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COUNTY: Bonner County
LOCATION DETAILS: On our remote 25 acre ranch in the mountains (Selkirk),just at the end of a primitive airstrip currently under construction. We have lived on this ranch for 25 years now.
NEAREST TOWN: Sandpoint,idaho
NEAREST ROAD: Baldy Mtn. Rd.
ALSO NOTICED: Loud rock banging, very close and clear, twice about 10 minutes apart. Found TODAY, two possible left LARGE footprints, very fresh within days due to new runway work being done. Dogs have been going up to said area and baring at something.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About4pm. Excellant lighting.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavily forested, except where cleared for a runway.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Nancy L. Jones:
The witness explained in a phone interview that he lives on a remote ranch near the top of the mountain with both a large pond and an orchard on his property. He was working in a big open clearing surrounded by timber in late August. The loud rock-banging he reported occurred shortly after he turned off his heavy earth-moving equipment to stop for the day. He walked around inspecting the area and his excavator, dump truck and dozer. He was accompanied by one of his Great Pyrenees dogs. The area seemed very quiet, but the witness thought perhaps his ears were just getting used to the absence of loud machinery noise.
After about five minutes, the silence was broken by five to six very loud rock bangs coming from the tree line just outside the clearing. It was close enough that the witness could have seen the source of the rock banging had it not been hidden by the shadows of the timber. His normally brave guard dog was alert and focused, but did not attempt to approach the area from which the sound was coming. He got the uneasy feeling of being watched by something hidden in the trees. While thinking about whether to inspect the forest unarmed, another series of five to six rock bangs rang out again from the same spot. At this point, the witness decided to exit the area with his dog.
A couple weeks later, the witness found two footprints in the clearing near where the rock banging originated. By happenstance, as he was doing some dozer work, he noticed some prints in the soil that were much too large and deep to be his. He got down out of his machine and saw that the blade of his bulldozer had pushed a bit of the soil from the top edge of the prints into their depression. In the soft soil, his boot prints embedded at most three quarter of an inch, but these prints were two to three inches deep. The prints measured twenty-three inches and twenty-one inches long. Scrape marks were visible at the tip of the toes on the longest print. These were not claw marks, according to the witness, because there was no sign of a pointed claw entering the soft earth. Rather, the marks were horizontal scrapings like a long, wide toe-nail would make as the foot lifted to take the next step. These prints were not fresh, as some debris had collected in them. They were pointed toward the place in the timber where the rocks had been banged together.
At this point, the witness decided to investigate inside the tree line. No more prints were found, but the forest floor was well-trodden as if this might have been a game trail leading to or across the clearing being turned into an air strip. He placed a game camera in the timber near this trail for just over a week. It was a recent, high-quality model that was very sensitive to movement and had IR capability. The witness was surprised to find that no animals or birds were captured during this week. Wind moving trees had triggered it, but not a single animal was photographed.
Lastly, the witness mentioned that he found an unusual tree in this area. It is a large pine tree with its bark completely stripped from the ground up to eight to ten feet high. No claw marks or tooth marks are visible. It looks like it could have been stripped by a chisel, with each of the marks being about one inch long and one quarter to one half inch wide. The witness was a logger for thirty years and is very accustomed to seeing trees stripped by bears, both black and brown, and rodents. This tree is like nothing he has ever seen before. Whether it is related to the rock bangs and footprints is unclear at this time.
About BFRO Investigator Nancy L. Jones:
Nancy L. Jones is an M.B.A., presently doing occasional special projects for her husband's business and being a full-time mom. Formerly she worked as an IT Project Manager for Hewlett-Packard. She attended the 2007 Central Oregon Expedition.