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COUNTY: Kalkaska County
LOCATION DETAILS: west of Twin Lakes in Kalkaska County, probably on Twin Lakes Road NE (based on the Google Earth May 12, 1994 image), east of State Highway 66
NEAREST TOWN: Kalkaska to southwest, Mancelona to northwest
NEAREST ROAD: west of Twin Lakes in Kalkaska County, probably on Twin Lakes Road NE (based on the Google Earth May 12, 1994 image), east of State Highway 66
OBSERVED: I am writing this for my neighbor Bill (not his real name). I interviewed Bill on December 25, 2010, and for additional details two times again.
Bill said that when he was a teenager he went with a group of 11 relatives and neighbors from Detroit camping in the upper Lower Peninsula of Michigan. They camped west of Twin Lakes in northern Kalkaska County. The group was made up of several men, about 7 boys (ages 7 to 12 years), and Bill. They arrived on a Friday morning and set up camp about 50 ft from the road and in a spot where no one else had camped. They cleared away the underbrush and built two rings of rocks for their campfires. The two rock rings were about 30 ft apart. It was early Spring because Bill recalled there were still patches of snow on the ground under the trees during this trip.
In the early evening, they roasted marshmallows and hotdogs Ėthe children sitting around one campfire and the adults around the other. From behind where Bill was sitting, a rock was thrown into the campsite. About 15 to 20 minutes later, two more rocks were thrown into the camp in quick succession. The rocks were about the size of cantaloupes. Each rock landed and rolled only a few feet, suggesting the rocks had been lobbed upwards rather than thrown directly into the camp. The rocks had been thrown from beyond their camp clearing. The edge of the clearing was at least 30 ft away from where the rocks landed. With the first rock thrown, everyone thought someone from their group had thrown the rock as a prank (perhaps while taking a leak in the forest). But when they looked around and saw that everyone was at the campfires, they realized someone else was throwing the rocks. I asked Bill what their reactions were to the rocks landing in their campsite. Bill said that they were surprised and thought it was weird that someone would or could throw such large rocks but no one was alarmed. Bill said that one of the adults had a firearm in his tent, but did not get up to get it.
Early the following morning, Bill got up and drove west towards State Highway 66 in order to buy some supplies. He recalls that he was driving with a learnerís permit, so one of the adults rode with him. The road they were on was a narrow hard dirt road without a maintained, clear shoulder. It was like a fire road or logging road. Bill had driven about 10 miles west of the campsite when he saw a large animal come out of the forest on the north side of the road. It emerged from the forest on all four limbs until it reached the road. On the roadís edge, it stood up and walked across the road in two steps, the first step was in the middle of the road, the second on the other side. Because the forest edge along the south side of the road was dense, the animal immediately vanished from sight as it reentered the forest.
When Bill saw the animal, the sun was behind him and still very low, the trees cast long shadows, and he was about 50 yards from where it crossed the road. So he recalls only that it was bigger than a bear, its hair was darker red than a deer, and he was impressed by the strength or force of its stride. When Bill got to the spot where he had seen the figure cross, he stopped briefly but didnít get out of the truck because the adult he was with told him to drive on. (The adult had been sleeping when the figure crossed the road and awoke when he stopped the truck.)
Because he was driving with a learnerís permit, he was 15 years old. As such, the year was 1962.
He thought about what he had seen during the rest of his trip to the store. He thought what he had seen matched descriptions he had heard or read about sasquatch, but thought sasquatch was only seen in the Pacific Northwest. He had not heard of sightings in Michigan. So when he got to the store, he asked the store owner whether he had heard of any local sasquatch sightings.
ALSO NOTICED: Bill did not mention anything else.
OTHER WITNESSES: Most of the group saw or heard the rocks land in the camp site. Only Bill saw the figure cross the road the following morning.
OTHER STORIES: Bill was excited by what he had seen. When he got to the store and described his observation to the owner, the store owner was fairly nonplussed and said he had heard of several other sightings in the area of a 'large unknown animal'.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: the first incident (rock-throwing) occurred in early evening (before 9 pm); the second incident occurred in early morning. Weather was cool enough to still support snow patches under the trees.
ENVIRONMENT: Relatively flat terrain, with dense mature pine forest; many bogs and small ponds in area. Bill thought that the area was more forested and natural in the 1950s and 1960s than it is today.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Don Peer:
On 5/23/2011 I spoke to the actual witness who had the encounter. He now lives in Arizona. He stated that while he was 15 in 1962, he and a group of friends and relatives were camping near twin lakes in Kalkaska county. On the evening there were there, three or four large rocks, the size of grapefruits were thrown in their direction from the surrounding woods. They landed ten to fifteen feet from them. They at first blamed it on one of the other campers, then realized they were all accounted for.
The next day the witness and his uncle were driving to the local party store and seen a large animal cross the road in front of them, approximately 100 yards away. It crossed the road in two steps and was gone. It was described as very large and reddish brown in color. It walked on two legs the entire time and was very tall. The witness said they seen it cross by a branch on a tree and was taller than the branch. When they stopped at the location, the animal was gone and he described the branch as being at least seven to eight feet tall, with the animal being taller than that as it passed by.
When they stopped at the party store, they told the man working at the party store, who stated it was probably a bigfoot and they have several stories told to them by other people around there. They had no further incidents while camping there. This area is in the Pere Marquette State Forest and has several small lakes, creeks, marshlands, and forest, both pine forest and hardwoods. It provides many different food opportunities. I found the witness to be very straight forward and honest in his recollection of events.
About BFRO Investigator Don Peer:
Don Peer lives in northern Michigan and has studied the bigfoot phenomenon all his life. He has attended numerous Michigan expeditions and co-organized the 2011 Michigan BFRO expedition. He is an avid outdoorsman and works for the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Don Peer may be contacted at email@example.com