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YEAR: 1982 or 83
COUNTY: Columbiana County
LOCATION DETAILS: Spucevale Rd. can be accessed from State Route 170 in Calcutta. Gretchen's lock is part of Beaver Creek State Park.
NEAREST TOWN: Calcutta
NEAREST ROAD: Sprucevale Rd.
OBSERVED: This incident occured in 1982 or 1983. I haven't told too many people due to the usual reactions one would expect. I was with my best friend and my girlfriend (now my wife)and we were driving around in my friend's car for something to do. He was behind the wheel, my wife in the passenger side, and I was in the back "hanging" over the seat. We were traveling on Sprucevale Road toward Calcutta. We were crossing the bridge at Gretchen's Lock, and as we started to make the bend after the bridge and climb the steep grade the car's headlights swept into the wooded hillside along the road. About halfway up the hill in the woods the lights showed what looked to me like a monkey type of animal crouched down on it's haunches with it's arms extended in front of itself and between it's thighs. It appeared to be brownish and very hairy. It's face was apparent and appeared monkey like, no snout or pronounced nose. I couldn't judge the overall size well due to it being in a crouch. I didn't say anything as we drove on. About a half a mile later I finally asked if the others had seen anything on the hill. At once my wife stated "you mean that monkey thing?". My friend stated yes and also described the same thing that I had seen. It was frightening because we all remembered it the same after the fact without having stopped to observe it and compare notes so to speak. We turned the car around and went back, and as we retraced our trip we could pick out the spot we saw the figure, but it was no longer there. Nothing in the woods such as a tree stump etc. resembled what we had seen on the first trip. I believe that whatever it was had been surprised by the vehicle and moved on as soon as we had passed by. In any case we decided not to venture into the woods, and left the area. To be honest just writing about this makes the hair on my neck stand up even after all these years.
OTHER WITNESSES: Three total, one driving a vehicle, the other two passengers, conversing.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: This incident occured late at night.
ENVIRONMENT: Large wooded area, Beaver Creek very close by (right across the road)few dwellings in one direction, some dwellings toward Calcutta. Incident in Gretchen's lock area.
Follow-up investigation report:
Fortunately I was able to interview both husband and wife on this report. The account each gave was impressive regarding the timing of the events and the observations that were made separately. The female witness was interviewed first and about the time we finished up her husband, now a policeman, came home. So the initial conversation was not heard by the husband.
Both agreed that what they saw was at least the size of a man, stocky or heavier built and monkey looking but as SF said, "No it wasn't a monkey though." She stated that it had a hairy face but there was more hair on the body. Specifically she could remember that it seemed like the longest hair was on the shoulders. When they passed the thing they all asked each other if everybody saw it and after agreeing, they turned around to see it again and it was gone.
Her husband stated that he remembered it being crouched on the hill near a ninety degree corner and was picked up by their vehicle's headlights along the edge of the road. He felt that it had a round primate looking head. He also mentioned that its arms didn't particularly look muscular like a body builder but they did look big, long and rangy. He said that longer hair sticks in his mind, off the back of the head and shoulder region.
He also stated he never saw any movement. Real still. One of the interesting things that happened was afterwards, everyone in the car started to describe the same thing. He also mentioned that various areas of explanation were discussed such as escaped zoo animal, wild animal, or a person dressed up in the woods that late. Bigfoot was discussed as well. All agreed that was the likely explanation.
The only other thing that comes to mind regarding this incident is that this seems like it was an uncomfortable subject. The husband told me that this was the first time in
years it was mentioned, but he wasn't sure why... perhaps the main reason was it just didn't seem like it belonged there. I was also told he probably wouldn't have reported it
but he was watching a documentary about such sightings
and found the BFRO website afterward. After reading the reports from around the area, he decided it wouldn't be taken as a joke.