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Strange Creature Sighting in Western Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'Your Personal Experiences Forum' started by Grifynne, Apr 27, 2013.



  1. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    I was asked about this in another thread, so I figured I would just post it here instead. This is something that happened to me personally. I'm trying to jot this down from memory in the most straightforward way I can:

    I was a teenager (too young to drive, so I think approximately 14 or 15 at the time). I was riding home with my mom. We lived in an area that was kind of between a small town and suburb and was mostly rural. The area was in the process of being developed during those years and later. Today there are many more housing plans and whatnot, but the immediate location is very much unchanged right now.

    We were going along and I remember it was a very dark night. Thinking back it seemed unusually dark, so I assume there was no moon. I believe it was summer time and the trees tended to grow around and over the road at the location. That might have contributed to the darkness I noticed in the area.

    I should point out that my mom, while not purely skeptical, is definitely not prone to any kind of outlandish thinking. I have never ever heard her react the way she did that night. If she hadn't reacted, I probably would have assumed it was my incorrect interpretation of what we saw.

    We came to a stretch of road that was wooded on both sides with a house set back behind a hill and trees on one side (the left based on the direction we were traveling) and nothing but brush and trees on the other. It dipped down slightly then curved back up and to the right again. Right about there something darted in front of the headlights. It was much bigger than a fox but smaller than a full grown deer (which are notorious for darting in front of cars in our area). It ran on all fours and was tall enough to be partially seen over the headlights. I'm pretty sure we were in their mini van, so this wasn't a small car. I remember seeing a moving shape I assumed was its back but I don't recall a tail or any kind of fur/skin covering. It was too dark to make that much detail out. It ran kind of low, I got the impression it didn't have spindly legs like a fawn or young deer might. It definitely seemed to run more like a canine.

    What struck me was the head. It literally turned and looked at is as it streaked in front of the car. I don't think it broke eye contact before it disappeared into the brush. I mean full face turn, which didn't seem like a normal behavior for the creatures we usually see running across the road. Usually they focus their attention on getting across, but that could have been a fluke thing.

    The headlights hit it and the features looked part animal, part human. I remember a shallow muzzle but it was hard to tell from my front on view. I remember the cheeks as being broader, maybe that gave it the human-esque face appearance. I can't really remember ears but they may have been there because I really only had time to see the face (and I think it startled me so much I didn't attempt to see anything else). It moved really fast and was VERY close to the front of the car as it passed although we never touched it (or again, I assume not since there was no feeling of impact or any damage or scuff marks/fur on the car that we noticed).

    My mom didn't have time to slow down until after it had streaked by. And she didn't stop, just slowed down until we were around the next bend. She started saying "WHAT WAS THAT!?" over and over again. I remember covering my ears with my hands and telling her to please be quiet over and over. It was like my mind couldn't work out what had just happened. I was finally able to say I had no idea what it was. I wasn't crying or anything but it really put me on edge (and I think she felt the same way).

    I don't recall my dad saying much about it, but he's a very logical kind of guy and probably brushed it off. We never really talked about it after that.

    What really made me think is that when we first moved into that house (which was a short distance up the road from the location) the neighbor girl who was about my age told me some weird story about walking down another part of the road and seeing what she thought was a bear. She said it looked like a half bear half dog standing on all fours in an empty field but as they passed by they saw it stand up on its hind legs and walk off. I'm not certain on the location but I think it's one of the areas that have since been built up with houses. Her family was a bit...different. I thought maybe she was just trying to impress me when she told me the story and I didn't think much of it. I kind of regret not asking more questions, but I was practically a kid at the time.

    Then more recently my husband (who lived in the area his whole life like I did and traveled that road just as frequently) told me that a few years after my sighting he was driving on that road and saw something very similar and he never figured out what it was.

    And just as a point of reference, here is a Google Map of the area we were passing by when my mom and I saw it (the length of road where the trees stretch over the entire width of both lanes - not by the paved driveways. We were heading south east to north west - assuming that up is North on Google Maps):

    Shel's Creature Sighting Location - Google Maps

    I have thought about asking my mom if she remembers what she saw. I might do that. Learning more about other people's reports have really brought this back into my mind. I think I just tucked it away for a long time. We never did see anything like that ever again. And we were very familiar with the various animals that were often crossing the road, like cats, rabbits, possums, deer, racoons even the occasional fox. None of those looked like what we saw.
     

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  3. Konrad Hartmann

    Konrad Hartmann Paranormal Adept

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    Wow, so that's Franklin Road as in:
    Night of the Living Dead - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    So this point is less than a mile from the Evans City Cemetery! I guess that's not really relevant to your story, but what a great place to see something like that.

    The part of your story about the face is really creepy. I mean, faces are something that our brains use to immediately recognize things as human or non-human, and seeing a "part-human" face never really sits well with the human mind. Do you or your husband recall a color?
     
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  4. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Yes, it is! I know that place well. And I can say that the geography in the movies is not accurate. ;) But the sighting location was about that far from the cemetery.

    If I had to take a guess, I would say black or dark brown. This is pure speculation on my part though. I imagine if it was white or light grey I would have seen more of its body shape against the dark evening. That's the best I can surmise unfortunately. :(
     
  5. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Oh, also I will ask my husband for a more detailed account of his sighting when I get a chance.

    EDIT: Sorry, was pulled away from the PC earlier so my responses were a little short. The face was what really struck me. It was the most noticeable feature I could see in the very brief time it was in front of us. I really wonder what it would have looked like if I had seen it in profile instead of straight on.

    I think it was even more unsettling because it watched us the entire time it passed by. It was only a matter of seconds or less but when you're staring down at something you can't explain it only takes that long to have an impact on you. I wonder if my mom saw more of it than I did since she would have been sitting on the side of the car where it first came into view which may have given her more time to take it in.

    Also, in hindsight, the spot where it crossed was probably the best area for staying in the shadows. The night was dark but most of the road isn't sheltered in tree cover and some houses are situated closer and usually have porch or yard lights on. That's always been one of the darker parts of the road. If it was familiar with the area it may have known that.

    On an unrelated note, I did a comparison picture using a screenshot of footage from the opening credits of the original Night of the Living Dead and a photo I took on the same section of Franklin road. I hope to go back and do a few more up to the cemetery eventually. This is the one I did a while ago. The car is headed towards a one lane bridge that was there until relatively recently (it was upgraded to 2 lanes a few years back - you can see where it was by the guard rails in my photo):

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. ufology

    ufology USI Calgary

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    Dorothy D. and John Pravo, the magicians of
    the Houdini Museum own the this house
    which happens to be right next to the Jewish
    Temple, which we believe to be where the
    portal with the stargate to Orion may be.


    [​IMG]
     
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  7. starise

    starise Paranormal Adept

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    From reading the description I can't seem to form any kind of mental picture of it. Some dog breeds have a shorter muzzle.This seems to be possibility in my mind. Birth defected, growth stunted bear maybe. Walking on all fours doesn't point to a costume prank. Lots of different kinds of animals get brought here from other places, the Burmese python problem in Fla. is a good example. Could this be an animal from somewhere else?

    Can you elaborate a little on what "human like" means in more detail? What made it look humanlike?

    From a strictly "paranormal" view making the huge assumption that it can't be anything else which would completely disregard Occam's razor or anything like it..... you may be well aware some people claim to have seen entities that fit a wolfman description. These are usually regarded as paranormal ,other dimensional , spiritual, occult related phenomenon .
     
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  8. Konrad Hartmann

    Konrad Hartmann Paranormal Adept

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    Say what? The Houdini Museum in Scranton?
     
  9. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    At this point I am sure it's impossible to ever really know what I saw. It's always possible that it was a known animal or, as you suggested, a known animal with a defect. I never saw it again and it's actions just struck me as weird. The combination of utter darkness (don't know why this stands out to me but it did), it's odd appearance in the headlights, the way it watched us the entire time and my mom's reaction (which told me that I wasn't the only one who saw the incident as out of the ordinary) really make me wonder if it wasn't something that shouldn't have been there. It could be an imported creature brought in from elsewhere but I don't recall hearing anything about that in the nearby area. Those incidents usually make the news around here, or seem to. Recently someone lost an Emu type bird and that was reported in the news.

    I never really thought it was a prank or hoax. No one outside of my immediate family would have known we would be passing by then, although that road sees some traffic. Still the way it moved looked like a real, solid creature not a suit or prop. Not to mention it would have been insanely dangerous for a human being in costume to cross in front of a moving vehicle as close as it did. From my point of view, we had to have been very very close to hitting it. We were probably going approximately 35 to 40 mph. And I could not see the average adult being capable of moving as fluidly or at the speed it did on all fours while staring at us.

    I think what made me think 'human' was broader cheeks and I got the impression of a rounder face. For some reason my initial interpretation was human-canine. But again, I was looking straight on and the muzzle could have been longer than I noticed. The eyes also appeared round to me. It's difficult to say exactly almost 15 years later, especially since the sighting lasted seconds and was completely unexpected so I wasn't prepared to take note. I am sure this has been said a thousand times before but I felt strongly at the time that something was wrong or different about this creature and I couldn't put my finger on exactly what (beyond what I already mentioned). If I could take you back in time so you could be there too it might make more sense.

    I appreciate the questions and suggestions. If anything else comes to mind I will be sure to return and mention it. Thinking about this really feels like pulling a dusty memory from a locked box in my mind. I knew it was there, and it struck me pretty hard at the time. I'm doing my best to remember without contaminating it with what I have since learned about strange creatures.
     
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  10. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    I thought it would be easier to follow if I made this as a separate post. I just chatted with my husband about his encounter. He said he also recalls his mother talking about something similar as well (they live very close to where my sighting was, definitely close enough that a creature could roam that area if it was willing to cross a few more roads or train tracks).

    He said he was driving by the same spot where my sighting was when he saw something along the left side of the road. He said it had a head that looked to be about chest high (I assume he meant chest high to a full grown man but I can ask him for clarification) and it had two yellow reflective eyes. He noticed that it couldn't be a deer because deer eyes are positioned on the side of the head while this had eyes in front like a predator.

    He also said it did not move like a deer. It started moving away from him and the oddest part is that it also watched him the whole time. He also felt that this wasn't typical animal behavior at the time. It kept staring at him as it moved out of sight (just as it did to my mom and I). From what he explained, he saw it approximately 45 degrees from the driver's side of his car and he just watched it until he couldn't look at it anymore (I assume he meant as he drove by). He said it looked like it was moving laterally from him.

    And he said if he recalls correctly, his mom told him about a strange incident once where a similar creature was staring at their house from across the yard. Just to put this into perspective, the house they lived in at the time had a pretty big yard and was surrounded on 3 sides by woods with a small back road on the fourth side that was bordered by trees as well. This is a pretty rural looking area. I guess she looked out the window and saw a pair of eyes peering out at the house from the tree line. My husband said it fit the description of what he saw, so I assume it was the same height.

    I haven't had a chance to talk to my mom yet, and perhaps I should ask his mom about it as well.
     
  11. Greg

    Greg Skilled Investigator

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    Good story! Creepy human like features!
     
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  12. starise

    starise Paranormal Adept

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    Well there certainly have been quite a few strange sightings in PA. Western PA seems to be one of the more prone areas for sightings of the unexplained.

    I remember one time when I was a kid I seen a chimpanzee on the roof of my grandmothers house. I had one heck of a time trying to convince her I wasn't lying. She finally came out and looked . Apparently some man down the street had a few in a cage and one got out. If she hadn't seen it, I don't think she would ever have believed me.....I guess this is why I jumped to the imported animal theory so fast. My other theory is a little shallow....I mean the chances of there being a deformed animal healthy enough to run around are pretty darned slim.FWIW I've seem opossums at night crossing the road and they will look right at you, but this animal doesn't fit that description.

    The human in a costume is pretty lame given the circumstances. Chimpanzees,sloths,raccoons all have eyes more to the front.....not saying this is what it was.

    You know how our minds work.....we try everything under the sun to rationalize it. If that fails we reach a little further out there for the less likely explanation. If that fails we tell ourselves that we need more information, categorize it as unexplained, then depending on our tolerance for unproven high strange explanations we might make a real jump to rationalize it. I have a mind for other worldly explanations if none else fit. In doing so I am strongly in theory territory most of the time. I believe I have enough info to confidently sometimes include an unseen/paranormal/spirit/entity theory into my view. Not everyone feels they can do that and maintain intellectual integrity.
     
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  13. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Yes, I have learned a lot about PA in general. It's actually kind of strange to me that I grew up having no idea just how busy this state is in terms of the paranormal and unexplained. I have always had an interest in the strange and unusual, but it wasn't until I got older that I learned more about Pennsylvania in particular.

    It makes sense. This guy I dated in high school had a neighbor that had a few exotic animals in pens in his yard, including a bear. And there was a very small farm along Franklin Road (near where my sighting was) that had a bull get loose once and run around for a day or so. These things don't happen often, but they can and do happen. So it's always a possibility. For some reason I just can't make the jump from my memory of the incident to this type of explanation. When you saw the chimp, I assume you said "omg (or maybe OMFG) it's a chimpanzee (or monkey or something like that)!" because you probably have an idea of what they look like even if they aren't a native species. I am at a total loss to identify the creature I saw. But again, the lighting wasn't good and probably awkward with the headlights and speed of movement.

    I have seen possums and other animals along the roadside kinda look at me, but I really don't recall seeing them stare at me as they moved in my path (or if they were facing me head on). Usually I see them looking towards their destination. They may give a quick head turn but it usually doesn't last the whole time unless they are stationary. I could be wrong and that could be a normal animal behavior that I just never noticed, but I took the gesture as strange. Almost like the creature was more intelligent than a common animal scurrying along. It was as though it knew we were in there and locked on. And I got the impression that the head was looking at us through the windshield, not staring at the grill of the vehicle or anything like that. It was moving very fast and still turned and looked at us the entire time it was in view (a behavior it apparently mimicked with my husband).

    Absolutely, I know what you are saying. And it's tough for me since I have had an interest in the paranormal and dark things my whole life. So I wonder "well maybe I just misinterpreted the situation and it was actually something very mundane." My gut tells me otherwise, so I wonder. If I absolutely had to pick one side or the other, I would say it was something paranormal. I couldn't begin to say what specifically, but whatever it was I just felt it shouldn't have been there - at least based on our current knowledge of the world we live in. I guess it's basically like the approach you outlined, if nothing else fits then the other wordly explanations seem appropriate.

    It wasn't until recently that I started putting puzzle pieces together in my mind about the weird story the neighbor girl told me so long ago. Actually I didn't even know about the incident with my husband and his mother's possible sighting until very recently (and I have known him a lot longer than that, we went to the same elementary school and were best friends in high school).

    It's not as dramatic as other sightings of weird things I have heard about, but I guess being a personal experience puts it in a different perspective for me.

    And thanks for the questions and input, Starise. I really appreciate it! It really has got me thinking back hard on this. I really regret not sitting down to write it out the night it happened when it was still fresh in my memory. I wonder if there are details I may have since forgotten that could help explain it.
     
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  14. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Another update:

    I just spoke to my mom (and she knew exactly what I was going to ask when I started to say "Do you remember that night when we were driving on Franklin Rd...?" She basically said she remembers it the way I did, with the face watching us as it passed and the eyes standing out the most. To her she said they looked human-esque. She said she did not see any more detail than I did so she doesn't know if it had a tail or fur or anything like that. She felt it wasn't a dog or deer or any other animal and she said she never told me this but she actually saw it 2 or 3 other times since then and that it always seemed to be looking at her when she passed. She also did not notice an eye color, just that it was shadowy and what she interpreted as eyes looked big. She did note that she hasn't seen it in a very long time, almost as if it's not there anymore (or maybe it just got better at hiding). The way she described it though was as if the eyes just appeared out of the darkness and stared at her as she drove by.

    She also mentioned that there is a house just up the road from there. It was actually the small farm with the bull that escaped that I mentioned. A family friend said her inlaws used to live there and they adamantly claimed the place was haunted. She didn't mention anything beast-like, though. What they saw was what looked like some kind of soldier (my mom didn't specify, but my initial thought was something like Civil War era since nothing else military-wise would have really been in the area in recent generations). They said it always walked from the house to the barn and would disappear. Not sure if it is related, but it is VERY close to where the strange creature sightings occurred. Her inlaws no longer live in the house, and I'm not sure if that has anything to do with why they moved (I believe this was a while ago, so it could have had nothing to do with their decision to leave).
     
  15. Konrad Hartmann

    Konrad Hartmann Paranormal Adept

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    Holy crap, chimps are terrifying. I never realized how violent and strong they are until a few cases hit the news a couple years ago, in which chimps tore off the faces, hands, feet, and/or other important extremities of humans, or stole and ate babies of workers at one of the preserves in Africa. Having a chimp as a pet is a horrible idea. An adult chimp on the roof of the house could be very bad news.
     
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  16. Konrad Hartmann

    Konrad Hartmann Paranormal Adept

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    If you haven't done so (and would be comfortable doing so), have you ever considered contacting Stan Gordon with this story? I'm sure he would be interested. This stuff is right up his alley and he investigates all over western PA. That's pretty remarkable if you have four different people who have seen it, some of them on multiple occasions. And weird stuff does seem to cluster along with other phenomena. Do you know any more about the history of the area?
     
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  17. Wade Ridsdale

    Wade Ridsdale FeralNormal master

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    I'be been meaning to bring that up as well. Western pa. has quite a history of high strangeness events attached to it. Is there a valley of some sort associated with your area?
     
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  18. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Monkeys/chimps/etc. creep me out!

    And recently Chris suggested I get in touch with Stan Gordon because of my location and interest (prior to my posting about this incident). I thought about it but I really didn't know if I would have much to offer at this point. I think I will, at least to share this information with him. I really admire his work and he seems like a genuine guy.

    And as far as history, I know a little. I have lived in the area my whole life so we tend to learn things in school and so on. There are a few historic landmarks around. It's primarily a small town area with the suburb of Cranberry not too far away that's quickly growing, but much of that hasn't reached the area where my incident occurred. Fast paced growth nearby made me wonder (if it was a flesh and blood type creature), then perhaps it was being gradually misplaced from its hiding places as land was developed. I'm not convinced it definitely was flesh and blood at this point, but it is possible.

    The realization of just how wide spread this is didn't come until pretty recently. I wonder how many people that I do not know had the same experience on that road or in the area. I still want to ask my mother in law about her incident, but I'm not sure if she will think I'm weird for asking (not that that will prevent me from asking :p).

    Franklin Road actually has a historic marker on it not too far from the site if I recall. I believe it was part of the Venango Path (3rd item on the chart from the bottom: List of Pennsylvania state historical markers in Butler County - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ). I was wondering if this could have been the basis for the soldier story I was told since Washington crossed it. Here is a link to an image and more info on the historic marker currently posted there: Venango Path Marker

    In case anyone wants to learn more about the area's history, I will include some links to resources and historic markers in the area. It may not be helpful, but I figured I'll add them in case there is some tie to the incident or others in the area that I missed (this is in no way a complete listing of historic sites, just ones I know of and currently remember :) ):

    This article briefly discusses the history of Evans City (which is just down from the cemetery previously mentioned) starting in the 1700s:
    Local History

    And Evan City's Wikipedia page:
    Evans City, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Zelienople (which we usually call "Zelie" around here) and Harmony is further away from the location than Evans City, but are still definitely in the area (and possibly close enough to have some kind of influence on strange events):

    Zelie's historic marker:
    Zelienople Marker

    Zelie's Wikipedia page:
    Zelienople, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The historic marker for the Harmony Mennonite church and cemetery which is pretty close to both Harmony and Zelie:
    Harmony Mennonites Marker

    The historic marker for the Harmonist cemetery, which includes a stone wall that surrounds the unmarked graves of the Harmonist Society:
    Harmonist Cemetery Marker

    Harmony's historic marker:
    Harmony Marker

    Harmony's Wikipedia page:
    Harmony, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The locally famous Harmony museum:
    Harmony Museum
     
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  19. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    A valley? I'm curious why you ask.

    Um, well the local school district in the area is called Seneca Valley but I can't think of any notable geographic valley(s) in the immediate area. The region of Pennsylvania I am in is very hilly. There are lots of ups and downs in the landscape. Actually it felt weird the first few times I traveled into Ohio to visit some relatives years ago because it was so flat and open in spots. lol. Not sure if that really answers your question, though.
     
  20. Wade Ridsdale

    Wade Ridsdale FeralNormal master

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    Because some other areas that are known for anomolous activities are sometimes associated with valleys. Ohio River Valley The Hudson Valley The San Luis Valley. I knew western PA. had quite a bit of anomalous activity so I thought maybe there was a valley associated with it.
     
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  21. Grifynne

    Grifynne Paranormal Adept

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    Ah, I see. Could be, there are valleys here although my incident in particular did not occur in or next to a valley specifically. I wonder if there could be some kind of central event/entity/etc. that forms or occurs in a valley setting that may be capable of reaching out beyond the initial area? Or perhaps something manifests or enters (like through a window or door) within valleys for some reason that can then move freely into other regions over time.

    My mom specified that she hadn't seen the creature for a long time so she wonders if it's gone. If it was something passing through, then that could be the case. It maybe something to consider if the valley trend is significant.

    Another thing I wonder is if there is any relationship to water within valleys? I have heard about strange creatures/incidents occurring close to water sources, so maybe that's the tie?

    As a side note, where I currently live now (which is approximately 20 miles from the incident location) does have a big valley, literally in my back yard - with a river running through it. Not that I think it is necessarily related, but figured I would mention it. I have never noticed anything strange going on here, but this is a rather bustling small town with a lot of noise and distractions from trains and cars, etc.

    Thanks for asking about that. The focus on valleys is new to me.:)
     

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