Jackson county, IL
Nearest town: Murphysboro, Boscidale
Nearest road: RR4
Conditions: Clear night
Location: Murphysboro Lake Northern Section.
Description of event: Our house bordered Murphysboro State Park and Lake deep in Southern Illinois. At the time there were no roads in the Park. I used to go to the lake and gig frogs at night with a carbite light and a frog gig. I carried no weapons other than a skinning knife. I practically lived at that lake and knew the area very well, and felt completely safe at night hunting frogs and doing some night fishing. One night I was returning home with a large stringer of frogs and I heard something very big walking in the woods to the right of my trail. When I stopped it would stop. I tried to shine my carbite light into the woods, but I could see nothing.
Suddenly, I was almost overwhelmed by one of the foulest smells I have ever encountered in my life. It smelled like a cross between a skunk and a broken main sewer line. It almost gagged me it was so strong. I again shined my carbite light toward the woods, and about ten feet away this giant Ape like animal, with long reddish hair, stepped out from behind a tree. He was about eight feet tall, clearly a male, and had extremely long legs. (Much longer legs than are typically depicted on Bigfoot drawings. He just stood there watching me and I got the feeling he wanted me to see him.
I was about 12 years old at the time and he certainly did not act like he was afraid of me or afraid that I would see him, how could I miss him he was so close and he was staring right at me. His eyes burned red in the light of my carbite light. We both just stood there for at least two minutes. He did not make a sound nor move toward me.
I still had a couple of miles to go before I reached the edge of my Father's cornfields, and I knew my Grandfather/Uncle's house was closer. It was only about a half a mile over a hill to my left. I started walking very fast toward that hill. (I was taught to never run from any animal or they will think you prey). I glanced behind me a couple of times and the animal was not following me - or so I thought.
However, when I reached the crest of the hill I looked back and I could clearly see him calmly walking up the hill after me. That scared me even more than I was already and I could not help myself and I broke into a full run. I reached my Grandfather's barbed wire fence fairly quickly, and scrambled under it. As soon as I cleared the fence I heard my Uncle's six hunting dogs start to bay and howl. I reached the house and pounded on the door and my Aunt Flossie opened the door. I rushed into the house very excited and shouting that a big BIG animal was following me.
My Grandfather was asleep, and my Uncle was not home yet from work. My aunt and my Grandmother laughed at me and said I had probably seen a bear. But I told them to look outside at the hill, and sure enough, the Bigfoot was standing right at the barbwire fence. He did not cross the fence, and I suspect the dogs were making him nervous - but still he would not leave! He just stood there as we all watched him for several minutes.
Finally, all the commotion woke my Grandfather, and he walked out on the porch and asked us what we were doing. All three of us pointed at the big animal standing at the barbwire fence about 30 yards away, and even then the smell of the thing was overpowering. I will never forget to this day what my Grandfather said: "Oh hell, that's just a skunk ape, he won't hurt you, go to bed." We watched the creature for about another 20 minutes or so, and the dogs were going crazy. (The dogs were all caged in a kennel or they all would have been at that animal). Finally, the creature just turned around and silently walked back down the hill in the direction of the lake. He never made a single sound.
My Grandfather had been farming that area for almost 60 years, and he sold most of land to the state for Murphysboro Park. So I assume he had seen other similar animals in his life. He also was an avid fisherman and hunter. At the time there was little news or information about any "Bigfoot" animal. I soon put the incident out of my mind, but that was the last time I went frog gigging by myself at night. I am presently retired from the US Army, and also a retired businessman. This story is true. I know the animals exist. I also have a strange feeling they like to eat frogs.
record updated:0000-00-00 00:00:00