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DATE: February 15
COUNTY: Ashtabula County
NEAREST TOWN: Geneva-on-the-Lake
NEAREST ROAD: Lake Rd
OBSERVED: On February 15th, 2014 at approximately 4 pm my wife, 2 children and I were driving into Geneva State Park. It had been frigid cold and we wanted to see how frozen over the lake and marina were. At the corner of Padinarum and Lake Road I jokingly asked my daughter if she had “passed gas”…..I was told NO!! My wife made a comment that the really bad smell was coming from outside. We often times drive through the State Park watching for wildlife. We drove slowly through the marina parking lot and stopped for just a few moments. We noticed there was one truck in the parking lot and two others pulled closer to the lake. They appeared to all belong to the same snow removal service as they were out of their trucks talking to one another. As we were pulling out maybe 10 minutes later we were approaching the first curve just outside of the parking lot and I noticed something walking about 50 to 60 yards from the road and it was moving in an easterly direction. My first thought was it was a person. I told my wife to stop and she too saw it. She said it was furry but at the angle I was looking I was unable to make out anything except a very dark figure that “seemed” tall and was definitely walking on two legs. My wife later told me that she saw arms swaying. In an instant it was GONE!!! I got out of the vehicle and walked about 40 yards in. I was unable to spot any sign that would make me think it was anything but a person. Although, being that the temperature was 15 degrees with a feel like temp in the low single digits I wondered why anyone would be out in this weather. There was also heavy snow on the ground. I did see some snowmobile tracks but we always drive through the park with the windows down and nobody in the family had heard any engines at all!! I returned to the vehicle and we drove a short distance to Crabapple Picnic Area parking lot. We pulled all the way around the large lot and stopped just about 20 yds from the exit and stopped the van. My wife shut the van off and we told the kids to be quiet. My wife asked me to whoop or mimic a Bigfoot yell. I whooped once……nothing. I waited about a whole minute and let out three large whoops. Something whooped back!!!!!!! In a 5 min span of time we heard 2 distinct whoops, 1 scream, and two wood knocks.(We did NOT do any wood knocks at all) We did NOT see anything else though. It was difficult to control the excitement in the vehicle. I am certainly NOT saying that my wife and I had seen a Bigfoot, but we did see a bipedal “something” and heard some very distinct noises, and finally smelled something really nasty. I hope that if anyone else had any type of sighting in and around this area they would come forward and share it. OR….if someone KNOWS they were walking in that area at about that time, that would be nice to know too.
OTHER WITNESSES: Myself, my wife, my daughter (9) my son (7)
OTHER STORIES: There was a sighting in Geneva last year.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4 PM. Good lighting with heavy snow on the ground. Temp was 15 with a feel like temp in the low single digits.
ENVIRONMENT: Near swamp and hardwood forest. Very close to Lake Erie inside Geneva State Park
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mark Maisel:
I spoke to the witnesses by phone and found them to be credible.
The following can be added to this report. The husband estimates that the snow pack that day was between eighteen to twenty four inches deep. He noticed the animal was walking bipedally. It was uniformly dark, except for the head area that was lighter. After circling the van to check the area out, he proceeded into the woods about forty yards. He states that they saw the animal in the woods at a distance of more than fifty yards. The woods are somewhat open, and not dense. They marked the distance because of a fallen tree. The snow acted as a contrast to the woods at that time.
I spoke to the wife about this incident and the following can added. She was the driver of the vehicle and after seeing the animal, backed up, then stopped when her husband noticed the animal in the woods. She describes it as very large, black in color, she also noticed a leg as it moved, its arm, back and back of the head. She did not notice a neck, she watched it as it took two steps and did not see it anymore. This lasted about ten seconds. She then finished pulling around the bend, she stopped the vehicle and waited as her husband went into the woods. She only noticed silence at this point.
The husband made a whoop at this time and received two replies, wood knocks and then a growl. Everyone in the van heard the vocalizations and knocks, as the windows were down.
They went back to the original spot, she did a whoop and did not receive a reply. No bird or animal noises were noted at this time.
They returned the next day to the sighting location, no smell was noticed. They were better dressed to go into the woods. They brought a friend with them and he accompanied her husband further into the woods, the wife stayed in the vehicle during this foray. The terrain to get back to the woods was difficult because of the snow. Snowmobile tracks, human and other animals prints were noted. At this point he was doubting the experience until he and his friend found prints that he was not expecting. They took only pictures of one print. The prints that they came across were single file, they are twenty two inches in length. This was approximately thirty yards from Cowles creek. Nothing else was noticed at this time.
I spoke to the gentleman who was with the couple when they went back to the location. I found him credible. He states that he has never seen tracks like this and that they were not snow shoes. He also stated that they had toes. He found a couple of prints coming from the creek. He lost the tracks before the bridge and not able to find any more. This was approximately ten yards from the bridge. All of the prints that he observed were consistent with the pictures, and that they were not double prints. He estimated the width at the heel at about five inches. They did a size comparison with this witness who is six foot three and weighs three hundred eighty pounds. They said it was much tall and broader than him. They did not go farther into the woods because of a man walking his two dogs.
Possible print from area of sighting.
Same print which was measured. It is twenty two inches.
This area has had sightings in the past, Cowles Creek heads to the south. The state park is used as a day area. A dead fish was noted on a road with its head missing on the second visit. Several ponds and small lakes are nearby as well as farms.
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