The good state of Texas - which, I am proud to say, has been my home since 2001 - is filled to the brim with reports of strange and bizarre creatures. There is the legendary Goat-Man that lurks in and around Lake Worth; the Bigfoot creatures of the sprawling and mysterious Big Thicket; the so-called "Texas Chupacabras" that haunt the fields and woods around the cities of Austin and San Antonio; and the large winged monsters - some of a "flying humanoid"-type and others, astonishingly, of a pterodactyl nature - that are so frequently encountered in south Texas. Then there are those beasts of the Lone Star State that seem to positively defy explanation.
A story of one of those latter creatures, that can only be described as one of a kind, was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago by a married couple living just outside Denton, Texas (which also has a Goat-Man legend attached to it). Given the sheer, odd nature of the story, I have agreed to withhold the names of the husband and wife involved. And although I always strive to get people to speak on the record, I realize and understand that not everyone wants to be thrust into the limelight and have every cryptozoologist under the sun knocking on their doors at all hours of the day and night!
But, with that said, here's the story: the couple (who I will call Andy and Jane) were driving from Denton to visit friends in Huffman, Texas . Coincidentally or not, Huffman was the site of a now-infamous UFO incident in December 1980, when three people - Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum and Colby Landrum - had a fear-filled encounter with what some researchers believe to have been a UFO, and others suspect may have been some kind of highly-classified vehicle of the military.
Of course, the mere fact that Huffman has now been home to two distinctly unexplained events doesn't necessarily mean anything. As I have noted before, however, where strange creatures are seen, UFOs are very often not far behind - and vice-versa. So, with that said, onto the story.
As Andy and Jane drove along a wooded stretch of road some time after 9.00 p.m. on a Thursday night (they were due to spend the entire weekend, Friday to Sunday, in Huffman), they were startled by the sight of a deeply bizarre "man" crossing the road in front of them.
Based on their description, I have no idea - at all - what he or it could have been. Indeed, if we dismiss the idea of a hoax (which, having met the couple and spoken extensively with them, I do), and the idea that they were the victims of a bizarre prank (not impossible, but I consider it unlikely), then I have to say they had a near-face to face encounter with something unearthly. Whether a creature of another world, or of some strange realm or dimension beyond ours, I cannot say. What I can say, however, is that the thing most certainly wasn't a local.
Since the two were not entirely sure of their way, it wasn't a problem to avoid the man, whoever he was. As they got within about forty feet, however, both husband and wife could see that this was no man, after all.
Rather, he/it was a monstrosity of very odd and eerie proportions. First there was the height: around eight-feet. Then there was its color: totally black. But we're not talking about black fur or hair. No, we are talking about black skin. It had a huge, oversized belly, far out of proportion to the rest of its body. And it's head (which seemed to be sunk into its shoulders) was dominated by a large pointed nose (very much like that of a witch, as Jane described it to me).
There was, however, one even stranger factor: the monster had a very weird way of walking. As Andy said, it was as if the creature - with each and every step it took - was trying to pull itself out of thick mud. In that sense, it raised its legs high and carefully and took slow and deliberate steps. There was a very good reason for this: its feet pointed backwards!!
Now, I know full well that, at this point, many might dismiss such an outlandish story. But, it's a fact that numerous cultures around the world have ancient tales and myths of fantastic monsters with backwards-facing feet. The unlucky couple watched in amazement - and fear - as the beast made its odd way across the road and vanished into the trees, never once stopping or pausing to look in their direction.
Do I think that an overweight Bigfoot, suffering from both mange and a weird foot disorder, was on the loose at Kauffman? No, I most definitely do not! What I do think is that Andy and Jane had a brief encounter with one of those enigmatic entities that so fascinated John Keel - those monsters of the night that briefly pop into our reality and then ever so quickly pop out again, leaving behind them nothing but mystified and terrified witnesses.
As for what these creatures might be, well, that's an entirely different question...