Geographical Index > United States > Mississippi > Rankin County > Report # 3677|
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, January 23, 2002.
Young boy watches creature eating wild grapes near Florence
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COUNTY: Rankin County
LOCATION DETAILS: Withheld at request of witness.
NEAREST TOWN: just inside the city limits of Florence
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 469
OBSERVED: During the late 1970's and early 1980's Central Mississippi experienced a series of pretty serious floods, one of which was dubbed the "Great Easter Flood" (there were even T-shirts made that boasted "I survived the flood of '79."). On the occasion of these floods the Pearl River which runs though Jackson overflowed it's banks for miles north and south of the capital area. Florence is a small town and community about 10 miles south of Jackson. Although the town is rather small the commumity reached across a great deal of the southwest corner of Rankin County to the Pearl River. During these floods there were countless reports of displaced animals fleeing the rising flood waters so my friends and I had all been warned by our parents to watch out for animals while we were playing outside. The reason I mention the flood, the river, and the proximity of the Town of Florence to the river is because I noticed that several of the sightings reported on this site in Mississippi are in the general vacinity of this river.
In 1981 when I was only 9 years old I saw something that etched it's image so clear in my mind that it seems like yesterday. My best friend and I were playing in a wooded area on a lot owned by my grandparents, they had not built on the land yet and it was a perfect place to play and built forts between my house and his. After building a fort my friend went to his house to get cokes and snacks for us and I stayed to "guard" the fort. While he was gone i heard something making noise in the woods behind the fort and when I peaked out to see what I expected to be another group of kids from the neighborhood I saw a very large dark creature standing upright and reaching up into a tree in a clearing just about 50 feet away from me. It was huge and covered in dark long hair. I was petrified. I stood completely still and stared at the creature for several minutes while it went about it's tasks milling about the tree. It seemed to that it was picking something from the tree. After what seemed like forever I heard my friend stomping through the woods toward the opposite side of the fort. I watched in terror as the thing in front of me turned and looked directly at me, it seemed as if we had locked eyes and neither of us moved and those eyes burned into my mind. I tried to call out to my friend but I couldn't move...when I finally tore my eyes off the creature before me I turned and tackled my friend dropping both of us to the ground. When I stood up and looked back out of the window the creature was gone. I sank down in the fort and shook for several more minutes trying to desribe what I had seen to my friend. When I was sure that it was gone we ran toward my house since it was the closest.
A few hours later we went back to the fort and then up the hill to the tree where it had been. When we got close to the tree I noticed that there was a muscadine (wild grape) vine in the tree and there were several mashed muscadines and stripped leaves from the vine on the ground. The ground was hard and dry on the hill so there were no footprints but the leaves and pine straw around the tree was pushed around and the ground was bare under the tree.
When I went back to school after the weekend I told another friend of mine what I had seen. He had read about Bigfoot in a book that his older brother had. The next day when he brought the book to school and showed me the sketches in the book the same terror I had felt a few days before came rushing back and I knew what I had seen in the woods that day.
ALSO NOTICED: The creature gunted and coo-ed while eating the muscadines.
OTHER WITNESSES: I saw it and my friend heard it leaving the area but he did not see anything.
OTHER STORIES: I have felt the sensations I felt that day on a few other occasions in the area, but I never seen it again. In one of the areas where I have been scared a few years ago in Brandon, Miss. near Interstate 20 there have been a few sightings of a hairy creature reported by a local radio personality and callers to the station. (I will be happy to report my experiences in that area as well.)
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was afternoon, after lunch. It was cool enough that I was wearing jeans and a T-shirt and it was warm enough that my friend and I got thirsty building the fort...beyond that I do ot know. I know that the river was up because my mom had warned us about wild animals.
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded area in a developing sub-division. I had a clear shot from my position to where I saw the creature. The woods were dense enough to wander through and never see the houses that had been built. The area has changed greatly today, but you could still loose your orientation and get displaced for a while.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
I spoke with the witness by phone. His view of the creature was mostly of the back and side. When he first saw the creature it was reaching up into the tree with its left hand with it's right hand on the tree trunk. As he watched it reached up for a muscadine (a type of wild grape), put it in its mouth, then reached up for another. He described its body build as "very thick, almost barrel type chest, thick legs, thick arms, but not fat. It had really long arms." He estimated its height at between seven and eight feet. Hair color was described as "not black, but very dark brown." The color of the hair was consistent over the entire body. The hair length was similar to a golden retriever, and was described as "dull, dingy." He noted that the hair "didn't lay flat" but it was not overly free flowing; "when he reached up it didn't move much." As his friend returned to the clubhouse the creature turned at the sound then fled. He noted the face was also dark, like the fur, but he got no real impression about the nose or mouth. He remembered the eyes appeared dark. He did not notice any ears, and the neck was very short; "the shoulder obscured the side of the face when reaching up." The front of the head "sloped up a little", but "it wasn't pointed" like some sketches the witness had seen.
As it ate it "almost sounded like it mumbled." The witness did not remember any specific odor associated with the sighting.
About BFRO Investigator Tony Gerard:
Tony Gerard is a community college biology professor.