Submitted by Roger Williams
I recently spoke with a local hunter who says he also saw an animal similar to the unidentified animal photo published in The Southwest Times Aug. 25.
Steven Taylor of Pulaski was turkey hunting in Wythe County near Austinville this past spring when he sensed a change in the mountain’s normal early morning sounds. It became eerily quiet and the gobblers that had been answering his calls abruptly quieted.
At first he heard a large animal approaching and thought it might be a deer or bear, since those animals are frequently seen on this mountain. Full daylight had not yet arrived and there were still deceiving shadows on the hillside as he strived to make out the beast
The creature walked by his stand, going toward the ridge line, at about forty to forty-five yards away. He had never seen an animal such as this before. It wore a heavy coat of fur and strode by on all fours until it reached a point near the top of the ridge where the turkeys had been gobbling. It then stood up on its hind legs to better see the other side of the ridge and WALKED, upright, about 10 or 12 yards before it returned to all fours and crossed the ridge top.
Its head was oval shaped and about the size of a basketball. It, too, was matted with fur, mostly around the neck area and on its thick back. He remembers the chest area appeared to be bare or less furry than the back.
He decided since he was hunting by himself, that it would be prudent to turkey hunt in another area for the rest of the morning.
This same local sportsman had a similar experience while bank fishing for catfish with a friend late at night near where Peak Creek enters Claytor Lake above the Interstate 81 bridge over the creek drainage. An animal approached the creek bank about 80 yards upstream from their campfire. It knelt at the water’s edge, as if it were drinking. Soon after it noticed the fishermen, it began to toss rocks or something heavy into the water. The fisherman also heard a pounding noise like something hitting the side of a tree. He also said they smelled a strong, pungent odor emanating from the animal’s direction.
Taylor said he has been reluctant to tell anyone of his experiences for fear of ridicule.
Perhaps there are other witnesses who would like to come forward and admit they have seen similar animals nearby since there now seems to be photographic evidence that this animal’s existence might be true.
Your eyewitness accounts will be seriously considered.