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COUNTY: Steuben County
NEAREST TOWN: Fremont
NEAREST ROAD: Interstate 69 and US 120
OBSERVED: I saw what I thought was a very large hunter walking out of the woods next to our house. The only problem was he was not wearing any orange and for some strange reason was wearing a very shaggy ghillie suit. The suit was dark brown or black and was from head to toe. I could see the hair or strings from the suit hanging off of the arms and legs and head. From the distance, I would say 200 yards I could not see the face. When the hunter saw me it froze in the trail and would not move, he acted like he wanted to blend in to the trail. I know the man that usually hunts back in the woods, he always wears orange and is not big. When I say big this guy was huge, I did not see a weapon and he was acting very strange by standing there like a statue. My first thought was why is he hunting so close to the opening of the woods, and if he has a gun and shoots the way he is facing he will be pointing towards my house. Why is he wearing that suit, and not orange, and who in the heck is this guy. I glanced towards my house thinking about a bullet striking it if he shoots, and when I looked back, probably not more than 4-5 seconds, this guy was gone. A few weeks later I had my wife stand where I was standing and I went to the woods with the largest winter coat I own on and I had her take pictures of me with her iPhone (terrible resolution) to get an idea how big this guy was. The only picture that turned out decent showed that this guy was at least twice my size if not more. I'm 5-9 without boots and 210. As I said I was wearing boots and a very bulky coat. After studying the picture I was shocked, it didn't occur to me until then that this could be something besides a person, but people are not the size of what I saw. I am still confused, I grew up in the woods have heard and seen many bizarre things but this still has me puzzled, because I can not explain it.
ALSO NOTICED: My wife heard what we thought was a bobcat. She described it as a long scream like a woman. I was sleeping, it was so loud she turned the tv off and sat by the window but it did not happen again. It was late at night, around the time of the incident. We have never seen a bobcat, but I just figured that might be it, now I don't know.
OTHER WITNESSES: No witness, but prior to the day my dog had been barking into the night uncontrollably and would refuse to come in. He does not do that.
OTHER STORIES: Dont know
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Mid morning, it was overcast
ENVIRONMENT: Wooded and swamps plus farm area
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
I spoke to the witness on the phone. I can add that the figure's head appeared to sit directly on a set of large shoulders, one detail that only added to the ghille suit appearance. He looked for and didn't see a weapon. The surrounding area is hunted, so if it was a large man in a ghillie suit without orange, he was taking a big risk of being shot. Here is a random photo of a ghille suit to give you an idea why several bigfoot witnesses mention "ghillie suit" in their descriptions, the strings giving a hair-like appearance.
Numerous wildlife, including deer, turkey and coyotes share this area with the witness and his neighbors. None of these things would make his Australian Shepherd bark as intent as it had been that week. He would bark, facing the direction where the figure was seen. He accompanies his dog outside at night due to the presence of coyotes.
The figure was seen at a trail head and would have been heading in the direction of a very large, inaccessible swamp no human can traverse, and a lake that is unreachable. When he glanced at this possible hunter's line of fire, he and his neighbor's homes, the figure vanished from his view. Due to the distance I asked about his vision, the witness shared that he has excellent 20/10 vision.
This is the comparison photo his wife took with her phone, if you look close you can see the witness standing center where the large figure was seen:
An estimated height of 7 1/2 ft. is based on the branches that were at head level with the figure. Leaf litter at the location left no impressions.
The howl was described as high pitched and long. His concerned wife thought it was a woman being attacked. But being there is no traffic and few neighbors, a bobcat was blamed.
This witness is an experienced hunter, having spent time in the woods his entire life. He is employed as an investigator for law enforcement.
Pokagon State Park and several lakes are nearby.
About BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
- Worked as an Assistant to a Circuit Court Judge in Florida for thirteen years
- An avid outdoorswoman, growing up in the UP of Michigan on a family-owned fishing and hunting resort. Currently lives in the Hiawatha National Forest
- Certified Visual Tracker, Level 1
- Attended and assisted with numerous public and private BFRO expeditions
- She and the Florida BFRO organized South Florida Expedition 2008, North Florida Expedition 2008 and Central Florida Expedition in 2009.
- She and the Michigan BFRO organized the Lower-Michigan Expedition in 2011, Michigan UP Expeditions in 2012, 2013 and 2015. She will be co-organizing the 2016 Michigan UP Expedition in October.