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DATE: ca Oct1
COUNTY: Kent County
NEAREST TOWN: Grand Rapids (largest)
OBSERVED: This incident took place over 30 years ago (1979 or 1980) on the western side of the state, near Grand Rapids. It was the opening of archery deer season ( that would make it Oct?) and I and two other fellows, one a coworker of mine at the time, drove up from our place of business near Detroit to a state forest (can’t recall the name now) located just (north?) of Grand Rapids. It was raining cats and dogs (!) that afternoon we left and when we got into the area that night, my coworker stopped at his parents house to pick up a small trailer for us to use while we camped in the state forest. We pulled up the next morning, set up camp and then staked out areas each of us wanted to hunt (my coworker was fairly familiar with the area but I was not). Nothing unusual happened that day and we finished hunting (with no result) and then stayed in the trailer that night.
The next day I picked out another site not far from the trailer, a fairly large clearing a few hundred feet in diameter (the forest was a mix of hardwood and evergreen, if I recall) with a wide easement for power lines that had been cut into the woods that ran directly in front of the blind that I had set up under a tree ( I think that power line easement figures into what happened but at the time I had no idea of its significance). The morning went by and we (the other two fellows had staked out blinds in other parts of the forest ) took a break for lunch, driving to a small town, the name of which I can’t recall. When we got back (early afternoon, probably about 1 p.m or so) I staked out my blind again, the afternoon being sunny and mild. That’s when it happened. Suddenly, off to my two o’clock position, at the edge of the clearing, but back in the forest and out of sight, the most horrible and weird racket began. It sounded as if logs and tree branches were breaking (although I could not actually see anything, only hear) and from inside the canopy of forest came another STRANGE, loud, vocalizations (I remember being under the impression that there were more than one “person” involved out there), almost as if someone was incoherently, intoxicated (it was the only way I could describe it at the time). These noises went on for perhaps 3 minutes and then stopped as quickly as they had begun. After that utter silence. Nothing else. After a few minutes I got up with my bow, knocked an arrow, and went over to the general spot to investigate but there was so much dead fall and brush there that I couldn’t get into the forest very far so I turned around and came back. That night I talked to my companions about what happened but nothing they could tell me shed any light onto the subject except that the three of us were the only other people in the area, so I ruled out it being other hunters.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that I ran across the BFRO website and a TAPE RECORDING of the “vocalizations” that I heard that day (or something very, very close to it). I was flabbergasted when I heard the recordings of the so-called “Samurai chatter”. THAT was the vocalization that went along with the other noises that I heard. It’ taken over thirty years to clear up that enigma.
While I had almost no knowledge of Bigfoot at the time, looking back on it, I suspect that one or more of the hairy things was traveling up that power line cut and spotted me sitting in the blind, then took to the forest again and stopped and tried some vocalizations and tree branch breaking in an attempt to intimidate me into leaving the area. They didn’t count on my ignorance; instead of leaving, I walked towards them to investigate. If I had known, at the time, what was probably in those woods, I would have headed back to the trailer and locked myself in.
OTHER WITNESSES: none.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: early afternoon; weather sunny, mild.
ENVIRONMENT: mixed forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
My interest in this report stemmed primarily from the fact that a fellow hunter heard something out of place while hunting in southwest Michigan. Having heard and recorded interesting sounds made by unknown vocalizers myself, I was drawn to this man’s story. If you spend a great deal of time in the woods there is a good chance you will slip into the thought that you belong there and are a part of your surroundings and can sense everything around you. Then there are times when everything goes wrong and it seems as if the wilderness was against you. This story is somewhere in between. Mr. K set himself up for a day of bow hunting along a power-line cut near the Rogue River State Game Area ten miles north of Grand Rapids. He had been in the area before and was with friends but they had separated in order to cover more territory. As an experienced hunter, Mr. K understood that power-line cuts offer deer easily accessible forage and are often used by game animals of all types for trails. After arranging branches to create a make-shift blind he sat back and awaited dusk and the movement of game.
Mr. K was barely settled in when he began to hear a commotion across the cut. This noise was too loud to be a deer and initially he thought it must be people choosing a strange time to break branches and yell. The following is his description as told to me:
"As to the vocalization details there were two sets of 'noises' emanating from the forest. First, the sounds of branches or logs crashing which seemed to occur pretty much along with the loud "chatter.” …the "chatter" was amazingly (emphasis his) similar to that which I heard on that BFRO recording from out west (The Sierra Sounds recordings by Barry and Morehead). A type of "…slurred, incoherent speech." At the time I heard it, I was pretty much bewildered as to what/who was making it; In fact, the only thing that was remotely like it, in my mind, was that someone was completely and totally DRUNK and going quite berserk in those woods. On reflection, now, the noises were so loud that no human being could have raised that many decibels to reach my ear from that distance (which, as I said, was probably at least two hundred feet (I do recall thinking, at the time, that I would never get off a good shot with an arrow unless a deer moved along that trail and got quite a bit closer). I did not hear any "footsteps" of any kind (unless, of course, that was the cause of the branches, etc, breaking, which I have no way of knowing). It would have been nice if I had a tape recorder but back then, one did not take along such things on a hunt."
Please listen to the following clip from the Sierra Sounds.
I asked Mr. K what he did after the noise subsided and how long it had lasted. He very clearly stated that had he known what might have been out there he would have packed up and left immediately. But as it was he stated that “…these noises went on for a few minutes, then stopped as suddenly as they began. When I walked through the clearing and towards the area, the forest was very quiet and… I had to turn around and come out as the ground was impossibly difficult to move through (another reason why there wouldn't have been any human beings in there)."
I wondered if Mr. K believed that he was being threatened. Did whatever it was that was out there in the darkness know he was sitting there and did “they” want him to leave? Mr. K responded by saying that “… Looking back on it, yes, I do believe it, or they, knew that I was there. I suspect, now, that they caught glimpse of me while moving along that power line cut OR, they were following that deer trail themselves (through those woods) and spotted me from inside the canopy of the forest. The blind that I made under that tree where I was sitting wasn't very good (it was rather hastily put together) and though I was dressed in camo, it wouldn't have been too difficult for an intelligent creature (with good eyesight) to see me, especially in early afternoon on a very sunny day. Of course, I can't say with certainty if there was more than one creature but if there was only one, and it was making the amount of noise that it did, then it was very busy busting up things and "chattering" at me (if it wanted to intimidate me, that was one way of doing it)."
I offered Mr. K vocals I have collected from Michigan in the hopes that he would hear more that were similar to what he had heard years before. I few were fairly close. “That audio [you sent] captured vocalizations that were very similar to what I heard during my apparent encounter years ago, albeit, during your recording, of shorter duration. Still, it was similar enough that I felt my skin begin to tingle. I had no idea that these vocalizations are so common.”
While it is rare to capture good vocals and it requires either a great deal of luck or a substantial amount of effort and time, there are good recordings out there - see Report 32981.
Mr. K and I still regularly communicate whenever something new happens in the world of Cryptozoology. I have enjoyed my experience with Mr. K and look forward to continued correspondence.
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