Mar 13

Dad Said Bigfoot Wasn’t Real But A Gorilla Lived In The Woods

A listener writes “I never believed in Sasquatch until listening to your show during a Phoenix heat wave the summer of 2023. I had been blaming bear and cougar for all of the weird things that happened in the past 58 years of my life. My father always told me that Bigfoot wasn’t real but that there was a gorilla that lived in the woods that he thought escaped from the Washington, D.C. zoo.

My father was born in VA in 1938. When he was 7 years old about 1945 his family lived on a county road in Springfield, VA surrounded by woods. There was a dilapidated house 2 story house without any windows and about a hundred yards from their residence. There were no other houses within a quarter mile of their property.

One day some friends were walking up the driveway and saw someone in a window opening on the 2nd floor of the old house holding a tree branch with leaves on it. At the time my dad had an older brother that was 14 years old. The older brother grabbed a 12 gauge shotgun and went to investigate. My dad followed his brother up the stairs to the 2nd story. When they approached the top of the stairs his brother fired the shotgun and screamed. He turned and ran past my dad down the steps and out of the house. My dad ran behind him and when they got to their house my dad asked what he saw. His brother told him that there was a black gorilla standing in the middle of the room and he shot it. When their father got home that evening he went to investigate but said that the house was empty.

As the years went by my dad would hear noises in the woods around the house that sounded like something jumping out of the trees and running on 2 legs. He would also hear tree crashes but couldn’t ever find the source of the noise. When my father got into his twenties his dad and his brothers built a house about a mile away from the old house they used to live in. One day one of his brothers had bought a new pistol.

There was nothing behind the house but woods for miles. His brother randomly fired one round into the woods. There was an immediate loud scream that came out from the woods close by that sounded like a woman. Around this same moment in time we had a neighbor that lived a few miles away. One night she let out her 3 small dogs to do their business. After a few minutes the dogs came running up onto the porch. She was letting them in the house when a, what she described as a 6 foot tall gorilla ran onto the porch within a few feet of her and she quickly slammed the door shut. I remember hearing my mother telling the story to a friend when I was 6 years old and she mentioned that the woman was looking down at the dogs when it ran up and it had 3 toes on its feet.

Around this same time we had a small beagle dog that lived outside. One evening right before dark we heard gravel hitting the house and the dog was squealing. When we went to investigate we could hear the dog still squealing but the dog squealing was rapidly moving from the house to deep into the woods and finally we could no longer hear the dog. It was like he was traveling much faster than he could run. The dog came home a few days after that and he was scared to come to the house and hid under a truck in the driveway.

When I was about 5 years old my dad built a sand box for me in back of the house next to the woods. It got to the point that every time I was out there by myself I would hear a very loud hooting similar to an owl. It made me scared and I quit playing there.

I have a brother who is 6 years older than me. I always thought that he was weird or just making up stories. He said that he kept seeing a person in the woods leaning against a tree and watching the house. He said that he had seen someone looking into a window one evening. My dad went outside and tried to recreate the incident at the window which was in the door. My dad doubted his claim because the person would have been 7 feet tall. When we got older and my brother was 25 years old he had been keeping a secret because he didn’t think anyone would believe him. He said that one night he saw 2 red eyes looking into our bedroom window. My brother was always scared of the woods and the dark which I never understood but maybe he had legitimate reasons.

My brother had gotten a pup tent as a gift and was excited about camping for the first time. He was 13 at the time and I was 7. We crossed the road next to our house into some woods that did not have any houses along the area for about a half mile in either direction. We put the tent up during the day and waited until sunset to go to the tent. We were laying there for about 30 minutes when we started hearing what sounded like children playing. It was now 10 o’clock and my brother said that there weren’t any houses in the area of the sounds. It started getting closer and had morphed into a baby crying. As it got closer it started coming from more than one direction. By this time it had gotten too probably within 75 yards of us. We were pretty scared but then it got worse. It started coming from different directions. It sounded like 4-5 different animals in separate locations making the same baby sounds. We climbed out of the tent and went home banging on the door waking up our parents. My dad told us that it was bobcats but now 51 years later and having camped and hunted my whole life, I have never heard sounds like that in the woods.

When I was 7 years old my father leased a farm in West Virginia. There was a long driveway that was about 1.5 to 2 miles long. The farm was really secluded and had these strange large rock piles in one area of some woods that were referred to as Indian mounds. One evening we could hear what sounded like a rhythmic drum pounding sound coming from the area of the mounds. It was slow but steady and lasted for about 15 minutes. It made everyone uncomfortable and uneasy but the source of the noise was never identified.

My dad and his brothers had been clearing roads into woods off of the driveway about 300 yards from the house. I had a small Honda 50 motorcycle and I ran out of gas at the end of the logging road. There was a smell and it was like a cross between raw sewage and something dead. I thought that one of my dad’s brothers was down the logging road about a 100 yards because I could hear large logs being thrown and limbs snapping. I kept looking but I couldn’t see anything. When I got back to the house and I saw the whole family was at the house it really scared me.

A few years later it was 1975 and my parents had separated. My mother rented a house on a back road in Frederick County Va. I was 10 years old and I would go visit a friend after dinner about 6pm in the winter which would be after sunset and dark. He only lived about a quarter mile from my house and I would ride my skateboard to his house.

By this time I had already killed an eight point buck 2 years earlier at the age of 8 years old and belonged to a gun club. I wasn’t afraid of the dark or the woods. On the road to my friends home there was a stretch in the road that had woods on one side and cow pasture on the other that lasted for about a hundred yards.

No street lights were on the road and it was very dark and virtually no cars on this road at night. One night on the way there when I got to the woods on my right I started smelling a stench that I remembered from the old farm several years earlier. Over the sound of the skateboard wheels I could hear something large milling around about 50 yards from the road to my right. It was trying to be quiet but was too large to make its presence unknown.

I remember thinking that it had to be a bear or something like a super-sized buck. I didn’t like it. On the way home it was still there a couple hours later. The next night it was there again and this time it made me really nervous and I rode as fast as I could and stayed as far from the woods as I could. I didn’t go back to my friend’s house at night anymore but never told them why.

My grandparents owned about 180 acres in Frederick County which I hunted with my grandfather until he passed away in 1990 when I was 25 years old. Back in the days before he passed when we hunted, the deer trails were about 16 inches wide. When we killed a deer we would gut them in the forest and after butchering them we would dump the carcasses in a ravine on the property. It would take a week or longer for the buzzards to eat everything.

I lost interest in hunting after his death. About 1995 when I was 30 years old I decided to start hunting again. When I returned to the woods to hunt I found that the deer trails had grown to 4-5 feet wide and were very smooth almost like a pedestrian path in a park. I thought that it was really unusual. I started hunting and would kill 2 deer at the beginning of the season every November for the next five years but things were different when it came to deer remains. I could dump guts and carcasses sometimes 2 carcasses in the same day. By the next morning everything was gone. The guts and the carcasses.

The only way that you could tell that I had dumped anything was by the blood on the ground. My grandmother would let others hunt there occasionally. One morning I was in my tree stand and I heard what sounded like a very large clumsy hunter walking in the woods and was snapping off tree limbs as he walked. Then the sound stopped. I thought that a hunter had arrived late in the daytime and was sitting about a hundred yards from me in a ravine. Weird place to hunt but I was pissed. I got down out of my stand and walked down there and couldn’t find anyone. So, I walked back to the farm and to my shock there was not any other vehicles there. I was the only person hunting.

In the nineties I did some tent camping. I decided to go camping in West Virginia at a state park near a small town named Brandywine Station. It had a swimming and fishing lake with a campground. It was as about 1993. I didn’t want to be near other campers and decided to stay in the overflow area at the back of the campground up in the woods next to a steep ridge and a dry creek bottom. I set up camp and a few hours later the rocks started falling down from the ridge next to my camp.

At first I thought that they were being dislodged by bears up in the ridge foraging for food like ants or something. I remember seeing a rock about 8 inches in diameter and about 3 inches thick landing about 20 feet from me. Keep in mind I didn’t believe in Sasquatch and thought that it had to be another reason for this. The rocks fell all night long and at one point I heard something large walk through my camp in the middle of the night.

In the summer of 1999 I decided to take a solo motorcycle camping trip to the same location. It didn’t go so well. I arrived in the evening and set up camp. I had some coffee after setting up my tent and making my bedding. I left about 6pm for a motorcycle ride. When I returned to camp at about 10pm in the dark and saw that the tent was down. At first I thought that a peg had let loose. I pulled the tent up and it looked like someone had taken a knife and cut the tent in a very straight vertical cut for about 4 feet. As I was looking at the tent in the dark with a small head lamp I heard something about 30 yards from me start walking away. It sounded like it was on 2 feet and very large.

I didn’t believe in Sasquatch and assumed that it was a black bear weighing at least 500 pounds. It was snapping limbs off as it walked but suddenly stopped at about 75 yards from my camp. All of my belongings in the tent were on ground and looked as if they had been rolled. None of my food was disturbed but it was all canned goods for this very reason.

After about 10 minutes I heard it returning. As it got closer it became stealthier. The direction it was coming from was a series of ditches and dry creek beds with pine forest covered in pine needles on the ground. It was probably within 30 feet of me but I couldn’t see it. I only knew it was there because I would hear an occasional snap of a twig. I was only armed with a Glock 19 9mm pistol. I had 3 15 round clips but I figured that I would be dead by the time it had any effect on the “bear” that I now know was something entirely more dangerous. I immediately walked to my motorcycle and started it and hoped that the engine noise would keep it at bay long enough for me to ride away.

I left all of my belongings and hoped like hell that it didn’t attack me from behind as I was attempting to ride away. It was 3 hours to home on deer infested roads but I was just glad to be alive. I had a roommate back then and told him about what had happened. He said that he would be interested in returning to the same area the following weekend and we would both be on motorcycles. At about 9pm it was getting dark and we arrived at an unplanned location after problems picking a camp spot. We ended up closer to the main road rt. 33 than we wanted which was about a hundred yards. And we were next to a flowing creek that was about 40-50yds across but it was probably not more than 3 feet deep.

It was still summer and we had an almost or full moon that night. We set up camp and decided to go down to the creek that night. For some reason we did not build a fire. We sat by the creek in bright moonlight and consumed a 12 pack of beer between the 2 of us. It was now 2am and we decided to go to our tents. Within not even 3 minutes I could hear something behind my tent only 20 yards at most away. I thought “damn bear “and kept ignoring it as it kept breaking branches like every 5 seconds near me. My friend yells over “What the hell are you doing over there “? And I yell back “Nothing, there’s a goddamn bear behind my tent”. We both exit our tents with pistols and flashlights drawn.

I had my Glock 19 and he had his Glock 33 which is 45 caliber. After about 30 seconds my friend yelled “eyes “ and fired about 5-6 rounds and I followed him in the same direction of fire and let off about 5-6 shots also. We stood there in the dark completely silent and turned off our lights. We stood there in the darkness for about 10 minutes and eventually went to bed soon after. Never heard anything the rest of the night after that.

About a month or so later the same friend and I decided go camping at the end of a logging road. It was five miles long from the closest paved road rt. 55 which went through the national forest for about 3 miles on the VA /West Virginia border.

My friend and I rode in his vehicle and he had brought his 2 year old German shepherd dog. We drove all the way to the end of the road just to see if anyone else back there. It was completely deserted except for us. We set up camp at about 7pm. Once camp was set up the dog started barking into this one area of the forest.

This dog would normally attack any animal but it would not leave the camp. Only bark vehemently. He quit after about 20 minutes and the deep tree cover was blocking out the sun. Once it got almost dark it was quiet and about 9pm the fire cackling when I heard a small rock landing on the ground about 20 feet away and it landed near the back of my friend’s vehicle. The dog was not aware of the rock. I had caught a glimpse of it right as it hit the ground.

It was only about 2 inches long and a half inch thick. I asked my friend what was that? He said it was a rock. I said that if that was a rock then someone threw it. I drew my pistol and walked towards the direction of the rock being thrown from. We were about 40 feet off the logging road and the rock had come from that direction. It was near dark but I could see without a light. I went to the road by myself. Normally the dog would have been in front of me but oddly he stayed next to the fire with his owner. I looked behind trees and investigated the road in both directions for 50 yards each way from the camp. I returned to my friend and told him that if it’s a person that they are hiding really well.

A few hours went by and now it was almost midnight. We heard a tree crash and a knock but didn’t think anything of it nor did the dog. I decided to do some coyote howls for fun. Within 5 minutes of my howls I heard the loudest sound in the woods that I have ever heard. It was about a hundred yards away and sounded a giant hoot but sort of like a gorilla grunt. You could tell that the sound had come from a very large mouth and lungs. It was super loud and creepy.

The dog only stared intently at the direction of the sound. I hooted at it like I was an owl. Then we heard it take off running and it was crashing into limbs and making a lot of noise but ran to the west of us and soon we didn’t hear it anymore. About 30 minutes later a super loud hoot sound came out of the woods from the same direction as the rock earlier. It had snuck up on us was now only 50 yards maximum from our camp. I told my friend that if this is an animal I need to see it. I left the camp walking in to the direction of the sound and into the woods across the logging road.

I searched the woods by myself. My friend and his dog stayed in the camp. I looked everywhere and didn’t see anything. When I got back to the camp I told my friend that I was going to bed. I also told my friend that just in case that we were dealing with a person out there that I was dumping some rounds into the woods that I had just searched. I emptied 15 rounds of 9mm in fanning pattern left to right to maximize the target area. We went to bed and didn’t hear anything the rest of the night.

In 2001 I went camping at a small campground near Paw Paw WV. I had camped there before and never had any problems or anything abnormal happen before. One night while camping I had been drinking and it was about midnight or 1am. I heard what I thought was a bear approaching the camp. I hadn’t ever heard of dog man. The fire was burning really good but the sounds of it approaching seemed like it was coming straight towards the camp.

Not being sober I got the stupid idea that I would sneak into the woods and stand in the dark and surprise the bear with my light. I had left my gun on the table in the camp like an idiot. When the bear got within 30 feet of me I clicked on my light. What I saw next was not what I expected. It was all black and had a head like a bear but the muzzle wasn’t tan like every black bear I had seen in the region. It had big yellow eyes. It was hunched forward like a hyena and it was as tall as myself at 5’-9” but if it had stood up on its hind legs it would have been much taller. It had very long muscular front arms of at least 5 feet long and looked as if it had its front hands or claws curled backwards like it was walking on its front wrists. The arms were like that of an alpha male kangaroo with the elbows kicked slightly to each side.

After 2 seconds of face to face looking at each other it collapsed down on to its belly and made a sharp turn to its right and rapidly scuttled into dark where I couldn’t see it. It hadn’t run away. It was completely silent and it was right there in the brush hiding in the dark. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up and I realized that I had made a foolish mistake and I was probably in danger. I kept my light pointed in the direction of the animal and slowly backed away to the camp and grabbed my gun. I built the fire up and eventually went to the tent. Nothing happened the rest of the night.

In 2011 I had moved to Richmond VA. I had a coworker at that time that owned a farm just outside the city. He had told me that he had seen a Sasquatch on his property. I thought that he was being ridiculous but I didn’t let on that I didn’t believe in such nonsense.

In 2019 I bought a house outside the city and I was not that far from where the coworker owned his land. The area I lived in was very wooded with swamps, fields, and lakes, and it was within a mile or 2 of the James River. Within about the 3rd night that we were there it was about 10pm in the summer. There was a huge crash sound against the attached garage. It sounded a tree had fallen on it. I went outside to investigate but didn’t find anything. A couple nights later I was sitting in my living room. There was a window on my left and I was about 3 feet from it. The window was 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall. When you are outside the distance from the ground to the bottom of the window is about 5 feet.

When sitting there in the living room I could always see my neighbor’s yard lights next door and another neighbor had lights as well further down the street. While sitting there this particular night I just happened to notice that I didn’t see any lights at the window. I leaned closer towards the window to see through my own reflection. What I saw was reddish brown hair about 3 inches in length about 24 inches away on the other side of the glass.

Whatever was blocking out the lights had to be at least 9 feet tall and that is a conservative estimate. I was already wearing my pistol and jumped up and ran out the front door with my gun in hand. I ran completely around the house outside in the dark and didn’t see or hear anything. In the months after that I used to think that there was a house in the woods behind us because I thought that I would hear people talking back there. One night when my wife and I were in the hot tub on our deck we heard a strange bird call from the same area. It was close and sounded like it came out of a human’s mouth. It only did it once and I have never heard a sound like that since. I looked at the property on Google Earth and I walked back there. There was nothing but woods and standing water about a foot deep.

I totally believe that Sasquatch kidnap, kill and eat people. Sometimes they kidnap a person out of curiosity and the human cant survive because of exposure and shock of being held captive and toyed with by a primitive creature.

Once the woods explode with people searching for the person the Sasquatch will place the body where it will be found in order to get the searchers to leave the woods. That is why when the body is found it will sometimes have its clothes on backwards or be unclothed and sometimes wearing someone else’s clothes. The people that are never found are eaten. Would a Sasquatch save a person? If we can believe stories of dogs saving people then I suppose that an intelligent hominid could do the same.

There are stories about bullet proof Sasquatch. Hollow points and hunting ammo are not effective because of their expansion when hitting thick hide. I don’t think that the caliber is as important, though I would never carry a 9mm in the woods. I sold every 9mm that I had and now only carry 10mm and 45 caliber pistols with high performance solid nose ammo if in the woods.

For rifles the ammo needs to be FMJ or better yet armor piercing ammunition with the minimum caliber being 556 NATO or higher. Thirty round magazines are mandatory because you are going to need every bullet. In the cases where people fire single warning shots it is not enough to intimidate a Squatch. You want them to believe that they cant guess where the next round will hit and they will leave you alone. They aren’t stupid. Should you kill a Sasquatch? I look at them like any wild animal.

If it is threatening you or you want to eat it then go ahead. Killing them for sport loses its allure for me when the animal is intelligent. We also do not know what role that they play in our ecosystem if any.”

8 Responses to “Dad Said Bigfoot Wasn’t Real But A Gorilla Lived In The Woods”

  1. Chad W

    I enjoyed reading all your experiences. I worked in Springfield, VA for several years (long after the time of your experiences); I also lived in Frederick County, VA for more than 20 years, including the timeframe of the encounters you had there. I know well all the areas you mention in your post, in West Virginia and Virginia. Extra fascinating to me, for sure. Thanks for posting!

  2. Jana P

    If anyone sees this comment, I’ll probably get flack for it, but I don’t care. I think Sasquatches are terrifying, not one of God’s creatures, and are an incredible danger to people. I’ll never understand hunters who take such immense joy and happiness in killing deer who are innocents and vegetarians, but they see Sasquatches as something special and say they should be left alone.

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