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COUNTY: Schoolcraft County
LOCATION DETAILS: I don't know if this little roadside picnic area still exists, but it did for at least another five years. It was just a picnic table and trash can on the north side of the highway surrounded by thick woods.
NEAREST TOWN: Manistique
NEAREST ROAD: U.S. 2
OBSERVED: My sighting occurred over twenty years ago, in the fall of 1978, so I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone or not. I was driving on highway U.S. 2 across Michigan's Upper Peninsula, which skirts the northernmost shores of Lake Michigan. I had been been driving with my 18-month-old son in the car seat next to me, all day from Minneapolis towards St. Ignace,Mich. and had grown sleepy. So I stopped at a roadside picnic area about 20 miles east (maybe more) of Manistique, Michigan on the edge of the Hiawatha
National Forest. The picnic area contained only one picnic table and a trash receptacle, very rustic, and was surrounded by deep woods.
I locked my doors (driving a Saab station wagon) checked the baby and fell asleep in the driver's seat, figuring to catch a cat nap and drive the last 100 miles or so afterward, it was about ten or eleven p.m. when I fell asleep.
After only a short time, maybe two hours, I was awakened by a HORRIBLE smell, like nothing I'd ever smelled before, and I remember thinking the baby must be sick to have filled his diaper with such a rotten odor. So I turned on my interior light and grabbed the diaper bag from the back seat, but when I checked my son's diaper, it was clean !! He was awake and staring out the windshield (carseats didn't have to face ackwards, back then) and I followed his gaze . . .
At first glance I got scared, thinking a large bear was standing on its hind legs directly in front of my car, but when I turned on the headlights, thinking this would scare the bear away, I could tell this was no bear. I can't say how tall it was but it seemed to tower over the small car, bending forward at the waist and the lights didn't faze it at all. It was only three or four feet away from us, leaning over the hood and staring into the car through the windshield.
The creature was covered in very dark brown, long hair but it had no snout like a bear would have - rather, it had a flat face and a nose that kind of looked negroid (is that a politically correct description ?) and I focused on the face (so almost human) so I can't describe the body. The eyes were large, round, brown and bright but seemed to be set in the middle of the head. By that I mean the face was centered in the large head, with no hair on the cheeks, nose or around the mouth. The creature did not move or make a sound, but seemed to be in a staring match with my son even though the night had been very dark before I turned on all the lights !!
Even though the encounter lasted only a few minutes, I was frightened out of my wits but my instincts served me and I started the car, slammed it into reverse and hit the peddle hard. I didn't look back as I sped away east with a thumping heart. I didn't even talk about this incident for several months, thinking no one would believe me and I may have dreamed it all - but the memory has never faded and I've never dreamed of strong smells before or since. Over the next few years, I spoke with several people in the U.P. who have also sighted Sasquatch near or in the Hiawatha National Forest, but unfortunately cannot name them.
ALSO NOTICED: Didn't hear a thing . . . but later thought it odd that the creature did not seem upset when I turned on my headlights.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself and my infant son. I had been sleeping in my car and awoke to a horrible smell. My son was awake and staring out the windshield from his car seat.
OTHER STORIES: In the subsequent years, when I would travel through the Upper Peninsula, I would ask park rangers and store clerks, etc. about sightings and heard some tales about sightings in the same area.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Just after midnight maybe a little later, a dark moonless night but clear.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest near the northern shore of Lake Michigan.
Follow-up investigation report:
Upon speaking with the witness, it became increasingly amazing to hear her story. She had told very few people about it over time and did eventually tell her son although only recently. Amazed at why she didn't tell him, her only answer to him was, "Would you??" I am told he did understand and was appreciative of her finally deciding to share this experience. From the area originally, she mentioned that she felt it was not possible for a person dressed up to have bent over in such a way to peer into the vehicle which was a late 60's model Saab station wagon. (Especially without bracing against the glass.) I asked about her view on the eyes and she did mention perhaps as wide as 2.5 inches or so... and they were very bright and seemed to glow some... a brownish amber color. Her view was influenced by the reflection of the dome light and the light from the vehicle headlights, both of which stayed on during the entire duration of the observation. It was stated that the eyes gave it a human looking appearance... despite their large size.. She further mentioned the cheeks as being rather flat, big enough that her hand could easily fit in them. The hair line on the creature was approximately two inches above the eyes with no hair on the brow. Below its mouth the hairline started about two inches away and got progressively longer.
This sighting is being further researched with regard to specific facial details which should give additional information on its anatomy and physical appearance.
At no time did it appear that it was aggressive. It did not take its gaze off her son except to cock its head for a moment with regard to her presence.... In all the exchanges I had with the witness, it was amazing to hear the repeated details that further strengthened the image in my mind of what she saw that night in the late 70's. After what seemed like minutes but may have actually been less than one, she threw the vehicle into reverse and drove off.