Updated: May 26, 2019
Jeremy's and Seth's Encounter on Hwy 22
My name is Jeremy, and I want to tell you about the night Sasquatch cost me a good friend.
I learned a lot from Uncle Sam while in the Marine Corps, and I learned even more while deployed overseas in some very combat-heavy places over the years, but nothing I had learned prepared me for meeting Sasquatch face to face.
In 2014, my wife and I, along with our children, said goodbye to sunny southern California and Camp Pendleton when I left the military and we headed home to Ohio. It was a good homecoming for us, surrounded by the family and friends we had been missing, and now our children would be able to get acquainted with the family they had only talked to weekly on the phone or see once or twice a year for holidays.
We lived with my wife’s parents for most of that first year. We got jobs and were diligently saving up enough money to get our own house. By mid-2015 we had enough money saved and I had just found better employment in Steubenville, Ohio. We then found and bought a nice little suburban home in Winterville, Ohio. Despite all the concern we had the year before about returning to civilian life, everything was starting to come together for us rather nicely.
To save money, we were doing most of the moving ourselves with the help of my wife’s brother, Seth. I considered myself lucky when it came to my in-laws; they were good people, easy to get along with, and I counted one of them my best friends in life. Seth and I had gone to school together and were best friends before I noticed his younger sister while we were all in high school. I know it sounds very 1950-ish, but that’s really how it happened, folks.
On this night, Seth and I had just loaded a small, rented trailer and the bed of his fairly new truck, which we were using to pull the trailer. Seth is one of those truck guys – and although he uses his truck for serious work, he takes very good care of it. It helps that HIS wife’s family owns a body shop, so it always is in top shape.
Anyway, we had piled the bed of the truck high and strapped everything down. The sun wasn’t quite all the way down, and we were in a hurry, hoping to get to the new house, unload and call it a night before it got too late.
We were heading east on Hwy 22 when my eye caught something fly off the back of the truck, followed immediately by something else – Seth saw it about the same time I did and immediately began to slow down and pull over to the shoulder.
We got out and started walking back along the roadway to find whatever had flown off the truck.
Around 70 or 80 feet from the back of the trailer we located a busted box of the kids toys, books and dvds, with some of them having spilled into the road and maybe 30 or 40 feet beyond that was a box of clothing – it too had burst open when it hit the pavement. It was like playing leap frogger in highway traffic to retrieve some of the items, especially some of the clothing that was blowing around like tumbleweeds every time a car would speed by.
I was bent down, collecting several children’s books that we had kicked from the road over to the shoulder when a stick hit the asphalt about three feet in front of me.
This stretch of 22 was lined with upward sloping land on either side of the highway, and was heavily covered in trees starting maybe 20 feet from the road. It was still light enough for me to see the trees, but I couldn’t see beyond the first few, as everything beyond them was dark.
I shrugged it off and finished stacking what I could when I heard Seth yell back at me that I had better knock it off, and he used a term of endearment for me that I hadn’t heard anyone use since leaving the Corps.
Tucking the books and dvds under both arms, I walked nearer to him along the shoulder of the road. I tried to ask what he was talking about just as a semitruck passed, but he couldn’t hear me. By the time the semi noise had faded away, I was near enough to him to ask again what I’m supposed to be knocking off, and I returned that term of endearment back to him.
He started to answer me when another stick came flying, this time it went a little over our heads and landed on to the highway. We both turned to look at the trees and bushes but saw nothing.
We didn’t make anymore of the stick and walked back to the truck.
After inspecting the winch straps we had used to tighten the load, it appeared one of us had forgotten to tighten down one side. Seth apologized profusely because he thought he might have been the one, but I reminded him that we were both tired, and we BOTH had climbed around the truck like monkeys checking things before we pulled away from the house earlier. Basically, I told him it wasn’t worth worrying about – things happen, right?
Once or twice as we were rearranging and tightening everything down again, I thought I had heard something else being thrown in our direction, but between cars going by and the noise we were making, I wasn’t sure. We were about ready to get back in the truck when we heard the distinctive “ping” of a rock striking something metal – most likely the truck as the open flat trailer was piled mostly with soft furniture.
We looked at each other questioningly, and before we could form a word to each other, several more rocks rained down on us and the truck, each one making a nice metallic pinging noise as it impacted, or a dull whump noise when it hit the cardboard boxes. Several more stones overshot the truck and landed on the highway asphalt.
Now Seth was pretty pissed. As I mentioned, he was pretty particular about his truck. A kid throwing sticks at us he could tolerate. But throwing rocks at his pretty Dodge Hemi truck? That’s a whole ‘nother story. Whoever it was, Seth was going to tan their hide – child or adult. Those were his exact words as he pulled a child’s aluminum baseball bat and a flashlight from out of his truck. He flipped on the flashlight and stomped forward on the slope to within a few feet of the trees, his flashlight swiping back and forth.
“Come on, let’s go” I said after a few minutes of this. I just wanted to get back on the road and get this day over with.
But Seth just shushed me, turned the flashlight off, listening. “D’ya hear that?”
I was still standing near the truck and didn’t hear anything but the occasional car passing by. “What?” I yelled.
He motioned urgently for me to come over to where he was.
I stood there with him, listening.
We were about five feet from where the trees and brush started. In between cars I could now hear what sounded like gibberish talk maybe another 20 feet beyond us.
At the time I didn’t think of it as a language – it sounded like a chattering noise. It was monotone without any rise or fall or inflection in the voice. It was fluid and fast, but it didn’t sound either conversational or a pointed directional form of speech. It was just – flat, but ongoing.
Seth flipped on the flashlight again, shining the beam into the trees again. The gibbering stopped.
Slowly, Seth moved the light along the trees and bushes, but still we saw nothing.
After a few moments of silence and feeling confident that we had probably scared them off, Seth turned off the flashlight and we turned to head back to the truck when a rock came hurling past Seth’s head, landing a few feet in front of us. We heard the dull *thunk* as it hit the ground.
Before we could react, several more stones came simultaneously, and Seth and I were both hit a few times. Seth flipped on the flashlight and turned back around, shining the light into the trees in a sweeping motion.
It was on the second sweep of the trees when something dark dropped down low just as the flashlight’s beam was about to touch it. Seth dropped the beam of light but could only see bush.
Seth took the baseball bat and began poking into the bush, moving branches when a large, hairy beast stood up a few feet behind the bush and growled at us.
I couldn’t understand what I was seeing for a fraction of a second. It loomed over us very tall, hairy and very angry. I could see its teeth when the flashlight bobbed up to the face. It was snarling, the lips drawn back. I only had that fraction of a second to process what I was seeing when a screaming noise started in the trees to the right of the creature we were looking at. We were already stumbling backwards, but Seth swept the flashlight in the direction the screaming came from and we saw two more creatures – both smaller than the first, but still large in size. They looked to be covered in black fur. All the creatures had the same, shaggy fur covering their bodies. I can’t say I could tell you what kind of eyes they had for sure –the eye area just looked like a dark, deep set shadowy area if the flashlight wasn’t aimed directly at the face, or the eyes glinted brightly for a fraction of a second before they closed their eyes shut when the flashlight did reach their eyes.
They were all standing upright, and I think they might have been crouched down before, because they had definitely not been there when we first started looking with the flashlight.
The growling continued as we backed away further, Seth keeping the flashlight trained on the chest area of the larger creature, flicking the flashlight’s beam over to check the other two quickly once or twice as we did so.
We turned and ran when the last pass of the flashlight across the trees showed the larger creature had come forward and was standing next to the first tree at the treeline’s edge.
The ten or fifteen feet back to the truck felt like a hundred yard dash. We made it back to the truck as if the very hounds of hell were on our heels, and as far as we were concerned, they were.
I had no more closed the passenger door as Seth was opening the driver’s side door when I saw the creature standing next to the back of the truck, its outline clear and visible from the headlights of an oncoming car off in the distance on the highway.
I’ve heard people say that Sasquatch slaps things, but what came next looked and felt more like a shove and a punch to the truck. I swear I felt the truck skid a few inches sideways when the beast leaned into the shove it gave the rear of the truck.
Seth had closed his door and was trying to get the keys back out of his front pocket and into the ignition while this was going on, but he hit a home run and I felt the truck’s Hemi engine come to life. Dimly I heard Seth yelling at cars passing us on the highway to get out of the way as he began accelerating while still on the shoulder of the road, but my eyes were riveted on the side mirror and the sasquatch that was illuminated from those cars approaching.
I remember yelling “GO! GO! GO!” to Seth again while he was yelling at the passing cars. After several tense moments, Seth was up to speed and found a break in the cars and pulled out onto the highway.
We were both shaking and breathing hard and looking in the mirrors. As we pulled away, I had watched in the side mirror as the thing turned and disappeared into the tree line.
We had gone a few miles before either of us said a word, and it mostly consisted of agreeing that “THAT” had never happened. Jobs were mentioned, of course. Believability. Damage to his wife’s family business and more. I agreed with everything he said – even when he said we wouldn’t talk about it between the two of us. He made me swear a thousand times I would not talk about this. And, I haven’t.
I don’t know if Seth blamed me somehow for the whole incident that night – and I’m not referring to just the rock damage to his truck – or if I reminded him of the incident or something else, but our relationship changed after that night, with Seth avoiding me like the plague from then until this very day. It’s as if he’s afraid – maybe afraid that I will try to talk to him about it or talk to someone else about it. I don’t know. I only know he’s been as distant as Pluto, and I’ve stopped trying to be his friend.
Of course, I’ve thought about that night a lot. I’ve asked myself if it all could have been a prank or a hoax? Could it have been an ordinary animal? I’ve also wondered if any of those cars driving down Hwy 22 that night saw anything, or if they could from the road with the truck and the trailer piled high with items.
It’s hard not being able to talk about it or get someone else’s perspective, but I made a promise to a friend that I wouldn’t. This – emailing back and forth and answering your questions and keeping my anonymity - is as close as I will come to breaking that promise. Besides, I know Seth will avoid anything Sasquatch related as diligently as he’s avoided me, so I feel certain he will never read this.
I have driven down that stretch of 22 probably hundreds of times since, and I never pass that stretch of road without thinking about that night, and about the friend I lost because of it.