A Bigfoot sighting in North Carolina last Friday night caused a stir in the Appalachian Mountains.
John E. Bruner, who operates a Facebook page called Bigfoot 911, led a group into the woods of McDowell County to search for Sasquatch and described an encounter with "a large bipedal animal covered with hair" that took off running into the woods.
Now a Minneapolis man has come forward to say what they actually saw was him, dressed in a suit of animal skins.
Gawain MacGregor wears the suit when he wanders through the woods, reciting prayers to Sasquatch, because that experience draws him closer to Bigfoot and has led to a handful of encounters with the beast.
MacGregor, whose Twitter bio says he believes in the divine nature of Sasquatch, tells the Charlotte Observer he was on vacation in the Appalachians last week to practice Enkiduism, which is the worship of Sasquatch.
MacGregor, who considers himself a shaman, shared some photos of his raccoon skin suit with the New York Post. He told the paper that wearing it while reciting sacraments in the woods has led to encounters with Sasquatch in three different states.
In an interview with The McDowell (N.C.) News, MacGregor explained: “Shamanistic traditions are the oldest in the world so to me it’s not that out of the ordinary. For me, it’s no different than going to church on Sunday.”
He says a group did come upon him in the woods last Friday night. They froze, staring at him, and he ran back to his campsite, MacGregor told the Observer.
Group says it wasn't him
Since MacGregor started telling his story this week, the group that first reported the Bigfoot sighting has rejected it.
A post by Bruner on Bigfoot 911 (it's a closed Facebook group) was obtained by the BBC. It says the creature his group saw Friday night couldn't possibly have been MacGregor because it was eight feet tall and it moved with a speed unmatched by humans, Bruner writes.
"I believe this man is... looking for a way to get some air time to promote his blog,” Bruner told the Charlotte paper.
MacGregor's blog, enkiduism.blogspot.com, was not operating on Thursday afternoon.