|Virgil and Wesley Acreman point to where they saw Bigfoot.|
When a strange, Bigfoot-like creature was reportedly seen near the Sepulga River in late July, the Acreman brothers said they weren’t surprised.
Going back as far as 2009, they suspected that a Bigfoot-type creature roamed the woods near their home at Pine Orchard, and their suspicions were confirmed when they actually saw the creature in August 2015.
The Acreman brothers – Wesley, Virgil and Roman – said they first heard “vocalizations” from the creature in June 2009 when they lived in a small house on County Road 5, on the Conecuh County side of the highway, between Ramah Church and Monroe County Road 42. In an interview with The Courant last Thursday, brothers Virgil and Wesley, said that, at first, they didn’t know what was making the sounds, but the experienced hunters knew that it was something out of the ordinary.
“I would describe it as a howl or hollering,” Wesley, a 51-year-old minister, said. “It was really loud, and in a deep tone of voice. At first, it was pretty terrifying. We knew it wasn’t any type of coyote or panther.”
Over time, the brothers grew accustomed to the unusual howls and when they attempted to imitate it themselves, they were shocked when the creature seemed to answer back. Virgil, a 44-year-old ambulance worker, said that he believes the creature howls to let others know where it is or maybe to attract a mate.
“It will definitely give you chill bumps,” Virgil said.
When the brothers told their friends about the strange noises, they said they were scoffed at, and many didn’t believe their story, that is, until they heard the howls for themselves.
“We’ve brought people out here at night before,” Wesley said. “We’ve yelled and had the Bigfoot answer back. They were shocked.”
On one particular night, the brothers became so excited and agitated by the howling creature that they fired round after round from their shotguns in the creature’s general direction in an effort to provoke a response.
“It went crazy, howling and carrying on,” Virgil said. “I’d say that gunfire definitely irritates it.”
Since first hearing the creature seven years ago, the brothers have had a wide range of strange encounters with the creature.
“I was out in the yard one day and heard it just tearing through the woods,” Virgil said. “It sounded like a bulldozer going through the woods, limbs breaking and snapping like crazy.”
The brothers also reported having heard the creature hit trees with a stick, and they believe that these “knocks” are a type of warning or maybe a way that the creature communicates with others. They also reported finding limbs broken and trees pulled up by the roots and stacked on top of each other across trails. The brothers believe that the creature does this to mark or block his territory.
The brothers also claim that the creature throws rocks, and that they’ve had small rocks thrown out of the woods, across the road and through the tops of trees near their old Pine Orchard home.
On another occasion, the brothers smelled an unusually strong odor that they described as the “awful smell of human feces” or a “skunk smell” near their house. They looked high and low for the source of the smell, but couldn’t find it, and the smell eventually went away.
“We don’t know if that had anything to do with the Bigfoot or not,” Wesley said. “But we never had it happen before that, and it never happened again. At the time it was weird, and it made us wonder if it had to do with the Bigfoot.”
The first actual sighting of the creature took place during the summer of 2014 when Roman, now age 32, saw the creature up close.
“Our baby brother was outside smoking when it happened” Wesley said. “It was at night and he saw something move out of the corner of his eye. When he looked in that direction, he saw the Bigfoot standing in the wood line, right in the edge of the woods. It scared him to death.”
Roman rushed back inside the house and, at first, his brothers didn’t know what was wrong with him.
“He couldn’t hardly catch his breath or even talk,” Virgil said. “We thought he was having a heart attack or something. When he calmed down and told us what he’d seen, we believed him. He’s our brother, and we could tell he wasn’t making it up.”
Wesley and Virgil became firm believers in the Bigfoot-like creature when they saw it for themselves one bright, moonlit night in August 2015, they said. The incident began as they were standing by a pecan tree in their yard a little after 9 p.m. and saw the creature emerge in a clearcut on the north side of their house.
“It was about 100 yards away, and we could see it plain as day,” Wesley said. “I don’t remember if there was a full moon that night, but if it wasn’t, it was close. There was plenty of light to see by.”
The brothers watched as the creature walked west before pausing near the middle of the clear-cut.
“It turned to look at us, and in the moonlight, we could see its eyes were yellow,” Virgil said. “I’ve hunted all my life, and I tell you this was no bear, no panther, no coyote, nothing like that.”
Wesley echoed his brother’s remarks, saying he could see the entire creature clearly. They estimated that the creature was seven to eight feet tall and weighed around 600 pounds. As best as they could tell, its hair was dark brown. They also said it walked slowly, “almost nonchalant,” with a regular, human-like stride.
“It walked like a human, not an ape,” Wesley said.
The brothers continued to watch the creature as it traveled all the way across the clearcut, crossed County Road 5 and entered the woods on the Monroe County side of the highway. At that point, the brothers got in a truck and drove slowly up the road to see if they could see it again. Unsuccessful, they returned to their house about 10 minutes later.
“But as we got out of the truck, we saw it come back out of the woods (on the Monroe County side of the road) and cross back in front of us through the clearcut beside the house,” Wesley said. “We watched it for as far as we could see it.”
The brothers said that the creature disappeared into the woods that lead to a large cow pasture behind their old house and wondered if maybe it was drawn to the pasture because of easy access to water and cattle feed.
The next morning, the brothers entered the clearcut and looked for evidence of the creature, but couldn’t find anything. They did find a jumble of tracks and hair in the cow pasture, but couldn’t be sure if the tracks and hair came from cows or the creature.
“It was hard to tell what was what,” Wesley said.
Not long after that, the brothers moved out of the house at Pine Orchard. Wesley, who preaches at Garden Baptist Church in McKenzie, now lives in Peterman, while Virgil and Roman live in Greenville.
“In all the time we lived there, we didn’t hear it as much in the winter,” Wesley said. “There’s some old Indian caves in that area, and we wondered if it spent most of the winter in those caves.”
The brothers told The Courant that they realize that many who read this story won’t believe their tales of the Pine Orchard Bigfoot, but they assured everyone that they were telling the absolute truth.
They also agreed that they would never go walking in the woods alone again without a large gun.