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Geographical Index > United States > Georgia > White County > Article # 477

Media Article # 477

Sunday, February 12, 2006

[Georgia BFRO Expedition Notes]

By Wayne Ford (excerpted, edited)
From an article in the Athens Banner-Herald

A quarter moon glowed over the treeline as darkness crept upon the mountains of White County, where a group of about 20 people had come to see if they could find signs of a giant man-like animal that some people claim to have seen roaming these parts.

Most of these searchers had been hiking a valley during the afternoon, but a group of four had driven to a location high on a mountain ridge along a winding U.S. Forestry Service road, where they were miles away from the nearest town of Helen.

The four spread out in the darkness as a cold wind coursed through the leafless trees. Taking a heavy piece of wood, a couple of the men struck hard against a tree. Occasionally, they made a whooping sound. Both actions were a technique of using sound to attract a quarry. And two men from Corrinth, Miss., Jason Mattox and Brian Smith - said they believe the lure worked. At least, something responded in a like manner. "We started hearing the wood knocking - bam, bam, bam - and then a whoop. It was deep and it was so clear," Smith said. "It was just around the corner and I was like, 'Oh God.'"

"Were you giving warnings to each other?" a voice asked over the radio, refering to a protocol to alert others whenever they would do a wood knock or whoop.

"Yes," Mattox replied. "The way we were stationed, there is no way it could have been Nick (Wamboldt) or Wayne (Ford). We also heard a couple of whoops and maybe a grunt. It was maybe 200 yards up on the ridge above us. No one is up there."

After the radio conversation, the four gathered at one location to await the other group members.

"It was awesome. It was so distinct," Smith said.

"Yeah, my knees started shaking," Mattox added.

After most of the others had arrived at the remote location, they continued the technique of wood knocking, and again three members of the party said that from their vantage point they heard a wood-knocking response and a long, deep moaning sound.

Earlier that same day in a valley shielded by tall mountains the guides found what they described as a pathway, where trees were "pruned by something very tall". One part of the expedition party led by Leigh Culver of Atlanta, who is a trained tracker. He found track signs left by something walking on two legs with a long stride. The tracks were not good enough to make castings.

This part of Georgia was chosen for the expedition because of a cluster of sighting reports from this area, some of which are shown on the BFRO web site.

Eight other expeditions are planned for this year, from sites in Oregon and Ohio to North Carolina. This expedition included people from South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and several from the metro Atlanta area. All of them expressed an eagerness to continue helping the BFRO investigate various sighting areas in Georgia, including this one.

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