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COUNTY: Botetourt County
LOCATION DETAILS: From I-81 at Exit 168 (Buchanan) go east on RT 614. About 3 miles in you go left and another couple miles to the camping area I believe this is called Solitude rd. . The sportsman's shelter is located on the left approx 1/4 mile form the campground.
NEAREST TOWN: Buchanan, Va.
NEAREST ROAD: North Creek Rd. (dirt)
OBSERVED: The year was 1972. A group of us from Roanoke Virginia were on our annual after football season camping trip in the George Washington National Forest. We did this every fall as a treat after a tough season of high school football.
We were in the North Creek Campground about 10-15 miles North and east of Buchanon Va. An area called Arcadia, between The Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian trail and Interstate 81. We had the luck of getting what we called the sportsman's shelter, one of only two in the area provided on a first come first serve basis.
There were 7 of us, and it was a Saturday night. The shelter was a 3 sided shelter with a wooden floor and raised approx. 3 feet off the ground. In front of the open side is the area for a campfire. At about midnight, we had gone to bed around 11:30 or so, I was awakened by a strong stench and a presence in the shelter with us.
We were all in sleeping bags, side by side with our heads against the rear wall and facing the large fire we had going in front of the shelter. What I saw made me freeze, I could not move even though I wanted to. I wanted to wake the others but I couldnt speak. The animal was standing on its hind legs and because the fire was directly behind it, it was a silhouette of a tall, 7ft. hairy ape like figure.
I remember the hair covered it from head to toe, but could not make out any facial features because the light was behind it. After a short time I felt a liquid splash my cheek and it took a moment for me to realize that it was urinating between myself and the guy next to me. Actually, it was urinating on the guy's sleeping bag next to mine. The smell was very strong, pungent. When finished it stepped off the shelter floor and disappeared.
It literally took me about 30 seconds to a minute to come out of what I can only describe as a paralysis. My friend Tim woke up about the same time yelling that someone had urinated on him, and he was truly upset.
He had thought it was one of the other guys pulling a prank. By now everyone was awake and it was obvious that no one else had done this.
When I explained what I had seen, we decided to move from the shelter which was isolated to a campground about a quarter mile away where there were more people. We were all pretty big guys, all football players, and pretty tough, but whatever happened that night scared us enough to break camp and move.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was the only eyewitness unfortunately.
OTHER STORIES: No, none.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around Midnight
ENVIRONMENT: Heavily forested, isolated and mountainous. A creek running through the camping area. Just down the mountain from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stephen Willis:
The witness remembers this encounter very vividly after all these years. Undoubtedly a strong territorial display.
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.