These notes were written by Jerry and Melissa Adair (Georgia BFRO).
They were present during a portion of the Saturday night encounter
in West Virginia. His notes begin with his arrival at the expedition.
Melissa and I arrived at the base camp around 6ish on thursday.
We found Pam Lovins [abbrev. "PL" - to distinguish her
from Pam Porter "PP") there and talked with her for a
while. The group next to us was the Pennsylvania group. Upon setting
up camp, I had gone back behind our tent and across the road to
look for firewood. I found deer tracks all through the woods.
We hooked up with PL and her "R2D2" unit [a car-roof-mounted,
remote-controlled, thermal-imager] and decided to just go for a
drive with the system to see if we could see anything. We found
the cabin that [some of the organizers] were staying in and touched
base with them.
PL wanted to check out a section of FS road where a person supposedly
had a class A/B incident. That night I operated R2D2 as PL drove.
Melissa was on the digital camera and PL's gen 3 night vision. PL
drove slowly but we didnt really see anything special -- a few rodents,
deer, some cows and that was about it. Nothing spectacular. It was
really really cool to check out a thermal camera setup like that.
You definatly need a three man team with her system.
We got back around midnight and headed off to bed. Friday morning
we got up and met with the group at 10:30am for breakfast. There
was talk about going to the Cranberry to tromp around in that area
and see what we might be able to find. It took us a little bit of
time to find the location, after asking directions again. We headed
up the the FS trail and passed where the boardwalk was, continued
on up further north and parked. The gate blockes the road so you're
on foot. I wanted to check out the northern section of the cow pasture
trail. MM mentioned that a footprint was found and cast in this
area less than a year ago.
Upon finding the trail, we moved on through and the trail was muddy
and smooshy in some sections. We looked around a bit but did not
find any type of markings, structures or footprints in this area.
We were warned by PL to be careful up there, as she heard reports
of many bears. The enviroment seemed right for squatches. Plenty
of water, tons of deer trails, wild apples here and there, wild
On part of the northern section and off the trail about 75 yards
there is an observaction deck. We climbed up it and looked at the
mountain ridges around us in the distance. Each of us went down
and did the sound sequence that was recommended, but we got no response.
Melissa made more sounds on top of the small observation tower.
No response. We concluded that either there were no squatches around
in that area, or they didnt care to reply back.
We left the glades and went back up to camp. Nick from Rhode Island
said that some of them were going to dinner. We took off and had
a good meal, talked and decided around 9:30pm to head on back and
check out a few places. Kirk and Jill from Montana had already been
up to the [eastern trail connected to base camp], and we wanted
to hike around the river trail. We headed to [eastern] trail. We
met at the area on top where you park and all got out. Lights were
turned off and we [made sounds]. No response. We were reluctant
to hike down a dark steep trail that none of us had seen in the
daylight, so we headed back to the river trail and parked across
the bridge. On the way we passed Rip Lyttle, who informed us that
he was getting a good bit of noise and traffic along the ridge below
where he was parked.
We started along the river trail, with mimimal lighting and walked
probably a mile or two. We were across the river from the vacation
house with the keypad gated entrance. We did a few [sound sequences]
but did not hear anything special. Rip confirmed hearing our [sounds].
He said there was alot of traffic up on the ridge where he was.
We headed back to our cars and moved over where Rip was located.
Lights off and parked we listened and heard similar type sounds.
I cannot say I heard biped footsteps, as he described, although
it did sound like there were some kind of critters up there. We
had the bionic ear with us and listened as well. Again it sounded
like a big animal or something bobing around. I did hear a small
bird chirping and flying around as well.
We went back to camp for a bit, then Melissa and I hopped in the
car and drove back to where Rip was. This was around 1-2 am. We
stayed there for a few minutes, hearing a few things, then decided
to head back to camp and call it a night.
Saturday....and the 12 mile hike!!!
We got up as usual, started planning our day. It was our last day
and we really had not had anything special happen. We were debating
on leaving Saturday night or tuffing it out. We meet up with the
group at 10:30AM had breakfast and was talking with the North Carolina
crew about hiking along the river trail. David decided to go along
with us. We gave him a ride over the bridge and parked. Then we
were off...another 12 mile hike..but we had an increadable woodsman
with us. I got to know a little bit more about David. He was talking
about his experience tracking deer and other hunting experiences.
We swapped stories about this and that and just chatted a bit.
The group was scheduled to meet up at base camp at 1pm. We were
planning on being at the other side of the river at that time to
hear what was going on by radio. Upon making it to our destination,
David points to the side of the road and says, "Hey, look at that
... ". It was a small stick structure or what appeared to be one.
I know David, I know..I was very skeptical on this. So we examined
it and took a few pictures. The only reason I might say it was formed
was because of one of the limbs that was bent back as if something
was layed and pressed against it.
We continued on and meet our destination at the 1pm time. Stopped
and listened to MM talk about they were going to rent mountain bikes
and hit the trail. We wanted to hike up the steep ridge/rock outcrop
to get to the top and see if we could observe the base camp site
across the river. Coming around the bend of the river, we found
a meadow on the left with deer tracks all over the place. We found
a deer trail on the right wich gave us access to the side of the
At one point David asked me what type of tree we were walking around,
as it had pointed thorns on it. I explained that it might be a wild
hawthorn or wild crabapple tree, both of which bear fruit is edible
to wildlife. I actually hav a recipie for wild crabapple pie, and
has made tea out of dried hawthorn berries.
We tried to follow the ridge in a path that would enable an 8ft
person to walk along easily. We soon came up to alot of undergrowth
mountain laural. This stuff was thick, very thick. Several times
we had to forge our own small trail or crawl around on hands and
knees. We all three agreed that this would be very difficult for
some 8ft 500lb creature to navagate through.
We finally made it to the top of the ridge of the outcrop and I
could see a section of the gravel road down below. What a hike through
alot of brush just to catch a glimps of the road! On the walkie-talkies
we heard Matt and his crew on mountain bikes and we explained to
them where to come up. We explained that there was alot of undergrowth
and it was going to be a rough bushwacking job to get there. Oloff
stated that he was on a different ridge and was hearing faint [sounds]
in the distance.
As we continued on around the mountain laural groves, to get to
a better position for a view, Oloff was informing us that he was
leaving his position. Shortly thereafter we heard that Matt's group
was heading in toward us. After some time we heard some movement
and saw Matt approaching. Matt asked us if we saw anything or heard
anything. Other than a deer grunting at us and seeing a few of them
walking around (I think we counted around 7), there was nothing
unusual to report.
Matt said his crew was going back down to move toward the rock ledge
where the base camp could be seen from, if they could get up there.
Eventually we decided to head down out of the laural groves and
go to a small valley below. At this point David and Melissa both
said they heard [faint sounds]. We got on the radio and told the
other groups what we heard. Matt got on the radio and told us to
move in the direction of the sounds to see what happens. We walked
for a little while and came to a very open clearing. Basically we
were in the saddle between two ridges. We looked around and agreed
that it was an area where something 8ft tall could walk around in
easily. We continued on up the ridgeline to our left and came to
a rather large animal trail. David was saying it was an active deer
trail and pointed out all the upturned leaves which meant a herd
of deer passed through recently.
Melissa and David both [made sounds]. Matt's crew, on the trail
below the rock ridge, could not hear [our sounds], although David
did hear a faint [non-vocal sound] down the ridge and saddle. Someone
stated on the radio that they heard [sounds] from the meadow and
across the river and up on the opposite ridge (I believe this would
put the sounds right where we were located on Saturday night).
Over the radio Matt asked for David to head on down the ridge by
himself and [make more sounds]. I was very adamant that we should
not seperate and just leave him up there. Melissa and I told him
we would stay in eye contact with him and he headed on down a bit.
He did more sounds but I don't believe we heard a response. We decided
to head on down the ridge. We hopped over a barbwire fence and eventually
made it to the meadow where we started.
We talked about what we saw and we headed on back to our car very
Saturday night...the fun begins....
We moved out, and went to dinner, and came back, and talk was that
someone had something happen to them near the river's edge at base
camp. Come to find out Oloff had something moving behind his tent,
and a rock thrown, and something tromping out into the river.
Shortly after darkness fell the North Carolina crew arrived back
at base camp and they had a story to tell. They said they had moved
up the nearby trail along the side of the camp, and climbed up a
ridge via a deer trail. After they sat and turned off their lights
they heard [various sounds] and a rock was thrown at them. Getting
the point quickly and not having the ability to reach anyone on
the radio, the three of them quickly moved out of the area and headed
back to base camp.
Everyone was excited. We started getting a small group of people
together for a hike back to the area where it happened. I have to
say, my mind sorta was putting several things together. What if....what
if the squatches were using the ridge across the river for hunting...there
was plenty of vegitation, hickory nuts, black walnut trees, apples
crabapples, etc., etc., to feed on. There were also several places
where you could ambush deer easily. What if...they were using the
ridges by the camp for observation of people in the camp, and foraging
in trash cans at night, for food or whatever. The river would supply
water, fish, crawfish, muscles, etc., as well.
We met together and we were given instructions from Oloff that he
did not want anyone freaking out or running if something happeneed.
We asked David and his group how they went in, with respect to their
lights. It was with white headlamps blazing. Oloff wanted to go
in exacly like they did. This was running around 8pm-ish.
Upon heading in there was talk about splitting into several smaller
groups, as one massive group might be too intimidating. We reached
the destination about 15 min later. About 6 of us stayed at the
lower section, the other 5 headed about 50 yards up the trail. Lights
were turned off and Melissa was able to obtain PL's gen-3 night
vision. Oloff had his gen-2 as well.
After everyone settled down and turned off their headlamps, it was
not very long before we started hearing movement along the creek
bed below us. Oloff was next to me. He heard the movement in the
creek, and then he informed me that something else was moving across
the rock ledges above us. I could hear something moving, then suddenly
I heard something hit a leaf and land on the ground. I dont know
if it was a rock or not. It sounded like a large hickory nut (shell
and all) or a large black walnut falling from a tree high above,
rip through a large leaf and hit the ground. Melissa kept looking
through the nightvision and was not able to see anything through
the laurel thicket. We sorta passed it [the nightvision scope] around
between David and Melissa and both were not able to make out anything
The upper group was [making particular sequences of sounds]. I had
taken a seat next to Oloff and suddenly heard a very deep, loud
grunt. Talk about "puckered meter", mine was burried in the red
when I realized what might have made it. I remember hearing the
deer grunt, and I remember how I tried to grunt really low and deep.
This was much louder, much deeper and stronger than any of the two.
Chris P. was next to me laying down and I asked him if that was
a grunt and he stated that it was. I then realized that there must
be something above us looking down over the rock ledge, and another
one probably across the creek bed moving along observing us, and
another one further on up from the top group. The top group had
made several [sounds] when a sudden, very powerful knock was heard
roughly between the upper and lower groups. Instantly there was
chatter on the radio " that was not us..that was not us". The knock
was very distinct, deep and solid. Whatever did it was strong. It
was something that could pick up a heavy log and swing it very hard
against a tree.
We continued to hear something moving along the creekbed. It was
getting closer. Then a rock was thrown. We heard the rock hit a
tree and bounce. A moment later a branch was thrown. It hit the
side of a tree with great force and bounced off.
We waited a little bit more. The upper group was [making various
sequences of sounds] to draw their attention. Then suddenly we heard
a very loud distinct howl like the Ohio howl. The duration was just
the same. The changes in pitch were the same, the tone as well.
I'm standing here in the dark, thinking OK, one above us, one across
the stream, one possibly north of where the upper group is, and
there might be a whole other group of them over the ridge, in the
next hollow over.
At this point Melissa was starting to get a little nervous and
several of us were getting cold. It seemed like the Big guy was
not going to come a little closer to us. It was going stay at a
distance. Melissa was fine with that. The temperature had dropped
into the 20's (F). David, Melissa and myself were freezing, and
thinking the squatchs must be getting a little bored.
We decided to head on back. Dexter and Spotter headed down with
us as well. The rest of our group -- Nick, Joe , and Chris P. --
headed up the trail to the upper group to continue to listen. Melissa
and I headed back to Davids camp and built a fire. This was around
11:30pm ish. We talked about what happened that night.
A little after midnight Nick cruised by and told us what happened
up there after we felt. Nick said they had more rock throwing and
a stick structure was found along the trail. They were amazed by
the stick structure becuase it wasn't there when they first walked
up there. He also said that Patty had seen something.
Seeing how it was late we decided to go back to bed. David was heading
over to the other camp and find out what happened.
Sunday morning we got up and packed up the car. We would have loved
to stay longer but it was an 8 hr drive back home. We talked with
David and his crew about hiking back up there in the day. We knew
there would not be much in the way of footprints because the terrain
was so rocky, but we wanted to see what the terrain looked like
in the light. So we had breakfast, swapped stories and such at the
lodge, then went back to the trail.
We headed back up the trail to the area of the Saturday night encounter.
At one point on Saturday night, Melissa and David were using a nightvision
scope and were looking at something on the hillside. They wanted
to go back to that spot again, to see if the same shape was still
there. Melissa myself and Nick all went back and looked around.
Nick showed us the small stick structure.
I would have loved to look around through this area more. I definitely
think another expedition should be scheduled for Fall 2007. All
of the efforts of the expedition should be focused on the [Saturday
night incident area], with more attention to the ridges overlooking
the base camp.
Based on everything we saw ourselves while hiking around in there,
I believe the ridge across the [land formation] is an important
channel for them. If there is going to be another expedition to
this area I'd like to hike back to where we were on that Saturday,
and move further up the deer trail, and bushwack deeper into the
forest to see what's on top of the rock ledge and beyond.
Hope you enjoyed reading what we experienced. I came out of it a
lot wiser, braver, and more mindful of what lurks in the woods in