I wrote about a local visit from the Bigfoot Research Organization (BFRO) in 2006. The Bigfoot watchers were quite excited about what they considered to be a close encounter with the wily beast right here in the south end of Pocahontas County, near a much-used campground and trail. It seems they're coming back for another look: Search for Sasquatch returns to Greenbrier Valley by Drew Tanner, Pocahontas Times, Thursday March 20, 2008.
Next month, teams of people will be combing parts of the Greenbrier Valley for signs of a large, hairy ape.
It's not an escaped circus animal, and it has nothing to do with the lion that was spotted on Cold Knob last November. Members of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization are searching for what they believe to be a rare species that ranges across the continent.
The organization last visited Pocahontas County in October 2006, when 13 members had what was described as a "Class A" sighting, not far from Watoga State Park. According to BFRO founder Matt Moneymaker, two or three of the creatures tossed rocks at the people in attempt to drive the team off their turf.
"They were very aggressive," said Moneymaker. "We like that. It's better for us to confirm they're there, rather than these things running away, which is usually what they do."
Now, for me, Burl Hammons' account of Jesse, Pete, and Paris Hammons' (pictured above) Cherry River sighting of the Yayho is completely credible. These men were born and raised in the woods in the mid-1800's, and lived by hunting. If they didn't know what some large animal was, it must have been a rare creature indeed. The area where a large primate pummelled BFRO "researchers" with rocks, in contrast, is well-traveled by tourists, hunters, and local outdoors-men and -women. If my panther-spotting, ginseng-gathering neighbors haven't spotted Bigfoot, or some sign of him, I just don't believe he's there.
You can read an excerpt from Burl Hammons' Yayho story here.