TIME LINE OF IMPORTANT EVENTS:
September 30, 1999: Thirteen (13) Abbagoochies were rumored to have been brought into the mountainous region of West Virginia by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (WVDNR), to control the nuisance animal population. For several years thereafter, it was believed that this was a government experiment gone awry. These Abbagoochies were rumored to be multiplying and consuming a multitude of animals in the West Virginia mountains. Additionally, it was believed that humans were also being attacked.
January 2001: David Vandevander (taxidermist) created the original head mount of an Abbagoochie. This mount was created after hunters and fishermen repeatedly came into his shop and described what they heard and saw in our woods and on our waters.
Since the taxidermist had never seen or heard of one of these things, he would sketch every time someone gave their descriptions. After he felt like he had enough consistent descriptions of this creature, he purchased the necessary supplies and created the mount.
When these same hunters and fishermen came back into his shop, he would show them the mount and almost without exception, they would say, "Yep, that looks just like what I saw..."
February 7, 2001: The original article unveiling the existence of these creatures appeared in the Webster Echo and Webster Republican newspapers. It was featured in the Country Store Corner by Jim Wilson, and panic soon spread like wildfire...
February 14, 2001: Tom Clark's editorial appeared in the same papers. The original article had created such a panic among the citizens of Webster and surrounding counties in one weeks time, that the newspaper publisher, Tom Clark, wrote an editorial declaring the whole thing as a hoax. It was written out of necessity...
March 15, 2002: Jubert Russell of Birch River, WV successfully captured an Abbagoochie in the woods behind his house. It was taken to John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland for a brain lobotomy. There were several eye witnesses to this event, including Jubert's wife Goldie, Jim Wilson, Rich Robertson and Boyd Cutright.
Late March 2002: Pete Baldwin, senior FBI official who contracted with the WVDNR, began a small secretive task force. This task force was developed in response to the increase in Missing Person Reports from several mountainous West Virginia counties. These FBI agents were disguised as hunters and fishermen, and their goal was to find, kill and extinguish the remaining Abbagoochies.
Fall 2004: This FBI task force repeatedly came up empty-handed. The government, fearful of the looming potential of mass hysteria in a post- 9/11 culture, required the FBI to turn this Abbagoochie threat over to the Department of Homeland Security, who heightened the intensity of the hunt.
May 15, 2008: Several state and federal officials, along with the Wilson's family attorney, visited Jim at his home. He was sworn to secrecy and forbidden to reveal what he really knew about the Abbagoochies. He signed a DHS document, agreeing to only acknowledge the Abbagoochie situation as the hoax in which it was portrayed in the book.
Thanksgiving Day 2008: With the number of Missing Person Reports continuing to increase at an alarming rate in the Potomac Highlands region of West Virginia, Jim realized he made a mistake in signing the DHS document. He shared what he knew with his son, also Jim Wilson.
Thanksgiving Day 2008 to Present: Jim Wilson (the son) along with his teen-aged daughter, began their exhaustive investigations into the truth behind these mysterious Abbagoochies.
The early days of their investigations (the first 1 1/2 years or so) brought forth the following kinds of questions:
Do you trust the government? Do you believe that everything is always “above board” where our various government branches are concerned? Do you believe that there have been conspiracies and cover-ups happening within our borders? Is it possible that various state wildlife agencies have participated in secret experimental operations in our woods and on our waters? Is it possible that the Abbagoochies are a by-product of this brand of government deception and experimentation gone awry? If so, then is it also possible that these Abbagoochies are the vicious, elusive, Tasmanian Devil-like animal and man-eating aberrations of society that so many have feared?
All initial findings supported the theory that this was an ill-fated government experiment and attempted cover-up. It all looked pretty cut and dry until the late morning of Friday, January 8th of 2010. On that day, Jim and his daughter went to an area located within the Monongahela National Forest in Randolph County to hunt the Abbagoochies with their newly operational GPS Tracking System. In an area off of Public Road 91 (a gravel road off of Shaver's Fork Road) just a few miles outside of Elkins, they had a life-changing encounter which steered their investigations down a much different path... the results of which have forever changed the lives of many people, also in pursuit of their own truth.