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DATE: May - January
COUNTY: Kalamazoo County
LOCATION DETAILS: I would be happy to share location but only if contacted by phone.
NEAREST TOWN: Kalamazoo Michigan
NEAREST ROAD: Omitted
OBSERVED: I have several encounters with Sasquatch. I also believe it was the same one both times although the encounters were 10 years apart. The first encounter was when I was in 2nd grade. I was born in 1963 so this was quite a few years ago. I was playing at a school playground in Kalamazoo Michigan. My mother, teachers and other students were also at the playground. The adults were setting up a picnic for the students. It was close to school ending for summer holiday. I wandered off in to a wooded area near the playground. It was a very peaceful and sunny day. I was picking up pine cones, etc. while moving through the woods. I was not paying attention to my surroundings and was looking down at the ground. I was stopped very abruptly when I physically ran into a Sasquatch. It was huge and towered over me holding a large limb from a pine tree open. He was using his right arm to hold the tree branch. I was not afraid because I did not know as a child that this was an unusual thing. I just thought it was natural to see such a thing in the woods. He stood on two legs. His face had expression. First expression was surprise/anger. His face calmed quickly to a gentle, almost observant glance. To see his face I had to turn my head straight up as if looking at the sky. His skin had a tawny reddish hue and his body and face/head was covered in a deep chocolate hair/fur. He stood looking at me for a long time. I did not move. I did not notice any odd odor. He was very quiet and his eyes were very gentle. I sensed he understood I was a child. He turned to his left, releasing the branch of the tree he was holding with his right hand. He walked away from me in long, strong strides. The branch he was holding swung loudly over head. It was a very tall tree and the lowest branch was several feet over my head.
My second encounter happened when I was 16 years old (1979?). I was at my family home sitting on the front porch waiting for a friend to pick me up to go out for the evening. It was winter time. There was snow on the ground. This encounter also took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I heard a low gutteral growl coming from the side of the house. My parents were not home and it was dark outside. Our house is completely surrounded by woods. I heard large heavy stepping, something with great weight was moving slowly along the house to where I was sitting. I sensed it was a large animal. I stood up and walked off the porch and headed down the driveway towards the neighbor's home. I remember I started to sing softly to myself. The growling/knocking/walking noises stopped. Once I had made it down the driveway my friend pulled up in her car. I could see her looking at something on the side of our house. When I opened the car door I looked back at the house and saw a large figure peeking around the corner of the house. I recognized him as the same creature I had seen when I was a child. With that recognition I did not feel afraid. I felt almost relieved. The next day there were large footprints in the snow coming out of the woods along side my family's house. The footprints traveled to the front of the house, around a dogwood tree and down the front yard. My parents had someone come in to analyze the prints. They were told the prints were not a hoax but made by something/someone very large with much weight. It was winter time and there was deep snow on the ground. The prints were very clear and the snow beneath the print was particularly icy as if heat from the foot itself had melted the snow. I never told my parents about these encounters until a couple of years ago when they finally informed me that they had seen the footprints in the snow back in 79' and called someone to look at them.
I am a dancer and choreographer. I grew up not only dancing at the studio but also dancing in my parent's living room that has large windows that look out to the woods in back of the house. I have often felt something was watching me from the woods. I never felt frightened of it though. Maybe because I believe humans are far more frightening that Sasquatch. I am sure I have experienced visits from the same Sasquatch. In a way I feel rather protective of the whole species because I believe he was protective of me growing up.
ALSO NOTICED: Footprints in snow made by very large/heavy upright creature (second encounter only).
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: First encounter: Bright sunny spring day early afternoon. In woods, dappled sunlite.
Second encounter: A dark winter night with house and porch lights on. Clear sky. Around 7:00-8:00 pm
ENVIRONMENT: 1) Pine forest near school playground.
2) Family home on large wooded lot.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Recently I have been working on a few cases in Michigan that have seemed to show some sort of curiosity reported between humans and something mysterious in the woods. Growing up I had heard tales of Bigfoot-like creatures terrorizing people and In Search Of and B movies did not help to lessen that fear of the unknown that I carried with me whenever it started to get dark in the woods. One of my goals as a researcher is to try to demonstrate that this fear may be unfounded. Because of this desire, I pay particular attention whenever I find a report with either frequent interaction, often called habituation, or any type of positive interactions. The following case is therefore of great interest to me because it may show that continued interaction can occur over a long period of time and it may simply be a matter of trust and interest that brings two different beings into contact with one another.
After reading through this report I knew the location of both sightings. I grew up a few miles away from both locations and I spent a great deal of time in woods nearby as a child. I am going to remove the locations from this report because one of the schools is still there and operational and the mother of the witness still resides in the home where the second sighting occurred. Suffice to say the area still has plenty of large and interconnected forests with numerous bodies of water including tributaries of the Kalamazoo River.
The witness, Mrs. W, was in the second grade and was with her mother at an elementary school picnic on the playground. Her mother was busy cooking food so Mrs. W wandered off to the edge of the playground looking at pine needles in the trees. She remembered that the tall pines formed a canopy over her and that it looked to her like a “Wonderland.” The sun was shining through the breaks in the trees and Mrs. W was imaginatively “twirling and skipping” through a path in the woods. This was when she ran into something that she took to be a tree at first as she was “knocked back quite a bit.” When she focused on what she had run into she saw “…an enormous creature…looking at me…not a man…” She believes that she ran into the upper thigh of the creature and it felt “…solid as a rock, but with a softness.” She told me that she knew it was …not a man so the idea of never talking to strangers did not apply…” so she remained there and was not as afraid as she might have been. She had never heard of anything like this in the woods and recalled thinking it might be normal.
The creature looked down at Mrs. W with a “startled and slightly angry look on its face almost as if thinking, how rude of you,” but this look quickly changed to one of curiosity. She remembers smiling up at it and its entire face “seemed to soften.” She was positive it was a male but she could not tell me how she knew that.
Her description of the creature began with the declaration that what covered the figure was not fur, rather hair. It was scraggly, matted, long and brittle or dry looking. She could see three tones but mostly dark brown with some reddish and lighter highlights that stood out in the sunlight when struck. There was little hair on the face and it appeared deeply lines particularly under the eyes. The chest had hair on it but you could see leathery flesh underneath. By this point one must wonder how long the interaction lasted in order for so a young person to have such a good look at this thing before her but both remained motionless for a long period of time and the witness assured me that the picture in her mind is as clear as the day it happened. The head seemed balanced on the shoulders and no teeth, ears or neck were apparent.
At this point Mrs. W believes that her mother called her. The figure turned to the left while holding back a branch on the tree with its long right arm. It let go of the branch and it swung loudly “Way over my head…” It walked quickly out of sight but looked back once a bit over its shoulder. The manner of walking seemed like it was heavy, deliberate and powerful but the stride was smooth and unrushed. She ran back to her mom to tell her what had happened but her mom was too busy and no one seemed to listen to her. She realized that she had no name to give the creature and it made it difficult to describe it so she decided to stop trying to tell anyone about it.
Later, Mrs. W saw the Patterson-Gimlin film and thought to herself, “That is my guy.”
Mrs. W is now a dance instructor and lives out of state. She recalled how she used to get the feeling that something was out in the woods near her home that was located near the playground sighting. This feeling was particularly powerful when she practiced dancing in front of a large window that faced the woods. Much later, Mrs. W told her mother about these feelings and found that large footprints had been discovered around the house during one winter and “someone” had been called to look at them but they had never told the children for fear of scaring them.
About ten years later Mrs. W was heading out with a friend and thought she heard some heavy breathing and bi-pedal steps that seemed to loud to be a man. “That is the weight of my buddy,” she thought to herself. However, she was “older and nervous” but did not want it to sense her fear so she began singing and walked to her friend’s car. They both saw 'something' near the corner of the house as they backed down the driveway.
A few years later Mrs. W, who now lived just a few miles from home, was awakened one night by banging on her house. She now lived on the second floor and the banging was coming from under her room. Just before she went to sleep that night she had witnessed a strange sight. Twelve deer had bedded down in her front yard. When morning came she looked at the area of the banging and found dents in the house and damage to the shutters. She wondered if her “buddy” had followed her from home to home. She began to think of herself as “Sasquatch Bait.” This feeling intensified more recently when she moved to her new out of state home. She did not want to make the move and was homesick. The area was out “in the sticks” and she was a bit bored. One night while she was taking out the garbage she heard a series of long howls. “It seemed to come from something as big as a cow.” We discussed animals like Bison and Elk and she is familiar with them and stated that it could not have been those animals. It seemed as if the caller was in pain or at least very sad. Mrs. W empathized with her unknown vocalizer “It was representative of how I felt.” Mrs. W does not think that her “buddy” followed her from Michigan. She just believes that she is more in tune with what is going on in the woods because she is listening for them. I shared some vocals with her that I have captured from Michigan and none of them were exact matches. She was thankful that she had the chance to tell her story and I was spellbound for the few hours that we spoke. She left me with this last thought and I find it compelling: “I feel a connection and I don’t want any harm to come to this creature.”
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