NEW YORK– A man says he had a “Bigfoot” encounter near Cayuta Lake in Schuyler County.
John Swaney, a single father of two, said he and a friend were hiking along the Vanloon Road in Connecticut Hill when they encountered the beast in Dec. 8, 2013.
“It was around 8.30 a.m., about an hour till daylight, an hour or an hour and a half,” he told Leon Drew, a Crypto Crew researcher who claims to have been investigating the paranormal for six years.
Suddenly, Swaney said, they heard some noise that grabbed their attention.
“You could hear kind of a woosh!, woosh!, as if you are going through frozen grass,” he said.
That’s when the two noticed the purported cryptid, just at about 100 yards, getting off the road and walking under a tree branch toward a thick patch of woods.
“I could see the upper body, and as it was walking, it covered a lot of ground in between, you know, something that you and I would cover in two to three minutes. This thing was enormous.”
The animal was described by the witness as having “solid charcoal black” short hair and 4-foot wide shoulders.
“I could see like a shine to it, you could see the muscle mass to it. Judging by the branches I saw it go under, and going back to that, it was at least 9-feet tall. It had to duck down a little bit to bet under that branch. The branch stood at 8 feet and 4 inches,” Swaney recalls. “I never got a good look at the face, which is the most disappointing part of it. I wanna know what the face looks like. I could see the cheek, the cheek was covered,” he told Drew during the 14-minute-long interview, which was posted to YouTube on Jan. 2, 2015.
The two men reportedly observed the creature for about 15 seconds before it vanished into the woods.
Swaney claims he was so frightened over the alleged sighting that he left over $200 worth of hiking equipment behind.
“I was too scared. I was not about to go to look in the snow. I just wanted out of there.”
And even though the event has prompted the single father to do further research about the alleged beast, he has thus far only been able to find a few tracks and hear a “set of vocalizations”.
“We screamed and then immediately, we got a response,” said Swaney. “Every chance I get to go, I go. It’s really hard to get away with two children, I don’t have much free time. I’m very familiar with the woods, specially around here.”
He has now started a Facebook account, Bigfoot, UFO Society, where he and his friend, John, document their research.
” I know what I saw. I just want to educate people,” he said.
Connecticut Hill is an eight-mile trail considered to be the largest Wildlife Management Area in New York State. The area, dubbed by paranormal investigators as the Alpine Portal, is believed to be a hotspot for Bigfoot and UFO activity.
In 2007, a man reputedly had a similar encounter in the open field of an undisclosed location somewhere near the New York state border.