Thursday, July 07, 2011
I received an unusual email a few days ago that, quite frankly, I thought was a prank...that's until I started to check into the claim. From what I can gather there is a bit of local folklore with this story. Regardless, I'll post it so you can comment. If you're familiar with the cryptid, feel free to respond:
Mr. Strickler - I hope you can give me an idea of what I saw a few weeks ago while hiking with a friend in Fairy Stone State Park in Virginia. We had been on one of the trails for about an hour when we stopped for a brief rest and drink. This was my first visit to this park and I was pleased that the area we were in was secluded.
After a few minutes of rest we continued to walk along the trail when my friend suddenly stopped and pointed towards the right at large group of rocks. Something was moving around but it was about 50 yards away so we didn't get a very good look. We could see that it was light in color and was quite bulky. We stood frozen wanting to know what this creature was though I was getting more frightened by the second. As we started to walk the creature moved onto a rock where we got a good look at it. It looked like a medium sized bear but the fur was very light in color, almost a yellowish gray. The head was very strange also. There was a snout like that of a bear but the dark round eyes were set lower on the head. It was looking in our direction and we had no intention on sticking around to see what it was going to do.
We got back to the car and immediately left for home. I have read online that this area has a strange history, thus the name 'Fairy Stone'. The creature is unlike any I have seen or heard about before. I had made an inquiry to a local historian who laughed at me and said I saw a 'Sheep Squatch'. What is that? Thanks for you help - Teena
As I stated previously, I thought someone was pulling my leg. I had never heard of a 'Sheep Squatch'...that is, until I started to look for references.
Monstropedia has a brief history about a cryptid referred to as a 'Sheepsquach', which is also known as the 'white thing'. It is supposedly a white woolly-haired cryptid that has been reported throughout the southwestern region of Virginia. Fairy Stone State Park is located in the southwestern region of Virginia.
This creature is described as "being the size of a bear, with completely white wool-like fur. Its front limbs end in paw-like hands, similar to a raccoon’s but larger. The beast head is long and pointed, like a dog with long saber-like teeth and a single-pint horns like a young goat. SheepSquatch sports a long and hairless tail, similar to an opossum’s and is reputed to smell like sulfur."
There have been a few reported sightings over the years. The counties with the most sightings of Sheepsquatch are from Boone, Kanawha, Putnam, and Mason. A large surge in sightings took place in Boone County during the mid-1990s.
In 1994, a former Navy seaman witnessed the beast break through the forest. The white thing drank for a few minutes, then crossed the creek and continued on across toward the road. The navy seaman observed the animal for a while, and then it moved on into the surrounding brush.
Also in that same year, two children observed the beast while playing in the yard in Boone County. They saw what looked like a large white bear, and it stood up on its hind legs, which made it over six feet tall. Startled, the beast ran away through the forest, breaking medium-sized limbs off of trees as it went.
Another encounter a year later involved a car. A couple driving through Boone County noticed a large white beast sitting in the ditch along the road. They stopped their car to get a good look at it. It was described again as a large white animal with woolly fur about the size of a bear. In this instance, it was described as having “four eyes”. Then, it jumped out of the ditch and starts attacking the car. The couple drove off quickly, and when they got home noticed the large scratches on the side where the beast attacked.
Another incident occurred in 1999, this time a couple of campers were in the forest of Boone County at night around a campfire. They heard an animal snorting and scuffling around the camp, but it did not come into the light of the campfire. All of the sudden, the SheepSquatch appeared out of the darkness and charged at the campers. They jumped up and ran back to their house; all the while being pursued by the SheepSquatch. It stopped at the edge of the forest, however, and let out a terrible scream. Then it just turned around and headed back into the woods. The next morning, the campers examined their campsite and the trail home. It was torn up, they said, “like someone had tilled it up for gardening”.
I still don't know what to think of Teena's sighting but I doubt is was a 'Sheep Squatch'...possibly a light-colored bear. I'm really at a loss for any other explanation. Here is a link to another reference to this cryptid - West Virginia's Weird White Monsters: Sheep-Squatch...Lon