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Geographical Index > United States > New York > Chemung County > Report # 145
Report # 145  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, August 13, 2000.
Unseen large animal stalks jogger at night along trail near Elmira

YEAR: 1989

SEASON: Winter

MONTH: February

DATE: unsure

STATE: New York

COUNTY: Chemung County

LOCATION DETAILS: The trail I was jogging on was at the base of one of the hills that surrounds the Chemung valley. The trail itself was approx. one quarter of a mile long, fairly clear (about two feet wide), and surronded by woods on both sides. The trail itself (as well as the hill) is located in the outskirts of the city proper (actually the Town of Elmira vs. City of Elmira). As it was very cold that evening, the snow was ice crusted and it was very easy to discern footsteps in the woods. There are a number of trails that diverge from this one that lead up and over the hill (the hill is probalbly 150-200 feet tall, with a gentle slope).


NEAREST ROAD: a good number of roads are in this area as it is residential, the most notable would be route 352.

OBSERVED: This incident occurred in late February of 1989 at approx. 10pm. The conditions that night were very clear and cold, with a fairly decent amount of moonlight. As I recall there was about 4 inches of old snow on the ground, and as it was very cold that evening the snow was ice incrusted, and made a good deal of noise when stepped on. I was jogging on a trail that is approx. one quarter of a mile long. The trail itself was fairly clear (about two feet wide) and ran across the base of one of the hills that surrounds the Chemung Valley. The surronding area was heavily forested with a mix of trees common to upstate New York.

The incident itself occured when I was about half way through the trail. At that point the canopy of trees was very thick, and as I was running I heard the distinct sounds of footsteps about twenty or so feet into the tree line off to my right. Being slightly startled, I picked up my pace a bit, but at that point believed that it was a deer in the woods (the trail itself is a common deer path). Although startled I figured I had spooked a deer, and expected to hear the deer recede into the woods in the opposite direction. Instead, I heard the footsteps move parallel to the direction in which I was running. This immediately sent a streak of fear through me as I have lived in upstate NY all of my life, and knew very well that a deer would bolt in the opposite direction if startled. I ran faster, and as I did so the foot steps in the woods quickened. Thinking that I may be hearing nothing then the echo of my own footfalls I stopped dead in my tracks to test my theroy. When I did so the steps continued for another two or three seconds, stopping slightly ahead of me and to my right. I stayed where I was for another ten seconds or so trying discern what the sound might mean, and while I waited there I could clearly hear what sounded like slight side to side movement off in the woods, as if someone was steping from one foot to another as if anxious. I attempted to see into the tree line, but could not see that far into the woods clearly. After about ten seconds or so I began to jog again, and tried to convince myself I was just hearing things and was spooking myself. When I had gone about five feet the foot steps began again. It was very clear to me that the sounds were coming from a bi-ped, as the footfalls sounded like that of a person vs a deer or dog. What spooked me was that for every two to three steps I was taking, the individual (for lack of a better term) in the woods was taking one. I am six feet four inches tall, and at the time was taking the longest strides I could. the thought that kept racing through my mind at the time was that it was either someone having fun with me (this thought was dispelled by the appearent giant strides I heard) or that I was alone in the woods with a psychopath with very long legs (not a joke). The most disettling element at the time was the fact that I am over six feet tall, and at the time weighed in exess of 250lbs (mostly muscle), so I figured that who ever it was was not intimidated by my physical presence. I made record speed through the trail, and exited onto a service road next to the local golf course. At this point I ran another ten feet or so into a clearing at the edge of the trail and stopped to look back into the woods. I conntinued to hear the footfalls until they stopped at the edge of the tree line. At that point I was standing under a fluorecent light, and as such lost any night vision I had acquired. Consequently, I could not identify any shape or form in the woods. I did clearly hear what sounded to be heavy breathing, and a light, throaty rumble. My initial thought was that it sounded like someone with a respitory condition sitting in the tree line. I then heard a tree branch snap, and at this point I turn and ran at break neck speed across the gold course, looking back over my shoulder every ten feet or so (at one point I tripped, and remember thinking that tripping like that only occurred in the movies. A few mintues later I exited the golf course onto one of the mail streets in the town of Elmira, and have not used that trail at night ever since. At the time of the incident I did feel extremly scared, but in retrospect I feel like there was no real threat in the incident. Whoever or whatever was in the woods that night could have clearly done me harm if they so wished, but the entire time whatever it was stayed twenty or so feet off to my right.

I have not given this incident a great deal of thought since the occurence until I was reviewing this sight and noted a sighting of a big foot in a area not to distant from my experience. I asked a friend of mine who lives in the area of the documented sighting what he knew of big foot, and he indicated that for years people have stated they have seen big foot in the woods on Conneticu Hill (about fifteen miles from where I was). I do not know if this was a big foot, but something was in the woods with me that night, and fromthe sounds of it made, it was to large to be a person, and was definitely bi-pedal.

ALSO NOTICED: None that I am aware.


OTHER STORIES: There is one documented sighting that occured in Alpine junction (about fifteen-twenty miles from where I was that night). Also, in asking around, I learned that the area of Alpine junction has a local history of big foot sightings.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: The incident occurred at aprrox. 10pm at night. I was jogging through a trail at the base of one of the hills in our valley. Area was mixed forest common to upstate New York. It was late Febuary, cold, with about four inches of old snow on the ground. The night was cloudless and clear, and there was a fairly decent amount of light between the moon light, and its reflection off the snow.

ENVIRONMENT: As noted previously, I was on a trail that cut through the woods at the base of a hill. The trail is approx. a quarter mile long, and ends at the local golf course. The surrounding area is a mix of trees (pine,maple, etc.) common to upstate New York. The trail itself is a common path for deer, which I had initially thought was following me. The entrance to the trail is at the end of a dead end street in a residential area, although there is no heay traffic (human, car) in the area at that time of year. There are a number of ponds within a tenth of a mile or so from the trail (on the golf course)