Geographical Index > United States > Wisconsin > Jackson County > Report # 75800|
Submitted by witness Cassidy Pokallus on Thursday, April 27, 2023.
12:40AM sighting by motorist one mile NE of Black River Falls
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COUNTY: Jackson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Highway 54 about a mile east of Black River Falls
[Investigator MM notes: This figure was standing on the southwest side of Highway 54 where Lewis Creek passes underneath.]
NEAREST TOWN: Black River Falls
NEAREST ROAD: US Highway 54
OBSERVED: I was driving home from work back into Black River Falls. It was around 12:40AM. Right before the road divides into a four lane highway, I saw a tall black figure standing in the opposite lane from me. I only saw it for a split second and didn’t think much of it and brushed it off as my eyes playing tricks on me. I didn’t see eyeshine, as though it was facing away from my van (toward the southeast) as I drove past.
I messaged a coworker who had left about 15 minutes earlier than I did. He mentioned he saw a deer flying across the road in the same spot going southeast. Looked like it was fleeing from something. I told him about what I saw.
I still don’t know what I saw. I wish I had seen more of it than a glance at the edge of my headlights. It was tall and dark, one solid color. The way it was headed is down a steep embankment and then it is forest. The prison is over there too but Jackson County is a lot of state forest. There wouldn’t be people out and about on foot that time of night, as we do have wolf packs here as well. The eastern half of the county is all forest.
ALSO NOTICED: Deer were out. I’ve saw them along the road every night that week.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me. Coworker saw the deer 15 minutes prior to what I saw.
OTHER STORIES: Just other reports.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night, mostly clear maybe a few clouds. Moon waxing crescent. No fog or mist. No rain.
ENVIRONMENT: Roadway. Trees and steep embankments down into the brush. There’s guardrails in that area because of how steep it is.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tom Norstrem:
On 26 April 2023, the witness was returning home from her job at a local casino around 12:40am. The night was cool, and while her car was warming, she noticed deer present on the premises as they normally are.
She began her drive home on a cool and mostly clear night with very little traffic. When she came to a segment of highway where guardrails begin, a short distance from the road splitting into four lanes, she saw out of the corner of her eye a large dark figure on the opposite—southwest—shoulder of the road. It seemed to have just crossed the road and was turning away from her as it skirted the end of the guardrail and moved into the ditch alongside the road. She was surprised by the figure’s size and presence, seeing it only when she was directly across from it. She continued driving. Feeling awake and alert after her shift, she tried to figure out what she had seen, certain that she had not imagined it. In thinking about her experience, she also realized that the deer normally present at night were not to be found along this segment of highway.
When she returned home, she texted a friend and colleague from work about what she had seen. This friend, a seasoned hunter, remarked that at that same place, on the way home from work only fifteen minutes ahead of the witness, he had seen a deer sprinting across the road in the same northeast-to-southwest direction as the witness’ shadowy object. He said that he had very rarely seen a deer run as fast as this one had run.
After her experience, the witness tried to re-create the situation to see if her eyes had played tricks on her, but nothing she did was able to do that. The witness is completely sure about what she saw that night.
Later measurements would show that the figure, which was black and shadowy, was a little more than seven feet tall. Other measurements suggest she would have seen the figure from less than ten yards away as she looked directly to her left. In doing so, she saw the figure had no real neck and a head that came to a bit of a point. The shoulders were somewhat rounded but remarkably broad. She mentioned that seeing it while it was turned from her at an angle prevented her from seeing the face and other traits.
Some have suggested to her that she had seen a bear, but based on her own experiences in the woods and the size and shape of what she saw, she is entirely certain that she did not see a bear.
This area of the state is heavily forested and is home to deer and elk, bear, coyote, and a wolf pack. An inspection of the specific site a month after her sighting shows that the southwest shoulder of the road is where the guardrail on that side of the road ends. A shallow ditch against the woods parallels the highway from the northeast. Just behind the guardrail, a concrete drainage ditch drops about 30 yards to the bottom of what becomes a steep drop-off to a lower segment of forest along the highway. The forest here hides a major creek that flows through the area [Lewis Creek]. The other side of the highway to the northwest has open areas and roadside billboards. The nearest dwelling is at least 200 yards away up on a hill, and there are two that can be seen.
The roadside billboards are on top of the site and are usually lit, but the witness seemed to remember those lights not being on that night. The sandy soil shows a lightly-used road or trail that fades north into forest. Investigation of that area within thirty yards of the road showed no prints other than some old deer track. There is very little human habitation nearby, and traffic is very light at night, especially so late.
About BFRO Investigator Tom Norstrem:
Tom is a retired high school English teacher with a Masters degree in school administration. A part of the "In Search of…" generation, Tom had a couple of Class B experiences many years ago in different years in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. His first official BFRO expedition was in 2021, and he continues to be a part of a number of group and solo outings around Wisconsin, especially in the North Kettle Moraine near his home.