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Geographical Index > United States > Pennsylvania > Westmoreland County > Article # 358

Media Article # 358


Friday, January 23, 2004

Bigfoot strikes Derry Township

By John Jennings
Blairsville Dispatch






Bigfoot strikes In Derry Township
Stan Gordon

By John Jennings
MANAGING EDITOR
Friday, January 23, 2004

Bigfoot sightings were big once again in the Chestnut Ridge area in 2003, according to the annual roundup of the unexplained from word processor of Stan Gordon. The "X-Files" may come and go, but Greensburg-based Gordon has maintained an A to Z compendium of mysteries for lo these many years.

Derry Township has become the hairy heart of Bigfoot sightings in recent months, including one dated Aug. 15, when a woman in a heavily wooded area walked out to her garden to pick lettuce for lunch. Instead of produce, she received a shock to see a "huge manlike creature with dark hair and long arms," leaning against a tree only eight feet away, and looking curiously at her.

When Gordon says huge, he's not whistling in the dark. The creature's head, according to the witness, was scraping a branch that was later measured at 96 inches--eight feet--off the ground. Gordon searched the area and found some older footprints, about 15 inches long, in the area.

That sighting occured only a few miles from another Bigfoot visit, also in Derry Township. This one came April 13, when three witnesses observed a tall beige-colored creature with long arms swinging, walking through a cornfield. (Bigfoot has been called many things, but never before "beige.")

Shortly thereafter, Gordon received a call from a man who said he was on a motorbike with his son on a rural road around the Westmoreland/Fayette county border. They said "a hairy manlike creature, with arms hanging down to around the knees" (Bigfoot definitely would have trouble buying long-sleeve shirts) jumped out of the woods and stared at them from 75 feet away, then ran back out of sight.

But the best, most intriguing Bigfoot sightings of recent months dates from September 2002, also in Derry Township.

This was actually two sightings in a remote part of Derry Township, the first by a teenage boy, the second by his mother.

In the first instance, the boy heard crashing sounds in the woods, then saw a "big brown" creature, about eight feet tall.

A couple weeks later the boy's mother was driving and talking on her cell phone when the creature reappeared.

What was most impressive, and athletic, about this sighting was that the woman claimed the creature stepped--not jumped, stepped--over a barbed wire fence 44 inches off the ground without even breaking stride.

And of course there were other oddities to report, although UFO sightings were rather sparse in 2003.

In February, a woman driving between Latrobe and Greensburg reported seeing a large dull-gray square object with a light on each corner and a red light on a domed top hovering low above a field.

She approached within 200 feet of the object and stopped her car to get a better look at it. "Suddenly, it just vanished," she said.

Strange sounds--a whoosh with no whooser--were reported in March and April in both Westmoreland and Indiana counties.

Several people, unknown to each other, called Gordon and said they heard something that sounded like something big climbing into the sky, like a large gust of wind, but nothing was seen.

One man said he had the sensation of something big climbing overhead, moving fast. The sound was so intense, Gordon said, that he ducked his head, but nothing was seen.

Sounds like the Klingons have perfected their cloaking device.

And finally, in June from Everson, outside of Scottdale, several boys playing in the afternoon said they observed a heart-shaped greenish object falling straight down from the sky. As they watched, a probe came down from the base of the object. The object hovered at treetop level, then climbed straight up and was lost from sight.

Gordon deliberately tries to debunk the calls he receives, including Bigfoot sightings, to separate the trash from the intriguing. "Some Bigfoot sightings were only misidentifications of a bear or large dog," he said--"but some cases aren't so easily dismissed and remain in the unidentified files."

To report a strange sighting, call Gordon at 724-838-7768 or e-mail at paufo@westol.com. All information is kept confidential. Gordon has been doing this since 1969, and now speaks to groups on his findings.

More information on his investigation work is available at www.stan-gordon.com.

John Jennings can be reached at jjennings@tribweb.com or (724) 459-6100, ext. 10.






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