Hardin county, IL
Nearest town: Cave-in-Rock
Nearest road: Lambtown (Blacktop)?
Conditions: hot and humid
Location: Go north on IL. Rte. 1 from Cave-in-Rock, Ill. for about 3 miles. Turn east on blacktop road, loosely called 'Lambtown Blacktop'. Go until cross a small bridge over a creek. Road has turned back to a north direction, so at end of blacktop road, turn right (east) and go approx. 5 miles down gravel road. There was once a small sign that indicated where some film was shot for "How the west was won.", back in the early 60's, but may be gone now. Must turn on a small dirt road, that turns into a fire trail cut out by Forest Service for access should a major fire happen. I could tell you the name of owner of property that my experince happened, but was warned against, the family are several generations in that area, and do not want people to know what we all saw. If up to me, would like to go back, but better prepared to collect what might find, and protection if needed!!!
Description of event: While collecting bales of hay that had been cut in an open field, next to several acres of Shawnee National Forest, 4 of us were present. Bob was driving, Mike was on flatbed truck stacking the bales that Mark and I threw on from the ground. It was getting dusk or a bit later, and the light from sun was being blocked a bit be the surrounding timber. To see where to walk, and find the haybales, Bob would have swing the truck back and forth to shine headlights. As they made one of the swings, I saw a bale that was close to the edge of the field and where the forest began. They continued to swing the truck and headed for a bale that Mark was near. I could see well enough to take steps, and the grass had all been cut short to make into the bales for feeding cattle. They also had their watchdog with them, a German Shep about 4 years old, that ran with us whenever we were out like this. As I walked toward the bale I saw, the dog ran past me, which was nothing new. But, as I got closer to the bale of hay, the dog came back by me, running full out, heading for the truck, but looking back. As the truck turned to head toward me, I had reached the bale, turned it flat, and was sitting on it facing the rest of them. As the lights fell on me, it blinded me. They started yelling something at me that I couldn't understand, and honking the truck horn. I thought they were trying to get me to carry the bale to them, like for a joke or something. I finally understood one to say, "Look, look behind!" As I turned and looked, I was within 15 feet or so of the forest, and right at the edge was an animal (?) standing on 2 back legs, looking in my direction, which was also into the headlights of the truck. I jumped up and ran toward the truck. While this was going on, they were still honking the horn, and reving the engine, as they came meeting me. I did not look back until close to the truck, but when I did look, there was nothing there, but could see brush and limbs being moved by something walking away from us. I will not write anything the rest said, or did, for the reasons mentioned above. But, I affirm that what I am writing is true!
This thing was at least 7-9 ft. high, covered in a type of hair, lighter in some areas, heavier in others. Had almost a flat face, but could make out eyes, nose, and mouth, no hair was in the way of these. Could see some white around the mouth, like teeth showing, but not open mouthed. Hands were hanging at its sides, stood upright, but not exactly straight. Sort of leaned a bit forward, maybe a touch to its left side. (Don't really know how to explain it, but maybe you get the idea.) Could not see below the middle way down legs, the grass was still tall, had been too close to trees for the hay mower to cut in that area. It made no move at, or away from me in the few seconds I looked at it before I took off from sitting on the haybale. By time I reached truck, like I said before, could only make out tree limbs moving, and hears shuffling through the trash on forest floor.
We got out a rifle that was in the truck, always carried it for snakes, wolves, coydogs, and such. We sat for a few minutes, cussing and discussing that what had just happened was not some trick of light, or a crowd mirage. Nothing fit. So, we left the field with what we had. I was paid for the work, including what I would have earned had I been in on finishing up the rest of hay that had to be collected. They told me that someone was probably playing a joke on us, so did not want to hear anything about it being told elsewhere, it would make us all look gullable and backward. And, it could result in a problem should they decide to sell some of the farm acres they owned in that area. The National Forest was once private owned, but certain areas have been taken over by the govt. for general public land. People can own directly next to this, but are not allowed to do anything on this property. Unless someone gets a permit for timber cutting, and homeowners can get permit to cut up downed trees for private use firewood.
record updated:2004-12-12 00:00:00