Since I was a child I have loved the the song the Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

If you go out in the woods today
You’re sure of a big surprise.
If you go out in the woods today
You’d better go in disguise.

I have a few rules setup for myself when I am in the woods. # 1rule is that if I see or hear something unusual that I take it all in, remain calm and try to remember the details and enjoy the moment.

Yesterday, the 11th of June 2012 I was driving to a location to interview a witness. Since it was close to my main research area I planned on stopping and letting my dog exercise for a couple of hours. I got to the location around 08:15 and slowly walked through the woods.

This photo was taken last fall at the general location. As many areas of Central Illinois it is a mix of wooded streams and farm fields.

I was walking along a small dirt road and as I came to a corner that overlooks a four acre field I stopped to check out the field. There were three turkeys trotting across the far end of the field and I stopped to watch. As I did so just fifty feet in front of me along a small brush and tree line an orange solid colored five foot tall animal barely broke through the foliage and then leaped straight backwards into the brush.

The sighting lasted such a brief moment that I was unable to make out any definable shape. All I can say for sure it was about five feet tall and covered with long orangish hair. I got the impression that whatever this was, it was curious about what had spooked the turkeys and didn’t realize I was that close to it.

Belle was about 50 feet behind me and hadn’t come around the corner yet. The hair on this animal was about 5 inches long and not manicured looking. More of a scruffy or shaggy look to it. I don’t believe it was a deer.

I could have walked with Belle into the exact spot but I am in this for the long haul and do not want the locals to think I am aggressive. I know of two other daytime sightings at this same area. I have recorded lots of vocals here in the last seven and a half years.

This is the same location where a group of us last spring experienced unusual howls, possible infrasound and dirt throwing.