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COUNTY: Rockingham County
LOCATION DETAILS: We had parked on the side of the road at blue hole on 33 and started hiking from there. We where approximately 2 miles up into the forest.
NEAREST TOWN: Rawley Springs, Virginia
NEAREST ROAD: Rt..33
OBSERVED: This evening at approximately 6:15 PM in Rockingham County Virginia, my friend and I were out on a hike in the George Washington National Forest, a few miles off Rt. 33 close to the WV border.
Upon being out for several hours we stopped to rest and eat. We rested for 20 minutes or so when we stood up and turned around we could see down the mountain side. Something was standing there. We could see two legs and what looked like a hand and possibly a head. It looked like a brownish red color and even though we were so high up we could still see it was huge. When we both pulled out our phones to try and get a picture it walked off and that was the last we saw of it. If it was a bear it was not like any bear I have ever seen. I have no clue what it was. We observed it for up to a minute and a half.
ALSO NOTICED: Right before we saw it, maybe 4 minutes before we heard an animal. It sounded like it was in distress.
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend saw it. He was putting on his backpack and said hey look at that!
OTHER STORIES: I have heard stories of people saying they have seen a large hairy creature up in that area. In my experience in hiking I have never seen such a thing.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 6:15 PM
Lighting was good. Bright day. A little shady under the trees.
ENVIRONMENT: It was a national forest. George Washington national forest, full of trees and vegetation.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Charles Kimbrough:
The witness said that after stopping to eat, they saw very large, reddish brown colored figure walk from a small clearing, and into the trees. They only saw it for about 90 seconds. At first they thought it might have been a tree stump, but then they saw it actually walking. It did not move like a bear. They attempted to take a photo with their phones, but by then it was too late. The two witnesses were about 100 yards away from the animal. About 2 - 4 minutes before they saw the animal, they heard something in the same direction that sounded like it may have been a deer in distress.
About BFRO Investigator Charles Kimbrough:
Charles has been the Technical Support Manager for an ITS Traffic Equipment Supplier for over 15 years. He specializes in Video Detection Systems with the use of Flir thermal cameras.
He has also attended the following BFRO Expeditions:
2012 WV, 2013 KY, 2013 WV, 2014 KY and numerous private expeditions.