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COUNTY: Summit County
LOCATION DETAILS: From RT.82 in Brecksville, OH., Head south on Riverview road approx. 5 miles. Vaughn road will be on the left with a bunch of yellow houses/buildings belonging to the park service.
There is a public parking lot on the NE corner.
NEAREST TOWN: Boston TWP. or Boston Heights?
NEAREST ROAD: Riverview and Vaughn roads
OBSERVED: My incident occurred on the 4th of july in 1995 in the CVNRA in Boston Twp(?), Ohio. I was in the Army, home on leave at the time. Three of us(myself, cousin, and a friend) had just left the Independence fireworks and decided to go for a night hike on the railroad tracks which run paralell to Riverview Rd. near Brandywine Ski Resort. This was a hike we have made several times before in varying locations along the same road without incident. On this particular hike, we parked in a public lot on the corner of riverview and vaughn rd. and headed north on the Cuyahoga Valley Line tracks. I would say the time was around 11:30p.m. and the sky was clear with a very bright moon. We hiked approx. 1/4 mile when all of a sudden we heard a distant, high pitched scream from the west... across riverview rd. The scream sounded similar to that of a coyote or peacock...only it was raspier and lasted about 5 sec. in duration and did not waver. We shrugged it off as some sort of animal and continued on. As we hiked the tracks, we got to a clearing that has a marsh/swamp to the west between the tracks and the road and tall weeds/brush/trees to the east. As we passed through this clearing, you could see beavers swimming in the swamp and hear typical summer insects and frogs. We entered a heavilly wooded area where some railroad cars and equipment were parked, nosed around for a few minutes and decided to head back. We were talking amonst ourselves as we entered the clearing again when a second, VERY powerful, angry roar came from the middle of the swamp. Once again, it was higher in pitch than what one would normally associated a "roar" to sound like, only this time, it lasted much longer(about 8 to 10 sec.)and was very close(approx. 50 to 75 ft.) The three of us froze dead in our tracks an barely uttered "what the F*** was that!?!) when a very large creature came charging through the swamp right at us. All we could see was a silhouette, but it was definitly upright on two legs, swinging its arms and a massive torso as it was running through the water. This thing was actually making waves and moving extreamly quick for being chest deep in muck, water and cattails. The three of us sprinted back towards the car, occationally looking back to see if it was following us. We could see the silhoette at the edge of the swamp, but it never left that spot or climbed up onto the tracks. This happened over eleven years ago and I remember it as though it were yesterday. I would also bet that this was no prank...given the shear size and the power at which it muscled through the water. Not to mention the scream it made. I still live in the area (Richfield) and pass through this spot on a regular basis. Although I have never seen or heard anything like this since, it still gives me goosebumps when I drive through the area... my wife thinks i'm nuts!
ALSO NOTICED: nothing at the time
OTHER WITNESSES: There were three of us...My old high school friend Aaron and my cousin Ken. Prior to this we were at the Independence firewoks display. None of us smoked,did drugs or drank anything but coffee
OTHER STORIES: Growing up in the area, I have talked to people since the incident and have heard of people "hearing similar screams", but no sightings. At the time of the occurence, I had no clue anything like this had ever been sighted in our area. After the encounter, I have researched the local myths and heard of something called the "GRASSMAN". From what I've read, it sounds alot like what we saw.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: between 11:30p.m. and 12:30a.m
Clear, warm summer night
very bright moon
ENVIRONMENT: Heavilly wooded national park with small streams,marshes, the Cuyahoga River and the Canal Towpath
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mark Maisel:
I spoke to the witness by phone on several occassions. I had first spoke to the witness over a year prior after hearing of his report via other channels.
The following can be added to this report. The first call originated from the northwest, and up on the ridge. When asked he did describe the "howl", in the following way. It lasted three to five seconds, it was continous and high in pitch. The second vocalization quickly got their attention. The witness describes this howl as lasting seven to twelve seconds. He further describes this as being much louder, angrier, and higher in pitch than the first.
The witness describes the animal as massive, estimating its weight to be between three hundred twenty to three hundred seventy pounds. He estimates that the shoulder width was over three feet, and that the animal did not look like it had a neck. The head was describe as large and round. The arms were noted to be long with them above the water, at no time did the animal use them to propel itself. No further details were discernable due to the lighting conditions.
The animal was approximately fifty to seventy feet away when this occured. It covered the distance between the witness, and its location quickly. The witness estimates the whole experience lasted only twenty seconds, at this point they exited the area quickly. When asked if they were followed the witness states that they ran fast, and the animal had stopped at the edge of the swampy area.
The Cuyahoga National Park has abundant flora and fauna. It has an extremely high population of deer, and many other animals. The Cuyahoga river runs through the park offering fish and other aquatic animals. Farms and orchards are located thoughout the area.
About BFRO Investigator Mark Maisel:
Mark Maisel is employed in the medical field in Ohio. He has attended the following expeditions: West Virginia, New York Adirondacks, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina. Expedition organizer of the 2009 Ohio expedition and assisting with both of Eastern Ohio's in 2012 and Michigan UP 2012. Attended WV 2013