A Bigfoot in McCreary County’s Daniel Boone?
Part 1 in a series exploring reports of Bigfoot in or around McCreary County’s Daniel Boone National Forest
By Eugenia Jones
The word instantly conjures up the image of an elusive, large, hairy, ape-like creature with glowing eyes roaming throughout the forests of the United States.
Although scientists have yet to discover or document the creature’s existence, and in general, mostly view tales associated with the giant beast as intriguing bits of folklore, there are those individuals who staunchly vouch for the creature’s existence.
Throughout the years, reports from folks claiming to have experienced a Bigfoot encounter of some kind have popped up across the country. Accounts of encounters even include some from in or around the Daniel Boone National Forest (DBNF) in McCreary County.
Recently, a report on the kentuckybigfoot.com website concerning the alleged 2006 sighting of a Bigfoot-like creature by a former McCreary County school bus driver as he was driving his route on the 3C Loop Road surfaced locally via social media. The kentuckybigfoot.com website is hosted by the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization, a non-kill organization seeking to protect the scientifically unproven creature. According to Charlie Raymond, founder and lead investigator of the organization, the group has documented more than 300 Kentucky reports pertaining to a possible Bigfoot from credible eyewitnesses-including the report from the former McCreary County school bus driver-over the past two decades.
Raymond, who is a teacher, moved to Kentucky from Florida twenty-five years ago and decided to investigate the existence of Bigfoot in Kentucky. He had two objectives in mind when he formed Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization (KBRO.) First, Raymond wanted to satisfy his own curiosity concerning the possible existence of the beast in Kentucky. Secondly, he wanted to document credible reports of encounters with Bigfoot in order to establish laws to protect the creature and its habitat. Raymond is a believer in Bigfoot due largely to what he considers credible witnesses (including law enforcement and park rangers), footprint casts, hair samples (tested and identified as unknown), and recorded vocalizations. Raymond defines Bigfoot as being an unclassified hominin not yet extinct. He feels the creature is an opportunistic eater-consuming food found by chance-as well as devouring vegetables, crops, and wild pig. Citing reports from individuals claiming to have seen Bigfoot carrying deer, Raymond theorizes deer meat might be a staple of the creature’s diet. According to Raymond, Bigfoot is more active at night, avoids human beings at all costs, and has highly defined senses.
The four McCreary County reports referenced on the KBRO website occurred in 1984, 2003, 2003 or 2004, and 2006. Two of the encounters occurred in the vicinity of the 3C Road near the HWY 92 boundary of McCreary and Whitley Counties while the remaining two arose in the Parkers Lake/Cumberland Falls area. Two of the reports specifically reference the DBNF.
The most recent report was filed by a former school bus driver who was driving the 3C Loop Road to his first stop to pick up students at approximately 6:00 a.m. on a fall morning in 2006. As the driver rounded a curve, he noticed his headlights hit an object on the side of the road. At first, the bus driver thought it might be a large dog or deer and quickly slowed down. When the driver realized it was an animal he had never seen before, he came to a stop with his headlights on an animal crouched down near the white line at the edge of the road. According to the report, a hairy creature seemed to be looking at something on the road. When the animal stood up, it glanced at the driver for a split second. The driver described the creature as being approximately seven feet tall, with a large stature, broad at the chest, covered with grayish brown fur, and with eyes that had a greenish yellow reflection.
According to the website, Investigator Raymond spoke to the bus driver via phone as part of his organization’s follow up. Raymond found the bus driver to be a credible witness and noted the driver was not a Bigfoot believer prior to the encounter.
When “The Voice” contacted the bus driver by phone, and he spoke freely about the incident remarking he had previously attempted to tell others about the sighting.
“I tried to tell a few friends and family about what I saw,” the driver explained. “My family believed me, but when there’s no verifiable proof, it’s hard to prove it to your friends.”
The driver, who is identified in the website report but asked to remain unnamed in our article, provided additional details about his sighting.
“It scared me,” he recalled. “I sat there before I continued on with my route. I was dazed, trying to wrap my head around it.”
The driver was even more mystified when he resumed his route and stopped to pick up the first student-a middle school age girl.
“When I resumed my route and picked up my first student, I told her about the creature I had just spotted,” the driver declared. “I thought she would be scared, but she didn’t seem a bit surprised or shocked. In fact, she told me it was common for her family to see the creature!”
The driver dismissed a couple of possible explanations for his sighting of the hairy beast.
“As it ran off, it had a much longer stride than that of a human,” the driver explained. “I also think the early morning time and remote location of my sighting make it highly unlikely the creature was a person in costume pulling a prank. I know it wasn’t a bear from the way it ran and stood up.”
“I didn’t believe in this kind of thing when I saw the creature,” the driver remarked. “Since then, I’ve studied some about Bigfoot. Once you see something like this, it changes you.”
(In next week’s edition of “The Voice,” we explore more reports of Bigfoot in McCreary County and talk with an individual who made casts of unusual tracks found while deer hunting.)