Report # 24731 (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Sunday, September 14, 2008.
Brief sighting by motorist on Rt. 80 just west of the town of Clearfield
DATE: Saturday,13, 08
COUNTY: Clearfield County
LOCATION DETAILS: Westbound lanes of I-80 approximately 15 miles west of the town of Clearfield.
NEAREST TOWN: Clearfield, PA
NEAREST ROAD: I-80
OBSERVED: I was driving west on I-80 at 65 MPH, in the right lane with cruise control set at 65. We were returning from a wedding in NY. We had been in a an area of mountainous/hilly forest close to road. The country started to open up with some farmland. My wife dozed and I was rather lost in thought. I diverted my sight to about 30 degrees to the right and was startled to see something that got my attention and kept my attention until about 60 degrees to the right. It passed quickly out of view because of the speed of the vehicle and a bank and some foliage obscuring the view.
The road is two lane, one way and I could not return to the area without backing a long distance. There was no other traffic in sight at the time.
What I saw was a figure, only from about what I would assume was midway from between the elbows and wrist upward. The figure was what I think of as being the wrong color, it was the color of a kraft paper bag except slightly more reddish. ( seemed the wrong color from reports I have read). It was long hair covered and I could not see a face. It was not moving during the approx. 3 seconds that I was able to view it. It was in front of some woods, not dense, standing about 150 feet away on the other side of a strip of narrow, fallow, farm field. It seemed to be facing the highway although I could not see a face. I assumed the field had high growth in it as I only saw the upper portion.It was only the upper body and head with the hair obscuring any sign of a neck.I could not estimate size but it was stocky.
Among my reactions, I was imaging something or someone had put up a mannikin. I rethought that, as there did not seem to be habitation nearby and a mannikin would likely have been a full figure to get maximum startle value.
I know I saw something that I can accurately describe and draw a rather accurate picture. ( I am a retired industrial designer ) From the briefness of the sighting I can only say what I saw and think that this sighting would only be of value if there were other sightings in the area.
When I saw the figure a strong chill went down my spine that lasted several moments. This sort of thing is not in my normal experience. I have been an instrument and glider pilot for 48 years and am rather used to making quick, fairly accurate observations in relation to that. I also have been trying to convince myself that I did not see anything. It was unsettling.
ALSO NOTICED: Don’t know
OTHER WITNESSES: None, my wife was in the car but sleeping
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 3:30 PM, Overcast, overcast, rainy, foggy, continuous
ENVIRONMENT: see above
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Istvan Steve Ujvari:
The eastbound and westbound lanes on this section of highway are separated by a forested medium. The medium is wide enough so that drivers in the eastbound and westbound lanes can not see each other.
Official sunset for that date was 7:16 pm. Even though the sighting occurred almost four hours prior to sunset, the lighting conditions were described as “grey” because of the prevailing weather conditions.
The creature was initially spotted roughly 200 yds. away at about the 1 o’clock position in the witness’s field of view. The sighting lasted until the creature (stationary during the entire time) passed into the 2 o’clock position and a bank along the highway rose up and concealed the witness’s view of the creature. The witness estimates the distance to the creature to have been 150′ at the last point of the sighting.
In the brief time that the witness saw the creature he was able to make a quick assessment of the following details:
- Smooth, even colored hair, estimated to
have been 3-4″ in length
- Rounded but not very broad shoulders
- Upward sloping skull
- No visible neck
- Arms relaxed at side of creature
After speaking with the witness by telephone, I found him to be very credible and was especially impressed with his ability as an observer. Taking into account how brief his sighting was, he was still able to garner a lot of detail about it. I contribute this to his extensive experience as a pilot which has trained him to make fast, accurate, decisions and observations.
[Note by Matt Moneymaker]
When I lived in Ohio in the mid-1990’s I remember some Ohio researchers talking about Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. They said it was a special place. The Ohio researchers thought there may be a high concentration (relatively speaking) of sasquatches in that county, because there were said to be many old farmers there who had sighting stories of their own, and knew of many other stories from their parents and grandparents. The presence of these animals was supposedly common knowledge among the farmers there, but had been documented only sparsely.
Route 80 is one of the main East-West routes across PA. It goes through miles of impressive mountains and forests. In several portions the off-ramps are 20+ miles apart.
The first time I saw a mountain lion in the U.S. was in Pennsylvania while driving on Route 80 back to Ohio from New York. It didn’t look like an escaped pet mountain lion … It looked pretty wild, stalking on the edge of a clear cut near the highway, unbothered by the passing traffic.