I am a 56 year old of sound mind with many of those years spent hunting and exploring Liberty County and other East Texas woods and bottoms. I continue my passion of wilderness back-packing with recent trips to the toughest areas in Big Bend National Park and a solo backpack on the Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas’ Ouachitas (where I came face-to-face with a bear). I am cautious but composed when I get into the woods and not inclined to overreact to critical incidents in the wilds.
The other night (Tuesday) while walking at an edge of Liberty that leads down toward unhabited Trinity bottoms, I saw something. Disclaimer: although I did see something, I acknowledge that minds play tricks on perceptions and imaginations fill-in gaps around what eyes see and don’t see. I have taken several days to soberly sift the conclusion that I will now share.
At about 10:30 P.M. I was walking along an area on the edge of Liberty that leads down toward the Trinity bottoms. My mind was completely at ease and drifting around various projects, backpacking memories, and dreams of a purchasing a new gun. The night was clear and I was enjoying the moon and stars. I was carrying my trusty old golf club for safety.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, a supercharged adrenaline rush focused all of my concentration on movement on my side of a tree located about 50 yards in front of me. You have experienced these moments – from day dreams to instantly tense, all-in fight-or-flight. In a fraction of a second my arms and hands began tingling, my ears rang with a TV static kind of sound, and my vision and hearing became sharply acute. Whether or not my perception is accurate, this instantaneous physiological rush was 100% real. It was a time-stands-still, brief loss of motor skills moment.
My adrenaline focus involuntarily targeted a large (shoulder-high to the lower limbs of sizable trees) bi-pedal something walking deliberately around a tree and down toward the bottoms. The walk was upright but a little hunched from upper-mid-back up and the head was erect. Color: a burnished red-grey (more on the grey in a second). The walk was the swaying gait of a Star Wars wookie, but quite a bit less exaggerated with knees sightly bent. The swinging arc of the right arm was very visible (relative to my location, “it” was walking from left to right) and I saw that the arm-wrist-hand was somewhat longer than normal human proportions. “It” used its left hand to push aside a limb. “It” took a brief, glancing look at me and and moonlight (the center of the face was less hairy and seemed to be slightly more grey) made visible the standard eyes-nose-forehead-jaw features of a hairy face. This glance did not slow “its” motion, in fact the deliberate motion became more purposeful as it pushed around the tree and back into thicker trees.
Note: this was a two or three second glimpse before the “it” disappeared into thicker trees and brush.
My reaction was instant. I called my wife on my cell phone and told her that I saw something and that I was getting the heck out out of there fast. Instead of following the trail (it would have taken me nearer to the location of the glimpse) I tore straight through from where I stood to a gate out of the area and closer to more developed Liberty.
Time and Conditions
10:30 pm – The sky was not perfectly clear, but there was enough moon to see. Note: at this end of the track, the school’s lighting has only a little effect and is not strong.