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COUNTY: Jefferson County
NEAREST TOWN: Markton, PA
NEAREST ROAD: Route 36
OBSERVED: When I was fourteen, I am 39 now, I was out rabbit hunting on our farm. It was getting dark so I started walking towards home. I entered the field to head up the hill, just then I saw a very dark figure "crawling" on the ground. It reminded me of an alligator walking due to it wasn't using its rear legs. Instead it was dragging them behind it while on its hands and stomach. I was unable to tell where it went from there, it had gotten very dark and I stayed put until my dad came looking for me with the tractor. I was too afraid to keep going due to fear. I remember it was hairy like an animal and appeared long in length. I went down the next day and seen where the drag marks were from it dragging its feet and where it seemed to get up and walk into the woods. Large footprints were still in the ground. Not sure anyone would believe me, I never told anyone. I was raised around all animals on the farm, been told what large animals were in the area. Never seen anything like it.
ALSO NOTICED: I heard a snorting noise before I saw it. I think it may have been a deer as it was rut season at the time. I don't believe it saw me.
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witness just me.
OTHER STORIES: None
TIME AND CONDITIONS: At dusk..clear calm weather. No wind
ENVIRONMENT: Near the woods in the valley. Small spring fed stream nearby.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jarrett Johnson:
I spoke to the hunter about his experience on the family farm and property in 1988. The witness was walking back towards the farm after spending an afternoon in the woods and fields surrounding the family property hunting small game including rabbit and squirrel. He was carrying a .22 rifle with open sights. It had rained and the woods were wet and quiet.
The hunter was traversing a trail in the woods that ran along a small stream towards the road. As he approached the trail-head, the area opened up with a large field to the right and crested a hill. The witness saw movement in the field and he noticed a large dark-haired creature crawling low to the ground very quickly across the field at a distance of approximately 75 yards. The subject was moving diagonally away from the hunter at an angle. He mentioned that his first thought was that its movement resembled that of an alligator when they move quickly on land. The hunter then became afraid and continued up the path as the creature continued crawling across the field. Once he could no longer see the animal, he stated that he hid off of the trail because he thought there may be additional creatures between him and the farm. He remained hidden in the woods until his father came looking for him. His father eventually arrived on the tractor shortly before dark.
The hunter stated that he observed the creature for at least a full minute. It covered half of the 400' field in the 60 seconds he observed it. The witness stated that the creature never knew he was there. Since the rifle was not equipped with a scope, he was unable to acquire a magnified view of the Bigfoot. Based upon this experience, the hunter stated the following observations:
- The creature was trying to stay as low to the ground as possible
- It had its arms fully extended outwards and not underneath its body
- The animal was angling away from him so he could not see its face
- It never turned to look at him because it did not know that he was there
- He described it as "long and dark"
- The coloration consisted of black hair with a brown "tinge"
- He could see the back of its head and its broad shoulders
- Although it moved quickly across the field, it did not move fluidly or stealthily as it appeared to drag its leg or legs
- One leg appeared to be draped or criss-crossed across the other
- The animal seemed to use its upper body with "long arms" to drag its lower body
The hunter and I spoke about the direction of the Bigfoot's path of travel. There was, and still is, a trash or garbage pile on the other side of the field. The family would take their trash and refuse to the dump pile and burn it periodically. Their rubbish also included food scraps and other things related to life on the farm. He felt that the animal was making its way to the trash pile.
We also discussed the proximity of the road to the field. The witness stated that the bigfoot may have been trying to hide from any traffic present on the road as it would've been visibly vulnerable in the open field.
The ability of a sasquatch to "belly-crawl" has been widely reported. Most descriptions detailing this characteristic describes their ability to move with surprising agility and stealth. The hunter and I discussed the appearance of the creature and its quick but hindered mobility while crawling. He stated that at the time he thought it may have been injured causing it to drag itself.
He returned to the area the next day out of curiosity with his father's double-barreled 12 guage shotgun. He could see where the Bigfoot had moved and dragged itself through the field towards the trash pile. The trail stopped about 20 yards from the trash pile and he stated he noted physical evidence and footprints where the Bigfoot had rummaged the area suggesting that it eventually stood upright.
I asked him about the possibility of a bear encounter. The witness stated that he has been a hunter his entire life and is positive with 100% certainty that it was not a bear. Growing up on the farm, he feels that he is very familiar with the size and weight of various animals. The hunter estimated the length of the animal at around 8' with a weight in excess of 350 pounds.
The hunter stated that he never told his father or brother about his bigfoot experience due to the fact that he did not feel that they would believe him. The witness also told me that he has always kept a wary eye over his shoulder around the farm, the property, and the woods after that day but he has never again had a similar experience.
About BFRO Investigator Jarrett Johnson:
Jarrett grew up in an area of western Pennsylvania that has historically experienced reported sightings regarding a hominid creature in the Hell's Hollow area. Having heard the stories as a child, he never gave the local lore serious thought... until years later when a family member revealed a personal encounter. He also spent a number years on the edge of the Florida Everglades where sasquatch activity has been reported for many years. In 1998, a Skunk Ape photo taken near Ochopee was posted along with a feature article in the Sun-Sentinel newspaper and his serious interest in the subject of sasquatch began.
JJ is an enthusiast of the outdoors including remote camping, hunting, fly fishing for native trout, seeking wild morel mushrooms, riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, and all things related to the sasquatch phenomena.
Jarrett has attended BFRO expeditions in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia. He has also attended a number of private expeditions.