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DATE: I think March 24?
COUNTY: Mahoning County
LOCATION DETAILS: I-80 bridge over Meander Reservoir--heading West toward the turnpike. The sighting was on the West bank of the reservoir, right at the tree line, close to the open area beside the bridge. I think there is also a linked fence near there.
NEAREST TOWN: Austintown/Youngstown
NEAREST ROAD: I-80--on the bridge over Meander Reservoir
OBSERVED: I have never told this story to anyone besides my immediate family members because I tend to doubt myself. I believe there could be such things as Bigfoot, although I am not sure. I even went on an amateur investigation with my family last year in Salt Fork--we never saw anything but heard what we think were some other explorers whooping like us. I have hesitated to say anything because I don't want people to think I am making it up since I have been very vocal about my fascination with the subject to my students and friends. But seeing that someone else thinks they saw a Bigfoot near Meander Reservoir makes me want to tell my story too. Anyway, I am originally from the Youngstown area, although I live in Cleveland now. My husband, daughter, and I often travel to Youngstown to visit family in that area. On a drive home last year (it was in late March--the last time we went home before my father died) I swear I saw a huge figure standing flush with the treeline overlooking Meander. I was in the passenger seat so I got a decent look. We were driving over the bridge heading toward the turnpike to go back to Cleveland. The figure was huge--very tall and hairy. It was standing up and holding onto a tree looking out over the water. The location was among the trees along the bank closest to the bridge, if that makes sense. I'm not good at distances, but I was close enough that I could see it wasn't a person just from the massiveness of it. I have seen a lot of bears, and although some have been making their way into Ohio lately, it definitely wasn't a bear. I was in disbelief--I have always wanted to see a Bigfoot but I was speechless at the time it was actually occurring. I did say to my family "I think I just saw a Bigfoot!" but they didn't believe me. I talk about it once in a while, but since it happened so fast, and mostly since I had no clue it was possible for them to be in this area, I have convinced myself that I must have been mistaken. Now I don't think I was.
ALSO NOTICED: no--not that I can think of.
OTHER WITNESSES: just me. My husband was driving and my daughter was listening to her ipod.
OTHER STORIES: I just read about one here today--that someone else had a sighting near Meander Creek. So I'm telling my story.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was early evening....maybe between 5-6? Not exactly sure, but it was still light out. It was clear weather that I remember.
ENVIRONMENT: Lots of trees. There is a little arm of land--almost like a tiny peninsula (is that the right term?)--that juts out toward the bridge as you are about to reach the other side of the bridge. The figure was at the treeline maybe 10 feet from the point of the little peninsula (remember--I'm bad at distances.....but it was up a bit....North?)
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mark Maisel:
I spoke to the witness by phone and found her credible. The following can be added to this report.
They were heading west on I - 80, they were traveling about 50 miles per hour as they were getting ready to merge onto the Ohio turnpike. She was in the passenger seat and this allowed her an unobstructed view of the animal. No one else in the vehicle saw the animal. Hunting, boating and fishing are prohibited on this reservoir.
There was a small open area that she saw the animal in. The animal was brown in color. It was darker than the surrounding trees and she noticed movement which attracted her attention to it. It was holding onto a tree and looking out onto the water. She did not notice a muzzle, and the animal remained upright on two legs. The shoulders and arms moved as it was looking out over the water, she did not notice a neck with this movement. She further describes it as very "big" and uniform in color. No other details were noticed at this time because the car continued traveling down the road.
The area has orchards and farms in the area, and of course the Meander Creek Reservoir.
Couple of other reports from this area:
About BFRO Investigator Mark Maisel:
Mark Maisel is employed in the medical field in Ohio. He has attended the following expeditions: West Virginia, New York Adirondacks, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina. Expedition organizer of the 2009 Ohio expedition and assisting with both of Eastern Ohio's in 2012 and Michigan UP 2012. Attended WV 2013