By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher
Professional Writer, a nature and wildlife enthusiast who has written for many magazines.
Bigfoot Encounter In Illinois?
What Exactly Happened To Me?
By TCC Team Member Dorraine Fisher
As a writer of cryptozoology, I hear stories every day about weird things that happened to other people. Weird things they’ve seen and heard. And I always try to be objective. I mean, who are any of us to say that something doesn’t exist or events couldn’t possibly have happened the way the story teller said?
But I had a little event occur recently in the woods in my area. And, even though I DO always try to keep that open mind with others, I’m having trouble processing what just might possibly have been my very own bigfoot encounter. So, I guess you can tell me what you think happened.
I was getting ready to hike an area that I hadn’t traveled in a while. It’s a more difficult trail that winds into a deep canyon and is very steep in places. But I decided that day that I could do it because mostly I wanted a change of scenery.
When I got out of the truck at the edge of the woods, something seemed different right away. I’d been to this area enough times before, but that day it was quieter. No birds singing. No squirrels barking from the tree tops. No animal sounds of any kind. But I didn’t think too much about it until I was recalling the story later in my head.
But when I stepped onto the trail and started walking, I could hear deer running around in the brush. That wasn’t anything unusual, I knew, and I slowed down for a moment to give them a moment to settle somewhere they felt safe. This time, strangely, they didn’t, but I just kept walking, thinking they would get quiet at any moment. And they did for a time.
But I kept walking the trail that led through thick brush, when suddenly, I heard a crashing noise, almost like a small tree dropping to the ground, in the distance to my left. This was perhaps forty feet away, though I’ve never been a good judge of distance. But the deer started scattering again. It sounded like there were several of them and they seemed to be all around me.
But still, in spite of all the movement, I kept walking to the edge where the canyon trail drops off down the steep ravine. I hesitated for a moment at the top because it’s a little treacherous and I was starting to doubt I was really up for it so early in the morning. But I started down anyway and got maybe 8 feet down when I changed my mind. I was experiencing a little vertigo and had started to think it wasn’t safe for me. I started back up and reached the top again surrounded by the deer still moving in the brush, though I still couldn’t see them. I stood there for a moment straining to see.
Now is when the events may be misarranged in my mind, because I started to get a creepy feeling, like I wasn’t alone, or that something was watching me. I stared off into the woods for a moment to see if I could see anything at all. But it was still pretty early and the brush there was so thick that all I could see was dark forest and maybe a few tree branches moving. There was no noise at that moment. It had become eerily quiet again.
But suddenly, I thought I heard something whiz over my head and land on the hillside behind me. I stood there for a moment, my eyes darting from side to side, trying to process it, wondering if it had really happened, when, as I stared into the woods, I saw something hit a tree branch in front of me and fall straight down to the ground. It looked like a stick or piece of bark. I stood there for a moment again, staring into the woods, and I thought I saw movement, but I couldn’t be sure.
But by that time, the creepy feeling was in high gear. Did I just have something thrown at me? Twice?
I guess I was thinking that might have been what happened, because I started to think maybe I needed to leave the area. Strangely I wasn’t feeling afraid, but more like I was in the way or interrupting something. And I started back up the hill trail.
But no sooner had I started walking, I heard another crashing sound, same as before, but closer this time it seemed. And I could hear the deer, crazed again, running in circles up and down the steep incline. I started walking a little faster, but suddenly to my right, two deer, fawns still with spots, came charging at me out of the brush and startled me. They caught sight of me at the last second and spun sideways and darted in two different directions. Just not the direction they came. But at the speed in which they were running, if they would have run into me, they would have knocked me into the canyon and possibly killed me. I ran quickly up the trail toward my vehicle.
When I got to the truck, I was still processing the whole thing. What had just happened? Why were the deer acting so crazy? Why were they running toward me instead of away? And where was their mother? When I was halfway home, I felt sure something “unusual” had happened to me. And by the time I made it home I was processing a full-blown theory about what it was.
I’m still having trouble actually saying what I might have encountered. I didn’t see anything, so I’ll never be able to say for sure. But I will say that there was a lot going on there at that moment, and I think I interrupted something.
Crashing noises, deer crazed with fear charging right toward me, objects flying through the air in my direction. Intelligence tells you to look for another explanation. Crashing noises? Could be trees falling in the woods. Right? Deer racing through the woods could be running from anything: coyote, bobcat, or a panther even. Things being hurled in my direction could just be my imagination. Right? Things fall from trees all the time. Squirrels and birds drop things.
But all these little events together could add up to something. Just about anyone who spends a lot of time in the woods like me has seen something at least once that seemed unusual, that maybe for which you couldn’t quite find an explanation. Something that didn’t quite add up to what you know as familiar.
And all I can say is this event gave me a really weird feeling. And to me, weird feelings count, especially when you’re in the woods far away from any help or human contact. They’re called instincts and you have them for a reason.
But no matter what it was or might have been, I’m pretty sure I won’t forget it. And I have my theories about it, but what do you think happened to me? ************DF
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