LURAY, Va. — A girl claims that she saw a reptilian creature in the summer of 2002 in northern Virginia.
Katie, who provided a last name but was omitted due to journalistic ethics code relating to the age of a witness, says she was only six when she and her family were sleeping at the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Page County the morning the encounter took place.
“My family and I went to visit Yogi Bear campsite, and we set up two tents next to a river,” she told Cryptozoology News.
“So when night fell, my sister and I slept in a tent together, and my mother and brother slept in the one next to us,” she added.
It was 5 a.m. when the witness woke up, reportedly not being able to sleep and decided to leave the tent.
“After making sure nobody heard me or woke up, I crept around to where our fire was. The coals were barely still smoking now, and I took a stick and poked it,” she explains.
Then, according to Katie, something unusual attracted her attention.
“While I was having my fun, I heard a couple snaps in this little ring of bushes about ten feet from me. I snapped my head up and stared. While my heart was beating ten million miles an hour, I saw a slightly fuzzy, scaly looking snout poke out, followed by dark, almond-shaped eyes,” she recalls.
“This thing poked up to its torso out of the brush, sniffing and staring at me intently. It didn’t growl or attack, it just stared. I was frozen with fear, shaking and almost to tears. It was silent except for a little bit of breathing sounds.”
One of the strangest things, she says, was its feet.
“They looked like hooves, but I’ve never seen anything like that thing that had hooves,” she remembers.
The witness described the beast as having an “all bony looking face” with sharp cheeks.
She says it looked like “the mix of a horse and a Komodo dragon” with a “dark gray-brown color”.
Eventually, the animal went behind the bushes and Katie headed back into her tent, “zipping it up tight and not sleeping till’ dawn”.
She doesn’t believe there was any unusual smell in the air when the encounter took place.
“Yes, it could have been a bear, of course. But I’m very sure it wasn’t. I told my parents but they got angry at me for leaving the tent at night,” she said.
The town of Luray is known for its proximity to the Luray Caverns, in the Shenandoah Valley, east of the Allegheny Range of the Appalachian Mountains.