Submitted to BFRO by witness on Thursday, April 14, 2016.
Memory told of seeing the neighbor’s dog going after a hairy biped while squirrel hunting near Greenup
DATE: 9 or 10
COUNTY: Greenup County
NEAREST TOWN: Greenup, Kentucky
NEAREST ROAD: State Highway 2
OBSERVED: When I was 14, I had gotten up early one Saturday morning to go squirrel hunting on a small piece of property by my parents house. This stretch of woods is located in Greenup County Kentucky in Northeastern KY. The property is bordered by a small creek “Raccoon Creek”, and a river, the “Little Sandy”. I hunted this area on a daily basis when I was younger and had never seen anything unusual. On this particular day in early September, there was heavy dew on the trees so it was easy to hear anything moving as the dew would fall and make a very distinct noise. I was walking down the ridge top overlooking Raccoon creek and had not made any noise since arriving way before daylight. As often happened, my neighbors dog followed me that day and I thought I had ran him off a couple of hours earlier. Everything was completely still with almost no wind that morning. I started to hear the dog, “Gruffy, start barking and growling in a way that I had never heard before. At first I tried to ignore the noise but after a few minutes I decided to go run him off again as he was destroying my hunt. As I quietly eased down the ridge about 50 yards, I saw what I thought to be a young bear through the trees. The animal was standing on its back legs and was only around 6′ tall. I noticed that as Gruffy would lunge at the animal it would knock him back with its hands. He would let out a yelp and then go back after the animal. I eased closer being as quiet as possible planning to shoot near the animal to keep it from killing the dog. As I got directly above the animal it noticed me and turned to look directly at me. This is when I noticed that it was not a bear. I did not immediately distinguish the animal as a Sasquatch but was very confused as to what I was looking at. The animal growled viciously which scared me more than I have ever been scared. When Gruffy noticed me he ran to me and kept barking at the animal. I thought about shooting the animal but decided that with a 20 gauge shotgun at this distance with #6 shot that I would just tick it off. I started to walk backward slowly. After 3-4 steps the animal let out a blood curdling growl. I literally threw my shotgun down and ran home. When I got home, I told my father about what had happened. After he got over the fact that my gun was still in the woods, he decided to grab his rifle and take me back to get the gun. He would not accept that this was anything other than a bear. I have never spoken of this encounter because if my father would not believe me then who would? Although black bears are in the area, I have only seen one in the wild in the area. I have been an avid hunter my entire life and hunt everything from Ginseng and Yellow Root to big game. I still am not entirely sure of what I saw that day but I know it was not a bear and it was not a human. A human couldn’t possibly make the sounds that this animal made at the volume it made them.
ALSO NOTICED: We found one footprint about 10 years later on the edge of a freshly plowed field. I did not mention this encounter to the people with me at the time for fear of ridicule. It stopped me from hunting the area and I have not been back since.
OTHER WITNESSES: No one was present when this happened other than myself. My father did take me back to get my shotgun about an hour later. We saw nothing when we returned.
OTHER STORIES: I have a cousin who claims to have found tracks and had a sighting at the old gravel quarry on KY Route 7. This is a large area that is very brushy and thick. Most of it was clear cut several years ago.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around 7:30 in the morning. The weather was overcast and foggy. There was a heavy dew fall the night before.
ENVIRONMENT: The animal was standing on the creek bottom. I was on the top of the ridge in heavy white oak and hickory trees. There are also several beech trees there and an old apple orchard at the Indian mound leads less than 1/8 of mile through the woods.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jack Smarr:
I spoke to the witness by phone. The event happened in 1990 but is still burned into his memory. He told me that he tried to reconcile to himself for years that he saw a bear. In his words, what he saw “was no bear”.
The witness was fourteen years old and was a “big” squirrel hunter on his family property in Greenup County. The dew was heavy, muffling his footsteps in the leaves that morning. As he worked his way up the ridge, he noticed his neighbor’s dog following him. Fearing he would ruin the hunt, the young teen kicked at the cocker-spaniel finally driving him away. It wasn’t too long after the dog left him that he heard Gruffy the dog barking on and on. Wondering why Gruffy was so upset, he eased over to side of the ridge to see what all of the commotion was about.
There about fifty yards away and downhill was Gruffy barking and lunging at what he first thought was a Bear on his hind legs. As the dog would lunge at the animal, the creature would bat him away sending him sailing 8 or 10 feet with each swat. The witness noted that the hair was a dark reddish brown. This is when he concluded that it was not a bear. The creature was crouched over in an aggressive stance with its legs spread shoulder width apart like a boxer sparring in a ring. The dog would bark, lunge and get swatted away repeatedly. The witness noted this behavior for about a minute until the dog noticed him standing there up on the ridge fifty yards away. Up to this point the animal was silent, but upon seeing the teenager started vocalizing in a deep growl. It growled several times getting progressively louder and started walking in his direction. At this point the teenager threw the gun down and ran home.
The witness did not note any facial details except to say that its face was completely covered in hair. The nose was flat with no bear type snout. Its hair was unkempt but not overly long and he did not see any white portions in the eyes. The witness said that it was very wide at the shoulders and that it projected a feeling like it was very strong. The arms hung lower than the knees.
Once he ran home, he told his dad what he saw and they returned armed with a 44 Winchester Rifle to collect the discarded shotgun.
About BFRO Investigator Jack Smarr:
Jack Smarr is retired military and worked primarily in Field Artillery, Armored Cavalry and Armor units. He participated in TN 09, 10, 11, WV 2012 expeditions; and helped organize KY 2013 expedition. He organized the 2014 KY Daniel Boone Expedition, the 2015 Central Kentucky Expedition, the 2016 Carter Caves State Park Expedition and has conducted private expeditions in Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. Jack is organizing the Northeastern Kentucky Expedition in April of 2017.