One day in September, 2003, after dropping his daughter off at Southern Vermont College in
It was about .
When he had reached the highest elevation between
“What the f--- was that?” he said in the empty car.
During a recent interview at his home, he told me, “It was a big black hairy thing, walking strangely. Long hairy arms; the body was huge. It was a lot bigger than me. I’m 220, so this must have been over 270. A lot over. Over 6 feet. Wider. Beefier. I just couldn’t believe it. Must be a man in a gorilla suit, I thought.”
He lost sight of it as it moved east into the woods of
“I kept driving,” Mr. Dufresne said. “There was nothing around. No cars, no houses. It was a desolate place. Now I kick myself because I didn’t go back and investigate.”
“I’m not saying it’s Bigfoot,” he said. “I was never a Bigfoot believer. But I saw what I saw and I can’t change what I saw.”The truth of Mr. Dufresne’s tale was buttressed when other people reported similar sightings in the same area.
When Ray’s story appeared in the Bennington Banner,
Two women -- Sadelle Wiltshire and Ann Mrowicki – said they had also seen the “beast” the same night as Mr. Dufresne. They estimated they’d been as close as 10 feet away.
While everyone admits a misidentification or hoax might be possible, Ray Dufresne says it definitely was not a bear. As a lifelong hunter, he can easily identify a bear. Besides, bears will not walk on their hind legs for any great distance.
A hoax is another matter, but “the man in a gorilla suit” solution is pretty far-fetched. And dangerous. Armed men in pickups routinely patrol that isolated area. Any trickster dressed in a gorilla suit would be about as safe as some lunkhead wearing antlers in the woods during deer season.
To be continued . . .