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COUNTY: Rabun County
LOCATION DETAILS: West fork chatooga river
NEAREST TOWN: Clayton
NEAREST ROAD: Warwoman rd
OBSERVED: I went to a favorite spot for the weekend to get some peace and quiet and hopefully a monster brown trout. Been going there for years fishing and camping. Not extremely remote but wild and beautiful none the less.Its actually an old home place that has long disappeared, nothing remains except the concrete foundation and a narrow overgrown road that was once the driveway.Was very cold the night before, mid 20s,but the sun was shining bright and it was starting to warm up. I made the relatively short hike down the old road bed to my spot by the river.I dropped my pack against a tree and went down the step embankment to the rivers edge to check out the water and soak up some sunshine to warm up.After a few minutes I heard what I thought was another fisherman or someone up above me where the old foundation was.I thought "great,so much for peace and quiet, must be hardcore trout fisherman like me to be here in cold weather". I walked back up the embankment expecting to see people,, what I saw in broad day light, probably 30-40yds directly in front of me was what I can only describe as what appeared to be a fully erect gorilla, except his face didn't protrude out,it was flatter,and the hair was the color of a squirrel, browns, black, silver & a slight tint of red when the sun reflected off him.He was standing there, head slightly tilted back, squinting his eyes,soaking up the sunshine, just as I was.I couldn't comprehend what I was looking at at first. My first thought was "what am I looking at?".. Second thought was" God,look how big he is". It was incredibly muscular, at least 4ft wide at shoulders, 7-8ft in height,massive animal. The skin was a dark grayish color around the face, head was extremely pointed, like a dunce hat almost, no neck,large pectorals visible under the hair. Eye color was like a shade of amber. It was squinting in the bright sun, soaking up some warmth. He didn't really see me at first I don't think.I did kinda pop up over the embankment, I think he knew I was there but didn't really know where .He could have been trying to smell me. I watched this massive beautiful animal standing there in the bright sun for probably 15-20 seconds.I had a feeling of amazement, wonder & actually privileged .I knew that what I was looking at was truly one of Gods immaculate creations. It was beautiful, big and scary as hell, but beautiful. Hair was clean, looked groomed almost. Very healthy animal. After 15-20 seconds of seeing this I actually stepped up over the embankment all the way in view and I said out loud something like "hey big boy,ain't you a pretty thing!" That's when it finally saw me. It dropped its head down & froze. I could tell I surprised it. It wouldn't make eye contact. I could see its whole posture change. It became very shy& acted like it was hoping that as long as it didn't look directly at me I wouldn't see him. It was like a bashful child.I took a few steps toward it and said "hey big boy" ,or something to that effect, and that was enough for him. He turned to his left and he was out of there. I could here the limbs & leaves rustling as he made his getaway. He moved like a deer going up the mountain, fast fast. Didn't see him but I could hear him. After probably 5 seconds the rustling stopped and it was totally silent. Then I clearly hear what sounded like someone doing a drum roll with wooden sticks on a wooden table. Three" brat-tat-tat-tat's,very quick, very clear, definitely not a woodpecker. No doubt in my mind it was him. He had traversed the mountain side and was on the ridgeline above me in no more than 5-10 seconds. Unbelievable. I never felt threatened, never felt afraid. Was a feeling of privilege & respect. I set up camp and stayed at that spot for the night and all the next day but never saw it again. 'spent most of my life in those mountains walking feeder creeks,backpacking, fishing for brook trout.Thought I knew all there was to know.That day changed my life. Made me not only question my sanity & eye sight (I'm not crazy & have 20/20 vision), but my understanding of the natural world .Ive been back several times but haven't seen him.
ALSO NOTICED: No smells,so sounds other than the drumming
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: Heard a few but never believed anyone
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 12:13pm full sun
ENVIRONMENT: Mountains, river
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
I spoke with the witness by phone and he was still affected by what he saw in November of 2014. He seemed honest and concise in his retelling of events.
This special, out of the way place he fished at was a favorite spot. Tough somewhat out of the way, it wasn't completely remote.
After arriving at approx 12:30, he stood briefly in the morning sun to take in the warmth as it was a chilly night before. He then walked down a short distance to the river and set up to camp and fish for a couple days..after a short time, he began to hear someone up the bank where he had just come from..a noise of shifting and leaves rustling, and his first thought was "oh great, so much for a quiet day..", and he began to walk up to see who it was. As he crested the bank he was greeted with the sight of a huge hairy man-like ape. It was standing straight up with its head tilted up to the morning sun.It stood between 7 to 8 feet tall. Its eyes were squinted and its long arms hung straight down. It was standing in thick ground clutter and he could only see it from the thighs up. He described it as a clean, groomed animal with the hair color of a fox squirrel, brown with tints of black, tan, red, and silver. He said he could see the hair moving slightly in the morning breeze and there was no matting or dirt on the creature. Its eyes were an amber yellow and brown. It looked "absolutely beautiful". He detected no odor, said the creature had no neck with the head planted squarely on the shoulders, and had a distinctly pointed head. He also noted it was definately a robust and super muscular male with huge pectoral muscles(like a mountain gorilla) that flexed as it deeply breathed in the morning air.
He watched this animal for approx. 20 seconds(said it seemed like 20 min's), then felt overwhelmed by what he was looking at, and wanted to get a little closer. He stepped over a small log on the trail and took two steps, then quietly said something like "well look at you, you big beautiful thing". This is when the creature went into a completely different mood. He said it instantly went into a position like a busted dog that was in trouble.The witness again spoke gently to it, but it wouldn't look at him, looked only down, then backed up to try to blend into a large tree that stood a few feet behind him. That proved unsuccessful as he was just too big for the tree. It then turned to its left, and retreated into the forest, quickly like a deer, but not actually running. The witness said it covered ground that would have taken him 30 min to scale in 10 seconds. After it had made its way to the other ridge, he heard a rapid tat-a-tat-tat-tat. It sounded like a very rapid tree knock, but incredibly fast. He likened it to the speed of a drum roll.
The witness stated that this encounter has changed his whole understanding of the natural world.
About BFRO Investigator David Bakara:
David has three daughters and a wife that shares his interest in research, both having developed a deep respect for nature and knowledge of the outdoors and wildlife. Attended Northern Florida Expedition 2011, 2012 Washington Exp., and 2012 North Florida exp. Prior US Navy and currently works as a Leasing Agent, spending his time off in the woods as often as he can investigating Bigfoot reports.