Report submitted by Randy (last name witheld by request)

NAME OF WITNESS: Randy (last name witheld by request)
DATE: October 1992
COUNTY: Murray

TIME AND CONDITIONS: Late afternoon.

In the mountains of the Cohutta Wilderness.

In 1992, I was backpacking in the Cohutta Wilderness. I came to a flat, grassy meadow at a river crossing that is a popular camping site. When I arrived there I was alone so I dropped my pack and tent off at a spot near the water and decided to continue up the trail to see some falls. The trail is narrow and runs along the base of a very steep incline. About a half mile up the trail I started to hear footsteps on the ridge above me. Thinking that it was probably a deer trying to find a crossing I stopped and grunted to see what it would do. It stopped so I walked on. As I walked I could hear the footsteps in the leaves above me and I realized that it sounded like a two-legged gate, not a dear or bear, but a person. I thought at that time that since it was late October and there might be a chance that there was a black-powder or early season special hunting event scheduled that it just might be a hunter stalking deer or bear and that since I was hiking light after having left my pack at the campsite and was walking on a trail, quietly, that I might be mistaken for an animal I decided to call out. Several times I said ďWhoís there?Ē

The footsteps stopped during that time but I could hear twigs, leaves and grass snapping and creaking like someone was standing and shifting his weight back and forth. I walked on to a section of the trail where a small creek cuts a ravine causing the ridge above me to angle right and away from the creek. The footsteps did not follow me past that ravine and thinking that I would be better seen and could maybe get a better picture of who was on the ridge in the open near the water, I decided to stop at the creek and just relax a bit. About 20 or 30 minutes later I could hear what sounded like someone hitting a tree with a baseball bat about 200 or so yards up the ravine. I waited another 10 minutes but never heard anything else so I decided to go back to my campsite before sundown. There were two couples setting up camp in the meadow when I returned and I didnít encounter anything else the rest of that weekend.

I am an avid hunter and have experienced, many times, the sound that different animals make when walking in thick brush. I am 100% convinced that I was followed along that trail by something walking on its hind legs. Something was curious about what I was doing and escorted me along that trail. I canít imagine a hunter being agile enough to keep pace with me on a smooth trail while he had to negotiate the brush on a steep incline. I canít imagine a hunter would want to continue following me, knowing I was not an animal after I called out. At the time, the only accounts I had ever heard about Bigfoot came from the Pacific Northwest and I didnít associate what I had experienced in Georgia with anything like that. Since then Iíve seen and read accounts of encounters all over Georgia and realize I probably had a run in with a Bigfoot.

In 1989, I was camping alone at Gold mine lake in Rockmart, Georgia and heard a screeching call from the other side of the lake. I thought it was a wounded bobcat or a call from a bobcat that I had never heard before but it was very loud and too throaty to be a cat that I know of. After hearing some of the audio examples of Bigfoot, it just might have been a call that I heard. Iím not 100% sure but it wasnít anything I could describe at the time.

Activities that were going on just before the encounter: Driving down a highway.