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 January 5, 2008 Report

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter

Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: January 5, 2008

Date of Encounter: December of 2003 or 2004.
Time of Incident: Began about 4:30 am, lasted until after full darkness.
Weather Conditions: Temperature in 40’s or 50’s, clear skies.
State: Alabama.
County: Winston.
Nearest City or Town: Houston.
Location: Between Houston community and Brushy Creek.
Nearest highways or roads: U.S. Highway 278 and State Highway 63.
General Land Use Description: Privately owned timberlands and small farms within or adjoining the southern part of the William B. Bankhead National Forest.
General Terrain Description: Rolling hills with small, steep ridges and bluffs along the nearby creeks and river.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: Brushy Creek and the Sipsey River. Both streams were impounded by the Lewis Smith Lake dam, and in the area of the encounter the streams form the upper forks of the lake.
Witness Profile: A 20 year old male who is now in college. He was sixteen or seventeen at the time of the encounter and was in very good physical shape from playing highschool football and doing daily work outs. He is 6’3’’ tall and weighed over 200 pounds at the time of the encounter. The witness stated that he knew the area and its accepted indigenous wildlife very well. He jokingly said that he had hunting deer, turkey and racoon since he was “in diapers.”
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: He had left his parents home on a “four-wheeler” and driven across their fields to the eastern border which was marked by a two-strand, barbed wire fence. He parked the vehicle, crossed the fence, and walked through a small “green-field” and to a ladder tree stand that was positioned against a tree in a somewhat dense scope of woods. He climbed into the stand carrying an automatic .30-.06 rifle. He positioned himself on the ladder stand about 3:00 pm.
Details of Encounter / Incident: About 4:30 pm he first heard very loud “hollering” and screaming sounds coming from the Brushy Creek area. He thought the sounds he first heard were coming from the “second hollow over” from his position. He immediately thought the sounds were being made by humans because the sounds were somewhat human-like. The initial sounds were repeated about five time in quick succession and quit. A few minutes later the sounds were repeated in the same sequence, and ended. He still thought the sounds were being made by humans.
Again, a few minutes later, the sounds were repeated, but by then he became aware the sounds were coming closer. Several minutes later, the next sounds were much closer, and they changed from “hollering” and screaming to roaring and screaming. By then he was sure the sounds were not being made by humans, but he could not understand what was making them. Shortly thereafter he began hearing something breaking through the brush and limbs, and the sounds were coming directly toward him from an estimated distance of about 200 yards. At that time he became very nervous. His mind could not comprehend what was occurring. His concerns were also heightened by the fact that is was now nearly totally dark. (He stated that he had never been afraid to walk from the woods in total darkness, and he now realized he had waited too long to leave the ladder stand.)
At that time there were no more vocalizations heard, but he could clearly hear the sounds of something walking slowly and cautiously toward him about 30 or 40 yards away.
At that time he knew he had to get down from the stand and get back to his four-wheeler. He cautiously climbed down from the stand, and the woods were totally quite as he did so. As soon as his feet hit the ground, a deafening loud roaring/screaming sound erupted in the dense foliage less than 20 yards from him.
At that time, still not certain that some “idiot human” was not “messing” with him, he loudly shouted, “If that is someone out there messing with me, I am going to start shooting if you do that again!” There was no vocal response, but he could hear something walking in the brush near him. He began to slowly walk toward the green field, and could hear something walking alongside him in the brush. When he would stop to listen, the unseen entity would also stop. When he began walking, it began walking.
The last time he stopped to listen, a loud, massive roaring sound came from the woods beside him. By then he was in a near panic, and he immediately aimed the rifle in the direction of the sounds and emptied the rifle (five shots) in that direction. When the retorts from the rifle faded, he again heard something walking in the brush. He then realized he had no more cartridges for the rifle, and he could not tell if the walking sounds were coming toward him or leaving the area.
He stated he then broke into a dead run through the woods, then through the green field, leaped over the barbed wire fence and onto the four-wheeler. He said that he ran the machine at full speed until he reached his parents’ car port.
Description of the Animal: Although he believed the animal was no more than 20 yards from him before he began running and while he was running, he never saw it or its outline in the thick brush. He stated that when the animal was at its closest point, it was “black” dark in the woods.
Photos or Drawings Made? No.
Description of Related Sounds: As described in this report. (The witness stated several times during the interview that the sounds were the loudest and most terrifying he had ever heard, or could have ever imagined hearing in the woods.)
Description of Related Scents / Odors: The witness stated that the wind was blowing slightly from the southwest (from him to the animal), and he smelled no unusual odors.
Other Details: When he arrived at his parents home he told them of the incident. His father opined that what he heard was probably either a bobcat or a “panther”.
Historical Notes: The area of this encounter is about dead center of a an area delineated by the writer on a map of Winston County which shows the locations of other sighting/audible reports of enigmatic animals. There have been an unusual number of reports from that area for many years. At present, there are several other reports from that precise area which are being investigated, and at least some of those reports will be posted here as soon as possible.
The writer plans to conduct more field investigations and research in that area with four witnesses (including this one) that have recently come forward to divulge details of their encounters.
Report received and recorded by: Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project