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STATE: West Virginia
COUNTY: Nicholas County
LOCATION DETAILS: Shortly after leaving Richwood (heading in the direction of Cranberry Glades) take the left turn up Hinkle Mountain (signs along the main road note the Cranberry River and Monongahela National Forest). At the top of the mountain, turn left onto the forest road that takes you into the national forest. Go over the Cranberry River Bridge and take the next left. (There is a small campground and outhouse at the turn.) Go up the mountain and take your first left turn (a dirt road). That is the road until you come to the pave road. I saw it about two miles before you get to the paved road.
NEAREST TOWN: Camden on Gauley
NEAREST ROAD: Cranberry Ridge Road
OBSERVED: I had just left the Cranberry River in the Monangahela National Forest where some family members were camping. I took a short cut through Cranberry Ridge that comes out in Camden on Gauley to get home. It was midnight (12:03 to be exact.) I was almost to the Webster County Line when I saw what I thought at first was some idiot in a monkey suit in the middle of the road in front of me. I beeped my horn at it.He started to run very fast, in long strides and then I realized it wasn't a man. He wasn't wearing shoes. His feet looked hairy. He was covered in reddish brown hair and about six feet tall. The hair was all even in length. He ran about quarter of a mile up the hill in front of me then tore through some elderberry bushes and disappeared down the mountain. I only got a really quick glimpse of his face so I can't accurately describe it. The next day I went back and looked at the spot where he ran through the bushes. There were some kind of prints in the mud holes in the road and the elderberry bushes were broken and bent where it went through.
ALSO NOTICED: My car windows were cracked open abit but I did not hear anything unusual
OTHER WITNESSES: I took a friend up there the next day to show her where it happened. She and I looked at the prints. She spends a lot of time in the woods and thought the print in the mud looked like a big heel print.
OTHER STORIES: When I told my grandma about it the next day, she said that area was notorius for seeing what we call Yahoos (pronounced yay-hoo because that is the sound people have heard them make). In fact, that hollow was called Yahoo Hollow by her age. Another family member said he treed soemthing strange up there about fifty years earlier and my grandma's teacher (now deceased) told the story of how one was on her porch one day. The teacher wouldn't send her children to school because she was so afraid of it. Grandma said her teacher described it as the same as what I saw except it had dark brown hair and was about seven foot tall.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Midnight clear night with just a little fog in the hollow
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded, steep slope with forest road cutting along it. Lots of elder berries around there. They were just blossoming.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Russ Jones:
I spoke to this witness at length about his sighting.
Although it had been two years, he still has a vivid memory of that night. He has grown up in the mountains (which have many bears), and he is sure that he did not see a bear.
He took his grandmother out where the incident happened, and she told him that the area was called "yayhoo holler". "Yayhoo" is a common name for bigfoot in the mountain regions of West Virginia.
When the creature turned to look at him, he saw that it had a "flattish, ape-like face". The hair on the body of the creature was similar to an orangutan's hair.
The area of the sighting is in the Monongahela National Forest, which is a remote million acre tract in West Virginia. There have been many sightings in the "Mon" over the years.
About BFRO Investigator Russ Jones:
Dr. Jones brings a background of hunting, trapping and outdoor experiences together with undergraduate and graduate education. He is a master naturalist and has attended numerous public and private expeditions.He most recently led the Ohio and West Virginia expeditions for the BFRO. Dr. Jones may be contacted at WVirginia@BFRO.net.