Ohio Night Stalkers will be featured guests of Saturday’s Wild Pine Mountain event

Published 10:39 am Friday, May 3, 2019

Harlan County’s bicentennial celebration this year has not only gotten locals enthused, but people from all over the nation. Jennifer McDaniels, who heads up the Harlan County Arts Council, says that no matter where you go, there’s almost always somebody with a Harlan County connection.

“And who would have thought that a duo of Bigfoot researchers from Ohio would be connected to Harlan County and would be anxious to share in our 200th anniversary as a chartered county of the Commonwealth?” said McDaniels, who has been partnering up with Harlan County Fiscal Court in organizing the first official Bicentennial event of the year titled “Wild Pine Mountain.”

The Harlan County Arts Council, of which McDaniels serves as president, is presenting Wild Pine Mountain — A Primitive Lands of Harlan County Lecture Series — in partnership with Harlan County Fiscal Court as the county’s first official Bicentennial event.

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While the lecture series, which takes place Saturday at the Harlan County Shrine Ground in Putney, will focus on Pine Mountain’s significance to the area, as well as its natural and cultural appeal, the Ohio Night Stalkers — a nationally-known Bigfoot research team — is also coming to speak, and not only do they have wild stories to tell, they have Harlan County connections. While he resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, Night Stalker Mike Feltner has family from Harlan and surrounding area in southeast Kentucky.

“Yea, we’re coming to talk about Bigfoot and share our wild experiences in the woods, but I also feel like I’m coming home — like I’m going back to my roots. It’s both exciting and meaningful for me on a personal level. We are also thrilled to help celebrate Harlan County’s Bicentennial. It is certainly a beautiful place, and we’re looking forward to spending some time down there.”

Nightstalker Mike Miller, also of Cincinnati, Ohio, may not have family connections to Harlan, but he said he certainly does have a connection to nature.

“I’m excited to come to Harlan, where time may have stood still a little, but that is a good thing,” Miller said. “ We have lost so many things from our past as a nation. Seems like people don’t value history and the land as much as they used to, but it is evident that in Harlan County, those things are important and promoted. That’s very encouraging to see, and I’m so looking forward to not only coming to one of the most beautiful, natural places in the country, but to tell about our experience in the woods, hangout with Harlan folk, make new friends, and help kick off the Harlan County bicentennial celebration.”

The Ohio Night Stalkers, who are the featured guests of Wild Pine Mountain, will be speaking at 4 p.m. in the conference building of the Harlan County Shrine Ground. Their presentation will mostly center around their frightening encounter in the southern Ohio woods in 2014 in which incredible sound recordings were made that experts have documented as “neither man nor animal.” The Ohio Night Stalkers have been on Destination America’s TV show “Terror in the Woods” about their encounter in the woods and the phenomenal sound recordings they captured. They have been guests on the national radio show “Coast to Coast,” and have appeared in numerous other documentary films. Cryptozoology experts claim that some of the most extraordinary audio ever captured of Bigfoot has been made possible because of the courageous tenacity of the Ohio Night Stalkers.

Feltner and Miller not only came together to form an impressive crypto research team, but have also forged a strong friendship in the process. Recordings of whoops, screams and yells that are technically superb, and are considered Class A evidence, have fast made the Ohio Night Stalkers one of the most talked about Bigfoot research teams in current-day cryptozoology.

“Both Mike and I have been researching Bigfoot on an individual basis for a long time,” Miller said. “But after coming together as a team — man, things have just started happening, and it’s exciting. It’s exciting for us to be a part of that, but it’s also exciting to see the advancements being made in Bigfoot research. It’s very cool to be a part of that, and we are very much looking forward to sharing our adventures with Harlan County.”

The Ohio Night Stalkers’ claim to fame is their incredible audio recordings of what is thought to be more than one Sasquatch screaming and were obviously not too happy that the team was conducting a night investigation in their territory, which was a remote section of forest in Adams County, Ohio. The famous audio was recorded on the night of Oct. 11, 2014 at a secluded graveyard. Both Miller and Feltner say they didn’t pinpoint the graveyard for a specific reason, but chance led them to their night of unbelievable activity and terror that still gives the team members chills to this day. After Miller and Feltner did some wood knocks while parked in the remote cemetery that both described as extremely eerie, they were answered with three distinct knocks about 60 to 70 yards away. Miller said the night sounds of the forest came to a complete stop, and things “just got creepy.”

What followed that night for Miller and Feltner was a wild succession of frightening occurrences that ended up making the Bigfoot hunting team THE ONES being hunted. Details of the horrific night are played out in Episode Three of the popular Destination American show “Terror In The Woods” during its Season One run. While the night was terrifying as Miller and Feltner hurried to get out of the woods, it did, however, produce the amazing audio that has placed The Ohio Night Stalkers on the map.

“This is not just some crazy story,” Miller said. “We got the proof! Our portable recorders did their job in capturing this insane audio, which has been analyzed by sound technicians, like David Ellis , who is a professional audio technician in Washington. His analysis was that what we recorded, he had never heard before, and it was definitely something alive. This finding from someone of David Ellis’ caliber is huge.”

Miller said the Ohio Night Stalkers concentrate on sound in their field research. While he says tracks and cast moldings certainly carry weight and have credence in Bigfoot research, Miller said he’s convinced the crypto research of the future lies with audio. And that’s what The Ohio Night Stalkers will be presenting at the Virginia Bigfoot Conference, along with the other conferences at which they are scheduled to speak – sharing their famous, bone-curdling audio of more than one Sasquatch screaming in the backwoods of a remote Ohio county.

“It was a life-changing experience,” Feltner said. “Because after that night, although Mike and I have researched for years, the both of us became one hundred percent convinced that there is more out there than what we know.”

Feltner said his interest in Bigfoot began when he was a kid and his aunt and uncle introduced him to the legend. They gave him the “Bigfoot Case Files” book that was popular in the 1970s, and he read every report it contained. It’s a book that even Feltner’s son reads to this day. Feltner’s own research didn’t begin until he was an adult and became colleagues with his eventual mentor, Don Keating, who was the originator of the Ohio Bigfoot Conference. Keating took Feltner under his wing until the veteran researcher decided to retire and fade from the Bigfoot scene. But Feltner began his own research, and eventually teamed up with Miller through mutual friends.

“We’ve just got the right chemistry as team partners,” Miller said. “A lot of our Bigfoot beliefs are similar, and we have the same research style, so we just click. What we got going on is working, and plus, I really respect Feltner and we’ve become close friends – I would even say brothers.”

Harlan Countians will have the opportunity to meet Feltner and Moller, hear their incredible audio recordings, and listen to their presentation of their terrifying experience in the woods right across the state line during the Wild Pine Mountain — Primitive Lands of Harlan County Lecture Series on Saturday at the Harlan County Shrine Ground in Putney.

The lecture series begins at 10 a.m. and will last until 6 p.m..

Other speakers for the lecture series includes Gary Grant of the Kentucky Division of Forestry, Matthew Delph of Mountain Empire Cryptid Research Organization, Lucas Wilder of Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, Kevin Hardesty, who will portray Daniel Boone of the Kentucky Humanities Council, local author Judy Hensley who has researched the presence of panthers in Appalachia, Lianna Constantino of the Cherokee Nation, local historian Nancy Lawson, who used to live in the historic Putney Ranger Station, and Dr. John Stamey of Scary Cast.

Concessions will be made available by the Harlan County Shrine Club, Smokey Bear will be on site from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and there will be activities for children.