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STATE: South Carolina
COUNTY: Anderson County
LOCATION DETAILS: From Anderson, hwy 29 to public access rd leading to fishing area about 3/4 mile east of Hartwell dam.
NEAREST TOWN: Hartwell, Ga
NEAREST ROAD: U.S. Hwy 29
OBSERVED: I was fishing Friday from about 8 pm to a little after 9:30 pm on the Savannah river between Lake Hartwell and Lake Russel on the Georgia/SC line. I had walked up the trail by the river from the last parking area to try for some trout or maybe a walleye. It was after 9 pm and dark now. I was about ready to call it a night when I heard distinct footsteps coming towards me. I first thought it might be another fisherman, but the closest one to me was at the first parking area about a half mile away and he was fishing on one of the piers. I thought it was on the trail I had came in on but realized it was up on the side of the hill. I got closer and it stepped on a couple of limbs that cracked from its weight. I thought to myself it had to be another person but why would they be on a hillside in thick woods at night with no light? I broke the thumbsnap on my Sig 45acp just in case it was somebody up to no good. I only had my LED headlamp on and when I shined it at the sound it stopped. I would estimate it was about 25 to 30 yards from me at the time. I could see nothing, no eyes or anything. About a minute after I took the light off of it, it started walking again. I was getting a little concerned by now. I know it wasnít a deer, as I have spent my whole life in the woods and know what deer sound like when walking. I eased out onto the trail and started walking back to the truck. The footsteps parralelled me back to the parking area but never came out of the woodline. I had Surefire G2 light in the truck and shined it in the woods to see if I could find the source of the sounds. I never did see anything. Nor did I smell anything. I donít know if it could have been a BF. This area is pretty heavily used and in proximity to a major highway. All I know is the whole thing was very strange because usually a deer or other animals will spook when you put a light on them.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing unusual, but I did see a lot of deer on the way in. This area has a very high deer population.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself.
OTHER STORIES: no others that I am aware of.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9:30pm, weather was clear, no wind, no fog or haze
ENVIRONMENT: Savannah River is main feature, riverbanks are thick with scrub brush leading into large mature hardwoods and some pines. Dirt access road parallels the river. The power lines and gas line right-a-ways are in close proximity offering a trail to other remote areas nearby.
Lake Hartwell,SC Map
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Don Tart:
I have made several trips to this area to follow up on TS's experience. I went to the location which TB described as just below the Lake Hartwell Dam on the South Carolina side of the Georgia/South Carolina state line. This area of the state is sparsely inhabited and there is a good mix of hardwoods and pine forests with rolling hills. The climate is mild. Fish and game are plentiful. The Savannah River starts at the base of the dam. The road leading to the wildlife landing is a dirt road that goes back into the woods for nearly a mile and empties into a parking area next to the river. Once I arrived (close to dusk) I checked out the path that TS described and walked along the riverbank looking for signs of activity. I found a footprint in the mud which appeared to be humanlike, but the footprint was wide and toes excessively large. The solitary print showed that it was made by something heavy by the depth of the print during the drought we were experiencing at the time. I photographed the print at dusk, and then sent it to other trackers for review. Some say it was human; others thought it might be a bear. Right now, I will classify as inconclusive. This print looks very similar to a photograph of a print in the book "Sasquatch Legend Meets Science" by Jeff Meldrum. I followed the trail back to where it meets with a small stream which empties into the river. It's nearing dark and a thick fog sets in across the forest and the river. I too, hear the sound of something paralleling me along the trail as I work my way back to the parking area. There is no smells or other sounds except an occasional car crossing over the bridge by the dam. This area is ripe for activity. The woods are deep and ridges with rocky crags run right down to the river. There are small islands in between GA and SC which help to traverse the Savannah River. TB notifies me later he has heard a story from friends fishing a few miles below this area within a short period of time they hear loud stomping along the riverbank, and then something tosses large objects at them from the bank into the river. I follow up this sighting as well and it is in a large tract of land leased out to a hunt club. I gain permission from the hunt club to scout their area and place game cameras out for a week along with an audio recorder. At this location there have been howls and knocks heard before by the hunting club, but they had not associated it with BF activity. While scouting around the hunt camp one night, I perform a series of call blasting and immediately receive a response of a whoop, then an owl, followed by dogs barking in the distance. The hunters were impressed by how quick the response was to my knocks and commented that they had never heard a sound like this in their hunting careers. During this past hunting season, reports of wood knocking from the area continued. I have refrained from returning to this area until hunting season ended. I plan to follow up on tracking and mapping this region of South Carolina.
About BFRO Investigator Don Tart:
Don T. is an I&C/E Commissioning Engineer in Waynesboro, Ga. Don is an avid outdoorsman. He is a Life Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow and a Boy Scout Commissioner for Oconee County,SC. Don & his team scouted for "Finding Bigfoot" series for SC episode. He attended the 2006/2007/2008 NC Expeditions. He supported the pre-scouting activities for 2007 SC Expedition & 2007 Ga Expedition. He was a guide for the 2007 SC Expedition and the 2008 Florida expeditions.Don was the sponsor of the 2011 SC BFRO Expedition. Don is a founding member of SE BFRO Tracking Team.