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COUNTY: Forest County
LOCATION DETAILS: Directions withheld at the request of the witness.
NEAREST TOWN: Marienville Pa
NEAREST ROAD: Route 66
OBSERVED: I have debated whether or not to report my encounter to the BFRO or any organization. I don't know why, but I guess I wanted to keep this experience to myself for a few years and then it just didn't seem to matter as far as reporting it. But now, I realize that all encounters need to be in a data base somewhere. These DO exist and when that day of discovery happens, this database will house many of the answers.
My encounter happened in early June of 2010. I took a friend to the Marienville/Timberline ATV trails northeast of Marienville, Pennsylvania in the Allegheny National Forest, to ride ATV’s for the day. Allegheny National Forest covers approximately 515,000 acres or 800 square miles of protected wilderness in North West Pa. The forest is pretty dense in most spots and has many types of terrain. From my understanding the Allegheny National Forest is one of the least densely populated areas east of the Mississippi River. Surrounding the Forest are more woodlands and farm country.
The 2 trail systems we were riding that weekend join together and make an approximate 60-80 mile loop from the northern end down to the bottom, and then back up the other side of the loop. My encounter happened on our return back up, heading North. I remember it rained very hard the night before and through the early morning because my friend, who was new to ATV'ing, didn't bring rain gear. We had to go into town to buy him some cheap rain gear and then headed up to the trail.
It rained the first half hour or so of our ride and I remember the sun coming out and it was turning into a really nice day for a ride. For those that ride ATV’s, they know that the rain makes mud, which is much more fun to ride in than dust. A few hours into the ride, having stopped and observed some beaver dams, some very old oil wells, a couple logged out areas where you could see for what seemed like miles and other cool sites that the forest has to offer, I was getting in more of a hurry to get back - it was approaching the end of the day. My buddy was way behind me so I decided to stop on the trail and wait for him. I usually don't separate from atv buddies when riding, but this part of the trail was an abandoned logging trail and pretty easy so I rode ahead awhile and then decided to stop and wait for him. He didn’t ride fast or dangerous; he "putted" so I knew he was safe, just slow. If he didn't shown up I would turn around and meet up with him.
I wasn’t sitting long. I just took my helmet off. That’s when I noticed rocks kept hitting the front right side of my ATV. They weren’t large rocks, maybe about or just smaller than hand sized. It took a minute or so before it occurred to me that I was stopped and that rocks should not be flying through the air and hitting my atv. I was turning my head towards the right to follow the path of these "air rocks" as I called them, when my turn stopped. I noticed this “Stump” which turned out to be a dark figure, approximately 70-90 feet away, that appeared to be in a sitting or crouching, or just a low position, then stand up into an upright position. I’ll never forget how it seemed to pop right up like it was on a spring, with very little effort.
Initially I looked at its hands because I was interested to see what was in its hand, if anything. It was much taller than a normal human – best guess at this point would be 7.5 feet or so, and absolutely NOT a bear.
It was VERY broad at the shoulders. Almost freakishly broad – I remember that very well. It was on 2 legs and I could see its right arm hanging down, which was on the left side because it was facing me. I remember wanting to watch its right hand to see if “it” was armed or what it might be doing. That is funny to me now, because for some reason I assumed it was right handed. It moved its right arm to a slightly bent position, stopping with its hand in front of it, at about its waist. Its left arm stayed hanging to its side – very long arms. It was all very dark black – a shiny black – from head to toe, or as far as I could see to its feet as it was standing in 1-2 foot tall grass or taller. As my eyes made their way up on the creature I could see its head was all black as well. There was no white or lighter color that stood out, like most animals would have on their face. I could not see clear details of the face as it was all black as well but it did not appear to have hair on all of its face. It appeared to be black skin - the same color black as its hair but I could tell it wasn't hair in some spots. I noticed that the eyes were black, or very dark and deep, with a pronounced brow ridge. I could obviously tell it had a face. I just couldn’t see defined detail of the lips or anything as it was all the same color. The lips were closed though and in a straight line across its face, not open mouthed or smile or frown – just straight lips.
The hair was short to medium length and not shaggy. I’d say the hair was an average of 3 to 5 inches long, shorter at the head. It was almost groomed in appearance but I think it’s from the hair being short and thick. At least that was my impression. Oddly, I did not notice any mud or dirt all over it, which seemed odd because it had rained hard the night before and didn't stop until several hours before this. The trails were muddy. Almost as soon as my eyes were at its head and face and I was trying to “zoom in” and get a better look at the face, it began to leave. It didn’t turn and walk away, but rather it stepped straight backwards into the brush and the trees and not take its eyes away from me. It stayed square to me as it was moving backwards. This all happened in the span of no more than 30 seconds, from the time I noticed the rocks hitting my ATV, up until it moved backwards. When I play it over and over in my mind, it seems more like 30 minutes. At this point an overwhelming fear just filled my mind, and I remember feeling like I shouldn’t be in this spot right now. I don’t remember shaking in fear or anything like that, but I felt warm and almost like I was going to puke. So I hit the gas and took off. I wish now that I wouldn’t have just fled, but the feeling that came over me was not like I’d experienced before. I had my smart phone/camera in my fender bag and it NEVER occurred to me to get it out and start video. I honestly couldn’t move for a short period of time.
I have been surprised by people walking up on me in the woods and have hunted all my life, so animal encounters, even bear from a distance - do not scare or alarm me. I was in the military for 6 years, and actually had the honor to serve as SEAL TEAM 4 and SDV TEAM 2 (the old UDT TEAM 2) support, as part of a special warfare boat crew. During that time, I had many highly anxious experiences as one could imagine. To summarize, I am pretty observant, I don’t have a tendency to over-react and I don’t scare easy. I am very level headed and definitely not crazy. I didn't instantly think "Bigfoot" as I wasn’t a REAL believer then. At least I doubted their existence in the Eastern US and if they existed it was only in the Northwest US, Canada or Alaska. This encounter took my emotions to places they had not been or at least had not been for a long time. It has been going through my head for over 4 years. I didn't tell anybody except my fiancée within the first year after the encounter.
Now - quite a few people know. The person I was riding with that day just found out in 2014. I never told him about the story before, but because I couldn’t remember if it was springtime/early summer or late summer/Fall when this happened. I asked him what week if he remembered. When he told me it was springtime / early summer, he naturally asked why – what’s up? I told him what happened. It turns out that he believes in these creatures too. He then realized why I was acting so weird when we finally caught back up with each other, and then on the 2 and a half hour truck ride home. Now I wish I would have told him then. Maybe we could have joined together and gone back to look for signs or whatever we could find. Instead, the overwhelming feeling of “What the heck was that”, and “I can’t tell anybody-they won’t believe me anyways” took over, and I kept it to myself.
Nobody has to tell me what I saw or didn't see. I knew what I saw. I saw a large dark figure with hair that could throw rocks (and very accurately), stand up within 100 feet from me, in a large dense forest where there aren't any cabins or people just hanging out. I still do leave the option open for an extremely large man (larger than anyone I have ever met) in a heavily padded Gillie suit with hair on it standing about 100 foot from the trail just waiting for someone to stop in that exact spot so he could throw rocks at him and take a chance of getting shot (most folks on ATVs will pack a handgun when riding in deep woods. At least that's my experience). Now that’s being sarcastic, but trying to make a truth out of what happened. Of course that option is slim, but it will always be there as I didn't walk up to this thing and shake its hand or hug it, so being 100% sure it was a Sasquatch just isn't possible. I am at 99.999% sure though. I do know that a fear like I’ve not felt in a long time, if ever, took over me for awhile. Something told me to go, to move on, that I shouldn't be here right now. Again - I am a very rational person and this just didn't make sense to me at all.
I eventually plan on returning to that general area, on ATV and parking the bike and doing some walking. I just need to look around and feel comfortable with that. Ever since my encounter, I cannot put this down. I’ve been researching since and came across various online groups that discuss encounters. I want to learn as much as I can before returning and looking around and I want to go armed with more knowledge than I have now.
UPDATE: I have returned to this trail (5 1/2 years later) and found the area this happened. It was strange being there. Some of my biggest questions since learning more about these creatures are “What was it doing there, close to used ATV trails” and “Why did it draw my attention to itself?” If it hadn’t thrown rocks I would not have looked and if it hadn’t stood up, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it. Someone told me that maybe it was travelling and recently crossed that trail. The reason for rock throwing and drawing attention to IT was possibly to draw attention to it on purpose so my attention wouldn’t go to something else nearby less able to protect itself. I interpret that as young ones. That NEVER crossed my mind. Just to realize that one was in the area blew my mind away and made me start thinking differently about what could be out there. Now, there may have been more? I’ll never know that for sure, but it does make sense to that question that’s been bugging me. I now wonder if there were young close to me, maybe they were throwing the rocks being mischievous. It is still hard for me to grasp that anything could throw rocks from approximately 90 feet away and hit the same general area – very, very accurate. If it wanted to harm me, it would have beaned me in the head and I wouldn’t be writing this encounter.
I've since been researching an area about 25 miles west of this location. I went from not caring or thinking about Sasquatch to a full blown enthusiast. I attend conferences and have actually received an invitation to Beachfoot in Oregon in 2016. For this years Ohio Bigfoot conference, Sybilla Irwin (a BFRO member and artist) is doing a drawing of what I've described to her, and will be unveiling it at the conference. All of this is exciting, and I cannot wait to see her bring this back to life, and return my emotions back to that 1 minute of my life that changed how I think now. I cannot attach that picture yet as the Ohio Bigfoot conference director has asked not to put it out there until after the conference. But if you would like, I could come back to this and attach the drawing, which will be as close to what I saw as possible. also - for more info on this, The guys from Monster X internet radio contacted me and asked if I would come on their show. They saw my encounter on a group. I agreed and did a 2 hour show with them, discussing this event. Google MONSTER X Dave Groves. I am not looking for any type of notoriety out of this. It's why I haven't put up a report. But they found me and asked, so I agreed. I feel that folks need to know about this and that these creatures DO exist Anybody who knows me will tell you I am a very honest person. It is one of my strong qualities. I know there are many made up hoax bigfoot stories out there, but I can assure you that this is NOT one of them. I wasn't out looking for a bigfoot that day. I did not ask for this encounter to happen. But it did, and it changed many things about me. I stopped hunting deer and have not hunted since that day. I now cannot put Bigfoot stuff down and even started a bigfoot book collection with some very old and hard to find, autographed bigfoot books. This doesn't happen to a person overnight, unless something occurred to change them. That day certainly did change me.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing heard. I didn't smell anything odd either like I've heard happens often. There was rock throwing, which is what got my attention. No growling or noise from the creature at all. It was almost a peaceful, curious look to it. I actually did not fear for my life until it moved backwards into the thick forest. That's when I took off.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 of us were riding together, but only I witnessed this while pulled over and waiting for my buddy to catch up.
OTHER STORIES: Since this, I've been doing research nearby. Many encounters happened in this area and west through Venango County. Since this, I have met a person who believes he has been having encounters while camping in this forest. I have seen pictures of tracks made approximately 10 miles from this location. When you talk to the local folks, they will tell you about these creatures. However, nobody is doing any real research there, so it stays fairly quiet. I did contact the rangers station headquarters in Warren Pa but have never heard back from them.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: This occurred at approximately 4-5 pm. The skies cleared up and were fairly clear blue and sunny but area was wet from previous rain. Air was clear - not foggy, it was in an opening in the forest probably 50 yards wide. The trail came through with 1-2 foot tall grass running along the forest at about 30-40 feet wide. So - open area with darker forest behind the subject, but clear.
ENVIRONMENT: This was in the Allegheny National Forest. Its an old forest, very dense in some locations, hilly in some spots. Several creeks run through it, there are beaver dams and a lot of wildlife, including bear, deer, coyote, fox, porcupine, etc.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Sybilla Irwin:
I have spoken with this witness and have met him personally. I find him 100% credible.
These details can be added:
* There were no trees between him and the Sasquatch to obscure any part of his view.
* He originally thought it might be leaning forward because the arms were so long.
* The witness had a camera and a gun, but it never occurred to him to use either.
*The witness described the eyes as being totally dark, seeing no white in the eyes at all.
*The creature was very thick chested, 3 feet wide, and very muscular weighing approximately 500lbs. It's fingers were unusually long, and he saw much muscular definition in the biceps.
*The hair was shiny black and was 3 to 4 inches in length.
Working with the witness sketches were created for this sighting:
These sketches and more can be seen @ SybillaIrwin.com
About BFRO Investigator Sybilla Irwin:
• Bachelor of Arts Degree from Texas A&M University
• Self employed Artist
• Professional stained glass artist and teacher.
• Professional event Photographer
• Fine artist. (Oils, pastels, & watercolor) Wildlife, Portraiture, Landscape, and sketches of Sasquatch for investigators and witnesses.
• Attended Texas Expedition 2008, Colorado Expedition 2008, Oklahoma Expedition 2008 and numerous private expeditions. She has attended: Michigan UP Expedition 2009, Utah Expedition 2009,Wyoming Expedition 2009, Colorado Expedition 2009 attended the Oklahoma Expedition 2009. In 2010 she attendee BFRO 'Investigator Only' expeditions in Texas and Colorado. She attended the
Colorado Expedition 2011. She Co-lead the BFRO's first all female expedition held in November Texas Expedition 2011. She lead and organized the recent Texas Expedition 2012.