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COUNTY: Anderson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Off of highway 61 in Big Ridge State Park.
NEAREST TOWN: Norris
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 61
OBSERVED: I was coming back from fishing at Big Ridge State Park with my mom, dad and small son. We were walking along a trail that led from the lake we were fishing at to the parking lot through the woods. My son and I were in front of my mom and dad and I had turned my head around to tell them something and when I turned back around there it was. It was about 20-25 feet in front of my son and I. It looked to be about 8-9 feet tall. I didn't see a neck on it and it looked straight ahead of it. It swung its arms when it walked and its strides were about 4-6 feet long. The trail itself was about 4 or 5 feet across. It was walking at about 5 mph. It was black with some brown mixed in. It walked very stiffly and the terrain it went on after walking in front of us was flat but thick with bushes and trees and I couldn't see it anymore. I gasped and turned around real fast and told my mom and dad that I had just seen bigfoot. We did not go look for tracks because it was just getting dark and we kept walking. We didn't hear any sounds after the encounter. It went so fast I just got a glimpse. I know it wasn't a human.
OTHER WITNESSES: Me and my young son. We were walking and I turned to talk and when I turned around there it was.
OTHER STORIES: I have heard of people finding footprints in or around that area. But none quite like mine.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: at dusk
ENVIRONMENT: lake forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Ashlan Yost:
I spoke with this witness at length on the phone, along with one of her family members that was present at the time of this sighting. After speaking with them, I would add these details to the initial report:
This report was filed almost 24 years after the actual sighting took place. The report was submitted by the witness' niece, who had been told about the experience by her family many times. Her aunt never had any interest in reporting the incident, but recently gave her niece permission to do so. Her account of her aunt's experience is quite accurate, though the date and time of year are estimations.
After speaking with the witness herself, she corrected the actual time and date to be the fall of 1988. She believes that it was mid to late September, as she remembers the weather being "cool, neither hot nor cold." The witness was with her family (her mother, father, brother, and young son) fishing on one of the many wooded trails surrounding the lake. This particular trail was frequented by her father, who was an avid fisherman. They had been fishing at one spot and then moved further down the trail to another location. Dusk was quickly approaching, and they decided to stop fishing and begin the walk back on the trail to the car. As the family walked down the trail, she remembers everyone "chattering and laughing," as they went.- Not quiet. She and her son had taken the lead & had gotten a bit ahead of the rest of the group. As they rounded a bend, the witness turned back to say something to her parents. When she turned again to face forward, she witnessed a very tall figure run across the trail in front of her from her right to her left. She estimates that the distance between her and the figure to be around fifteen feet. She remembers the figure being covered in black hair that was fairly long, between four to six inches. After all the years that have passed, there are still certain details that stick out in her mind. The first is the incredible height of this animal. As it ran across the trail in front of her it was slumped forward. She estimates that even being slumped over, the animal was at least eight to nine feet tall. She believes that if it was standing straight, it could have been up to ten feet in height. Next to the height, the most vivid detail that she recalls is the length and motion of the arms. She is certain that the hands reached down to the animal's knees, or directly above them. She said the proportions were definitely not human. The animal swung its arms in a very exaggerated pendulous motion as it ran. This detail is what she remembers most vividly. She said, "I can still see those arms swinging." The witness also emphasized the incredible speed of this creature, saying "It was like a flash, then gone." She estimated the trail to be four to five feet in width, and that the animal took one or two steps to cross the trail before she lost sight of it. Her son who is now in his thirties, remembers it vaguely, saying that it was so fast it was like it was invisible.
Due to the brief nature of this sighting, the remainder of the witness' memories are fairly limited, but she was able to recall these details:
When discussing the appearance of the animal, she recalls only that it was covered in dark to black hair that was "fairly long." She does not recall seeing any skin. She does not recall any unusual scents or sounds leading up to or after the event. She recalls the build of the animal as very muscular and bulky, though she did not see it straight on, only a left profile. The animal never turned toward her or acknowledged her in any way. She does not recall seeing a neck. She was unable to make out any facial features or ears.
The witness and her young son were the only two in the group to see the animal, as the rest of the family was still behind them, on the other side of the bend. After the sighting she turned back to her family to tell them what she had seen, and was disappointed to learn that none of them had seen it. The witness did say she would be willing to return to the location with people, but that she would be nervous to be there alone.
I was also able to speak with the witness' brother who recounted this story from his perspective, and recalled how his sister was "freaking out," after the incident.
I was able to meet with the witness and her family and hike to the area where this sighting occurred. After examining the area I was able to determine that the figure that was seen was coming from the direction of the lake. The path it took across the trail currently leads to a game trail that may or may not have been there at the time. But it is a natural low area between two ridges that would likely be used by wildlife to travel to the lake. I was able to confirm the estimations of distance from the witness to the figure at approximately fifteen to seventeen feet. We were able to estimate the figure at approximately seven and a half to eight feet in height while in it's "slumped" posture. I was also able to speak with several of the witness' family members who were able to confirm how "freaked out" the witness was after the encounter. I noted that while we visited the area there were a large number of other hikers and fishermen in the area. None of the witnesses recall seeing other people on the trail the day this encounter occurred.
I found the witness and her family to be very knowledgeable and familiar with the area and the wildlife. The witness was very certain about what she observed, and although her family members (other than her young son) did not witness anything, they are convinced that she genuinely saw something that day.
About BFRO Investigator Ashlan Yost:
Ashlan Yost was born and raised in East Tennessee. She has spent a great deal of time hiking and camping in remote areas.She has also spent a considerable amount of time in remote upstate New York. She has had a life-long fascination with animals, particularly wildlife. She is a licensed Veterinary Technician, practicing in the state of Tennessee. Ashlan began researching the sasquatch phenomenon ~2005. Attended:
2010 Tennessee BFRO Expedition
2011 Tennessee BFRO Expedition
2013 Kentucky BFRO Expedition
2013 West Virginia BFRO Expedition
Numerous private Expeditions.
Her main interest in the subject involves evidence such as tracks, scat, and hair samples. She also has a distinct interest in animal behavior.