Geographical Index > Canada > Manitoba > Report # 9495|
Submitted by witness on Monday, October 11, 2004.
Grouse twice left on trail for hiker
(Show Printer-friendly Version)
LOCATION DETAILS: in above leter
NEAREST TOWN: Seven Sisters Falls
NEAREST ROAD: 307
OBSERVED: I’m 53 years old and have spent half my life in the woods of Manitoba, Canada. I currently live in Winnipeg, Manitoba and work for the Provincial government. I don’t hunt anymore but I have had decades of hunting experience including archery. In fact during my high school days we hunted bear almost ever day after school in the fall and spring. I worked at the largest taxidermy facility in Canada for years and continued with my own business after (a total of 30 years experience). In other words I know the biology and habits of animals of North America and the Manitoba woods inside and out.
Recently I have been spending time out in a provincial park here called “Whiteshell Provincial Park”. The park borders on the Ontario’s west side and is literally at the edge of nothing. In fact if you go north or northeast you could go for a thousand miles without coming across any civilization.
About eight years ago, a friend and I canoed and portaged deep into the Whiteshell only to set up our tent and be hassled most of the night by a very loud animal that I could not recognize. I have used calls in archery hunting for bear, moose, deer, and so on but have never heard anything like this. We do have cougars here (very rare) and it was not that either. It spooked the hell out of me so much so I have not camped since. We had canoed across a five-mile wide lake called the Big Whiteshell Lake and portaged one mile into Ritchey Lake. From there we made our way down Ritchey Lake (two and a quarter miles) to another portage at One Lake. This portage is only a few hundred yards long and One Lake is three quarters of a mile long. When we reached the far end of One Lake we set up camp on a rock outcrop shaped like a dome. This dome was between the lake and a deep coniferous forest with the rock dome forming a point out into the lake. This trip was all done in July in 30-degree Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature. I was exhausted and I really needed sleep and rest. As soon as it was dark we were in the tent and ready for sleep. My partner was asleep instantly and as I started to drift off I heard a large branch snap down in the low treed area behind the tent. My first thought was that it would take a large animal to snap off a small tree or branch to produce a sound that big. My second thought was it has to be a bear or moose for they are the only animals here that are big enough. I was so tired that it was past the point of concern; I just needed to get to sleep.
The Whiteshell is a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees pocketed every second mile with a small lake. Some of these areas between the lakes can be extremely dense with foliage. It was shortly after the snap sound that the low grunting and vowel type of sounds started from down in the thick part of this low area. It was dark and the sounds kept up at a steady rate with some breaks only to restart again. After about an hour I could not take it anymore, my partner was sensing that something was wrong with me I needed to do something. She awoke asking what is wrong. This was followed by, “I have never seen you like this before!” I said, “There is an animal out there that will not shut up”. With that comment and total aggravation I grabbed the flashlight and headed outside. I stood outside the tent shining the flashlight into the bush shouting out profanities at the animal. There was quiet now and I returned to the sleeping bag only to go through the whole process again about twenty minutes later.
This time I hurled stones into the bush with all the rest of my ranting and raving. Again twenty minutes later it started up again. It was really late by now and I just did not give a dam anymore relenting to the idea that what will be will be and whatever fate awaits us is fine. I fell asleep shortly after that and woke up the next morning confirming we were still alive. I had heard it splashing around at times in the water so I tried to find tracks that morning but it was all grown over with willows and tall grass. I was not that comfortable going into the thick bush to look around without a weapon so I never did find out what it was.
The next strange occurrence was even more remarkable. It took place six years ago about 20 miles west of the first incident. I was researching a 5000-year-old archeological site in the Whiteshell that is about four miles into the back woods. This was a spiritual corner for the ancient natives and is very removed even for those days for it is not near any water source or canoe route. They marked these sites with boulder arrangements on the ground known as Petroforms or Rock Mosaics.
As described above the area is composed of a patchwork of exposed rock and thick-forested areas. These forested areas are composed of coniferous and deciduous trees with the exposed smooth rock having large areas of “carpets” made up of moss and lichen growth. It was at one of these ancient sites that I was about to start up a short 400-foot moss covered trail with a 20-degree slope that the second incident took place. There was a rock ridge at the top of this slope that I wanted to check out after spotting it between a necked down clearing in the forest. This small opening in the bush was about fifty feet across. Passing through this opening to the right edge of a wooded area (made up of mainly cedar and spruce) I was startled by an over whelming loud voice talking to me form the behind the foliage (20 feet away). Without thinking, I assumed it was a bear so I yelled back at it telling it telling were here to go! Everything was quiet after that.
As I continued to walk past this spot and up the slope, I knew it did not sound like a bear but I decided just to put it aside for now. This short trail looked like a bear trail and is about ten inches wide in the moss that covers the smooth rock surface below it. I was up onto the rock ridge only minutes later realizing that there was no native site there, I turned around (3 - 4 minutes later) and started back down the trail. As I approached the spot were the sound came from I was looking down the slope onto the trail like you would when walking down an incline. With one foot in the air and almost stepping down I was surprised to see in the middle of the trail a dead Spruce Grouse. I had almost stepped on it. It had been placed there within the three to four minute period. It was arranged very neatly with wings tucked together underneath the body, head and neck pointing straight up the trail towards me.
It was at that point that I realized what the earlier sound was and a chill came over me as I quickly walked away from the area. I realized that the bird was a food offering of some kind and was placed there shortly after I had passed. I had read in the past of food offerings being placed outside camper’s tents by these animals. There was no way it was on the trail on my way up because a person has a tendency to look down at the trail when going up a slope. The bird was definitely paced there for me. These sounds I heard had a structure and I felt like it was a language of some kind. There were definite patterns and cadence to the half-minute sentence that was blasted at me. It felt similar to hearing someone speak a language that you are not familiar with. You can hear words sometimes and at other times the sounds seem to be slurred into one another making it impossible to isolate individual words in the sentence. I did not sense any aggravation or aggression from this sound, just the high decibel level of one very large animal that was vocal and trying to say something to me. To hear exactly what this sound is like the link below provides a sample that is very close. The only difference is that I heard a series that was four times as long and no whistling at any time. Alan Berry recorded the sound in California in 1978. It is the sound track at the top of the list.
On the way back to the vehicle I felt really foolish, here was an intelligent individual trying to make contact and I was not prepared. I blew it, and I’m still regretting it to this day. I also secretly wonder that if it happens again, can I stay cool and calm.
This last spring June 5th 2004 something happened in the similar manner. I was leading a group of people around a large archeological site one half a mile from the vocal incident a few years prior. Standing at the edge of a valley, I said to the group do you want me to try calling a Sasquatch? I had read years ago that this could produce an equal answer–response from a Sasquatch if there was one in the area. They agreed so I picked up a large branch and struck it three times against a dried pine tree that was laying on the rock at the valley’s edge. After two series of three blows and no response from the valley below we started to leave the area. About four hundred yards into our trail there was again another dead grouse on the trail. It was like the first one years earlier with its wings tucked in and laying straight, placed in the middle of our original trail that we took to the valley’s edge. There was no Riga mortise so I reached down and stuck a finger under the wing into the breast feathers and it was still slightly warm. It was spring and cool weather, enough to bring the temperature of this small body to atmospheric level within a half-hour, so I concluded that it was a fresh kill. We finished this trip without any other incident.
I returned to the valley edge again two and half months later in August 20th to find that this dried pine tree was smashed to pieces. A bear is the only thing that would do this looking for grubs and insects. The problem is that this tree is very dry and laying on a rock mantel not a place that would be conducive for insects to be interested in. Insects find homes in moist wood and humus or leaf mulch beds. Bear’s are lazy and will not make the effort unless they smell food. There was no reason for a bear to smash up this tree and twist off to the side one of the branches. This broken branch is a fork of this forked tree and was three feet off the rock with a diameter at the base of five inches. This branch was twisted around and snapped like a toothpick. This is would take an articulated hand to accomplish, not that of a bear. It would also take an incredible amount of strength. I realized at the time that this smashed tree was a calling card of some kind. This is an extremely remote area not even traveled by hunters because of its location. In more than twenty times that I have been there I have never seen anyone, it is that remote.
I took a picture of the tree to show the original group that was there in the spring. Weeks later I realized that there could be hair left on the branches because of the degree of destruction. So on my next trip back, I checked and there was a small amount of what looked like black kinky hair clinging to the large branch that was twisted off to the side. I have had this analyzed by BFRO and it turned out to be a possible lichen hair of some kind.
On this last trip up there, it had rained and as I was walking along the smooth rock of the valley’s edge I slipped and fell to my side. I picked myself up and my friend and I proceed towards the smashed tree site. We studied the smashed tree and found the hair. I had this weird feeling that there was something over to the right watching us, so I used my binoculars to scan the tree line. I did not see anything out of the ordinary. From there we started back through the bush to the trail. On the way back to the trail is a large blown down tree that I wanted to check out more from a prior visit. I had found charcoal under this root system suggesting ancient fires in the area. As we approached the spot my companion looked at me and said what is that smell? I jokingly said it’s either a bear or a Sasquatch. She said it smelt like something rotten. The bush we were in is long and narrow so the source of this smell would have to be very close to our immediate right or left. I could not see anything even with the binoculars in leaf to leaf searching.
I truly believe that when up there we were being watched all the time. This fall that I had on the slippery rock peaked an interest in the creature to possibly show concern or emotional attachment by getting in closer. I had not put this together until I read a report on the BFRO site in which a similar experience happened to a hunter. He had slipped falling to the ground; a Sasquatch stood up near him revealing itself, showing concern for him. That is until the hunter’s gun came up ending the encounter with the Sasquatch screaming off into the woods. It just goes to show you the level of emotional ability that these creatures have and how empathic they are. Add to this a deep interest and need to observe shows intelligence and communicative skills in their own understanding. It does make sense to me that contact happens, the average wild animal would just leave the area altogether. Some of these creatures want to communicate.
-- Bill D.
ALSO NOTICED: Hair
OTHER WITNESSES: Two
OTHER STORIES: Yes - many
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4:00 PM
ENVIRONMENT: in above letter
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Blaine McMillan :
The witness told me (by phone) the stories he relates in his report. He seemed completely sincere and it is my impression that the activity he describes is to do with sasquatches.
About BFRO Investigator Blaine McMillan :
- Retired Canadian Military (Reg Force) Safety Systems / Aviation technician with experience fighters and various SAR platforms. Author of Wood Knocks and Tossed Rocks:Searching for Sasquatch with the BFRO
- Married with two young sons. An avid camper, hunter and fisherman.
- Holds a BA in Criminology from the University of Manitoba, courses in Alternate Dispute Resolution, Anthropology and Political Science
- Attended the BFRO BC Expeditions in August of 2005, 2006, 2012 as well as Vancouver Island 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
- Organized the 2007, 2008 Vancouver Island as well as 2009 North Vancouver Island Expeditions.
- Author of "Woodknocks and Tossed Rocks: Searching for Sasquatch with the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.