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DATE: January 15, 1981
STATE: New York
COUNTY: Washington County
LOCATION DETAILS: This happened in an area known as East Bay. We had crossed the bridge there which takes one from Whitehall, NY to Poultney, VT. The siting began in Poultney, VT and ended in Whitehall, NY. Here's an approximte Lat & Long for where the siting began:
43-degrees 34' 13.94" North
73-degrees 23' 34.67" West
NEAREST TOWN: Whitehall, NY
NEAREST ROAD: East Bay Road/Sciota Road
OBSERVED: Whitehall is a small town with little to do for teenagers. Driving all the back roads was one of the past times of choice. Late one night a girlfriend and I drove out to East Bay and stopped to talk for a while.
After a few moments spent parked near the bridge, I saw what looked to be a man walking accross the marshy area to our left. The distance, I am assuming, was about 200 to 300 yards. This I gauged by seeing a fence line at that distance. At the time my tested vision was 20/10 (documented).
We both watched as this man approached the fence line. He cleared it without stopping. Simply stepped over it as if it were a low stool. Knowing that the snow was not that deep or that hard to support a man of his apparent size, and that it was highly unlikely for anyone to be out on the marshes at that time of night, I stepped out of the car to get a better look.
As soon as I had gotten out of the car, the man changed course and began heading straight toward us. I closed the car door to cancel the interior light, and prevent showing my location. At this point the man broke into a run. His speed was incredible. He closed the distance between us very quickly. My girlfriend was screaming for me to get back into the car at this point.
I got back into the car, and she drove back over the bridge into NYS. As we went, I looked behind us and saw that we were being pursued, although we were building a gap. As soon as we returned to hardtop road, he broke off pusuit and ran back into the forest near the bridge.
We returned to town and never spoke of this incident to anyone other than two trusted friends. I have since told friends and relatives that I saw "something" out there but could not say that it was any animal I had ever seen, nor could it have been any man.
I should add that at that time I had spent 16 years working and playing outdoors. I had encountered all of the major predators of our area, knew their habits and habitats. I know that I did not mistake an animal for a humanoid creature that night.
I will further add that I am now a Natural Resource Scientist with 16-years of experience studying and reporting information based on my observations and analysis. I still cannot state with precision what it is I saw that night.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing of note. Just an extremely clear and cold night.
OTHER WITNESSES: There was one other witness to this. We were both sober, well-rested, and in no way incapacitated.
OTHER STORIES: This area has had a rash of reports from this place. All of them have been dismissed as, kid's crying wolf, or what-have-you. However, when I was a child, there was a story of an attack on a group of teenagers. It was dismissed, as I recall, as anything but a bigfoot attack. There are rumors, possibly untrue, of cows in the area being killed and partially eaten in the winter months.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was near midnight and the sky was very clear. The temperature was cold, perhaps 10 to 0 degrees Farenheit. The air was very still. No wind.
There was a full moon and light was abundant. For a person with good night vision, driving without lights would have been possible. Under those conditions walking without a flashlight would have been entirely possible.
ENVIRONMENT: East Bay is a complex of forests, active and abandoned farm fields, swamps, marshes and open water. There are steep- sided hills to the immediate northeast(Warner Hill)and northwest (Austin Hill) of the location which are said to have caves.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John Perry:
The witness added the following information:
The night sky was very clear and the moon was full or near full. In addition, there had been a recent ice storm which made the ground very reflective, making the surroundings readily visible without a light source. As a result, the animal was easy to see despite its initial distance from the witness. The animal's speed was described as rapid, although it did not look like it was running, but more of a cross-country skiing-like motion. It cleared the fence (barbed wire) without breaking stride.
It's motions were animal like, not human-like. The witness noted the arms were swinging. He estimated that the closet the animal got was 20-30 yards, and at that distance he could clearly see that the animal "towered" over the bridge parapets. The bridge parapets were approximately 4 ft. to 4-1/2 ft. in height; subsequently, the animal was estimated at 10-12 ft. in height. At this distance he could also see that the eyes were "blood red", similar to lawn reflectors, but he wasn't sure if that was the actual eye color or the reflection off of his car's lights.
It should be noted that while the animal's height is certainly at the higher end of the reported height estimates, there are other reports in which the witness(s) claim that the subject animals reached these heights. It is possible that the witness' postion to the animal created an angle of view which resulted in a over-estimation of it's height, or that in his heightened state of emotion he simply thought it was bigger than it really was. However, the witness did had an excellent basis for height comparison and estimation (based on the bridge parapets) and so it is possible that the animal was 10 ft.+ in height.
This region in New York has a long history of sightings, with at least one story dating back to Colonial times. Sightings in this region have been the subject of at least one book.
About BFRO Investigator John Perry:
John is a biologist from Maine.
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