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DATE: Sat., 2nd of July
STATE: North Carolina
COUNTY: Jackson County
LOCATION DETAILS: I'd rather not give any more specific a location than I have given for on-line use, as we hunt in this vicinity and the fewer people who know about it, the better for the critters AND us. I can provide explicit directions to researchers, should they contact me about this experience.
NEAREST TOWN: [Edited out]
NEAREST ROAD: [Edited out]
OBSERVED: My buddy and I were camping on July 2, 2005, in the [Blue Ridge mountains] of western NC, several miles outside of [a mountain town]. At midnight, we were preparing to retire for the night to our respective tents, when we heard a prolonged howl which was about as far away from us as the 1994 Columbiana, OH, howl (on the BFRO website) seemed from its source. At least, that's the best way I could determine the distance from us. This howl was at least twice as long (I want to say even longer) as the Columbiana, OH, howl. I'd estimate the howl we heard to be more or less ten seconds long. It was the length of the call, as much as it was the deep tone and strength of it, which attracted our immediate attention. It just didn't seem to quit. It wasn't interrupted, either, like if the creature took a breath and then continued. This went on continuously for around 10 seconds.
Although we only heard the one howl, it was so loud (for its distance from us) and so prolonged, and gained strength at the end instead of waning, that we were rather shaken by its magnitude .... commenting to each other that nothing human or zoological that we knew of, could possibly have made that noise.
I have studied/researched Sasquatches since grad school in Idaho in the mid-1970's, even though my degree is in Literature/English. I roamed the Rockies of the NW every chance I got for most of five years, looking for evidence, tracks, sign, sounds, anything......found zilch. This is the first experience I have had, and even though auditory, it was exhilirating. Both my friend and I were struck by the animal-like characteristics of this howl, and tried to think of things which might have made the sound, OTHER than a sasquatch. No, we decided quite without hesitation, it couldn't have been a machine-made sound (like a siren) because it was too low in tone. No, we decided, it couldn't have been fireworks, as they tend to "scream" and then wane, whereas this howl was low in tone and went on for a number of seconds (beyond 5 or 6 secs.) and gained momentum and strength toward the end, so we ruled fireworks out. Since it was July 4th weekend, that's why this was a consideration. No human could make that loud a howl for that period of time.... human lung capacity way too small, we concluded.
And, on we went, trying to explain to each other the howl/sound by some origin other than a sasquatch. He and I had been joking and talking for the past several years about perhaps encountering one, hearing one, etc., but never really expected this to happen. When it did, we wanted to try to cover all the potentialities for the source of such a sound, and a sasquatch is all we could come up with, esp. Since I had heard the Columbiana Ohio sound on your website, and was immediately reminded of it when hearing (and replaying in my head) that sound on 7/2/05. We went back to that same campsite a few weeks later, hoping for a "repeat performance," but no such luck.
We had a lab-mix retriever with us both times. The night we heard the sound, the dog became very animated, very intently listening to that distant howl, but because it was so far away, it didn't seem too bothered by it, though it DID move off into the forest toward the direction of the howl, but soon returned. Both the dog and we maintained something of a vigil that night, but no other indications of that critter's presence were made known to us.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing else unusual that I can recall was encountered.
OTHER WITNESSES: One witness was involved, and that was Jack ------ (my hunting partner who, at this point, shall remain unnamed due to privacy concerns....he may not mind, but I'd need his permission before revealing his identity). He and I were sitting around our campfire, just before retiring for the night. It was midnight, we know, because we checked our watches when we heard the howl. No drugs or alcohol were involved. We were camping that weekend to track for deer sign for the upcoming bow season, opening in a few weeks' time (early Sept.).
OTHER STORIES: I had not visited this same area for approximately 17-18 years when I then (1986-7?) came through the area in a 4WD truck, but didn't stay overnight. Another buddy (Ken)and I were seeking hunting areas and I recall this one in particular because of the creek crossings being almost side-by-side and through rather swift but not too deep water for a truck....safe, but "interesting." We had been camping nearer civilization for the past 20 years, until my regular hunting partner (Ken) got cancer and has been temporarily sidelined. So, Jack (my current hunting partner)and I re-discovered this spot, which is far far more remote than what I had been using previously.
I am not familiar with anyone who frequents this area much, if at all, so I don't know of any other such experiences like we had, but Jack might know of some such, as he grew up near this area and has relatives and friends who hunt these mountains constantly during normal seasons. However, if he had ever heard of any such experiences, he hasn't mentioned them to me thus far. I'll inquire of him. I had asked him if HE had ever hears such a thing before and he said he had not, but I didn't think to ask him if he knew of anyone who might have.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Midnight.....quiet, calm, light drizzle threatened now and then.......We were expecting to hear some fireworks from somewhere in the distance since it was 4th of July weekend, but never heard any at all. But, we were waaaayyyy out there in the forest.
ENVIRONMENT: We were camped in a mixed fir/hardwood forest. The howl came from several mountain ridges away, I'd guess.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jason V.:
After speaking with Mr. Decatur at length, I visited the area in which he had heard the vocalizations. I hiked approximately one mile in on the forest trail looking for anything unusual that might elude to a sasquatch population in the area. After a couple of hours, and as daylight was fading, I started to head back to my truck. It was on this hike back that I heard bipedal sounds tracking me several yards off in the woods. When I would walk, it would walk. This activity went on for every 20 feet I would walk and lasted several minutes. In addition, I could clearly hear movement a couple of seconds after I would stop. I attempted to go into the area where the noise was coming from however, the rhododendren and other brush was virtually impenetrable. Whatever was in there tracking me took off. All other animal life was silent at this point and the only noises I heard were the heavy footfalls of something bipedal and fast moving up the ridge. I am an experienced outdoorsman and whatever was in there was not a cat or a bear. There were no smells as the wind was blowing the other direction. I searched for tracks and found none. However, something was in there with me.
The area in which Mr. Decatur and his friend heard the vocalizations and myself, having been tracked, is thick with laurels, rhododendron and other various hardwoods. There are many creeks and other water sources in the forest and it is teeming with wildlife.