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COUNTY: Whiteside County
LOCATION DETAILS: less the half a mile south of moline rd. just east of rte 78. the town would be Lyndon IL. which is just north of Prophetstown.
NEAREST TOWN: Lyndon
NEAREST ROAD: Rte 78
OBSERVED: My name is Jerrod Reynolds. Years ago I was one of the biggest critics and thought that bigfoot was a spoof. I grew up hunting and fishing in central Illinois. My father who is a USMC Vietnam Vet taught me at a young age to hunt and track and pay close attention to my surroundings. After High School I joined the USMC infantry where I served two tours. One tour was Iraq in the Al Anbar Province where I walked point. My job was to read the lay of the land and look for anything out of place that was not natural to the surrounding terrain. The second was counter piracy operations on the coast of Africa in 2009. I am now 33 years old and I am a Police Officer and a Swat Operator in North Western Illinois. The first agency I worked for was right on the Rock River, and 3 miles from town is the Big Bend State Park which is over 1000 acres of wetland and forest.
On Feb 13th 2018 around 11:00 PM I was given information about a stolen four wheeler which we recovered. During that time I was given information about a snowmobile that was stolen along the snowmobile trail right on the Rock River in between the town I worked for and the town a couple miles north of us.
By the time I arrived on the river, it was now after midnight. Since the location of the possible stolen snowmobile was technically in the county jurisdiction, I was assisted by two county deputies. It just so happens that one of the deputies whom I've been friends with for a long time and had a bigfoot sighting of his own when he was a young man from 1981 which is currently on your website. This Deputy and myself have worked together as police and swat for 3 years by this time, and we have a good working relationship where we can feed off each others movements and know when something is up just by our demeanor.
We knew where the stolen snowmobile was ditched so we made the plan for one Deputy to walk the snowmobile trail from the North, I would go directly along the river, and my friend would come in from the south off the snowmobile trail. We figured given the location that we would all converge on each other and one of us might come across the snowmobile at some point.
There was a lot of snow on the ground this time of year and we knew we were in for a hike. As I walked along the river I could see the river was frozen over and I came to a tree line that ran East and West and was used almost like a water way for field drain off into the river.
As I approached the tree line I heard a loud crash and running through the trees. My first instinct was that I kicked up some deer that were bedded down. The thing that stood out to me was the sound was like a heard of bulls crashing into the back of a stock trailer. The foot falls where very loud like whatever it was had some weight on it.
At this point I thought nothing of it and continued walking. I walked around the tree line to where it stopped in the field to the west. I immediately found tracks that did not make since to me. I should know better given my background but I decided to walk into the tree line and investigate. What I discovered, I was not prepared for.
I found tracks that looked like a human foot. They were about 15 inches long and there were three sets, two large sets and one small set that were about 8 inches long. Like many times before overseas, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I could not put my finger on it, but I knew something was off. \
As I stared at the tracks trying to process what I was looking at, my buddy sounded off wanting to know where I was, and there was a mild hint of concern in his voice. I said "I'm in the tree line, I have something to show you". He replied, "I have something to show you too".
As he entered the tree line my friend whipped out his camera and we began taking pictures. The foot prints were distinct. You could see the heel and the ball of the foot as well as toe imprints. I could tell from the tracks that they were running. Some of the tracks had drag marks on the toe portion and had some wisp marks from the hair which made course, distinct marks in the snow.
When I finally accepted what I was looking at, I knew that these were big foot tracks and I had come feet from seeing them first hand. Unfortunately I did not see them with my own eyes, I just heard them. By then I had an adrenalin rush and wanted to keep following the tracks. My friend knew it was a bad idea and said we need to back out now. Looking back on it he was 100% right. The tree line led straight to the river and it was a perfect pinch point for an ambush.
We backed out of the tree line and went out into the open field. There we discovered more tracks they were the same as ones in the trees, but since it was a corn field that was harvested the previous fall we could determine that the tracks which were in a straight line had a five foot span between prints. We could measure it since the corn rows were on 30 inch rows when they were planted. We were able to put together that one of the bigfoots went out of the tree line which we believe was to scout ahead to cross the field to the West and go to another tree line which would lead directly to the state park.
The tracks went a little north but stopped as if the big foot observed the deputy coming from the North. The tracks then went South until they stopped facing the direction my buddy was coming from the south. Then turned around and ran by me straight into the tree line.
When the tracks went back to the tree line we found the tracks from the other two. They appeared to be panicked and we could tell they were running almost in circles. The little tracks would disappear then reappear again. That would tell me the little one was being picked up and carried then put back down.
At one spot where the tracks were going in circles and the little tracks appeared again, we found a little spot of urine. The tracks then went back east to the tree line and met up with the other set of tracks.
We knew we needed to get out of there, so we took a few more photos and got out quick using a bounding method that way both our backs were not turned at the same time. The other deputy that came from the North, who we told about the tracks and seen a couple of them himself, thought we were full of it, but he was sure in a hurry to get out of there and went back north to his squad car.
Later that night I was still in disbelief as we went back to the my Police Department. My buddy asked me, "In all the years of farming and hunting, have you ever came across anything that didn't make sense?" I told him a few years ago right around the same time of year before I was a cop, I was checking cattle on the same river about 4 miles east of where we were that night. I was on the four wheeler and the ground was froze, but there was no snow. I was checking the cows in a 400 acre field the the river wraps around. I found a cow laying in the middle of the field. When I got close to it I realized that it was dead. I know from growing up on the farm that coyotes eat from the back end and tear everything off the bone. The hide on this cow had not even been touched and it was not ate on at all. At first I thought It must have been sick and died that night. When I walked to where the head of the cow was I noticed that the chest was ripped open and everything inside the cow was gone, it was an empty cavity. I found it odd but not even thinking, I figured it was coyotes. I remember dragging the cow off to be disposed of and it was froze and stiff but the head was flopping around. I realized that the neck was broke but then again, I thought nothing of it.
When I got off duty that night I was not able to sleep, and remember shots of adrenalin running through my body. Since then I am a believer and I know that bigfoots exist. My fiancÚ and I recently purchased 53 acres of timber property right next to the state park just south west of where the tracks were found. I have heard stories that there has been sightings on this road in the years past. So in tradition we named our property Squatch Valley Farm. and we are not ashamed to admit that we know they exist. Having said that I purchased for my fiance and I, two Marlin 45-70's just in case.
Since that night the tracks were found, my buddy and me have both switched police departments. We work for the same agency now and as luck would have it we are on the same shift.
Also we still have the photo's from that night.
ALSO NOTICED: a small spot of urine around a cluster of tracks.
OTHER WITNESSES: there were two others that observed the tracks. I was the only one that heard the noise. they were helping me look for a stolen snowmobile.
OTHER STORIES: Yes it is in my narrative. about a cow that I discovered while still farming which was about 4 miles to the east of that location.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: incident was a little after midnight. it was very cold and had snow on the ground. it was very damp as rain was moving in and expected to be in the area with in a couple hours. it was very dark with low visibility but not pitch black.
ENVIRONMENT: It was right along the Rock River which was jammed up with ice at the time. There was a small tree line jetting out from the river into a water way which was in a picked corn field.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Chris Callahan:
I spoke with the witness via telephone and can add the following to the report:
1. The crashing through the trees lasted 4-5 seconds
2. The snow was too deep and varied greatly in depth, therefore print deepness could not be accurately determined. The 15" footprints had a 5 foot span between them.
3. The urine snow spot was the size of a quarter
4. The witness did have the feeling/sense of being watched
5. The dead cow incident occurred in the winter of 2012-13. The possibility of this being Bigfoot related activity was not brought up at all.
About BFRO Investigator Chris Callahan:
Chris is a professional Fire Captain and EMT. He holds a BA in History/Anthropology, an MA in Historical Archaeology, and has attended numerous public and private expeditions.