; Phantoms and Monsters - Real Cryptid Encounter Reports - Fortean Researcher Lon Strickler

Friday, August 16, 2019

Bigfoot Along The Shenango River

The following accounts were found or received in recent months:

Had my encounter in western PA near the Shenango River in Crawford County. This was in 2008 when I was a teen. I was night fishing in the pond across the street from my family friends horse farm I was staying at for the summer. The side of the pond I was fishing from is an open field from the lond to the road and the opposite side has a thick oak forest leading up to the shore that is massive and stretches for a few miles in width and probably 10 miles long. His is the only house in the area, his nearest neighbor is almost 3 miles up the road. I had been out for around an hour and already had 4 10/15 lb catfish on my stringer so was more just enjoying the quiet and sky more than anything. I started hearing some rustling a hundred yards or so into the woods across the pond from me, at first I just thought it was the dog digging something up until I realized he was still laying beside me. Then I started to make out 4 human like figures that kept walking up near the edge of the tree line across the pond and then walking back to where I couldn't make them out anymore, this went on for around 20 minutes and was freaking me out because the family friend lives by himself and I was the only person there that night besides him so I knew it wasn't just him messing with me. Then I stopped seeing them, but could still hear the occasional noises of something moving in the woods just out of site for another 20 minutes or so, it was almost 1 am at that point and the fish weren't biting anymore but I was too freaked out to take my eyes off the woodline long enough to pack up my tackle box and rod and clean the fish.

Then I saw one of the figures come up to the edge of the woodline again and it heaved a rock, that had to have been about 40 lbs or so judging by the splash it made, that darn near made it to the middle of the pond which is roughly 60 yards wide. I was scared to death and immediately jumped up and started sprinting the quarter mile back to the house. I left all of my gear there, fishing line still cast out, stringer of fish still in the pond in front of me etc., my tackle box and gear is still my most prized possessions to this day, but that's how deathly afraid I was in the moment. Luckily the dog freaked out as much as I did and beat me back to the house, because I didn't think about him at all either.

I ran inside and started to tell the family friend what happened, he didn't even bat an eye just told me to grab the spotlight we used for coon hunting, and he grabbed his rifle. It took maybe 5 minutes from the time I booked it in fear til we were back down at the pond, the stringer of fish was gone and the whole tub of chicken livers I was using as bait was nowhere in site. I reeled in my line, packed up my tackle box and we walked around the woods spotting for around a half hour and didn't find the stringer of fish or blue bucket from the chicken livers anywhere, nor any animals or anything.

We went back to the house and he told me that he has had a family of bigfoot living on his property for a few years now but didn't want people to think he was crazy so never brought it up. I had a lot of experiences on that property that summer and since, but none that intense, just a lot of being followed through the woods while hunting or collecting mushrooms/berries and hearing them "talking" in the woods around me. GT

Here are a few other accounts outside of Pennsylvania:

I’ve never been open to sharing my story because of the way it’s impacted my life. I consider myself an avid outdoorsmen and I love to camp, fish, and hike.

Around 2 years ago now I was hiking through the Busch in Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana. The hike was supposed to be 2 miles round trip but I decided to head off trail to eat my lunch. I came down the small foothill and noticed a large amount of branches and twigs snapped from a particularly tall animal. This alarmed me but I kept moving. I sat my pack down above a small mudslide and almost took a bite of my sandwich when I saw a tall dark brown broad shouldered ape like creature. I immediately thought Bigfoot. He wasn’t scared of me whatsoever and started to walk toward me slowly. I dropped my stuff and ran like hell. I started hearing objects crack again trees and I never looked back.

To this day I believe my pack could still be above that mudslide. I’m fine now, and I enjoy some Minecraft lol. This encounter changed the way I see the woods and made me respect my surroundings a lot more. SS


Approx time: summer, late 80s

Approx location: East Texas, Montgomery County, Conroe, San Jacinto River

This was a daylight sighting, late evening, the weather was sunny, warm and clear. I was walking the river along the upper game trail through heavy cane foliage. The sand trail made almost no sound at all. In hindsight, I think this is why I startled the animal. A sudden loud sound of cane moving to my right (from the riverside) and a flash of reddish brown fur blasting across the trail and up to my left lasted only seconds. I froze.

My first thought, as crazy as it seemed to me was, what the hell was an orangutan doing out here? Then I thought no, that doesn't make sense. It moved too fast, on two legs, arms in mid swing while leaning forward like a sprinter coming off the block. The thick cane and steep sandy incline didn't slow it down at all. I remained still and listened but everything was quiet. The walk back to my truck was uneventful.

Looking back, there have been a few main things that have stayed with me over the years. The reddish hair color, moving on two legs, the speed and poise of the body. Also, this wasn't a huge animal. It was about 6'6", prolly 280 to 300lbs.

And that's about all there was to it. Not much of a scary campfire story. But those few seconds have stayed with me for well over 30 years. So far. BT


I will say this... I don’t know if the thing that comes around is a Bigfoot or something else, I believe it is. I say that because once a month or 2 weeks at most for a period of 3 days, every night something large comes near the house and that’s when I have strange experiences. It’s so random when it occurs but consistent in the length of time. Stone clacks from behind bushes, odd lights in woods and on mountains , large creatures running off into the woods from my yard when I walk outside, wood knocks, grunt sounds, bangs, house knocks, dog spazzing out, large impressions in leaves, branches breaking all around, and loud yells off in distance from the mountains. But I can never see or figure out what it is that gets so close, but never reveals itself. 95% of the rest of the time, it’s utterly quiet, especially during this winter. I live on the border on National Forest in Georgia Mtns. MA

Bigfoot in Pennsylvania: A History of Wild-Men, Gorillas, and Other Hairy Monsters in the Keystone State

Don't Look Behind You: Following Ghost Roads Into the Unknown

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania's Unknown Creatures, Casebook 3

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures

UPDATED WEEKLY: Lon's Suggested Reading List - Books & Films / DVDs

Subscribe to the Phantoms & Monsters / Arcane Radio YouTube channel