When driving along a dark, wooded road at night you might wonder: "What if there is someone out there?" In Muscatine County, Iowa, there apparently is.
The Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office has received several reports in the past two weeks of "men in black" lurking along the rural roadsides of southeast Iowa, but no one knows why they are there or what they are doing.
"We don't have any new information about these people, but we have also seen several posts on Facebook about the same type of activity," the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post Monday.
Disturbed drivers have taken to social media to detail their personal experiences after being unable to shake the spooky sightings.
Many say the men were silently standing and staring on the side of the road. Others claim they jumped out as their vehicle passed.
"They are on foot jumping out of ditches as you are driving past them and then they have more people up the road waiting and they'll jump out as you drive by and watch you," wrote Facebook user Ondrea Mawby.
The Muscatine Mall, the local bike path from Weed Park to the riverfront and Highway 22 are just a few of the places people have reported the creepy occurrences.
All describe the men — or women — as wearing black from head to toe, often with a or long, dark trench coat.
R. J. Strong of Port Louisa, Iowa, wrote in a Facebook post he has been trying to get an answer about the mysterious men for weeks. He said he saw them for the first time while driving around 2 a.m. last Monday in the south end of Muscatine, near Ogilvie and F avenues.
"I posted about the encounter on my Facebook page immediately after it happened (so you can see that this isn't made up) several days before people started reporting these actions on Highway 22," Strong wrote. "On Thursday I read about this stuff and that is when I called the Muscatine Sheriff Department and left a message. I still haven't heard anything or had a returned phone call. To me appears that they have either moved on north for more traffic and more people to try and scare or there is more than one group."
Strong said the "men in black" walked "right out in the road" to the driver’s side of his vehicle from the middle of the on-coming traffic lane.
Travis Liles wrote about an even more terrifying experience.
"My wife, mother in-law, and I were headed home on Highway 22 at 10:30 p.m. on June 15th headed towards Muscatine from Quad Cities and just past the big hill past Fairport as we got just past the cabins there was someone all in white with either white makeup on or thin white mask laying in ditch right by road and sat up with his thumb up," Liles wrote in a Facebook post.
He said he figured it was a mannequin at first, but when he returned later, it was gone.
So far, no crimes have been connected to the men, authorities said, but there are "public safety issues we are trying to resolve."
One Facebook user wrote that the situation was "hard to take seriously," to which the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office responded: "We do take this seriously, hoping the public can assist."
The department asks anyone who witnesses similar activity to call 911 immediately.