Friday, November 20, 2015

The Beast of Gum Hill

     A Bristol man recently claimed that he and a hunting companion encountered a Bigfoot type beast near Gum Hill in Washington County.  The two came across a large figure sitting on a rock.  As the men approached, the figure rose, whistled and made other noise and then ran off.  The witness described its face as “Neanderthal.”
     For generations, there have been sightings of Bigfoot like creatures across America.  The legend grew in popularity in 1967, when two men in California filmed a huge and hairy beast in the woods, walking on two feet, and at one point turning directly toward the camera.  The film clip is known as the “Patterson-Gimlin film,’’ named for the men involved in the filming.  Over the years, the film has been surrounded by controversy, with many experts concluding that the subject captured on film is non-human, while others have judged it “a man in an ape suit.”
     In Virginia, a man named Billy Willard runs the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia, a Bigfoot and wildlife scientific field research group.  The group conducts field investigations and field research of reported encounters or habitual recurring encounters of Bigfoot in Virginia.  Willard’s group has identified thirty eight counties in Virginia that have reported Bigfoot like sightings.
    This account from Spotsylvania County is typical of the type of sightings that the Sasquatch Watch of Virginia documents:

     “It was following a foxhunt and we were getting up hounds about the edge of dark. My husband, my granddaughter and I were on one side of the pond when suddenly I saw movement on the other side. I observed what appeared to be a 7 foot man in black walking slowly across the field towards the woods....I blinked to try to get a better focus while at the same time saying ‘what the hell is that?’ About that time my husband and granddaughter caught sight of it and my husband swung the truck around to try to get closer. He said ‘is it a bear?’ At this time the ‘thing’ started running, and when I say running I mean RUNNING! I have never seen such a large animal/person be able to run so swiftly nor so gracefully! It was almost as if it ‘glided’ across the ground. Upon realizing that a bear could never run like that on two legs we were baffled as to WHAT this ‘thing’ is. I have never seen anything like it before and if someone asked me to describe it the best way I can I would have to say it looked like a gorilla but was taller but leaner and much more graceful and swift.”

Mind bending stories from the Old Dominion. A collection of Virginia’s most notable Urban Legends, many include the true stories behind them.

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