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STATE: South Dakota
COUNTY: Gregory County
LOCATION DETAILS: 200 to 300 feet to the east of the 1806 hwy 44 junction.
NEAREST TOWN: burke or gregory south dakota
NEAREST ROAD: hwy 44
OBSERVED: Hello I am from rural South Dakota and i have a strange sighting that I saw about 6 years ago. I was Driving truck and this was about at 5 in the morning still dark in the fall of the year around the end of november. I come onto hwy 44 from 1806 and i turned east onto 44 about 2 miles from the platte-winner bridge on the missouri river. About 200 to 300 ft or so from when i turned there was a dark figure on the right hand side of the road crouching down. At first i thought it was a deer or a fabled moutian lion but it was too dark colored and the only thing that made me write this now was as i drove past it it stood up. this thing was tall enough to look into the top of the passengers side window of my straight truck. This would have made it a little over 7 feet tall. I have never said anything to anyone about this around here because no one would have beleived me. I have lived in this area my whole life and an avid hunter and fisherman, i have never seen anything like this.
ALSO NOTICED: None that I know of but incideces like these are kept quite and not talked about around here. Even the bar talk is limited.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself in the truck.
OTHER STORIES: No I have not besides the recent arrival of the moutian lions.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around 5 am. The sun was just about to start comming up in an hour.
ENVIRONMENT: this is the missouri river breaks in South dakota there are lots of oak and cedar trees present. this happen in close proximity of the Corps of Engeneers land that boarders the river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kirk Brandenburg:
I spoke with the witness by phone and found him to be a credible observer. The following details can be added.
The sighting lasted 10-15 seconds as he approached the unknown animal in his truck and then drove past. The animal was on the right shoulder of the road and clearly illuminated by the truck's headlights. The witness could see the back side of the animal as it crouched like a baseball catcher. As the truck got within about 15 feet the animal stood up on two legs and began moving to the right, away from the road, just as the witness drove by. It could be seen for the last time through the passenger side door window and stood as tall as the top of this window. The witness was driving a 2004 Sterling Acterra Straight Truck. On this model of truck the distance from the top of the passenger side window to the road surface is 8 feet.
The animal was a solid dark brown color except for the bottoms of its feet which were much lighter in color and could be seen as it crouched with its weight on the balls of its feet and toes. It was covered with hair that was smooth in spots and ruffled in others. The hair coming off the head was longer. The width of the shoulders was extensive and wider than a person wearing football shoulder pads. During the entire sighting, the animal kept its back to the witness.
This area of South Dakota is not known to have bear. The witness is an experienced hunter and knows it was not a bovine, elk or deer. The witness did not see any other vehicles nearby. On his return trip later in the day, the witness stopped and inspected the sighting location. No tracks were found due to the frozen conditions, but there were remains of a road kill animal at or near where the unknown animal had been crouching.
The satellite photo below shows that the sighting location is near the Missouri River and has ample trees and brush as the prairie breaks into rolling hills and ravines sloping down to the large river. A healthy population of deer and other wildlife is present. There is also a cattle feedlot very close to the sighting location that may provide a grain or silage food source.
Satellite view of sighting location.
Google Street View of sighting location.
Brand and model of truck driven by witness.
About BFRO Investigator Kirk Brandenburg:
Kirk attended the 2009 WA Cascades, 2009 WA Olympic Peninsula, 2009 Minnesota, 2011 New Mexico, 2011 WA Olympic Peninsula-1, 2011 Nebraska, 2013 WA Cascades-1 and 2013 OR Cascades BFRO public expeditions, plus multiple private expeditions in the Pacific Northwest. He organized the 2012 Western WA expedition and co-organized the 2012 WA Cascades expedition. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the U of MN.
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