Jan 07 2014

Hunters Find Strange Footprints near Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Hunters Find Strange Footprints near Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Photo of one of the tracks taken on December 5, 2013 Copyright 2013 Stan Gordon

Photo of one of the tracks taken on December 5, 2013
Copyright 2013 Stan Gordon

 Early on the morning of December 2, 2013, I had been notified that a hunter walking through a heavily wooded area a few miles north of Greensburg came upon a strange footprint unlike anything he had ever seen before along a deer trail. He is familiar with the tracks of animals common to Pennsylvania, and realized that what he saw was quite unusual.

The next morning the hunter returned to the area and noticed another similar odd footprint that was not there the day before. This track was going up hill, where the previous one was heading downwards. He then texted a friend, who is an experienced hunter, about what he found and also forwarded to him a photo of one of the footprints.  His friend was also unable to identify the track and they decided to meet at the location in the woods where the tracks were located.  A total of five footprints were found in the area. Some of the prints were more detailed than the others .

The second hunter provided some detailed information.    “At 2 PM I picked up the plaster mix and water and shortly after met up with my hunting buddy. We walked into the woods and he showed me the first track (1st print). It was unusual but not real clear and I couldn’t draw any conclusions as to what type of print it was or what had made it. He then took me further up the deer trail to the second print (2nd print). This print was much cleaner and clearly showed what appeared to be a large (barefoot) foot print. The print measured   11 ½ inches long and 5 ½ inches wide and there were five very distinguishable toes.

We then started looking around and further up the deer trail came upon another print (3rd print) with the same characteristics. The measurements were identical but while the first print was traveling down the hill, this print was going in the opposite direction. The distance between the 1st and 3rd prints was about 25 yards with the 2nd print in the middle of the two. The 2nd print was the cleaner of the three so we decided to return to it and attempt to make a plaster cast of the print.

While the plaster mix was setting up on the 2nd print, I noticed another unusual track (4th print) about 6 feet away. It appeared that something had slid in the mud and while there weren’t many distinguishable marks the width was about the same as the other three prints. As we looked closer at the trail we then discovered a 5th print another 6 feet down the trail. To clarify the prints were in the following order:

3                            2  4  5                   1

As I previously stated the distance from print 1 to print 3 was about 25 yards. The distance from print 2 to print 5 was just under 12 feet, meaning that the steps from print 2 to print 5 are in the six foot range. The other thing that struck me as odd was the depth of the prints. There were numerous deer prints on the trail and with their hard narrow hoofs they were sinking down 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch into the soil.

Human boot prints were leaving an indentation of about a 1/4 inch, so while the soil was muddy on top it was very firm underneath. The print (#2) that we made the cast from was about a 1/4 inch deep at the heel but the front of the foot, especially the toes had left an impression that was 1 inch to 1 1/4 inches deep. Four of the five prints (1,2,3,5) had similar characteristics in length, width and heel / toe position. Print 4 (slid in the mud) didn’t have clear definition but the width matched and the depth (as in print 2) indicated that something very heavy had left the marks.”

I wanted to go out to examine the footprints, but I had to wait until one of the hunters could arrange to take me out to the location. On the morning of December 5, 2013, I was contacted by the second hunter who offered to meet with me and take me to the location of the tracks. Unfortunately a heavy rain storm was just moving into the area at the same time. I climbed up a muddy hill and proceeded into the thick woods during a downpour trying to see the tracks before they were washed away. We made it to the location just in time to get a quick look at them as they filled up with water. I was able to take several pictures however.

There was one important detail that both hunters and a third party also confirmed. The footprints had a total of five toes. However, there appeared to be four toes in the front, and one toe on the side. The cast did not come out as detailed as the fellows would have liked. The toes are apparent but hard to see on the photo of the cast. While these tracks are unusual, they are not unique. They are similar to pongid or ape-like tracks. Similar tracks have turned up across Pennsylvania over the years, as well as in other states.

The hunter who had found the original footprint during an interview also mentioned to me some interesting other activity from the same area.  On the morning when he discovered the second footprint something else odd had occurred. The hunter was surprised when a rather large tree about 150 yards away suddenly fell with a loud crashing sound. Also within a few days of the tracks being located, another person walking in the general area came across an extremely large pile of dark brown feces unlike any droppings that he had ever come across in the woods.