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COUNTY: Vermilion County
LOCATION DETAILS: Vermilion County - Kickapoo State Park [specific directions edited out per request of witness]
NEAREST TOWN: Oakwood
NEAREST ROAD: [Removed per witness]
OBSERVED: This is a two part report of what may be easily explained,or not.
My first odd experience was in Kickapoo State Park, in Vermilion County Illinois,in Oct.2005. I was fishing at a pond in the park, when I heard two BIG splashes in the river about 50 to 75 yards behind me. My first thought was a deer bounded across the river, then I heard the most awful scream I've ever heard. Almost immediately after the scream, I could hear what sounded like a scuffle in the dry leaves. After the rustling in the leaves stopped, I could hear what sounded like a large cat breathing hard or "purring".
I don't know how else to explain it. [We don't have large cats in our area.] The purring sound lasted maybe a minute, then I could hear this creature moving away. I'm an old Boy Scout, and have spent alot of time camping in this area, and I know most of the sounds in the night woods. This sound flat out scared me. It bothered me enough that I went home. I got home and my wife asked me why I was home so early. I told her the story, and thought that was the end of the story. Untill.... the following spring, fishing along my favorite stretch of the same river, I run across a tree that had been snapped over (I can take you to it). That may very well be explained by spring flood waters, but I find it odd, the direction it is snapped.
In early summer (late May,early June) I was driving through the park, and smelled a terrible musky stench.There are alot of deer in this area, but you almost have to be standing next to them to smell them. I don't think we have enough wooded habitat to harbor these kinds of animals, but it is a large enough area for them to use as a "highway". I have not observed any footprints on the soft sandbars.
I'm not a jumpy type of person, but I no longer go to my fishin' hole alone.
ALSO NOTICED: The incident when I smelled "it", it was dry and warm. This was a "wet" smell.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was the only one
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: night time about 8-9PM
weather was fair, cool temp. 50-55
ENVIRONMENT: This park is the first mine reclamation project in the U.S. All activity was located in or near the Middlefork River.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
I spoke to the witness by phone about his experiences. His first experience occurred in October, 2005. What he experienced he attributed to a single animal. While fishing, two large splashes occurred down the riverbank. He then heard a quick, short scream. He insisted was not an owl, nor any common animal. Afterwards, he heard a rustling of leaves, like somebody reaching down into a pile of leaves to create noise. Finally, he heard a very deep, 'purring' breathing sound, then the creature moved away.
The following year, a twisted tree snap (3-4 inch trunk) was found, about 5 feet off the ground, and an 'extreme' smell, like a wet dog mixed with skunk, was also noticed.
Although nothing definitive was observed during this incident, the combination of elements justifies its inclusion in the database as a possible Class B incident.
About BFRO Investigator Eric Lester:
Eric Lester is a medical professional and has been investigating possible Sasquatch sightings since 2004.
BFRO expeditions include:
- 2005 CA Redwoods Expedition
- 2006 Ohio Expedition
- 2006 Wisconsin II Expedition
- 2006 West Virginia Expedition (Pocahontas County)
- 2007 Michigan UP, Utah, Arkansas
- 2008 Texas, W. Virginia, Michigan U.P.
- 2009 Tennessee, Wisconsin, Michigan U.P., Oklahoma
- 2010 private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2011 Minnesota, private expeditions in Illinois/Iowa
- 2012 private expeditions in Indiana/Iowa
- 2013 private expeditions in Indiana
- 2014 Iowa, Kentucky expeditions
- 2016 Iowa expedition