Report # 5563 (Class A)
Submitted by witness Daniel Burkhart on Saturday, January 4, 2003.
Man describes childhood incident on Steam Valley Mountain. He was quietly observed at close range from opposite side of small stream
COUNTY: Lycoming County
LOCATION DETAILS: Route 15 north between LIBERTY and TROUT RUN
NEAREST TOWN: Steam Valley
NEAREST ROAD: US 15 North
OBSERVED: I was very young, about 6 or 7 years old I guess. My cousin and I were out and about 1/2 mile from my parents’ house in Coganhouse Township. The nearest landmark I can think of is Fry’s Turkey Ranch restaurant at the top of Steam Valley Mountain.
The area we were in was a grassy one, with forest on three sides, and a small stream which ‘y’ ed into a larger one some 100 yds or so from the site, and to the south. This small stream, so we though, would be a perfect place to make a holding pool for trout, so we decided to build one about halfway from the woods to the north, and the larger stream it fed into.
There is a swampy area just to the northeast of the site, with a few trees surrounding it, and a couple of large rocks. The forest to the east is comprised of thick trees somewhat, with the area around the swamp slightly less dense. There are small bushy type trees dotted along the small stream, with another grassy area just behind, and before the thick forest to the east.
There is a built watershed to the northwest, about 30 yds from the site, which hasn’t been of any real use for quite some time. I suppose it is pretty much in ruin by now.
There are traces of what once used to be a dirt road running over the hill to the west, and down into the site area, then curving back up and to the northwest beside the watershed, as well as to the south toward the larger stream.
We had begun by digging out the area we intended to use, and had placed some rocks to form a dam. My cousin decided that the rocks we were using were too small, and that there were probably bigger ones downstream around the larger of the two streams. He informed me that he was going to look for them, and left me there to continue on with the building of the dam with the rocks we had.
He was gone about fifteen minutes or so, when I noticed that the water running into the dammed part I was working on, was as muddy as the water running out and on downstream. The current wasn’t really swift, as this stream was fed by a spring, and coming from the forest to the north. I looked to see what was causing the water to be so dirty, and when I turned my head back to the east, I saw this large hairy creature standing just across the stream from me, about 6 or 7 feet away I guess. It was massive. Hair covered it from head to toe, with a bald-like face. It’s eyes were dark, and It made no movements toward me or away. This creature was pretty quiet for being so big. I was terrified, and sat frozen, only able to stare into “it’s” eyes. I couldn’t move, and could barely breathe, so yelling for help was out of the question. I am older now, but I still sometimes get frightened whenever I tell> someone about that day. It stood there for what seemed like minutes, and when I looked away finally to scream for my cousin, I guess it left. When I looked back after a second or two of yelling, “it” was gone.
We didn’t stick around to check for prints, as after I told my cousin what had occurred, we got out of there as fast as we could. My mother didn’t believe me when I begged her to get the gun and go out there with me after it. Since then though, I have changed my mind about the method of finding the creature. I believe that the only way this being should be trophied is by camera or just by plain sight.
We didn’t go back to that area for about a week, and the summer ended. My cousin would come to my house for a week at a time, and we would go out and do all sorts of things in the woods. We are both educated on the woods, and we know a bear when we see one. We have trapped together, fished, hunted, and ridden motorcycles in that area during our childhood. I know this creature wasn’t a bear, or anything else I had ever seen before. Since then I have never gone into the woods without some sort of defense, whether it be a rifle, axe, bow or sword, I never have been out there without something since. I was just that scared.
OTHER WITNESSES: My cousin was downstream at the time of the incident.
OTHER STORIES: Not to my knowledge.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around noon or so.
ENVIRONMENT: Stream; marshy area to the north; forest all around; watershed to the west of the sighting location ; berry bushes in area ; some brush and bushes