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STATE: New York
COUNTY: Dutchess County
LOCATION DETAILS: Lake Rd is off of Rt 82 north and also from Rt 199 from the east/west. Stissing Mt has the highest elevation between the Berkshires and the Catskills. It still has a fire tower on it. There is a large lake at its base and there is a fish and game preserve attached on the eastside. Stissing means Sleeping Indian. There was a report of a family living at the south end (the foot of the sleeping indian)which actually ran in the Register Herald, who stated they had seen "bigfoot" watching them when they were outside in their yard. I tend to believe your theory about them using the Appalacian Trail routes. I live in Rensselaer Co. - straight as the crow flies up from Dutchess.
NEAREST TOWN: Pine Plains
NEAREST ROAD: Lake Rd
OBSERVED: In 1985, my friend and I were driving along Lake Rd in Pine Plains,NY. It was late afternoon in spring or early summer. It was a wooded area with a few houses.
While driving we both saw what looked like a large man move from the shadow of a large tree and cross the road in 2-3 strides. When we got up to the spot where "it" crossed into the area of the tall grass near the tree line, I remember looking for the "man" in the area.
I was thinking in terms of a peeping Tom, because the "man" didn't walk along the road. He just seemed to materialize out from the tree like he had been standing in the shadow of the tree, next to the road, out of sight of the house.
When I didn't see anyone in the brush/grass, I took note that the figure had appeared light brown when s/he stepped out of the tree shadow. I also realized that if I crossed the road, I would have to take at least 5 strides.
Next incident was also late afternoon, a week or two later, in the same area (a side road near Stissing Lake/Stissing Mt).
Sitting in a car at exactly dusk, my friend saw a tall, brown figure standing along the tree line next to the road, the same side we were on. There is a large ballfield on our left side and Stissing Lake beyond that, to the west. We were facing north.
When she said "what is that?" (she didn't say "who"), I looked ahead and couldn't make out what she saw until I saw a movement about 100 yrds ahead. That's when I saw a light brown leg turn into the tree line and a tall, upright "man" walk into the tree line. We decided we didn't want to sit in the car next to the tree line about 30 seconds after we lost sight of it.
We drove the car slowly up to the place we last saw it but my friend (who was driving) didn't take her foot off the gas and didn't stop. There was a small shed there in the trees that the ballfield uses to store equipment. It is about the size of 2 outhouses. It certainly could have been hiding behind it.
Both times, I can say that the tallness of the figures, using the tree heights as a baseline, were definitely well above 6ft.
ALSO NOTICED: Here's another friend's story. He told this to me after I told him mine.
He said he and another friend were driving his pickup around in a field around 10-11pm off a back road near the backside of Stissing Mt (my sightings were on the front side). That is also near the Carvel property, which is not too far from a stretch of the Taconic State Parkway (between Rt 199 and Jackson Corners exit).
The truck was bouncing around while they did donuts, burning around in circles in the field. My friend stopped the truck for a minute and they were laughing with the inside light on. The head lights were on too.
While the truck was at a complete stop, the back end of the truck started bouncing up and down like someone was jumping on it. They didn't want to get out and see what was causing it. They put the truck in gear and peeled out of the field.
This happened around the same time, and within a matter of weeks, of my sightings.
OTHER WITNESSES: Riding in car
ENVIRONMENT: Hayfields, a lake, a sparsely developed, seasonal camp ground nearby. Very rural area, cleared area with surrounding treelines, mix of pine trees, scrub brush.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
Spoke with the witness by telephone.
She is a probation officer and feels she is a keen and detailed observer.
The sighting occurred in late spring 1985. She is not sure of the correct month because so much time has elapsed.
The witness was driving in her car traveling 30 MPH, it was 4:30 p.m. The road was two lanes, approximately 20 feet wide. At a distance of approximately 180 - 200 yards a large "man" walked across the road (right to left) and into a field. The figure took three steps to completely transverse the road and the entire sighting lasted only two or three seconds. It took the witness another several seconds to come to the spot were the figure walked into the field, but, he had completely disappeared from view. She thought this very odd - that he had disappeared so quickly - as the field is as large as a football field and is used for hay, but also contains some small brush and a few trees.
She described the "man" as tall and of a heavy build. He appeared to be wearing dark coveralls. He was hunched over as he walked, he turned his upper torso to look in her direction. Facial features were obscured and dark. The body was similar in proportion to a human.
About BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
Paul is a network administrator and systems analyst/programmer for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, NY. In addition, Paul and his wife Teresa own and operate a small organic farm in western New York State. He has attended and organized expeditions including New Mexico (Jicarilla), New York (Adirondacks), Pennsylvania and West Virginia.