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COUNTY: Gogebic County
LOCATION DETAILS: along CR 527, enroute to Langford Lake campground area
NEAREST TOWN: Watersmeet
NEAREST ROAD: CR 527
OBSERVED: I was camping at the Clark Lake campground in Sylvania Wilderness and went exploring the backroads of the Ottawa Natl Forest on a Saturday morning. I thought I'd go explore Langford Lake, Pomeroy Lake, and Moosehead Lake. I was driving toward Langford Lake campground, and I took US-2 from Watersmeet and made a left onto CR 527. About 1/2 way before I got to Langford Lake Rd., I was shocked to see what looked to be "a monkey with a bear's body" right in front of the car. This "being" crossed the road right in front of the car. If I hadn't have slammed on the brakes, I would have hit it! It was NOT a bear. I have seen tens of bears in both rural Michigan and rural Virginia over the past 30 years, some while driving and some while hiking, some even face-to-face. This was not a bear. All I kept thinking to myself was "why is there a monkey in the woods? why is there a monkey in the woods?". I was stunned and baffled and my mind just couldn't "figure it out". It was like the very first time (while in rural Virginia) I saw a cougar (up close and personal in our yard). My mind just couldn't comprehend. After the being crossed the road, I stopped the car and tried to look for it. There was a small gully on the left that it must have gone down into; but I couldn't see it. The brush was thick. I was stunned. My mind couldn't make sense of it all. Here was this being, maybe 5 feet in length, dark black-brown, four-footed, running on all fours (not running like a bear runs, I've seen that too), with its underbelly about 2 feet off the ground. Long and lean, it seemed to me. Not running very fast, but brisk. Of all the funny things in the world, it "seemed" to be "smiling". It was not threatening at all. It seemed very innocent. No pointed head, eyes brown, not a snout. Not a furry face. Looked like a monkey's face. No tail. It all happened so fast and I wish I had been able to follow it, once it crossed the road. This was not a bear cub - I have seen at least a half a dozen of them in my life too - climbing trees in the Adirondacks, crossing roads in central VA. I am still baffled to this day as to what this being was; although something in my gut tells me that I saw a "baby bigfoot".
ALSO NOTICED: no
OTHER WITNESSES: just myself - witnessed the being while driving
OTHER STORIES: I just read the report of tracks in snow near Land O'Lakes, WISC (12/13); so I finally decided to send my report in. Part of me is really scared to share this, because it was such an awe-inspiring event for me and it seems as if I should keep this quiet - a very special moment in my life. Hard to describe what I am feeling, what I experienced.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Morning around 10 am. Bright clear sunny day, perfect July day - mid-70's.
ENVIRONMENT: Typical U.P / ONF (Ottawa Natl Forest) woods. There was a bit of a gully on the left side of the road. It was hard for me to figure out where the being went after it crossed the road.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jim Sherman:
This report was of particular interest to me as I have spent time camping in the Sylvania Wilderness Area. Further, I received a recent report from that area while I was on the Wisconsin Expedition in the summer of 2014. This is one of the most beautiful areas of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and if you have not been there you will be impressed. The land was originally purchased in 1895 by a Wisconsin lumberman who intended to cut the old growth forest in the area. Apparently when he surveyed the land he was so taken by the beauty that he changed his plans and encouraged his friends to buy up the rest of the land around the 34 lakes and create the Sylvania Club. This club built resorts and brought in hunters and fisherman as a source of revenue. The state of Michigan eventually bought the property in 1967 and it is one of the few old growth forests left in the entire Midwest.
By personal experience I can tell you that the fishing is great. There are tackle and size restrictions that help create a well regulated and healthy fishery. The wildlife is everywhere. Eagles, loons, beaver and deer were often seen while on the lakes. There are plenty of bear but I never saw one nor did I see any pack canines.
The campgrounds were far enough into the woods that you could not see them from the shore and this helped create a feeling of solitude. I would canoe and portage to one of the clear lakes, some have tannic acid in them that make them darker, and would then boil it for drinking and cooking. I rarely saw anyone else. That is why it does not surprise me that there might be possible Sasquatch sightings coming from this area. it has everything that a large predator would need to survive. Not even considering the plentiful deer everywhere, I found many freshwater clams along the shore within easy reach. If I could live here, so could Sasquatch.
The report also caught my attention because it happened in the day. Most road crossings seem to happen at night just like most deer crossings and accidents occur during the same time. I also found out that my county, Oakland, has the most deer/car accidents on average per year. But to have a road crossing occur and to be able to see it clearly is a very rare thing. I wanted to know more. Plus, I am not going to lie, the smile thing really got to me. Normally when we attribute human characteristics to animals it seems fine if it is a family pet. But a Sasquatch? My skepticism increased.
So I spoke with the witness who I will call Mrs. M. After knowing her for a few months I have come to the conclusion that she really did see something interesting that day while driving. She was not certain about whether or not to make the report in the first place. She decided to when she read Report 43295.
Mrs. M has subsequently offered to have me over for a visit and wants to know when the next Michigan or Wisconsin expeditions are going to be held. All of her answers have been reasoned and I find no evidence that she is being anything less than genuine. My initial worries seem to be unfounded.
I asked Mrs. M about the conditions of her driving when she had her sighting and she stated that it was sunny and bright and she was driving about thirty miles per hour as she was out sightseeing and was in no rush to get anywhere. She stated that the "being" as she called it, looked like it was waiting at the side of the road in-between the road and the woods. "I saw his face and it looked like a monkey or chimpanzee." I asked her to give me a general and written description of the creature and they never differed from what she had told me nor from her original report. "There was no snout. This was not a bear or bear cub. The Being had a face of a monkey, flat with big nostrils. The face was lighter in color than the fur (which was dark brown-to-black). The face was more of a dark tan color. I could see it because it was literally right in front of me and proceeded to walk briskly across the road. I had to apply the brakes or I would have hit it. It was right in front of the car - not more than 8 feet from the right front corner of the car - and it just kept right on coming across the road!"
I then asked her about the "smiling" part. She clarified that it was similar to a smile. She thought it showed something like a form of intelligence as if it were calculating if it could make it across the road. "It was NOT grinning, no teeth showing." She thought it looked like a chimpanzee mouth that had a bit of an upturn at the edges. "...[It] moved quickly, swiftly, easily on all fours. Not like a bear (although I have seen bears lumber at a good clip!) It seemed to have a playful disposition and no fear of the vehicle- it was going to run right in front of my car, knew I was coming, and also knew that it could make it across the road safely in time."
Deer will do this kind of thing...often. You know they see you and then they go right out and jump into the road. I have seen a ten-year-old girl do this exact same thing but she was wrong. I was on a training ride on my bicycle and was at an area where I typically maintain thirty or so mph. Most people do not think bikes go this fast and drivers will often pull out and I get to pass them and demonstrate my annoyance. As I rounded a bend I came on a bridge overlooking a river. On one side was a guy about my age and on the other there were two young girls. All were looking into the water. I moved to the middle of the road to make room in case someone thoughtlessly began to cross. As I approached the dad called to his girls (I did not hear this but they both looked up at the same time and began to cross the road). I yelled, "No, stop!" Both girls stopped and I got eye contact with the older girl. She smiled at me and I thought I was clear--then she bolted right out into my way. I hit the brakes, then the pavement and then the girl. I have been riding most of my life but I could not avoid her only make it less painful for her. Short story...I got a broken heel, finger and a concussion. She received a cut on her calf. I got a new bike and helmet out of the deal. She looked right at me and smiled. I think she thought she could make it. This makes me think a bit outside of the box. If a Sasquatch is a primate might they have a similar reaction when faced with a quick decision? There is no way to know.
Mrs. M has been an outdoor enthusiast her whole life. with extensive camping and hiking experiences in both the US and Canada. "If I am not at work I am outdoors," she told me. She has even had five encounters with cougars--two of which were in the UP.
Mrs. M stopped and went to the area where the creature ran off to see if she could catch another glimpse or see footprints but nothing appeared. The ravine was too dense to see into. I commend her for stopping. How many people would have such a sighting and then think it an appropriate idea to have a look around? It may have been different had it been night. Needless to say this was a close up sighting in full daylight and the witness had enough time to see the figure and give a description. The fact that it was on all fours immediately makes one think it was a bear but the obvious lack of a snout makes this less likely. Whatever it was that day it made a great impression on Mrs. M. I think I will invite her to our next expedition.
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