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COUNTY: Dickinson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Marble beach state recreation area
NEAREST TOWN: Spirit Lake, IA
NEAREST ROAD: 240th avenue
OBSERVED: I was photographing the sunrise on Sat 4th February in the morning on the frozen shore of Big Spirit Lake in northern Iowa, it was about 5am, so I had to wait until daylight. I shut off my vehicle, walked out towards the lake and stopped to listen to the ice cracking on the lake. To the North of me I heard three very distinct sounds that I would say we're 'wood knocks', I am reluctant to say that because I don't want to pigeon hole what I heard, I would estimate the distance of the noise to have been within 1/4 mile or so. In response to that I heard from the South at a closer distance the sound of, and I can only describe it as bottles being moved in a trash can. The temp was 4 deg and there were no other vehicles in the area, it is a state campground, but obviously shut for the winter. I saw no ice fishermen in the area until about 6am or later. It was as if the 'whatever it was' to the South was being alerted to my presence by a lookout. I would not consider the area to be highly wooded, but there is an abundance of deer and they obviously hide well in the area. I left pretty spooked cursing the fact I had an slr camera with video capabilities, but being totally alone freaked me out. Have you heard of any Sasquatch reports in the area at all, I can give an exact GPS coordinate or map reference if needed. North west side of Big Spirit Lake, IA, near Okoboji, and Spirit Lake, thanks [name removed by investigator]
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing visual, no smells but I was wearing a balaclava due to the extreme cold, only the response of 'trash' fumbling after the knocking sounds.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself, could not see any evidence of other people, e.g. trucks, ice fishing cabins, campers etc.
OTHER STORIES: Not at all, which leads me to believe that it was not Sasquatch but, the incredible cold, lack of people, leads me to the conclusion that the noises were not human in origin, but they were definitely deliberate.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 5am
ENVIRONMENT: Parking lot situated on the western shore of Big Spirit Lake, wooded where not parking lot, semi clear for camping, all under tree canopy though
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Scott Allen:
I contacted the witness by email and had a phone conversation with him in early March 2013. Even though there was no visual sighting of any unexplainable phenomena, I was interested in learning more about why this incident was reported to the BFRO.
I learned that the entire incident occurred very quickly. It was very frozen and still pre-dawn dark. From the time he pulled into the parking lot, got out and gathered his photography gear, walked nearer to the lake shore, heard the knocks to his north and immediate response sounds nearer to his south, maybe only a minute or two went by. This is a person who made the effort of getting up very early to capture a sunrise photograph who then ended up leaving the area immediately with no photograph attempted.
He described his reaction as an intense sense that he should leave immediately which he did by jumping back in his truck, pulling out of the parking lot and driving away south along the lake. He soon turned into another parking area to gather his composure and figure what just happened and why he felt compelled to leave so quickly.
Back to the sounds. After he exited his vehicle and walked towards the lake, he heard to his left/north three distinct wood-on-wood sounding knocks. He described them as very deliberate, deeper and heavier in pitch than what might be imagined if two wooden baseball bats were struck together. Next immediately to his right/south and closer, he heard what was described as a glass bottle or bottles being dropped into or struck against a metal garbage can. This area to his south was an empty RV camping area. He provided me with satellite images notated to show locations and directions.
I inquired about the possibility that these were frozen lake sounds, ice fisherman, or early morning construction work. He assured me he saw none of these and that he had enough familiarity with these sounds to discount them as the source. Again, he focused on the very deliberate quality of the three knocks, then the immediate response.
There was no visual sighting of anything at the time, no smells, and a return visit later that day by him revealed no clues. I appreciated the witness' desire to simply report the facts and openly share his physical and psychological reaction to leave the area immediately. He was familiar enough from television shows to equate nocturnal knocking as possible sasquatch communications, but he never considered his location in NW Iowa as sasquatch habitat. He did not claim that the sounds were made by sasquatch. He just thought these were interesting and possibly useful observations to add to the BFRO database especially if other witnesses submit reports from the area.
About BFRO Investigator Scott Allen:
An Iowa native, Scott has explored Iowa and many other parts of the US while hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, caving, canoeing and more. He brings to the investigation process a lifelong interest in natural sciences supported by formal education in biology and chemistry as well as training and professional experience in audio and video production.
Scott attended the Iowa Hill Country 2012 and Iowa Big River 2014 expeditions and has participated in several private expeditions in central and southeastern Iowa. He is currently conducting exploration and research focused along Iowa’s Des Moines River and its many tributaries.