Your first name: Dave (last name on file)
Estimated date? September 28, 2008
Estimated time? 7:30 AM
Nearest city? Knifley / Columbia
Nearest Road(s): State Highway 551
Length of time the encounter lasted: Less than maybe 8 minutes total elapsed time from first sounds to leaving the area in a hurry.
How many witnesses? Myself (It’s also likely that possibly two/three other persons who were fishing from a nearby boat may have heard part of the encounter.)
Please describe your encounter:
After several years of odd stories/sounds and the discovery of an unusual print on a farm we own near the sighting area, I began to seriously look into BF reports in the region. While checking this website in August of 2008, I came across the report from Adair County, near the concrete bridge that spans part of Green River Lake on 551 and lies within 10 miles of our property. I was familiar with that spot and decided to visit it for the first time around the first weekend of September. The area she reported the BF entering on the right side of the road corresponded to a graveled pull-off that had been there for decades and was used to access the lakeshore by people fishing. It had also become something of an unsightly and smelly dump for trash, brush and tree limbs/deadfall all along its length and into the wooded bluff that leads down to the shore. When I stepped out of the car the first time I also realized I was walking on what was more or less a “bone bed”. There was quite a bit of small animal bone spread around the area, mixed with larger remains of deer that (mostly) looked like either roadkill, partial hunt kills or taxidermy remnants (stripped deer skeletons without heads) that had been tossed over the edge of the bluff.
With all of these remains lying around, and with a very direct path to the lakefront there as well, I pretty quickly understood why an animal might eagerly enter the dump, probably on a regular basis, to get easy meals and then make its way back across the road to the heavily-forested area that bounds Green River Lake.
On Saturday, September 27th, I returned to the area with family (We were scheduled to attend not one but TWO family reunions the following day) and left my wife and young daughter with my parents at the farm in the late afternoon so I could drive over to the bridge and check the area again. I took an inexpensive trail camera that I had purchased earlier in the summer to get wildlife photos on our property with me, and after spending an uneventful period around the lakeshore, decided that it would probably be safe to strap the camera to a tree about halfway down the path to capture anything that might move by in the night. I had seen no fishing going on that afternoon and thought there would be little chance of any person making off with the cam if I waited till near sundown to place it and then returned very early on Sunday to collect it before anyone might head down the trail to the lake. I set it and returned to the farm.
I arrived back at the sighting area at about 730 AM the next day after waking up to what seemed to be the foggiest morning in Adair County history. The lake itself was socked in and not visible at all from the bluff and trail and there was heavy fog and condensation all through the area. My intention was to just head down the path and quickly collect the cam from the tree and return to the farm to join the rest of my family for the day’s activities, so I left the car unlocked and ready to depart. I retrieved the cam and noted it had been tripped three or four times and was anxious to get a look at any pics so I headed straight back up the bluff and heard something pacing me in a large gully about 40 feet to the left. I wasn’t concerned as I’d encountered nothing there at any previous visits, and I also began to dimly hear a nearby conversation between at least 2 men who I believe were on a boat on the lake, possibly making their way under the bridge. I stopped about halfway up the trail and the noises of movement briefly did so as well, then seemed to move off further towards the left in the direction of the voices I heard. I got to the top of the turn-around and didn’t hear any more movement, so I began to put the camera away in the back of the car, a Honda Element with a rear hatch. When I stepped back to shut the hatch, I noted a strong smell that reminded me of a wet dog, but when I stepped back towards the car, just a foot or so, it was hardly detectable. There was a breeze coming from my right at his point and when I stepped back again and shut the rear gate I turned to the right and saw a figure immediately stand straight up about 80 feet away in the treeline by the bridge.
At first it seemed like a wide-shouldered, hulking figure without a head, but then I noticed a darker area between the shoulders and realized it was a face, either being held low in some kind of peering/aggressive stance. (In retrospect, I now believe it heard the rear hatch slam and possibly thought it was the car door and that I might have been ready to pull away and leave.) It just stood stock still for a few moments, but then it began to sway from side to side a bit and seemed to be lowering up and down, still very intently peering at me. I got the impression I was looking at an old individual, because of the way it was acting, the odd posture and the coloration I was beginning to make out. It was grey in the chest, almost running to white at centerline up to the neck. Kind of honey-brown/reddish along the arms and body, with very wide shoulders and massive arms that hung low. I heard another bit of conversation drift up from the lake and some laughter and then this creature cut loose with a VERY loud bellow that I can only compare to an angry bull and started to move in my direction. I then detected a much stronger odor that smelled like rotting meat, and that really ramped up my anxiety level, so I decided to get in the car. When I turned to walk around to the driver’s side a burst of very low-bass “language” of sorts came from the thing that sounded very much like “scolding”– and that’s exactly how I felt—like I was trespassing and in big trouble. The combination of the yelling and odor and adrenaline was disorienting for a few moments and I felt the strong and nonsensical urge to just sit or lie down on the ground on the driver’s side of the car. (The way a prey animal might react.) I didn’t obey that impulse and instead climbed into the car and looked back towards the thing and saw that it hadn’t changed position since I had gone out of its field of view behind the car.
It still seemed to be peering intently and I started the car. I normally carry a pistol in the field (the coyote and now black bear are moving into that region big time) but didn’t have it belted on that morning. It was on the passenger car seat, so I unholstered it and watched out the passenger window, which was halfway down. The creature made another loud grunt and then began coming towards the car and the edge of the guardrail that runs across the bridge. I admit I was in a state of panic, so I pointed the gun—a Taurus concealed-carry .357— out the window and towards the ground and fired two shots. The irrational part of me just wanted what was now clearly visible as a large, bipedal hairy creature to stop coming towards me, and the rational part thought that if I fired shots and it behaved like an animal it would bolt, and if it were somehow a human being I was seeing it would either yell something like “Don’t shoot!” or take off as well.
Its reaction to the shots was neither. It just stopped in its tracks, now about 30 feet away, and stared. I did the only sensible thing I can recall that morning by fixing it in my view, then noting where it was in relation to the guardrail and below the top of my side window (about 2 inches) and then I decided to get out of there. Unfortunately, it didn’t even register to me that I was still holding the pistol and when I went to shift down into drive, I inadvertently squeezed off another round right into the center console of the car. That’s a VERY loud event inside a Honda Element, which is basically a big metal box. I left the scene at high speed and nearly deaf. It was apparent that the car was damaged, since I couldn’t get the windows to respond and when I arrived back at the farm I pulled the damaged console aside and the wiring harness just fell apart. I spent the rest of that morning arranging for a car hauler to pick up the vehicle and trying to relate what had happened to my family. They attended the reunions and I returned to Louisville with the car. There have been subsequent events at this location (which has now been cleaned up, fenced and posted heavily with NO DUMPING signs) but no direct sightings. Investigation continues.
Describe the creature with detail:
Approximately 7 1/2 feet in height, with massive shoulders – maybe 3 ½ feet across– and arms, but a trim-looking abdomen. The size was determined by visiting the location a couple of weeks later with others and using an extending paint-pole to measure from where I was parked to the place I fixed its position. The hair on the chest area was grey, running to an almost-white coloration at the centerline and neck. Grey hair around a black “gorilla”-color face. No distinct features were clearly visible except for a larger, flattened almost human-type nose. There seemed to be a crease running down the center, but it was definitely not an “ape” nose. I saw no teeth, but a darker mouth area that moved and sometimes made an “O” shape when it vocalized. Dark eyes, no color that I could note. The head was rounded and not conical, and it seemed like the hair was possibly thinner on top like it was slightly balding– I could see a slight reflection on top, maybe from dark scalp showing through— and no ears were visible. Coloration on the shoulders, arms and outer body was a honey/brown with reddish tinge. Hands were dark looking like the face. I couldn’t see down past the knee level due to high grass and low fog in the gully. Hair length seemed a pretty uniform 2 to 4 inches overall, but longer on the arms. My overall impression was of an older male individual, but still very fit/powerful. I could see his abdomen muscles tense up when he bellowed. He may even have been hard of hearing, since he seemed to react only to louder sounds and did a LOT of staring.
Dave’s computer generated sketch took many attempts to get it perfect. There have been so many sightings of this creature in Adair County, the locals nicknamed it “The Varmint.”
Lead Investigator: Charlie Raymond