Lane county, OR
Nearest town: Veneta
Nearest road: Hwy 126
Conditions: Overcast and unseasonably warm after several days of rain storm
Time: mid morning
Location: This happened behind our house back in 81, at that time we lived on the corner of 126 and a cross street I can't recall the name of right now.
At the time it was the last cross-street as you are leaving Veneta along the 126 opposite of Eugene and behind our house (back then) there was nothing but wilderness, so much so that we had wild animals coming into our yard all the time, including a cougar a couple times and even a bear once. In that area were a number of foot trails that stretched back at least 4-5 miles. In the 4 years or so I had lived there I never did get to explore them all - and I was a very daring explorer back then! the other neighborhood kids and I used these trails as shortcuts from school and other friend's houses. about a quarter to half a mile from my house, going from a friends house to mine was where I had my encounter. I wish I could be more exact, but it was some time ago, and I had just revisited the area last March for the first time since 81 and it has since been cleared out and several track homes, a whole neighborhood, are there now.
Description of event: I was coming up the trail on a slight incline as I approached a fork in the trail. It was at this time that I noticed the smell, although it wasn't very bad at that point and wasn't something I thought about. I took the left fork and there was a slight bend in the trail that I had to turn through, as soon as I came around the turn I noticed off to my left an area of the forest that was different colored from the rest. As I focused on that area I realized what it was. The creature was standing behind a bush and just next to a tree, so that I got the impression it had just stepped out from hiding or was just ducking behind the tree/bush when it saw me and froze. I remember I was downwind from it so that seemed plausible at the time. The forest was thick with pine trees and big bushes about 2-3 ft high as far as you could see, which wasn't far as it was so dense.
I remember the creature was 1) not as tall or as big as I thought it would be, although it was plenty bigger than me - it was easily bigger than my ex pro football player step father who was 6-6 and 290 lbs. 2) It was warmer colored, more reddish than dark brown or black, than I thought it would be, it just seemed young - or that was just the impression I got, and; 3) I was most amazed by the human-like eyes, they were not animal-like at all and seemed very intelligent.
All this I took in in an instant and I didn't break my stride. For some reason I flashed onto a film I saw in social studies about primitive tribes in Africa that had their self-worth and ego tied up in being invisible in the jungle, and it just seemed to fit. I somehow thought that it would be better if I pretended not to notice it. It was about 20 feet from me and the trail to the left, and I kept my eyes off of it and kept walking ahead like I didn't know it was there. This was probably the scariest thing I had ever had to do in my life and my heart was pounding. I must have gotten within maybe 10-12 feet of it before I passed it and kept going, the whole time I could I kept it in my peripheral vision, but never dared to look at it directly beyond that first initial look. It didn't move the whole time I did this just looking at me and swaying very slightly from side to side. As I passed it and walked an additional maybe 5-6 steps I heard it rustling and turned to look, terrified it was coming after me! It wasn't, it had crossed the trail and was disappearing into the woods as I turned around so I just got a glimpse of it gliding by erect and upright on two legs, and it moved quickly - it took maybe 4 steps total to clear the 20 ft or so. At that point I set a new world record for speed walking back to my place, but I was afraid to flat out run for fear it might chase.
There was no internet back then so I couldn't tell anyone, didn't know what to do - I was only 14 at the time.
That night my parents and little brother didn't believe me and ridiculed me. the next day a friend of mine and I went back to the spot to look around. he brought a tape measure and asked me where it was standing what tree it was next to, etc. so we could measure and get an idea of it's height (approx 6'10" by my eyeball estimate). We looked around for tracks and found what looked like a partial on the trail itself, just the front half of a footprint with part of the toes had been marred by traffic since. The ground on either side of the trail was dense with moss and pine needles/leaves so we could find nothing else. A few days after there was a newspaper article in the local (Eugene) paper about a sighting near our house that occurred the night before mine, maybe 12-14 hours before mine 5-6 miles away as the crow flies.
record updated:2008-10-23 17:26:04