A 1970's Sasquatch Story in Georgia
By Wayne Ford, Oconee County, Georgia
Along the Flint River in the vicinity of the central Georgia city of Griffin is the location of one of Georgia's most publicized pieces of Sasquatch evidence — the cast of a track with dermal ridges that supposedly indicate the existence of an unknown primate.
That 17.5 inch print was cast in 1997 by a sheriff's deputy. But 20 years earlier and within a few miles of this place, a young teenager had a fleeting but frightening encounter with an animal that was out of the realm of anything he considered existed.
Today, Jeff Scott is trying to come to terms with what he saw that day on the banks of the
Jeff Scott's search for answers began in 2008, during the time of a ballyhooed hoax in
“Back in 2008 when they said they had the corpse of a Bigfoot — you remember the hoax — I went back down there,” he said, in July during a telephone interview from his home in
Based on what he has learned by studying reports, Scott, now 49, said he is certain he has found strong evidence of the creature still in that area.
Scott's personal sighting goes back more than three decades.
“Me and my cousin were down on a river bank,” he recalled. “I was 17 years old when it happened and I wasn't even thinking about Bigfoot back in those days. My cousin was down on the bank fishing, and I said, ‘Russell, come on up. Let's go around this bend and fish here for a while.”
He didn't go. Lord knows I went up around the river bend and throw'd my poles out and was sitting there by myself. I wasn't talking, just being extremely quiet when I heard something way off in the distance across from me; the river is real narrow up there too,” he said.
As he sat fishing, Scott said the sound he heard far off in the forest sounded like “limbs popping.”
Scott said he was alarmed and his sense of flight set in, but he sat still. He said the bushes and vines on the opposite side of the river were moving and he knew that whatever he had heard was near the river.
“About that time that thing came out. With its arms it parted the vines and I saw it walking. It was just humongous how big it was — solid black hair and shiny. I never saw its face. I saw it from the side. I saw its legs plain as day — arms and head — everything from the side. If I hollered at it, it would have instinctively turned and looked at me, but I didn't do that I was so scared,” he said.
Scott remembered he was in a near state of panic when he reached his cousin.
I was shaking so bad; he tried to get me to my senses. I said, “Man, we need to get the hell out of here, Scott said adding, “He saw the fear in my eyes.”
They left and more than 30 years would pass before Scott had the desire to return to this location and stand where he had seen the creature.
“To this day, the only thing I regret about it is I was too scared to go back down there and see that devastation of limbs that thing had snappedl\; I know the footprints would have been there,” he said.
The sense of fear Scott experienced that day was profound. “The fear overcame me that this thing could kill me. Mankind has never captured something like that. The fear in me was indescribable,” he said.
Today, Scott does not harbor that same fear that overcame him as a teenager. He doesn't believe these unknown creatures will kill unnecessarily. He has gone to spots on the
“I'm trying not to carry a gun down there with me, but it's hard. I carry bear spray and a knife,” he said, adding “I've only been back to that same spot where I saw it one time.” He and his cousin returned — at his request.
“I found the spot again right off the bat after 33 years. “When I stood at the exact spot I saw that thing — I'm serious as a heart attack — I felt as if something was watching me.”
He said he turned to his cousin as they stood on the river bank. “Russell, you didn't see what I saw standing here 33 years ago. It was the scariest thing in my life, ” he said. adding “he believes me because he saw the fear in my eyes that day.”
Scott said he talked about his sighting to only a few people. “Nobody knows what I saw, only a handful of people,” he said.
When he read about the casting of the footprint now called the Elkins Creek cast, he knew it was close to where he had his sighting and to him it was a confirmation that what he saw still roams those forests of the
“Twenty years later, they took casting of a footprint,” he said, and more than 30 years later, he wants to understand what he saw.
Wayne Ford is a journalist in
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