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STATE: North Carolina
COUNTY: Onslow County
LOCATION DETAILS: East side shoulder of US-17 approximately one or two miles north of the town of Holly Ridge, NC
NEAREST TOWN: Holly Ridge, NC
NEAREST ROAD: US-17
OBSERVED: In early October 1983 I was recently married and stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. Neither my wife nor I had ever been to Wilmington, NC before so one Saturday we made a day trip to Wilmington. We saw some sites, did some shopping, had dinner and went to a late movie.
While driving back to Camp Lejuene on US-17, just north of the town of Holly Ridge I noticed a very large figure on the right shoulder ahead. It was walking upright and I assumed it was a bear. I slowed down in order to avoid hitting it should it go down on all four legs and flee. I was going perhaps 10 MPH or a bit less when I finally realized that what I was approaching was not a bear. The creature I saw was massive; maybe 7 to 8 feet tall and I'd estimate 600 Lbs or more. The hair was a lighter brownish color and appeared long in its length. I could see its face very clearly.
What struck me at the time and even to this day is that the creature appeared to be oblivious to his surroundings and seemed deep in thought. It never gave any indication that he was aware of the car approaching nor did the bright headlights seem to cause it discomfort. It just kept moving along at a slow pace looking straight ahead. I finally passed the creature at nearly walking speed. I assumed I had to have been mistaken or could not have seen what I thought I had so I stopped the car. I looked back out the rear window and could see the creature still walking southbound in the glow of the stop lamps of the car.
I woke up my wife and had her look. She did look but said it must have been a bear. At that point I let it go and resumed my northbound trip back to Jacksonville.
One other thing to note is that my impression was that the creature was clean in the sense that its hair was not matted nor in tuffs. The hair was straight and laid flat against its body and seemed to vary in length from a couple inches to maybe 5 inches. There was no hair on the face which was a bit lighter in complexion than the fur surrounding it.
ALSO NOTICED: No
OTHER WITNESSES: Wife who was sleeping in the passenger seat of the car. I woke her up just after passing the creature; she could see the figure in the brake lights but said it had to have been a bear.
OTHER STORIES: I never discussed the incident with anyone for years afterwards assuming it would be dismissed out of hand as having seen a bear. To this day I have only ever related the incident to very few people.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 1:00 AM on a Sunday morning.
ENVIRONMENT: Paved two lane highway with wide soft shoulders on each side. Pine forrest to both the East and West sides of the highway. It was clear and temperature fair.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kevin Zorc:
I interviewed the witness/observer by phone on January 9, 2012. This sighting occurred at approximately 1:00 am on Sunday, October 2, 1983. The weather was clear, dry and air temperature was in the mid 60’s.
Observer and his wife recalled driving north on NC 17, approximately 1-2 miles past the town of Holly Ridge, when they approached what the witness initially thought was a large bear. Illuminated in the car headlights, the witness remembers a massive, hairy, bipedal animal walking south on the right shoulder of the road in opposition to his direction of travel. Length of observation time was about fifteen seconds.
Witness describes the animal's height in the range of 7-8 feet tall, with weight estimated at six hundred pounds. Hair color was brown with reddish highlights and about 2 inches or more in length. He slowed his vehicle to a crawl and was able to observe most of the upper body features, particularly the face, very clearly. He recalls it as different from an ape's face, more elongated, and hairless around the eyes/cheeks. Facial skin was described as reddish/chocolate colored and lighter than the surrounding hair. No beard or other lengthy head hair was detected. The head was large, sloped back to the top, and the forehead area between the brow line and top of the head estimated at 6-7 inches. The brow was hair-covered and very prominent. The eyes were darker colored, elliptical shaped and fixed forward. The nose was hairless, but not massive or wide; nostrils were visible.The mouth was wide and hairless. The neck was not prominent and observer described the head as blending into the shoulders.
He describes the body as stocky, somewhat muscular, and shoulder to shoulder measurement was thought to be approximately 3 feet wide. The torso was hair covered and chest muscles not overly prominent. No female breasts were observed, thus leaving witness with the opinion that this was a male animal. Arms were described as hair covered, excessively long, and extended to the animal's knees. Hands were described as “balled up” and hairless. Clenched hands were darker colored than the face, and no finger length estimate or nail description could be recalled. Thighs were described as muscular and about twice the girth of an adult human. Observer did not remember any details of lower legs/feet. No odor was detected, although the windows of the car were rolled up during the event.
Observer states that during this experience the animal ignored the car, was unaffected by the headlights or occupants and continued moving south as if it were “on a mission.” Its gaze remained forward as it moved past his vehicle, never turning its head to look in any other direction. The witness states the animal moved at a moderate walking pace, its arms were swinging in a normal bipedal manner. It issued no vocalizations, made no audible footfalls, nor could he hear it breathing. It did not appear to be injured or carrying any visible items. No other travelers were on the road during this experience; his wife was asleep in the passenger’s seat and did not observe the animal. The witness was not threatened during the event; he remembers feeling amazed, mesmerized and unafraid of this animal.
Below is a drawing by the witness of what he saw:
I found this witness to be a very sincere and credible observer who likely viewed an adult sasquatch.
The area surrounding this sighting remains primarily rural. Nearby Holly Shelter Game Land is a 75,120 acre Nature Conservancy tract typical of the Southeastern NC coastal plain. The area is composed of pine forest, flatlands, savannahs, dense swamps and pocosins. Animal populations abound and include deer, boar, bear, and various small game. The area surrounding Onslow County, North Carolina and the 246 square mile Camp Lejeune Marine Base has produced similar unusual animal reports on roadways as far back as 1987.
About BFRO Investigator Kevin Zorc:
Kevin Zorc enjoys outdoor activities; backpacking the Appalachian Trail and hiking around the United States. He attended GA 2011(#1), NC 2011 & 2013, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012/2013, Michigan UP 2012, California Central Sierra 2013/2014, California 2015 Expeditions and co organized the June 2014 NC Expedition.