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COUNTY: Sanders County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was across the river. Property on road side, by us, has white fence bordering it. Sighting was across Flathead river. On hillside. Maybe mile 88 or close to it. Can get exact mile next time we drive by. I do have some pictures. Nothing good because I was using a cell phone. I was all the way zoomed in, and by the time I'd take the photo, the thing was out of focus. It was very fast.
NEAREST TOWN: Parma, MT area
NEAREST ROAD: MT highway 200
OBSERVED: Driving to Missoula early am. Seen something large and black moving very fast across mountain side. Pulled over when could. Driver looked with small pair of binoculars. Passenger tried to take cell phone photo. Object was very tall. Pure black. Moving so fast, passenger couldn't get it in focus. Driver was speachless at what he seen in binoculars. It was not a man running. Yet, it was going extremely fast up the mountain. Appeared very tall. All one color. Pure dark black from top to bottom. Driver described it as "long black hair and long arms". Driver is experienced hunter and outdoorsman and has never witnessed anything like this. Passenger got blurry pixelated photo. Cell phone was all we had.
Will never forget!!
ALSO NOTICED: It was moving very very fast. Long arms. Upright. Not a bear.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 witnesses. We were talking and driving towards Missoula Montana
OTHER STORIES: Not sure.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was about 8 or 9 am. Weather was normal late fall day. Clear
ENVIRONMENT: It was spotted on a mostly bare hillside. There were trees up higher. One tree in particular gave us a gauge of how big this thing was. There wasn't an apparent road over where it was. So it wasn't as if it's a normal area to go or see people there.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caitlin & Thomas Ertz:
Driver and the passenger live in remote Trout Creek Montana and were driving to Missoula Montana to run errands on Dec 1, 2017. Please note, they updated the date they previously entered on submitted report after discussion of time of year. It was early in the morning, but early daylight. It was overcast, so no shadows to play tricks on the couple. The driver spotted an unusual creature on the hillside to his left. The driver is noted as an established hunter and is a champion freestyle archery competitor. He also works in an environment where the scope of the job is to work in the forest. The driver and the passenger both commented on how fast the creature was moving across the hillside. The driver pulled over at a pull out next to a house with a distinguishing white fence. They were on the right side of the Flathead River, looking across the two-lane highway, across the river, and to the hillside where the creature was walking.
Both the driver and passenger commented on how the creature was walking extremely fast, as fast as a runner would be traveling, however the gait of the creature was relaxed and in a walking motion. It just traveled that quickly. Both commented that the creature was dark and uniform in color, walking on two feet and appeared extremely large in size, much larger than a person would appear from the distance they were seeing it from. Both commented how the creature was clearly swinging it's arms as it walked and had defined long strides.
They observed the creature as it crossed the hillside from right to left and then turned and went uphill. Observed the creature for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. The hillside is on the border of the Flathead Indian Reservation without a road access or public availability to access the area unless they are Native or have permission from the Tribe. The driver believes there was at one time an old, rough, cattle trail for summer grazing in the area that the creature was. However, neither the driver or the passenger have ever seen any human activity on this border as the only way in/out is on horseback, and no advantage to being in the area.
The hillside had a large area devoid of trees but had a heavily treed area further up the hillside. The area the creature was walking was mainly open with tall grasses and sage brush that stood in range approx 1ft to 3ft. The knee-bend in the creature was just above the sagebrush and grass.
The driver pulled an inexpensive pair of binoculars from center console of the vehicle to get a better look at the creature. He commented that the animal was definitely something he was unfamiliar with, even with his training and experience. He noted the hair was very long, much longer than a bear's coat and was pure black with no change in color. The hair swung with the movement of the arms of the creature. He also noted that the arms were very long and hung almost to the creature's knees. He was unable to determine the neck on the creature, as it appeared the head to rest directly on the shoulders. He also made mention that the fluid movement of the creature was incredible given the uneven terrain. The driver mentioned that the creature just looked "too big" to be any misidentification of another animal. He also mentioned it was definitely not a ghillie suit as the suits are made from different colors and are to camouflage without definition. He could clearly identify head, arms, and legs.
The passenger quickly accessed her cell phone and began attempting to photograph the creature. She had the cellphone camera zoomed in as far as it would go, and would tap on the screen to created a focus point for the camera. However, by the time she would attempt to take a photo, the creature moved out of frame. She was able to take a number of images (See end of report), but due to the zoom of the camera, the distance of the creature, and low resolution of the camera function of a cellphone, the subject is unable to bring clarity to what they saw. It does appear to be large, and dark in color, and potentially upright on two legs. When overlapping the images in photoshop, it does appear to show movement of the creature.
As the passenger was looking through a phone screen at the creature for some of the time and did not use the binoculars she did not have as clear of detail as the driver on the overall appearance of the creature. But she did emphasize that it was moving rapidly on two legs, appeared comfortable even at the high rate of speed, and was extremely large. She also confirmed it was only one color, and very dark or black.
Both the driver and the passenger did not discuss what they saw for the remainder of their drive to Missoula, and only later that evening began commenting on what they witnessed. Both mentioned that they were in shock seeing something so out of the norm. And the driver said that he was speechless and was a "non-believer" until he saw the creature. After a few days the passenger put her photos on her personal Facebook Page without anything other than "What is this?" and had a few friends mention "Bigfoot".
A few days after the sighting, it snowed and the hillside was blanketed in snow for the season. In the many trips to Missoula since the sighting, neither witness have seen any other activity on the hillside including known animals such as deer, elk, bear, etc.
PHOTOS FROM THE SIGHTING CAPTURED BY THE PASSENGER: Please note that the tree closest to the dark figure is estimated at 60-70ft tall. Also, the passenger was stationary when photographing the images. The passenger would have had to get out of the vehicle and/or traveled farther down the road to have manipulated the image for a stationary figure to have crossed through the lighter area in the grass behind the figure. Had the passenger done this, the background view would be severely altered and not so identical as what is provided. In review of the metadata, the images were not altered other than the single image with a highlighted mark around the figure (Image 3). The only manipulation noted in the metadata is the highlighted mark, no additional manipulation of the original image. Due to these factors, what the witnesses saw clearly is a moving object.
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.