• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Classic Mysteries—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, September 2018

From the files of Brent Raynes
Multiple Family Members Describe Close Range Bigfoot Encounter Near Pittsburgh, Pa.

by: Stan Gordon

Date of Incident: July 14, 2018
From Researcher: Stan Gordon

A member of a family contacted me concerning an incident that had taken place on July 14, 2018, at a family picnic in a rural location outside of Pittsburgh. The person that I initially interviewed by phone sounded very sincere, and provided a detailed account of a strange encounter that various relatives experienced who attended the event that day.  During the extended conversation, I was also able to interview some other family members who told me about what had occurred. They sounded shaken as they described the encounter that had taken place.

One witness I talked with saw a creature at close range that was similar to other Bigfoot reports that I was aware of from around the Pittsburgh area. I was able to obtain a lot of information from those involved concerning the unusual experiences that had occurred.

The family members, who didn’t want to be identified, were perplexed over what had taken place and were looking for answers to what had occurred. I contacted two experienced Bigfoot Investigators, Dave and Cindy Dragosin who lived in the Pittsburgh area as well. The Dragosin’s while independent investigators, also collaborate with other Bigfoot research groups such as the Keystone Bigfoot Project, Pennsylvania Cryptozoological Society, and Goosebumps Paranormal. Dave has become well known as a Bigfoot eyewitness forensic artist, where he sketches the creatures described by witnesses whom he has interviewed.

Dave and Cindy arranged to meet with family members during daylight at the location where the encounter had taken place. The witnesses were reluctant to return to that location after dark. The investigators interviewed those involved, took pictures and gathered other information, and Dave sketched the creature based on the testimony of an eyewitness.

The following details were obtained from the investigation report by Dave and Cindy Dragosin. Some information was edited to protect the confidentiality of those involved.

On Sunday, July 14, 2018, nine family members along with their large dog began their day-long family picnic during the late afternoon. They were planning to dance, play music, and cook a lot of food and meat on the grill to celebrate a birthday.  The children were running around in the woods gathering dead tree limbs to be used for fuel in the campfire for later that evening.  There was no electricity in the area, and they had to use the water source available nearby.

The tantalizing aroma of the food and meat cooking filled the surrounding wooded area. Shortly after 11p.m., many of the personal belongings and picnic items began to be placed in the family cars, but the campfire remained lit and the karaoke machine kept on playing, with the family dancing and singing around the campfire.

At approximately 11: 30 that evening, the family dog became agitated by something moving rather stealthily in the woods just to the east of a nearby structure.  This very large dog began to growl and bark in a rather agitated manner. Whatever was moving from east to south in the perimeter surrounding the structure began to growl back at the canine.

This commotion caused a male adult, who was standing approximately 15 to 20 yards away, to draw his attention toward the location where the water was located, and the wooded area south of the structure.  As the growling continued, growing louder with more intensity, the man noticed a form emerging from the shadows of the trees into the light of the campfire and before his eyes he observed a very, very big, hairy humanoid like creature. The witness was mesmerized for a brief moment as the creature stood with legs apart and its long arms outstretched exuding intimidation. The man estimated that the creature stood around 8 feet tall. The creature appeared to be very muscular and massive with broad shoulders and covered with long dark hair.

The witness stated that he could hear the creature breathing profoundly and heavily, as he watched its huge chest moving in and out. The man was immediately struck with fear because not only of the creature’s size, but said this huge hominid like creature had glowing red eyes. The witness for about 10-15 seconds was able to see the full frontal appearance of the creature, but it was too dark to see any facial characteristics or other specific details.

The man also recalled there was a brief moment where the creature was swaying back and forth, from left to right for only a couple of times. Then in an instant, the creature turned to its right and ran extremely fast toward the same direction from which it came into the northeast woods. Another young boy said that he also saw the creature run back into the woods. In the meantime, the dog, tethered nearby, continued to bark furiously in what members of the family say was a rather agitated and defensive manner. Two women ran to their cars parked near the structure, turned on the ignition and adjusted the cars so that the car’s headlights faced into the woods in anticipation of seeing what was fleeing from their picnic area.

All of the frightened family members said they could feel the ground beneath them resound from the size and weight of the creature, as it fled the vicinity through dark dense wooded area. None of the other family members stated they actually saw a full frontal version of the creature, only a brief silhouette of its movement through the woods.

Following the experience on July 14th, the children were rounded up, placed in their respective vehicles, all belongings were gathered and the campfire was extinguished in order to vacate the picnic site as quickly as possible.

During a one-on-one, face to face interview session that was set up with the family, it was noted that all family members were quite sincere in their reiteration of the event.  It was determined that what they saw was a true to life changing encounter. Each and every one of the family adult members were anxious to interpret what they were able to hear, and that was the vocalizations between their pet dog and the creature growling, snarling and chortling at each other. The temperature that evening was very humid, in the mid-70s, and the skies were clear. Other than growls and snarls, there were no other external vocalizations or odors emitted from the creature.

It was also noted and agreed upon that just prior to the creature’s appearance, the aroma of cooked meat and various food lingered, along with the children and women shouting, laughing and playing gleefully around the campfire and songs were being sung in preparation of singing Happy Birthday and cutting the cake. Unfortunately, that part of the birthday celebration never happened that night.

When the investigators returned to the site at a later date and the exact location was pointed out to the investigators, the tree that the creature stood by was measured and the head of the creature was approximately at an 11 foot mark on the tree.

Stan’s  addendum: Historically, there have been numerous reports of Bigfoot encounters originating from throughout the greater Pittsburgh area and surrounding counties. These incidents continue to be reported yearly from throughout the state. The creature may have been attracted to this location by the smell of the food cooking and the human activity that was taking place. There have been numerous incidents reported where these large hair covered creatures have thrown large rocks and tree limbs in the direction of humans that were nearby. This has suggested to some researchers that they are marking their territory and want the trespassers to leave.  As in this case, the creatures have at times approached within close range of the observers but generally move off from the area once they are seen. This creature seemed curious of the human activities but did not approach any further into the picnic area to harm the individuals.

Sunday, May 19, 2024