Most of the Bigfoot reports that I’ve received in recent years have come from local residents and landowners, but I received a report early on Monday morning from a Birmingham woman who reported seeing a Bigfoot-like creature in Conecuh County on July 7.
Out of the blue, first thing on Monday morning, I received an e-mail from a woman named Cathy Carpenter Chancellor, who lives in Birmingham. Chancellor said that on Sat., July 7, at around 4 p.m., she and her two daughters, ages 17 and 11, were traveling south on Interstate Highway 65, headed towards New Orleans to begin a seven-day vacation. While traveling through Conecuh County, just past the Murder Creek Bridge sign in Evergreen, Chancellor’s attention was drawn to what she first thought was a person emerging from the tree line.
“Like out of nowhere, it just appeared,” she said.
Chancellor said that as the figure made its way out into the open and onto the grass, she realized that it wasn’t a person, but an “animal-like” creature with reddish-brown hair from head to toe. Chancellor estimated that the creature was eight to nine feet tall. She continued to watch as the creature walked towards the interstate from the tree line in broad daylight, she said.
“I couldn’t process what I had just seen and interrupted my youngest daughter, who had been talking to me and just blurted out, ‘Girls… I just saw Bigfoot,’” Chancellor said. “Both my girls just roared with laughter, thought I was crazy, being ridiculous. I couldn’t take my eyes off the rearview mirror as I watched the figure get smaller the farther south I drove.”
Chancellor said that she repeatedly tried to convince her daughters of what she’d seen, and she found it hard to believe that they hadn’t seen the creature themselves. She finally asked her oldest daughter to Google Bigfoot sightings in and around Conecuh County, and she was surprised when her daughter begin reading out loud report after report of Bigfoot sightings in Conecuh County.
“All I can say is that I regret not having the wherewithal to immediately stop, pull over and capture what I saw on video,” Chancellor said. “I have never believed there was a Bigfoot and took reports of sightings with a grain of salt. Not anymore. I know what I saw, and it wasn’t human, and it wasn’t a bear.”
After receiving Chancellor’s report, I rode out to the scene of the incident on Monday afternoon and took a look around. Roadwork is underway in this area, which is just north of the U.S. Highway 84 Bridge at Exit 93, where workers are widening the northbound on-ramp. From the top of the on-ramp, I surveyed the scene and tried to imagine what it would have looked like from Chancellor’s point of view, making special note of the roadside grassy areas and where the wood lines were on both sides of this busy highway.
I then drove up to Exit 96, got off, crossed the interstate and came back south towards Exit 93. I noted that, at least on Monday, it was difficult to see the southbound “Murder Creek” sign due to overhanging vegetation. Based on Chancellor’s description of the incident, I believe she must have seen the creature in the area just south of the Murder Creek Bridge, which is a short distance from the Exit 93 off-ramp.
On the way back to the office, I was reminded that a number of unusual stories have arisen from the area in and around the Murder Creek Bridge on I-65, and none of them had to do with Bigfoot. As many readers will remember, the 40-mile stretch of interstate between Evergreen and Greenville, which includes the Murder Creek Bridge area, was designated “The Haunted Highway” in the book, “Haunted Places: The National Directory” by Dennis William Hauck. This book claims that this section of the highway is haunted by the spirits of displaced Creek Indians and has resulted in an “accident rate that is well above average.”
It is also no secret that numerous automobile accidents have occurred at the Murder Creek Bridge over the years, including several that have resulted in fatalities and catastrophic fires. One truck driver said that he struck the bridge after a ghostly horse-drawn carriage crossed the interstate in front of him. Others have reported seeing large, panther-like cats cross the highway in this area.
In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading audience who has seen anything out of the ordinary in and around the Murder Creek bridge on I-65. Chances are, as with Mrs. Chancellor on July 7, the interstate is so heavily traveled that if one person saw something out of the ordinary then others were on hand to see it as well.