Encounter: Western PA

July 31, 1999 | 11:30 PM

“You call it what you want…Bigfoot, Skunk Ape, Yeti…whatever you name it, you don’t know squat until you been up close to it. The problem is, you smell it before you see it – if it’s close enough. The smell of a bear but 50 times stronger. It’s pungent like a skunk but mixed with earth and wood scents.

It can be overwhelming and I heard people say it made them pass out or feel punch drunk. This is how I think it escapes. I can only speak for me but I think the odor has intoxicating powers that leave you stunned, almost incapable of running. Instead, you just look at it and it looks back at you as if to keep a secret of sorts.

I was in the Western part of PA in the summer of 1999, unpacking the car after work when I was suddenly engulfed by the odor. I knew that smell was different than anything and that IT was near. I’m not saying where I was because the last thing I need is a trail of media vehicles out here – but it is here in these parts. That odor quickly turned to a set of eyes staring me down from the front of my car. Eyes I will never forget, starting down at me. And then with one swift step, it moved its massive frame back into the the darkness of the wood.

Took me 30 minutes to collect myself and get inside the house. ”