In 1973, there was a concentration of bizarre ape-man encounters hailing from Pennsylvania. What made these sightings so unique were not only the beast’s human-like features and albino pigmentation, but the fact that it was said to be in the possession of a very futuristic looking object, which it held in its gargantuan hand.
During the summer of 1973, the Westmoreland County Unidentified Flying Object Study Group (WCUFOSG) expanded the parameters of its purview to include within its research boundaries cases involving HAIRY HOMINIDS, which were increasing in frequency and intensity in the region; leading many of the group members to believe that these superficially disparate phenomena were in some ways interlinked.
One such case had the team baffled and may also have something to do with an American Monsters exclusive, which we published on February 28, 2015, regarding the so-called POCONO WILDMAN.
In regards to the Westmoreland case — which was chronicled by Janet and Colin Bord in their exhaustively researched “The Bigfoot Casebook,” published in 1982 — the pair had read the WCUFOSG report and had this to say:
“On the evening of 27 September 1973 at about 9:30 p.m. two girls were waiting for a lift in a country area when they saw a white, hairy creature with red eyes, standing 7-8 feet tall, in the woods.”
This bizarre apparition is unique in the annals of BIGFOOT lore, except for an account hailing from Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, which took place just three years before.
According to eyewitness Annette B., the creature she saw in 1970 — which stood between 6 and 7-feet tall, with a broad chest, a long neck and a coat of dingy off-white fur — looked very much like the one seen by the two unnamed girls in 1973. Annette went on to describe its face:
“Its eyes were dark and spaced far apart. Its [white] hair covered the lower half of its face. There was pinkish skin around the eyes and forehead. It looked like its hair was a little longer on its head and hanging over its forehead like bangs.”
But whereas Annette and her sister had been unable to see the beast’s hands as they were obscured by dense undergrowth, the girls involved in the Westmoreland encounter saw that the creature was carrying something beyond bizarre:
“Even more surprising was the fact that it carried a luminous sphere in its hand.”
This anomalous object begs comparison to the “wand” there was allegedly wielded by one of the LOVELAND FROGMEN in May of 1955, At about 3:30 a.m., on a lonely stretch of road that runs along the Little Miami River, a man claimed to have seen three, bipedal, 3 and 4-feet tall, amphibious, frog-like entities milling by the side of the road.
Suddenly, one of the creatures held a wand above its head, whereupon sparks allegedly spewed out of the end of the device.
This as well as the Westmoreland case represent just a handful of the few cryptozoological events that were said to involve ostensibly advanced technological devices.
Needless to say the unnamed teenage girls in the Westmoreland incident did not wait around to see what the albino creature or its luminous sphere would do next. According to the Bords:
“Shocked, the girls ran home and told what they had seen to the father of one of them. He went into the woods to search for the creature, and was away for more than an hour.”
While the father was gone for that prolonged period of time — no doubt concerning the already terrified girls — it emerged that the white Wildman was not the only anomalous object spotted in the vicinity. As the Bords’ chronicled:
“Several people in the area stated that during the time the man was in the woods, an object that looked like an airplane was seen stationary in the sky above the woods, and that it shone a bright beam of light down into the trees.”
One almost can’t help but to assume that there is at least a tentative connection between the Westmoreland Wildman and the UFO hovering above the area in which it was seen.
Could this indicate that this entity hails not from the vicinity of Pittsburgh, but from OUT OF THIS WORLD? Either way, according to a WCUFOSG representative, this already peculiar situation was about to get even more unsettling for one of the families involved:
“The WCUFOSG investigator knew the girl’s father. Who confirmed that his daughter had seen the Bigfoot, but he denied that he had gone into the woods and forbade anyone else to go into the woods, stating that ‘some things are better left alone.’”
As if his flat out denial of what multiple witnesses had already confirmed to be true were not strange enough, the unidentified father would undergo an even more dramatic evolution, according to the Bords:
“Since the incident the man appeared to have experienced a personality change. According to people close to him. Soon afterward he acquired a book of prophecies and would often talk about the coming end of the world. This latter part of the story is typical of UFO contactee cases, though the nature of the connection between these UFO-oriented incidents and the Bigfoot sighting remains unclear.”
The biggest question that stems from the father’s sudden interest in apocalyptic and prophetic texts is what the heck happened to him during his hour-long sojourn in to monster infested (and, apparently, UFO patrolled) forest? Did he have the kind of encounter — reported by so many alien contacees — wherein his extraterrestrial hosts imparted upon him dire warning regarding the future of humanity? Did he speak to the Wildman itself? And why, besides basic concerns for his family’s safety, did he forbid anyone else from entering the woods?
Unfortunately it seems as if these long unanswered questions are destined to remain that way — unless, of course, he confided in someone after the event — but seeing as over 40 years have transpired since the incident, it makes sense to keep our hopes for any sort of revelation at a minimum.
It’s also worth noting that Westmoreland County has been a hotbed of more traditional Bigfoot sightings throughout the 1970s; particularly in 1973. This, however, is the only encounter we’ve come across of this specific type of creature… one which may well have shown up in another part of Pennsylvania just years before and likely traveled an extraordinarily long way to visit the neighborhood.
Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters and Cryptopia