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COUNTY: Isabella County
NEAREST TOWN: Mount Pleasant
NEAREST ROAD: M20
OBSERVED: On January 6, 2012 at 11:30PM I took our dog out to do his business before going to bed. We live on a high bank over looking a river. The other side of the river is heavily wooded lowlands. As our dog was doing his business, we heard what almost sounded like a gorilla grunt, approximately 75 feet from me on the edge of the river on the other side. About 45 seconds later we heard another and my dog literally dragged me to the house. Up on the deck we could hear something very large crunching through the branches on the other side of the river keeping pace with us. I walked back to the other end of the deck to see if it would change direction and follow me back and it did. All of a sudden we heard a loud crack like a large branch was broken, followed by a large splash. I heard it take about 3 steps in the water, then climb back out of the water onto the bank and it through a rock across the river. I could hear the water dripping from his fur, once again my dog freaked out and dragged me back to the door of the house. I heard what sounded like a shaggy dog shaking the water off, followed by a really strange snort and then heard him crunch through the underbrush walking away from the river. It was too dark to see across the river, but whatever fell in the river was very large (too big to be any dog) and bears are currently in hibernation. The next morning I looked across to the other side of the river where all the activity was and there is an old rotten tree stump that was split in half to the ground with the broken half laying right at the edge of the river. It wasn't broken the day before.
ALSO NOTICED: We suspected we had squatch activity here for many years, but after watching your new tv show “Finding Bigfoot” we started making squatch calls, getting very surprising results: stone throwing, tree knocks as well as some grunts and howls and other unusual activity. The stone throwing got so bad, we quit doing squatch calls.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself and my dog. I was watching tv.
OTHER STORIES: There have been other encounters dating back to 1978 by myself, wife and a few other reports close by on your website. All of the encounters have been within 5 miles of this encounter.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11:30PM
Dark night, no wind or weather, temperature in the upper 20s
ENVIRONMENT: On the edge of a river, heavily wooded low bank side.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Mr. O contacted me via email because of reports I have filed previously in areas near his encounters. We have had multiple lengthy discussions regarding what he has seen and heard and I found that the more we talked the more I learned about just how much has been going on and for quite an extended amount of time.
Directions to this location will remain confidential but the area has numerous rivers, undeveloped land, and plenty of forests. During some of my research in nearby territory I have found substantial numbers of deer that make this place their home.
Initially I was under the impression that this case involved primarily one instance of a vocalization as well as activity near the river and then of a rock being thrown. If this were the case it would still be an interesting case but this activity has been going on for nineteen years.
The report that began this investigation involved an incident whereby Mr. O was out with his Australian Shepherd Lab mix. They had walked into the back yard and heard a vocalization "like a gorilla grunt." The second vocalization made the dog rush back to the house. At this point Mr. O went to his balcony and listened. What he noticed was that about 75 yards away yet out of sight near the river, something was pacing across the forest floor. He knew it was bipedal "...by the sounds of the heavy footsteps." They seemed to follow him as he walked. "It was watching me and following my movement along the deck, when I turned it also turned around and followed me back, that is when I heard a splash and then a 'grunt' and it threw a rock." The rock was thrown near Mr. O and landed about twenty feet away. Mr. O stated that it sounded as if the thing walking out there had possibly fallen into the water because he could clearly hear the water dripping from it as it climbed up from the bank. Later inspection showed that a rotten log near the river was broken over but had not fallen into the water. Whatever it was then proceeded to walk away along the opposite side of the river.
Mr. O began attempting to communicate with his unseen visitor and started making howls like those found on the Finding Bigfoot show on Animal Planet. Occasionally they would "...get a tree knock or a howl from the river." He put a stop to this because it began throwing rocks at his home during the night and his wife began to hear vocalizations and a smell "...like rotten eggs and sulfur" began to appear with too much frequency. The rocks were from the river as they were very smooth and roughly 1.5 to 2" in diameter. Mr. O had to collect the rocks to keep them from breaking his windows when he mowed the lawn. He even tried to throw them across the river. Even though he was standing fifty feet or so above the river he found it difficult to consistently make that throw. Whatever was down there was throwing uphill.
The following is reproduced as written in a letter to me by Mr. O:
"I mentioned that the back of my house has a lot of glass. My wife says we are squatches' personal human aquarium. Anyhow, on the 4th of July evening around 11:30PM, I took the dog out as usual. The dog was acting strange and wanted to go in. I could smell that rotten eggs/sulfur smell, but I couldn't see or hear anything, so we went in the house. Before going to bed, I always make sure that 2 of my windows are closed, because they sit only 2 feet above the deck and we have a major coon problem. I went to close the one in the dining room that faces out to the river. 1 of our cats(indoor only) was sitting in the window, so I picked her up, when I did, I noticed she was looking at something, so I looked up and I saw it in the dark standing at the corner of my deck, about 15 feet from me. It immediately turned to his right and took 2 giant leaps to the edge of the river, crashing through the brush and took off to the east, about 50 feet down river he crossed the river. The river here is only between 1 to 3 feet deep. The bank of the river is quite steep and we are 54 feet above the river to the house. Behind the deck is a path about 3 to 4 feet wide and it drops sharply from there. The deck railing is approximately 6 feet above the ground, the railing was about mid chest level on the creature. It was so dark, I couldn't tell if it was black or dark brown fur. The next morning, my wife and I found a partial footprint (back half, dwarfed my foot) at about where his 1st leap would have landed. We tried to take a picture of it, but you couldn't make out the footprint in the photo. Our dog will bark often as if someone is outside, we will check , but see nothing, but will occasionally smell that familiar smell. Much of the heavy activity started early in the summer when we started doing squatch calls. The rock throwing convinced us to stop. We have approximately 420 square feet of windows on the back of the house. Only a couple of the rocks ever hit the house and luckily no windows, several have hit the back of our garage though.
A strange side note for you. In late October, while my wife was raking leaves, she would take handfuls of leaves and throw them over the edge of the bank. Each time she did, she would hear a tree knock on the other side of the river, coming from back by a pond about 100 yards back into the woods. This was happening right around dusk."
Mr. O is currently trying to collect more evidence but the area has been fairly quiet this winter. He did mention that there was a distinct lack of deer behind his house this season and surmised that this might be why he has not seen any recent activity. He is looking forward to spring.
About BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Jim is a High School History teacher and Track and Cross Country coach. He attended the Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition in 2011, the Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition in 2012, co-organized the Michigan UP 2013 Expedition and attended the 2014 Wisconsin Expedition. He assisted in the production of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot Michigan episodes (Bigfoot and Wolverines and Super Yooper). He participates in Ironman Triathlons and enjoys fishing and camping with his wife and daughter. Jim can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @shermanbigfoot and his YouTube account is : Lordcryptid