The Charlotte Observer and Thaindian News have reported that a Cleveland County man claims to have had a face to face encounter with the legendary beast known as Bigfoot after it killed one of his dogs.

According to the report, resident Tim Peeler informed the police of a bizarre encounter that occurred in the early-morning hours of June 5, 2010. Peeler told authorities that the HAIRY-HOMINID wandered onto his property in the rural northwest part of the county.

Peeler explained to deputies that he heard screeching and grunting sounds coming from outside his cabin, and went out to investigate, fearing that something may be tormenting his dogs. What he saw was a 10 feet tall creature, with a long beard and yellowish hair near his mountain home. At this point Peeler claimed he grabbed a large stick and made menacing gestures at the man-beast.

The beast left, but one of Peeler’s five dogs was not so lucky, as is indicated from the excerpt from his 911 call:

“This beast killed one of my five dogs. I threw a light on it but I could not hit it as I was very afraid. It seems like an ape with a human face… I’m going to kill him if he comes too close to me.”

Peeler lives northwest of the town of Casar, where there is little or no civilization between his property and South Mountain State Park, one of North Carolina’s least-developed recreational sites. Peeler, who claimed the creature had six fingers on each hand, said the Bigfoot left his abode, but came back a short time later.

“I rough-talked him and said, ‘You get away from here!’ And I said, ‘Get! Get!’ And he went back down the path again!”

These reports aren’t new to Cleveland County, although it has been three decades since KNOBBY — the county’s other well-publicized Bigfoot — was in the news.

In the winter of 1978 and ’79, a number of people in the area near Carpenter’s Knob, north of Kings Mountain, reported seeing a large creature with long back hair, walking on two legs. Authorities surmised residents were seeing a large black bear.

One property owner reported one of his goats died of a broken neck, and newspaper stories from the time report of “monster” hunts by some of the area’s braver residents. Those stories tell of large footprints being found, and of theories that the creature might have been a panther. Reports of the sightings died out in the spring of 1979.

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office has filed the Peeler case as a “suspicious person report” but says it is keeping an open mind. Sgt. Mark Self says they patrols the area near Peeler’s property regularly and they’ll be on the lookout for anything unusual:

“If we see something, we’ll try to capture it and take it into custody.”