heraldstandard - Is it the power of the pen, the power of suggestion or the promise of anonymity that produced the latest rash of reports of Bigfoot sightings in Fayette County?
An article about a Bigfoot sighting north of Uniontown by a woman who wished to remain anonymous was published in August. Her account was investigated by members of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society and researcher Stan Gordon of Greensburg, perhaps best known for his investigation into an alleged 1965 UFO crash in Kecksburg in Westmoreland County.
Following the publication of the article, Eric Altman, director of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society, reports that he has received phone calls about eight additional Bigfoot sightings in Fayette County, four of which were clustered around Dunbar.
"We also had a fifth second-hand report of a teen boy who is alleged to have seen a creature following him through the woods in the Dunbar area while he rode his quad," said Altman, 39, of Jeannette. "The boy is said to be so shook up by the incident that he doesn't want to be interviewed and was so frightened he won't go back to the area."
Altman claims that Fayette County seems to be quite an active area for Bigfoot sightings, based on the inordinate number of calls he has received over the past six months. Besides the Dunbar sightings, two have been reported in the Jumonville area, one in Confluence and one in Connellsville.
"Since the name of the witness in the newspaper account was kept confidential, I feel that people experiencing the same phenomena are now more comfortable and are coming forth to tell their stories," he said
When conducting his research, Altman first interviews the witness on the phone, claiming that, over the years, he has become quite adept at determining if they're telling the truth. After trying to get as much information as he can, he then sets up a face-to-face meeting, preferably at the location of the sighting.
"In a person-to-person meeting, I can read a lot from a witness' body language, eye contact and facial expressions," he said.
The latest sighting report came from Heath Landman of Dunbar, who said he doesn't mind revealing his identity and claims he and his son, Heath Nickolas Jr., 20, saw "something" crossing the road in front of them about 35 to 40 yards away as they were driving on Ferguson Road in Dunbar at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31.
"The creature was walking at a fast pace on two feet, stood about 6 feet 3 inches tall and had a cone-shaped head," said Landman. "It was moving at a good clip without running, got across the road in three steps, then headed up an embankment and into a thicket. The next thing I knew, I heard my son say, "My god, Dad, what was that?"
In a state of shock, Landman turned his car around, headed for home and called his three brothers on the phone. They, along with two nephews, later went with the Landmans to the site where the creature was spotted. After exploring the area, one brother found pieces of hair stuck on brier and a nephew took photos of footprints in the snow, which were shown to Altman during his subsequent investigation.
"The hair found at the site is now protected in a container," said Altman. "We have contacts across the country who can conduct lab tests to try to match the hair to that of known species. We can also do DNA tests on the sample."
Another incident took place on Sept. 23 in the mountains near Dunbar. A mother and daughter out for a drive stopped at a pipeline to take in the view and heard a rustling noise in the brush below. Thinking it might be a bear or a deer, they later saw that it was an upright creature, very muscular and tall, Altman recounted.
"They reported that the creature got to within 150 feet, and just walked away without looking at them or threatening them in any way," said Altman, who met with the witnesses the following morning. "While hiking around the vicinity of the sighting, we discovered a large 19-inch, foot-shaped impression in very hard ground and an area where the brush had been trampled underfoot." While investigating yet another sighting report in the Dunbar area, Altman discovered a deer kill that had been eaten away until only the head and hide remained, as well as a 3-by-10-foot lean-to type structure in the area.
One unusual sighting at the end of July involved a woman who claims to have spotted two creatures just outside Dunbar - one a smaller one eating on some blackberries and a much larger one estimated to be about 10 feet tall. "There have been several reports of multiple sightings in other parts of the state," said Altman. "Many claim that the creatures have large dark eyes and range in size from 7 to 10 feet, are muscular and bulky and have a variety of hair color."
With the recent snowfall, Altman is hoping that people in the area come across unusual or revelatory footprints. Since the recent snowfall, members of the Bigfoot Society have gone back to sighting areas in search of footprints five or six times -- but have found no additional evidence.
"We encourage anyone who's experienced a Bigfoot sighting or who has information on the subject to phone us at 724-516-6344 or file a sighting report at www.pabigfootsociety.com," said Altman. "We keep the names and personal information of witnesses confidential and promise to take their reports seriously."
The central Fayette County, PA map above depicts the general areas (circled) where the Bigfoot sightings have occurred. Fayette County is located in an area of southwestern Pennsylvania known as the Laurel Highlands and is bordered by the states of West Virginia and Maryland on the south.
NOTE: below is the original report from July 2009. The Laurel Highlands area of southwestern Pennsylvania has had a variety of cryptid sightings...Lon
Motorist Has Near Collision With Bigfoot In Pennsylvania
A report of a possible Bigfoot encounter in Pennsylvania was received by the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia and was then referred to Eric Altman, the Director of the (PBS) Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society to investigate. The incident occurred on July 10, 2009, outside of Uniontown, in Fayette County.
On July 15, 2009, a team from the PBS traveled to the location where the reported Bigfoot encounter occurred to interview the witness and to look over the area for any possible physical evidence. The team was comprised of Eric Altman and PBS members Dave Dragosin and his wife Cindy. Eric also invited me to go along to participate in the investigation.
When we arrived on the scene, the witness and her husband were awaiting us. We went through our introductions, then walked over towards the roadway where the encounter had occurred. The location of the incident was on a two lane roadway outside of Uniontown.
It was about 6 P.M. when the event occurred, and the weather was warm and clear at the time. The witness was driving down the road about 35-40 mph, when suddenly, she caught out of the corner of her eye, a figure coming from the left side and approaching her. Her first thought was that a person was about to walk out in front of her car, and she was about to hit the subject.
She suddenly swerved over to the right side of the road, and was thankful that nobody was there. As she was making the turn, she got a good look at the figure, and suddenly realized that it was not a person, but a strange creature. As she sat there for a moment, she looked into her rear view mirror, and realized that the creature had gotten behind her car. “I looked into the rear view mirror and I saw it leap across my trunk.”
While still pulled over on the roadside, the woman remained seated in her car, trying to regain her composure. She could not believe what had just occurred. Seconds later she looked up to see the creature now on her right side running quickly down the middle of another road about 75 feet away. That was the last time she saw it. The entire incident had lasted just several seconds, but enough time for the witness to recall a detailed description of a creature which she was certain was not human, or a person in a costume.
What she saw in daylight and at very close range was a dark colored, hair covered man-like creature, which she estimated was, “at least 6 feet tall or slightly taller.” The creature, which walked upright on two legs, had a head that was said to be large and elongated, and covered with hair that just looked wild.
The neck was somewhat hard to explain since it was covered in hair. The witness said that it appeared to be thin and long. “The neck looked strange because the head was big and the shoulders were wide.” The face was mainly covered in hair, yet the area that was exposed appeared to be very white. There was hair coming out from all over the face, like that of a dog or a wolf. The nose was flat and dark, but was also mostly covered in hair. The mouth could not clearly be seen. The ears were not seen since they were covered with hair as well.
The eyes were it’s most prominent feature that really caught the witnesses’ attention. The eyes were at least twice the size of a human and circular in shape. The eyes were dark, possibly black in color, wide set, and “wild looking.” There was “no iris, no whites.” The witness thinks that is why the eyes looked so odd. The wild look and the fierceness of the eyes of the creature, scared the woman.
The creature was stocky and muscular in appearance. The chest area was described as thick and hairy. The shoulders were wide and rounded. The arms were very long, hanging down to the knees or beyond. The witness said the hair on the arms was long, like ape hair. The woman didn’t recall seeing any muscles, however, it appeared as though it was muscular, and in good physical shape.
The witness had the impression that this creature was older in age. Very little detail was observed below the waist. There was no unusual sound or odor noted during the observation. The witness did have her windows up and air conditioner on.
At the scene, Dave Dragosin sketched an illustration of the creature under the direction of the eyewitness. Eric and the witness’s husband searched a wooded area not far from the location of the encounter, but nothing of interest was found.
We also went over to examine the car. As I was looking over the car body, I noticed what appeared to be an unusual scratch mark on the trunk surface on the left side of the vehicle. I pointed it out to the others, as well as the woman and her husband. They had never seen this surface area damage before.
The affected area was about 6 inches from the left tail light to the first striation of the scratches. The scratched area was about 8.5 inches long and 2 inches wide. There were numerous vertical and horizontal very thin scratch lines that went into the paint surface. There is the possibility that this might be related to the creature’s movements as it leaped across the trunk area from that side.
It was my impression that the witness was very sincere and competent. As she described to us what she had seen and experienced that night, it was evident that she was still emotionally upset by what had occurred. The witness told me that after the encounter, she drove down the road a short distance and parked her car. She sat there thinking about what had happened. She was trying to convince herself that this was a person, but realized that it couldn’t have been.
These are her reasons why she feels it was not a human. (A) The rate of speed the figure came across into the path of her car, it didn’t care that it was going to get hit. (B) The fast movement of the creature and the way it leaped over the trunk. She also had a good look at the creature and some facial features. The eyes of the creature frightened her.
When she arrived home she waited a little while before telling her family about what she had seen. She was initially met with some disbelief from her children. Her husband listened to her and believed that she had seen something. He told her she should call the police to see if anyone else had reported something similar. The witness said she was not calling the police, concerned that she would be ridiculed.
The direction that the creature was last observed moving towards would take it into a heavily wooded area in the direction of Jammonville. There has been a long history of Bigfoot sightings being reported for many years in this same general area of Fayette County.
Bigfoot Sightings Continue in Fayette County, PA