The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 22, 2009

Is West Virginia part of Bigfoot’s migration route?

Two brothers hunting for turkeys in the Monongahela National Forest split up and head out in different directions, one of them venturing into a small opening that leads within a few feet inside the woods to a massive ravine.

Suddenly comes the sound of something huge thrashing at the bottom of that deep ravine, too loud for a bear or a fellow hunter, but unmistakably walking on two feet, snapping limbs and crushing branches underfoot.

What follows next almost defies description — a blood-curdling scream that seems to reverberate off the sides of the ravine.

The hunter looks up at his brother, who inquires, “Did you get a shot at Bigfoot?”

To them, it’s a big joke, another hunting story that survives well beyond that season.

But to rock musician Kris Allen, the idea of Bigfoot running around in West Virginia’s rugged terrain is no laughing matter. Rather, it is a serious issue that has thrust him into a major investigation that entails two films.

Once the lead singer for the Marshall Tucker Band, and now the head of his new group, Southern Thunder, the veteran musician says he has seen three of the creatures in the Monongahela National Forest alone.

Actually, his first sighting came at age 8 when Allen, his parents, a sister and some neighbors spotted the curious creature in a tree in Chelyan, not far from his Marmet home, and watched it until darkness set in.

“It was almost as if you went to a zoo and had seen a spider monkey sitting in top of a tree,” he recalled.

“It just stood there. It was a young one, a juvenile, about 6 feet tall. My father suggested someone call a newspaper, but Mom said by the time the newspaper got there, it would be dark. Back then, few people had video cameras. It acted like a monkey would do. I never even thought of it being a Bigfoot at the time.”

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