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YEAR: 1979 or 80
STATE: New York
COUNTY: Steuben County
LOCATION DETAILS: My son and I were building fence for our cows. We were on the hill behind our house. There is a great view of the valley. There was a work crew working on the railroad at the edge of our property. I noticed this large animal come-up out of the river. I thought it was a bear. My son noticed it also. It was dark and walked like a man. In comparison to the men on the RR tracks it 2 to 3 times larger than the men working. It had a large head that seemed to fall into the shoulder with not much of a neck. It had longer arms and a slight sway as it walked. The men on the RR were behind a hedgerow and would not be able to see the animal. It went around the bend in the river and disappeared. The next day I got to thinking about it and went down to the river to see if I could find any tracks. I went to the spot where it came out of the river. I was unable to find any tracks. I feel it came out of the because the was a trash build up of debris, tires and all sorts of things. Rather than trying to get through that mess it walked around. It think the animal was using the Canisteo river for a road out of sight.
NEAREST TOWN: Canisteo
NEAREST ROAD: County Road #29
ALSO NOTICED: No
OTHER WITNESSES: Me and my son.
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: late morning / early afternoon
Bright warm day
ENVIRONMENT: River bottom flat land. It was a dry year and the ground was crusted . It was hard to drive fence post because of the dry conditions.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
The witness provided the following additional information:
- Both the witness and his son had seen the animal. His son was 14 years old at the time.
- The sighting occurred in late spring. It was a very dry spring which may explain why the witness could not find tracks the next day.
- They were approximately 3/10ths of a mile away from the animal.
- The animal had a large "T" shaped frame with very broad shoulders
- It was dark brown/black in color.
- It walked approximately 400-500 feet along the river bank then turned a bend and out of sight.
- The railroad workers were approximately 200 feet away from the animal but could not see it because of the large hedgerow separating them.
- The witness still lives in the area, but has not seen nor heard anything unusual since this one incident.
About BFRO Investigator Paul J. Mateja:
Paul is a network administrator and systems analyst/programmer for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, NY. In addition, Paul and his wife Teresa own and operate a small organic farm in western New York State. He has attended and organized expeditions including New Mexico (Jicarilla), New York (Adirondacks), Pennsylvania and West Virginia.