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COUNTY: Mecklenburg County
LOCATION DETAILS: From Clarksville, take US 15 North across the lake, turn left just after crossing and continue on US 15. Go app 5 mi and turn right on VA 49, go app 9 mi and turn left on County rd 640. I don't remember the exact distance, but I think it was about 3 miles to Buggs farm on the left, a farm house about 1/4 mile off the paved road. The campsite we had that night was about 200yds from the end of the finger of water we camped near. I was just looking at a map of that area.
NEAREST TOWN: Clarksville, Va
NEAREST ROAD: US 15
OBSERVED: From the late 60's to about 1990, my Dad took us camping many weekends in the summer to the John H Kerr Reservoir (hereafter know localy as Buggs Island Lake)wich stradles the Virginia, North Carolina border, along the southern border of Va and about half way across the state from the Atlantic Ocean to the Tennessee. This lake is very large, man made and 80 miles long, part of the Roanoke River and 3 miles wide at the Clarksville bridge. We had a 64 Ford Econoline conversion camper that we used to travel a great deal and camp in often. About 1970, my Dad found a farmer named Sam Buggs, that had turned a portion of his farm along a section of Buggs Island Lake into a permanent private campground with yearly leases on lots. Most People had campers or even large mobile home placed there in a semi-permanent arraingement. My Dad had sold the van and was about to buy a 23ft camper and was thinking of leasing a lot from Mr Buggs so we went to the lake with a couple of tents as I recall, around May of 1970. We had a typical family camp set up and had grilled burgers and such on the colman stove and then sat around the fire and talked and joked until we all went to bed in our tents, 3 kids in one, Mom and Dad in the other. I was 15 then and didn't go right to sleep, but lay there a while and listened to the rest of the camp area quiet down and settle in for the night. The place within the camp that we pitched our tents that night wasn't in a typical "setup" campground. We were more or less just in a spot cleared of small brush along side the tractor path that led down to the lake. The piece of lake that afronted the camp near us was just 25yds away. There weren't any campsites within 50/75 yds of us, so it was really quiet by about midnight. I was laying there when I heard something rooting around in our trash. Now, let me tell you, I lived so far back in the country and camped and fished and hunted and just ran the woods all the time since our nearest neighbor was 3/4 mi away, that my Dad use to say we went camping to "see" people! Well, upon hearing the noises from the trash, I thought of the pet Racoon that I had just 2 years before and thought I would see how many were out there, so I grabbed my 6 Volt flashlightt to take a look. I very quietly (barefoot) sneaked out of the tent and looked over to where the trash was and pointed the light and then hit the on button. Well, what I saw was no Racoon, it was a furry creature, standing about 4 ft tall, standing upright (and I don't mean on its's hind legs), that jerked it's head suddenly to it's "left" towards me, about 20ft away. It had been looking over and into the trash bag we had hanging from a stub of a branch on a sapling when I interrupted it with my light. As soon as it snapped its head to look at me, it let out a squeal/grunt and dashed away, where, I don't know, because I had turned to run the other way towards my Dad's tent, and I started yelling and shouting about a monster or creature or at least words to that effect, as well as urging my Dad to get his gun (former Marine and Sargent of Detectives in Roanoke Va). Well this generally woke everybody up and and probably a fair amount of the camsite too because I created quite a ruckus at midnight! Anyway, I must have had to tell my Dad that same story over and over 50 times, (That was the Detective in him) and I had him convinced that I'd sen something, but we had no idea what it was. Of course, we'd never heard of Bigfoot then, but a few years later, after many ribbings from my Dad, and brother and sister, we did talk about it one night and did speculate that just maybe that is what I saw that night. Now after numerous specials and much information about Bigfoot and Devil Ape and many other names, I am more convinced than ever that I did see a small one that very night. To be honest, when people ask me to tell them just what it did look like, I tell them it did resemble those Star Wars, creatures, the "Ewoks", except it was slim. The fur was a reddish/brown and reddish yellow(orange?) color, the face was more like a Chimp or Orangutan, (that was my thought that same night). I did look for tracks, but the whole area was trampled by everyone looking around that night, so I never saw anything that looked out of place. Well, thats my story, it's true, I was there and I'm a believer! The strange thing is that it wasn't until years later that I realized that if there was a young one there, that meant there was an adult one there too! I'm glad i didn't realize it that night, because I'm sure I never would have finally been able to sleep. My Dad did put that camper in that camground, about another 50 yards further up the slight hill, and they camped there until he sold it about 1990. I joined the Navy in 1974 and spent most of my time far from Virginia and only camped a few time there while on leave. I never did hear any other stories about strange things, but I did witness one other strange occurance, in the middle of the morning one day, just a couple years after Dad put the camper there. Sam Buggs used to have a very friendly Bird dog, the name escapes me, but one day, mid morning, in the summer, I did see that dog walking over towards a large oak tree, maybe 3 ft thick at the edge of the campground (this was maybe 50/60 yds frome my Dad's camper) and his tail was tucked, and he was acting shy and submissive, yet walked over behind the tree as if going to someone he didn't know ( I saw him do this often to new people in the camp ground). Just as his head and front quarter went behind the tree he suddenly flew trough the air as if kicked right back the way he had come, landed on his back yelping and ran as hard as he could back towards the farm. Well, I was pretty angy that some one would just kick that dog like that and went over to that tree to see who had done it, and there was no one around......anywhare. I looked around but didn't see any sign that anyone had been there, no boot prints....nothing. The ground there had been raked down to just a few leaves and mainly a hard clay typr surface for a mobile home that was put right beside that oak tree the next week. Anyway, this was 2+2 doesn't add up thing and that the only other thing I ever heard or saw myself. US highway 15 crosses a finger of the lake about 5 miles north of the Clarksville bridge, near a boat ramp called "Stoney Point", the campground was about 5 more miles up that same finger of water. I have no idea if that campground even exhists now. Im retired from the Navy and living in Arizona now.
OTHER WITNESSES: no
OTHER STORIES: See my first long story.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About midnight
ENVIRONMENT: Okay, pine and hard woods, fairly thick with brush and saplings away from the waters edge, along a finger of water 100 yds wide and 200 yds from the end of the finger (swampy area)
Follow-up investigation report:
I spoke with the witness by phone. He was able to describe the creature he saw with a bit more detail. He said overall the hair color was like that of an orangutan, though it appeared lighter at the tips of the hairs, and he thought some of that might have been the way the light was shining on the animal. He described his flashlight as a rectangular unit that, while bright enough, put out a yellowish light. He said he did not notice hair on the face. He described wide cheeks, large eyes, a broad nose, and full lips. The hairline continued from the scalp down the jowl, as in sideburns, all the way down to the neck, which was very furry. The hair length was 1 - 2" long, very thick overall, and longer on the arms "like an irish setter's front leg hair looks."
He said his view of the creature was very good, though short. He said the creature was more like 6-10' away, rather than the 20' mentioned in the report. The creature reacted to him with surprise, uttered a cry "somewhat like a bobcat" and ran away at a speed which amazed the witness. He said the creature did not look athletic, being more rounded at the belly and full at the hips, but it did move like an athlete. He described its movements as "lithe and sure."