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COUNTY: Montmorency County
LOCATION DETAILS: Dense forests. Few spread out houses, a very small community with maybe 25 to 30 houses towards the lake. Many 4 wheeler trails and untouched land. Few swampy areas, and some larger hills around the area.
NEAREST TOWN: Hillman
NEAREST ROAD: Co Rd. 624
OBSERVED: I was up north visiting my grandparents over summer break. I was walking back to the house after taking a walk to the boat launch. While coming towards the stop sign, I heard a rustling sound to the side of me. I figured it was leaves in the wind so I kept walking. A few seconds later, I heard the noise again, by now it was getting louder. Thinking it was maybe a deer, I slowly walked towards the treeline. I walked into the trees, and crouched down behind the brush was a large, dark brown colored figure about 50 to 60 yards away. I first assumed it was a bear so I started backing up. It never moved while I was there but I got out of the woods as fast as I could. The next night, I heard howls coming from the woods. I've heard wolf and coyote howls before and this was definitely not one. I have heard many strange howls coming from the woods. Some have been far away but others have sounded very close. Every call has either been a loud low pitched howl or a high pitched cry, sounding like a man screaming. Along with the calls were tree knocks. I never thought much of them until hearing the exact sounds on the show Finding Bigfoot. I honestly don't know what I saw but I believe it was a Bigfoot.
ALSO NOTICED: Howls and tree knocks were heard the next few nights.
OTHER WITNESSES: One. I was walking back from the boat launch.
OTHER STORIES: A few locals have reported seeing Bigfoot. I have always been a believer so I have believed most stories.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: I think it was around 8 o'clock. It was pretty chilly, and the sun was still up but just starting to set so my surroundings were still very visible.
ENVIRONMENT: Typical forest. Some pine trees, a few swampy areas. Very dense, thick brush.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
The land area around this report contains the Mackinaw State Forest while to the south the Au Sable State and Huron National Forests completely encompass the city of Hillman near to where this incident occurred. The land from which this report originated is filled with swamps, much undeveloped land and few roads.
It was on one of these roads that the witness Mr. G, at the time a 14 year old, had his encounter. I spoke to him and he added: "I thought it could have been a bear but only black bears live in this area and there are not many up there anymore. It was a dark brown but it was light enough that I knew it wasnít a black bear. I wasnít sure what it was so I got out of there as fast as I could. I got to the end of the road, heard branches snapping, looked back and saw a very large animal running through the woods. I would say it had to be about 8 to 9 feet tall. Iím 6 foot 4, and I knew it was much bigger than me."
I asked Mr. G to describe the snapping of the branches. He clarified that the snapping also occurred the night after he witnessed the figure running away. "I heard many branches snapped but I only found maybe 7 or 8 of them. They were set up to where it looked like someone was carrying them and kept dropping them. They were spread out all over but it was almost a straight line of debris. I do not think I could break these limbs. They were pretty good sized and thick." He found no footprints or other signs in evidence.
Along with the second night and the snapping branches, Mr. G heard what he described as a "...deep howl. It sounded like a roar almost. It was very deep and very loud...I heard it echo through the forest." I sent Mr. G numerous samples of vocalizations to compare with what he heard that night and he decided that the howl was most similar was the 1994 Ohio - Moaning Howl .
I asked Mr. G to describe his feelings during his encounters. Until you see or hear strange things in the wilderness you never really know how you will react. Mr. G stated that at first he was not really worried about simply hearing noises in the woods along the road. Animals live all over this part of the state and most, even the large ones, won't bother you unless you mess with them. But as the sounds got closer, louder, and increased in intensity and speed his "...heart started pumping faster and the adrenaline and fear kicked in. Once I saw the animal running, I really didnít believe it. I wasnít so much scared as I was surprised. When I heard the howls, I was more curious than scared. I tried to howl back a few times but I never got a response."
Mr. G is returning to the property in the near future. He is excited to see if he can have a similar incident and will keep us posted if he sees or hears anything in the future.
About BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Jim is a High School History teacher and Track and Cross Country coach. He attended the Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition in 2011, the Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition in 2012, co-organized the Michigan UP 2013 Expedition and attended the 2014 Wisconsin Expedition. He assisted in the production of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot Michigan episodes (Bigfoot and Wolverines and Super Yooper). He participates in Ironman Triathlons and enjoys fishing and camping with his wife and daughter. Jim can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @shermanbigfoot and his YouTube account is : Lordcryptid