Man fires gun in Mammoth Cave National Park after claiming he saw Bigfoot
Madelyn Durand and Brad Ginn told the news station they awoke to a man approaching their tent on Sunday night. The man told them that something had destroyed their campsite and that he was currently looking for the culprit.
The man, who was reportedly with his son, told Ginn and Durand they were in "Bigfoot country" then showed them his gun.
"He said, 'I hope you have weapons,'" Durand told WBKO. "Then he flashed his gun at us and was like, 'I have this so if anything happens to you then just yell and I'll come.'"
The couple went back into their tent as the man left, but they heard him return 10 minutes later. That's when the gunshots began.
"We saw the flash from his gun, and he shot maybe 20 yards from the side of our tent into the pitch-black darkness," Durand told CNN.
The couple recalled the man saying he fired his gun because he thought he saw Bigfoot approaching him from the brush.
"We shined a flashlight to see if there was an animal or something. And there was absolutely nothing there," Durand told CNN.
After they heard the shots, Durand and Ginn hiked back to their car and called 911. Park rangers were already on the scene when the couple reached their car.
Park officials said that there are no ongoing threats at Mammoth Cave, however, a spokesperson did tell WBKO that the investigation is ongoing.
"Mammoth Cave National Park Law Enforcement Rangers responded to a reporting of an individual with a firearm in one of our backcountry campsites in the early morning hours of Sunday, July 28. The rangers made contact with all the parties involved. It is an on going investigation at this time," Molly Schroer, the park's public information officer, told WBKO in a statement.
Schroer told the Louisville Courier Journal that while guns are allowed within the park, firing them is strictly prohibited.
Supposed Bigfoot sightings trace all the way back to the early 1800s, although the creature's popularization began with a 1958 article in the Humboldt Times. That story, with a headline reading, "Giant footprints puzzle residents," is often credited as the first public usage of the name "Bigfoot."
Kentucky experienced nearly 400 reported Bigfoot sightings between 1994 and 2014, according to the Kentucky Bigfoot Research Organization. According to its website, the group aims to "obtain a database as to monitor population density and behavioral patterns for all reported Kentucky Bigfoot encounters."