dark cave
Photo Credit: Mikael Kristenson

After frequent and mysterious vanishings across the United States, especially close to the largest U.S. cave systems, it is possible that cave cryptids are beginning to interact with humans in more aggressive or confident manners.

Nick Hinton’s map (see below) shows mysterious cases of people vanishing without a trace and how those disappearances might be directly related to U.S. cave systems. The Appalachian Trail seems particularly interesting. Some reported cases in Texas and the Northwest are worth consideration as well.

If cave cryptids are responsible for any of these disappearances, which ones are more likely to be at fault? Here is a list of five cave cryptids possibly linked to mysterious disappearances in the United States.


Goatman has been spotted throughout the entire United States but is most frequently seen in Louisiana, Texas, and Maryland. The Appalachian Trail extends through Maryland, making it possible that Goatman is involved in some of the mysterious disappearances. 

The rumors and theories surrounding Goatman are aplenty. Some researchers suggest he is a humanoid with minor goat characteristics seeking to exact revenge on a group of teenagers that killed his flock of goats. Other researchers suggest a mad scientist accidentally created Goatman during an experiment at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. The creature spawned as a half-man, half-goat hybrid with a thirst for blood.

He is often seen as a relative to the Grunch, which has been described as an evil Chupacabra-like creature. Goatman is violent and aggressive. Legends claim that this cryptid often attacks and kills young couples and breaks into houses to rape his victims. A goat-humanoid hybrid could live in the Maryland cave system and be responsible for at least a few of the U.S. disappearances. 

Beast of Bears

The Beast of Bears has been seen throughout the United States and Canada, most commonly reported in southern Texas, Florida, Virginia, and Arkansas. Generally living near swamps, this cryptid is known to roam deep into forest regions, including the Appalachian Trail. 

The Beast of Bears is often described as an extremely large bear with scars and missing patches of fur throughout its body. It has large, glowing red eyes, similar to Mothman. Some suggest, though it has never been confirmed, that the Beast of Bears breathes with gills and inhabits swamps a majority of the time.

Photo Credit: Pxhere

With an aggressive tendency, especially towards humans, it’s possible the Beast of Bears is responsible for a few of the multiple missing persons’ reports in Canada and the United States. Researchers suggest that this cryptid often drags humans into the water, drowning its victims and eating them once they’re dead. Virginia’s mountain region could be more dangerous than most people tend to think. Fortunately, the smell of alcohol and rotten eggs that the Beast of Bears is known for will probably warn potential victims before the attack.

The Bush Man

Bushmen are known to live in various regions throughout the United States. Native Americans report that calm and peaceful Bushmen live in flat, coastal regions, while stealthier, more aggressive and dangerous Bushmen tend to live in mountainous and arctic regions. They tend to be seen in the Appalachian Mountains, ranging from Maine down to South Carolina. 

Bushmen are often described as less advanced humans with long jaws, broad noses, elongated heads, pale or white skin, and hair similar to, yet longer than, African Americans. They have big, muscular chests and arms and are described as extremely strong. These cryptids communicate with a less advanced, yet efficient language. Overall, they are considered a slightly more advanced versions of other cryptids, such as Bigfoot, Yeti, and Yowie. 

The Bushmen that frequent the Appalachian Mountain Range are known for being aggressive. They make deer-skin clothing and use native plants to create a camouflage for hunting. Early settlers have claimed that these cryptids know how to make pottery and tools, including weapons. Bushmen aren’t known for creating camps in the open forest, suggesting they could live in caves, attacking hikers and campers as they pass through the region.

Cumberland Dragon

The Cumberland Dragon gets its name from the Cumberland Mountains, a mountain range in the southeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains and the only location it has ever been seen. The Cumberland Mountains span across Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

This cryptid is a large, bipedal creature, standing roughly four feet high. It has mixed-color black, brown, and yellow scales, red eyes, white hair on top of its large head, two wings, and a long tail. Its general demeanor is known as ferocious. 

Cumberland mountains
Photo Credit: Brian Stansberry

No one died during the one reported encounter, but only survivors can report sightings, right? Ensign McDonald poked the cryptid with a sword after being told not to shoot at it. The dragon spit something which resembled blood out of its mouth and slithered away. Not much is known about this creature, but dragons do live in caves and anyone attempting to steal their property would make for tasty snacks. 


While the majority of these disappearances happen along the Appalachian Trail, some also occur in the Pacific Northwest. This is the home of the elusive Bigfoot. This cryptid has generally been seen in the forests and mountains of Oregon and Washington, but in order to remain hidden, he could’ve adapted to caves.

Bigfoots are generally depicted as a missing evolutionary step between humans and apes. They stand six to nine feet tall with dark hair. Most notably, Bigfoots possess feet that are upwards of two feet long and slightly under a foot wide. Some of these footprints contain claw markings. 

Bigfoot isn’t known for being an overly aggressive cryptid. Their actions are more curious, as they often run during sightings. When aggressive, they tend to be on the defensive. Bigfoot isn’t known to hunt or stalk humans either, but they could show aggression when threatened. This misunderstanding might result in numerous disappearances in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.



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