This was not a report I myself witnessed but instead one my grandmother told me about that my aunt later corroborated seperately. For a little background my grandparents’, currently aunt’s, home is in backwoods of Virginia. Extremely thick forest with hilly terrain in all directions. You have to get on a dirt path and follow it for about half a mile to get to a gravel covered side road, and then follow it for about 30 minutes to reach a very small town just across the North Carolina border. If you go a short ways North you find yourself at the Blue Ridge mountains and parkway that lead up into Appalachia proper. The forest is mostly low-lying shrubs up to around 4 feet high with pine and a lot of black oak trees making up the canopy. There is a very clear stream about 30 yards from the house which has fish quite frequently. This along with wild blackberries, tender leaf shrubs, and some apple trees make it very lucrative for wildlife. The house itself is an old two-story house built onto an incline of the hill that overlooks it. This was back in the 1970s, my aunt believes it was 1978 as she was finishing high school at the time.
My father had graduated from college and was going on to the Air Force, so he had already moved out. My grandfather, although he was old enough to retire, liked to remain busy so he worked his old job as an electrician and power pole technician; just now in an advisory role because he was getting up there in years. He had just gotten the contract down in North Carolina so he was away from the house for about a week and a half. This left only my 17-year-old aunt and grandmother at the house.
As I said there usually was a lot of wildlife in the area. A typical morning for my grandmother was making breakfast and sitting out on her porch watching deer and rabbits eat at the shrubs. Sometimes she would also see or hear a bobcat, fox, or coyote about. On one occasion a mountain lion and her cups strolled right past the house. One animal she was familiar with in particular was a very large black bear who could be recognized by folks around those parts from a white patch on his chest and a hole in his left ear. My grandmother nicknamed him “Captain” because he had a habit of sitting on his haunches and reaching up with his paws to pick apples, a motion that looked like he was saluting. Captain was a very big black bear but wasn’t very aggressive unless tested. He seemed to have an agreement with my grandmother and grandfather that if they left him alone he would leave them alone. He’d just strolled by the house every now and then to have some blackberries on the bushes or apples that had fallen down, which meant he came by the house’s yards often as he was too big to climb trees much more and the fruit trees around the house were low enough he could reach up and pick food. My grandfather guesstimated he was somewhere in the 500 to 600-pound range and roughly 6 feet tall as my grandfather once measured some scratch marks he left on a tree.