Feb 05, 2017 I Alex Dunbar

Claw Marks May Be Evidence of an Alabama Booger Ape

Is Sasquatch clawing trees in Alabama? Two stars of the Bigfoot reality show Killing Bigfoot are certain the cryptid is responsible for gouging tree-trunks behind a man's rural home.

Donald McDonald and Michael Humphreys of Killing Bigfoot spoke at the Conecuh County Collard Green Festival this January. The men reside in Mississippi and Oklahoma respectively, and took the gig as opportunity to tour the Alabama Bigfoot scene. They traveled south towards the Alabama, Florida pan-handle border to a small rural community called Pine Orchard. There they met with a man who claimed a mysterious creature had been haunting his property with unusual howls and destructive tree grabbing. After investigating a branch 'nest' overlooking the wooded bottom and analyzing the spacing, height, and depth of the markings, McDonald identified a Bigfoot as the likely culprit:

Some of those claw marks start at about 8 feet off the ground and go to almost 12 feet. Yes, there are bears in the area but a bear, if it would have made those marks, there would have bear claw marks on the sides of the tree where it climbed it, there were none.

Were these claw marks made by Sasquatch?

Alabama ranks #16 in overall Bigfoot sightings by the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO). The site lists 98 reports, including a vivid ‘class A’ encounter in nearby Conecuh County. In 2004 a man was driving home at dusk on a private, dirt road next to the Sepulga River when a monstrous, wet, 6' 7" thing darted in front of his car. Per the BFRO report:

The witness described that it had a manlike face, with very long arms. The hair was black and shaggy, and he could see the hair hanging from its hands. It was not thin, but muscular. Dark skin was visible on the face, it had a wide nose, and a conical head. When it ran, it pumped its arms. It came from the direction of the river, and appeared to be wet.

Did a Sasquatch, or southern counterpart Booger/Skunk Ape, actually make deep gnash marks in that tree? Eyewitnesses rarely, if ever, describe Bigfoot-like creatures equipped with claws. Long fingernails, yes; but not full-blown monster-talons. The majority of believers and on-the-fence skeptics consider the Bigfoot species to be either a large primate (an offshoot of Gigantopithicus) or a feral humanoid, like a rabid native American. So, whether it's a giant ape or a rough man, that means these things are probably primates. Primates don't have claws. The presence of fingernails, like opposable thumbs, are distinguishing characteristics of great apes.

Even though an individual the size of Sasquatch could mark a tree up that high, why would it? Why would it dig it's fingernails into anything? That would hurt! Nails are essentially tools for gripping and grabbing objects. They likely helped early humans pick and gather small foods like berries, nuts, insects, and flowers.

gorilla hand lines
A gorilla's hand, complete with fingernails not claws.

McDonald is certain no other animal could have made those marks. Unfortunately, with the given facts one must point at known dominant predators that live in the region: the Florida black bear or the Florida panther. Regardless of region, both animals can potentially grow quite large. They love climbing trees and possess formidable claws more-than-capable of digging deep into the tree's damp, mossy wood. Even a bear or panther of moderate size would slice into that moss like butter, likely creating an embellished gouge that grabbed the eye of the researchers in the first place.

On paper, all the evidence seems to point to a bear or cougar; and the Killing Bigfoot gents just missed evidence of the climb-marks on the sides. But simply, they were there and devoted meaningful analysis to the evidence. Maybe a Bigfoot fell off the tree and dug it's nails into the bark to catch itself? No one will ever really know. Repeated sightings in the area fortify the Bigfoot theory. Alabama is becoming another southern Sasquatch hotspot we should all keep our eyes on.

Pine Orchard, AL

Story originally reported by AL.com

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