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COUNTY: Grand Traverse County
LOCATION DETAILS: IT WAS BACK IN THE WOODS OFF OF THE HIGHWAY ON A TWO TRACK DIRT ROAD I GUESS SOME LOGGING HAD BEEN DONE BACK WHERE WE WERE AT
NEAREST TOWN: INTERLOCHEN
NEAREST ROAD: US 31
OBSERVED: MY STEPBROTHER TOOK ME AND ONE OF MY FRIENDS ON A CAMPING TRIP UP BY TRAVERSE CITY MICHIGAN IN JUNE OF 1982 WE WERE GOING TO ROUGH IT OUT IN THE WOODS, NO TENTS JUST OR SLEEPING BAGS. ON OUR WAY UP HE TOLD US OF AN ENCOUNTER HE HAD A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO WHILE CAMPING WITH SOME FRIENDS OUT IN THE WOODS. THEY HAD JUST CAME BACK FROM TOWN AND WERE SITTING AROUND A CAMPFIRE WHEN SOMETHING STARTED YELLING AND RUSTLING AROUND IN THE WOODS IT WAS MOVING AROUND THE PERIMETER OF THEIR CAMPSITE THEY ENDED UP LEAVING AND NEVER WENT BACK FOR THEIR TENT OR CAMPING SUPPLIES. WE DECIDED TO HEAD TO THE SAME AREA HE HAD CAMPED AT YEARS EARLIER. THE DIRT ROAD THAT LED BACK INTO THE WOODS WAS VERY RUGGED AND IT TOOK US ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES TO REACH THE AREA. THERE WAS A CLEARING IN THE WOODS WHERE WE PARKED AND WE WALKED AROUND LOOKING FOR A GOOD AREA TO CAMP. WE MADE A FIRE PIT AND PICKED FIDEL HEAD FERNS TO LAY OUR SLEEPING BAGS ON TOP OF. LATER THAT NIGHT PROBABLY AROUND 2 OR 3 MY FRIEND WOKE US UP AND SAID THERE IS SOMETHING OUT IN THE WOODS WALKING AROUND OUR CAMP AREA, MY STEP BROTHER AND ME TOLD HIM IT WAS JUST HIS IMAGINATION AND GO BACK TO SLEEP. AROUND 5 HE WOKE US UP AGAIN AND SAID GUYS THERE IS REALLY SOMETHING OUT THERE SO WE LISTENED AND WE HEARD SOMETHING MESSING WITH MY STEP BROTHERS CAR. WE DECIDED TO WAIT UNTIL THE SUN CAME UP TO GO INVESTIGATE. WE GOT UP AND HEADED TO THE CAR ABOUT 30 YARDS OUT FROM OUR CAMPSITE WE NOTICED THAT SOMETHING HAD MADE A PATH THROUGH THE FIDEL HEAD FERNS AND IT ENCIRCLED OUR CAMPSITE THESE FERNS WERE THIGH HIGH AND LOOKED AS IF SOMEONE HAD BEEN WALKING ON THEM ALL NIGHT, VERY WEIRD. WHEN WE GOT TO THE CAR EVERYTHING LOOKED ALRIGHT SO WE DECIDED TO LOOK AROUND THE AREA AND THAT IS WHEN WE FOUND A HUGE FOOTPRINT ON THE DIRT ROAD (IT WAS A SANDY AREA) AROUND SIXTEEN OR SEVENTEEN INCHES LONG ABOUT 7 INCHES ACROSS AND IT LEFT A DEEP IMPRESSION, WE WERE LIKE BIGFOOT. WE WERE PRETTY FREAKED OUT AND KIND OF IN SHOCK FOR A FEW MINUTES. WE LOOKED AROUND SOME MORE AND FOUND ANOTHER FOOTPRINT BY THE CREEK. I BELIEVE TO THIS DAY THAT IT WAS A BIGFOOT THAT WE HAD ENCOUNTERED THAT NIGHT. I HAVE TOLD THIS STORY TO MANY PEOPLE OVER THE YEARS AND I GET A CHILL DOWN MY BACK EVERY TIME.
ALSO NOTICED: SOMETHING HAD MADE A CIRCLE IN THE FIDEL HEAD FERNS AROUND OUR CAMPSITE ABOUT 30 YARDS OUT. FOUND LARGE FOOTPRINTS, ONE ON THE DIRT ROAD AND ANOTHER BY A CREEK BED.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 OTHERS, CAMPING,
OTHER STORIES: YES. MY STEP BROTHER HAD AN ENCOUNTER IN THE SAME AREA A COUPLE OF YEARS EARLIER AND TOLD ME AND MY FRIEND THAT HE HAD HEARD OF OTHERS WHO HAD ENCOUNTERS IN THE AREA.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: NIGHT TIME, MILD TEMPERATURE, NO MOON.
ENVIRONMENT: FOREST, PINES, OAKS, FIDEL HEAD FERNS, AND A NEARBY CREEK
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Don Peer:
On 7/7/2011 I spoke by phone with the witness. He is now stationed in the Air Force in southern Michigan. He recounted the night's events and restated that his step brother had had an earlier experience in the same area.
The friend who was camping with him woke everyone up during the night stating that there was something moving around outside of their campsite. They told him to go back to sleep. A couple hours later he woke everyone up again and the witness stated that they all heard something messing around with his step brother's vehicle. The sound of the vehicle suspension and springs moving up and down were clearly heard at that time. They waited until daylight to investigate.
About twenty yards before reaching the vehicle, they found a large footprint in the sand in the trail. He stated it was around seventeen inches long and very wide. Nothing seemed damaged with the vehicle. After looking around further, they found a couple more matching footprints in a creek bed that was about fifty yards from where they were camped. They left and camped the next night at a location a short distance away with no further incidents.
I found the witness to be honest and articulate in his recounting of his experience. He only heard noises and found footprints, but it seems likely that he and his friends had a late night encounter with a sasquatch who was curious about their vehicle and them in general. In his initial narrative, the witness stated he found a footprint at the car and one more at a creek bed. Upon talking at length with him, he stated he remembers the print in the trail before reaching the car and actually finding two prints at the creek bed, beside the creek.
The area of the encounter is heavily wooded with lots of wildlife, including deer, bear, numerous small game and the occasional cougar. This is the Pere Marquette State Forest and offers numerous small lakes and streams. Lake Michigan is just to the west.
About BFRO Investigator Don Peer:
Don Peer lives in northern Michigan and has studied the bigfoot phenomenon all his life. He has attended numerous Michigan expeditions and co-organized the 2011 Michigan BFRO expedition. He is an avid outdoorsman and works for the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Don Peer may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org