The creature he says he spotted outside the small town of Chandlerville, northwest of Springfield, was fast, athletic, and massive, covering a two-lane road in two quick strides. It had incredibly long limbs and was covered in shiny black hair; the man said and was gone almost before he could register what was happening.
“It jumped into the darkness, and I was kind of freaked out about it,” said the man, a 59-year-old engineer who lives near Peoria. “I said to myself out loud, ‘(Expletive) Bigfoot!’”
Illinois, which according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, has had more than 300 reported sightings, has also been known to play the publicity game. Doug and Carrie DeVore, owners of the Shawnee Forest Cabins, mounted a 7-foot-tall concrete statue known as Sassy on their property several years ago, and it has since become a roadside attraction.
Carrie DeVore said she didn’t realize until later that the nearby Shawnee National Forest is a hotbed of sightings: People have phoned her to talk about their own supposed encounters with the creature.
A downstate engineer who says he spotted the mysterious figure last month asked not to be named after the initial report of his sighting, released without his knowledge, brought him a crush of unsought attention (“I don’t want to be known as Mr. Bigfoot,” he said).
He said he was driving home on Illinois Route 78 after visiting his mother when, just across the Sangamon River, he saw the creature bound across the road about 40 yards from his vehicle. It turned toward him just before it vanished, though he couldn’t make out its eyes or face.