Bigfoot Encounters

Rowlesburg, Preston County, West Virginia 1951

Late afternoon, weather clear and warm
Nearest highway or road: Highway 72; small farms, coal mines and timber production.
The area is within the Allegheny Mountains. The location of the sighting is about 25 miles south of the Pennsylvania state line and about 10 miles west of the Maryland state line. At the time of the sighting the area was sparsely populated and heavily timbered. The sighting area is about 10 miles from the northern end of the Monongahela National Forest.

Nearest Lakes or Streams: The incident occurred in the Cheat River Valley.
Activities of Witness Prior to Encounter/Incident: Walking along one side of the Cheat River near his home.

Details of Encounter / Incident: The witness was ten years of age and was walking on family property which straddled the Cheat River. On the other side of the river a B & O Railroad line ran parallel to the river. Alongside the main railroad there was a "dinkey" railroad and a storage building for railroad equipment and supplies. The witness happened to look up at a large clearing on the side of the mountain behind the storage and saw a large hair-covered creature standing on two feet watching him. He was a few hundred yards from the animal but he quickly determined it was too large to be a human, and not an animal known to him. He watched for several seconds as the creature stood staring at him, and then the boy wheeled and started home quickly. After walking a few steps the boy turned to look again at the spot and the animal was gone. He was immediately alarmed because he did not believe the animal could have traveled out of the large clearing and into the forested slopes above it in so short a period of time. He thought the animal may have been running toward him and using the storage building for cover as he did so. The boy then ran to his home and told family members about his encounter. When they went outside they saw no sign of the animal.

Description of Animal(s) if Seen: Very large with wide shoulders and covered with light tan hair. Because of the distance, he could not see more details. The witness is now 65 years of age, and just recently saw the Patterson footage on TV. He said the animal he saw was very similar, except for the coloration of the hair.

The witness stated that when he was about sixteen years old he was fishing alone one summer's night on the Cheat River. While he was busy with his gear, he heard a loud animal sound on the mountain above him. He became wary, but continued to fish for another few minutes. He stated something then walked down off the mountain behind him and emitted an ear-splitting scream which caused him to quickly gather up his equipment and leave for home.

A few years later two of his friends saw a very large hair-covered man or ape near a cabin in the nearby mountains. The witness also mentioned that his brother and a friend were rabbit hunting with Beagle hounds a few years ago along the Cheat River between Albright and Rowlesburg when the dogs quit a hot scent trail in a thicket and disappeared. They looked for the dogs without success and walked home. They found the dogs had returned to their pen and were all cowering and trembling inside the dog houses. He said the dogs had never done that before, and the hunters were sure the dogs had encountered something that was very frightening to them.

Field Investigator's Notes & Comments: I interviewed several residents of this particular area while I was in West Virginia in late January and early February of 2006. A woman told me that in December of 1977 she was alone at home with her sleeping infant child when she had to use the outside toilet. She was followed by her Golden Retriever which waited outside the toilet. While she was inside she heard a baby crying loudly. She hurriedly left for the house with the dog walking closely by her side and watching the woods line. The dog remained on the ground by the porch steps as she went in to tend to the child. She found the child was still sound asleep and had not moved. She then heard loud animal sounds outside and the dog began to bark frantically. As she started to the door she heard the dog utter a loud yelp, and then it became quite outside. She was afraid to go outside, so she secured the doors and windows and stayed inside until morning. She then found the dog on the ground by the steps with its skull crushed. She stated she later heard the sounds of a baby crying in the woods near the home on two different occasions.

Tal H. Branco, Bryant Arkansas 2006

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