Preface: The witness contacted MG, one of The RFP Research Project’s Lead Investigators/Researchers in that part of Alabama, about 5:45 pm on December 31, 2007. The witness stated that he had seen an animal that he was unable to identify while hunting that afternoon with two of his nephews.
Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: December 31, 2007.
Date of Encounter: Same date.
Time of Incident: Sounds heard earlier, sighting occurred about 5:15 pm.
Weather Conditions: Clear, temperature in the high 40s.
Nearest City or Town: Sylacauga.
Location: The sighting occurred on privately owned farm/pasture land near the eastern portion of the Talladega National Forest (Talladega Division).
Nearest highways or roads: State Highways 148 and 21.
General Land Use Description: The area in which the sighting occurred is primarily creek bottom lands which are mostly used for row crops and pastures, although there are hardwood timber along the creeks.
General Terrain Description: The area is within the foothills marking the southwest termination of the Appalachian Mountains.
Nearest Lakes or Streams: Crooked Creek and Tallasseehatchee Creek are within two miles of the location. There are several man-made lakes within a few miles of the area, and some are public.
Witness Profile: The witness is a male in his early 40s who is employed as a production worker in a manufacturing facility in the area. He is an experienced hunter and familiar with the classified wildlife in the State.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: The witness had taken two nephews hunting on private property after obtaining permission from the landowner to do so. He took the oldest boy to a tree stand so that he could hunt deer. He then decided he and the younger boy would walk upstream along the nearby creek to see if they could “jump” some wood ducks that he had seen on the creek earlier.
Details of Encounter / Incident: The man and boy had walked about 200 yards from the other boy’s tree stand. They had just walked through a “cattle gap” next to the creek when they heard something walking down the creek bed toward them. The witness at first thought it might have been a deer, and began easing toward the creek bank to get a better view. He then noticed that the sounds of the steps were man-like (bipedal). Although he was not far from the sounds, he was unable to see through the dense (and invasive) privet hedges growing along the creek bank. At that time the walking sounds ceased briefly. Suddenly he heard the sounds of something running across the creek bed, up the opposite bank, and into the dense brush on the opposite creek bank. He and the boy watched and listened carefully for a short while but heard no sounds of any kind. As it was getting late, he decided they would walk a little further up the creek to see if they could locate the ducks before dark.
They walked about another 100 yards up the creek without seeing any ducks, and the witness decided he should go back and get the other boy from the tree stand because it was nearly dark. As they started back and reached the cattle gap and the spot where they had heard the walking and running sounds, they heard a “limb crack” along the creek bank. When the witness and the boy turned to look in that direction, they noticed a tall, human-like figure standing partially concealed behind a tree on the creek bank. As soon as they looked at the figure, it moved quickly out of sight behind the tree.
At that moment the witness realized “something wasn’t right”, and he hurried to get the other boy from the tree stand and get the boys out of the bottoms. By that time they left the area it was nearly completely dark. After leaving the area, the younger boy told his uncle, “I’m not ever coming back down here hunting with you again!”
Description of Animal: A 6 to 7 feet tall (see notes in follow-up investigation report), uniformly dark colored, man-like figure standing upright.
Photos or Drawings Made? No.
Description of Related Sounds: There were no vocalizations heard. The only sounds heard were bipedal walking and running sounds and the “cracking” of a limb and brush as it ran into the brush alongside the creek.
Description of Related Scents / Odors: No odors noted.
Follow-Up Investigation Report: After contacting MG about the sighting report, the witness agreed to accompany MG and KT to the sighting location.
On Friday, January 4, 2008 MG and KT met the witness and the older nephews near the sighting location about 8:15 am. They walked about one-half mile across a pasture to the creek bottom and to the tree the figure had been hiding behind. They found a two feet depression in the ground behind the tree, and small hedge bushes growing in the hole were mashed flat. The fact that there was a hole in the ground where the animal had been standing and hiding indicated the witness’s estimated height of the animal – 6 or 7 feet – might have been somewhat conservative.
The group then began quietly waking up the creek bed. About 40 feet from the tree, they found what appeared to be a bare, human-like foot print about 15 inches long. The track was old, and filled with leaves and other creek debris.