; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boys' Curious Bigfoot Encounter

A reader of one of my books recently forwarded the following account:

Hello Mr. Strickler, I recently purchased one of your books regarding unexplained experiences and thought I'd share an experience that I had years ago. Although its a vivid memory that I've often thought of, I never really knew what context to put it in, so I've never spoken of it except with those who were present at the time. Your book has opened my eyes to the reality that odd things happen everyday to normal people and maybe my experience isn't so outlandish after all.

I grew up in western PA about an hour north of Pittsburgh not far from the Ohio border. It happened in January 1992 when I was 12 years old. There was a thick wooded area not far from my home that, aside from a few sporadic small towns and roads, is connected to the heavily forested areas of the West Virginia Panhandle and Eastern Ohio. Cutting right through these woods are power lines that we used to go sled riding on. There was one hill in particular that was steep and smooth about a quarter of a mile walk through the woods from my street.

One day in the late afternoon, my brother and I along with 5 or 6 friends from the neighborhood were there sled riding when we hear what I can only describe as guttural Tarzan yells and yelps. They were extremely loud and coming from the direction of the woods along the side of the power lines. Not knowing any better, we assumed they were weird deer mating calls because there was a large population of deer in those woods. We began to mimic these calls jokingly trying to lure the deer in only to disappoint it once it saw we weren't a group of does inviting him in. Each time we mimicked the calls it would respond and sounding closer each time. This went on about 5 times over the course of 10-15 minutes. The mood shifted from being funny to eerie when the calls stopped just at the tree line and there was no deer in sight. It was getting dark and we decided to head home. This meant heading in the direction of whatever was making these calls. We nervously kept joking about it being a deer to lighten the mood as we made our way back down the power lines but there was an odd sense of foreboding or something to that affect that we all felt.

At the bottom of the last hill to climb before reaching the neighborhood there was a fence that was about 6ft tall that had been put up by the owner of the property to keep dirt bikes and ATV's off of his property. We passed this fence and made it to the top of the hill and the edge of the woods when one of my friends turned back to look down the hill and pointed out 2 dark figures standing next to the fence post at the tree line of the power lines looking up at us from the bottom of the hill. The first figure stood at least a full foot taller than the fence and the second figure was either smaller or just looked smaller because it was standing back a few feet from the fence. They were silhouetted against the snow and would have blended in with the trees if not for the second figure rocking back and forth or lumbering to get closer. We stood there silently and watched them for a few seconds trying to make sense of what we were looking at before we all turned and ran home as fast as we could.

At the time I never gave any thought to it possibly being a Bigfoot because I thought they were all in the Pacific Northwest, if they even existed at all. That evening I replicated the calls that we had heard for my stepfather who grew up on a farm and was an avid outdoorsman and hunter. I thought for sure he would know of some animal that made those kind of calls but he looked baffled and said he had never heard any animal that sounded like that and it certainly wasn't a deer. It wasn't until years later while watching a Bigfoot documentary on TV that I learned there have been sightings of Bigfoot type animals all over the US, and even in the region of western PA and eastern Ohio. That was when it donned on me that that might have been what we had experienced that evening on the power lines. Have you ever heard of any other Bigfoot sightings around the Ohio River Valley? Sincerely, RL

NOTE: I mentioned to RL that the entire Ohio River Valley was one of the most active locations for cryptid sightings in the US. I consistently receive reports from along the river and it's environs. Lon

Phantoms & Monsters: Bizarre Encounters

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters

Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters

Gray Barker's Bigfoot Shootout! Terrifying Tales of Interspecies Conflict

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