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The Cherokee Devil

The Cherokee Devil

Freaky Friday

I have a confession to make – and it’s one that I’m not particularly proud of – I watch Mountain Monsters. What, you may ask, is Mountain Monsters?  It’s a show that used to be on Destination America and now, in its sixth season, has been moved to the Travel Channel for the show to have a larger platform.

But, really, what IS Mountain Monsters?

Let’s take it straight from the horse’s mouth.  The Travel Channel describes the show as: “For generations, the Appalachian Mountains have had more sightings of mysterious creatures than anywhere else in the United States. Now a team of hardcore hunters and trappers are out to identify these unexplained creatures. From the Kentucky Wolfman and the Lizard Demon to the legendary Mothman, these beasts are on the run as the skilled outdoorsmen follow the fresh physical evidence gathered by eyewitnesses from the region. When folklore bites back and leaves a trail of proof, this band of native West Virginian sons seeks the truth.”

This team of six good old boys, packing beards and guns, run around the Appalachian Mountains in the middle of the night trying to capture cryptozoological creatures and trying not to shoot each other. A couple of these guys are heart attacks waiting to happen, and I am always amazed that they make it to the end of the show without collapsing in the middle of the woods and gasping, “This is the big one, boys.”

Over the past five and a half seasons, they have nearly caught everything from the Wolfman of Wolfe County (wouldn’t his name really be the Wolfeman of Wolfe County?) to the Kentucky Hellhound of Pike County.  These expert hunters and trappers set up traps and generally run their prey to ground through dense woods and narrow hollers. Unfortunately, through all of their seasons of hunting, I don’t believe these men have ever actually caught anything. But they have plenty of blurry photographic evidence in case you’re interested.

Wednesday night was the second part of tracking down the Cherokee Devil. When we last saw our fearless trappers, they had chased the Cherokee Devil into a giant trap that was foolproof. They were about fifty yards from the trap and an amazing capture – then we got the dreaded “Continued Next Week” message across the screen.  So, my husband and I waited with bated breath to see what these fellows had caught. We didn’t have to wait for very long. SPOILER ALERT Within the first five minutes it was discovered that the creature had somehow, mysteriously gotten away. Something evil and paranormal was obviously at play here.

So, since I wasn’t going to see an actual Cherokee Devil on television, I decided to do a little research and share with you what might be lurking in those picturesque hills of Ashe County, North Carolina.

According to Wikipedia the Cherokee Devil is also known as Tsul ‘Kalu and is a legendary figure of Cherokee mythology and plays an important part in hunting rites and rituals. This Bigfoot-like creature married a young Cherokee maiden and took her away from her family.  After that point, the creature was blamed for all of the tribe’s misfortunes.

Of course, that’s all old legends and television. No one believes that now, right?

Well, a 51-year-old man from Gilmer County, Georgia had something to say to local news station WBTV about that.  This is their story, “A 51-year-old man says he saw a 7-to 8-foot creature standing along a mountain highway in Georgia Monday, leading to talk of a legendary Bigfoot being on the loose in Rich Mountain Wilderness area.

Details were posted this week on the “Expedition: Bigfoot” Facebook page, operated by “Bigfoot Researcher” and Bigfoot museum operator David Bakara.

The incident reportedly happened about 8:30 p.m., along State Highway 515 in Cherry Log, which is between the towns of Ellijay and Blue Ridge, Bakara told the Charlotte Observer.

“It was still light out and (the) driver braked when he saw what he described as a very dark, 7- to 8-foot tall, hairy, two-legged creature with a pointed head,” Bakara says in the post.

“He pulled over, skidding on the gravel, and waited on the backside of the small patch of woods thinking it would emerge on the other side. It never did,” says the post.

Edward Lee, the man who gave the testimonial to Bakara, says he fears being ridiculed over the incident. But he told the Charlotte Observer he does believe he saw a Bigfoot on his way home Monday night.

Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, is an ape-like creature that cryptozoologists believe roams the nation’s backwoods.

“My own wife didn’t believe me, I guess,” he told the Observer, noting they’d been married 23 years. “It wasn’t no bear. It was walking straight up, like a human, with long arms swinging back and forth like a monkey. I saw it on the side of the road, it took five steps and was gone in the woods.”

Prior to that, he says he wasn’t what you’d call a believer in the fabled creature. He wonders if development in the area is flushing them out.

“I mean, I’m 51 and I’ve never seen one before,” he said, adding that he was definitely afraid. “I wasn’t getting out of the truck and I wasn’t going to go into the woods looking for it.”

Bakara’s Facebook post has gotten 3,300 shares and 2,100 comments, some from people who say they’ve seen the same creature and a few from people who swear a bear was seen in the area at the same time.

“All these sightings and no one can manage to get a picture?” said Jenny Nunn in response to the post. “To(o) many cars with video cams, trail cams everywhere, cell phones and still no picture. I really want to believe, someone please get a pic.”

Bakara says there have been several Bigfoot sightings reported in that part of northeast Georgia, which he says is mountainous and heavily forested.

The terrain is similar to the McDowell County area in North Carolina, where a Bigfoot sighting was reported in 2017 by John Bruner of the Marion-based group Bigfoot 911. McDowell County is about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Bruner told the Charlotte Observer that northeast Georgia is well known among researchers for being a hub of Bigfoot activity and he has no doubt one could have been spotted along a highway.”

So, what’s this sighting reported by John Bruner in North Carolina?  I’m glad you asked.

Not only does the Charlotte Observer have the story, but they also have a twenty-second video shot by a terrified sounding young man and his equally terrified dog from 2015 in the same area. Go to the site to see it, you won’t be disappointed.

Here’s the 2017 story, “A “large bipedal animal covered in hair” was reported in North Carolina’s McDowell County over the weekend.

In other words, a Bigfoot: The ape-like creature that cryptozoologists believe roams the nation’s backwoods.

The sighting happened just before 11 p.m. Friday in a forested area. No one was injured, though the group reports something threw rocks at them as they left the area. McDowell County is about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte.

John Bruner of the Marion-based group Bigfoot 911 reported the event on the group’s Facebook page Saturday. Bigfoot 911 is one of a handful of groups around the country that investigate reports of Bigfoot sightings, mostly in places average people don’t go at night.

Bruner says a team of seven people were out at the time, scattering glow sticks in the woods. (Bigfoot 911 members believe glow sticks pique the curiosity of a Bigfoot.) It was the sight of one of those glow sticks moving through the woods that got Bruner’s attention.

“I turned on my headlamp and saw a large bi-pedal animal covered in hair,” said Bruner in his Facebook post.

The animal took off, and Bruner says he ran after it, eventually prompting a brief stare-down next to a dead tree.

“Its face was solid black, no hair on it. The hair looked shaggy all over,” Bruner said.

Then it took off, not to be seen again, he said. Bruner told the Observer Sunday it is the best sighting he’s had in years of searching for the animal.

“I was able to see the details of the creature … like the face, and the hair was matted and stringy. The eyes were farther apart than human eyes.”

News of the alleged sighting has brought national attention to the group, not to mention a tongue-in-cheek warning issued Tuesday by the Greenville (S.C.) Police Department for citizens “not to shoot” any Bigfoot seen roaming the town’s streets.

Belief in the existence of Bigfoot is a brush fire that wildlife experts can’t seem to put out. National Geographic reports there is a wealth of circumstantial evidence: eyewitness accounts, blurry photographs, mysterious footprints. However, there’s a lack of undeniable proof, and that has made skeptics of scientists, who insist the sightings are often misidentifications of other animals.

It’s finding proof that drives Bigfoot 911. Bruner says the group had been out two hours Friday when the animal was sighted. He says he wasn’t scared but was more interested in getting a closer look.

“I knew it was my chance to see it up close,” he said. “I didn’t appear aggressive. We had eye contact for 5 to 10 seconds.”

One thing he says he didn’t notice was the bad smell that is so often tied to Bigfoot folklore.

Bigfoot 911 is a small but dedicated group of investigators who have quietly spent the past few years poking around the woods of McDowell County in search of the legendary Bigfoot, or as some call him, Sasquatch.

The group formed in 2014 and claims to have extensive evidence that Bigfoot exists. It has about 50 members.

There have been multiple reports of Bigfoot sightings in Western North Carolina in recent years.”

Bigfoot or the Cherokee Devil – I can’t wait until the Mountain Monsters Team figures that out!

Happy Friday!!!

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