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COUNTY: Geauga County
LOCATION DETAILS: The area is about 6 miles east of I-271 in Geauga County.
NEAREST TOWN: Russell Township
NEAREST ROAD: Dines Road/County Line Road
OBSERVED: My story goes back to mid-August of 1980. I was around 13 years old and my best friend was 12. We had been badgering our parents for walkie-talkies for a couple years because we used to play in the woods so often. Much to our delight, my friend's father was cleaning out their attic and found a set left by the previous owners of the house. He cleaned them up, got us new batteries and we were on our way.
There were very few houses in our area at the time and plenty of wooded areas to play. We headed down to where a new road was being cut. The crews had basically ploughed a rough dirt "road" almost 1/2 a mile into the dense forest off of our road. We got almost to the end when we headed back into the woods (west). We started heading toward the direction of an old quarry that had been abandoned for many years. We had gone in about 100 yards when we agreed to start walking in opposite directions, but parallel to the "road", so we could test the range on the walkie-talkies.
We were alternating our responses for about 40-50 yards when my friend stopped responding. I could still see him in the breaks of the foliage, so after several attempts to reach him via the walkie-talkies, I just called out to him. He came back across the radio and told me not to shout or move. I asked him what was happening and he told me to be very still because he saw something behind a large tree that had fallen about another 40 yards further in. It had just stormed about a week earlier and many trees in the woods had fallen. This particular tree had its roots exposed, but was still suspended, on the "leaf-end", about 3-5 feet above the ground due to a tangle of vines. He said that he could "feel" the "something" watching him and he was scared to move. I told him that I didn't see anything and I would walk towards him. He warned me again not to move and said that the "thing" was shifting its weight and started moving toward "my end" of the tree. I stood there looking at the root disk and suddenly saw what appeared to be a dark face and broad shoulders. I too could "feel" this "thing" watching me. The creature, if you will, moved back and forth as if studying my friend and me. The height was undiscernable, but had to be above six feet tall. It was hard to see the legs, but those also appeared to be dark in colour. After about 5 minutes of this "thing" alternating vantage points, I had enough and was ready to make a dash for the road. My friend reluctantly agreed to move toward the spot we started while keeping an eye on the fallen tree. We finally met up and began to back up. We had only gotten a few yards when we saw the creature rise up and put its hands on the trunk by the root-disk. My friend and I screamed at full volume and started to run for the "road". We turned only once after hearing a loud crack of wood, possibly a branch or something underfoot, to see this creature running almost noiselessly in the opposite direction. It, again, was very difficult to see, but appeared to be completely black, powerfully built and running on two legs. We ran all the back home and said we would keep this incident between us. A few days later, my friend's father said he had read an article in the Geauga Times Leader (a local paper) stating a woman in a nearby town had seen a Sasquatch. We asked what a "Sasquatch" was and his dad laughed, saying it was a cross between an ape and a man and it wasn't real. We read the article and it sounded exactly like what we had seen! My friend's older brother said that he had heard something following him along the Chagrin River as he was going to a friend's house a week before and joked that it might have been the same thing as what was reported in the newspaper article. I never spoke of this incident until I was into my adulthood and had moved out of the area. I still haven't gotten over that sensation and think about it every time I take a walk in the woods.
ALSO NOTICED: There were very few sounds of insects or birds except for distant sounds. Slight "sharp" smell to the air around us as if a skunk had been in the area the night before.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me and my friend. Had walked about a mile before entering the woods.
OTHER STORIES: Apparently there were quite a few stories emerging from Wayne Forest around the same time (something we found out as we began to take an interest in Bigfoot sightings). There was the story of a woman and her son picking blackberries in Munson Twp near Fowler's Mill Road (story in the paper) and my friend's older brother's "being follwed in the woods" story.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Clear day, extremely humid and warm. It was sometime in the early afternoon.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavy leaf canopy, tall trees and many hanging vines. There was a little bit of new growth- about two feet tall popping up in patches. The quarry was nearby, but out of sight due to the heavy foliage and general distance. No houses except the ones at the foot of the street bordering Dines Road.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Osborne:
When I talked with the witness there were only a couple of extra details that he could add. When the creature was running it did not pump its arms like a man running, instead the arms were fairly still at its except to nudge aside undergrowth in its path. He also felt that the arms were slightly longer proportionately than a human's (but could not be certain to this detail because of the twenty years since the sighting).