The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter or Related Incident
Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: 11/05/04
Preface To The Report: The report was submitted by a member of the family of two of the three men involved in the incident. The two men were brothers. All three men are now deceased. Several years ago one of the brothers reportedly relayed the account of the incident to his wife and a family member – the person who actually submitted it to the writer – when the man was old and in very ill health. At the time he gave the account, the other two men were deceased. The three men involved had agreed they would not tell anyone about the incident, because they feared people would think they were crazy or liars. The surviving witness told the two family members that he felt he should tell them about the incident at that time.)
Date of Encounter: In the winter of 1943 or 1944.
Time of Incident: Late at night.
Weather Conditions: Clear, cold with no moonlight.
Nearest City or Town: Carlton
Map Location: (gps or township/section coordinates if known): Unknown
Nearest highway or road: Not known for certain, believed to have been near, or on the road to Hal’s Lake.
General Land Use Description: Mostly bottomland timber production.
General Terrain Description: The area consists of vast areas of swamps with a few unpaved roads that are subject to frequent flooding.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: The site is inside a large triangularly shaped area that is bounded on the east-southeast side by the Alabama River and on the west-northwest side by the Tombigbee River. The two rivers join about twelve miles south of the general location to form the Mobile River which empties into Mobile Bay.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: The three men, all Clarke County residents, were spotlighting deer along back roads from a pickup truck. The two brothers were in the bed of the truck, and the other was driving. One of the brothers had a carbide light and the other had a single-shot, Sears-Roebuck 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot. (It is not known which brother had the gun.)
Details of Encounter / Incident: The truck was moving very slowly through the thick lowland forest on a road that was not well maintained at the time. Just as the truck crossed a small creek or branch and started up a slight grade on the other side, the brother with the light asked the other if he had farted. The other brother told him he had not. The first brother immediately asked, “Then what is that ungodly stench”? Before his brother could respond, the man turned the light toward the woods on the passenger side of the truck and immediately saw the glowing eyes of two large animals in the dense undergrowth beside the road. (The witness told his family that the two animals were actually within ten feet of the side of the road and a few feet above the roadbed.) When the carbide light illuminated the two animals, the two men were petrified to see two huge, hairy human-like creatures standing on two feet in slouched positions. The men saw the animals’ heads were dome shaped and elongated at the top with pronounced brow ridges, and the eyes large and dark. (The surviving witness failed to tell the family members about the reflected color of the animal’s eyes.) The faces were partially covered with hair with the exposed parts being dark grey with the look of leather. The larger of the two animals was estimated to be over nine feet tall with long arms, and its fingertips were near its knees. There were places on the larger animal’s body where the hair was missing, and the witness thought the animal had the mange. There was mud and forest litter entangled in hair on the rest of its body. Although the witness did not recall seeing evidence of the animal’s sex, he assumed it was a male because of its size and shape. He said the animal’s shoulders were close to four feet wide. The smaller animal was between seven and eight feet tall. His description of the smaller animal was sketchy because he understandably focused on the larger of the two. The witness stated that one or both of the animals produced an overpowering “stench” like that of a wet goat combined with the odor of rotten meat. The observations were made within seconds. During that brief period both men were frozen in fear, but then the brother with the gun screamed, raised the shotgun and fired point blank at the larger animal. It roared and screamed as if in pain, and both animals wheeled around and left crashing through the trees and underbrush. The witness said it sounded as if a bulldozer was being driven through the timber at top speed. When the shot was fired, the driver stopped the truck and got out to ask the man what he had shot. When the two men told him what they had seen, the driver accused them of having too much to drink. (The two men did have a bottle of moonshine whiskey in the back of the truck. The surviving witness told the family members the two had drank some of the whiskey to “ward off the chill”, but insisted neither of them were even close to being intoxicated.) The driver told the two men to get out and help him look for blood, but the two refused and instead told the driver to “get them the hell out of there”. The driver laughed, took the light from the man holding it and walked up the small road bank to look for blood. He did not go far off the road, found no blood and returned to the truck. The two men insisted on leaving the area for their homes. According to the family member who relayed the account to the field investigator, the two brothers never spotlighted deer again after the incident. None of the men were willing to return to area to look for the animal that had been shot, although the witness thought the animal would have died from having been shot at such close range with a 12 gauge load of buckshot.
Description of Animal(s) if Seen: As described above.
Photos or Drawings Made?: No.
Description of Related Sounds: The larger animal roared and screamed after being shot.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The odor of a wet goat, combined with the smell of putrid meat.
Was Physical Evidence Obtained? No.
Follow-up Investigation Report(s) by The RFPRP
Because of the age of the report, and the fact that the exact location of the incident is unknown, no attempt was made to actually follow up on the report. Shortly after this report was received, the writer spent several nights in the general area. On more than one occasion the writer played recorded sounds that are thought to have been made by unclassified primates along the west coast. On one particular occasion he stopped his truck near Hal’s Lake (an old riverbed or oxbow lake) and played the recording. Within seconds he heard a load, aggressive bellowing sound which he initially though might have been made by either a bull or a large alligator. But those possibilities were discounted within a few minutes when the writer heard more than one large animal crashing toward him through the timber and brush. (He later found out there are no cattle in that area.) The road on which he had parked was very narrow, and the dense woods closely bordered it. The writer waited until the animals crashed to within a few hundred feet of him, before he turned on a large hand-held spotlight and pointed it in the direction of the sounds. The oncoming animals stopped for a few seconds, then split up and attempted to slowly flank the truck. The investigator retreated to the truck cab, but continued to try to see one of the animals using the light. He never saw one, although at times he could hear the animals within a few yards of the truck. After about thirty minutes of the cat-and-mouse game, the animals apparently left the area, and so did the writer. (The animals’ nerves were no doubt in better shape than the writer’s at the time of their departure.)
On another occasion the writer played the sound recordings at another location in that same general area. After 45 minutes of waiting, he heard a loud, aggressive sound, although that sound was more human-like. The sound came from a swamp that adjoined both sides of the road on which his truck was parked. The sound came from an area on the passenger’s side of the truck. The writer walked around to that side of the truck and waited for about 15 minutes with a spotlight on the hood of the truck and a flash camera around his neck.. He was certain he could hear the animals walking through the swamp before it got too close, so he was rather relaxed as he watched that area with a night vision scope. The writer’s laid-back attitude changed abruptly when he heard loud, guttural ape-like whooping sounds coming from the swamp behind him on the driver’s side of the truck. The writer knew that the first animal he had heard could not have crossed the road and gotten behind him in such a short period of time without him hearing it, so again he gathered his gear and retreated to the truck cab. Upon scanning the brush and palmettoes in the area of the last sounds with the night vision scope, the writer saw a large hole in a patch of that vegetation close as the scope’s infrared light source struck it. After waiting for a half hour – all the while trying to watch both sides of the truck and listen for splashing water – the writer quickly stepped out of the truck and scanned both areas with the large spot light. He neither heard nor saw anything unusual, and shortly left the area.
Members of the research project have obtained permission to go onto private land in this area to conduct additional field investigations.