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Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia
Hawksbill Mountain, 2 October 1998

While on a hike down a mountain trail in Shenandoah Mountains off Skyline Drive in the State of Virginia, I was following a small brook that according to the Park Ranger I spoke with said it would lead me to a waterfall at the bottom end. There I could make camp for the night.

About 1:00 am I heard this noise that scared the hell out of me. Large rocks were being thrown from what seemed to be 200-300 feet away up the trail. My only exit strategy was to go through the same path and that wasn't going to happen. Not at night and not on the same turf as whatever was making that noise.

I heard heavy footprints that came to what I would say 100 feet from my location (tent) when I fired off a round from a 357 magnum aimed into the ground. What ever it was took off. I still didn't go back into the tent that night .I spent the night leaned up against a tree, covered up with a blanket with no fire.

The next morning I quickly made my get-away, I was so scared I left my tent with only my food and water. I believe I got a good look at my intruder the night before.

Understand there was a good 4-hour hike to the car at this point. Two ridge peaks surrounded my exit path just as they did at my venture down the hill. Halfway up the mountain I heard the same strange noises I heard hours earlier. To my left lies the rising sun coming over a ridge peak that was maybe 80 feet away at that point.

Looking up I caught a clear view of half a human figure standing over the edge of the peak with the morning sun behind its back. It was at that point I heard the horrifying scream that has haunted me until this day. It sounded like a baby screaming then turned into the deepest full winded, long drawn-out howl I've ever heard.

Right now, just talking about it makes the hair stand up on my neck. I emptied every round of the gun in the general direction of whatever it was and then it disappeared. I ran as fast as I could, loading my gun at a full sprint up hill cattycorner to the intruder.

When I reached the safety of my car I almost started crying; the relief was that great. I really got the hell scared out of me. I told the ranger at the gate where I-64 runs into the Blue Ridge Parkway and he insisted I wait for a relief Ranger to get there to take over for him. I was to then show this U.S. Park Service Ranger the site to where it all took place.
I did stay and waited for the relief Ranger and then he followed me to the trail I had been on.

When we got there, he had this look on his face and said this part of the skyline was supposed to be closed down for the coming snow. This is interesting because the Ranger who gave me the tip on a cool campsite sure didn't say anything about any closed sections due to any approaching storms! It was news to me.

I think at this point he was basically saying that they were going to close it down to investigate. But on the other hand , I think they or he used the up coming bad weather for an excuse to close down the site.

Additional correspondence:

Thank you for replying to my letter. Let me clear up some information on my report. I will try to add a map on my attachments to your mail. It was October 02, 1998. No snow on ground and not very cold for the month of October in Shenandoah, Virginia.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, I-64 runs into Skyline Drive. I came from Norfolk if you want to trace my steps to the mountains. When I-64 met the Skyline Drive I took a right onto Skyline Drive in Shenandoah, followed it to a point between Red Gate Road and a mountain named Hawksbill.
These two areas are about 5 miles apart. I parked the car at the recommended area by the park ranger. Then hiked down to the area, about 2.3 miles into the forest when the first incident occurred. It was after that, that the hike was finished down the mountain.

That night there was a disturbing incident. It was on the way back up the trail (which took several hours to do because of the steep incline and rugged terrain) that the second encounter happened. And yes I am very sure my shots hit the creature! The creature was very close! Too close, at a 40-degree angle from my position.

I have been a marksman for sometime. I have been in televised sharp-shooter finals and have served as range-master on two separate occasions my house is full of sharp-shooting trophies, so I can honestly say that there is a very good chance I hit him.

I may have had the crap scared out of me but my hand never shakes when I hold a weapon. I did run and reload at the same time. I ran like a bat out of hell.
But due to the size of what I believe was a bigfoot there was no way I would have gone up to check the kill, unless I had at least a Remington .700 mag on my shoulder; the creature was that big!!

It was the first time in my life I knew a round from a .357 would not take down the creature that I was shooting at.

Please respond back perhaps we can talk on landline next time. I will not be home until 7:00 pm Eastern, Tuesday through Friday. I'm off Saturday, Sunday and Mondays.

Robert Williams,

Report logged Summer 1999.