I went back to the old forum today looking up some of my old posts, and came across the best post that I've ever read on the BOC. I am a fan of good writing, especially the kind that makes you feel that you are right there in the moment. I remember that my jaw dropped to the floor after I muttered, "Man, this guy is good." Thanks Chuck Miles (Pollywogger) for creating the best post that I've ever read on the BOC to date. To give you some perspective, the thread dealt with strange experiences that we've all had. Chuck's definitely took the cake, and the ice cream too: It is only now that I tell this story because I am extremely sensitive to ridicule or being called a liar when I'm not! I found similar events mentioned on the internet concerning my local area. Had it not been for this I would have kept this all to myself. I suffer from depression and agoraphobia, (at least that's what my psychologist says,) which I believe began with the event I am about to tell you of. I have not even told my psychologist about this event because I live in a county with a state mental hospital just down the road and I don't want to change my place of residence just yet. I know what I saw, and no, I don't suffer hallucinations. I rarely leave my home anymore, at times spending weeks without putting a foot out my door. At first I knew I didn't go into the woods for fear of what I'd seen. I don't know how it came about that I no longer go anywhere else, it just happened. It's as if the event put a fence up in my life and the borders of that fence keep drawing toward me. I've become a prisoner of my own home and I can only find the cause of it beginning in the mid spring of 1984 in the woods of East Texas. Spring was just showing its full bloom in the mixed forests of central East Texas. Blooms covered the dogwoods and the new green growth made the woods an emerald forest. It was on one of these magic mornings that I suddenly had an attack of winter's cabin fever and had to get out and get some fresh air and feel nature around me. I drove to my wife's old home place. It was located in a very rural location with a large track of timber across the road, which was owned by someone who lived out of state. It was virtually abandoned and unused except for an occasional local hunter passing through. The northern edge was bordered by Mud Creek, which flows all year round. It was about a mile from the house to the creek as the crow flies but there were plenty of steep little hills and gullies in between. The growth was old and thick, briars, honeysuckle, and a multitude of saplings and dead falls hindered walking. The only way to really get through the mess was to travel long abandoned and overgrown logging trails. I set out on one of these old trails that spring morning in high spirits. This was my first trek of the year and I breathed the clean spring air like some intoxicating perfume. I wore my camouflage hunting gear and carried my 22-caliber single shot rifle. I was not hunting, but old habits die hard; woods and guns just naturally went together. The damp and decomposing winter leaves crushed silently beneath my feet. I walked slowly, quietly, and carefully. I went around the thicker growth rather than pushing through; not wanting to disturb the quiet. After all, there was no need to hurry. I had all day. It was going to be cool day, so I didn't have to worry about a long walk back beneath a Texas sun. East Texas woods can seem like a steaming tropical forest once the sun comes up, but today was to be overcast and the cloud cover would keep the temperature down. Today I felt like exploring new places, parts of the woods I had not seen. Finding and old trail, grown over, but visible due to the ruts carved in the soil and made larger by years of rain run-off, I followed it north. I cannot say the distance I traveled. I was just walking and watching. The road wound in and out, sometimes crossing gullies that I had to find my way around. Fresh washouts, where the bare earth showed was always an interest because of the various animal signs I would see. There were always deer tracks and always the smaller light tracks I had a hard time identifying. It was a pleasant morning and these infrequent signposts of nature made it more interesting. The ground had been climbing steadily higher for some time and I was entering older forest growth. You can tell old growth forest in east Texas by what grows underneath and by the number of hardwood trees growing. Old growth has less underbrush and in some places its an almost park-like setting with only small shrubs and grasses growing beneath the old trees. Such was the place I now found. It was not a large place. Some might call it a small glade or glen, but it was beautiful. A gigantic old oak tree, not too tall, but broad and strong, dominated the far side of the clearing. About ten feet above the ground it forked into three huge outstretched limbs. In the center of the fork was one of the largest nests I have ever seen. Made from sticks, some over one half inch in thickness, it was at least 5 feet across and probably two feet thick. I saw no signs of movement in it or around it. I saw no fresh droppings or pieces of bones beneath it. It was either abandoned or whatever had built it was not using it at this time of year. On the far side of the tree the ground suddenly dropped away and I found myself on a small bluff overlooking Mud Creek bottom. A broad carpet of green lay at the foot of the bluff, perhaps one fifty yards across, and almost twice as long; a flat of green moss covering the ground beneath. On the far side of the flat the tree line began that bordered mud creek, but beneath the some of the trees, something looked out of place. Large ferns littered the edges of the flat. Larger still were those that grew near a clump of trees the reached into the edge of the flat. It looked like a place out of times past. I had to get a closer look. I made my way west, along the edge of the bluff until I found a place where the ground sloped toward the creek gentle enough to make my way down. It was hard going. The slope was covered in briar and blackberry vines. I would be picking thorns out of my clothing and skin for a week. When I finally reached the bottom I knew I'd have to find an easier way out, not wanting to fight those thorns again, but there was time for that later. Berry vines have an evil quality about them in that you easily get into them easily enough but their backward turning thorns grab you and hold you like one way turnstiles on a door. Finally hitting level ground the briars began to thin quickly. I soon found myself at the western edge of the large flat covered in green carpet moss. It looked even more surreal than when I had first spotted from the top of the bluff. The ground was soft and giving beneath my feet, damp sand. I could now see various places across the flat where water reflected the open sky above. The farther from the edge of the flat I walked the denser became the growth; a hodgepodge of grasses, saplings and bushes, easily traversed, but toward the creek the growth became dense with trees and mounds of dead wood, perpetual shadows from the canopy above making it dark and foreboding. I made my way east along the northern edge of the flat. The air was heavy with the pungent aroma of bottom land, a mixture of clean earth and decaying vegetation constantly stirred up by the ever churning Mud Creek. I was too far from the creek to hear the running water but ahead of me was what remained of a one time gigantic log jam. It was here that I spotted the first of the ferns that had caught my interest from the bluff. I was now in waist high growth and the fern I was looking at was a good two feet taller than the surrounding plants. I had to see more. To get around the ancient pile of broken and entangled trees I made my way back to the edge of the carpet moss. Part of the jam extended about ten feet into the moss covered area. There was a well worn path along the edge of the mossy flat that appeared to be made by the smaller forest critters. Stepping onto the moss my foot immediately broke through the crust and began to sink into the water soaked ground. As I came around the end of the jam I was sinking to my ankles and getting mired in the muck. Pulling my feet from the sludge was making too much noise. Every footprint left behind was instantly filled with water seeping in through the soil. I went as slow and quietly as I could. Even though I wasn't in the woods to hunt my natural instinct puts me in the hunting mode any time I'm in the cover of trees; stealth being the most important component. The plop of my feet being pulled from the mud sounded to me like a plunger being extracted from a clogged toilet. Coming around the old log jam was like stepping through a portal in time. Giant ferns, some over four feet tall, were growing as thick as grass. The only ferns I was familiar with were the small ones I'd seen at the base of old trees or find in the local garden center. These were otherworldly. I walked through the ferns and into a small clump of trees, and alcove of green that must have been protected from the elements by the huge jam of timber I had just circumvented, allowing the trees to grow larger here at the edge of the flat. There was a mixture of elm, birch, and perhaps some walnut, amid several others I couldn't identify. I always intended to learn more about plants but just never seemed to get around to it. So please forgive my ignorance on this point. The canopy above the alcove allowed only twilight onto the ground beneath. As I stepped beneath the trees and back on solid ground, my gun rested on edge of my shoulder to keep it out of the ferns. The tip of the barrel did not touch the overhanging limbs. This an important point; I stand five feet eleven inches and carried the 22 caliber Remington Target Master rifle with the butt cupped in my hand, the trigger guard in the bent crook of my arm and the barrel resting against my shoulder. It might have added another ten or twelve inches to my clearance needs depending on how I was leaning the rifle. The ferns thinned somewhat in the area beneath the trees but not enough to see the ground well. Where the ground or tree trunks could be seen they were smothered in the same green carpet moss the covered the flat. It was like walking on shag carpet. About eight or ten yards into the trees I came across a large old tree that had long ago fallen. It looked like the perfect place to end my little jaunt into the woods, and inviting seat to take a break before I started back. I sat on the log facing the way I had come. I had a fairly broad view of the flat and the bottom of the bluff. The only things hindering my sight near me were the ferns. It was beautiful here, quiet, undisturbed. I had the feeling that I might be the first person in the world to see this place. I took a long cool drink from my canteen; you know, the aluminum kind that you get at the army surplus store. Anyway, after a refreshing drink like that nothing is better than a good old pinch of chewing tobacco. I reached into my pocket for my pouch and found instead something I had completely forgotten about, my cottontail varmint call. What the heck I thought; I'll give the call a try and see what comes running. I might even get a bobcat to come near. I had never called up a bobcat but this place looked like prime habitat. I sat motionless for the next half hour giving the woods time to settle down. The only disturbance came from a pair of kinglets that kept fluttering and chirping around my head. I put the call to my lips and let loose with a screaming banter, tapering off to a mournful plea. I could see the rabbit in my mind. "A trap springs shut on its rear leg, it fights to get free, pulling, screaming, trying to pull loose, but to no avail, and exhausted, gasping for air, it lays upon the ground, only an occasional moan noting its presence." Then I sit motionless and watch. Nothing moves. Not a sound is heard. The scream of the dying cottontail has frozen a moment in time, and all God's creatures heed the alarm. Then the bugs start to buzz, a bird twitters nervously, and the woods go slowly back to normal. It's time for the hunters to seek easy prey. I watched the far edge of the woods intently. I was certain that if a coyote was coming he would come from that direction, the east, because just a couple miles to the west was a highway, homes, and manmade noise. Five minutes I waited ...nothing. Ten minutes, and I thought "Any moment now." Fifteen minutes... come on, come on... but nothing came. It was time for another, but shorter, blast on the call. But just as I was raising the call to my lips I noted the sudden silence. The blue jay had checked its call in mid cry. The kinglets had disappeared. And to my left, near the edge off the ferns, I saw something make them move. Could it have been the wind? No! They moved again only this time nearer to where I had entered beneath the trees. Whatever it was, it skirted the inner edge of the ferns about 30 yards from where I sat. This was strange if it was a coyote. They usually come charging in like gang busters, they'll run right over you and not even see you. This critter was moving slowly, cautiously. I thought sure it had to be a cat and I didn't want that sucker to get out of the area without a good look-see first. I was afraid it would catch my scent if it got to near my trail brake; I had to do something to get it to turn, turn towards me. I quietly and slowly lowered my 22, and stuck the back of my hand to my mouth, gently sucking to make a slight squeaking sound. It worked, the thing heard and had changed direction, and I caught a brief glimpse of sun on reddish brown fur. Not a coyote, not a cat, it could be only one thing, an East Texas red wolf! A truly rare but not unheard of critter and one animal I knew absolutely nothing about. It appeared to be coming almost straight for me. I couldn't see it but the swath of ferns it spread before it was massive. It was getting closer and all I had was my 22 single shot. I didn't want to shoot it but I didn't know if it would jump me. As I slipped the call back in my pocket I realized how bad I was shaking. Like a kid with buck fever I didn't know whether to shoot, sit and shake, or run... I suddenly didn't want it any closer. There was just one thing to do, shoot in the air, jump up from the log, and scare its fur off. It could go its way and I would go the other. I silently, slowly, pushed the safety off my rifle. I raised the barrel to an almost vertical position. I fired, at the same time leaping into the air, waving my am arms, and shouting... "BOOGY-BOOGGY-BOOGY"! The ferns and ground exploded before me. It rose from the earth, slapping aside the lower tree branches from around its head. Black as night is rose, darker than dark against the sunlit flat beyond. A horrible hiss filled the air and assaulted my eardrums. I could feel the sound of it. I didn't realize I was moving until I fell backward over the dead fall where I had been sitting a moment before. I didn't even get up. I pushed and crawled as quickly as I could into the brush and briars behind me. I didn't even feel it as the thorns tore into my flesh. At that moment I only wished there were more. When I could go no farther I turned my head and looked toward the clearing but saw nothing there. The only sound was my own heart beating violently and my hyperventilating lungs sucking for air... I had seen a bigfoot, a Sasquatch, a true to gosh living nightmare... Afraid to move, and more afraid not to, I gently tried to work my way out of the briar choked brush. I felt the thorns all too well now. Finally able to stand I retrieved my gun. I didn't even think about reloading it; better as a club than a gun against that thing. I scanned every leaf and twig, every shadowed hollow and sunlit patch of grass, looking for any indication it might be near. As I peered over the fallen tree where I had been sitting and looked at the crushed area where my feet had rested previously, I realized just how stupid I was acting. This wasn't some deranged rabbit out to eat me, it was huge, monstrous, and its head went into branches I could barely reach. If it were standing or sitting I would see it. If it was hiding out there waiting on me I was in trouble. I stood there watching and listening, trying to calm myself. I reached down and felt of my pants as I caught the heavy scent of urine. I thought I had wet myself but my pants were dry. The odor was coming from where the beast had been. It was suddenly stronger as breeze blew it in my face. I was almost nauseous. The smell; like rotting moldy leaves mixed in old pee ... sickening. I slowly made my way to the edge of the trees, cautiously, with knees knocking, observant not to miss even the flutter of and insects wings. More worried about being seen than seeing I made a dash to cross the wet flat of carpet moss. I had taken three or four running strides and the ground collapsed beneath me. My momentum caused me to be thrown forward slamming my chest and face to the ground. I was in quicksand almost to my knees, and instantly the thought came; "I'm trapped and that thing can get me." Don't believe what you see in the movies about quicksand. It isn't like that around here. If this stuff bogged me down it would certainly stop that big hairy thing that I had seen. I slowly pulled my legs free, not even loosing a boot. Instead of standing, I rolled on my sides back to solid ground. After looking around to make sure I was alone I headed back to the house. It wasn't a fast walk back by any means, but it was as fast as I could make it, and there were plenty of backward glances along the way. By the time I reached home I had decided not to tell anyone about the creature. I did have to answer questions about all the mud and scratches, but the sand bog was a story in itself. Getting snared in the briars after running from a wolf didn't go over too well however. I could imagine what would have happened if I had told folks about a bigfoot. I didn't attempt to go into the woods again until the following fall during deer season. I went to a friend's place in New Summerfield, about 14 or fifteen miles from where I had seen the creature in the Mixon area. Once I got there I couldn't bring myself to even venture under the canopy of the outer trees. I hunted instead on an old pea patch and was lucky enough to get a deer. It did not lessen my trepidation however and that was my last trip into the field or forest. Now back home for a few years I can better describe what I saw. The creature stood in excess of seven feet and had dark brownish red fur, similar to aged pine needles but a little darker. It all happened too fast to see much more. Its arms were long and when it swung them the long hair on its forearms dangled in the air. I think I got a brief look at its backside and if it saw me all it got a glimpse of was two large feet disappearing behind a log. I dispose of my monster here and leave it to those who are more hearty, or perhaps more foolish, to seek this thing out. If one fairytale can become reality, and that which I know does not exist becomes real, then I will stay home where I can shine a light on the shadows, and the monsters are restrained by the on/ off button of the TV. What is the best you've ever come across?