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Geographical Index > United States > Illinois > Clinton County > Report # 24997
Report # 24997  (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Thursday, November 6, 2008.
Hiker has nighttime sighting near Carlyle

YEAR: 2007


MONTH: October

DATE: 27

STATE: Illinois

COUNTY: Clinton County


NEAREST ROAD: U.S. Highway 50

OBSERVED: While strolling through the timber on a warm fall night, I came up the slight incline from the river bank and heard a scream coming from due east. My immediate thought with respect to the sound was that it was a bobcat. I froze in my tracks and looked toward the sound in time to see whatever it was jump from about 6 or 8 feet up in a tree to the ground. It landed on its hind legs, took 3 or 4 steps, then went to all fours and ran faster than I have ever seen anything run into the treeline. When I saw that it was completely gone, I ran as fast as I could perpendicularly to the highway.

ALSO NOTICED: As I stood frozen in fear hoping that it wasn't going to charge me, I took note of it's slim but muscular build. It was definitely fur covered. Given the moonlight and available streetlight shining through the trees I guessed it to be a tan or light brown. I didn't look at its head as I was stunned by its agility and the fact that it jumped down onto its back legs and not its front. All felines that I am aware of jump with there front feet first, but the sound had a very feline call. The scream was very intense too. It was loud enough for me to feel in my ears, not just hear. I assume it was waiting for prey in the tree and when I came up the riverbank from the other direction I must have scared it or ruined its hunt. I don't know. All I do know is that it was large, powerful agile and scared me on a level that I had not experienced to that point; nor since, in my life.


OTHER STORIES: My cousin described a creature maybe similar near his house further in town. I would be happy to discuss further details if necessary.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 11 pm, clear night, almost full moon, warm for time of year maybe 55-60 degrees, some light from nearby highway.

ENVIRONMENT: A lot of sycamore, elm, probably pin oak and a few pine/conifer trees. Not a lot of dense underbrush throughout but in patches. The railroad trestle and bridge over the Kaskaskia river are within 200-300 ft. of sighting.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:

I spoke with the witness by phone. The following details can be added to the report:

- The animal was 6 1/2 to 7 feet tall and weighed approximately 300 lbs.
- The witness stated the animal had broad shoulders and was muscular.
- The animal had long arms and appeared to have no neck.
- He was unable to make out any facial features as the animal never looked towards him.
- This is the 2nd report from Illinois of an animal being up a tree, coming down and running away on all fours.

About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:

Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog for recordings he has collected over the years.

Stan Courtney can be reached at