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STATE: West Virginia
COUNTY: Tucker County
LOCATION DETAILS: I do not know the name of the road that leads to this area of the refuge, though it is easy to find. Simply turn left off of US Route 32 in front of the small shopping center clearly visible as you start to exit Davis, upon turning left continue on a straight path until you cross a small wooden bridge. After crossing the bridge stay on this road and it will lead directly to the Camp 70 parking area.
NEAREST TOWN: Davis
NEAREST ROAD: US Highway Route 32
OBSERVED: I was hunting West Virginia's late antler-less deer season in the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge when the sighting occurred. I had gotten to the area shortly after 3:00pm that evening, and after parking my vehicle in the "Camp 70" parking area I hiked up what appeared to be an old logging trail directly behind the parking area. I had already gotten a late start and wanted to get afield as quickly as possible, so I decided to stalk along the logging trail until I got further into the river bottom. After hunting the trail for roughly 30 minutes I was able to see a long distance in the river bottom to my right, so I decided to move into the bottom in hopes a deer would emerge from the thick along the river at dusk. I came across another "road" after leaving the logging trail, so I started walking further into the valley on it. The road was frozen and crusted over due to the cold temperatures, which made traveling quietly impossible, so after a short distance I found a small group of trees a few yards from the trail and set up in them. Shortly after arriving I heard what sounded like brush breaking 150 - 200 yards below me, towards the river. I readied myself in hopes it was a group of deer moving into the flats to feed, but nothing appeared. A few minutes passed by and I heard the sound again, and again, nothing materialized. I decided to move closer, and positioned myself in another group of small trees 100 yards or so below my first site. I had been in this grove of saplings for 5 - 10 minutes when I caught movement in a cluster of trees that was about 80 - 90 yards below me and to the left. I could see the movement with my naked eye, and immediately upon seeing it I scoped the group of trees and to my surprise saw nothing. A few minutes went by and I caught the movement again, I quickly scoped the trees, and this time I was shocked by what I saw. At first I thought it was a large man, as the first thing I saw through my scope was a vague silhouette, but when my eyes focused I could see what appeared to be a primate-like creature standing upright and staring directly at me. It only broke it's stillness to slightly move the upper portion of it's body in an up and down motion. It would bend it's knees as if it was going to sit down, then immediately straighten back up. This went on for what seemed to have been over a minute, then the creature exited the group of tree's and moved to my left (the creature's right), towards the mountain behind me. It walked across an expanse of river basin that I would guess to be 70 - 80 yards long before entering the timber and exiting my field of view. It kept watching me the whole time it was walking, only breaking it's stare on me a few times to look directly ahead of it. I initially thought of attempting to locate it's track's, but my nerves got the best of me and I started moving towards the parking lot as quickly as I could. Though the creature never actually made any threatening movements, I didn't feel safe enough to continue hunting and remain in the valley any longer after the sun went down than I had to. I immediately left the area and had no further incidents on the way to my vehicle.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing else unusual was seen nor heard.
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witnesses.
OTHER STORIES: I only hunted this particular area one evening, and I know very little information pertaining to it.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Evening. The sun was just starting to go down, though there was still sufficient light for clear vision.
ENVIRONMENT: The area was a large river basin surrounded by mountains. The river is shrouded in pine and rhododenron thickets.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
I spoke to Mr. X over the phone and he described his encounter in greater detail.
After noticing the figure of what initially looked like a large man, Mr. X determined that it was not a man at all, but an upright, bipedal creature that was covered in hair. The creature was looking back at him the whole time, even when it walked to its right before eventually entering the thicker timber.
-Mr. X was about 80-90 yards away and saw the creature through a clearing both with the aid of his rifle scope and with his naked eye. He was able to give a very detailed description of the creature, which he viewed for several minutes-
-It looked to be approximately six-feet tall, and around 250lbs. He could not make a clear determination of its gender.
-It was covered with six-eight inch long hair that was shaggy in some places and flowing in others, particularly the arms, where he could see the hair flowing with its movements. He describes the color of the hair as black, with white-gray, or ‘salt and pepper’ highlights, much like an adult gorilla’s hair.
-The face had a prominent nose that was not full, like a human, but not as sparse as a chimp. He states that it was primarily flat. The skin on the face was a uniform light-gray color. Mr. X commented that he had seen drawings of other bigfoots and that compared to those, this one had rather sparse facial hair. The lips were slightly parted and were of the same flesh color as the face. The teeth were easily seen and were described as looking much like a German Shepherd’s teeth; Straight front teeth with prominent canines, approximately ¾ of an inch long. The ears were not clearly visible. Mr. X stated that the ears were either somewhat pointed, or that it had pointed tufts of hair around the ears. It had a brow ridge that was less prominent than an ape, but more than a human. The eyes were very big and the color was coal black with no visible white sclera.
-The head of the creature was slightly conical, less than a gorilla, but not round like a human. The shoulder width was in proportion to the size of a human with the same body mass, as were the legs. The arms were longer than a human with the same body mass. Mr. X did not notice any details about the hands since his attention was primarily focused on the face.
-The gait of the creature was very fluid, and more elongated than how a human would walk. Its movements were precise and unhurried.
-There was no odor associated with the encounter.
-The creature did not make any noises, nor did it make any threatening gestures. Mr. X stated that he did not feel intimidated by the creature’s presence, but that he did feel nervous about staying in the area. He stated, "The fading light and feeling of unease were the main reasons I didn't attempt to pursue any evidence of my encounter." He also stated that during the encounter "there was still ample light to see a great distance over the river basin".
Mr. X stated that he has hunted all of his life and had never seen anything resembling what he recently witnessed. He had heard of bigfoot before, but did not pay it much mind until he actually saw one. I found Mr. X to be sincere, honest and forthright. And from Mr. X’s physical and behavioral description of the creature, it is in my opinion that what he saw was a very young, or juvenile bigfoot.
As a side-note, when I asked Mr. X if he had ever noticed anything unusual about the area, such as stick structures, he recalled a remarkable observation. He told me that he had noticed rocks that were stacked on top of each other. He had thought that they were left by hikers, or hunters, but found it odd that they were not near any trails, or paths. He stated that they were composed of flat rocks that were anywhere from two to six rocks high.
This, of course, could have been made by humans, but it is also a known behavioral characteristic that is associated with bigfoot habitation.
About BFRO Investigator Cathy Betz:
Cathy has been a nurse for over 27 years and currently works in a busy ICU. An amateur naturalist, Cathy has been intrigued by the bigfoot phenomenon from an early age.
Attended the following expeditions:
- The 2006 Florida Expedition
- The 2007 North Carolina Expedition
- The 2008 South Florida Expedition
- The 2008 North Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Central Florida Expedition
- The 2009 Utah Expedition
- The 2010 TN Survey Expedition
- The 2011 East Texas Expedition
-The 2012 North FL Expedition
-The 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition
For more information, please see the Florida BFRO