Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: The initial oral report was received at the site on October 24th & 25th, 2006. On November 18th, 2006, a family member provided the writer with a handwritten document and copies of a few of the numerous photographs the family has taken of tracks they have found on their property over the years. Family members, relatives and neighbors provided additional details by telephone at various times prior to the publication of this report.
Date of Encounters: Various encounters from about 1969 to about 2004.
Time of Incident: Mostly daylight sightings, some at night.
Weather Conditions: Various.
County: The county is in the Northwest portion of the State.
Nearest City or Town: Not disclosed. (The events described below have become public knowledge in the local area over the years and the property owners have been troubled by large numbers of people coming into the area and onto the property hoping to kill or get a glimpse of one of the creatures. The problem became so acute that the owners were forced to restrict entry to the properties.)
Location: Not disclosed.
Nearest highway or road: Not disclosed.
General Land Use Description: Farming and poultry production.
General Terrain Description: Rolling hills with bluffs along the creeks.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: A large spring-fed creek adjoins some of the family property, and the creek empties into a large man-made lake a few miles from the site.
Witness Profiles: The man and his wife are approximately 70 years old now. They have six children; five daughters and one son, the oldest in her late 40s. Both the parents and all of the children have seen one or more of the animals at various times and under various conditions. The oldest daughter, who still lives in the immediate vicinity, has a son who is now 17 and a student. He has seen and encountered the animals on several occasions. Mature neighbors have also seen the animals.
Background Information: About 1958, the family began a small poultry farming operation in Northwest Alabama. The single chicken house is behind their present home, although for about 12 years they lived about 3/4 of a mile from the chicken house, in which they raised chickens. There is a small, fenced pasture behind the chicken house that has a small, tree-lined branch passing through it. That branch discharges into the large creek about a mile from the house. The extended family has other parcels of adjoining land. A family member who lives out of state has one large parcel that adjoins the large creek on one side, and the creek actually cuts through one corner of that property. The witnesses oversee that property, and several years ago about 25 acres of that land was cleared for hay production. The family refers to that land as “the bottoms,” although the hay field appears to be about 100 feet above the creek. The creek bottom itself is very dense with very large timber, brush and vines. Across the creek are numerous limestone and sandstone bluffs, some with overhangs and, reportedly, some caves upstream. The creek itself is wide and deep in places and reportedly contains abundant fish, and is noted for its population of large catfish.
Beginning when the family lived away from the poultry house, the children helped in caring for the chickens. Before they moved to the present house (which is on the same property as the chicken house), the children initially were allowed to walk alone to the chicken house to do their chores.
Summary: This family’s experiences, and the experiences of relatives, neighbors and one visitor, over a period of more than 30 years are unique. Based on their statements, vivid face-to-face descriptions, and on the numerous clearly detailed photographs of tracks made on the property, there are compelling reasons to believe that these people are credible, and their accounts of somewhat routine encounters with these enigmatic primates are factual.
What makes their experiences even more unique and interesting is that while there appears to have been a small family group of animals which completely fit the generally accepted description of the reclusive forest primate called “Bigfoot,” that either resided or foraged through the area, it appears there was also a different type of primate that traveled with, or followed the Bigfoot troupe. According to the witnesses, that “different” primate was larger than a human, had black hair, walked on two feet, and had arms that appeared to be somewhat short and/or deformed. The animal’s head appeared to have been injured or deformed as its eyes were unevenly spaced vertically and there was a scar across its nose and part of the face. There was some exposed skin on the face and it was a “dirty gray” color. Its face as a whole looked somewhat like a monkey, although its nose was said to be shaped more like a human’s than a monkey’s. The animal was also said to have a sickening odor at all times. Some of the numerous tracks seen, photographed and cast by the witnesses indicate there were small, immature animals of both types in the group – or at least following the same pathways. It should be clearly noted that at no time were the immature animals indicated by the tracks actually seen by the family, although one smaller animal was seen by a neighbor.
The entire history of the family’s association with these animals is more suitable for a book than a report, like those that are normally posted. The family is considering writing such a book, and the writer has encouraged them to do so.
Written Accounts Submitted by Witness: One family member, the oldest daughter, agreed to write a brief account of her own experiences with the animals to be included in this report. That account was received on November 18, 2006, and it is recorded verbatim below, except for the deletion of names of individuals and specific locations.
“Sorry this took so long, my boys play sports, we coach and do books for the school.
I’ll try to start from the beginning, around 1969. We were picking peas with my Grandmother, my sister xxxxxx needed to use the bathroom. We were not close to the house so she went to the cornfield which was next to the pea patch. What happened next was the start of our childhood fears. Xxxxxx came back from the cornfield with her pants around her ankles saying something big and black was in there. The rest of us did not see this. We went and looked but it was well gone or hiding very well. From this time on we started to notice a bad smell when it was around.
We also could hear it whistle. One time when it came up to the house it let out a very low (bass), very loud roar. (Not sure how to tell you the sound it made.) Kind of like a bear sound. I never did see this thing face to face. Only the back. I just know it was tall and black. My sisters xxxxxx, xxxxx, and xxxxxxx saw this thing many times face to face along with my brother xxxxx. It seemed to always know when we were outside alone.
We have a lot of woods around here. My family owns over 200 acres here with a log company owning the timber of at least 300-400 acres around us. So you see it has a lot of woods to call home.
My parents raised chickens when we were small. This was a place it was seen a lot. Xxxxxx had one of them to try and reach out for her. She pulled back and it scratched her arm and ripped her shirt arm off. My sister xxxxx had it try and talk to her at one time. It tried many times to get her to understand them. Them, I mean by at least one black and one a reddish color.
My Dad took us to the zoo (B’ham AL) to see if we could find anything there that looked like what we saw. Every cage we went up to, he would say, “Did it look like this?”. Every time they would say no.
The one my family saw when we were young is not the one my son xxxx saw about two years ago. The reason I know this is my sister would say it had one eye up higher than the other with not so long arms. My son said it was 8′ – 10′ tall with long arms, not as much hair on the face but thick oily hair on its body. Everyone always talks about the bad smell.
If you want to know more about it you will have to talk to my brother, sisters or my son.
This thing has not only been seen in our woods, it has come up to our chicken house and our home. At times it came right up to my sisters’ window, face to face. You have to be over 6′ tall for this to be possible. This happens at night, not real late, somewhere around 9 – 11 maybe.
I felt many times when we went to the woods something was watching us. Trust your feelings if you think you need to run, do it. We learned fast to scream and run. Little did we know how fast this thing can run. My Dad tried many times to get there fast enough to see it face to face but it never happened. One time he tracked it for a long way and never did see it. (Editor’s Note: The father did see the animal, but not “face-to-face”).
We thought at one time when we got older that it was not around any more but about 5 years ago here it comes again! This time my child was seeing it. He was around 12 or 13 the first time he saw it and hearing it along with the smell. (At first) he said, “Mom I think something was in the woods with us (he and a friend). I smelled something that was bad.”
Well I knew right away. He came to fear being in the woods as we did as children. It seems to pick out people it wants to be around – children.
Back in the early 70s it seemed the whole world was coming with guns and dogs to track the things down. When we first started telling people they came. Night and day they came, young and old to hunt for it. Even the cops came. The local paper even did a story about this.
Me and my family will help you any way to find out what this is. We are just happy someone really believes us finally.”
Other Witness Accounts – Summarized: Although family members have tried to establish the dates as closely as possible, some of the dates in this report are approximate, and the sequences of events may not be in chronological order.
The large black animal was the most often seen because it appeared to try to play, communicate or otherwise interact with the children when they were outside during the day time. It also came to the window of the room in which three of the girls slept. This animal was quickly given the name “The Black Thing,” simply because of its color and the fact none of the family could identify it.
The family tried to obtain outside assistance in identifying these animals and evaluating the possible danger to the family from having them on the property. According to family members, a local newspaper wrote an article about the situation, the county sheriff’s office sent deputies to look into the matter (which was reportedly a very superficial look), at least three “Bigfoot Investigators” came to the scene, and eventually, after the affair became public knowledge in the area, the place was overrun with curious people and hunters. The “Bigfoot Investigators” reportedly took all of the Plaster of Paris castings made by the family “for examination” and for safe return, but the owner reported he never saw the casts again.
Because the animal was only seen by the children the first few times, the parents were not sure that what they had seen was not a bear or some other native animal. After the animal reportedly approached the children at play a few times, it grabbed the shirtsleeve of one of the girls on one occasion, and tore the sleeve and scratched the girl when she pulled away from it. Although the family did not believe the animal ever tried to hurt the children, but simply wanted to play with them, the father began carrying a high-powered rifle with him when he and the children were outside after the animal touched the child. A few days later the father saw the animal for the first time while the children were cleaning the chickens’ water containers. They were loudly laughing and having fun with their tasks. At the time the father was working on a well pump about 75 yards away. The “Black Thing” appeared and began approaching the children with its arms extended while it was “jabbering” constantly. The kids began to scream and run toward their father. When he heard the children screaming he grabbed his rifle and started toward them. From his position, he only saw the animal’s head at first, and then he saw the animal cross the fence into the pasture. He yelled and gave chase. The man jumped the fence and started running to attempt to get a clear shot at the animal, but he stated the animal was running at such an unbelievable speed that it disappeared into the thickets along the small branch before he could get a bead on it.
Later the father saw a large hirsute bipedal animal while he was doing bush hogging on the hay fields. The first time, the animal was standing just inside the field on the opposite side. As the man circled the field on the tractor, the animal would step out of sight into the woods when the man and machine came within about 100 yards of it. He said the animal was a different colored creature than the black one. He said that animal was a lot taller and its hair was brown. He said it was standing upright, and he estimated its height to be about 7 or 8 feet.
On another occasion when he was driving a tractor down the narrow road to “the bottoms”, an animal that appeared to be the same one that watched him at work earlier, crossed the road in front of the tractor. He stated that animal was running at a speed faster than anything he had ever seen.
On the old sandy road leading to that hayfield and the creek, the father often saw tracks crossing the road in the same general location, and he photographed, measured and cast them on different occasions. On one such occasion while he was studying the tracks, he smelled one of the animals close by, and turned to see it watching him from the wood line about 100 yards away.
The family’s only son saw the “Black Thing” many times, and some encounters were too close, he thought. About dusky dark one day during the early winter of 1971 the boy, who was 8 years old at the time, was working alone at the chicken house. He was cleaning the clinkers out of a coal-fired stove used to heat the chicken house. He was using a large metal poker to break up the clinkers, and had the poker in his hand when he went outside to get a bucket of coal. Outside he smelled a strong odor of rotten meat mixed with a sulfur smell. He looked around and heard a low growling moan. Then he saw the “Black Thing” standing behind the coal pile. At that time the animal was only 5 or 6 feet from him. He yelled at the animal and drew the poker back as if to strike it, and the animal darted around the corner of the chicken house and out of sight.
Some time later the chickens were removed from the chicken house and the boy and two of his sisters were playing outside the chicken house when the “Black Thing” came around the corner of the building with its arms outstretched. The animal was “jabbering” constantly and acted as if it wanted to play with the children. The kids fled from the animal and it apparently left.
On another occasion the mother and some of the children were picking corn and loading it in a pickup truck. As the mother drove slowly along the cornrows, the children were picking and throwing the corn into the truck. Again the kids were talking and laughing loudly. The “Black Thing” suddenly appeared in the corn rows near the truck. The children screamed and ran to the truck and jumped into the bed. Once on the truck they yelled for the mother to drive off, but she said she wanted to see the “thing” and stepped out of the truck for a few seconds. Because the kids were terrified and screaming, she got back in and drove to the house without seeing the animal. The mother stated she had only seen the animal once, and it was running away from her at the time. Her sighting occurred when the animal approached the children at play. She was not sure when she had seen it because the animal approached the children at play several times. She said that on most of those occasions, the children simply ran to the house and the animal left.
Some of the children stated they had smelled the “Black Thing” many times when they could not see it. These incidents usually took place when the kids were playing in the woods, or when the children were in the cornfield for any reason.
One of the younger daughters was both terrified and intrigued by the “Black Thing.” When the animal approached her and the other children at work or at play, she would “freeze” while the others ran away. In most cases, the animal would approach her with its apparently deformed arms waving and emitting quick “jabbering” sounds. Before she regained her composure and ran, she had a very close-up view of the animal on several occasions. The same thing happened when the “Black Thing” came to the window of the bedroom the girl shared with two of her sisters. When the animal was at the window, and unnoticed by the girls, it would scratch on the screen to get their attention. The other two girls would immediately flee toward their parents’ bedroom shouting, “The black thing, the black thing!” The younger girl would often remain staring at the animal until it left, which was usually within a few seconds.
When this particular daughter was a little older, she began to put out food for the animal near the pasture fence. There was a barrel there, which was turned upside down, and the girl would shell corn or bring other food and place it on the up-turned bottom. While doing so she would whistle in short bursts, and often the animal would answer with whistles of it own. It would never come into view while she was there, but within a few minutes after she left, the food would disappear.
Several times during the summer months, when the field corn was in the “roasting ear” stage of maturity, the family would find where ears of corn had been “shucked,” and the kernels eaten off the cob as if done by a human. At times there would be impressions left in the ground to show where one of the animals had rested as it fed on the corn. An older woman, now deceased, who lived nearby told her family that she had seen one of the animals in one of the nearby corn patches during that time of year.
The family’s encounters with the animals continued until the children grew up and quit playing outside as often as they had before. The family believed the animals left the area about that time. The oldest daughter, who lives near the parent’s property, has a son who is now 17. At about the time the boy was 11 or 12 years old he and a friend were walking in the woods behind his home and stopped beside a small pond. From the other side of the pond they heard a loud, deep whistling sound and they stopped. Shortly thereafter from the same area they smelled a rank odor and heard “a really deep growling sound.” They both turned and ran to the boy’s home. When they told the boy’s mother what had happened, she told them the “Black Thing” had probably returned.
When the boy was 13 or 14 years old, he and a friend were hunting deer in the area. They had placed two lawn chairs on a flat rock outcrop alongside the top of a hollow. From the chairs they were able to see into the hollow and see the side of the ridge across the hollow. While sitting there they noticed a “huge,” dark brown hair-covered animal walking on two feet on the hillside across the hollow. They said the animal was walking parallel to the hollow and taking long strides, with its long arms swinging in long arcs. It was walking in a slightly stooped position, and the hands were at, or slightly below, the knees. The boys were astounded at the animal’s size, and the primary witness stated it was massive through the chest, shoulders and back. (At all times they had only a side view of the animal.) The animal appeared to be at least 8 feet tall, and never looked toward the boys. The primary witness stated he was carrying a .30-.30 Marlin lever action rifle with a Simmons Whitetail scope. He lifted the gun to try to observe the animal through the scope, but said he was shaking so badly that he could not view the animal through it. The animal soon walked out of their sight, and the boys left.
This boy’s most frightening encounter with one of the animals came when he and a friend were camping on the bank of the large creek during the summertime. About midnight, while both were sleeping in separate hammocks, the primary witness awoke needing to urinate. In the flickering light of the campfire he walked 5 or 10 yards from his hammock and began to relieve himself. While doing so he began to smell a putrid odor and immediately heard something walking in the leaves close behind him. He turned quickly and was terrified to see one of the animals standing between him and his friend’s hammock. From the light of the campfire, which was to his left, he could see the animal was very dark colored, and that its hair was “oily looking” in the firelight. The boy tried to scream to alert his friend, but was unable to make a sound. In a panic he darted into the woods, intending to run home for help. In the darkness, barefoot, without a shirt or light, he became lost, but continued to run until he was exhausted. He fell over a log, and remained on the ground beside it to rest and catch his breath. He could hear something moving in the brush around him, but he remained behind the log for several minutes hoping the animal making the sounds would go away. When the sounds got closer, he bolted from behind the log and continued running. In a few more minutes he ran onto a road that he recognized, and he followed the road to the home of a neighbor. He jumped a cattle fence and ran to the door of the home, beating on the door until the homeowner opened it. He told the man what had happened, and the man drove him home. (The neighbor was contacted by telephone by the writer, and he confirmed the boy’s story. In addition, the neighbor stated that when he drove back into the yard of his home, the vehicle’s lights briefly illuminated a very large and dark form retreating into the woods from behind the fence the boy had jumped over.) Shortly after the boy arrived at his home, the friend that he had left behind at the campsite drove to the house on his four-wheeler and berated him for running off and leaving him alone. The boy explained why he had left, why he had been unable to alert him, and showed the friend the cuts and scratches he had received all over his body during his flight.
The next morning the boys and the father of the primary witness went to the campsite where they found the primary witness’s hammock in shreds, his shirt thrown on the ground away from the camp, and large human-like barefoot tracks beside both hammocks.
Prior to the above described encounter the boy and other friends had camped along the creek several times when they would be kept awake by the sounds of sticks being beaten against trees. They had no idea at the time what was making the sounds. At other times at night the boys would hear loud, human-like screams that they assumed were panthers, because others had told them that panthers made such sounds. On one occasion during the daytime, the boys heard loud and deep “barking-like” sounds that soon ended in short howls. The boys stated that the sounds were in no way like those made by canines.
One day in 1982 a woman who lives near the family walked into her back yard with her 14 year old granddaughter at dusk. The weather was clear. She said that when she looked toward a “burn barrel” which was near the wood line and a thick patch of kudzu vines, both saw a black animal standing on two feet beside the barrel, and looking into the opening of the barrel. The animal was sideways to the barrel, and it was only about 1 foot taller than the barrel. The animal was facing away from the witnesses, but apparently detected their presence, and ran quickly on two feet into the woods and vines. The woman was certain the animal was not a bear.
One summer about the same year, the woman was picking blackberries around the edge of the woods near her home. Her small dog accompanied her. As she walked across a small grass covered opening and approached the edge of a dense pine thicket, the dog began to act very nervous and became hesitant to go any closer to the thicket. As the woman neared the thicket she noticed a large fresh animal bed in the grass just inside the edge of the thicket. She saw the bed was much larger than that made by a deer, and out of curiosity, she stopped to examine it. The dog nervously approached the bed, took a brief sniff and began staring into the thicket. The dog suddenly turned and ran toward the house, but stopped several yards away. The woman then realized the dog was trying to warn her of something, and she left the area quickly.
About two years ago a friend of the father drove from Birmingham to visit and to hunt on the family property. After spending some time with the family, he drove his small truck down the old road and hunted a while along the creek and hay field. Later the father was in the yard and heard the small truck coming toward the house at breakneck speed. The hunter sped into the yard, got out of the truck while loudly cursing and waving his arms. The father asked the man what was wrong and the man loudly exclaimed he was never going to hunt on this place again. The hunter said that as he got into his truck to leave the “bottoms,” a huge, hair-covered animal ran out of the woods on two feet and passed just in front of the truck. The man repeatedly said the animal was massive in size, and that he believed the animal had deliberately tried to scare or intimidate him. According to the father, the man had hunted the land before, but he never again returned to hunt. The incident was amusing to the father because the friend had never really believed the family when they told him about the animals being in the area.
Photos or Drawings Made: Some of the numerous photos made by the family of tracks found at various times are included with this report.
Description of Related Sounds: As described above.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: As described above.
Investigator’s Comments: The information contained in this report is believed to be factual and as chronologically accurate as could be expected when considering the time span and the number of witnesses involved.
The good and honorable owner and web master of this site was asked many times by the writer to seriously study this report before making a decision to post it because of its very unique content and the controversy the report will likely generate. If the report is posted, it should be understood that the web master has no personal knowledge of the facts of this case, other than seeing the photographs submitted with the report. (The web master will have full access to the personal information on witnesses, and permission to contact them if he deems it appropriate.) If the report is posted, and if there are readers who have serious comments or questions about it, the writer can be contacted by e-mail at: [email protected].
The writer would particularly like to hear from anyone having personal knowledge about the primates found in the South that do not fit the profile of a Bigfoot.
Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project