Geographical Index > United States > Michigan > Delta County > Report # 5694
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, January 22, 2003.
Campers have strange encounter near swamp in the Upper Peninsula
(Show Printer-friendly Version)
COUNTY: Delta County
LOCATION DETAILS: To get to the location you would turn off of US2 at the top of Whitefish hill and drivedown 511 past 509 to what is now the parking lot at the head of the Rapid River Snowmobile trail. There take the road heading north into the woods. You will come to a split after just a minute. Take the one to the right. You will come to a forest service gate that will probably be closed. If it is, you can continue on foot up the road about 1/2 mile to the site. If it is open you can drive up. Be careful is you don't have a 4x4 or good clearance. There has been some significant logging in the area so the way in is much different than it was at the time but the actually site is pretty much unchanged. If you have read the description above, you will know it when you get to the right spot.
NEAREST TOWN: Rapid River
NEAREST ROAD: Road=County Road 511 HWY=US2
OBSERVED: This took place in the summer of 1986. Myself and four other friends decided to go on an over night camping trip about 2 miles from my friends house. There were 3 men and two women all together. The ages ranged from 15-17. The area we choose to camp in is known as the Beaver Pond (at least to us and our friends it was). We were driven, by my friends father, to within a half mile of where we planned to camp. We hiked in the rest of the way in with our tent and supplies. The area we were camping in was on a ridge that ran along an old small lake. Our campsite was on the top of the ridge on an old road that was used as a snowmobile trail in winter. To one side of our campsite was a steep hill that went right down to the waters edge. On the opposite side the ridge sloped down into a swampy area, very thick with brush. On either end of the camp the ridge continued for a short distance, 20 yards or so, before sloping down into the lower, thicker woods. We arrived at our site after dinner time, probably around 6 or 6:30 I'd say. We had a large yellow one room tent that we set up on the top of the ridge looking over the lake. We set about gathering firewood and getting ready to make some hamburgers. The evening proceeded uneventfully for several hours. Being teenagers, we didn't plan on getting much, if any, sleep. I should point out that we were a pretty straightlaced group so there were no drugs or alcohol being used that night. As I remember, we built our fire and made something to eat and sat around the fire drinking sodas. We never really ventured far into the woods around our site. Perhaps a few yards to gather wood and down to the waters edge. As best I can recall it was about 1 or 1:30 a.m. when first something happened. Another thing I should mention here is that as children having grown up in the woods and around outdoor activities, we were all very comfortable out of doors and very familiar with the creatures that inhabit the Upper Penninsula. The first thing that happened was a distance noise. It sounded much like a screeching sound a chimp might make. It sounded quite distant, probably over a mile as it was barely audible. It came from the direction of the swamp. The swampy area at the base of the ridge was not actually all that large, maybe a quarter mile thick. So, we realized that the noise must have been coming from the pine forests on the other side of that swamp. I know even though the first sound was very faint and short it gave all of us a strange feeling. We tried not to think much about it and returned to whatever conversation we were having. A few moments later we heard the noise again. Much clearer and closer this time. I would estimate that it was probably 400-500 yards away. Still a good distance but significantly closer than before. It was again, one lone 2 or 3 second screech. After hearing this one we were unable to go back to our old conversation and began to discuss the noise and it's possible sources. We all agreed that none of us had ever heard anything exactly like before. One of us ventured that it sounded like an animal in heat might. The other said that sometimes an animal being killed can make a terrible sound. No one was satisfied with either explanation. We sat, fairly quietly, waiting to see if we would hear more. After a few moments the screeching began in earnest. Whatever was making the sound had come to within 40-50 yards of our site and was at the base of the ridge down on the swampy side. It almost seemed as if the thing had made a direct line for our camp from the first moment we had heard it. The next 3 hours were truly terrifying. The thing began to move around our camp. Always staying at the base of the ridge. It circled all the way around us, going from the waters edge on one side to the waters edge on the other. The sounds varied coming from the woods. Sometimes we could hear the sound of branches breaking as though something large were moving in the trees and other times we could hear nothing moving. Sometimes it would move around us, screeching as it did so. Other times it would make its noise in one place and then make it again on the opposite of the camp a minute later without our having heard one bit of movement from the woods. We tried shining our flashlights out into the woods but could see nothing. I can't remember if it had a reaction to our lights but I don't believe so. Over the next three hours this continued. Sometimes the thing would go silent for perhaps 5 minutes or so only to erupt again with a fresh tirade. We had no idea what to do or think. I can honestly say that all of us were more frightened than we had ever been before. We had no weapons save a pair of the "Rambo" style hunting knives that were popular among teenage boys in the 80's and a couple of pocket knives. We kept the fire going strong. I remember a couple of times when we all went inside the tent just to feel a little safer but we would quickly come back out when the thing would quit for a few moments. I'm not sure if we thought it was going to sneek up on us or what. I do remember feeling very insecure when it would get silent. At least when it was making noise we knew where it was. This is how things went until around 4 a.m. At around that time the screaching ceased and the thing left exactly the same way it had came. We heard a screech after a few minutes that seemed to be several hundred yards away and then one more in the distance and then it was gone. Suffice to say we did not sleep. At first light we took off at a jog down the dirt road towards the main road. I wish that we had taken more time to look for signs but we were all just scared. I do remember that we did take note of the fact that we saw no tracks on the sandy dirt road despite the fact that the thing must have crossed it 2 or 3 dozen times that night. Again, I have to say we didn't look very thoroughly though. We just wanted to leave. We walked to my friends house about a mile and half to two miles away. We told his father all about what had happened and we were promptly dismissed as having overactive imaginations. This is what would happen with every adult we shared our story with. We did go back later that day to get our gear. My friends father gave him the truck so we could drive right into our campsite. We threw our things in the back and got out as quickly as possible. It has been several years since this has happened. I've told many people about it but never anyone who was in a position to truly evaluate or have an interest. I have heard some of the bigfoot sound recordings and have to say that some of them are very similiar to what we heard that night. I've had many explanations proposed to me about what happened that night but none has ever satisfied me.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing I can remember.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3 men and 2 women. We were all just sitting around a campfire drinking sodas, eating snacks, talking and listening to the radio.
OTHER STORIES: This is going to sound very weird and vague but, as a child I remember hearing stories of a feral man living up on Cnty Rd 509. I seem to remember hearing about the police looking for him. That would have been 8 or 9 years before our incident and probably 15-20 miles away.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: This took place between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. As for the weather, it was quite warm and humid. Also, it must have been near the time of the new moon as I remember no moonlight in the woods that night.
ENVIRONMENT: We were on top of a ridge that ran along an old pond. The ponds was full of dead tree trunks that stuck straight out of the water. The was a swampy area on the opposite side of the ridge. The rest was pretty much pine forest of varying ages and size.