Investigator Aubrey Bowen spoke to a woman recently who said she and her friends shot at an anomalous humanoid while camping off of the Appalachian Trail on Georgia’s Blood Mountain.
Georgia resident Alana Strickland told Bowen that the encounter occurred one warm June night in 2012 at around 11 pm.
According to Strickland,
I was out camping with some friends in Blood Mountain, which is up in the north part of Georgia along the Appalachian Trail. I was 20 [years old] at the time, and I will go on record and say that I was not drinking. We had a bonfire and we were pretty mellow. We weren’t whooping and hollering, we were mostly hanging around telling stories from the week and whatnot. We heard something over on what would have been my right side, towards the denser part of the woods. We were only about five miles off of the main trail, so we weren’t terribly far. It had only taken us about a day to get there.
We heard something pretty big. Most of us were hunters that were there, so we could pretty much distinguish between squirrels, bear, [and] deer—so, we heard something really big and we assumed [it was a] bear. Like any good, red-blooded Americans, we got our guns, and just to make sure, because you don’t shoot unless you can see it, we got our lights and we walked out there to see what it was. A lot of the girls were making high-pitched squeaking noises because [they were frightened], versus me and the guys who went out there and thought it was probably nothing and we’d scare it off.
Right in the tree line, our lights kept catching something big and reflective that was probably about six feet or so tall. If it was standing just behind the trees, its eyes were about six feet above the ground. Which is what made us [think that it wasn’t a bear], because bears aren’t typically that tall in the area we were at. We’ll get black bears, and maybe the occasional small brown bear that wanders that far down, but black bears are more common. They only stand about four and a half to five feet [tall].
So, we shot at it. Me and this guy named Wolf—that’s his legal name—he and I were the two closest and we shot. We were the ones closest to it and either his or my shot landed on it. There was a lot of noise from the guns, so it was hard to tell [what the creature] sounded a lot like. It wasn’t the movie gorilla noise, it’s like a real gorilla noise but much deeper. Which, again, there was a lot of gun firing and stuff, so that’s the best I could describe it from memory.
We didn’t see it anymore, so we went to investigate the area, because if it’s down then obviously we need to do something about a body—bodies left in the woods aren’t good, typically—or, we need to hide the evidence if it’s a bear. We didn’t see anything, aside from large indentions in the leaves [on the ground] as if something large had been standing there, and blood puddled in the leaves and along some of the trees moving away from the camp. We saw broken branches as high up as about six feet.
That’s the story of how I shot bigfoot.
Strickland told the investigator that, out of their party of “six or seven” people, four of them had firearms, and those who were armed “each shot two to three times.”
“All of the guys and myself had a gun,” she said. “I had a Colt .45 [and] my friend had a magnum. So, he had the big gun. We’re assuming that’s what got whatever we shot.”
She explained that they were about 30 feet away before opening fire, but it was difficult to see what happened after the shooting started, “because of the commotion and the muzzle flare.”
“I didn’t see it turn around,” Strickland said. “I just knew that whatever [was reflecting] the light, the [creature’s] eyes, was there and then it wasn’t. And then when we went to investigate, we found physical evidence of it running away. There were other limbs further on that were the same height and lower that were broken.”
“I didn’t see any fur,” she added. “I just saw eyes and then blood.”
She described the creature’s eyes as being a “red-orange” color, and the impressions left in the forest floor as “definitely wider than your standard [8.5″ x 11″] book” and “at least twice as long [as a bear’s foot].”
“The leaves are really dense through there, so even if we had plaster of Paris or something like that, we wouldn’t have been able to make anything, but they looked really big,” she said of the tracks. “Everyone agreed it wasn’t a bear, but we didn’t tell the girls.”
Strickland said that the experience “terrified” everyone present.
“The girls were really jumpy at any little noise” following the encounter, she said, and the forest remained eerily silent.
“At the time we talked about how quiet it was,” she said.
Strickland also reported that her friend Wolf had previously encountered bigfoot in the same area, although that sighting was “just that he’d seen something walking through.”
Bigfoot sightings are reported with relative frequency on and around Blood Mountain. Three sightings in Union and Lumpkin counties, reported between 1994 and 2009, are currently listed in the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization’s online database, and two additional sightings were submitted to Phantoms & Monsters in 2019 by investigator Dan Maslak.