We just received a pair of photographs from a reader in North Carolina asking for an opinion as to what the animal tracks contained in the images could be. After an interview with the photographer, Cryptozoology News obtained the following information about the pictures:
My name is Luke Walker. I’m 35 and a creative strategist originally from New York. I moved to Charlotte North Carolina in November and have been spending many weekends camping and hiking in the local national forests and game lands.
These photos were taken in the Birkhead Mountain game lands in the Uwharrie National forest near Farmer, North Carolina. I checked my GPS tracks and see I was between 2.5 and 3 miles into the trail when I found these prints. I found another single print another half mile in. It was approximately 4:30 pm in first instance and around 5 p.m. in the second.
There was one other automobile in the camp lot at the gate of the park and I was easily able to track the distance of these campers by the boot prints they left in the mud, which ceased at approximately 0.5 miles where they diverged down-trail into the valley. There were no other campers, hunters or hikers on the Thornhead trail incline.
It had rained the two days prior into that morning so the mud was pristine, still very wet and impressionable. There were bobcat tracks, deer tracks and a small bear track near these much larger seemingly humanoid prints.
If you see the photos below, I did a crude exposure filter to bring out contrast details and it’s somewhat more evident that these are indeed human like feet, absolutely not bear tracks, which would be the only large mammal in the region.
To answer your other questions:
I have not sighted any unidentified creatures here or anywhere else, but these prints made a strong impression, even as a skeptic. The size of these prints are hard to put into perspective even next to my boot; the boots I wear at size 11 1/2 are extremely thick and bulky. My bare foot would have been dwarfed and I can only deduce these are a size 23 foot, barefoot in the deep woods 3 miles from civilization.
I camped out 4 miles up trail over night and I did hear strange noises. There were the obvious animal noises, but also a distinct cackling and the sound of a large animal walking through the woods at about 20 yards from my camp. I did exit my tent several times throughout the night to investigate and shined my flashlight into the direction of the sound; the sound would suddenly cease and then resume again when I turned off the light. I was unable to see through the dense forest and did not see any animal or person to associate with the sounds.
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