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YEAR: about 1980
COUNTY: Mifflin County
NEAREST TOWN: Lewistown, PA in Mifflin County
NEAREST ROAD: Ferguson Valley Road
OBSERVED: I was out in the spring of the year scouting around for turkeys on the southern side of Jacks Mountain near the small village of Ellen Chapel (close to Lewistown). I heard a type of clucking sound in a thick, brushy area and walked closer to investigate. The clucking sound caught my attention because it sounded kind of like a turkey. What was odd, however, was that a turkey would let me approach that closely. As I got closer to the clucking sound, I heard a very low, gutteral growl coming from the brush. I couldn't see anything. This growl really surprised and scared me. I began walking away, but then curiosity got the better of me and I approached the area slowly again. Once again, as I got closer, the low growl occurred. Black bears are commonly seen around this area, but I can't imagine that a black bear would simply hold still that close to a human and growl. Whatever was growling at me was very well concealed because I couldn't see a thing. So after hearing this growl two or three times, I got freaked out and left. The only other explanation I can think of--and the one I've held to for the last 25 years--is that there was another turkey hunter out in the woods, well camoflauged, who was messing with me. I've never told anyone about this incident. I started reading accounts here of people being growled at from thick brush and thought my experience might be of the same nature.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: late morning
ENVIRONMENT: Thick forest area, a lot of foliage.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
The witness does not recall if he was out for spring turkey hunting or just scouting around. However, the clucking sound was approximately 20 yards away and was similar to a hen, possibly sitting on eggs. He thought it odd that he was able to approach the source of the sound without flushing the turkey, as a turkey is next to impossible to approach being an intelligent and wary bird. As he approached he heard the low, guttural growl. When he walked away, the growl stopped and the clucking resumed. He approached again and again heard the growl; upon retreat the clucking resumed. The witness is not sure but he may have approached a third time with the same results. At this point he left.
It cannot be determined with 100% certainty that the incident was bigfoot related. However, it is a rather intriguing story and not unlike others of bigfoot allegedly imitating the sounds of birds and other animals and especially the growling. The witness is an avid hunter, especially grouse. He stumbled on to the BFRO while researching grouse hunting in PA. As he read the reports he thought of this particular incident that happened close to 28 years ago, the details of which are now cloudy, but not forgotten.
The witness is a college professor.
About BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
Paul is a network administrator and systems analyst/programmer for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, NY. In addition, Paul and his wife Teresa own and operate a small organic farm in western New York State. He has attended and organized expeditions including New Mexico (Jicarilla), New York (Adirondacks), Pennsylvania and West Virginia.