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COUNTY: Grand Traverse County
LOCATION DETAILS: Specific directions omitted due to ongoing investigation
NEAREST TOWN: Traverse City/Kingsley
NEAREST ROAD: garfield road
OBSERVED: This is an older reporting. It was late spring or early summer of 2005. Located just 5-10 minutes south of Traverse City off a dirt road few miles off of Garfield rd. I was meeting up with a group of friends of mine on some Private property back in the woods. I was walking down a gated dirt road to meet with them in a spot we had found the summer before off of Arbutis lake. There we had come across previously while wondering through the woods was a hill that over looked the lake. You walked down the sandy bank that had erosion and you are at the waters edge, about 25 feet down. Any ways, i had just gotten out of work and it was around 5 or 6 o'clock pm and i had parked my car at the gate because it was locked. i continued to walk down the road. after about 10 minutes of walking i started to hear what sounded like sticks being banged together. knowing the camp site was relatively close, i thought it could have been my friends i was meeting up with getting fire wood, "hey guys!" i yelled out. no response, just the sound continuing, not skipping a sound... bang, bang about every second or so. "hey you!" i yelled thinking maybe its not them, but maybe some one else, still no response.. the sound continued. after my mind started wondering what it could have been, and knowing there was no houses for a decent walk away or so.. i decided i was going to just get out of there knowing i was alone. i quickly ran the last mile to the camp site. i stopped running once i approached the site, didn't want my friends to think i was scared in the woods by myself, i walked the last few hundred yards to the site. i didnt say anything to them about what had happened because they would have just thought i was joking. figured i would just let it sit, and do what i could so i wouldnt have to walk back to my car later alone.
The night had gone on without any other occurance. until night had fallen and we were just sitting around talking. friend of mine and myself thought we would go and try to start a fire in a different location. as we proceeded to a different fire pit we had found on our previous visit there, we started gathering sticks and leaves to start a fire. as we were organizing the small twigs and leaves in the pit a small stick, 5-6 inches in length and about 2 inches thick came out of the dark woods and landed between us, bouncing and slid to a stop slightly behind our feet (as we wee kneeling side by side trying to get the sticks ready. we looked up and at each other. not having a flash light we assumed it was our other friend Phil, who always snuck off and tried to scare people. so we started to attempt to light the fire. before we got the match to the leaves another stick (that we didnt find after it hit behind us) flew over our heads and landed in the woods behind us. "Phil stop!" my friend yelled. Phil replied "doing what?" from back at the other fire where we left him. we got up and walked back to the fire and told them what happened. why we called out Phil's name. They didnt believe us. so we ignored it. ten minutes later friend i was with lighting the fire (Kyle) and his girlfriend at the time went down to the water to swim. left Phil and i at the fire just talking about how he's looking forward to leaving for the army in the following months. Kyle started to freak out and yelled for us to grab the flash light. we grabbed it and jumped down the 4 foot erosion of roots and ran the distance down to the water. turned on the flash light to see a great amount of craw fish all gathered up in the shallow water. probably close to 30-40 pounds (if you were to catch and weigh them). they quickly mentioned how weird that was. As soon as that happened we heard a few thump noises through the ground up by the fire and heard the logs on the fire move... we ran back up the hill to the fire to find nothing. We looked for deer eyes with the flash light or any other eyes, nothing was there. by this time everyone was on edge. i decided to tell them my story from earlier that night, and we all decided that we were leaving, and we were leaving now. as we walked back nothing else had happened. no noises no smells nothing of that sort. just what had happened to us. then we all started to think... when we found that spot the summer before. there were people who did maintenance to it. cut the wild grass, had a hammock, and even had a few fire pits dug. water front camping, whats better? we all came to the conclusion, and the possible possibility, with what happened to us, what if that is the reason they dont camp there either.
Years have gone by and i dont talk to any of them any more. we all went different paths. but i am sure that none of us have gone back there to camp.
ALSO NOTICED: i believe i covered it all
OTHER WITNESSES: 3 friends
OTHER STORIES: none
TIME AND CONDITIONS: afternoon/night
ENVIRONMENT: woods. pines, oak, water front...
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
I found this report interesting because the encounter happened close to home and I have researched this area a little bit recently. This is a beautiful area of extensive hard wood and pine forest around a lake. There is very little development in this area and it is close to a year-long open water source.
I talked with the witness for quite a while. He is currently serving in the Coast Guard. Mr. K shared his experience with me at length. He stated that when he arrived at the site, he had quite a distance to walk alone to reach camp and the entire time he felt uneasy. When he heard the wood knocks, Mr. K stated that he thought the knocks were done by one of his friends, messing around with him.
Mr. K also shared that when the sticks were thrown, he and his friend were surprised that the sticks landed right between the two of them. They thought the sticks might had fallen out of a tree, but as he talked with his friend about it, they couldn't see how two sticks could come flying through the air and land right between them if they fell from a tree. When asked if it was windy, he said, "No, it was really calm." He also added that the tent they had set up had been tampered with while they were away from camp. He said that the fork support for the two man tent was bent sometime during their visit to the lake to see the crayfish. Mr. K also talked about "feeling uneasy" throughout their stay at the camp that evening. Rather than spending the night, they all left camp later that evening, feeling afraid all the way back to their cars.
Mr. K shared that he is an avid outdoors man and he is usually very comfortable in the woods. It was an unusual experience for him to feel afraid in this type of setting.
About BFRO Investigator Kim Fleming:
Kim is a high school science teacher and uses Bigfoot research techniques to teach about scientific method. She has been interested in researching Bigfoot since 2008 and her husband experienced a sighting in Florida in 1976. Her interests include hiking, being outdoors, birding and working with young adults. Kim attended the 2012 and 2013 Michigan UP expedition and has done research in northern Michigan.