and intently looking at the ground. As he moved out into the cleared area he noticed the tracks of what he assumed was a large man walking barefoot. Although he was somewhat puzzled that a man would be walking the area without shoes, he continued his search. After noticing the tracks again, he detected a strong unpleasant odor.
He stopped to look for the source of the smell and heard an unusual animal sound. As he scanned the area he saw a very large man-like figure climbing a small ridge about 300 yards away. Upon study, he saw that the figure was covered in hair and leaning forward. The creature had long arms which swung noticeably as it walked. Its stooped posture caused the hands to nearly touch the ground when the arms were is the vertical, downward position. As he watched, the creature stopped, and turned its upper body to look at him. It then made another loud vocal sound, turned, and quickly walked over the crest of the ridge out of sight.
Description of First Animal: The animal’s head was described as being “humped”, and it appeared the head sat close to the shoulders with no noticeable neck..  Although the distance prevented a good view of the face, the witness stated the face appeared to be “flat”. Its hair was reported to be a greyish brown color and appeared to be very dirty. The animal appeared to have a “pot belly”, but was said to be very muscular in the arms, shoulders and legs. The witness stated the animals was much taller than a large man, and he estimated it was about 7 feet tall, although he said it may have been taller if it had been standing totally erect.
Photos or Drawings Made?: None.
Description of Related Sounds: Something akin to a snarling growl.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The witness described the smell as  “weird” and “stinking”.
Other Possibly Related Details: The witness stated he and his boyhood friends often rode the rural roads on their bicycles. When they were near teen age one of his friends owned a small motorcycle.. On one occasion when the boys were on an outing in this area, the boy left his  motorcycle on a small woods road while all of them walked quite a distance away to look for arrowheads. When they returned, the motorcycle was gone. When they looked around, they found the machine had been thrown, not driven, into the center of a large blackberry thicket several yards away from where it had been parked.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounters/Incidents: (2nd encounter.) Driving in the edge of a “greenfield” inside a 200 acre track of timberland.
Details of Encounters / Incidents: (2nd  encounter.) During the winter of 2005, the witness was driving his pickup truck about 8:30 at night, shortly after a rain, onto a clearing which had been planted in winter vegetation for attracting wildlife. On one side of the field there was an elevated “shooting house”. The top of the house is said to be nearly 15′ off the ground. When the witness neared the shooting house the truck’s headlights illuminated the structure and a very large hair covered animal standing on two feet beside it. The headlights clearly revealed the animal which was watching the truck, although – somewhat surprisingly to the witness – the animal’s eyes did not reflect the light from the truck. Within a few seconds, the animal turned and walked into the dense woods behind the structure.
The witness drove near the hunting blind, stopped and listened, but heard nothing. He returned to the site to search for hair samples on tree limbs along the animals path, but found nothing.
Description of Second Animal: The animal’s hair appeared to be of a mixed color, but mostly dark brown. The quick view of the animal showed that it was massive and muscular. The witness stated that as unbelievable as it may sound, the animal was nearly as tall as the shooting house.
Photos or Drawings Made?: None.
Description of Related Sounds: None heard.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: No odors detected.
Other Possibly Related Details: During 2005 a timber cruiser found a large, distinct footprint in a small sandy draw in a very dense area of this properly. He alerted the landowner, and a cousin of the landowner obtained very clear photographs of that track. The photographer made detailed notes of the event, and that report – along with a copy of the photograph – will be posted on this web site as time allows.
Historical Notes: This area of northwest Alabama has generated an amazing number of  reports of sightings of the reclusive forest primates during the past several years. Such reports are becoming much more frequent, and recently involve multiple witnesses. Those reports will also be posted as soon as possible.
Report received and recorded by:
Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project