Bigfoot Encounters

Another 'Bigfoot' sighting in the Happy Valley area  

By Alex McRae

Coweta County, Georgia 17 September 2005 -- He's back. And he's not alone.

The so-called "Happy Valley Horror," a Bigfoot type creature which was first sighted last April, is still alive and kicking... and causing potential traffic problems, according to Happy Valley Circle resident
Donna Robards.

Robards, a lifelong Coweta resident, remembers laughing when reports of the creature first surfaced in April after an anonymous e-mailer to The Times-Herald claimed he had sighted a large, hairy creature walking upright in a field on Happy Valley Circle.

"My husband and I laughed ourselves silly over that one," Robards says. She's not laughing now after almost almost running over two of the critters in late August.

"I thought it was funny before," she says. "Now I'm not so sure." Robards' thinking about the possibility of strange, hairy critters in north Coweta began to change on Aug. 22, when her son Jeff, 18, had a
strange encounter while returning to the Happy Valley home he shares with his folks.

He had just dropped his sister off at her east Coweta home and was heading west on Cedar Creek Road near its intersection with Happy Valley Road just after 2:30 a.m. As he approached the stop sign, Jeff
was startled to see a huge, hairy creature strolling down the middle of Cedar Creek Road toward his vehicle, according to Donna Robards.

"He said it was big and hairy and walking upright," says Donna Robards.

"At first, he thought it might have been a bear, but he didn't stick around to see. When I asked him about it later, he said it couldn't have been a bear because the face was flat and didn't have a snout like a bear. He didn't know what it was, and I didn't either," says Donna Robards.

Three nights later on Aug. 25, just before midnight, Donna Robards got to see just what her son had described. She had worked late in LaGrange and was heading north on Happy Valley Circle towards her home. When she reached the Cedar Creek Road intersection, she saw not one, but two of the creatures standing in the road just yards ahead. She slammed on the brakes and skidded to a stop within 20 feet of the hairy pair.

She says the larger of the two creatures was eight feet tall and covered with coarse black hair. The other was a foot shorter and its hair was reddish-brown in color, Robards says.

When Robards screeched to a stop, she says the smaller one ambled into the woods west of Happy Valley Circle. The big one, however, turned and started right at her.

"I thought oh, dear God, that thing is going to come in the car after me," she says. "And I was scared to death."

After what seemed like an eternity the larger creature followed the first one into the woods and Robards headed home as fast as she could, an awful image imprinted on her memory forever.

"It wasn't human, but you could call it ape-like," Robards says. "It stood upright but the hair on its face was shorter than on the rest of its body. And the eyes didn't bulge like an ape's. They were set back like human eyes."

When Robards told her husband, Michael, his response wasn't what she expected.

"We'd both been laughing since the first Happy Valley Horror was sighted," she says, "and he still didn't believe what might be going on. He thinks I've lost my mind," she says with a laugh. "But I know
what I saw, and I don't want to see it again."

Robards says that soon after she and her husband moved into their Happy Valley home in March 2003, she and her husband came home on more than one occasion to find items missing. The thefts were reported to the Coweta County Sheriff's Office, but Donna Robards never suspected anything might have been responsible other than normal low-life human sorts.

She still didn't believe a non-human burglar could have been responsible when the Happy Valley Horror was first spotted last April.

"I thought that story was great fun, she says. "It reminded me of all the fuss that happened when the Belt Road Booger was around." The Belk Road Booger, Coweta's first reported creepy creature, made
several appearances in the 1970s, scaring people and inflating newspaper sales for weeks. The Booger was never identified and never harmed any humans although it is reported the monster ate several plants right off people's porches.

The Booger was eventually written off as an urban legend. But once the Happy Valley Horror was sighted in April, research revealed that Coweta County was not entirely out of the question as home to a Bigfoot-type
beast. In fact, some unidentified monsters have been spotted less than 50 miles from the Coweta County Courthouse.

A 2003 story in the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald recounts the story of Steve Hyde, of Griffin, Ga., whose hobby was searching for Bigfoot in central and south Georgia. In 1999, the story says, after locals
reported barn damage and disappearing animals, Hyde and a friend, former law enforcement officer James Akin, began a search of Elkins Creek, which flows into the Flint River in Pike County south of Griffin.

They were astonished to find a huge footprint measuring 17.5 inches in length, according to the Banner-Herald story. They were more astonished when a plaster cast of the print was sent off to be tested.

The cast was examined by Dr. Jeff Meldrum, of the Department of Biological Science at Idaho State University in Pocatello, who has studied literally hundreds of Bigfoot sightings over the years. The print, according to the news report, was also examined by J.H. Chilcutt, identified as a fingerprint examiner with the Conroe, Texas, police department.

Georgia Bigfoot (Georgia offers links to possible sightings in Georgia and surrounding areas and has a form to submit new sightings. The website of the Chattahoochee Bigfoot Organization ( reports a possible Bigfoot sighting in March, 2005, in Harris County, Ga., between Coweta and Columbus.

Although Washington, Oregon and northern California lead with hundreds of sightings each, 22 Bigfoot sightings were reported in Georgia through the end of 2003.

Most Bigfoot sightings occur near a stream or other body of water. Lake Redwine, located on Happy Valley Circle, offers enough water to support a large Bigfoot population.

The creatures sighted by Robards and her son were both headed in the direction of Lake Redwine when spotted, but Lake Redwine representatives report there were no costume parties scheduled on the
night of either encounter. They are relatively certain the creatures are not Lake Redwine property owners.

Donna Robards expects some strange looks and good-natured ribbing after going public with her Bigfoot sighting. She doesn't care.

But she also says that when she's driving home after dark these days, she's a lot more cautious than before.

"I'm always careful to look for deer when I'm on the road," she says."But now I'm going to be even more careful. Whatever that thing was, I sure don't want to run up on it again."

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