Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: June 1 & 2, 2007
Preface: The witness read the recent reports posted on this site from Dallas and Lowndes Counties, AL and contacted the web master on June 1 about an encounter he himself had experienced in Lowndes County earlier this year. The writer was asked to contact the witness for more details about his encounter. That information was obtained by telephone on June 2 and is detailed below.
Date of Encounter: January 12, 2007.
Time of Incident: Approximately 4:15 pm.
Weather Conditions: Clear, unseasonably warm with little or no breeze blowing.
Nearest City or Town: Whitehall.
Location: Approximately 1/8 miles east of St. Mark’s Church and about 1/2 mile south of Lowndes County Road #40.
Nearest highway or road: Lowndes County Road #40 (1/2 mile to the north) and U.S. Highway #80 (about 4 miles to the south).
General Land Use Description: The specific location consists of old pasture land and timberland that is now part of the largest parcel of land within the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Lowndes Wildlife Management Area.
General Terrain Description: The area is on the fringe of a creek bottom and swamp.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: The Alabama River is about 2-1/2 miles north of the site. There is an unidentified creek (which heads near Lowndesboro) and associated swamps and wetlands just south and southeast of the site.
Witness Profile: He is 39 years old and he is a avid hunter and fisherman. He is employed in a large manufacturing plant as a special systems maintenance mechanic. He also operates and maintains a family farm. He stated he is very familiar with all known native wildlife in Alabama.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: He and two friends had driven to scout and hunt in the Lowndes Wildlife Management Area. They had arrived early that day and spent the morning hunting “on the north side” (north of County Road #40) without success. About midday they drove south to #40 and then turned east past St. Mark’s Church to North Road. They drove to the end of that road (still north of #40), but saw too many hunters’ vehicle and drove back to #40. They drove back toward the church when they saw a gated road that turned south toward the creek and swamps. They parked by the gate and ate lunch. About 2pm they walked about 1/2 mile down the old, blocked road until they came to a “green plot” that appeared to be nearly 3/4 mile long.. They decided to split up and hunt the perimeter of the food plot. One man stayed near the north end of the field, the other was to take the left side about half way to the far end, and the witness was to go to the far, right corner of the field.
The witness reached the far end of the field about 2:30pm and selected a spot to sit at the base of very large red oak so that he was facing the corner of the field. He stated it was about 60 degrees and the mosquitos were very active. For more than an hour he saw and heard nothing but the mosquitoes and a lot of birds. Occasionally he could hear beaver slapping the water in the swamp with their tails. He was somewhat bored and paid particular attention to the sounds and activities of the various birds in the area.
Details of Encounter / Incident: About 4:15pm he noticed that he could no longer hear or see any of the birds that had been around him. Then he began to hear the sounds of brush and sticks being broken by something walking from the direction of the swamp behind him. At first he thought that it might be a deer coming to the field to feed, but as the sounds came closer he realized the sounds were too loud to be those normally made by a deer. As the sounds continued to come closer he carefully turned and peeked around the tree. The standing trees between him and the swamp had been thinned by hurricanes in recent years, and except for palmettoes and the downed timber, the area was fairly open. He stared intently at the area from which the sounds originated but saw nothing for a minute or so.
Then suddenly he realized there was a human-like shape standing beside a tree about 50 yards from him. He at first thought it was another hunter slipping through the woods toward the food plot, but when he saw that the “human” was not wearing hunter’s orange he said to himself, “What’s this idiot doing walking through here with all these hunters and without a vest?’ (He said there had been a lot of gunfire in the Management Area all day.) At that time the figure stepped back behind the tree. The witness started to look at the area with his rifle scope, but decided to use his field glasses instead, just in case it was a human.
Through the glasses he could see that the tree trunk was too small to completely conceal the figure, and he was able to see its left arm from the shoulder to the wrist, and all of its left leg from just below the groin area. The figure remained motionless for a minute or so while he watched it through the field glasses, then suddenly it disappeared from view. He kept watching the area for several minutes, but never saw the creature again. He never heard sounds of the animal leaving the area.
He stated it was getting dark and he decided to return to the vehicle. When the other two hunters arrived, he asked if they had seen anyone between the field and the swamp. Neither had seen anyone.
Photos or Drawings Made? No.
Description of Related Sounds: Only the sounds of the creature walking through the woods.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The witness stated he had not smelled anything unusual, and that he was sure there was no breeze blowing at the time.
Description of the Animal: The witness stated the creature was between 5-1/2 feet and 6 feet tall. (He said he was reasonably sure of that estimate because he is 6′-1″ tall, and the animal was no taller than himself.) He said the animal’s arms and legs were thick.
He also said the animal was covered in “chocolate” colored hair that was about 3 to 4 inches in length. He could not see any facial features because of the lighting, but said the head appeared to be shaped generally like that of a human.
He saw nothing to indicate the sex of the creature.
Historical Notes: The witness stated he had seen the movie, “The Legend of Boggy Creek”, when he was a child. He had also heard “tales” of these animals in Alabama. He said that years ago he had asked his father if he had ever seen such a creature, and after much hesitation his father told him, “No, but you might want to ask Uncle —– about them.”
The uncle was his father’s older brother who had never married, and who had hunted, trapped and fished along the Coosa River for many years. Several years ago the witness had asked the uncle if he knew anything about these creatures. The uncle tried to evade the question for a while, but finally told the witness the following story.
He said that one summer day during the 30’s he stretched a trot line across the river. He baited the line and left it overnight. Early the next morning he began “running” the line in his boat. The area was remote and sparsely populated. When he neared the middle of the river he noticed someone walking along the bank to which he was headed. He thought it odd that anyone would be walking the riverbank that time of morning, and he kept an eye on the figure as it came closer. He thought it was a black man with no clothes on at first, but as it got closer he realized the figure was covered in dark brown hair, and was not a man. He could see it was watching him as it walked. He held the trot line and stopped the boat about 30 yards from the bank. In a few minutes the creature stopped on the bank directly in front of his boat. The man remained motionless staring at the creature, and the creature stood staring at him. For several seconds neither moved. Then the creature turned and slowly continued walking along the open river bank. The man watched until the creature reached the base of a hill which the man knew was covered with huckleberry bushes. (He and others came to pick the berries often when they were ripe.) The uncle said that he figured the animal was also going to pick and eat the berries as they were ripe at the time.
The uncle said that the animal seemed only curious about him being on the river, and never made any aggressive sounds or actions. But, the uncle never went back on the river without a firearm after the incident.
According to the witness his uncle served as a Tank Commander in the African Campaign in WWII. He was captured and held as a POW by the German forces. He stated the uncle was well known, well liked, and had a reputation of being honest and truthful.