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STATE: West Virginia
COUNTY: Randolph County
LOCATION DETAILS: Private property. Edited out at the request of the witness.
NEAREST TOWN: Mabie
NEAREST ROAD: Edited out
OBSERVED: Before I say anything more I would like to say that at the time I never considered that Sasquatch were real. I considered it all to be a hoax. I am a student studying wildlife biology.
The following happen in West Virgina, Pocahontas County, near
the Monongahela National Forest. MeadWestVaco owns and operates 3413 hectares in the Allegheny Mountain range for logging and ecological reseach. It is gated and not open to the public see website.
I was participating in a study project studying the distribution and breeding success of songbirds in forest cutting sites. The study was headed by West Virgina University.
My job was to search for bird nest of particular species and track their progress from egg to fledge. I was familiar with every kind of bird in the area by call, as it was one of my job requirements and hobbies.
I was just coming down from the top of this ridge in a clear cut area with many downed trees, slash and new growth only about waist high. I heard the strangest sound coming from above on a ridge or rock outcropping about 100 yards above. It was a "whooping" sound. It was very loud vocalization. Its sound was resonating through the whole valley below and carrying very far.
The only sound I could match it to was a monkey call in a tropical forest (which I have never experienced).
It was a very alarming call, and I assumed it was some kind of bird that I have never seen or heard before. I scanned the trees, bushes and rocky outcrop for a silhouette of a bird with my binoculars but did not spot anything. The call lasted for about 3 to 4 minutes. The "whooping" was repetitive, about 15 "whoops" and then a pause, and then 10 to 15 more about 4 sets in all. It felt like it lasted a long time. The entire time I was scanning the vegetation looking for a bird. It was so loud and deep I often thought it couldn't be a bird but it was my only conclusion.
When it stopped I made my way up to the spot where It was coming from. It took me about 10 minutes to walk along logging trails and through vegetation to get there. Once I got to the summit of this ridge it flatted out. I remember seeing many game trails and beaten paths. This was common in some areas due to heavy use by deer.
I started walking around looking into the trees which consisted of Eastern Hemlock and mixed hardwoods. I heard nothing. It was strangely quiet, like everything was scared off from the call. I traversed the slope very excited that I may see possibly an
invasive species of bird, but when I got to the top of that ridge I felt very uneasy. I cant explain it. I never wanted to go back up to that spot after this incident.
I wrote down exactly what I heard. When I went back to camp that evening, I told the ornithologists what I had heard and they said the only bird that makes such a loud and similar sound as that was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo. I listened to sound recordings of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo that night and quickly realized that was not the sound I heard. I also called my father, an avid birdwatcher and told him about it.
Then last month I watched a program on the Discovery Channel about Sasquatch.To reiterate, I was not a believer at that time and am still borderline. Watching the program peaked my interest to search online. I came across this website. I noticed that an expedition was done in almost the same spot where I had worked,
just further north.
I also listened to the audio recordings from the Berry-Morehead Expeditions in the 1970's from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When I listened to the "Whoops and Knocks" audio clip it was the exact call I had heard but in a different sequence.
I was, and still am floored and in awe. The only thing that stops me from believing it was a Sasquatch is not knowing anything about the authenticity of that recording, but I am certain it was that same kind of "whoop".
ALSO NOTICED: I found a bird nest at the top of this slope before this incident. It was an Eastern Toehee nest, about two feet off the ground. So prior to this experience I had visited this place twice and this slope top only once. I was just leaving this nest when doing a check up, I found the eggs predated (common), and the nest destroyed (uncommon), it was torn like something grabbed the side of the nest along with the eggs. Nothing was found on the ground.
OTHER WITNESSES: No just myself.
OTHER STORIES: Yes I had another incident soon after in a different area about a quarter of a mile away. I searched for bird nests in this forest for a total of 3 months June-August Monday-Friday. I was dropped off to search for nests in my assigned plot. This was a mature forest with large mature trees. The trees were mainly Red Maple, American Beech, and similar species. The ground cover had a thick layer of leaves and some sparse vegetation, some downed logs, rocks etc. The tree canopy was thick and let in little light. I was dropped off at this site at 6:30am. The weather was overcast, gray and a slight rain fall.
I walked in about 30 yards and sat facing the road on a log and began to take equipment out of my pack. The ground behind me declined in gradient into a steep slope. There was about 20 feet of forest I could see before it dropped in elevation. I heard light foot
steps approaching from behind me. I assumed it was a red
squirrel because it was the normal sound heard in this quiet forest. I am a deer hunter and am familiar with the sounds of a forest. I can usually tell what is a squirrel and what is a deer. Also I spend a lot of time outdoors camping and hiking.
The footsteps continued to come nearer. I looked back but could
not see because of the decline in elevation and vegetation. I would have had to walk about 20 feet and look down to see what was aproaching.
Soon the footsteps got too close for comfort and I picked up a stick and threw it in the direction down the hill. The footsteps stopped, and then started circling around behind me. I threw another stick. The footsteps stopped and then continued to come
closer. I wanted to yell but anyone who has spent time in the
forest knows this feeling. You don't want to yell because it is so quiet you feel like you are disturbing everything and attracting attention. I was getting that uneasy feeling as I had before. I was weary of black bears and worried that it was a curious bear smelling my coffee thermos. I decided to leave that area and go across the road and search there instead. The entire time I was conscious of sounds and movement and looking for bear. Some other researchers saw black bear and one person had an encounter with one. Some people said they were shadowed by a bear they couldn't see. It moved when they moved, and it stopped when they stopped.
The direction of this incident was towards the Monongahela National Forest. I remember our guide telling me not to go too far in that direction because it dropped down and merged with
the Monongahela National Forest and once someone got lost and it took a day to find them because there are no logging roads.
The steps sounded similar to those from the recording of bipedal
walking in Southeast Oklahoma, the recording from your November 2005 expedition in Oklahoma. It sounded like two feet dragging through the leaf litter. No odor was smelt and I never returned to investigate.
I also heard knocks very far away on two occasions. I assumed they were logging operations.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Time of day: Afternoon, between 1 and 2 pm.
Lighting and weather: Clear sky, bright sun. Warm 85 degrees. No wind. There were recent rains but everything was dry.
ENVIRONMENT: It was atop one of the highest elevations in the area. I have a
picture of that location . The photo can give you an idea of the
topography and native vegetation (can email if requested). To be
more specific it was a slope of a mountain that had been logged.
From the road to the top of the slope was about 150 yards. I was
about mid-way up about 75-100 yards to the peak or top. Where I
was standing was a clear cut area about 10 to 15 years ago, called 'early successional' habitat in forestry terms.
Within this early successional habitat is much Rubus ursinus (wild blackberry), Betula alleghaniensis (Yellow birch) and Prunus serotina (Black cherry) and Smilax rotundifolia L. (green Brier). This slope had large rocky outcroppings especially near the top where the sound came from. Down below there was a valley
with a stream (have a picture if requested) about 300 yards
below. At the top of the slope all the vegetation was left and
it continued behind and away. Only the slope I was on was clear
cut about 40 acres. Above on the top of the slope were a mix of pine and hardwood forest species, mainly Suga canadensis (L.)
(Eastern Hemlock), and Spruce. The top of this slope had well
beaten down game trails. I remember this specifically because I
am a hunter and look for these kinds of things. There was a lot
of exposed soil, packed dirt. No tracks were seen and no foul smells.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona:
This witness first submitted a comment asking if what he heard could have been a Sasquatch. I emailed the witness the following:
What you are describing sounds like it couild be a sasquatch
encounter. To compare the "whoop" calls you heard, please click
on the link below, scroll down the page to "Whoops and Knocks".
Click on "Download the 1974 clip of whoops and knocks from California"
The witness in this WV incident is an avid outdoorsman and wildlife biology student. He knows his wildlife and birdcalls well. He is now certain what he heard was no bird or common North American animal.
About BFRO Investigator Mike Aragona:
Mike is a long time New Jersey resident. He attended the 2005 and 2006 New York Adirondacks Expeditions, the 2006 Ohio Expedition, the 2008 Maine Expedition, the 2008 Pennsylvania Expedition, the 2009 Pennsylvania and New York Expeditions and the 2010 New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania alumni expeditions.