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YEAR: 62 or 63
DATE: after 15th
COUNTY: Manistee County
LOCATION DETAILS: about 12 miles east of Manistee and a mile south of M 55
NEAREST TOWN: Manistee
NEAREST ROAD: M 55
OBSERVED: I was deer hunting in a swamp, back end of the Clay Bank Swamp. I was by myself and in my favorite spot that I had picked out when I was about 14, I usually go in before daybreak and don't come out until dark, pack a lunch with me. The day was normal, several does, no bucks. About a half hour before dark I heard a loud scream just off to the north of me, I had never heard a sound like that before in the woods, a minute later a branch was broke off a tree in the same direction, it was not a small branch as it cracked loudly. At first I just watched closely in that direction wondering what the heck was that? And then caution set in, as like I said I had never heard anything like that, I hunt with a Krag 30-40, so I took the safety off and wrapped my thumb around the bolt to prevent accidental discharge and then I was going to wait for dark, but again caution told me to get out of the swamp, then butterflies set into my stomach because of the unknown and I had the urge to run, but I refused as I have been in the woods most of my life hunting and know that running will set off a chase with a predator, so I walked slowly and constantly rubber necking to see if I could see anything, I didn't. When I got to my car I started the engine, left the door open, set my 357 Smith & Wessen on the roof where I could reach it, set my Krag up there also, took off my coat and put it in the back seat, unloaded the Krag and put it away, all at the time watching where I had come from. What I did see is this, whatever was in the woods followed me back to my car, I did not see it directly but it was about 35 yds standing behind some heavy swail, I could see the form, it was on two legs, quite broad and about 8 ft tall. I picked up my 357 got in the car and left, I did not unload the pistol until I was at least a 1/4 mile away. I also did not hunt in that swamp again for several years. I hunt there again now as I feel whatever they are (which I believe is a Sasquatch) they are not dangerous. I do hunt there again now and am unafraid. This happened in Late November of 62 or 63.
ALSO NOTICED: Another incident many years later, I will file a separate report on that
OTHER WITNESSES: just myself
OTHER STORIES: Yes, a son saw something and again with his father in the same area which was about 4 miles south of where my incident occurred and on the south side of the Little Manistee River.
A friend of mine was fishing in Pine Creek just up stream from Clay Bank Rd, he got the feeling he was being watched and kept looking around, when he spotted the creature it was only about 25 feet away just standing there watching him and he defines it as a Bigfoot, in this area it is know as the Claybank Creature.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: early evening a half hour before dark
ENVIRONMENT: pines, hemlock, oak and maple trees, swamp, old logging site.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
After discussing this incident with the witness, it is clear that this experience left an imprint on his life. He was hunting in a familiar area and became uneasy after hearing an unfamiliar scream. He described the event clearly and expressed his feeling of uneasiness which graduated into fear as he reached his vehicle. It was then that he realized he had been followed out of the woods. Although he only witnessed the shadow or outline of a figure, he made sure he had a gun ready to protect himself should the figure become threatening. It was many years before this hunter returned to that site and he remains on guard and cautious, yet seems unafraid to hunt the area.
Here is a link his sighting, many years later:
This is an area where there have been several other reported sightings as well.
About BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
Kim is a high school science teacher and uses Bigfoot research techniques to teach about scientific method. She has been interested in researching Bigfoot since 2008 and her husband experienced a sighting in Florida in 1976. Her interests include hiking, being outdoors, birding and working with young adults. Kim attended the 2012 and 2013 Michigan UP expedition and has done research in northern Michigan.