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COUNTY: Athens County
LOCATION DETAILS: The location would be on the property of Hocking Technical College between the Railroad bridge and the campus security building.
NEAREST TOWN: Nelsonville
NEAREST ROAD: State Route 33
OBSERVED: It was in July of 1980 just outside the town of Nelsonville Ohio. I was in college there at Hocking Technical college (HTC). It had been hot during the day so around 9:30 PM two of my friends and I decided to walk into town to get some snacks at a store in town. It is only a ten minute walk down the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway tracks into town. The temperature had dropped to around 72 degrees. On the way back from town heading towards our dorms we crossed the railroad bridge across the Hocking River. This is when we saw it. We had crossed the bridge back around 150 yards just east when we saw ahead of us a dark silhouette cross over the tracks going to the right. It blocked the light from the streetlight which was still a ways down the tracks. We kept walking and around 50 yards later we smelled the odor of "wet dogs" which was really strong. I looked over to my right and just about 10 or 15 feet away was this creature. I am guessing it to be around seven feet or so because I looked up when I saw his eyes shining in the cool moonlight. I couldn't believe my eyes. I dropped my groceries and ran like the wind. My two buddies were right on my heels. We ran all the way back to our dorm which was not very far. My buddy Kerry talked me into going back in my car for another look. I agreed reluctantly. When we got close to where we had just saw it the hair was standing straight up on the back of my neck, I was sweating profusely, and I was scared to death. We all were! When we got close, I stopped the car and couldn't go any closer. I didn't sleep at all that night and the next day there was an article in the Athens Messenger reporting numerous sightings in the area. I am not crazy or on drugs ....just fortunate. I have become very fond, but still scared of Bigfoot.
ALSO NOTICED: The next day I went back for the groceries and all I saw was an area where the cattails had been mashed over.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two other witnesses. One is a Columbus Ohio police officer and the other works for the West Virginia Department of Natural Resourses.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The night was cool, around 72 degrees. The moon was out and made for a very beautiful night. It was dry with just a touch of dampness in the air.
ENVIRONMENT: In an attempt to inform you of the surroundings, on the left (north) is a large meadow bordering the Hocking River, and on the right is a ditch with cattails growing in it, a dirt access road, and then the hill goes up into the thick woods. About 600 yards further down the tracks is a streetlight where the college road crosses the tracks.
Follow-up investigation report:
All the information given on the area of the sighting was extremely accurate. Having hiked all over the Nelsonville area I must say it's one of the most rugged parts of Ohio. Wayne National Forest is in close proximity to the south and Hocking State Forest to the north. I'm actually surprised more reports don't come from this area.