Land Between the Lakes: A Retrospective

Land Between the Lakes: A Retrospect

It’s my final night in Kentucky. I’ve now made multiple forays into the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) with interesting results. Admittedly, I didn’t come back with the footage that I’d hoped to get. That’s not to say I didn’t have any experience of note. On the contrary, I did have a few things happen that cannot be easily explained. Let me explain that. Hopefully, you’ll have just as many questions as I now do.

I’ve now explored a big section of the north end of LBL. I’ve driven many roads and checked numerous campsites, day-use areas, access areas, and trails. I know I was close to finding the exact area where the original incident occurred, however, I am unsure if I found it. I had to have been very close, though. From the accounts I’ve studied, I’m certain of it. I’ve explored these areas both during the day and at night. Sometimes alone and sometimes with others. Nick Valente of the North American Dogman Project accompanied me on many of these. He agrees with my assessment. We know we were close to the site.

On my first trip to the Nickell Cemetery, I heard bipedal walking in the woods behind me. This was verified by more than one person who has reviewed my video. The movement can be heard in the video, so it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t a deer and it wasn’t a hiker. I could see the hiking trail and there was no one on it. I couldn’t see anyone or anything in the trees. They were just too dense. Again, I say this, the walking was on two feet. I know the sound of an animal on four legs. This was not the same. Someone or something on two legs was moving closer to me from the thick woods behind the cemetery. Although, it never came close enough for me to see it. After a while, I left the area without any visual sighting of whatever it had been.

While exploring another area with Nick Valente, I saw something large and dark moving through the trees. We were driving at the time and by the time Nick stopped the vehicle, it was gone. From where I had seen it, there were only a few yards before the ground sloped steeply down into a ravine. We checked the area and found where the leaves had been heavily disturbed at the spot where I’d seen it. Whatever it was, it had torn up the leaves getting away when we stopped.

What I saw was leaning out from behind a tree, about six feet off the ground. It turned rapidly away from me, and I lost sight of it as we drove past the spot. I immediately called for Nick to stop and back up, but it was gone. I can’t say for certain what it was, but it was dark-colored and was behind a large tree approximately six feet off the ground. It didn’t move like a deer or an elk. It wasn’t a bear. Bears don’t move that fast on their hind legs. Again, I don’t know what it was, but I know what it wasn’t.

I spoke to numerous locals about the Beast of LBL. Each time, I received one of two responses. One, they would feign ignorance and act as if they’d never heard the story. It was usually made in such an exaggerated way that I knew they weren’t telling me the truth, but they weren’t going to talk about it. The other reaction that I received was a flat denial of the incident and a complete refusal to discuss it further. One shop owner went so far as to wish me a good day, dismissing me from his store. One other person, a person in law enforcement is all I’ll say, denied the incident and then said he was not allowed to discuss it. Overall, I got the impression that the Beast of LBL is known to locals, and they refuse to speak about it. It would likely be very detrimental to their only real industry. Tourism. If you visit the area, you can speak to locals if you like. I doubt it will do you much good.

Another thing that I observed was that once inside LBL, there were no animals. I mean not so much as a squirrel. Despite driving numerous roads, visiting dozens of campsites, day-use areas, and lake access points, I saw nothing. Not a deer, not a raccoon, not a possum, not a fox, or even a mouse. There were no animals in the north end of LBL. I saw nothing at all moving. Nick Valente can corroborate this. He was with me for part of my excursions. We didn’t see anything at all. On the other side of the bridge, outside LBL and inside the city limits of Grand Rivers, I saw more than twenty deer over a few days. I also saw numerous raccoons, several possums and even heard coyotes. Inside LBL, nothing. I didn’t see so much as a bird. I can’t explain that. I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was eerie.

Another thing that I noticed, especially during the night, is that when you’re inside LBL, there is a palpable feeling of heaviness. It’s not overpowering, and you don’t even notice it so much until you leave. Once you’re across the bridge and back in Grand Rivers, the feeling vanishes. That’s when you realize you were even feeling it. It seems to permeate the area, subtly affecting you until you leave the area.

This isn’t to say that LBL isn’t a beautiful area. In many ways, it’s hauntingly beautiful. The woods are deep and lush, the lakes are vast and gorgeous, and there are amazing areas where you can camp, fish, swim, and enjoy the Public Use Area.  However, a brief Google search using the keywords Land Between the Lakes and Missing Person yields shocking results. Even if the locals want to pretend that there is no beast, there are a shocking number of missing people and strange deaths associated with LBL. Many of them are unsolved or under mysterious circumstances. Some were attributed to animal attacks. Kind of weird for a place where I never saw a single animal.

Overall, LBL is a place I won’t ever forget. It’s strangely beautiful and very mysterious. This land is old, with deep legends that date back hundreds of years. I cannot say that they will ever be solved, but I have learned enough to satisfy my curiosity. For now, anyway. I’m already planning another trip in the fall. LBL may never reveal all her secrets. However, I do believe that something stalks those deep, dark woods. I think we would be foolish to ignore all the sightings and deaths in that strange land. There are just too many bizarre occurrences to say that nothing is going on. Add to that the odd behavior of people who either deny knowledge or refuse to answer the questions. To me, that sounds like a deliberate attempt to cover up the truth.

It’s up to you whether you choose to believe or not. You can make up your own minds as to what, if anything, you believe about my experiences. I know what I saw, felt, and heard while in LBL. No one will convince me that it didn’t happen. However, if you want to see it for yourself, be careful. LBL is not a place for the unwary. Go there and walk through the Nickell Cemetery and listen to the woods around you. Go down to the campgrounds and access points and look into the trees. Drive those back roads and watch the sides. Then maybe you can explain to me why there are no animals in the north end of LBL. Maybe you can explain what it was that was stalking me in the woods near the cemetery. I hope so because I can’t. If you go into the woods, don’t forget to look up. Also, I don’t recommend going alone.

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15 thoughts on “Land Between the Lakes: A Retrospective

  1. Duffy Downie

    WOW! It sounds like a fascinating place..I’m glad ya’ll are safe, look forward to hearing much more about your trip!

  2. Joe Morris

    I am a new fan. I have been reading your books since I saw you on Dixie Cryptid. I have read all the Lakeview Man, Apex predator and code Name Wild hunt series.

    My guess for what you heard? Bigfoot.
    Last fall a trackway was found and casted in LBL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbl-9uND1d4
    This is one of the groups Cam mentioned during your last livestream with him.

    The deer population in LBL has been declining since the early 2000’s. While red wolves have never been released in LBL, my Dad and I have seen coyotes of unusual size and temperament while horse back riding there. I have also read hunters seeing the unusual behavior of the coyotes in LBL taking down full grown deer by working as a pack.
    If you did not eat at Patti’s in Grand Rivers when you were there you need to when you go back. If you like catfish try The Pond in Aurora.

    1. I didn’t see any animals at all. Canine or otherwise. I saw plenty of deer in Grand Rivers just across the bridge. Not even roadkill inside LBL. It could have been a squatch. I never saw it but I heard it. You can hear it clearly on the video I filmed at Nickell Cemetery, during the day. We didn’t get the chance to eat at Patti’s but we will when we go back. However Cabin Pizza was really good.

      1. Joe Morris

        No animals at all is weird.
        I have been camping in LBL since the early 70’s, wish I could point you to some areas, but I have only had one experience there that ranks as weird.
        We were riding a short cut trail down hill and heard a “call” from the ridge top above us. When it started it sounded like the unusual mule bray I had heard already in camp, but it then dropped into a growl. It is a sound I have never heard from a horse or a mule. It lasted long enough I had time to think “that is a growl” and “it doesn’t any feline qualities”. Just one time never heard it again. I thought about felines because there are bobcat in LBL.

        FYI Cell phones are hit and miss in LBL.

  3. Wendy

    Just read your report of your trip to LBL and at first I thought it was a preview of a new book, then I realised it actually happened to you. I felt spooked just reading it. I don’t know if we have cryptids like that in the UK but there are plenty of spooky places and strange happenings.
    You say you didn’t see any animals at all…….what about insects? Any insect noises or mozzies bothering you?
    Thinking of tourism for the place, you’d think reverse psychology would work getting people to visit. A selfie with Bigfoot would generate millions of likes!😆.
    PS I too have enjoyed Lakeview Man, Apex Predator and Wild Hunt books. I’ve just finished the new Nightmare one. I like to follow the characters when you link up the stories….just need to keep an eye out for any other linked books.

    1. Thanks for reaching out. Yeah, that was my own experience in LBL. There were insects but that’s all. Not even roadkill. Just across the canal in the town, plenty of animals, but once you entered LBL. Nothing. I think they avoid talking about it because most people are there for the Lakes, not going into LBL itself. More people in the park world likely mean more disappearances. If they admit they know, they could be held liable for the death. There will definitely be more books. Subscribe to the website for updates and you will be informed every time I post and I do a blog entry whenever I have a new release. Thanks for reaching out! Cheers!

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