The new season of Expedition X has finally appeared on our Discovery + channel, so my husband and I are ready to binge-watch the scary and unexplained stories they have to share. The first one really surprised me – I’d never heard of this before – so, I thought I’d do a little research and share it with you. (So, you know, you can be freaked out too!) There are feral people living in the Appalachian Mountains.
The Expedition X group actually interviewed eyewitnesses who saw hairy, smelling, animal-like people (also naked – ewwww) in the deep woods of the mountains. They had both sets of witnesses work independently with a forensic artist and it was creepy to see how alike both drawings were. (See the photo above.)
Of course, there was also footage of the team in the woods trying to document the validity of the claim. They didn’t provide anything that could be used as documented hard evidence, but what they found sure made me wonder about whether or not feral folks could live hidden away.
So, first I decided to check Reddit. I found some interesting (and disturbing) comments from months ago:
“Posted by u/007STARZZ
I live in the Great Smoky Mts and I know what snatches children.
I’m on the NC side of The Great Smoky Mountains. Lived here my entire life.
All of us here know what’s in these woods and mountains.
Since the 30s or 40s, there have been feral wild men living in these mountains. They are fast. They will snatch livestock and snatch children. The FBI knows. It’s why they do not get involved. I’ve heard other stories that there was some attempt to kill these feral wild men but they still exist. Even today. And I’m not talking about some end-of-days extremist who took to the woods…I mean feral… completely wild men. Their own language. Living underground.
We do not go into the woods at night. During the day we make sure to stay on the trails. Sometimes you will smell it…that putrid smell. At night you’ll hear them hollering. Supposed inbreds.
It’s not uncommon for people to go missing here. They are normally found. But, you’d also be surprised on the number of children that simply…disappear. The FBI has covered it up for years. Where do you think the movie “The Hills Have Eyes” came from? It’s true.
I hear them from time to time. Disturbing sounds. They live all up and down the Mountains here…in national parks and forests.”
This post reminds me of the old X-Files episode “Home” and not in a good way.
Other comments, responding to u/007STARZZ.
I read an account in the first 411 book, maybe the second where a woman was hiking the Appalachian Trail by herself, starting around Georgia/Tennessee.
She ended up being scared off the trek by what she thought were wild men
Paulides touched on these feral humans briefly recounting this woman’s story
For the life of me, I cannot remember her name
OP I believe you!
I’ll have to check out that Paulides episode. I believe OP, too. My grandpa has seen one of those men as far down as Texas. Walking across his field barefoot, in the snow. He said he was over 6 feet tall and he thought it was possibly a yeti etc, but the footprints were more man than beast.
I think this is completely within the realm of possibility. I’m not certain that this is what happens everywhere, but you said the Great Smoky Mountains, not everywhere. I mean, if there is going to be feral wild men, the mountains would be where I’d expect to find them. I know there have been accounts of people finding something similar in the past.
So, Reddit offers some contemporary testimonial or hearsay evidence, but nothing concrete. Is this a new phenomenon, or is there some historical evidence about feral men?
The Southern Highlander website has a fairly extensive article entitled “The Wild Man of the Woods.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“In 1877, a party of gold miners traveling through the Globe Valley in Caldwell County, North Carolina encountered what they described as a “Wild Man”. Although they only got within 40 yards of the man, one miner claimed that this “peculiar specimen of humanity” appeared to be a “giant”—six-foot, five inches—with a funnel-shaped head and two-inch-long dark hair covering his body. When he spotted the miners, he pounded on his chest before turning and bounding off into the woods with the speed of a deer. The party tracked him with guns drawn to a cave deep in the mountains, where they found bones of many animals scattered about, indicating that he had been living there a while.”
This final story is from a Reddit Community called “INTHEHILLS” that focuses on Feral Humans. I’ve slightly edited the text for it to be family-friendly.
I’m a hunter, I like to hunt wild boar specifically. Though I have been deer hunting and have been known to get a turkey for Thanksgiving I mostly hunt boar. For those of you that don’t know, boar are a big problem in the United States. A sow can have two litters a year and it’s not uncommon for a litter to consist of 10 or more pigs. Given that pigs eat anything and everything it’s not hard to see why the Department of Fish and Wildlife makes it legal to hunt them with almost no restrictions. In my state, it’s illegal to hunt most large mammals with night or thermal vision scopes, with the exception of boar and coyote. I’d been saving for a year, mostly fun money. It’s hard to explain to your wife that a scope that costs literally twice as much as the rifle I was mounting it on was worth it.
But I did it, I took it to a range and sighted it in. There was an area that was peppered with boar activity that I knew would be perfect for a night hunt. It was easily accessible with my truck with easy-to-find spots that I could set up in that overlooked a large easy to navigate clearing. The night started uneventful, mostly me tinkering with my new toy, cycling through the settings. I was a little impatient, I’d spotted multiple deer, but they were out of season and like I mentioned earlier, my current setup wasn’t legal for deer. I moved to another spot I’d seen days earlier that probably wasn’t much better than my first, but it gave me something to do and a new angle to look around with my new scope.
After an hour or so of glassing the area, it dawned on me. This spot doesn’t have much animal activity at all, no rabbit or owls, the deer that I’d seen were hundreds of yards from where I was. Why was this pocket of land so dead at night but lively in the day? I’d set up around 10 pm and it was about 2 am when I started to think about packing up, maybe setting up a target before I left, and taking some practice shots. I heard a crunch come from the direction I came from before. I panned my scope over and saw the silhouette of a small bear pushing through the bushes. It’s important to note that my scope isn’t exactly “night vision”. It’s a thermal scope, kind of like a black and white version of what you see in the predator movies.
I adjusted my range and zoomed in a little. I remember jolting a little when I saw that it wasn’t really a bear, it was a man. Because he was so low and hunched over, I thought I was looking at a young bear. Is that a Game Warden? It couldn’t be, I would’ve seen the headlights coming up the road from where I was perched. And where could he have walked from? I was 30 miles away from anything and on public lands. I was about to call out when I adjusted my sights and noticed, he was naked. No shoes, pants, or anything. I remember being disturbed by his movements, like a squirrel or something. Twitchy and grabbing at the foliage, sniffing around, and palming the tree.
Was that my tree? The one I’d been leaning against earlier? The thought terrified me, could he smell me? Then he did something I still have nightmares about today. He squatted and placed his hands in the dirt between his feet and stared straight up like a dog mid howl. And I heard it, a voice coming from that direction, a very compelling female voice. “Help! I’m lost !”
There was a long pause but neither of us moved a muscle. The center of my sights was trained at the dirt in front of his feet, I couldn’t bring myself to aim directly at another person, it went against everything I’d been taught about firearms. Were they lost? Was this some guy that had gone crazy out here? Why was his voice so feminine? “Help! Please! I can’t walk !”
The voice called out. That’s when I called bull****. Not only could he walk, but when I first saw him, he was traversing the land with ease for a naked person, so good I mistook him for a bear.
That’s a f****** trap, this guy is trying to lure me to him with a damsel in distress routine. Luckily the lack of activity before had caused me to pack up most of my gear. I think I may have left behind a hat and a sitting pad, but I didn’t give a s*** at that moment. I took my eyes off him for a moment to get my pack on. I buckled my chest strap and scrambled for my rifle. To my horror, he was in the same position, but his face was staring in my direction, and I swear I saw a smile, the thermal scope has an effect that makes animals’ eyes appear white. How the hell had he heard me get up and put my gear on? He must’ve easily been 150 yards away.
“F*** off!” I screamed in that direction.
He stood upright and it hit me how tall and skinny he was. Easily six feet and very lean. He took a couple of long strides in my direction, and I instinctively sent a round sailing above his head into the tree line. He was freaky as hell but he hadn’t really threatened me, what would I tell the cops? I was unwilling and unready to shoot someone.
He stopped dead in his tracks and hunched down on all fours. “The next one will f*** you up! Go away!” he stayed on all fours and this time I had my sights trained on the center of him. His eyes were just above the grass like a large cat or something. I was trying to stop my trembling and knew that my voice had cracked a little on that last warning. I was terrified, that standoff probably only lasted a minute or two, maybe less, but it felt like forever.
In an instant, he bolted left towards the tree line opposite the road. So much for not being able to walk, I could barely keep him in my scope he was moving so fast. He disappeared into the brush, and I sent another bullet sailing high in his direction. I racked another round and tried to pocket that mag and swap for a fresh one, but I dropped it and didn’t bother looking for it. I wasn’t far from my truck, and I wanted to get out of there.
I could hear him in the distance, yelling in this weird sound that could have been a laugh or a cry. I scrambled up the trail and arrived at my truck breathless. I tossed my gear into the cab but kept the rifle in the passenger seat and sped off. For the longest time, I told that story from the perspective of having spotted some deranged crack head living off the land like some kind of caveman. I reported it to fish and game but all they did was scold me for hunting at night alone, never received an update.”
Well, that one gave me the shivers. How about you?