The Beast of Gumhill & Woodboogers in Southwest Virginia by: Justin H. Guess
Animal Planet’s airing of Finding Bigfoot’s "Virginia is for Bigfoot Lovers" featuring a 2009 video clip by Eric Cunningham of friend Chuck Newton encountering what seems to be a creature dubbed the “beast of Gumhill” in Bristol, Virginia and a town hall meeting in Saltville, Virginia revealed that bigfoot sightings have been recorded in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
The video clip was recorded at High Knob on Clinch Mountain in Bristol, Washington County, Virginia. Reposting The Coalfield Progress staff writer Katie Dunn’s "Finding Bigfoot: ‘Virginia Is for Bigfoot Lovers’ Tonight” story on a Cryptomundo webpage of the same title, Dunn describes the video:
The film, which can be found on YouTube, opens with a man riding his all-terrain vehicle in a creek, presumably in the
Gum Hill area of western Washington County, south of Mendota.
The camera follows the man as he rides farther upstream when suddenly a bulky, brown bipedal creature calmly walks
across the creek in front of the vehicle.
The driver stops and points at the creature.
Someone yells, “What was that?” and the camera fades to black. (Cryptomundo)
The video was updated with additional information about the alleged sighting and posted on YouTube by user Darkwinglh. The video, titled "Beast of Gum Hill, 630 Pm 04/05/09, 7' BF Crosses Stream. – YouTube” explains that ATV driver Chuck Newton placed the creature at 200-feet from the camera, eight to nine feet tall with shaggy, auburn hair and a conical head. The beast crossed a 50-foot space in an estimated nine to ten steps.
The video clip was scrutinized on SyFy Channel’s Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files and left on the cutting room floor. The episode, titled “Haunted Mansion Mist/Starlight Intruder” aired on 10-28-2010 and the panel of investigators criticized the clip and concluded it was possibly a staged video with the form in question being a man wearing camouflage and a baseball hat. The group did state most bigfoot sightings occur on the west coast.
Bigfoot encounters have been documented for well over 100 years in the southern Appalachian Mountains, however. Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot team filmed in southwest Virginia between October 17th and 24th, criticized the video clip and hunted for bigfoot on Clinch Mountain, but were unable to obtain any evidence of existence of the elusive creature. At a town hall meeting at Palmer Mill and Playhouse in Saltville, Smyth County, Virginia, investigators were able to collect numerous eye-witness reports from Smyth County residents. Legends of the beast date back much further. Native North American Cherokee Indians inhabiting the area often spoke of a creature called Tsul`kälû' (JUH-ool-KAH-loo), or “sloping-eyed giant” that bares resemblance to the description of bigfoot.
Until concrete evidence is found, the “Beast of Gumhill” video will be relegated to debate much like the famed Patterson-Gimlin film.