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COUNTY: Grayson County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was the first pull over on the right hand side after the registration building on your left.
NEAREST TOWN: Mouth-of-Wilson
NEAREST ROAD: SR 362
OBSERVED: The week of 10/9/2011 my husband, myself, sister-in-law, her husband, plus 4 daughters of theirs, plus another couple saw this dark image that I took a picture of. The other couple took pictures also, then immediately left the park. The couple appeared to be scared. This was mid-day, we were in the Grayson-Highlands State park in VA. We were on vacation from FL. We saw the dark image move, like it was sqatting down then stood up and appeared to be walking around a tree. It was in the 40s and very windy.
ALSO NOTICED: I will send a picture that I took. it didn't turn out the best but it is all I have.
OTHER WITNESSES: yes, please see listing above.
OTHER STORIES: speaking with other people from around this area, everyone is always warning us to keep our eyes open due to bikefoot in the area.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid-afternoon, I believe around 2:30 p.m. It was very cold in the low 40s, even more windy,
ENVIRONMENT: it was over the side of the mountain, looking down.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kevin Zorc:
I spoke to both witnesses regarding their October 14, 2011 midafternoon unidentified animal sighting in Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia. The temperature this day was estimated to be 40+ degrees with gusty winds. Eight vacationing members of the observer’s family, and two other unidentified park patrons were enjoying the first scenic overlook in the park.
The group collectively noticed a large, dark figure located approximately 200 yards below them, crouching down and focused intently on the ground. The primary witness believes the figure was either digging or pulling on an object, but he was not at all sure what it was doing. It was estimated to be over 7 feet tall and weight thought at 350-400 pounds. The hair color was black and possibly 2”-3” long. The body was “athletic”, shoulders broad and body muscular while the torso ratio seemed shorter than that of a person. No female breasts were observed. The forearms seemed long for the body, the upper arms were short and wrists appeared thicker than a person. Observer reported he thought the fingers were positioned in a half curl. The head was small for the body, had a pointed cranium and rested on a minimal neck. The face was wider than a persons and the figure seemed to have a large jaw and small nose.
The witness felt the animal sensed their presence and while they readied a camera, all watched it nonchalantly stand upright and walk 15'-20' to a large tree. It observed them for some time from behind the tree and did not seem to be afraid nor in a hurry to leave. The entire witnessed event lasted approximately 5 minutes before the figure traveled deeper into the forest and out of view. The witness took several photos of the subject with a quick shot type camera, the best of which is included in this report:
He also mentioned that the observed physical details were much more apparent in person when compared to the photo. Witness revealed that another group of park patrons had a superior SLR type camera with a telephoto lens, and they also took numerous pictures prior to leaving.
The primary witness has hunting and tracking experience and maintains the observed figure was not a bear or any other animal known to him. He did not approach the figure based on fear, the challenging terrain and a physical knee issue. The group was somewhat traumatized by what they saw this day and vowed to never discuss the event again. They did not report this event to Grayson Highlands State Park staff and waited nine months to submit the incident to the BFRO because they feared being ostracized by others. The witness disclosed the submitted picture is of fair quality at best, and while it did not compare favorably to the eye witness account, it is included as evidence.
Grayson Highlands is Virginia's third largest state park with just over 4500 acres of land and is located in Grayson County near Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. The park elevation is higher than any other state park in Virginia and Grayson Highlands is best known for beautiful vistas and the wild ponies that live in the highlands. The park offers unrestricted access to the 2,184 mile long Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine.
Habitats within the park are diverse and range from open meadows, northern hardwoods, rocky outcrops, rhododendron thickets, sphagnum bogs, grazed pastures, frasier fir groves, and red spruce forests. Average monthly rainfall is between 4”-5”, and this precipitation helps supply the areas numerous creeks and streams. The region is also home to a large diversity of wildlife - black bear, bobcat, red fox, ruffed grouse, deer, and wild turkey. A sufficient diversity of food and water sources exist in rural Southwest Virginia and thus the region is capable of supporting a reclusive population of extant primates.
About BFRO Investigator Kevin Zorc:
Kevin Zorc enjoys outdoor activities; backpacking the Appalachian Trail and hiking around the United States. He attended GA 2011(#1), NC 2011 & 2013, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012/2013, Michigan UP 2012, California Central Sierra 2013/2014, California 2015 Expeditions and co organized the June 2014 NC Expedition.