R. J. Strong of Port Louisa, Iowa was spooked by what he saw a week ago Monday, June 13, at 2 a.m.
Strong posted on Facebook afterward that he was traveling near Ogilvie and F avenues in Muscatine County when he saw “some weirdo walking down the paved road in a black trench coat!!!!”
Several others on social media have reported similar sightings in recent weeks.
According to the reports, the individuals have been seen standing beside roadways and sometimes stepping into roadways as motorists are passing at locations across Muscatine County, in southeastern Iowa.
“My son has experienced this and it’s no joke,” posted Beatrice Wilson Strong. “It was really a frightening experience to him.”
“It’s happened to a few friends of mine out on [Highway] 22,” posted Cassie Pameticky.
The Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office has taken notice, posting Monday on its Facebook page, “We have had several reports of ‘men dressed in black’ entering the roadway in rural Muscatine County.”
Several people have told KWQC that these same individuals have been spotted walking across homeowners’ yards, although the MCSO Facebook post does not mention sightings on private property.
The MCSO is now asking anyone who encounters the individuals to “call 911 immediately.”
The sheriff’s Facebook post has generated several jokes and speculation that harmless pranksters are behind the sightings.
However, the MCSO says on its Facebook page, “We do take this seriously” and investigators are “hoping the public can assist.”