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Report January 23, 2009

The RFP Research Project (RFPRP) – Report of Encounter

Date Report Submitted to the RFPRP: January 23, 2009 (See Investigator’s comments at the end of this report.)

Dates of Encounter: January 23, 2009.

Time of Incident: About 11:05 am.

Weather Conditions: Cool, and partly cloudy.

State: Alabama.

County: Winston.

Nearest City or Town: Addison.

Location: On County Road #XX near its intersection with County Road #XX.

Nearest highway or road: Not disclosed.

General Land Use Description: Timberlands mostly within the Bankhead National Forest with some private land and scattered rural residences.

General Terrain Description: Rolling hills.

Nearest Lakes or Streams: The general site of this encounter lies between the Brushy Creek basin and the Sipsey River basin upstream from Smith Lake.

Witness Profile: The witness is a male in his 30’s who is an avid hunter and fisherman. He is very familiar with the classified wildlife in the area. He is a native of the area.

Activities of Witness Prior to Sighting: The witness was driving a delivery vehicle and was returning to Addison after completing a delivery. At the time he was talking to a friend on his cell phone. The witness had just passed through a curve to his right in the blacktop road and crested a small hill. From that point the road became a straight section for a few hundred yards. He was driving at a speed of about fifty miles per hour.

Details of Sighting: As the vehicle passed over the small hill the witness noticed what he first though was a human in very dark clothing standing in right-side road ditch just outside of a large, dense pine plantation. The witness estimated the figure was about 250 to 300 yards from his vehicle when he first saw it. As he watched, the figure quickly turned to directly face the vehicle. Then it turned as if to go into the pine thicket behind it, but immediately turned again and bolted across the highway at angle of about 45 degrees toward the vehicle. The witness stated that at that time he saw it was not a human. He said he then “shoved the accelerator to the floor” to get as close as possible.

He stated he was amazed at the speed at which the creature crossed the road and its agility as it leaped the 18 to 20 feet wide by 3 feet deep left-side road ditch. The creature continued to run swiftly across a small, brush and briar covered power line right-of-way that runs parallel to the road. It then disappeared into another thick pine plantation on that side of the road.

As the witness approached the point at which the creature disappeared into the pines, he shut off the vehicle’s ignition and left it in gear to roll to a stop without using the air brakes. He had rolled down the driver’s side window before the vehicle came to a stop. He looked and listened carefully for three or four minutes, but did not see the creature or hear sounds of its movements. He said that he then “got up enough nerve” to make some loud “whooping” sounds but heard no response. (Although this witness had never seen one of these creatures, he has heard one or more of them making very aggressive sounds on his hunting leases. His experiences on the hunting leases in Winston County have been detailed and discussed on the Alabama Bigfoot forums.)

Description of the Animal: The witness estimated the creature was about 7-1/2 or 8 feet tall. At the point closest to the animal he could see that it was covered in “shiny black” hair. The hair was not long enough for him to see it move in the wind as it ran. He said the animal’s body was massive in size, and upon further inquiry, he said that the creature’s torso did not taper to the waist, and in fact its body was “barreled shaped all the way to the lower part of its butt”. He said that he did not see female breasts, and saw no genitalia.

The witness said it looked as if the animal’s head was “shoved down onto it shoulders” as if it had no neck. He said that he was not close enough to see facial features.

Interestingly, the witness stated he was perplexed and curiously intrigued by the way in which the animals ran. He said the animal held its body in a very straight and upright manner, and it did not swing its arms as a human would do while running. He said that the only time the animal’s arms moved significantly was when it jumped across the road ditch. The witness stated that although the animal ran faster than any athlete he had seen, its body motions appeared awkward and he immediately thought it ran like a woman who was not accustomed to running.

Photos or Drawings Made? No.

Description of Related Sounds: None.

Description of Related Scents / Odors: None detected.

Investigator’s Comments: This witness contacted the writer within a few minutes of his sighting to report his experience. It is the shortest time lapse between a sighting and a report submission that has yet been received by The RFP Research Project. (It is unusual that the witness was able contact the writer as the writer was actually camped in some river bottoms in south central Arkansas. It is the only research camp in which I have had cell phone service.)

Historical Notes: During the past two hundred years Winston County has generated hundreds of reports of sightings of reclusive forest primates. Numerous reports have come from this and nearby counties during recent times. Some of those reports are reported on this web site.

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Report received and recorded by:
Tal H. Branco, Field Researcher/Investigator, The RFP Research Project.

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Addendum to this report:

ADDITIONAL DETAILS RECEIVED 1-26-09.

The witness called the writer this morning to report that he had gone to the sighting location later on the day of the encounter. He and his father also returned to the site on the afternoon of January 25. The following information is being submitted for clarification and accuracy of the details originally reported.

The creature leaped over the road ditch on left side of the roadway. The witness initially thought the ditch was 18 to 20 feet wide. After a closer observation the witness stated the ditch is only about 12 or 14 feet wide, although the ground surface along the far side of the ditch is about 4 feet higher in elevation than the surface of the roadway. Neither the witness nor his father could find tracks where the creature’s feet struck the ground after the leap.

The two men said they did find a very noticeable impression of a large foot in the pine straw inside the adjacent pine thicket. They had no tape measure, but using his boot as a reference and measuring his boot later, he estimated the track to be between 17 and 18 inches long and about seven and one-half to eight inch wide across the ball of the foot.

The witness mentioned again that the animal’s running gait and its leg actions were very strange. He said that the legs moved in small steps, but that the steps were so rapid that the feet and lower legs were nearly a “blur” as it ran. He said that when the creature leaped over the ditch, it did so gracefully, swinging one arm straight out in front and the other behind, like an “Olympic runner jumping hurdles”.

When the writer asked him if he had told the person he had been speaking with on his cell about what he had seen during their conversation, he said he had not. He said that as soon as he saw the creature, he told that person (another company employee), “I got to go!”, and disconnected the call. That is when he said he “floor-boarded the accelerator” to try to get closer for a better look at the creature.

Although this witness has seen and photographed a very clear and legible track of one of these creatures in the past, and was “run off” of his deer lease more than once by very aggressive actions and vocalizations by some large animal during this past season, he said he was only about 90 percent convinced of the existence of a “Bigfoot” before seeing this creature. He said he is now 150 percent sure they exist.

The writer will meet with this witness and other area residents in early February to scout this and other nearby encounter sites.