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Geographical Index > United States > South Carolina > Beaufort County > Report # 24916
Report # 24916  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Friday, October 17, 2008.
Witness hears big exhale and finds clear footprint the next day on property near Bluffton

YEAR: 2007

SEASON: Spring


DATE: end of month

STATE: South Carolina

COUNTY: Beaufort County

LOCATION DETAILS: [Specific directions removed at the request of the witness]

NEAREST TOWN: Bluffton, SC (2 miles inland of Hilton Head Island, SC and 1 mile east of Hardeeville, SC)

NEAREST ROAD: I-278 & 1-95

OBSERVED: It was approximately 0100 or 0130. A family member and I had been watching TV in a back room of the house for a few hours. The TV was turned up loudly so my family members could hear easily but by 0100 or 0130 they had fallen asleep so I turned the TV down.

I was sitting next to a row of three windows that run along one wall of the room that faces out into the backyard. All of the windows were open and the air was cool. The weather had been nice early summer weather, not too humid and with light rain earlier. I mention there had been light rain earlier because when I heard the sound of something outside the window, although it sounded similar to what car tires sound like driving on wet pavement from far away, it was not. I heard a fairly long exhalation of breath from just outside the window as if someone was standing outside looking directly in. Since there are bushes planted right in front of the windows, I knew nobody could be standing right in front without crouching down. I was sitting next to the window and the sound sounded like it was from the same level my head was at of between three and four feet. I thought the sound sounded like a living thing but maybe I had been mistaken when, as if one queue, there was another long exhalation just like the first. I immediately stood up in front of the window, looked up (because I was sure that, if I was going to look the thing outside of the window in the face, I would have to look rather high up) and screamed, "Get out," out of the window and went running into the front of the house, still screaming, "Get out!"

I startled my family member and the dog (who was also in the back room and had remained asleep until I screamed) and they both came running after and caught up with me in the kitchen to find out what was wrong.

The following day, I went out into the backyard to look for deer scat thinking I may have heard a deer: there is a holly tree directly to the left of the window I was sitting in front of and heard the sound through and deer have eaten the bottom leaves off the tree. There, literally right up against the corner of the house less than one foot from the wall of the house, as if something had been standing facing the house and leaning against it, was one barefooted human-shaped footprint at least 12" long and 6" wide and about an inch or two deep. The print was able to be made, I suppose, because there was dirt mound there from where the bushes are planted, but when I looked for where the left footprint could've been, if something was standing against the corner of the house, I didn't find anything because the dirt was covered with leaves and pinestraw.

On the right footprint the odd thing about it was that I couldn't find the little toe: all the other ones were clearly marked. Also, I didn’t realize this until yesterday but the reason that the print may have been deeper on the left side of the print rather than on the right side of the print was that the thing must've been leaning to the left...around the corner of the house to look into the window.

I was back visiting the same family member MAY08 and looked to see if any evidence of the footprint existed and nothing did that I could identify. There are many depressions in the soil so I was unable to discern where the footprint depression may have been. My family member had come out to let the dog out to go to the bathroom and had seen the footprint, too, but I told them to go back in the house. We haven’t discussed it with each other because I don’t want to upset or scare them.

I had been in the front yard early in the morning between 0100 and 0300 during early summer a couple years ago smoking when I heard something that sounded like it was big walking out of the treeline in the backyard and through the grass between my family member’s and the neighbor’s houses. The footsteps sounded like they were dragging so I thought I may have been mistaking the sound of something walking for a gator coming out of the woods to go across the street to a large pond.

The dragging sound was not continuous but like one “foot” was being dragged across the grass and then the other; that’s what gave me the impression that the thing was walking. In any event, it was quiet outside and I distinctly remember that other animals must have been as startled as me; so, I quickly put out my cigarette and shut the front door. I was too frightened to look out the windows in the front of the house to watch whatever it was pass.

I spoke with my family member recently, and they’d mentioned a strong thunderstorm that had recently passed that included hail and it had scared them because it sounded like something had been throwing rocks against the side of the house. They also reported hearing strange sounds in the woods this September '08.

There have been episodes over the past three or four years where wild hogs have shown up in the neighborhood (probably displaced because of the recent land development) and I’ve asked my family member whether the sounds sound pig-like and they’ve said no.

I’ve also asked whether the sounds sound like dogs or bobcats or owls, all of which we’ve heard before and can identify (we don’t know what a bobcat sounds like but know that their screetches are supposed to be very eerie/scary). I’ve asked friends who have hunted in the swamp before its destruction whether they’d experienced anything unusual and one, who’d hunted there quite extensively, said that he hadn’t, although it was a very dense and dark wood.

Another thing, at any time during any of these instances, there was no unpleasant smell.

OTHER WITNESSES: None. Others were in the same room from which the incident took place but were asleep.

Clear weather; light rain earlier in the evening
No full moon/pitch black

ENVIRONMENT: In the residence's backyard that is bordered by a tract of loblolly pine and scrub less than a mile thick and includes a small gulley that runs through the pine tract and also high tension wires. I-278 is visible from behind teh tract of loblolly pines since the high tension wires run all the way through to the interstate.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator MB Pope:

After talking with the witness, several details can be added to the original report:

The area in which the sighting occurred is a resort-type development area. The area has seen increasing development in recent years.

Many of these homes/developments are on land that was once considered wetlands and there are numerous rivers,swamps,etc adjacent to the area.

There also are power/utility lines that run across the street and behind the property.These lines span for countless miles and run alongside swamps,wetlands, large rural areas, and plantations with thousands of acres.

The witness concluded the animal leaned over the bushes outside the open window and looked in, putting its weight on the right side of its body, thus leaving the pronounced right print.

About BFRO Investigator MB Pope:

Lives in coastal South Carolina and is self employed in construction and development. Loves the outdoors and has hiked throughout the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, Chile, Argentina, and the Appalachians. She attended BFRO in SC (2007), NC (2008), and Georgia (2008). She will be attending the 2009 expeditions in North Carolina and Georgia.