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COUNTY: Berkshire County
NEAREST TOWN: Becket
NEAREST ROAD: Rt. 20
OBSERVED: Over the past several months I have heard knocks in the woods behind my house. I live in the Berkshires in MA on a wooded 6 acre lot that borders a very mountainous area with over 100 undeveloped acres. In addition, I have had some rocks being thrown at night while I have been on my back porch.
My most recent occurrence was a few week ago while standing on my back porch I heard some noises nearby in the woods.I scanned the area with my high intensity flashlight and saw some eye shine about 40 yards into the woods. I stared at it for a while and then the animal turned and moved deeper into the woods. I subsequently estimated that the eyes would have been on something at least 7-8 feet tall. In addition, my wife and I have heard knocks in the past and they even responded to my knocks on one occasion last fall.
ALSO NOTICED: Some broken branches and a guttural sound
OTHER WITNESSES: My wife has heard wood knocks
OTHER STORIES: None that I am aware of
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 8:00 pm, clear night
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
A fifty minute phone interview was conducted with the witness during and the following additional information was obtained:
The witness is a business owner and an avid hunter who also provides firearm training and certification in conjunction with local police. He purchased the property several years ago and built a deer stand from which he would periodically hunt. In 2009 he built a house into the hillside of the property and has been living there since. The deer stand on his property sits approximately 100 yard into the woods from his house.
In late July/early August 2011, over the course of several days, the witness awoke in the early morning on two different occasions by a very loud single vocalization that he described as a "guttural, wolf-like howl". Being an avid outdoorsman and familiar with several local animal sounds, he was adamant that the sound he heard was not from a coyote or other animal familiar to him.
Approximately one month later in late August 2011, at approximately 9pm in the evening, the witness was on his back porch and heard thee distinct, loud "wood on wood" knocks which were subsequently repeated approximately 10 minutes later. About 15 minutes later the witness returned two knocks using a piece of 8 x 8 board that he hit against his back porch. He immediately heard two return wood knocks and then he returned two knocks. A short time later, he heard two more return knocks. The witness reported that the repetitive two wood knock exchanges lasted for approximately 15 minutes. He stated that the wood knocks came from a single location that he estimated to be about 75-100 yards away and in the general vicinity of his deer stand.
In October 2011, at approximately 10-11am, the witness was on his back porch and heard a very loud branch break coming from the direction of his deer stand. He noted that it was a very clear, windless night. Two days later, the witness walked to his tree stand and found a 3-4" diameter freshly broken tree branch lying about 20 feet from a tree that he believed the branch was broken from. He estimated the height of the broken tree branch at approximately 5 to 6 feet off the ground.
In early January 2012, at approximately 8pm in the evening, the witness was on his back porch and heard a noise moving down the wooded hillside slope toward his house. Upon shining his flashlight into the woods, he saw a "pair of reddish eyes" staring at him. He stared at the animal for approximately 20 seconds during which he observed the animal "blink" a couple of times. Then he heard the animal turn and walk slowly away back up the hillside deeper into the woods. The next day, the witness identified a reference tree immediately adjacent to where he recalled the animal to be standing. He measured the height from the ground to the point on a branch of the reference tree and determined it to be approximately 7 feet.
Upon further questioning, the witness reported that he sometimes leaves food scraps and fruit in the backyard during the warmer months. In addition, the witness mentioned that there are numerous old logging trails running through the mountain behind his property, along with several caves and numerous wild blueberry bushes. The witness also reported seeing coyotes, bear, and a mountain lion in the general area around Becket.
The area around Becket is sparsely populated and is characterized with interior hills bordered on the east side by Mount Gobble and on the west side by Becket Mountain and Walking Mountain. There are numerous marshy brooks and ponds throughout the region. The Appalachian Trail passes through the western part of the town and the area is adjacent to the southeastern corner of October Mountain State Forest and Class A report 1199.
About BFRO Investigator D.A. Brake (PhD):
D. Brake holds a PhD in Immunology and attended the Maine 2008 expedition.