|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
STATE: West Virginia
COUNTY: Barbour County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near Belington, driving toward Philippi on US Highway 250, about a mile North of intersection of Rt. 92 and US 250. Tygart Valley River is on the left. This is near where the Tygart Valley River swerves away from the highway and starts to descend into a long "canyon" between Belington and Philippi. It is extremely steep, there are many waterfalls, etc. and is very hard to access.
NEAREST TOWN: Belington, WV
NEAREST ROAD: US 250
OBSERVED: I was alone, driving after dark from Belington, WV on US 250 North (two lane highway) toward Philippi, WV. About a mile out of town, I had just passed a small group of houses on the right. The highway curves to the right; there is a long guard rail on the right side of the road. As I was coming around the long curve, my headlights caught something up ahead, standing on the white line on the right side of the road.
At first I thought it was a very tall, lanky human, at least 6’4”, with long reddish hair and a long beard, but as I got closer, I realized there were no clothes, just reddish brown hair over its entire body. The hair length and texture reminded me of a horse’s groomed mane, the hair was smoothed and not matted, and my impression was that it was a very tall monkey type animal. I did not see eyes, I got the impression it had closed its eyes when it was startled by my headlights. It stood frozen as if surprised by my headlights, very stiff, with extra long arms down by its sides. As my car went by it, it did not move, but was so close to my car I thought my right side mirror would hit it, but it did not. The incident lasted only about 10 seconds. My first thought was that it was a “skinny Bigfoot”, but that those things don’t exist and if they do exist, they are not in WV, they are in the Pacific Northwest.
I kept going, as it really scared me, and there was no way I was going back to see what it was. I shook all the way home, I think because it resembled a human somehow, and because it was unlike anything I have ever seen, except in a zoo. When I got home, my daughter and her husband were visiting, we also had family from PA there. I told my family about it privately, they were skeptical, of course, and laughed about it. My husband does believe I saw something, but doesn’t have any ideas about what it could have been.
I decided to look this up on the Internet and I saw there were incident reports and even expeditions for WV --- and that there is an incident reported for Barbour County! I almost had a heart attack when I saw this report was in the same area as my incident. I considered reporting it to you then, but was first discouraged from it by family.
I believe what I saw was some sort of animal, and I reasoned that it obviously isn’t hurting anything or anybody, and I wouldn’t want it hunted down. I told no one else for several months, and have tried to just forget about it.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was alone, was returning home from Belington.
OTHER STORIES: Since looking at your website, I have gotten up the courage to talk to my uncle who lived near the canyon. He has seen bear, a mountain lion, bobcats and coyotes out there. I just asked him if he had ever seen or heard any animal out there that he could not explain. He said he had heard strange howling sounds many times, but he knew it wasn’t a bobcat. He wondered if it was coyotes, but wasn’t convinced that was what it was, either. He did not make fun of me, but was very serious, so I did tell him what I saw. He feels it’s possible for something to be living down in that canyon, as there are abandoned coal mines they could live in and keep out of sight. He also knows a man who lives over the hill from where I saw this thing that plants a field of corn and leaves it for the deer and other animals, and speculated the animal had found a food source, so took the chance of crossing the highway.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approx 9-10 pm - after dark, cold & clear
ENVIRONMENT: Hilly fields with several stands of trees on both sides of road. Had just passed small group of houses on right. Deep gullies and small creeks on right. Left side of road has hilly cow pasture, with river and railroad tracks across large field.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stephen Willis:
The incident was a significant event for her. Eight months later the stress in her voice was easy to detect. The details of the evening are still vivid in her description.
The witness is fearful of being alone outside after dark, which is not normal for her. She had previously felt comfortable outside at night while on foot.
She sighted the creature while driving westbound at 50-55 mph. At about 6-7 car lengths from it, she passed and observed it had human like features to its face but the mouth and chin looked more like a chimpanzee/ape than human. It had its eyes closed against her cars headlights and was rock steady as she approached. The creature was broad sholdered, tall and lanky. The hair covering it was not matted and it looked well groomed. It had had a beard surrounding the face.
About BFRO Investigator Stephen Willis:
Grew up in central West Virginia. Retired from the US Army in 2003. Small manufacturing business owner. Lived for almost 7 years in Germany and 1.5 years in the Mideast.