Home >> Report of Encounter

Report of Encounter

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter


Date of Encounter: Late summer or early fall, 2001
Time of Incident: Sometime after midnight, but before 2:00 am. (The deputy was working the 6:00 pm to the 2:00 am shift.)
Weather Conditions: Clear and still. Moon phase unknown.
State: Alabama
County: Dallas
Nearest City or Town: Pleasant Hill
Location: On Dallas County Highway #85, one and one-half miles north of the junction with County Road #12.
Nearest highway or road: As shown above.
General Land Use Description: Timber lands, pasture lands with extensive wetlands just west of the location.
General Terrain Description: Secondary, upland alluvial plains bordering the Alabama River.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: Cedar Creek and its associated wetlands/swamps are within two and one-half miles (to the west) of the site of the encounter, and the William “Bill” Dannelly Reservoir above the Millers Ferry Lock and Dam on the Alabama River is about seven and one-quarter miles west of the location.
Witness Profile: At the time the witness was a Patrol Deputy for the Dallas County Sheriff. He is still employed as a Deputy Sheriff but in a different capacity. He is middle aged, and until a few years ago an avid hunter. His current position and his  previous service with another branch of government lends the utmost credibility to his statements regarding the encounter described. This writer found the witness to be obliging in every respect. He also showed the utmost respect and a totally refreshing sense of humor during our conversation regarding this incident.
Special Note: After receiving the encounter report from this witness, he was asked if his report could be published on the condition his name and personal data would be withheld. He stated he had no objections, but thought that he should get clearance from the Sheriff first. He then contacted the Sheriff for that approval, which the Sheriff granted.
The RFP Research Project sincerely appreciates the Sheriff of Dallas County for that action, and commends him highly for it. His attitude reflects a real understanding of what others should know about public service, and the public’s right to know.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: He and another deputy were in separate vehicles and in route to what he remembers as a “Burglary in Progress” call to a home near the town of Minter in the southern part of the county near the Wilcox County line. Their route had been east out of Selma on U.S. Highway 80, then south on State Highway #41 until they turned due south on Dallas County Road #85.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The primary witness was in the lead patrol vehicle with the second deputy following close behind. They were not using emergency lights or sirens, but were driving at fast but safe speeds.
About one and one-half miles north of the intersection with County Road #12 (which turns east toward Pleasant Hill) the witness was startled to see a large herd of deer burst out of the woods onto the road directly in front of his patrol car. He stopped quickly and watched as the deer remained in the road running frantically to and fro on the road and seemed not to want to go back into the woods on either side. While he sat watching the deer, he heard through the window opening on the passenger side (the window was down) the very loud sound of a deer bleating in fear or pain and the loud sound of thrashing in the brush just off the west side of the road. He quickly shut off the engine, stepped out of the vehicle and stood listening as the sounds continued. A few seconds later the sounds stopped, and the other deputy killed his car’s engine and walked up beside the witness.
The second deputy asked the reporting witness if he had struck one of the deer. The witness quietly told him he had not, and told him to be quite and listen.  As they stood listening, the woods were silent for several seconds. Then the silence was shattered by a deafening, animalistic roaring coming from the woods just a few yards off the road in the same area from which the deer bleating had been heard. The two men froze, and the witness stated the hair on his arm was standing upright. The men remained still as the roaring subsided the first time. Both looked at the other, wondering what could have made such an awesome sound. Within a few seconds, they heard the crackling of brush as something moved toward the road. Then another roaring sound erupted from the woods, and the sounds seemed to have originated closer to the road and louder, and the roaring ended in a higher and angrier pitch.
At that time both men retreated to their vehicles. They started their engines and watched the wood line for a few seconds. They saw nothing, and decided to “get the heck out of there.”
They continued on to answer the call, and never went back to the site to check for evidence as to what had occurred there that night.
Photos or Drawings Made? No.
Description of Related Sounds: Very loud, distinctly angry roaring sounds even more pronounced than those made by an African lion.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The witness stated that as soon as he stopped his vehicle he smelled an odor that “was worse than that of any hog pen he had ever been around.”
Historical Notes: The area described in this report is about eight and one-half miles southwest of the encounter described in the 1998 issue of the Alabama Game & Fish Magazine which is posted on this site.
Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project