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COUNTY: Cook County
LOCATION DETAILS: The deep prints were found on the trail which follows the abandoned section of the Midlothian Turnpike past Bachelors Grove Cemetery, just beyond the abandoned settlement of Bachelors Grove. The foot impressions were found at the head of the trail, near 143rd Street, just before the gate.
NEAREST TOWN: Midlothian
NEAREST ROAD: 143rd Street
OBSERVED: We went to check out Bachelor's Grove yesterday. We saw the pyramid and the arched tree that was posted in Report # 28525. We also heard a siren, or something, exactly like what was posted in that same report. Not sure what it was, but it came from the direction of the road.
I found a footprint with a broad heal and wide ball, deeply impressed into muddy soil. Other, less distinct heal prints were seen in an apparent trackway. I think it's about 15.5 inches long. The print was old, and there was some debris in it. Looks like there may have been some drag as well, but it was rather clear that there were toes. I should say prints, as I found 2 or 3 more heel impressions back from it, with about a 7 foot stride, but they were hard to make out, as other stuff had torn up the trail, so I didn't photograph them.
I also could make out impressions in the dirt on the trail going in, that looked to have been made by a foot of about the same size. These were barely noticeable in the dirt, but there were three, with about a 7 foot stride. I would venture to say less than a month old, maybe only two weeks. That trail is very packed, and very traveled, so the must have been made just after a good rain.
We did occasionally hear what we thought might have been voices. Really quiet, like someone was mumbling off in the brush. Never saw anything living, apart from squirrels, deer, birds, and fish.
ALSO NOTICED: Tree pyramids, an 'X', and a tree arch were in the vicinity.
Several of the logs used in constructing the pyramids, 'X', and arch were examined, and were found to have never been rooted (or lacking roots all together) at the location in which they were planted. Most of them were broken off at the thick end with no nearby stump, or had some amount of root ball, but had clearly been pulled from another location.
One of the limbs or young trees used in the 'X' was placed with its thick end in the air, and the thin end was broken and running along the ground under some of the pyramid logs.
It was determined that falling trees and gravity could not have produced the structures. They were clearly hand made.
OTHER WITNESSES: One other person observed the pyramids, 'X', and arch with me, but left the area before the prints were discovered.
OTHER STORIES: Similar tree and stick structures have been found in northern Cook County and southwest Lake County, including arches, pyramids, an 'X', and hunting blind type structures. Hunting is not permitted in these forest preserves.
Some possible foot impressions have been found in these other locations, but none worthy of a report.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Afternoon, at 3:15 pm. Clear and sunny skies. Lighting condition was diffuse, with the Sun filtered through moderate forest.
ENVIRONMENT: The environment is moderate to heavy deciduous forest, consisting of oak, maple, and other deciduous trees along with ground cover. The immediate area around the prints was fairly clear of ground cover. There is a nearby stream or creek, with minnows, and a pond which seemed to contain stagnant water. A small, abandoned graveyard is nearby, at which various paranormal enthusiasts have a practice of leaving dolls, jewelry, and sweets as offerings to an unnamed infant girl. Deer were plentiful, as two were seen while at the location.
There is a medium sized open field (perhaps 5 or 6 soccer fields in size) approximately 1/4 of a mile to the southeast, as the crow flies. South of the field is an Irish pub and banquette hall, and then a recent housing development. To the west, northwest, and north of the location are larger forest preserves. About 1/2 mile north is a high tension power line running east-west.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone. I did not speak to the second person as he had left the area before the possible footprint was found.
• The complete footprint was 15 1/2" long.
• It was 6" wide at the ball of the foot.
• The toes were plainly visible.
• An adjacent trackway showed similar prints with about a 7 foot stride.
• The picture is not shown because it was not of sufficient quality.
• The possible howl came from a southwesterly direction and was at a time when no sirens or other man-made sounds were noticeable.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org