What has four toes and leaves a footprint almost 20 inches long? Roger Crews of Jenkins County really, really wants to know.
Crews found not one, but two strange footprints in his niece's driveway near Payne's Chapel Road, just two miles from the Bulloch/Jenkins County line Tuesday. The prints appear humanlike, but only show four toes. The largest measures 19" long and 11" wide, and was way deeper than Crews was able to make one of his own prints, and he weighs about 250 pounds.
In fact, the off prints dwarf his size 13 EEE shoe prints, he said.
Crews' niece was taking her children to the end of the driveway Tuesday morning when she spotted the prints and called Crews. "She said she heard the dogs, which were in the house, raising cain around 4 a.m.," he said. "They wouldn't shut up."
But that doesn't help identify what made the tracks, only that something was near the house that upset the dogs, he said.
Crews examined the track closer.
"I got to looking at the thing, and I just said ‘whoa.' It looks like a human print, but with only four toes, very huge," he said.
He called Georgia Southern University for help in preserving the tracks with plaster and possibly identifying them, but as of Friday, he had not received a response.
He said there were two brothers who live in the area who claimed they had seen tracks like this before while coon hunting in the Bay Gall creek area nearby, nearly 10 years ago. Both men, who spoke with Crews separately, told him the same story about seeing the odd, four-toed footprints where they hunted, "except both of them said the ones they saw were not as big."
Both men, whom Crews would not identify until he secured their permission, told him their coon dogs were spooked by something in that area one night and refused to hunt afterwards.
"I don't know what it could be," he said, hesitating for several moments when someone mentioned the word "Bigfoot."
He appeared reluctant to use the word, but said "There's something there. I want to say there is (such a thing as Bigfoot) but I've never seen one. I've heard people talk about sightings but I've never seen anything."
Crews, an employee of Gulfstream in Savannah, has lived in the area since 1988, but has never seen anything like the footprints, he said. And the only time his relatives who live near the spot have ever heard anything odd was a couple times when they heard what they thought "was a big cat," he said.
"My niece heard something like a big cat growl, like a lion would sound, maybe a month ago," he said. But (Monday) night they didn't hear anything but the dogs barking."
Crews made plaster casts of the prints himself and he is keeping them in a safe place, complete with the dirt and debris that clung to the plaster when he lifted it form the earth. He hopes someone at the university or elsewhere will be able to collect some sort of evidence from the plaster that might explain what kind of creature left the prints.
He hopes others who may have seen similar things will come forth.
"I've never seen anything like that before," he said Friday, still excited over the discovery made a few days before. "I just hope somebody else says they have."
The two brothers who claimed they have seen such footprints in the Bay Gall area promised to take Crews back to the area in search of more footprints, he said.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.