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COUNTY: Vilas County
LOCATION DETAILS: Powell Marsh Manitowish Waters Wisconsin
[Investigator (MM) note:
Here are the GPS coordinates for the rough location of where he was standing when he shot the photos and video. The figure was an undetermined distance to the southeast of his position, running away generally towards the southwest.
NEAREST TOWN: manitowish waters
NEAREST ROAD: hwy 51
OBSERVED: Wanted to pass this by you as I was out duck hunting today (10/17/21) in north central Wisconsin… Powell Marsh area to be exact.
This is a very remote marsh area surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of state and National forests. You can access this marsh zone via paths the DNR has to maintain Water levels and people do watch migratory birds from a couple observation areas along road.
I was more on a walk with the potential to jump shoot some puddle ducks as you can see not a cloud around. Nor were there ducks.
Not even sure it is a sighting but seemed rather strange. Something told me to look behind me as I was going the opposite direction as the figure. After watching this object for a couple hundred yards I decided to grab my cell phone.
It is a long way away but appears black, large, and fast. We have bear, very few moose, wolves, and occasional Elk around. Feel free to say it is a guy on a bike-riding in the peat moss, or a guy on a 4 wheeler in a prohibited motorized vehicle area.
It appears to be bipedal and walking deeper into the swamp in the muck. It is hunting season and I wouldn’t expect a person to be dressed in all black in a public hunting area. I tried walking in it and turned back after about 5 feet.
With naked eye I could see much better. The figure seemed to float as it moved across the swamp. Again a guy on a bike?
After my hunt, I returned to the only 2 access areas to see if there were vehicles with bike racks or people out for a peat bog run. There was nobody around.
I have been to the Marsh countless times and have never seen something like this. Although the distance a bit far for video. Figure seems quite large.
Clearly appears to be in muck. I have photos and video but iPhone is a long way away and i am not an editing expert. I am sure video can be manipulated and enhanced.
[Further comments provide when he sent in the photos:
“ Here are pics. Was hunting ducks in Powell Marsh, Wisconsin. Video I have problems getting to send but have it running thu the muck Any thoughts are welcome. Watched with naked eye for about 300 yards before I figured I should try to get some photos/video.
The small road behind is top of dikes running through the swamp. about 10 feet wide with deep water on sides. Clearly in the marsh not on road. Of course left GoPro at cabin so stuck with iphone camera.. Would be happy to say it is nothing so I could hunt peacefully without thinking of this. Seems quite large. Was fast. And all black.
LINK TO IPAD CLIP mentioned in investigator notes. To see the clip, right-click on the link to open it in a new window. When the link shows in the new window, highlight it and then click Enter.
ALSO NOTICED: nothing
OTHER WITNESSES: 1
OTHER STORIES: nothing but have not asked
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10:45 am sunny and warm
ENVIRONMENT: Open Marsh/pine forest
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
I spoke with this witness at length by phone. He is very credible. I cannot post his name because he is a senior investment advisor at the Madison (WI) branch of one of the world’s largest banks.
He is 54 years old. Masters degree. Married, with two kids in college. He works in Madison but has a cabin within 5 miles of the sighting location. He has been hunting up there for more than 15 years, several times per year, not always at the same location, and not always for the same type of game.
He could not determine the height of the figure nor give a confident estimate for the distance. He could see that it was upright like a man, as the photos and video so clearly show. It definitely was not a deer or moose or bear. It was definitely either a human or a sasquatch.
He correctly surmised that it would be nearly impossible for a normal size human to run quickly through the swampy muck where it was running. It ran near a berm dike but then headed off at the same speed through knee-deep swampy muck.
Skeptics like to say that Americans should be obtaining photos and videos in many areas because everyone has a smartphone. The BFRO has pointed out for years that people sometimes DO get photos or videos with their smartphones, but the circumstances are rare -- circumstances where a Sasquatch is:
1) Out in the open, with basically no cover nearby
2) Out in daylight, so the situation does not require a nightvision scope
3) Visible long enough for the witness to think about getting photos with a smartphone, unlike during road crossing sightings
4) Far enough away so astonishment and fear does not prevent the witness from pulling out their smartphone.
This incident in Wisconisn had all of those elements.
In these rare circumstances where it happens, the figure is always small in the image and/or video because it is far away. When zoomed in, it becomes a blurry figure. Better than nothing but the best you can do with a smartphone.
Unbeknownst to this witness there are many stories about Sasquatch sightings among the nearby Lac Du Flambeau Indians. There are also five other posted reports on the BFRO site for this county (Vilas).
There are 72 counties in Wisconsin. Only four of them have more posted reports than Vilas County: Bayfield(6), Marinette(9), Oneida(7), Price(7).
There was no snow on the ground when this incident happened in October 2021. There is snow on the ground right now (December 2021). Therefore this would be a very opportune place to fly a drone around at the moment, to look for this figure or its trackways. The trackways are distinctively linear with a long stride, unless the snow is very deep. Most sasquatch trackways in snow will be very noticeable from a distance from the angle of a drone.
If this figure is a Sasquatch then its trackways will be, most likely, near the big stands of dense tree cover or brush in the area, especially a big cedar bog or thicket. That is the only option for escaping the cold winter winds of winter in this region. The deer will take shelter in the same types of thickets as well.
This witness has agreed to answer questions about this incident on the “BFRO 1995” Group on Facebook after this report is posted there. He will address questions in the comments of the post. I will confirm which user is his profile. He will create a profile that will not reveal his identity publicly. His anonymous Facebook profile will allow a local journalist (or two) to contact him directly and potentially meet with him at the location, provided they do not reveal his name or the bank he works for in Madison. He will not do any spots for TV news but he may be willing to discuss the incident on Wisconsin radio stations (not podcasts).
The reason for the delay in posting this report:
He submitted the report the day after the incident happened in October. A local BFRO investigator reached out via email asking to arrange a phone call. For whatever reason the witness didn’t notice or reply to that email. Today the witness emailed the BFRO and asked if we saw his report in October, and also asked how he could send us the photos and video. I replied to him today. He sent me the images today. Then I spoke him and confirmed his identity.
At the time this report was posted the witness had not yet been able to send the original video. He will do that when his college-age daughter returns home and figures out how to do it. He has tried to send the moving video to me but only the first frame comes through.
He was able to successfully send a smartphone video of his IPad on which he plays a brief clip of the video. You can see a dark upright figure running through the swamp. See the link to that .mov file below the still photos above. It may take a moment for the video file to load. Be patient.
He will post the original video in the Comments section of the relevant post on the BFRO 1995 Facebook Group in due time. I assume the original clip is longer.
The witness was sure this running figure would have been able to see him, so it was likely fleeing away from him, toward the nearest tree cover to the south of his position.
To see his position in Google Maps, copy these two numbers (the GPS coordinates), exactly as you see them below, separated by a comma, into the field where you would type in the location to look up:
About BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
Matthew Moneymaker is originally from the Los Feliz District of Los Angeles, California.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
- Founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,1995.
- Writer and co-producer of the Discovery Channel documentary "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science", 2001.
- Co-producer of the TV Series "Mysterious Encounters" for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN Channel), 2002.
- Producer of the "2003 International Bigfoot Symposium" (Willow Creek Symposium) DVD set, 2004.
- Co-host of "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet Channel, 2010 - 2017.
- Current Director of the BFRO