DHS Squirrel
Geographical Index > United States > West Virginia > Wyoming County > Report # 74981
Report # 74981  (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, September 25, 2022.
Ginseng hunter and stepson have lengthy encounter 20 miles west of Beckley
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YEAR: 2015


MONTH: October

DATE: 10/17/2015

STATE: West Virginia

COUNTY: Wyoming County


[Investigator (MM) notes:
GPS coordinates for location:
37.7870006, -81.5377026

NEAREST TOWN: Kopperston


OBSERVED: I have spent my whole life in the woods in this area. Me and my stepson were ginseng hunting in an area that I had been through multiple times. We decided to try the opposite side of the ridge that we had went to the weekend before and harvested a pretty sizable amount of ginseng.

As we drop down from the ridge and began going around the hill we noticed that the area we were in was a little darker, due to excellent shade cover from the large timber in that area. As a result there was a lot of moss, chicken of the woods, and other mushrooms.

As we started to go through the swag, off of the small point we were on, we began to hear some unusual sounds. One of the sounds resembled almost like laughter. What was so strange is that it was low but echoed.

You could see really good under the timber. There some small trees, but no thick brush so we kind of ignored it and wrote it off is just an unusual sound of a bird. We heard this sound 5 or 6 times.

Just a few seconds after we heard a low growling sound that didn’t resemble any kind of bear or coyote that I hadn’t heard. I yelled “hey bear you get out of here” in an attempt to possibly scare off any kind of predator in the area. I had seen several bears in the area over the years and actually harvested two with my stepson.

The next moment a loud sound that almost resembled an ambulance siren or a siren on a vehicle, but with more depth in the tone rang throughout the woods. Then a few seconds of a sound that was a long huff huff huff that was very guttural and grungy came through the woods.

We stood silent until he said he wants to leave. I’m scared as he was. He was only about 13 at the time. I told him to just hold on and I’m sure it was nothing. I had a Glock 21 SF with me which is a 45 caliber handgun and was pretty confident that we could handle anything in the woods.

Suddenly, about 60 yards away, the tops of trees started swaying back-and-forth and you could hear the sound of feet moving quickly in the leaves, but it didn’t sound like any bear, deer, or squirrel moving. The steps were heavy, yet so fast paced. There was a grouping of trees, beech, maple, and hickory, between 8 inches to 24 inches in diameter. None of the larger trees were shook. The smaller trees 8 inches in diameter to 16 inches in diameter were swaying back-and-forth violently and the tops were banging against each other. I looked around and observed that there was no wind blowing at this time.

The large timber in the area somewhat blocked our view of the creature doing this from where we were standing, but occasionally we would catch a glimpse of what appeared to be a large creature on two legs approximately 6 to 7 feet tall moving from one smaller tree to another before shaking the tree hard enough that it would bang the tops of other trees. This occurred for approximately 3 to 5 minutes.

It is notable that the creature always positioned itself to the backside of the tree, keeping the tree between us. It stopped for about 30 seconds. There was no sound in the woods whatsoever. Then we heard quick footsteps going through the leaves. As we moved trying to catch a glimpse of whatever it was, we could see a large creature brownish black on two legs moving quickly, but as it moved between the trees. It was so fast that we could only catch glimpses of the creature. It was putting distance between us.

All of a sudden the trees started shaking again. Trees 6 to 8 inches in diameter were being shaken violently. Branches were flailing from the tops as they banged together. Then a tree began to crack and within a few seconds it quickly fell. The tree was probably 20 to 25 feet high, give or take, and 6 to 8 inches in diameter. After this tree had fallen, another tree similar in size, but much taller began to shake violently until it cracked and fell to the ground. 5-6 trees were broken in this manner.

Then as quickly as it started, it all stopped. You could hear the sound of something crossing the point in the distance with heavy, quick steps. We decided to go down into the area. Well I did, he was in shock and near tears, but I had the firearm so he went with me.

There were all sorts of small trees freshly broken in the area. The larger trees we had seen broken were all broken in the same direction, pointing downhill. As we investigated the area where the creature had been, we heard what sounded like rocks being rolled down the hill. I looked up on the point in front of us and could see large rocks, the size of a basketball, maybe a little larger, being rolled down the point, not toward us but close enough that it would obviously scare us.

I looked up toward the ridge of the point. It could see a creature near a large, old squatted. I thought it was a stump at first, but then it quickly moved to the side of the tree, blending in with the shade and remaining hunched or squatted.

I stared at what I thought to be creature momentarily. The woods were completely still. I turned to my stepson and told him that we would go exactly the way we came. As I was leaving I remembered I had a pb&j sandwich in my bag. I laid it on a stump as to say I respect this as your home and to say eat this instead of me.

I have been back through the area and heard strange sounds, but never had any more incidents. Each time I leave a small gift like a pop tart or candy bar. Close to that area are large stacks of rocks that are uniform and almost rectangular. The stacks are usually level on top and measure 2’ h by 6-7’ l and 4’ w.

Several areas have large dug out holes against old logs that appeared to be either wallowed or some kind of bedding area. I do not fear this creature in the least, but respect it immensely. The property is now leased by a hunting club and I am worried that they will disrupt his home as they do not respect Mother Nature, but rather feel above it.

ALSO NOTICED: Rocks stacked in neat, organized piles. Rocks were 30-50 lbs and were obviously placed. A lot of small timber, 3-5 inches in diameter, broken against bigger trees in the area.

Harvesting ginseng

OTHER STORIES: Only a few times.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 4 p.m. under clear skies. The weather was perfect to be in the woods. It was in the low 70s and absolutely beautiful.

ENVIRONMENT: Typical Appalachian Mountain landscape with lots of big, hardwood timber. There are a lot of fallen trees in the area along with moss, mushrooms, and Elder berry on the ridge 100-150 yards up on the ridge. There are a lot of old mines in the area and small hollows with water.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Russ Jones:

I interviewed the witness at length as well as many communications over a week. I can add the following:

The witness is an avid and knowledgeable outdoorsman. He spends a lot of time year round in remote and hard to get to locations. This particular location is a four miles off trail. Many time ginseng hunters are forced to go where others won’t in able to find much of the root. The witness is 33 and has a degree in counseling. He grew up and lives in a very mountainous and remote area of West Virginia.

The section of woods they had walked through had been fire burned years before but they were dropping into a holler which was dark and had a lot of large timber. When the encounter initially happened he thought someone was within 50 yards laughing but he couldn’t see anything at that time. Next they heard a deep and husky growl. That’s when he initially noticed the trees 60 yards away beginning to shake. As it continued to shake the trees and move away from them it always stayed behind a tree and even with all the leaves on the ground it made much less noise than one would expect for something that size.

He had been in the area previously and had heard some unusual sounds but had no idea what they were. He’s very familiar with game sounds having hunted and killed most game including deer and two bear.

When he went to where the trees had been broke that there were others there that had been broke previously. The trees were broke by pulling them toward the creature and were all laying at around 6:30 to 7:00 direction.

The witness just recently told his wife for the first time. His step son is afraid to be in the woods now.

I find the witness believable and compelling. Like so many witnesses he has now become interested in the subject. Maybe he will be like so many of us and have a lifelong interest.

About BFRO Investigator Russ Jones:

Dr. Jones brings a background of hunting, trapping and outdoor experiences together with undergraduate and graduate education. He is a master naturalist and has attended numerous public and private expeditions. He has led expeditions for the BFRO in Ohio and West Virginia. He has written two Bigfoot books, the last “The Appalachian Bigfoot” was an Amazon best selling book. He hosts the Wide Open Research Podcast on the Untold Radio Network. Dr. Jones may be contacted at

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