In March of 2011 I saw one about 22 feet from me for just a few seconds. He was very pissed off to find himself on the same road near me and you could clearly tell he was male and in bad need of a bath. No I'm not joking about this.
It came up out of a field to my right and crossed Golden Valley Church Road in front of my truck. At one point it was about 22 foot from me and it was very clearly not a human in a costume. It was very angry and upset that I was there on the road with it when it crossed the road.
It growled and threw one hand up in the air and ran into the trees and brush and up a mountain like nothing I've ever seen before. It was one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen in my life.
So yes they do exist. The one here in this part of North Carolina is nick named Knobby and many people besides me has seen it.