|Georgiana native Paul Herring|
Reports of Bigfoot-like creatures in and around Conecuh County have garnered a lot of attention lately, and they recently attracted a group of investigators who spent the night looking for Bigfoot in the Pine Orchard.
Many in the reading audience will remember that numerous reports of Bigfoot-like creatures have originated out of Pine Orchard, a small community that sits on the Conecuh-Monroe County line, northwest of Evergreen. Those claims have been investigated by members of the Southwest Alabama Bigfoot Hunters and members of the cast of the TV show, “Killing Bigfoot.”
These reports also attracted the attention of a four-man group of investigators, led by Georgiana native Paul Herring, who currently works as a private investigator in Nashville, Tenn. Herring’s group visited Pine Orchard on Sat., March 4, with the intent to thoroughly investigate Bigfoot claims in that area. They arrived around 10 a.m. and camped in the heart of a swamp, Herring said. Herring and his group, who are all experienced law enforcement officers, picked the swampy area, knowing that any large animal would need a reliable water source in order to survive.
The group conducted lengthy hikes through the area, looking for tracks, tree scrapes, tree structures, skat and anything else out of the ordinary that could indicate the presence of a Bigfoot-like creature. The group also set up trail cameras, conducted “call blasts” of recorded wounded animal sounds and even did their own “whoops” and tree knocks, Herring said. They also frequently scanned the area with high-tech night vision equipment until around 2:30 a.m.
Despite their best efforts to find the creature, the group experienced a very quiet night except for one “possible” tree knock that the group heard around 8:30 p.m. Herring noted that the night was almost too quiet without even the sound of an occasional coyote, which members of the group thought was extremely odd. Members of the group figure that if there was a Bigfoot in the Pine Orchard area it has either moved on or just wasn’t active on that particular night.
Herring, who worked as a police officer in North Alabama for about 15 years, said that the group is considering another trip to the Pine Orchard area in the near future. If not, they may instead investigate the Sepulga River, another hotspot for local Bigfoot reports. Herring noted that his group has investigated a wide variety of unusual phenomenon, including Bigfoot reports, UFOs and paranormal claims of ghosts and haunted locations. The other members of his group that visited Pine Orchard recently asked not to be identified by name because they are active police officers involved in undercover narcotics work, Herring said.
“We want to believe, but we also try to approach every case skeptically until we are left with evidence that is unexplained,” Herring said. “That is why we generally hope to get into an area unnoticed to avoid onlookers, the tampering of evidence or the possible hoaxer. To me, it’s just like a crime scene that should not be tampered with.”
In the end, if anyone in the reading audience thinks they’ve seen a Bigfoot or any other unusual creature in the woods, please contact Lee Peacock at The Evergreen Courant at 578-1492 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.