Geographical Index > United States > Tennessee > Campbell County > Report # 29704
Submitted by witness on Tuesday, June 28, 2011.
Memory told of a possible encounter while camping with friends near LaFollette
(Show Printer-friendly Version)
COUNTY: Campbell County
LOCATION DETAILS: Travel from Knoxville TN north on I-75, take exit 134, go right continue east on highway 63 approximately 15 miles on the left side of the highway at the large bend in the mountain
NEAREST TOWN: Lafollette
NEAREST ROAD: General Carl W Stiner highway 63 east
OBSERVED: Let me first say I'm glad you folks are out there and believe as truly as I do that bigfoot is real. Back in the summer of 1995 myself and four friends were camping at the base of a mountain in our town in east TN. Normal night with our friends until the campfire died down. We were on an old road bed and had been breaking all kinds of dead trees for a fire and as we were doing this a lost hunting dog came up to us. When it did we gave it some peanut butter and the poor starving thing ate some then carried of the plastic jar we didn't think anything else of him until a few hours later. The fire started dieing down and me and 3 of my friends were sitting leaning against the embankment as the dog came running back to us shivering. We were all kinda like what the hell "I'm getting chills as i type this" we were looking in the direction where the dog cam from and we saw a large, dark shadow just out of the light, just out of our clear vision from the fire. Me and my friends froze. The dog was whimpering and that's not normal for a coon dog. We saw the shadow turn towards us and all we saw were the reflection of its eyes. It paused to look for all of 45 seconds and then, like it was shot out of a cannon this loud sound like it was running through the woods, breaking trees at this point. Fear had overwhelmed all of us. We had been in this area of the woods many times over the years we built the fire as large as we could and none of us slept the rest of the night. When we saw what we considered to be a bigfoot there was this terrible wet animal smell that was unmistakable. To this day I've never smelled an animal like it since.
Approximately 3 or 4 years later me and one of the guys were at the top of the mountain not far from there at a large natural sand cave and a large waterfall. We got bored as people that age do and and went on top of the sand cave to sit at the edge of the waterfall. As we climbed up to the top we had that same smell hit us and the same type of destruction was present. Trees about 3.5 to 4 feet up were just broken off like the first time we encountered this. We looked around and followed the path as far as we could until it ran out. We all still talk about this to this day and we all get cold chills when we do. I'd love to be able to speak with one of you or all. If you think this is worth your time, me and those guys would be willing to speak to you about this.
ALSO NOTICED: When we were breaking tree limbs off we thought we heard a loud scream far off but we just thought a large cat had screamed because that is what we were told was around us.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3 and myself total of 5, one was in a tent already asleep. Myself and the others where leaning against a bank talking about life and what we thought we knew about everything and what we were going to do the next day.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was night around 12 or 1 am partly cloudy not much moon light
ENVIRONMENT: Pine trees and some leafy trees like oak and elm at the bottom of the mountain rocky area in places with a creak running from east to west, lots of mountain laurel and scrub brush and briars.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Ashlan Yost:
After speaking with this witness for an extended time via phone, I would add these details to the report:
The area where this incident occurred is near the town where the witness grew up. He spent a great deal of time in the outdoors growing up, and is familiar with the terrain and wildlife. Though the witness was nineteen at the time of this incident, he is now in his mid-thirties and remembers it well. Since this incident, the witness has worked as a firefighter, construction worker, and even in the military. He is a man who does not get frightened easily. To this day he still feels fear when he speaks about this encounter.
The witness and four of his friends decided to go camping in late June to early July. He is not completely certain what the date was. They went to an area that they had been many times before and were familiar with. The area is well into the mountains and requires a hike on a trail back to the area where the boys camped. The witness and his friends arrived at the campsite around 6:30-7:30pm. They proceeded to pitch a few tents and build up a large fire. The witness recalls that the weather was nice and it was fairly clear. He assured me that none of them had been drinking or using drugs of any kind. After making camp, the boys were "being nineteen year-old boys," throwing things at one another, laughing, and rough housing. The witness does not recall cooking anything over the fire that night. The friends had only brought peanut butter and bread for sandwiches. When the lost hunting dog came into their camp the first time, the peanut butter was all they had to offer it. He remembers the dog finally running off with the peanut butter jar, but not exactly sure what time that was. The friends continued to talk and joke around, while allowing the fire to slowly burn down. One of the five boys had retired to his tent and was already asleep. At around 12:30-1:00am the other four boys were leaned against an embankment talking, with what was left of the fire still glowing in front of them, when the hunting dog from earlier came running back into their camp. It jumped between two of the boys and began whining and shaking. It turned and began staring intently at the left hand side of the trail. The boys were confused about what could have frightened a hunting dog, and they too started looking in that same direction. With the glow of the firelight, they were able to make out a tall shadowy figure walking toward them. They were also hit with a very powerful, very foul odor. The witness described it as a "wet, rotten, funk." As it crossed the trail down to the other side, the figure turned to face them. The smell at this point was overpowering, and one the witness claims he will never forget. The figure stayed just outside the light of the fire, where they could not get a clear visual of it. They were able to make out that the figure that was seven and a half to eight feet in height. When it turned to look at them, the boys were able to see the reflection of the firelight in its eyes, which sat four to five inches apart. He said that the reflection in the eyes was similar to that of a cat and "greenish" in color. The witness estimates that the distance between the four boys and the creature was around fifteen feet at this point. For thirty to forty seconds the boys and the creature were totally silent, just staring at one another. Finally after the creature made no attempt to leave after that amount of time the boys began to panic. Fearing for their lives, they began to scream and yell in an attempt to frighten the creature away. When they began these scare tactics the creature turned and "tore off" up the mountain. They could hear the sound of branches and bushes being snapped and torn out of the way for ten to fifteen seconds after they lost sight of the creature. When the creature exited, it moved up the mountain and deeper into the forest. Being late and dark, the boys were too frightened to make an attempt to hike back out of the woods. They decided to build up the fire and stay up all night in case the animal returned. The hunting dog also stayed in their camp for the remainder of the night. The next day, the boys looked for tracks to corroborate what they had seen the night before. They were able to determine where the figure was standing when it was watching them. The area was on a decline, so their estimations of height were likely conservative. They searched, but were not able to find any tracks. They were however able to see a clear path of broken branches up the mountain where the creature had retreated. The creature never made any vocalizations of any kind during or after the encounter. He stated that they never even heard the creature approach because they were too busy worrying about the dog.
Several years later this witness, along with one of the other boys that was present during this encounter, were hiking at the top of the mountain around five miles away from where this encounter occurred. They were following a creek bed when they began to smell an odor similar to the one they smelled that night. They also encountered a similar trail in which many branches had been snapped clean at around the five foot area. They followed the trail for a short amount of time, when the odor became stronger and both men were certain that the same type of animal was close by, they quickly retreated from the area.
Even though these encounters occurred years ago, the events are very vivid in the witness' memory. It was obvious when speaking with this gentleman that recounting these experiences still causes him stress and fear today.
About BFRO Investigator Ashlan Yost:
Ashlan Yost was born and raised in East Tennessee. She has spent a great deal of time hiking and camping in remote areas.She has also spent a considerable amount of time in remote upstate New York. She has had a life-long fascination with animals, particularly wildlife. She is a licensed Veterinary Technician, practicing in the state of Tennessee. Ashlan began researching the sasquatch phenomenon ~2005. Attended:
2010 Tennessee BFRO Expedition
2011 Tennessee BFRO Expedition
2013 Kentucky BFRO Expedition
2013 West Virginia BFRO Expedition
Numerous private Expeditions.
Her main interest in the subject involves evidence such as tracks, scat, and hair samples. She also has a distinct interest in animal behavior.