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COUNTY: Lake County
LOCATION DETAILS: I'm buying a home on a busy street and went to look at the property on 3/10/13. In the snow, there were several large foot prints. I'm not entirely sure who would be running around barefoot in winter, but want to confirm they are human and was hoping you could help identify them.
NEAREST TOWN: Beach Park
OBSERVED: I was hoping someone could take a look at some pictures I took at a home I'm buying.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself. I'm supposed to close on the property this week. I'd rather have a big foot than a crazy barefoot person roaming the area.
ENVIRONMENT: Around the side of the home.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with the witness by phone.
The following notes were from our email exchanges:
I took these on Sunday, 3/10/13. Given the choice, I'd rather not have a crazy giant barefoot person running around my backyard. Thank you for taking the time to look at these. They were a few feet west of the garage.
There is a 6 foot fence surrounding 3 sides of the yard. I didn't see any tracks going out, just in. But that's not to say there weren't any. I just didn't see any. The other thing that concerns me is the depth of the snow, the toe depression into the mud and melting pattern. The 200 lb plumbers carrying bathroom vanities don't make that deep of a track and certainly don't have a melting pattern with shoes. Also, no one but the plumbers, myself and the realtor know that the front door knob is broken. If it were a hoax, it's a terrible place for footprints. It's on the other side of the house, there's no windows, doors and no one would ever see them. Even the meter is on the other side. It's just weird.
The tracks were along the side of the garage to the backyard, but no tracks to the house. I was more interested in the limited time I had at my property, then following them. Had my realtor been there, I'm sure I would've stayed a lot longer and tracked it. I did notice the short gait as well. I'm convinced it's not hoaxsters, there's no one around to hoax. The way they were made was natural with expected pronation. Shift weight made sense and melt points are appropriate. My only concern is that there's a giant barefooted homeless person running around. Even with melting, they just seem too large and I can't wrap my head around it.
I highly doubt anyone is pulling a hoax, I was there last Sunday and there wasn't anything. Besides, the yard slopes up where I took the pictures. The questions I ask myself are: How would someone get weight like that in the toe prints? Who walks like that anyway? The world's tightest hamstring person? It's just so strange. I'm at a logical loss/scenario for the situation. If someone is hoaxing, they're taking a pretty big gamble, there isn't much of a driveway and the street is highly visible. I'd be more worried about someone breaking in than making a set of giant footprints in my backyard. LOL It better be a Sasquatch and not a lost person. Given the choice, I'll take my chances with a giant hypothesized land ape than the human variety.
My shoes are 10.5 inches long and about 4.5 inches across the toe box. It's just really strange and I can't tell what could have made them, especially because the house is empty. My soon to be neighbors are older and it's a busy road with churches across the street. Just trying to make sense of who made them. I looked for treadmarks when I was there (toe shoes?), but there were none in the prints. Weird.
Extrapolating the size of the footprints from the witness' photos and her own shoes:
• The footprint was 16 1/2 inches long.
• The print was 8 1/2 inches wide at the ball of the foot.
• The print was 6 1/2 inches wide at the heal of the foot.
• Several toes are very visible in the photos.
• The question of the short stride can be answered by the fact that the animal was not walking across an open space but very close to buildings.
• Extensive Lake County Forest Preserves are a short distance from the home.
The first photo showing the witness's shoe next to the print.
The second photo showing the short stride as the animal was walking close to the home.
Map showing BFRO reports in northeastern Illinois. The large red X marks the location for this report.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions. See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com