Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bigfooting in Pennsylvania, 2010

Bigfooting in Pennsylvania Slideshow

Just when I thought my summer bigfooting excursions were over, I received a call from bigfooting colleague and friend of the 'squatch, Matt Moneymaker of the BFRO. Matt had recently returned from scouting an area in Western Pennsylvania near the Allegheny River where some very recent bigfoot activity had been reported. He asked if I would be able to accompany him and try to obtain video of the local sasquatches. Facing my last week of freedom before teaching obligations will fill my time, how could I refuse?

Only three weeks ago, fishermen reported seeing a sasquatch casually walk across a shallow tributary of the Allegheny a short distance upstream from their fishing hole in broad daylight. The fishermen did not report the sighting to the BFRO, but rather to a local police officer who had himself encountered sasquatches on a warm afternoon last August less than a half mile from this location. The sighting report quickly made its way to Matt's ears through mutual friends.

The tributary near where the fishermen witnessed
a sasquatch crossing the creek in August, 2010.

During Matt's initial trip he met the police officer, scouted the immediate area, and picked up a few more stories from locals. Thinking that this was an excellent opportunity to possibly obtain daylight footage, he quickly planned a return trip to the area for the following week. He recruited me for assistance with this endeavor.

My plane left Portland, OR at 6 am on August 20th. A long day of travel took me through Huston, TX, and eventually to Pittsburgh, PA, arriving in the late afternoon. I was excited for the opportunity to go bigfooting back east, having only done so twice before (in Ohio and Florida). It is valuable to note what the various habitats for the these animals have in common throughout the United States. Since I would be bigfooting with Matt, I would be sure to pick his brain about this. Through his bigfoot expeditions, Matt has successfully gone bigfooting in more parts of North American than anyone else, and has unique insights into these animals' needs and wants.

After meeting up with Matt in the Pittsburgh Airport, we got our rental car and took the hour (or so) drive to a small town not far from the area of interest. (The location will not be divulged due to Matt's ongoing efforts in the region.)

Our first trips to the field were largely for scouting purposes. We walked the creek beds by day, closely examining locations where the creatures could observe strategic choke points and stay hidden from view. There were many spots where the limestone bedrock was exposed, and many of these locations were sheer cliffs overlooking the stream. It is our opinion that sasquatches often prefer rocky substrate so as to not leave obvious tracks, and thus would seek these sorts of outposts.

Matt Moneymaker pointing out a strategic
vantage point overlooking a creek.

We explored a tributary of this tributary and found it to have many shallow pools and hidden viewpoints. The police officer's encounter from the previous summer was where this creek flowed into the larger tributary. We eventually found out that farther upstream, perhaps four miles, was a homestead where the owner was afraid to hang out on his porch after dark due to creatures in the woods. (Knocking on this man's door later in the week gave no results because he was not at home.)

While walking up this small tributary creek on Sunday (8/22/10), we heard knocking noises from the north east. There were few, if any, homes along the hilltops in the area, and none were close enough to produce such loud noises, so the chances that these noises were human in origin is slim. My recorder was not running because we were trudging through the bottoms of the creek bed, and when our feet weren't wet, we were pushing through thick brush. All recorded noises would have been of my own making, so it is of little or no use to record in such conditions.

One of our days of scouting uncovered abandoned limestone mines from a passed industrial age. The mine openings were large enough to drive trucks through, and we explored the labyrinth of passages for several hundred yards deep into the earth. A bizarre and highly serendipitous discovery came from deep in one of these passages. The local kids had spray painted various things on the walls of these caves, but one such piece of graffiti took us both by surprise.

A four-toed footprint, close to three feet long,
spray painted on the walls of a cavern deep underground.

Though we heard knocking on several occasions over the week, we heard what could have been a sasquatch vocalizations on two nights. The first night we heard the noise was Sunday the 22nd. Matt and I were walking along a paved road shortly before midnight when two high pitched scream/whines pierced the night, unsolicited by our own calls. The following night, we heard several more of these noises, but they seemed to emanate from near a homestead where a dog was incessantly barking. Not recognizing the sounds as any animal we were familiar with, we thought that they might be sasquatch. However, hearing the sounds coming from the same general direction of the barking dog made us both wonder about our assessment. Could it have been some whiny breed of canine, or possibly even some eastern species of owl? Possibly. We did note that we never heard the call during the day, even when we heard the other dog barking.

Our best day was Thursday, August 26. In the middle of the day, the police officer, his friend, Matt, and I were walking the tiny tributary that feeds the larger one when we discovered a natural choke point with sheer cliff walls covered in thick brush. A distance up the walls was a natural bench with a rocky overhang which would be an obvious spot to escape rain or snow while still being able to observe anything traveling in the narrow canyon. Three of us climbed the cliff walls to inspect the bench area. Upon our arrival, we started hearing loud, single knocks from three directions. Two of the sources were close, perhaps 50 or so yards away, while one was much farther away downstream. The knocking continued for nearly 15 minutes until we decided to take action.

The natural bench from where we
heard many knocks from three sources.

Our plan was to send three of us out of the canyon from the direction we came, while I would remain behind to try to film the sasquatches. I sent my two companions down the precipice to Matt, who was waiting and observing from the creek below. As they reached the floor of the canyon, a quiet, yet distinct whistle came from one of the knocking locations. The three men below me then walked noisily to the north, leaving the area and making sure that the sasquatches knew it.

The view of the creek from the natural bench.

I stayed behind for perhaps twenty more minutes, just listening to the forest noises. The most significant thing I heard was the lack of knocking. Since there was a slight breeze during this time, it occurred to me that perhaps the knocking was a natural noise made by the wind. Hearing nothing after the men had left the canyon made me realize that the clear knocks that had been occurring frequently during our stay were most likely bigfoots. The whistle was just icing on the cake...

On my walk out, I went up the slope to intersect a long-unused logging road. Of interest was my find of a log that had been moved three feet to the right of where it had been. Was this a find of bigfooty significance? I don't know, but it was interesting.

This log had been moved a few feet to the
right of its obvious resting place.

My trip to Pennsylvania was a great opportunity to not only hang out with a good friend in a different part of the country, but also to pick the brain of one of the most experienced bigfooters alive today. Matt holds many strong opinions regarding these animals, but he is always quick to listen to my thoughts and experiences. When I disagree with him, he always respectfully listens and considers my opinion. Just like back in the day when I ran expeditions for the BFRO, working with Matt was easy and fun, the both of us making an excellent team. We didn't manage to obtain that elusive piece of video footage, but perhaps one of the many trail cameras we left behind will do the job for us. I will be sure to keep you posted on any results of our efforts.

Two last thoughts... I dislike hiking through wild roses, and the effects of poison ivy feels just like poison oak... Go figure.

Here are some more photographs from my PA adventure...

Matt in the main tributary with limestone walls.

Typical habitat in the area.

Limestone overhangs make for good shelters from snow, wind, and rain.

Above the creek canyon.

This mine's entrance is nearly twenty feet across,
yet was completely hidden from view while only a few yards away.


  1. Cliff-

    Awesome report and great photos. It' really shows how thick and wild the country is there.

  2. Cliff, I missed you guys last week but I was the one with the officer last year when the encounter happened here. We went down Tuesday night and sat along the road to listen for a couple hours. Heard a few knocks, a whistle, and a grunting sound about every 5 minutes for the last hour about 50 yds away. Wasn't a deer or any other animal we know. Hope I can catch Matt next time hes back. And I heard you love the multiflora rose.

    1. I know this area well, its pretty much my backyard. What are yall planning to do with the Squatch?

  3. I know of two sightings in Allegany county NY, not too far geographically from the general area you visited. One was a hunter who was followed by a bigfoot. The other were two girls who observed a tall beige collered bf...

  4. In a 2008 there was photo reenactment and survey that proved what some thought was a bear really was a primate proportioned animal seen here:
    A primate scientist from Duke University worked out the size of it at the location with this survey and it was published in Scientriffic Nov-Dec 2008 ISSN# 1442-2212. It had 22 inch arms and a 18 3/4 torso impossible for a bear. Yes, I believe there are some Sasquatch hiding in Pa.

  5. There's several eyewitness sightings of Bigfoot in Pennsylvania going all the way back to the 1920's. Many were never turned into the BFRO.

  6. Are you willing to share your investigation location?

  7. 40ft heh? 3 min's from my house. heard the knocks and there;s a story to tell about some whistling , that scared some grown men summer 2010.

    1. I live along the creek too about 3min from the concrete plant. I think its their mating season right about now. I ride in them woods almost daily, havent ran into one yet. Flipped a few Quads back in 40ft. i probably know you. Well I don't doubt there out here, but the terrain is rough and I doubt they'll catch one on film out here. hell we live out here and know one isn't going to just jump down from a cliff and pose.

  8. Summer 2010 . Three men camping out at their garden, growing organic veg on a leased lot. Not outdoors men but educated and employed .
    All three encountered something whistling and responding to whistles. Trying to follow the sound the heard heavy steps and branches breaking. It would sound and when they got to that location it would sound and be behind them. This went on for 2 hours and they wound up locking themselves in a van scared to move till light. 40-45'42.61"north 79-43'05.22"west

  9. I think research to find out if there are documented reports of a squatch in Carbon County, PA might be interesting. I think I almost hit a juvenile with my car in spring of 99 near Albrightsville. Everyone doubts me, but I know what I saw and to this day, when I think of the incident, I get a little scared. Whenever I travel past the spot I slow down a little and look around.

  10. Seems like Cliff and the gang should return to PA for an investigation in this same area for season 3 of Finding Bigfoot.

  11. I have heard rumors of the "Finding Bigfoot" crew visiting SW Pennsylvania, Fayette County to be exact. Is this true?

  12. No, the finding bigfoot crew were in McKean County in October for a week. They may return again for another episode. I am quite familar with the guys and I know several very active areas which I have already shared with Cliff, Matt, and Bobo. If and when they come back, they may return to a different location.

  13. i liked your story and i have to tell you i beleve that bigfoot is real.

    ps. you told a great story!

  14. Any idea where some good exploring places are near pittsburgh and sheraden?

  15. Cliff-I missed hearing of you guys being in Uniontown..I have to tell you ,if bigfoot does not exist and isn't in this are at points during the year then I and a lot of other locals including a cousin who really doesn't bigfoot..are truly crazy.