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Vermilion County Illinois
Kickapoo State Park

This happened in Vermilion County, Illinois when I was 12. It was late spring/early summer, a clear day. There are no major roads nearby, only small blacktop roads. I wish to remain anonymous.

Some years back, I lived in Illinois on a farm. The small stream that ran through our property was a source of entertainment and learning. Small streams frequently ran through the countryside, and in places increased in size to resemble a small river. I was twelve at the time and a friend who was a year younger invited me over to his farm for the day. I made the 2-mile journey on bicycle early in the morning so we would have enough time to go fishing in a spot where my friend wanted to go. I had never been to this particular fishing hole, but my friend had once before with his father before his father had passed away. The trip was to take about an hour on foot, following the stream.

As we approached the site the stream became wider and deeper and a sandbar approximately one hundred feet long and perhaps twenty feet wide appeared through the trees. My friend was in the lead, maybe ten feet ahead of me, when he suddenly stopped. I was about to say something to him when he turned around and motioned for me to get down. We both crouched down and to our amazement saw a man-like creature at the water getting a drink. I thought it might be a hunter and was afraid that he might see us and think we were deer and take a shot at us. I tried to stay as still as possible so as not to startle anybody. I started to move slowly toward my friend, I was going to tell him that we should let him know that we were here so he wouldn't accidentally shoot at us, when my friend waved his arm to keep me still. We watched this thing for a minute or so when I started to notice that the clothing it wore looked more like hair than anything else. I didn't see any gun, or any bow and arrow, so I began to realize this thing wasn't a person, but some sort of animal. After we watched this thing for about two minutes more, it stood up and looked around and began staring in our direction. At this point I could see that it was not a person, (we were about two hundred feet from it) but a creature that resembled an ape.

It had dark brown, almost black, hair all over it except for the face. Its eyes were a reddish orange and it was slightly bent forward. It was very tall, maybe seven-foot or so, and its head was slightly pointed. We did smell a strong odor, like something rotten. Because of its posture, I thought it was getting ready to start running after us, but, instead, it turned around and headed away from us into the woods. We were afraid that it was going to circle around behind us and attack, so we ran as fast as we could back the way we had came.

We never went back to that site, so we had no idea if it left any tracks. We told his mother about what had happened and she told us a story that had happened to my friend's father before he had passed away. One night his family was sleeping and their dogs started barking. This wasn't unusual, but they continued to bark so my friend's father got up to see what was going on. They lived in a two-story house and they had a light outside that lit up the barnyard. When his father looked out the upstairs window he saw a large hairy animal walking on two legs across the barnyard and heading towards some woods that were behind their house. When his father went out the next morning he found that a section of wooden fence had been broken.

The fence was made of 2 X 6's, with three boards running parallel to the ground, one on top of the other, spaced evenly apart. His father found the top board had been broken as if something ran right through it, and the other two boards below it had been broken downwards as if something very heavy had stepped on it. I forgot to ask if there were any footprints left behind, but as I remember, the fence ran beside gravel driveway with grass on the other side of the fence.

The area these incidences occurred was approximately eight miles northeast of Kickapoo State Park.. The region is dotted with farms and farmland, but there were lots of woods at the time; there was plenty of space for creature habitat; to hide, undetected. I had lived on the farm for eight years and that was the first and last time that I ever encountered anything like that.

Received: Saturday 22 Jan 2000 21:17:37 -0800
From the Files of Bobbie Short