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COUNTY: Jackson County
LOCATION DETAILS: The incident took place in the James A. Reed Wild Life Area.
NEAREST TOWN: Lee's Summit Missouri
NEAREST ROAD: Between hwy 50 & 150
OBSERVED: I was taking pictures in the James A. Reed Wildlife Area just outside of Lee’s Summit Missouri yesterday, specifically around Bodarc Lake. I was intrigued since the wildlife area is fairly close to where I live. I decided to take some pictures. I crossed the dam over to the south side of the lake where I encountered two men fishing. I spoke briefly to one of the fisherman about the fish he’d caught that afternoon and the weather which was rather threatening. I wished him luck and headed west along the tree line when I encountered the other man. I spoke, but he seemed preoccupied so I walked on. I turned toward the tree line and started taking pictures into the woods after about the fourth picture I heard what I can only describe as a kind of a grunting snorting sound followed by a low but deep growl it was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. It sounded so close, but I didn’t see anything in the woods. I was petrified I turned and headed back towards the two men. I asked them if they’d heard anything one of the men was a little hesitant and really didn’t answer me the other man said yes it was probably a cougar. I told them to be careful and left just before I crossed the dam I stopped to take a picture of a large footprint in the mud. Already shaken by the experience and definitely inexperienced I failed to lie something down beside the footprint to gauge the size of it. But to be honest the only thing I wanted to do was put as much distance between me and those woods as possible. I crossed the dam to my car it was then I heard the same sound coming from across the lake in the vicinity of where I had been. It was muffled because of the distance, but still surprisingly loud that same grunting snorting growl. The fisherman must have heard it as well because they were coming across the dam at a fairly fast pace. We didn’t speak again they got into their truck, me into my car and we left.
ALSO NOTICED: What I found strange was that after crossing the dam back to my car I took a picture of a large print in the mud. I also thought it was strange that after arriving at my car I heard the same threatening sound coming from where I had just left although muffled it was very loud.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were three of us although the two fisherman I encountered as I crossed the dam said they thought what I heard might have been a cougar.
OTHER STORIES: No this was the first time I had ever heard anything unusual at that site.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The incident took place around 1:30pm
The day was fairly bright with clouds looming in the distance.
ENVIRONMENT: The incident took place on the south side of the lake near the dense woods.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
I spoke to the witness. This location is about 30 minutes from my home and is part of a conservation area.
As she moved westward taking pictures, she heard the growling, grunting, huffing noise. She had no idea what it was, but a cougar was not something that came to her mind. She took a few more pictures, but had an uneasy feeling she just needed to leave, and not because of the weather.
On of her photos looking across the lake:
Upon looking at her photos of the print later on, she decided they were probably made by boots and not a bare footprint.
I met the witness from the above referenced report out at Bodarc Lake to do an in person follow up. It is virtually the same location as Report #40306. This witness was unaware of this published report until she visited the BFRO site.
She showed me her spot where she heard the grunting and felt the uneasiness. It is a very squatchy area and reminds me of a few of the isolated lakes hidden in the Mark Twain National Forest. We went walking on some trails and were headed back when I spotted a possible structure. It was in a fork, where the trail we were on splits off into a Y. Cant say what made it. Here are a couple pics, taken at different angles:
There is no hunting allowed here. It is a wildlife and conservation area. Park closes at 10pm daily and there is no overnight camping. No person could fit in inside the structure except perhaps a child. The structure has a tree going right up the middle and there is just no room. It is about 4.5-5 ft. high and about 3.5-4ft wide.
About BFRO Investigator Carter Buschardt:
Carter is originally from Texas & moved to Missouri in 1988. Professional drummer for 20 years. Lighting technician for major touring groups for several years. Experienced outdoorsman and was a trained investigator for MUFON. Studied Herpetology in college. Longtime special interest in Sasquatch long term habituation, burial research, infra sound, language & stick structures. BFRO Public Expeditions: 2010 Missouri, 2012 & 2013 Iowa. 2012 Illinois. Michigan 2016. Private Expeditions: Illinois 2011, 2012, 2013. Missouri 2011, 2012 (3) 2013(2) 2014. Iowa 2012, 2014 & 2015. Consulted on two Animal Planet Finding Bigfoot TV shows. Expedition leader in Missouri 2013 (1) & 2014 (2). Led night ops on numerous BFRO expeditions.