Wandering shaman
is mistaken for bigfoot
in North Carolina

 A self-described shaman says a strange creature reportedly spotted in the hills of North Carolina last week was actually him dressed in animal skins.

The "Bigfoot" sighting happened the first of August in the Appalachian mountains, but the story took an even weirder twist with a mistaken identity claim.

Gawain MacGregor says it was him wandering through the forest on the night in question, August 4th.

But a local group claims the cryptid they saw could not have been him.

Bigfoot 911, a group of more than 5,700 members that investigates sightings of the mythical Bigfoot in McDowell County, western North Carolina, said photos displayed on MacGregor's website look nothing like the thing they saw.

John Bruner, who runs the group, says the creature he and eight other members encountered last Friday night in Pisgah National Park stood at around 8 feet tall, had a different facial appearance, and "moved with speed unmatched by any human".

However, MacGregor said he was participating in a "sacrament" of "wearing of hair-covered animal skins and wandering in the forest".

The 36-year-old, who was vacationing from Minnesota, writes on his blog about his personal belief in Bigfoot, or "the divine nature of Sasquatch", as he calls it.

He writes that by dressing in sewn animal skins, and by reciting a "sasquatch prayer", he has had several encounters with the beast.

"It feels like it brings me closer to nature," he said after returning from vacation.