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COUNTY: Mecosta County
LOCATION DETAILS: If I had a map of the area I could show you exactly. However, the area has changed dramatically since this happened and looks very little like the terrain I grew up around at the time.
NEAREST TOWN: Mecosta
NEAREST ROAD: Buchanan Road
OBSERVED: I have always wondered about an encounter that I had when I was in eighth grade. I just recently found your site and for the first time listened to some of the screams you have posted. For the first time since that night I feel like I heard something similar to what happend that night.
I had been out with friends. We were out running around playing ding dong ditch and had finished with our mischief for the night. It was probably around 10 or 10:30 and I needed to get home. I had lived in the area for eight years or so and was very familiar with all of the back trails and ways to get around off of the main, albeit dirt, roads.
The area I lived in was a resort carved out of a group of swampy lakes by a developer about twenty years before. It was fairly built up, but with large swaths of forest between many of the homes. In addition, since many of the homes were used as weekend and summer cottages, the area was sparsly populated from the early fall until the spring.
I walked home alone that night and at one point had to make a decision about whether or not to follow the road or go up a path that would cut about ten minutes off of my walk time. I knew I was running late and cerfew was coming up soon, so I chose to go up the path which ran along a ridge to a low hill about two hundred yards from a swampy lagoon off of one of the main lakes. I was pretty familiar with this pathway (now a full road ) because I would take it in the daytime with my bike and occasionally stop to pick wild strawberries that grew there in abundance.
I vivdly remember stopping at the trailhead trying to see into the woods. There was no moon and since this area was well away from any light source, it was pitch black. For some reason I was a little jumpy about walking down the path tonight. I even remember walking about ten yards down the trail and walking back out for some reason. I figured it wasa just bacuase it was so dark. I figured I was just being jumpy unnecessarily and walked in.
The path was about a quarter of a mile long and at the end ran down a steep hill. My house was about two hundred yards from the end of the trail and just on the other side of the finger of the lagoon off of the lake. About three quarters of the way into the trail I walked up on something, I am still not sure what since I could not see anything. About twenty or thirty feet directly in front of me there was a very loud and piercing scream that made me jump completly out of my skin. The scream was followed by a loud crashing as whatever it was ran down the hill through the woods towards the lake. whatever it was covered the distance through the woods in only a couple of seconds and in a very few bounds. Needless to say I did not stick around and tore off down the trail, down the hill and to my house as fast as I could.
I to this day do not know what I encountered. I still remember the scream and it sound very similar to the sound of a woman's scream. It was very high piched and ver loud. I have told myself time and time againg that I just walked up on a deer, but the scream did not seem like anything that would have come from a deer. I'd love your opinion on what it is I ran across. I don't know what happend that night.
ALSO NOTICED: I never noticed anything unusual during the day. That night, however, some sense was telling me not to walk down that path.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: There was some talk of Bigfoot when I was a kid out by some swampy areas around Chip Hills High School but I was unsure of what became of it.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10:00 or 10:30. It was a clear night with no moon
ENVIRONMENT: A trail about eigt to ten feet wide. I assume it used to be an old logging road of some kind. It was abandoned and the floor of it was very sandy. Unlike the surrounding forest it was very quiet to walk on since there was little vegitation except for the wild strawberry's that grew everywhere. The trail was a couple of hundered yards from a swampy lagoon with some houses around it. However, there were only two houses that contained year round residents.
Follow-up investigation report:
This witness stated to me that he has never spoken about this event with anyone, including his parents and his wife. He related the experience during a telephone interview, and the following comments and details can be added:
He and his friends had abandoned their game and had spent a long time on the golf course near their homes just looking at the sky and talking. After losing track of the time, the witness realized that he was close to being late for his curfew, and made the decision to take the shortcut home through the woods. Although this was a route he had taken many times before without being uncomfortable about it, this night he had an uneasy feeling before entering the woods. Although it was very dark, he knew the path enough to make his way through, so after chiding himself about being nervous, he started down the path toward home.
The witness describes the scream as very high-pitched and extremely loud, very much like a woman’s scream with the exception that it was "like hearing it through headphones with the volume at the highest setting." He remembers it being almost painful, and that the sound seemed to hit him like a blast ("it felt like it blew me backwards"), and caused ringing in his ears for a few seconds. He also felt that the scream had almost a "surprised" quality to it. He estimates it came from a distance of no more than perhaps thirty feet directly in front of him on the path.
Immediately after the vocalization, the witness heard it take off on a diagonal path through the woods, from his 12:00 position toward his 2:00 position. He reports that it covered a distance of between fifty and one hundred yards, through heavy woods and brush, in just a few seconds, and sounded "like someone driving a car through the trees, it was that noisy."
Between the sheer volume of the scream and the speed with which the subject exited the woods, the witness reported that "It was the most scared I've ever been in my life," and that "I never ran that fast in my life," to get home.
He remembers there being a lot of garbage left in dumpsters around the area at the time, as the summer visitors had only recently left, and speculates that maybe that was the draw for whoever or whatever it was being there.
This was the last time the witness was out with his friends at night, as his family moved a month later. He recalls no other unusual events prior to this one. He noted no smell associated with this occurrence, and saw nothing, as it was very dark in the woods. He has, however, visited the area as an adult, and reports that it is now all paved and developed with year-round residential homes.
During the interview, the witness repeatedly stressed the extreme, almost painful volume of the vocalization, and the speed with which the subject moved through the woods. Although he is not at all assuming this was a bigfoot encounter, it is something that has stayed with him through the years and has always made him wonder.