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COUNTY: Oxford County
LOCATION DETAILS: Take Route 5 north, (from Maine Turnpike: I-95) until you get to Andover, ME. Then, Take South Arm Road to South Arm Camp Ground. You will cross over the Appalacian Trail. Elephant Mountain will be on your right. Park in the South Arm Camp ground parking lot, walk back out to the road, turn right. Walk back down to the FIRST brook corssing. There is a snowmobile trail, following the left side of the stream, heading upstream.
Hike on the trail for about a mile, until it turns into a moose trail. Continue up, until you reach the boggy area in the saddle between the small peak to your left and the larger Elephant Mountian on your right. There won't be a trail, so turn left and climb up the steep slope about forty yards when you can't do anything else. There is an old logging road chiseled out of the hill there. This is where I camped. About 3.4 miles in. I left my fire ring on the road. It should be easy to locate.
NEAREST TOWN: South Arm, ME or Andover, ME
NEAREST ROAD: near where route 5 ends nearest road is the access road to South Arm. 3 miles away.
OBSERVED: Well, I feel queasy even writing this.
I went on a camping trip alone for two nights this summer, from July 10th to the 12th, near Lower Richardson Lake (by South Arm, ME).
I expected the moose, deer, beavers, chipmunks, woodchucks, and the wild birds. I did not expect the unusually stormy local weather--or the unusual sounds I heard. It seemed to rain from the first day I set up camp, until I left early on the afternoon of the 12th.
I was camped roughly in between the South Arm camp grounds and the summit of Elephant Mountain, very close to the Appalacian Trail. (North of Andover, ME) I had never been in the area before, And pretty much blazed my own trail up into the old reforested logging area. I set up my tent on a thirty or forty year old logging road (flat), cut into the side of the mountain. To further specify my location, I would say I was in the saddle at the source of the Clearwater Brook. (About 3.4 miles up the left side of the stream.)
The rain let up for a few hours on the 10th and the 11th in the evenings, long enough for me to make a small cooking fire each night. On each night, I heard the most unnatural sounds of my life. My eyes are welling up just writing this.
I was in my tent the first night it happened. I had a new microlight one man tent. It was basically just big enough to lie down in. I had just finished eating a fire-warmed MRE, when the noises began. It started to rain, and I heard, down by a pond about forty yards away or so beneath the logging road, the deep groaning/barking noise. I thought: It's a moose..or a wolf? No... I got really scared. I bring a Beretta 9mm with me when I camp alone, and let me tell you, I had white knuckles and a ****in' round in the chamber after that shit started up! Anyway, after about two minutes of these ugly, scary, deep groaning noises, it stopped. What gets me still, to this day is the fact that some of the sounds reminded me of recordings that I have heard on old shows about Bigfoot (Leonard Nimoy narrated?).
SO, the second night, I heard it again a couple of times, and just tried to ignore it. Damned if I didn't stay awake the whole night. I got out of there the next day when the rain let up. I packed my whole camp site up in five minutes and tromped back down to my car briskly (I parked my car in the South Arm Campground parking lot).
What gets me to this day is the sound. I want to be honest with you: I did not even consider checking it out or investigating. I did not look for tracks, I did not "feel investigative" at all. Those noises were enough to scare me out of my wits. So, I don't know what to tell you. I have noises. That's it. I do have pics of my campite, and views from my site, but thats it, really. I could take you right back there again, if need be.
I haven't mentioned this aloud to anyone. I have put off developing the film on the disposable camera because I know when I see the pics they will remind me of the trip.
I just needed to tell someone. I suppose you can ignore this if you want. But I do feel better just writing it all out.
ALSO NOTICED: Like I said before, it had started to rain again,
I had just crawled into my tent after eating...
And the sound was unlike anything I have ever heard
before. I had that metal taste in my mouth almost
immediately. You know what I mean, I hope.
My eyes are watering just recalling all of this.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was alone, and only heard the sounds.
Thank GOD there was no one else. Then I would have had to discuss this with someone else.
OTHER STORIES: Never bothered to ask. I drove back home
(100 miles down Route 5, in Limerick.
I have heard nothing about "Bigfoot" or Sasquatch
I don't know the the hell I heard, but it was
so almost...almost...You know?
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Just starting to rain, nighttime. 9:26 pm is etched into my mind, I remember staring at my watch when the noise happened.
ENVIRONMENT: I was camped near a "boggy" area, filled with dozens of small beaver dam ponds and water holes. Dense conifer growth and older red maples everywhere. If you are familiar with the saddle area, between two moderately sized mountains, you know what kind of terrain it is.
Old remnants of logging activity can still be seen. Mostly just the logging roads in various states of decay. The forest is reclaiming them.
The saddle area had far fewer trees, and was somewhat more exposed to sunlight. But travel was difficult. Hundreds of trees are still laying on the ground, and they have been consumed by ground cover and young, new trees. I would say that the logging in the area ceased about thirty years ago.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator John Perry:
Its always hard to identify the species of animal that someone else has heard and described. That being said, I forwarded a webpage to the witness that contained recordings of several different black bear vocalizations. The witness listened to them, and stated that the sounds he heard were "rather similar" to the sounds made by a moaning black bear. He described the sounds as "a deep, baleful moaning, but with more of a growl undertone". He went on to say that near the end of each resonant bellow was a higher pitched ending that did not sound at all like any of the black bear vocalizations he listened to. He also said that the sound was VERY loud and it carried some distance.
I contacted a State of Maine biologist who specializes in black bears. He stated that bears rarely have a growl undertone, but that he has heard it one time when extremely close to a mortally wounded bear.
Black bears typically only moan when they are frightened or in pain. In fact, the recorded bear moans the witness listened to were from a bear caught in a live trap. However, the witness did not find any signs of trapping, and it is unlikely that a wounded or distressed black bear would have returned to the same area on consectutive nights. Also, if a bear or other animal was in distress it would not have vocalized in the periodic manner in which this animal did. Maybe the most significant aspect of the report was the volume of the sounds; black bears are not typically capable, if at all, of producing sounds as loud as described by the witness.
Black bears, and mammals in general, make a wide variety of vocalizations, most of which are not heard by the layperson. While the timing, duration, and especially the volume of the sounds he heard are not what would be expected to be made by a bear, it can not be ruled out. However, the general region where he camped has had some evidence of sasquatch activity in the past and it is possible that he heard a sasquatch. The volume of the sounds made by the subject animal certainly fits sounds reportedly made by sasquatch, and the witness stated in his report that the sounds were also similar to alleged sasquatch sounds he had heard on TV documentaries. Unfortunately, without actually seeing the source of the sounds, there is no way to say for certain whether it was a sasquatch or not.
About BFRO Investigator John Perry:
John is a biologist from Maine.