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Rood Creek Park Campground and Boat Landing,
Ft. Mitchell, Russell County, Alabama - August 2000

Bigfoot Sighting: AKA - Chattahoochee Cootie, Rood Dude, The Alabama Creek Freak, and mention of the Georgia Pig Man and the Bardin Booger.

We have a confirmed story of a local bigfoot sighting. A man encountered a large, threatening and possibly bigfoot-like creature within 50 miles of Columbus, Alabama. The account happened two to three weeks ago at the BP Quick Stop on Alabama Highway 165 in Fort Mitchell, Ala.

The women who ran the store testified that a terrified young man came in the minimart around 10:30 p.m. on a Thursday and said he needed to call a game warden right away. He looked to be about 18, and "he was petrified," one of the women clerks said. The guy said that he and his companion, a man in his late 30s or early 40s, had just fled from Rood Creek Park, a small campground and boat landing across the Chattahoochee River in Georgia, just south of Florence Marina.

Fort Mitchell's a fair distance from Rood, but the guy said the Quick Stop was the first open store they'd happened upon. He said they had been camped at Rood when his dog, a yellow Labrador retriever, suddenly started making weird noises. It wasn't like the dog was barking; it was more like the dog was screaming or crying. So the witness went to check on the dog, and when he did, he heard something big coming through the woods. When it got closer, the guy could see that it was much bigger than he was. (The women in the store said he was about 6 feet tall.) It wasn't clear whether he perceived it to have a human or ape-like form; he just said it towered over him and he could just barely make out its eyes. He said he shot at it with his pistol - firing either two rounds or emptying two clips; the women weren't sure - but the thing seemed unaffected by the gunshots.

What happened to the dog is unclear, too, "it took the dog." I wasn't sure if that meant it stole the dog, it killed the dog. "He said it had tore his dog up," according to the Quick Stop witness. The guy called a game warden from the store, and the warden asked if the two fellows would go back to Rood with an officer to look around, and the two flatly refused and got back in their car and left. The women at the store have no idea whether there's any truth to this tale, but they said the guys did look scared silly. The older one wouldn't get out of the car, which the campers very carefully had parked under the brightest lights in the lot and as close to the store entrance as they could get. They said they had fled in such a hurry that they abandoned their camping equipment. Another Quick Stop customer went down to Rood later and found the equipment, said the women. The women didn't get the men's names and declined to tell me their own, not wanting to become too closely associated with alleged creature encounters. They said one of the men said he was from Louisiana, though they were in a car with an Arkansas tag, a Ford Mustang, the women said. If this was an authentic local bigfoot sighting, it would not be entirely the first.

There was an account of a fellow out in Russell County who claimed he knew a place off Old Sandfort Road where you could go every evening and see a big hairy hominid go by. But no one's ever thought much of that story because after all, there are a lot of places around there where you can do that.

Dozens of sightings were reported in the 1970s, a popular era for bigfoot interest. But then reports dropped off until the summer of 1997, when there was another rash.

Georgia's Okefenokee Swamp has tales of a creature called the "pig man," also a bigfoot with noticeably pig-like nostrils. Reports of this south Georgia pig man can be found on a Web site called the Okefenokee X-Files ( It cites one creature south of the Okefenokee near Palatka, Florida that's popularly known as "The Bardin Booger" after a small community nearby. But the Alabama creature could be the Chattahoochee Cootie, or the Rood Dude, or the Creek Freak.

Source: Tim Chitwood.