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Report of Encounter or Related Incident

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter or Related Incident

 

 

Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: 09/30/04 (Report received in person by Tal H. Branco.) The witness contacted the writer after he overheard the field investigator discussing local reports of enigmatic animals with area residents at the country store at Gainestown.)

Date of Encounter: Sometime in the late 1980s during the late fall.

Time of Incident: Late at night, about midnight.

Weather Conditions: Clear, cool and still, with some moonlight.

State: Alabama

County: Clarke

Nearest City or Town: Jackson.

Map Location: (gps or township/section coordinates if known): Known but not included.

Nearest highway or road: Undisclosed.

General Land Use Description: The land was once a large farm consisting of several hundred acres. No one now lives on the property and it is leased to a group of hunters. There is a very old house still standing on the property.  Most of the old field have now been planted in pine trees. Some small fields are kept mowed by the hunters, and some of those fields are lightly cultivated and planted in winter grass for deer and turkey.

General Terrain Description: The soil is a sandy clay/loam, and the property has a gentle slope from north to south. There are outcrops of seabed limestone near the southern edge of the property.

Nearest Lakes or Streams: A large creek passes through the southern part of the property. The creek discharges into the Tombigbee River a few miles further south.

Activities of Witnesses Prior to Encounter/Incident: Four young men were together in a car in Jackson during the early evening. They were celebrating a personal event in the life of one of the men. They were drinking beer, and were seen doing so by a police officer. They were not intoxicated, so the officer told them to either leave town or he would arrest them for drinking in public. They left town. That night they decided to stop by one of the young men’s home to pick up a rifle and spotlight and go to the property described above to hunt deer. (Some of the men’s relatives had the hunting lease on the property.) The men had no key to the gate, so they parked outside the gate and walked about one half mile on a farm road to the old house.

Details of Encounter / Incident: The men entered the old house by stepping onto the open-ended hallway that passes through the center of the home’s length. The floor of the hallway extended through the main part of the house and terminated at the opposite end as a porch which was covered by a lean-to roof. (Old homes such as this were called “dog trot” houses because of the open-ended hallways.) From the hallway the men entered the first room to their left which was apparently the living room. There is a fireplace centered in the south wall of the room, with a window on each side which looked out onto a closely adjoining patch of winter oats. The men found old chairs and couches in the room, closed the door to the hallway, and sat near the windows watching the oat field for deer. They were not being loud, but were joking and laughing.

Sometime later one of the men heard something or someone walking through the only strip of dense brush, briars and trees that connected the home site to the woods surrounding it. The rest of the area surrounding the home had either been planted in winter grass, or had been kept mowed. The dense strip of vegetation extended from the woods to the open end and side of the porch. The man cautioned the other three to be quite and listen, which they did. They all heard the sound of what they first thought was a man breaking through the brush and vines as he slowly approached the porch. Although they assumed that it was a person, they were perplexed and alarmed because they realized a rational person with good intentions and/or common sense would never deliberately choose to walk to the house through the thicket. (Although it was fall and cool, the area has abundant rattlesnakes that were still active and they grow to impressive sizes.) At that moment they independently concluded that the visitor was either a crazy person or a vagabond seeking a place to sleep. (One of the rooms across the hall from where the men stood had old mattresses on the floor which apparently been left there by the last residents or by deer hunters sometime in the past. The deer hunters who held the lease did not camp inside the house at the time of this incident  because of the rotted condition of the floor in many places.)

There was a moment of silence when the visitor reached the end or side of the porch. By that time the men were standing. In a few seconds they felt the house move and heard it creak as the visitor stepped onto the porch. They stood silently as they heard the soft thud of footsteps slowly walked the hall toward them. As the steps approached the wall that separated the room they were in from the next one on that side, they could hear deep raspy breathing that the witnesses described as sounding like a very large person with bad asthmatic problems. The men were frozen in fear by the sounds because of the duration and volume of air inhaled and exhaled during each breath. At the same time the men began to detect a strong odor. By that time they had all decided the visitor was not a human, and were terrified because they had no idea what kind of animal was approaching them in the hallway. The animal made two more steps and was at the door. At that time the animal touched and rattled the door knob. Immediately one of the men switched on the spotlight, and the man with the rifle screamed and jumped to a half crouched position with the rifle pointing from his hip toward the door. He did not fire the gun, but the animal uttered a loud roaring snarl, wheeled and began running back down the hall to the porch. With each footfall the house shook. When it reached the porch it was in a full run and all of its running weight was enough to cause the entire porch and the roof above it to come crashing down. Immediately one of the men ran to an exterior door in the end wall of the room they were in. The door was barricaded from outside, but the man kicked the door down and all four men ran from the house and, instead of following the road back to their vehicle, cut across a weed and grass covered field to reach it. One witness stated that at the time he was not concerned about the possibility of stepping on a rattlesnake in the weeds and grass; he simply wanted to get away from the place.

Description of Animal(s) if Seen: The animal was not seen

Photos or Drawings Made?: No.

Description of Related Sounds: Deep, prolonged raspy breaths, and later a load roaring snarl. The primary witness stated that the sounds of the footsteps in the hall were that which would have been made by a large barefoot human.

Description of Related Scents / Odors: A strong musky odor.

Was Physical Evidence Obtained? No.

 

Other Reports From This Area? Yes. About two months after this incident occurred, the brother of one of the witnesses was walking toward the old house from his deer stand in the creek bottoms a mile or so south of the house. It was nearly dark and he noticed an animal hiding behind bushes along the side the farm road he was traveling. The animals was dark colored, and at first he thought it was a bear standing on four feet because of its bulk. As he stopped walking to view the animal, it stood up on two feet and ran effortlessly away. He then saw that it was completely covered in hair, and had the general shape of a large human.

 

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Follow-up Investigation Report(s) by The RFPRP

 

See RFP Field Investigation Report #CC-01.04