DHS Squirrel

WV '06 Expedition - Olof Sieman's Notes

These notes were written by Olaf Seaman, a BFRO investigator from Virginia.



First of all, we would like to thank Matt and the others who helped organize this trip.

We arrived on Thursday, late in the afternoon. We went and met everyone at [the lodge]. We talked a little bit and went back to our campsite. Not much happened around the base camp. One crew was down the river setting up some surveillance cameras on the river trail. The others who arrived late were hanging around at their camps. It rained late.

On Friday

We had errands to do which took most of the day. We got back to camp about 530 or 6pm. We had a fire and sat around and talked to the North Carolina crew. Pam Lovins and a couple of other members came over to our camp site and we all talked. Jessie (from the North Carolina Crew) and Maggie heard walking sound (like crunch of leaves and breaking of sticks) down below the camp site near the river. Olof and Dave heard something walking through (across) the water. Olof grabbed the starlight scope and walked with someone else down to the riverside. As Olof was looking across the river toward the river trail, Olof saw a dark figure walk out of the river and up the bank and out of site. This was about 10pm. Nothing much happened after that.

Bedtime was about 11pm. Saturday morning, we met everyone up at the lodge for breakfast. That afternoon, Maggie, Olof and Olof's parents went to [the canoe portage site] to take a hike from there towards the base camp. After walking a mile down the trail, Olof decided to go up the steep slope towards the rock hangovers he found last year. Olof followed the deer trail that was just below the overhangs.

I walked down towards the campground. After 30 min of walking, I sat down and then heard two [indicative sasquatch sounds] but I could not see anything. So I continued walking down the deer trail. As I was walking down the trail, I heard [the same sounds] again. Everytime I stopped, the sounds stopped. This went on for about 30 min. I walked down towards the K-crossing, and took another break. I saw a large black figure comming up from the river trail towards the hillside. As the figure came closer, I realized it was a black bear. It ignored me/didnt notice me. So I decided to head back down the deer trail towards [canoe portage site].

I found a gravel road and followed it towards the top of the hill,where I found a large field. I walked along the edge of the field. I came across a farmer, and he told me to leave and go back downhill towards the river trail. As I was walking down the hillside towards the river trail, I found a stick structure. I videotaped it and continued towards the river trail and met up with my parents and Maggie.

While Maggie and my mother were loading up the vehickle, I walked towards the river with my father to take some photos. I heard two [indicative sounds] from across the river. I radioed this in to let anyone in the area know.

As my dad and I were talking we heard one loud "whoop" which was on the river trail side. This was also radioed in. We left and went back to camp to make dinner. After dinner, we were sitting around the campfire when the North Carolina crew came up and told us what happened to them [on a tributary trail]. They told us that they had one loud wook knock and a large rock was thrown at them after being there for 10-15 min. They got the message that it was time to leave and they came to our base camp. This was about 9pm.

I told Dave that I was ready to go back to [the tributary trail]. But he had to talk to the other two of the Carolina crew to see if they would come. About 930 we were joined by others and now we were a total of 13 people. The 13 of us got back to the location at about 945. We split into 2 groups. One group was about 75 yds from the second group. We all sat down on the trail, which was trecherous in many places.

After sitting a while, Chris and I moved up to the first group. The rest of the group stayed where they were. We were all making [various types of provocation sounds] every so often, but nothing was hapening. After a while, I decided to walk up the trail with my red LED headlamp on. I stopped and looked around to see the terrain. As I was turning around to walk back, a rock went over my head and landed in the creek. As it landed in the creek, the rock hit another rock and made a spark. So I walked back to the group and everyone was aflutter about what just happened.

After a while I took another walk, but headed back down toward the other group. I got half way there when a large stick/log hit the tree near me. Dave said he saw the stick hit the tree while using the nightvision goggles. So I turned around and walked back to the group again and sat down with the group for some time.

Some of the BFRO investigators started throwing apples down into the creekbed. That is when we started to see eyeshine in different areas around us. The eyeshine was very brief. I took another walk down the trail towards the other group, and again, another rock landed in the creek very close to me. I turned around again and went back to the group and sat down.

While sitting there, Chris and I heard a low growl comming from behind us on the hillside. The whole time I was using my nightvision but did not see anything. Again I got up and walked up the trail approx 45-50 ft with my light on. As I turned around looking back towards the group that was sitting, a rock hit the tree in front of my face so close that I could feel the air move on my face. That time I decided it was too close for comfort. I went back to the group that was sitting on the ground.

We heard one long howl that sounded like the Ohio howl. We sat for some time and everything went quiet. After 40 minutes or so we decided to leave the trail. As we were walking out we found a stick structure on the left side of the trail that was not there when we came in. I videoed it and we went back to camp. We arrived back about 1am.

I told my wife Maggie what had happened. I was too hyped to sleep so I went to the camp of another person who was on the hike, who was also having trouble sleeping, and we talked around the campfire for a long time before I finally went to bed.

Sunday morning we went to the lodge for breakfast. We talked about the events of the night before. When Matt came in he wanted to hear all the details from each person. Patty gave more details about what she saw. She said the last time I walked away from the group the side illumination of my LED headlamp briefly illuminated a BF to the side of the trail. She said it was standing about 10 ft. from me as I passed by that spot.

Later that morning we went back to see the area during the daylight to look for any evidence. I videoed the whole time during this hike the following morning. We found where the rock hit the tree (and almost hit my face). There was fresh moss torn where the rock hit. We found where one of the rocks hit a different tree. Patty was showed me where the BF was standing. The plants were all mashed down at the place where she said it was standing.

Patty said she wanted to see where a small tree was swaying the night before. She went to look for that. Chris P. found what looked like toe marks in a mud bank of the rocky creek bottom. While this was going on, Nick decided to climb up the hillside to see if there was anything of note in the overhang small caves up on the hillside.

Dave and Patty found where something had been walking in the creek bottom, because the leaves were mashed down where other leaves around it were still fluffy. Dave later found what looks like a muddy hand print on a large flat rock.

Everyone who was there agreed that there were at least 3 different BFs around us during that encounter.

Sunday night we went up back up the trail with the remaining members. Matt brought two thermal camera sytems with him. He had pulled out these two cameras from a satellite camp after hearing what happened on Saturday night. Nothing happened this night - Sunday.

On Monday, we packed up and left. IT was LOTS OF FUN! We are looking to do this again!