Author’s note: This is the first of a two-part story chronicling Ben and Marli’s Bigfoot encounter near Pleasant Hill, Mo.
The early morning of March 21was warm, about 50 degrees, when the truck pulled into the crescent-shaped driveway at Pleasant Hill Lake.
“It was dark, but your eyes had adjusted and you could tell the difference in the shadows of the darkness,” Ben said.
Ben and Marli were inside that truck, and they wish the night had been darker.
“Saturday night I had to do an upgrade for a client and I had to start at 11 p.m. and wasn’t going finish about 3,” he said. “I said, let’s go for a pop and go for a drive.”
After grabbing a soda, the two drove to the lake under a moonless sky.
“We drove out to the Pleasant Hill Lake,” Ben said. “On the back side of the lake there’s this one place I’d been fishing a lot over the past 15-16 years. I’d been out there by myself at night catfishing.”
Truck tires crunched across gravel as Ben pulled onto the back side of the lake toward a concrete square with a picnic table. People can fish right off the concrete. When Ben put the truck in park, his window was facing the water, Marli’s was facing crescent drive.
Ben left the truck running so they could listen to the radio, but soon he shut the truck off and they cracked the windows. A slight breeze brought the night through the cab of the truck.
“(Marli) is real easy to freak out,” Ben said. “I started talking about what her kids and my kid talked about, which was a Bigfoot.”
Ben started making monkey noises out the window, trying to scare Marli, but he soon stopped. After talking for about 15 more minutes, a strange smell crept into the truck.
“I was like, what was hat weird smell?” Ben said. “I couldn’t make out what it was. It wasn’t an overpowering smell. It was just enough to smell it.”
Marli suggested the smell was from earlier fishermen cleaning their fish on that spot. But something else was odd.
Ben noticed a light from a nearby farmhouse above a tree line about 25 feet away started blinking.
“The light kind of went away then it came back on,” he said. “I thought no big deal.”
Then the light went completely out. They soon found this was because something was standing in front of it.
“(Ben) said, ‘I feel like we’re being watched,’” Marli said. “We were sitting there talking and then that thing came up on that gravel road and I was like, oh my gosh.”
As they sat in the cab of the truck, something tall, broad a bipedal stepped from the trees and onto the gravel road.
“As it did that she said, ‘something is coming, and I’m not joking,’” Ben said. “I saw it step out.”
The figure was black in the moonless night, but two could make it out from its surroundings.
“You could see the outline of it,” Ben said. “The minute it stepped out on the road and I saw it, it was the weirdest feeling I’ve ever had in my life. My mind was telling me something wasn’t right but I couldn’t pinpoint what it was, but I could not take my eyes off it.”
The dark figure walked onto the right side of the gravel road and worked itself to the far left side of the road to give itself a wide berth of Ben’s truck.
“We didn’t know if it didn’t know if we were there,” Ben said.
As the thing approached, in what Ben and Marli said was a strong, confident stride, Ben’s bad feeling got worse.
“I think it’s because I couldn’t rationalize what it was,” Ben said.
The thing’s broad shoulders swung as it walked, although Ben and Marli only occasionally saw its arms swinging in the darkness. They couldn’t make out its hands. But what confused the two was its head.
“Marli said it kind of looked like someone wearing a hooded sweatshirt because of the head,” Ben said. “The head came up, but to me the head didn’t look as tall as a normal human being’s head. As the shoulder came up it transitioned right into the head.”
Because of the darkness, neither Ben nor Marli could make out facial features, but they both agree it wasn’t human.
“Whenever I realized this is really wasn’t a person with a hooded sweatshirt, you could tell where the hair came to a point. It didn’t look like a hood,” Marli said. “It looked like hair.”
Next week: The beast comes closer.
Copyright 2009 by Jason Offutt
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