Geographical Index > United States > Michigan > Muskegon County > Report # 31302|
Submitted by witness on Friday, December 16, 2011.
Avid hiker recalls years of experience living in an area with what local people called the "Shadow People" near Montague
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COUNTY: Muskegon County
LOCATION DETAILS: (Omitted upon the witness' request)
NEAREST TOWN: Montague
NEAREST ROAD: Schneider Rd
OBSERVED: I grew up in lower MI, right on the border of Muskegon and Oceana counties about one mile off the lake. I believed there was a bigfoot in that area. I saw on one walk an animal of tall stature, peaking out from underbrush, the head between five and six feet in height from the ground and the body was hidden. On the property were many "bear dens" and other areas that could provide shelter. I also saw deer carcasses cached high in trees. I saw as well, bone pillars. Piles of bones stacked two and three feet high in a very dense area of the wood. I have heard sounds, hard breathing, but not like a buck or deer, or bear. Certainly of a large animal. During a walk after dark I was chase by an enormous creature which ran on two feet and was most definately not human. Frequently, there was a feeling of being watched.....Also during this time period there were a lot of deer kills being attributed to wild dogs, I had no encounters with wild dogs in that area or their tracks or sign. Any time it felt like the creature was near there was a distinctive musk odor. Also some odd calls were let out before the chase in the dark....like nothing I had ever heard. This is in White River Township. I will tell you, there is more than one type of "bigfoot" living out there, the larger more reported, and a smaller not so reported. The smaller has closer to humanlike features, and resides in upper Michigan. It has the appearance of an early ape-man on the evolutionary track....I can't think of which one. This one runs...it has not got the aggresive nature of the larger, This is the one frequently confused as a human spirit in native mythology.
ALSO NOTICED: The deer caches....it didn't make sense what could drag a full grown deer so high in a tree.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself.
OTHER STORIES: I heard of chases, hunters or hikers after dark or before light, but that was several years later.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: There were multiple occasions,
ENVIRONMENT: This area is heavily forrested. Some areas are swamp with think underbrush, you couldn't see more than a few feet in some areas. Others were woods. The creature would not follow into the open, even after dark. Deer carcass caches were always along the creek.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
I began a long series of discussions with this witness discussing varying topics from vocalizations to family structure to the available food sources for large animals. Much of this information comes from what the witness describes as years of experience living in an area with what local people called the "Shadow People". This letter is reproduced as written and summarizes much of my discussion with her:
Dear Mr. Sherman:
I am certain there were multiple counts in the area, ranging from near the lakeshore, Meinhert Park, up through and just west of central MI. That would be my best estimate of where your greatest concentration of reports are coming from. The territory, a fairly good tract of wooded area, large deer and deer mixed with elk population, excellent trout and salmon fishing during runs, deep and thick growths of woods, pretty much an easy place to hunt and gather and slip away like a drop of water in the ocean.
Description (of the creature seen in 1979): Tall, ranging from six 1/2 ft upwards to around 8 1/2 ft. A head and facial area, well covered with hair. The cranium is shaped more apelike, but the face is flatter, softer than an ape. They have a massive upper body structure, which would seem like it would be lumbersome, but they are quite smooth at moving. Large hands and arms longer in proportion to their body that humans. When fleeing they can revert to all fours, but I only saw that during one encounter, when it was surprised.
Deer Caches: There are bear in the area, there are also wolverines, I have heard that there could be larger cats, like a black panther, but have not seen the tracks for a panther in that area, and did not see any prints which could be attributed to any of those near the caches. The first cache was approximately 20 ft in a tree, I believe it may have been a cedar or beech, it was cached in a fork, five feet from a small creek, around a hundred and fifty yards from the bone piles, and an area where there was a lot of activity. Another cache was near a field, this was in the crook of a large old maple, this area was big enough to "hang out", this one was whole as if it had climbed the tree and died....no blood trace, no bites. It could not have been an old kill because there was no odor and no flies. This cache was off a deer run, about midway between the caves and the creek. This was not the time, but the area of the night chase. The deer cached by the creek was eviscerated. Both were does. I have seen other incidents of similar caching, in an area in the UP between US 41 and Big Bay, which now has been extensively lumbered and in an area west of 95, this cache was after the area had been lumbered and thick regrowth was in process. The cache by the creek was fresh, it was right above my fishing hole, I can't imagine if it had been there more than a day before I saw it. There was no odor of decomp and the dried blood still appeared to be still gelled partially.
Bear Caves: The caves were due west and east of the area I was chased in. They were dugouts into the side of a hill, under and near large root systems, sheltered be brush. It just doesn't click with what I have since seen of bear dens and or behaviors. They seemed larger, as well as attempts at hiding the area with brush and branches. Most often I have seen hollowed areas up to 4 ft deep, covered with an entanglement of brush, most around 8 to 10 ft long. Shelters appear as if they were a form of debris hut for multiple occupants. Something that can be crawled into and shelter something without distracting from or showing up on the landscape. These creatures are very intelligent, they know how to live and move while disturbing very little.
The bone piles were from multiple animals, medium to small, mammal and fish. Fish were clearly identifiable as well as rabbit and muskrat. The piles were 1 1/2 foot at the base and over 2 foot tall for one and the other had been pushed partially apart but was the same width at the base. These piles were directly up from the creek into a slightly brushy area, about three feet from a large tree. There were no nest sites in the trees to explain theses piles. There was no "den" of a fox or other animal. It was eery finding these, and I explored them a lot, trying to figure it out....my exploration meant abandonment, The bones began to get mossy. The bones were when first seen very clean. I believe this area to be a favorite stop along a route, in an area that felt safe. To my knowledge during that time there were not any people in the area that often, I don't believe a person did it. The two bone piles were about five feet apart, one was older, the other fresher, but both were clean, like they were played with or manipulated. Hind sight being twenty twenty, the path I had taken was along the deer trail, up from the creek, and between the two larges dens, might have been a bit stupid that. I was traveling east to west, about twenty feet from the "den" area, and a hundred or so feet from another area with den-like hollows, That is when grunting and thrashing, like tree shaking began, directly behind me and to the right "north" of me, which cut me off from the trail and sent me through the woods an area not clear. It was pitch black that night and I honestly didn't feel looking was the wise choice...I ran. The creature pursued and was making a great deal more noise than myself. I was herded, I was not allowed to go north, but straight west to the road. Once I hit the road, I kept running, but the creature stopped pursuit a few yards short of the tree line, I believe because there was a lighter darkness due to loss of tree cover, and I may have been what it considered a safe distance away from what it protected. Whatever the reason it chose to stop. The heavy steps told me this was something that outweighed me considerably. Its vocalizations were not all together animal. The one to the north was quieter, Softer vocals and more chosen steps. The one directly behind was in charge of the chase. It was too big to be a large cat, and the vocals did not match a bear, that and it sounded bipedal.
What you need to understand is I grew up with years of these creatures. They were not always in the area, but when they were, what everyone referred to as the shadow people, large dark figures that blocked everything behind them, but stayed deathly still. These figures would be caught after dark near the barn, and root cellar area, another common game trail. Dogs wouldn't hunt. The Caches would appear, fishing would get slimmer. You would also see fewer predators, smaller predators. Apple trees in the woods and roadsides would get bare up to the higher branches.
I cannot honestly state for certain if there was wood knocking behavior. As there were many reasons to hear similar noises. There were some calls I do believe, but not real loud, more intimate, as not to be heard over a long distance but a shorter one.
You can feel them when they are close, they watch and study you, your best sense is if the wind changes you may catch a wiff....like a horrendously acrid BO, very heavily musky. They are expert trackers. They are expert observers and highly adaptable. I am willing to bet you are hearing of more and more sightings, as WE are heavily taxing their territories, with logging and new building.
As for people believing they are sighting young, they may very well be. There is no telling how many subspecies there may be but there are at least two. The primary sighting even a blind man could describe....7 to 9 ft tall, very bulky, much more apelike and more aggressive in behavior. Although I think it takes the perception of a real threat either to food or family for even these to be aggressive. Then a smaller creature, quite different, almost a broken link in human development. I don't believe the two share territories. The smaller, I don't think gets aggressive or even cares to hang around and study us. I believe it is far rarer to sight.
I think they travel, I believe I grew up near a family units favorite summer camp. They were there fairly frequently for several years. Only on the one occasion was there ever an instance of aggression. They did observe. I believe my father had seen them, he put a fence up, we weren't supposed to go further back in the woods in that area than the fence. He passed away last spring, so there is no way to know for certain. The area fenced off, was the area of the bone piles and the direction of some odd vocals. Its been years since I saw any signs of them being back there, but it has also been years since I spent much time in that location.
I have to believe though that your group has done much more than is reported. It seems you are getting closer. I do believe though they need to be verifiably discovered for their own protection. They are losing hunting grounds and habitats. There has to be some form of protection for them put in place. That can't be done until they are verified. Once discovered what happens when every crackpot with a gun is on the hunt for their trophy. These are not dumb animals on the food chain, they are sapient beings. Their discovery or revelation, will bring a lot of problems....mostly for them. I hope that your team handles them, with great care. I know how amazing it is to know these creatures, but always keep it in the front of your minds, these are sapient beings, they are families just like us. We are literally stalking and hunting them, they feel that and they do get scared. If one was ever captured or taken for study, even briefly it would cause enormous emotional pain to the others. They have emotions, they have rituals, they care for their dead. They go to great lengths to live among us and not be discovered. I hope your team and others appreciate that as well. It is hard to know which direction to take, their habitat is disappearing, they need protection, but that comes with costs.
Keep up the good work, If you get the chance to and or have the resources to do so, check out any natural caves in sighting areas and do a DNA sweep, maybe even make attempts to find prints or marks of some sort. Look for signs that can't always be seen. I believe natural caves to be well worth exploring as well as bear dens, and dens that only seem like bear dens. You may not find a nine foot squatch, but a microscopic dna can go a long way. You can certainly rule out a lot of things that way.
I think the thing that hurts your team the most is that they know you are there, sometimes before you do. I hope this helps. The world is shrinking, so there will be more sightings and more confrontations. You guys just may be the squatches best chance.
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 and co-organized the Michigan UP 2013 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.