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YEAR: 1988? - 2003
COUNTY: Iosco County
NEAREST TOWN: National City
OBSERVED: (Edited by investigator) Individuals from the surrounding area found one another via Facebook and began to share their stories. The BFRO was contacted by one of these witnesses and more have come forward with their reports. This is the first witness' story and is told in her own words. After speaking with the reporter we decided to have her send her version of the account in her own words and that is what is displayed below.
OTHER WITNESSES: (Names have been removed).
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Ask....
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
This report focuses on the experiences of a witness who has had frequent and ongoing possible interactions with something in the woods in Iosco County.
The area around this report contains the Au Sable State Forest containing 138 miles of the Au Sable River, as well as the Huron National Forest. The Huron and Manistee Forests were incorporated in 1945 and contain 978,906 square miles and 5,786 acres of collective wetlands. A casual look at the map of Michigan shows that the Manistee and Huron are not connected but they share a vast array of rivers, swamps and wildlife. I have been in contact with the witness, Mrs. R, and we have shared recordings and discussed similar experiences. Mrs. R wrote down her experiences and I have decided to present them here in her own words. There were a few times when I deleted a place name that might have been too descriptive or otherwise altered the narrative but the great majority of the work is directly from the witness.
My experiences happened in (removed) where I grew up. There is a lot of swamp land and hundreds of acres of private and state areas out that way, especially when I was growing up.
...my family owned a front 40 acres and a back 40 acres (which I eventually personally bought upon adulthood). My grandparents lived just down the road from us on their own (ranch) acreage. Incidentally, I have a brother who had experiences on my grandfather's property that he told me.
I always had horses and I was the only person in my family who rode them. The horses would sometimes act spooky in the woods and I just passed it off as 'horsey' behavior, but it seemed to go on like this for years. 'I' myself also had the spooky feelings in the woods when I was little.
These feelings got a lot worse out in the 'back' 40. It was really eerie out there and much more densely wooded. The only opening in the back 40 was an old pioneer homestead which consisted of an indentation in the ground (my grandfather told me that it was where the old barn had been at one time), a few broken pieces of pottery, a bunch of lilac bushes, and an apple orchard. Only when I was an adult in my 30's and watching tv one night that these eerie things finally made some sense.
The first time that the eeriness seemed 'real' was when I was about 9 (1978?) and I was walking with my galfriend/neighbor out in the back 40. She was about 4 years older than me and much taller. Something growled really loud at us and it was extremely scary. We picked up our pace as we were headed back to the front pasture anyhow. We didn't say much to each other but just kept up a fast walk. We breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the front 40 and crossed the gate into that pasture. We were in about 200 feet when something growled and then SHRIEKED at us! How could it have kept up with us without us hearing it??? My friend turned to look and stated "Oh my God!" and grabbed the collar of my shirt and took off running down the trail with me in tow. We didn't stop running until we reached the open barnyard and then the house. She was almost crying and then went home. I'm not sure what she saw and we never talked about it, just about how scary the walk was in the woods that day a couple times, but not to anyone else. She would never go for a walk with me out there again and I have never seen or heard from her after she moved away.
So anyway, through the years I got so used to these feelings that I would just shrug them off. I would have the feeling of something following me, but I wasn't scared anymore. I used to see things out of the corner of my eye when I was younger and I was so sure that something had been there, but then I couldn't see it. It was like 'things' just disappeared behind trees or something like that. I knew it was nonsense so eventually I learned to desensitize myself from spooks and learned to just enjoy the ride and my horse.
Occasionally people would go 4x4'ing with their trucks, but for the most part it was very quiet during the summers. I would ride my horses quite often out there from age 9 to age 17. There is a little known route that a person could ride all the way through. I can't count or come close to figuring out how many times I had thought that I had seen things (dark shadows?) or heard footsteps that just didn't 'belong'. Everyone knows that deer have 4 legs and small hard feet creating a very distinct 'tap tap tap' as it walks through the woods. No animal out there that I know of can resemble the sound of a very heavy human walking. At other times I would hear absolutely no noise at all but see dark motions among the trees in my peripheral vision. I would turn my head around and see nothing.
So, eventually I moved away and then in 1994, I bought the 'back 40' on a land contract.
I believe it would have been the summer of 1995 that my boyfriend and I decided to camp out at the back 40. We had a campfire and slept in a tent. In the middle of the night, we awoke to the sound of tree knocks (although at the time I had NO clue as to what exactly a 'tree knock' was). My husband, having grown up in the country also, was startled as well. The sound can be described as this. Take a heavy (DRY but solid) branch, about 4 inches in diameter, and beat it as hard as you can into a live tree (at least a foot in diameter). Do this a total of four times, but leaving about 2 seconds between each knock. I asked my boyfriend "What the heck was that?!!" He said "I don't know!" I could tell he was scared and 'that' made me even more frightened. We laid awake for most of the remainder of the night.
In 1997, we paid off the property and decided we would put up a house in the orchard and move out there. Getting there was not easy...It was the fall of 1997 that I woke up one day to find my entire electric 'horse' fence demolished on the west side of the apple orchard. I looked the horses over carefully, but not one of them had a single scratch on them, let alone any cuts. Weird, it was three strands of heavy gauge steel wire! Where it was knocked down was right on the edge of a wild blackberry patch. So inside of the fence you had apple trees, blackberry bushes, and then fence.
I'm not sure 'exactly' when it was, but it must have been sometime in summer/fall of 1997, that I heard the wood knocks again. We didn't have air conditioning in the house so the windows were open. I was home alone and I could hear the knocking. It was near the west side of the house. I called my one brother who was an avid hunter and asked him "What makes a wood banging/knocking noise out in the woods... kinda like two heavy wooden baseball bats hitting together?" He told me it was coon hunters trying to get the coons out of the trees.
It was also in the fall of 1997, that I noticed a dead animal smell coming from the end of the lane at the mailbox. Upon looking, I found 4 dead deer that had been thrown there and leaves piled on top! After a week of investigating, I learned that the Iosco Road Commission had been using the private lane for years and years as a dumping ground for their 'road kill'.
The last thing that had ever happened was the 4th of July in 2003? My family had all gone to see the fireworks in town, but I decided to stay at my parents house. It was a hectic day as all my brothers and their families were also visiting my parents for the holiday. I was sitting peacefully on my parent's back deck and I could hear the fireworks in town way off in the distance. Right behind my parents home, I heard something crash through the woods 'whooping' like a crazy drunk man! Why is he running through the woods in the dark? Doesn't he have anyone to visit or be with right now? How is he going to find his way back through all of that forest? Why would he even be this far out in the woods this late on the 4th?
I sent Mrs. R Report 32981 with links to vocals I have captured in central Michigan and here is her reply:
****I listened to most of the examples and many of the howls are way too long/drawn out or just not the right 'pitch'.****
For years I completely pushed it out of my mind until watching a Bigfoot program on tv one night. I had never heard of the term Bigfoot 'wood knock' before. I then started doing some research and realized that other people had been seeing them (nearby).
My biggest regret is that I didn't know then what I know now. I'm sure that 'if' I had actually taken the time to 'look', I probably would have 'seen'..........
I expect more information to come out of this area of Michigan and am in the process of reviewing more reports. Just a few years ago I too, would have been able to explain away everything that I have seen and heard but the more I research the experiences of others the more I see that I have been very lucky to have experienced what I have in the field. I have people like Mrs. R to thank for this.
For further reference regarding possible Sasquatch recordings, including those I sent to Mrs. R, please see the following link:
About BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
Jim is a High School History teacher and Track and Cross Country coach. He attended the Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition in 2011, the Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition in 2012, co-organized the Michigan UP 2013 Expedition and attended the 2014 Wisconsin Expedition. He assisted in the production of Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot Michigan episodes (Bigfoot and Wolverines and Super Yooper). He participates in Ironman Triathlons and enjoys fishing and camping with his wife and daughter. Jim can be contacted at email@example.com and Twitter @shermanbigfoot and his YouTube account is : Lordcryptid