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YEAR: mid 1990's
DATE: 15, 16, 17 or 18
COUNTY: Manistee County
LOCATION DETAILS: (removed per witness)
NEAREST TOWN: Copemish
NEAREST ROAD: Thompsonville
OBSERVED: We deer hunt in a very remote and thickly wooded swamp. It is very difficult to walk through, not because of lots of water or mud, but there are fallen trees and dense small trees and brush. My encounter occurred very deep in the swamp, almost 1/2 of a mile from the closest road or field. I had been in a ground blind (a clump of fallen trees) all afternoon and I was facing south. It was getting dark and I had heard some noises (not uncommon for dusk with all the animals in there) to the NE. I waited until it was completely dark or a little after and abruptly started getting ready to depart. I was on my knees packing up my gear and made alot of noise and flashlight movement. After about 5-10 seconds I was shocked by the sound of a massive animal crashing through the woods to the NE headed South. It got a little closer as it ran by at about 20 yards at the closest and I heard it for about 40-50 yards. I immediately thought "there is a huge hunter with no flashlight running at me" which of course was ridiculous since I am one of the few people to even have ever walked in there. It was not a deer which I have experienced countless times, the noise they make running through the woods is more varied and continuous. This noise was very much a person running sound with the "bang, bang, bang" type pattern. For all these years I have assumed it was a very large bear, but could never explain how it could run through those woods in such a straight line at a speed of a man running, and I have wondered if a bear could make the rhythmic "thump, thump, thump" sound of footstep crashes. (There are alot of branches to break on the swamp ground). Lately I have tried to understand what happened, and have only recently wondered if it was a large Bigfoot. It didn't bother me too much back then. It was completely dark and I never saw anything.
ALSO NOTICED: For the past 25 years I have experienced many unusual things such as the sound of limb banging on trees, but can't remember much detail because I wasn't real interested in the noises, sights and smells at the time.
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 5:40 pm.
I believe the weather was extremely calm and clear skies that day.
ENVIRONMENT: Mixture of small to large cedar, ironwood, maple, popple, beech and pine. 1-5 foot water puddles and muck holes mixed with heavy ground vegetation and moss. Many streams and small rivers nearby. Ancient large stumps, all flat ground.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
I spoke to the witness at length about his experience. The area he was in is described as being a very swampy, remote area - about 3 sq. miles, some private land. While out hunting, he initially heard some large animal noises over his shoulder in the area of a dry creekbed, and waited to see what would occur. Soon after, it got dark and he decided to pack up and was making a lot of noise when he heard a large crashing noise and heavy footsteps start running through the forest - 'like a large hunter with a lot of gear running through the woods', or 'an extremely heavy animal'. He couldn't see anything in the direction of the sound because of the darkness and the thickness of the woods.
Other things noticed:
Years ago large footprints which were spaced very far apart were found in the snow in this area. This occurred on two separate occasions.
Near a stream in the area he has heard woodknocking, which was described as a hard, small stick hitting a small tree.
Horrible, very intense odors have been smelled in the area.
2-9-08 - The witness has added the following via email:
You can add the following to my report; I believe most of it also took place during the 1990's. I have this additional information because I have thought about my experiences a lot and researched Sasquatch facts since I submitted my report.
I find it interesting that the other report from Manistee County , Report # 808, also involved hunters hearing something large crashing through the woods that got closer. And I don’t find this type of behavior is very common in the many other BFRO reports I have read. I am realizing how heavy the animal that did the “bluff charge” must have been. The impression I got is that it weighed over 500 pounds and I think I remember it feeling like it was shaking the ground. Afterwards, I did not get the impression that it was trying to intimidate me by getting closer or “bluff charging”, I simply felt like it was going a certain direction which happened to bring it slightly closer to me on the way.
The wood knocks lasted for at least a half an hour. It was an extremely calm day so I could hear them very clearly. They seemed to have a pattern with intelligence behind them, they would stop and start and were various in number. They did not change in tone or volume. They were coming from the area of an 8 foot wide stream which was about 80 yards from my blind.
The footprints in the snow looked as if they were made effortlessly and I don’t see how they could have been made by a man. I have only seen one other man back in there in all my years of hunting (unless that figure was a Sasquatch! - I remember waving at it and not receiving a return wave!) The prints were large, boot sized or bigger and they were spaced at least a few feet apart. Walking in the swamp by a man produces footprints that are spaced a foot apart or less because of the difficulty in walking on uneven mucky ground with fallen dead trees. I am certain that no man was back in there from our deer camp.
Regarding the horrible odors, I think they smelled like a wet dog that had rolled in feces.
A large tree (probably an 8" diameter or greater dead tree) fell over on a very calm day one year. It fell after a very loud crack that echoed through the silent woods.
All deer always seem to be extremely cautious when seen. Deer (both bucks and does) have been seen many times running through the woods panicked for no apparent reason, since no hunters are nearby.
I briefly saw what looked like something large, the color black, far away in the brush. I could only see bits of it through the trees, there were two, close together and they were both higher up than a bear would be.
About BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
Eric Lester is a medical professional and has been investigating possible Sasquatch sightings since 2004.
BFRO expeditions include:
- 2005 CA Redwoods Expedition
- 2006 Ohio Expedition
- 2006 Wisconsin II Expedition
- 2006 West Virginia Expedition (Pocahontas County)
- 2007 Michigan UP, Utah, Arkansas
- 2008 Texas, W. Virginia, Michigan U.P.
- 2009 Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan U.P., Oklahoma
- 2010 private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2011 Minnesota, private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2012 private expeditions in Indiana/Iowa
- 2013 private expeditions in Indiana
- 2014 Iowa, Kentucky expeditions
- 2016 Iowa expedition