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COUNTY: Whitfield County
LOCATION DETAILS: This is an area that I am very familiar with, have fished there many times, seen deer, bobcat and coyotes but nothing strange or never heard any strange sounds.Before I was born there were rumors of panthers in the area. Lots of wilderness in this area. Years ago, teenagers used to swim in the river.And people would throw out their trash, old mattresses or furniture there. About 10 years ago, the old dirt road was blocked and a new road was paved with a new bridge put over it and I used it quite frequently, but not everyday. The nearest house was probably 200 yards away.
NEAREST TOWN: Dalton
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 286
OBSERVED: I was traveling in my vehicle coming across a bridge with a well known river passing underneath, when I noticed a large tree that had fallen into the water off to the right about 200 yards. As I looked at it, I peered up over the concrete railing and saw something standing in the river perhaps 75 yards away.
My first thought was 'well, there's a bear'. But as I kept looking, it was apparent to me that it did not have a snout of any sort. It's face was like a human face, but black. This creature seemed to be in the middle of something (fishing?) and I had either spooked it or interrupted it. As I looked at it, it was looking at me and following my vehicle with it's gaze. It was black and it had long hair, like a shaggy dog. Trying to remember now, but I don't believe it had a neck of any sort that I could see.I corrected myself, before veering over too far and rubbing against the railing. I kept driving. It never occurred to me until later that what I saw was a Bigfoot. Am very familiar with Bigfoot and thought if I ever saw one it would be walking away or from a distance, and be a unique experience to remember for a lifetime, but it was nothing like this. And to be honest with you, it was an intimidating experience and I have not been back to that area since.
ALSO NOTICED: I am not completely sure, but I think it might have had something in its hand.
OTHER WITNESSES: There was a car someways behind me that slowed down a bit and I believe they saw the creature too.
OTHER STORIES: I own land at John's Mountain where I deer hunt and it is just an hour's drive from this bridge. Am familiar with the stories of Pigeon Mountain which is not far from my land. Friends have told me while hunting or camping of hearing strange sounds and feel like their being watched. As for the bridge where I saw this creature, I am not aware of any other incidents like this, but I know several people in the area and am going to make inquiries.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 3 in the afternoon. Hot and Sunny, with an occasional breeze.
ENVIRONMENT: Creek bottoms and lots of wilderness, pine forests. The bridge is called Witherow bridge. The river is the Conasauga river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Leigh Culver:
I spoke with the witness at length regarding his sighting. The sighting occurred on August 1st, circa 3-3:30 PM. The witness was driving across the Jimmy Witherow Bridge heading into Murray County. Midway across the bridge, the witness looked over to his right due to a half-submerged tree catching his attention. Closer to the bridge, the witness spotted a bipedal figure bent-over, standing in the water. It was holding something in its left hand. The animal was standing about 20-25 feet from the bank of the river.
When describing the animal, the witness stated that it was covered in long black (with some brown) hair. The witness’ first impression was that he was looking at a bear, but quickly realized that this wasn’t the case. He described the creature’s facial features as being human-like and black in color. The witness couldn’t tell if the face was covered in hair or not; he did note however, that the individual had a wide, flat nose, and a “protruding” brow. The witness described the creature’s build as being broad, heavy and muscular. The witness was so captivated with looking at this individual, that he nearly ran into the bridge side wall. The witness noted that a red vehicle was following behind him and that this vehicle slowed down, apparently to look, at the animal as well.