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COUNTY: Leelanau County
LOCATION DETAILS: East Fouch Road, Traverse City, MI
NEAREST TOWN: Traverse City
NEAREST ROAD: East Fouch Road
OBSERVED: Last night on Sept 2nd my friend was outside with with her 7 pound dog when I stepped out to smoke with her. We both heard a grunting sound, we got scared and ran inside. The next day we went looking in the area where it had come from and we found bushes pressed down at what appeared to be a heel print. I took a couple photos of it. That night we went out and tried to do wood knocks and howls after about five sets off knocks (I was doing knocks of two and three hits) we heard a distinct wood knock back, it sounded like when a baseball player hits a ball solid. I proceeded to knock and howl and we heard thuds like something hitting the ground. We also heard movement thru the woods and in a stream. We are going to go back and try some more knocks to see if we can add to the story.
ALSO NOTICED: Had a seven pound dog with is. Did knocks got a response and heard thuds hittng the ground. Also heard a scream and it sounded like there was something walking through it cause it would get quiet, then we would hear something walking through it. Also went into the swamp where we heard the grunting the first night and found what looked like a heel print and lots of shrubs pushed down.
OTHER WITNESSES: One other
OTHER STORIES: I have not
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night around 1
ENVIRONMENT: Its wooded heavily with swamp and a pretty large lake
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
The witness and his sister were vacationing at a cabin not too far outside Traverse City. Both witnesses experienced a frightening sound while out on the back deck. The female witness had taken her dog outside for a break, keeping it on a leash the entire time. The dog was "on point" the entire time, barking, alert and staring at the bushes nearby. When the male witness stepped out on the deck to join her, a loud, intense, snarly growl came from an area of bushes about 60 feet away. The two witnesses were immediately frightened and returned to the safety of the house. After discussing the experience that evening and considering the possible animals which could have produced the sound, both witnesses went out the next night and made a few wood knocks with two sticks and listened for a response. They also tried a couple of howls. They said that they did hear a distinct response off in the distance across the road from the cabin. They also heard splashing noises, suggesting activity in a nearby water source. Another sound they heard was a thud off to the west of the cabin, across a large open field.
The male witness is an ex-marine who has traveled and hunted all over the world. He is an experienced hunter and he stated that he is "familiar with animals in the Michigan woods." He also stated that he is not afraid to be in the woods nor is he afraid of the animals out there. He was, however, taken back by the noise he heard that night on the deck.
The following day, both witnesses walked out to the bushes to investigate where the sound came from. They did find a print, here are the two photos taken, showing a possible heel, 5" wide.
Not enough details shown in these photos to rule out a bear.
The area is sparsely populated and there is a lake nearby as well as forested areas of mixed pines and hardwoods. Several wetland areas are also nearby, within a large area of wilderness with ample cover and food sources. Certainly an excellent habitat for large game.
About BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
Kim is a high school science teacher and uses Bigfoot research techniques to teach about scientific method. She has been interested in researching Bigfoot since 2008 and her husband experienced a sighting in Florida in 1976. Her interests include hiking, being outdoors, birding and working with young adults. Kim attended the 2012 and 2013 Michigan UP expedition and has done research in northern Michigan.