When asked to list their favorite vacation destinations in the U.S., many people on both coasts put South Carolina at or near the top of their lists. With great weather, beautiful beaches and islands, historical sites, plenty of parks and popular golf courses, it seems to have something for everyone. But … is it at the top of your list if your favorite vacation activity is hunting for Bigfoot? Perhaps it should be. Three witnesses in Beaufort County reported seeing a Bigfoot in one of the state parks and a subsequent investigation concluded it was a very credible sighting. Does Bigfoot play golf? What is its handicap … besides having trouble fitting into the golf cart?
“On Tuesday, August 2, 2022 my brother, sister, and I were visiting the Lighthouse at South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park. We were leaving the Lighthouse parking lot at approximately 12:00 noon and driving along the exit road from the Lighthouse. My brother was driving the vehicle, with me riding in the front passenger seat, and my sister being in the rear driver’s side seat. As we were rounding a slight curve on the exit road, we all spotted a creature walking quickly on the left side of the road approximately 15 to 20 feet in front of our car.”
Thus begins the Bigfoot sightings report by Dr. Robert Frady as told to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO). Hunting Island is one of South Carolina’s many barrier islands and is located 15 miles (24 km) east of Beaufort. Because it is undeveloped, Hunting Island is known for its natural environment and is the perfect place for a state park. With large populations of loggerhead turtles, deer, alligators, raccoons, diamondback rattlesnakes, herons and egrets, it could be a perfect place for a Bigfoot or three to live … or at least vacation.
“The creature was walking upright, taking strides quickly to our left, and disappeared into the bush on the left side of the road directly in front of us. We only witnessed the lower torso of the creature as its head and shoulders were hidden behind a pine tree and a palmetto stump on the left side of the road.”
According to the BFRO interview, Dr. Bob Frady is a retired forensic psychologist in Georgia and he and his two family members, also retired professionals, have been visiting Hunting Island State Park annually since the 1950s. Thus, they were shocked to see something they’ve never encountered in 70 years of visits. Frady says he gave a report to the State Park superintendent which included the size of the creature.
“The height of the creature is estimated as being between 5 to 6 feet tall. Legs were approximately 3 feet long, human like jointed knee, with dark brown, splotchy black hair that was approximately 2 inches long. The incident happened quickly and lasted for only a few seconds as the creature disappeared quickly into the thick underbrush. There were no sounds or odors noticed by any of us.”
If you’re going to get an account of a Bigfoot sighting, it helps if one of the witnesses is experienced in forensics and has an eye for details like sounds, odors and unusual hair variations … especially since the sighting happened too fast for any photos. However, they did manage to take a photo of the road, the trees and the brush. (Photos and report here.) Taking all of this into account, along with a phone interview (listen to it here), BFRO investigator Matthew Moneymaker labeled this a Class A sighting (BFRO’s highest ranking), saying “They are not making up a story. All three saw the Sasquatch briefly at close range, in full daylight.” Moneymaker also noted in the report that:
“This is the first multi-witness daylight sighting (i.e. highly reliable) of a sasquatch close to the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.”
It turns out South Carolina has had its share of Bigfoot sightings, both on the islands and on the mainland. In 2017, Police in Greenville, South Carolina, issued an official public safety warning after a Bigfoot sighting was reported in McDowell County, North Carolina, near the border between the two states. The witness claimed to have seen its face, and the creature had hair that was matted and stringy. Again, there were no photos, but a report from 2015 by a group calling itself the Carolina Cryptid Crew included a one minute audio recording of what it says is a Bigfoot howling (Listen for yourself here.). BFRO also has a report from 2007 in Bluffton, a town in in Beaufort County about 2 miles inland of Hilton Head Island, of a large footprint and the sounds of footsteps and breathing.
“Morgan Island lies off the northern shore of St Helena Island on St. Helena Sound. Strong tides and wide marshes lend to its remote beauty that both limits human interaction and prevents any monkeys from casually escaping. If you wish to take a short journey to visit these transplanted jungle inhabitants you will need to arrange a boat ride or prepare for a day of kayaking.”
Any report of a Bigfoot sighting on or near South Carolina’s islands must take into account Monkey Island. Formally known as Morgan Island, it is owned by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources but has been isolated from the public since the 1970’s by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases which uses it to house over 3,500 rhesus monkeys which were used in a wide variety of experiments before being deemed no longer useful. No human trespassers are allowed and the monkeys are fed by an automated system under the management of Charles River Laboratories … but in 2020, a woman walking her dog on a South Carolina beach called Sunrise Park found a strange skeleton that people viewing the video (watch it here) thought to be anything from seal to a possum to a Chupacabra. (Photos here.) While the various parties responsible for the maintenance of the monkeys on Monkey Island say there is no chance of escape, urban legends about mutant creatures in the area are plentiful. Could that be what Dr. Frady and his siblings saw in Hunting Island State Park?
“If it had been up to me, I’d have had half a dozen biologists out there. I’m a scientist, and I would give anything to find some more data on it. I know it was there.”
Frady told Garden & Gun he’s convinced they saw a Sasquatch. Matthew Moneymaker told the same publication that “These three witnesses…they’re very reliable. This was in daylight, twenty feet in front of the car. This is not just a Class A, but an A-plus.”
The weather is still pretty nice. Anyone up for a golf outing to Hilton Head with a side trip to hunt for Bigfoot in Hunting Island State Park?