|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
COUNTY: Flathead County
NEAREST TOWN: Ferndale
NEAREST ROAD: Crane Mountain RD
OBSERVED: Driving up Crane mountain and saw a black creature bolt up the side of a mountain which I thought was a black bear. When I pulled up to where I saw it I looked up to see a bipedal creature or whatever it was taking large strides up the steep incline up the hill. After 70 yards it stopped and looked at me then continued up the mountain out of sight. It was completely covered in jet black hair, and when the sun hit its hair it shined a brass or copper color. This happened 06/12/2019 12:35 PM
ALSO NOTICED: The speed of the animal was incredible. What took it 8 seconds to clime took me over a minute.
OTHER WITNESSES: No
OTHER STORIES: Yes two years ago a gentleman I heard of spotted a creature of the same description crossing the road in front of him up Crane Mountain.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 12:35 PM Clear blue sky
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest, thick cover
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caitlin & Thomas Ertz:
Thomas and Caitlin spoke with the witness via phone on 6/13/2019, a day after the report was submitted. The witness recounted the incident as described in initial report and added that he had gone back up to the location today (6/13/2019) to attempt to cast tracks found. (NOTE: Cast was not recoverable, as it broke into many pieces when attempting to retrieve) He only was able to cast one track. He brought his girlfriend up and there appeared to be two sets of tracks, one slightly bigger than his 12 boot size and another quite a bit larger. He did not have a measurement of either, but his boots are Keen brand. From the internet, a Keen size 12 men's hiking boot is 28.6cm foot. The witness agreed to text us images of the tracks as well as the location and agreed that a friend and fellow researcher could attempt to get to the location to try to cast additional tracks in the track way left. He sent a GPS location obtained through his iPhone compass. Our friend was unable to determine the location from the iPhone GPS, as it sent her off course quite a ways. The witness agreed to meet on 6/20/2019 to drive us to the location for a recreation and to measure the area.
Photos of Tracks:
Photos of Location Sent by Witness:
Witness came around this corner, and saw large hunched over creature alongside road approx where the dark spot on right side of image (left side of road)
Looking up the road from where the witness stopped on road to get out and look at creature after it went up the embankment.
Photo from Witness of embankment area
We met in a nearby town, Ferndale, MT at about 11am on 6/20/2019. Witness had his mother with him as well. He drove us to the location and they matched the photos he texted previous week.
We noticed quickly how many edible plants were along the road as well as within 20-50yards of the road. We discovered wild strawberries, blackberries, huckleberry, wild roses, morel mushrooms and many budding flowers and ferns. There is also a creek that begins less than half a mile up the mountain from this location and there is a lot of water very near the road. Willows are on both sides of the roadway.
The witness began describing the event, pointing to each location as he explained in detail what happened. He was driving looking for a lake that was at the top of Crane Mountain a friend had told him about to try for fishing. He came around the corner and saw a large black mass on the left side of the one and a half car gravel roadway. Just as he noticed the creature, it took off up the hill, also on the left of the roadway. It took him 2-3 seconds to get from the corner to the spot the creature had been crouched. He knew he was in the right area as the grass and edible fauna along the road was still moving from the creature taking off. He noticed the creature still advancing up the embankment, hunched over and using the close-knit trees to help propel it forward (Witness mimed the arms in a some-what swimming motion, grabbing trees around the back and helping launch the creature forward). The witness mentioned multiple times how amazed he was with the fluidity of the movements. That a person and a bear would be "jerky" or showing more difficulty on the terrain than what he watched. At approx 30-40 yards up the embankment (which took less than 10 seconds total), the creature stopped, at a slight angle and stood nearly erect. The witness at this moment had gotten out of his car to continue to watch the creature. He noted that the sheer mass and bulk of the creature was impressive, blocking out a large area between two trees. the creature appeared to look back at the witness, possibly to determine the threat level or to figure out what exactly the witness was going to do, as most vehicles would not have stopped, just continued up the road; please note there is not a pull out here for cars to park entirely safely. The creature began to turn uphill, and the witness noted that as it turned it pivoted into a sun-lighted area. the top of the creatures head went from black to a vibrant copper color. The creature swung both it's right arm and leg in tandem, and the witness noted that the creature had 2-4" long hair draping from it's wrist to past it's elbow. As the arm passed through the sun-lighted area, this long hair also became the vibrant copper color. it turned left and the witness described the creature as walking down a slope and the shoulders and then the head traveled out of sight. The witness immediately turned around and went home.
Even during the recounting, the witness seemed uneasy to be at the location. he mentioned multiple times that he was uncomfortable and did not want to go farther up the mountain and did not want to go farther than where he noticed the creature to have stopped. Thomas stayed at the location where the creature stopped and the witness stood where he was when he was outside his vehicle looking up at it from the road. Thomas took measurements twice, more than 5 minutes apart. The height being 8' exactly was the first measurement, 7'9" the second measurement. The width being 4' for the first measurement and 3'6" for the second measurement. Please note that the measurements being within 6" is fairly accurate for the terrain.
Photos of measurements:
Witness looking up at Thomas measuring out the height and width
Thomas photo of witness from location creature stopped and looking down on road to where witness was looking up
From the location, Thomas was able to see small brush where it was indented from something large bipedal walking the same direction witness confirmed. In review of the roadway, the road travels 400-1000 feet farther before making a sweeping U-turn to continue traveling up the mountain. As the roadway doubles back on itself, it leads credibility to the report that the creature would stop and determine what the witness was going to do, because if the witness had continued on up the mountain, the creature would potentially have a second run-in with the witness if it had just stayed going straight.
Photos of direction creature walked away:
Direction creature walked
Close up of disturbed underbrush
Thomas had the witness again recount the incident, while Caitlin chatted with the witnesses mom who was NOT at the initial sighting. Caitlin asked her if she thought the witness saw bigfoot. She said that she believed he saw "something". When asked if she felt he was now afraid to be in the woods, she mentioned that the witness has a large remote backpacking trip in a few weeks he has been planing a considerable amount of time for. And he now is unsure if he wants to still go. She said it has definitely made him more nervous. When Thomas and the witness came back to wrap up the time at the location, the witness unprovoked also mentioned this upcoming trip and how he now is not sure he wants to continue that trip.
The witness and his mom left shortly after, and both of us were surprised at how very quickly the noise of their car became silent. virtually the moment it rounded the corner headed down hill, you could not hear the vehicle any longer. It is our impression that at the time of the incident, the witness came around the corner and startled the creature, forcing it to move quickly into the safety of the heavily treed embankment.
We continued to drive up the mountain, taking note of the fact there were not other people on the mountain camping or parked along the roadway. We also found a large pond with fish and frogs in it. This pond was almost exactly 10miles along the road from the location of the sighting.
Additional Photos of the location/farther up the mountain:
Bear Scat on the roadway
Thomas, Our 3yo, and witness going up embankment
Embankment creature went up; You can see noticeable disturbed vegetation
This area we will continue to investigate as time allows, however we believe the investigation with this witness completed at this time.
About BFRO Investigator Caitlin & Thomas Ertz:
Thomas is an avid outdoorsman, including hunting and fishing along with hiking and is becoming increasingly familiar with nature. Growing up in Eastern Washington, his curiosity has only grown through his life regarding Bigfoot. Caitlin grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is an avid hiker, camper and nature photographer. Being in PACNW meant for her that the curiosity for Bigfoot has always been on her mind. Both began year-round research after Caitlin's brother brought them compelling evidence in 2012. Both Thomas and Caitlin have countless hours in the field, including attending WA-2 BFRO Expedition 2014.