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Morgan County Report

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter

Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: The brief initial report was received by e-mail on July 3, 2007.

Date of Encounter: The sighting occurred about the middle of June, 2007.
Time of Incident: About 6:00PM.
Weather Conditions: Sunny and hot at the time of the sighting, but it had rained earlier that day.
State: Alabama.
County: Morgan.
Nearest City or Town: Hulaco.
Location: The location of the home site on which the incident occurred is not disclosed at the request of the family members.
Nearest highway or road: State highway #67 is in the vicinity.
General Land Use Description: There are several single-family homes in the area, with some small cattle ranches and hay fields in the surrounding area. There are also extensive  tracts of pine timberland north of the home site, some of which cover abandoned coal mines.
General Terrain Description: Steep rolling foothills of the southwest termination of the Appalachian Mountains. Along the peaks of the ridges there are sandstone outcrops, and  along the creeks and branches there are bluffs. In place the sandstone exposures contain sheltered overhangs. The home site is located on the weathered crest of one of the hills.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: There are several man-made ponds in the vicinity, and small creeks in the hollows. Cotaco Creek is reported to be the closest stream. The site is about 15 miles southwest of Guntersville Dam on the Flint River which is impounded to form Guntersville Lake.
Witness Profiles: The animal was seen most clearly by two children, ages 4 and 8, and briefly seen by the children’s 22 year old aunt who was baby-sitting them at the time.
Other members of the family were reportedly at times close to the animal, before and after the sighting. Their accounts of those incidents are included later in this report.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: There were three children and their aunt at the home at the time of the sighting. The youngest child was asleep in a bedroom. The aunt and the eight year old girl were watching television in the living room. A four year old girl was also in the living room, and she was staring out a window.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The baby sitter soon noticed the little girl seemed to be intently watching something in the front yard. The aunt then asked the girl what she was watching, the girl calmly told her “the monster came back and I was watching it”. The girl’s aunt immediately stood up and asked the girl to show her the “monster”. The girl told her that the “monster” had left, and indicated it had gone around the house.
At that time the 8 year old moved to another window and began to scream loudly. The noise awakened the smallest child and that little girl began crying loudly. While the aunt was tending to the small child, she saw a large, dark hairy creature run at a high speed across the yard in front of the living room’s double windows. The animal crossed the yard and disappeared into the thick woods just across the county road that runs in front of the home.
Photos or Drawings Made? Of her own volition the 8 year old witness later drew a simple sketch of the “monster” as it passed in front of the window only a few yards away. She was very careful to show the window sill in her drawing, and to have the drawing correspond with her verbal statement to this investigator that she could not see the animal’s feet when it passed the window.
Description of Related Sounds: None heard during this sighting. Sounds that were heard by other family members before and after this sighting are described later.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: None detected during the sighting incident.
Description of the Animal: The 8 year old girl described the creature as being quite a bit taller than one of her relatives who is a little over 6 feet tall. She said the animal was covered in black hair that was “kind of short”. In answer to the investigator’s question, she said she saw no movement of the hair in the wind as the animal was running quickly across the yard. She said she could not see much of the facial features because the black hair covered most of the face. She indicated the animal was shaped like a man, and was at all times running on two legs. She also stated the animal’s arm were long and the hands reached nearly to its knees.
The children’s aunt only briefly saw the animal as it passed the windows. Her brief glimpse was of a large, dark colored animal and not a human.
Historical Notes: The family bought this property about 4 years ago and remodeled the house. The house has a wood-burning fireplace which they used for some time after moving in. A year or so later they decided to covert the fireplace and use gas logs. Before the conversion was completed, they carried the old firewood across the road and piled it in the edge of the woods. That winter the conversion still had not been made and during one of the first cold nights the children’s mother walked across the yard and road to collect a few sticks of the old fire wood. When she arrived at the pile and began picked up the first sticks, she suddenly got an overpowering sense of fear that someone was watching her from close range. Immediately she began smelling a foul stench that she said burned her nasal passageways. In near panic, she ran back to the house and went inside. A few minutes she began to hear small rocks striking the vinyl siding on the front of the house. She had no idea what she had smelled, or who was throwing rocks at the house.
At other times when she was in the front yard near the woods at dusk, showers of small pea gravel (she thought from the shoulder of the blacktop road) would fall in the yard around her. The gravel never struck her, and it seemed to her that someone might have been “messing with her to get her attention”.
For some time, the family and their neighbors’ have noted that something or someone has been removing bags of garbage from their garbage cans. In nearly all cases, the lids have been removed and set aside, and the garbage bags carried quite a ways from the particular home. Seldom are the cans overturned.
The next day after the sightings described above, the children’s grandfather (the mother’s and the babysitter’s father) and his brother-in-law armed themselves and started searching the dense woods and thickets in front of the home for some evidence of the animal that had been seen. As they quietly followed an old coal mine haul road down the side of the “mountain” they were startled to hear what they thought was the sound of a large animal getting up from its bed in a pine thicket and running downhill. They both agreed that the animal “tore through the woods and sounded like a truck running down hill out of gear”.  The animal seemed to be about 100 yards off the old road when it broke and ran. It ran a few hundred yards and apparently stopped as no sounds were heard. They continued down the trail. At two or three locations the men noticed a strong odor like that from “rotten garbage”. As they neared a small power transmission line, they suddenly heard the sound of a dead tree crashing to the ground. Both stated there was neither wind or rain at that time. Shortly thereafter, another tree crashed to the ground. As they stopped to listen, they suddenly heard very loud, chimpanzee-like hooting noises that ended with a peculiar “quivering sound”.
Although the men were armed with sidearms, they were hesitant to try to make a closer approach to the source of the sounds. They left the woods.
About a week later, one of the men and a different relative returned to the area and heard similar sounds, but did not see the animal that made them.
Late one night, on or about July 17, 2007, the children’s parents were asleep and awakened by the rattling of a charcoal grill on the treated wood-planked front porch. The family’s garbage can is usually kept hidden at one end of the porch between some evergreen shrubs and the front of the house. The wife got out of bed and walked to the living room window just in time to see a large white plastic bag full of garbage “floating across the yard towards the woods about two feet off the ground”.  She quickly realized something or someone was actually carrying the bag, and the entity was so completely black it could not be seen in the darkness. (There is a motion activated light at one end of the house which was too far away from the movement to be turned on. There is a “night-watcher” light on a pole near the other end of the house, although there are trees that prevents the entire front yard from being illuminated.)
The next day family members found the bag of garbage in the woods about 25 yards from the road. The top of the bag had been opened and only an apple core had been removed. The core was lying nearby. Although there were reported teeth marks in the surface of the core, none of the core had been eaten. (The mother had peeled and sliced the apple for her kids, and none of the family had bitten the core.) The core was not preserved. (As confirmed by the writer on July 23, the bag had not been opened by claws or teeth. It had simply been pulled apart at the top.)
While examining the bag the day after it was taken, the family members again heard ape-like hooting sounds coming from the woods nearby. Shortly afterwards, they stated they heard very deep, snarling growls coming from the same general area. They did not attempt to approach the sounds to determine what was making them.
The family stated they owned 3 dogs that would at times refuse to stay at the home site, but retreat to a relative’s house not too far from their own. At times when they would bring the dogs back home, they would immediately leave. At other times they seemed to be content to stay. The family stated whatever the animal might be that has alarmed them, it does not stay around the home continuously, but seems to stay a few days, then leaves, and returns a few days later. Other neighbors who have had garbage taken from cans at night are in agreement about the animal’s foraging habits.
Other Details: During a three-day trip to this area the writer was asked to speak to a neighbor who lives across a hayfield from this home -about 300 yards away. The neighbor stated that about July 4th his wife placed table scraps in a large cast aluminum skillet on their back porch for their large dog just as she did nearly every night. They were puzzled the next morning to find the skillet missing. They looked for it around the house but it was not located until about three weeks later in the woods about 100 yards from the home.
The day the skillet came up missing, the homeowner was also puzzled to find a hand-sized piece of broken sandstone lying in the shallow end of his below-ground swimming pool. He was certain the rock had not been in the pool the day before. There is a gated, chain-link fence around the pool, and no loose rocks of that type are inside, or along the immediate outside perimeter of the fence.
The man also stated that at certain times during the night his dog would bark and growl like crazy, but he was not sure why the dog became so alarmed.
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Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project