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COUNTY: Jasper County
LOCATION DETAILS: Exact sighting coordinates withheld.
NEAREST TOWN: Bondurant
NEAREST ROAD: I-80
So last night I had a rather odd, run-in with something I could not explain. I feel like I need to say something.
Last night I was on the way home from my friend's house around 1 am, and as I was nearing my families farm,(which is half farm land, half forest and overgrowth)I saw something cross in front of me about 500 yards up the gravel road. So being tired, I shook my head and turned up the music and thought I was crazy. As I past the part of road that I had seen this object cross I kinda laughed, and brushed it off, but as I looked more closely at my rear-view mirror I noticed that my tail lights were shining off an unusual figure standing kinda close to the road, but more closely in the brush around the road.
Lately I've heard my mom and dad talking about some local farmers that have been having sheep, and chickens go missing, I heard them say that some of the sheep have been found in trees, I know there are bobcats around here so that is what I speculated. But tonight, after seeing this I walked in the house and my mom and dad were still up which is odd because they are normally asleep by 11. My dad asked me if I had counted the cows and our pigs recently within the last 24 hours and I said I had, and just asked why. He told me that sometime in the night, last night, someone or something got a hold of a cow and injured it pretty badly to the point they had to put it down and that 2 pigs were missing with one being found in our forest in the crotch of a tree.(the pigs were farm fed non-confined so they are pretty bulky)
Which brings me back to the real reason why I'm here, a year ago I was hunting bow-season. I woke up around 2:30 am and got my stuff ready to go hunt before class on my families farm. I usually walk a little over a mile to get to my "honey hole" as I set out it was still very dark but the moon was very visible, and I could see very far and clear. As I was walking down the gravel road I heard like a light whistle coming from my right which was the beginning of the forest, but I kept walking thinking it was me with my bow bumping against me. To my left was the crops, so I slowly just started walking closer to the ditch opposite from the forest. About 3:15 am I was nearing the other edge of the forest (which is on the north side of our property) I opened the gate and started walking towards my tree stand and had my flashlight on (RED LED) I was almost to my stand when I heard another whistle sound. I stopped and slowly turned in all directions and saw nothing. So I continued to walk, when finally I found my stand and began to walk up the ladder. 10 min passed and I started smelling this foul odor, but just thought someone had hit a skunk on the highway about 3000 yards away, and the smell was just heading my way. Have you note that my stand faces north into the corn in which I can see about a mile of open land and my back facing the woods, about 50 yards from the clearing inside the forest. As I continued to smell this odor, I started also hearing walking pretty far away to my right, of course I could not see anything but just in case it was that trophy buck I had longed for, I strung up an arrow just so I wouldn't have to later. Another 10-15 min passed and I started to smell the odor yet again, so I plugged my nose with my fingers and started to listen closely to my surroundings, as I sat there I heard a another whistle from my right, then from my left I heard a whistle that seemed to copy the first. I looked to my left and about 60 yards away I noticed a small figure kinda crouched down, and at first I thought it was a stump that I'd overlooked before but as I looked closer the moon kinda reflected a weird shine off the object, then as I was talking myself into thinking it was just some weird overgrowth, it stood up. My heart dropped to my stomach, I slowly looked to my right and saw a somewhat same object that looked like it was already standing about 4 feet tall and the one on my left about 6-7 feet tall. I sat there scared to death when I don't know if stupidity or instinct kicked in but I started yelling and stomping my feet on the metal stand making some pretty loud noises. I looked to my right just to see the object running east away from me at a very fast sprint, and looked to my left to see the object to my left crouch back down, then pick something up and threw it at me, not sure what it was I only heard it land 30 yards from me, then the object to my left let out a loud whistle and then a grunt, I was so terrified, I started climbing down the ladder grabbed my skinning knife and ran to the corn field as fast as I can. I ended up calling a friend and waking him up to come get me in the field very far from the forest. I told him about the situation and he informed me that a year or two before that his dad had a similar run-in with the same odd situation and that his dad has not been hunting alone since his encounter. I have never been one to think that big foot or whatever is real, and maybe I brushed it off last year because I was too scared and that it was very early morning that I could have been seeing things, but last night made me think about the year before and kinda makes me very scared to live where I do now.
I more or less want some sort of explanation... Or info I've lived in Iowa and the same farm here for 20 years and I've never had something like this happen, or me being from the country and living here my whole life to now being to scared to go in the woods alone.
ALSO NOTICED: just the whistles before entering in 2011 and the smell.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself, and my friends father the year before.
OTHER STORIES: No, none.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Very late in the night, early morning.
Lighting conditions were great, due to the moon being so bright and seeming very close I could see a lot of detail in everything. Clear weather, about 45 degrees
ENVIRONMENT: A pine/ oak forest not a lot of vegetation present due to cows mowing down most of the overgrowth a week before
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Scott Allen:
I met the witness on November 21, a college student who has spent his lifetime hunting the area near his home where these encounters occurred. He’s experienced every conventional animal sight, sound and smell and relayed to me confidence in identifying coyotes, owls, deer and all the usual animals. He’s also encountered poachers, meth cookers, vagrants and mushroom hunters from his concealed position as a hunter. He felt confident about his ability to differentiate known animal and human activity from what happened in the two separate encounters.
The November 2012 road-crossing and October 2011 tree-stand incidents occurred on private land we now could not get to. We did repeated drive-bys at the road-crossing location and were able to see the exact spot and discuss it from inside our vehicle. The 2011 tree-stand location property was sold by the witness’ family several months ago and permission to walk it was not granted. I was able to see the spot from 200 yards away from public ground.
I found the witness to be extremely credible. He was troubled by both events and was not at first able to admit to himself that it all really happened. It took the road-crossing sighting to validate to himself that he was not crazy during the tree-stand encounter. In fact, the most recent sighting and the mysterious animal deaths have led the witness to reconsider many odd activities and observations accumulated over his many years of hunting.
Regarding the 2012 road-crossing I can add: the witness slowed at the point where the dark object crossed the road on two legs, right to left, north to south. Viewing from his driver’s side mirror, he could see the tall dark figure standing in the south ditch amongst branches across from a farm building and a private residence. Before stopping, the figure appeared headed for a small creek surrounded by 100 feet of trees on either side. The surrounding area is open crop fields and grazing land. This gravel road runs parallel to and about one-half mile north of Interstate 80. The red brake lights that illuminated the figure as he slowly drove away may explain the reddish hue he ascribed to the dark figure. Detail related to head, face, and arms could not be given because the view lasted only a few seconds. He could only relate an impression of largeness and the odd feeling of seeing something standing in a ditch not moving at one in the morning.
Regarding this photo, the dark figure would have appeared in the center of this image, 20 feet from the gravel road, standing among the branches overhanging the grassy ditch:
Regarding the October 2011 event, I can add: Witness described the pre-dawn morning as perfect with enough moonlight to enable good visibility. He walked from his home to his favorite tree-stand position wearing a leafy ghillie suit. At first he thought the whistle he heard was his hunting bow rubbing against his clothing material, but he continued to hear whistles later when he was completely still. The tree stand was located in a 50-year old grove adjacent to old-growth timber along the South Skunk River about two miles north of I-80. The Woodcock Wildlife Area is nearby on the other side of the river.
Witness described the odor as a combination of dead skunk and wet dog. After smelling the odor, hearing the whistles and grunts and then finally seeing two upright bipedal figures, he lost his typical composure and scrambled down his tree-stand ladder in the process abandoning his bow. It was retrieved later in daylight with his buddy and with much apprehension.
Both figures standing were on two legs like a human, and were very wide compared to their height “like a perfect linebacker.” Moonlight allowed the witness to clearly see dark, hairy figures with a reddish tint from reflected moonlight. The witness observed arm motion as the larger figure on the left threw an object at him.
Face detail not available because they both were facing away. Both looked like they had a sort of cone-shaped head, and per the witness, not crazy coned but like a ridge. They had very long strides as they ran away, and their arms weren't pumping hard either (as a sprinter would) but rather the arms stayed pretty straight with minimal bending. The witness heard thrashing through the trees as he escaped into the open field and then waited for his friend.
The following is a view from the open field looking back towards the trees where the two animals were seen:
Regarding the recent farm animal deaths I can add that at the time of the witness interview, no explanation could be determined. It remained a mystery to this family. I remain in contact with the witness and will monitor the area on an ongoing basis.
The South Skunk is a small river. The surrounding area is “bottoms” land. Satellite imagery reveals that the river used to twist and turn through this low, flat valley, but now is channelized leaving behind a few remnant ponds and woodlands in its former course.
Photo taken on the South Skunk River, the animals he encountered would have retreated away and back behind the tree stand, and they would have quickly come into this river position:
About BFRO Investigator Scott Allen:
An Iowa native, Scott has explored Iowa and many other parts of the US while hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, caving, canoeing and more. He brings to the investigation process a lifelong interest in natural sciences supported by formal education in biology and chemistry as well as training and professional experience in audio and video production.
Scott attended the Iowa Hill Country 2012 and Iowa Big River 2014 expeditions and has participated in several private expeditions in central and southeastern Iowa. He is currently conducting exploration and research focused along Iowa’s Des Moines River and its many tributaries.