Bigfoot: My Personal Encounter

My interest in cryptozoology began the day I witnessed a creature that was beyond my belief or, what I thought, boundries of reality. The incident was reported to a BFRO investigator several years ago in hope that they may be able to get further information from local authorities. Unfortunately, this investigator was unable to help.

The date of the encounter was May 9, 1981 about 10:00 am and I was flyfishing for redeye and smallmouth bass on the south branch of the Patapsco River approximately 1 mile downstream from Rt.32 near Sykesville, Maryland. The weather was sunny and slightly breezy and the air temperature was in the low 60’s. This section of river flattens out into riffles then empties into a larger pool, an area I had fished several times previously.

I was on the south bank near the riffles when I noticed a stray mixed breed dog sniffing around the weeds and thickets on the north bank. The dog was about 50 yards from me and was weaving in and out of the brush. I wasn’t worried about the dog bothering me, so I just put it out of my mind and concentrated on fishing.

After a few minutes or so, I heard the dog barking and growling. I figured that he stirred up a deer, but when I looked at the direction of the ruckus I noticed a dark hairy creature bobbing up and down in the thickets. I stopped fishing and moved closer to the riffles to get a better look and noticed that the dog stopped barking. Suddenly, I heard a loud yelp from the dog and the creature stood up. The best I could tell is that this “thing” was about 7-8 ft. tall and had dark matted hair. I could only see the body from the chest up because the rest of the body was obscured by the weeds and thickets. I stood completely still and could hear a series of “tick” sounds while observing this creature walk slowly through the thickets towards the woods. I started to follow it and in the meantime I noticed a strong musky scent that reminded me of fox urine.

I had waders on so I could only move so fast in an attempt to get a better look at this creature. It simply moved too fast for me. I decided to go back to my car, drive into Sykesville and make an immediate report to the authorities. On my way back to the vehicle, I noticed the dog and it had noticeable blood around the neck and hind area but seemed to be able to get around. I figured I better stay away for the dog regardless.

I drove to the nearest telephone which was located outside a bar. The local police told me to go back to the area and they would meet me there. So I got back into the car (I seriously thought about going into the bar for a minute first, but better judgement made me change my mind) and started to drive back to the river. I was amazed that a Maryland State Police cruiser was already there. The State Police officer told to get back in my car and leave immediately because they didn’t know how dangerous the situation was. I tried to explain to him that I made the initial report, but he refused to let me talk and again told me to leave. I went back to the area about 1 hour later and the place was crawling with people and many state and other official vehicles. One man standing near the road did tell me that someone found some hair samples but refused to say anything else.

For many years, I tried to gather information from local authorities in regards to this incident, but I have always been told that “no information is available” or “we have no report of an incident”. Since that time, I have decided that I would do my own investigations and find information on my own.

Follow up...I received this comment to this incident:

This sure brings up some old memories. I always expected that sooner or later it would get out. I'm glad someone else saw it and kicked over the can. I'll add beans.

I was one of the responders on that call. Right after we'd closed down the road a government response team arrived. Those guys weren't fooling around. Their big dogs and bigger guns made that evident. It wasn't long before we were locked out: ordered into our cruisers and away from the area. The "into our cruisers" part was the weirdest. We were outmanned, outgunned and outranked by the feds who had taken over. Soon after that, within an hour at most, several choppers were overhead... as in three. It was a manhunt on a larger scale than we could have mustered so quickly, and that is saying a lot.

I've never really been positive what happened. None of our guys had actually seen "it," though I imagine "it" was caught or killed. They said there were hair samples and footprint photos and casts taken. We were debriefed and basically instructed not to speak of this matter. With that I'll close and say no more except that it did happen as described on here.

Original BFRO report

The Slave Woman of Lake Marburg

In 1978, I was asked to explore an area of bottom woodland that was the property of the P.H. Glatfelter Company of Spring Grove, Pa. This property was below the Lake Marburg dam and bordered Codorus Creek on both sides. The nearest town is Porters Sideling, Pa. This particular area was somewhat familiar to me since many of my mother’s relatives had lived near there before the dam was built. As well, I had hunted deer in this general area when I was younger.

The original report stated the phenomena of a woman’s scream that came from this hollow area usually at night. Several of the Glatfelter employees had heard the sounds at various times over a 2-3 year period starting in 1975. As well, a hunter (Bruce Rudisill) had also reported strange blue fog coming from the larch swamp one January 1976 morning at about 5:30 am while sitting in a deer stand approximately 500 yards north. The hunter stated to me that he noticed (what he thought) was a deer running out of the swamp bottom and that he noticed a bright blue fog hovering above the reeds and grasses where the deer had flushed.

I investigated the area of the screams and fog on February 22, 1978 near dusk and I was accompanied by a local friend, Rudisill and 2 Glatfelter employees (I was asked not to identify the 2 employees in my report). The weather was clear and very cold with little wind. We walked around the muck and thickets for a few hours. I estimate we covered 10 acres or so. I tried to pickup a sense of spiritual energy while walking but was unsuccessful. It was approximately 8:00 pm by this time so we decided to walk back to our car which was parked on a dam access road about 200 yards from the area of initial investigation. We got into the car and discussed some of the prior phenomena reported and tried to gauge a smaller area to closely examine.

At about 8:45 pm, while still seated in our vehicle, my friend stated there was a person walking on the access road coming towards us. I looked up and noticed a dark figure walking slowly about 40 yards from the car. I turned on the headlights and was amazed at the spectre I saw. Though the figure was a bit shadowy, I could make out a young negro or mulatto woman in a long dark dress and a tattered blouse that barely covered her breasts. She was rocking her head back and forth and looked like she was talking to someone...then she suddenly turned around and disappeared.

I immediately got out of the car and looked around the area hoping to pickup some sense of what we had witnessed. The others agreed to help me but, frankly, they were in a state of panic and shock. After about a half hour of further investigation, I agreed to drive the others back to their residences. I also tried to gather my wits since this apparition was very dramatic. I decided to call off further exploration that evening.

I returned to the area several times since that initial night of investigation and did not witness further activity. As well, I was not able to pickup any individual spiritual energy though one thicket of heavy boughed trees eminated a sense of malevolence and hatred. I’m not sure what caused this feeling and my spiritual guidance was unable to give me any information in order to identify residual spirits.

After many years of investigating the history of the area and possible reasons for what we witnessed my best conclusion is that this was a ghost of a slave woman who was either captured by fugitive slave bounty hunters or was subjected to another horrible fate. Since this area is close to the Mason-Dixon line and that the Underground Railroad out of the Maryland eastern shore and Baltimore brought fleeing slaves into this vicinity, I am confident that this was the result of what we witnessed.
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