Geographical Index > United States > New York > Chautauqua County > Report # 6384|
Submitted by witness on Friday, May 23, 2003.
Occasional incidents from 1970's up to recent years, near Findley Lake
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STATE: New York
COUNTY: Chautauqua County
NEAREST TOWN: Findley Lake
NEAREST ROAD: Sulphur Springs Road
OBSERVED: I live in the Western part of New York State. My story concerns a hunting camp I belong to that is approximately 65 miles Southwest of Buffalo, New York and approximately 20 miles Northeast of Erie, Pennsylvania. The area is considered rural with second growth forests. My story concerns four separate incidents over a twenty-five year span. Taken separately you can probably explain them away. But, taken collectively leads me to believe that there may be more to it.
Back in 1975 (year is approximate) my uncle, cousin, and I where at the hunting camp. I do not recall the exact time of year but it was either late summer or early fall. Late one evening perhaps 10:00 or 11:00 pm we heard a very strange, powerful call. My uncle, who was a excellent outdoorsman, could not identify the call. To me it sounded like a cross between a bird of some sort and a bobcat. As we listened, the animal was moving through the backwoods. After awhile my uncle decided that he wanted to locate the animal making it.
The area in question is sandwiched between a large swamp (that is very, very difficult to walk through) and a 50 acre lake. This area becomes increasing narrower and animal would most likely pass through a narrow tract of land, approximately 200 yards wide, before crossing a road. So he, my cousin, and I headed out in to the night. My uncle took us to a field that sits next to the narrow track. Here we waited. The animal was getting closer. When it was maybe 100 yards away it stopped calling. We could not see it, nor do I believe it could see us. We waited for sometime but it never called again and did not cross the road. I almost forgot about this incident until very recently.
Fast forward to approximately 1993. My uncle while out hunting in the same area as mentioned above claims he had seen a Bigfoot. As he relayed the story I could tell he was visibly agitated and quite forceful in his conviction in what he had seen. Now, I must tell you a couple of things about my uncle. First of all he died in 1997, so unfortunately, I cannot question him further. But, he was a excellent outdoorsman. He had hunted small and big game all along the eastern part of North America. When he has younger he would go to Ontario, every spring and fall, near James Bay to hunt bear and moose. I would say he was very familiar with bear and their habits. So, I am sure it was not a bear he had seen. But, he also liked to drink whiskey and beer. So when he told us he had seen a Bigfoot, I am sure all of us (including me) thought he must have been hallucinating. However, as I think back about my uncle, even when he was quite drunk, I had never know him to makeup stories. He certainly liked to retell his stories over and over again. But, they were always factual and did not varied in detail.
In the fall of 1999 my brother-in-law told me, while cutting firewood in the same area, he had seen something very large. He did not get a good look at it because it frighten him so much he hopped on his four-wheeler at left the area immediately. At the time, my brother-in-law did not know of the my uncle's Bigfoot story. So, I was quite intrigued. I asked him questions as to size and color. But, he could only say that it was very large and black in color. I did not follow up to investigate the area because sometime had past since the incident and he had gone back into the same area without seeing anything unusual.
Two months ago, while reading a media story that "Bigfoot is Dead", I came across the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization Website (www.bfro.org). On the website are recordings of supposed sasquatch vocalizations. As I played one of the recordings I almost fell out of my chair! It was the same vocalization I had heard approximately twenty-five years ago. The sight and sounds of that night so long ago came back to me in a flash. It was this last incident that captured my interest and convinced me to purchase your book and to study this subject further.
I must admit though that I do have some issues with the possibility of a sasquatch living in the area. 1) there has never been to my knowledge any other sightings in the area. However, according to the BFRO there have been an number of incidents south of area in Pennsylvania and one incident in the next county to the east. 2) the area in question, although rural, seems a bit too populated for one or more animals to avoid detection. Even when an occasional bear wanders through it always seems to get spotted from time to time. 3) I too have hunted and hiked over the same area many times in the past thirty years and have never seen anything to suggest a large creature is living in the area. 4) the area supports a large deer population, but, I have never come across a deer kill in the manner described on this web site. To be fair, although I raise these issues, I also have never actively looked for signs of Sasquatch.
Paul J. Mateja
OTHER WITNESSES: Three witnesses: My uncle, my cousin, and me.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10 or 11 pm.
Of the weather conditions I can only recall that it was not raining.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine/hardwood second growth forest with a large pond and swamp