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COUNTY: Athens County
LOCATION DETAILS: Same location as Report # 3533 from 1998
NEAREST TOWN: Nelsonville
NEAREST ROAD: N/A
OBSERVED: I am reporting a second incident which occurred in the same location as Report #3533 from 1998.
This incident occurred in 99 or 2000.
After the wood knocking incident from 1998 I made a decision to be as prepared as possible the next time I hunted my (now former) in-laws property. It was my goal to have a tape recorder and camera with me in case I was in the right place at the right time.
That morning in late October I was heading into the woods for my first bow hunt of the year. I left the house around 4 or so with my gear and headed for the woods down the old logging road which lead away from the house. As mentioned before I had decided to carry with me recording equipment in case I had another opportunity to gather unusual sounds or video. To that end I was carrying my bow in one hand and a camouflaged bucket in the other (to be used as a seat) which contained the tape recorder and video camera, among other items.
After leaving the house I walked fairly slowly down the logging road toward where it entered the woods. The road at this point was pretty clear of leaves and I was moving cautiously so as not to make unnecessary noise. I had progressed perhaps 100 to 125 yards from the house and was just about out of the light footprint from the yard light that hung above the house on a power pole when the scream occurred. I was caught totally off guard as I had barely left the house, was mentally checking off a list of my equipment and trying not to make noise. To say it made every hair on my entire body stand-up and froze me in place is an understatement.
The scream occurred to my immediate left in the woods. I estimate whatever made the sound was no more than 100 feet (30 yards) away and slightly below me on the hillside. I could not see into the woods more than a foot or two, but the sound was so big and robust that I immediately felt it was coming from something much larger than me. As I was silhouetted against the skyline (from the perspective of whatever made the sound) at the far edge of the yard light I froze and listened.
The sound began as a very low gutteral moaning which quickly escalated up the scale into a full blown scream. The sustained scream at the top lasted for probably no more than a few seconds when the it began to descend again to an inhuman low rumble. It all ended with a series of 3 low and gruff woofing noises. From beginning to end the scream was an unbroken continuous sound lasting perhaps 7-10 seconds. As I stood frozen I listened for any other sound and heard nothing. The scream was not repeated and I heard no leaves rustling indicating movement.
The woofing noises at the end were very similar to those I have heard bears make (on television shows) when the are agitated - sort of a cheek puffing blast of air. I really doubt this noise came from a bear however. I cannot emphasize enough the way the sound projected. As mentioned above it was big and robust and just shattered any idea that something small like a black bear or coyote or human could have made it. I remember thinking if I were closer I would have felt the sound like it were being blasted from a set of huge speakers.
Unfortunatley for me the my tape recorder was sitting useless in the bucket and the sound had come from the exact direction and location I was headed. My flight instinct was really churning, but I decided to head into the woods despite the chance I may encounter the screamer. I also decided that I might be better off heading in the opposite direction of the scream, which I did.
Nothing further occurred.
OTHER WITNESSES: No, only me.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early morning - between 4-5 am
ENVIRONMENT: Mostly hardwood and some decidious forest. Very steep draws and high ridges criscrossed by overgrown mining roads and slag pits. A majority of the land is reclaimed strip mines and is pock marked with caves.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Russ Jones:
I talked to this career military man at length about his experience. He is a well spoken and intelligent man who is well versed on the bigfoot subject. The incident took place on his ex-family's land which has a long and storied history of encounters and happenings. His brother-in law, who is a firefighter, owns the actual parcel on which the incident happened. The witness was shocked at the "volume, robustness, power, force, and lung capacity that had to generate the sounds". He is an avid hunter and know of nothing that can make that sound. He is sure that it was not attributable to native and known species.
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.