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YEAR: mid 1970's
STATE: New Hampshire
COUNTY: Merrimack County
LOCATION DETAILS: Don't know any closer than that. It was midnight with no street lights, just highbeam headlights, moon & stars. The west end of Deerfield Rd is Route 28 in Allenstown.
NEAREST TOWN: Bearbrook State Park spands Allenstown & Deerfield
NEAREST ROAD: Deerfield Rd out about the Merrimack/Rockingham county line
OBSERVED: In one part of Bearbrook State Park is the Girl Scout Day Camp location. Across the street from New Rye Rd is the Camping Museum & the Snowmobile Museum. There used to be a nature museum. If you keep going straight on that dirt path, you wind yourself up into the Girl Scout Campground. It was a 2 week event. The older campers were allowed to have a single overnight in the last few days. It was '67/'68, late July. There were 3, 5-person tents, I was a senior and in the tent closest to the woods. The evening was spent cooking hotdogs & hamburgers & marshmallows & sa'mores with lots of singing laughing & screaming. We all retired around 10 pm. In the middle of the night, around 1 or 2 am, I was woken by something softly grunting & pushing down on the top of the tent. We have racoons but no bears in (I get the irony) Bear Brook State Park. The other girls in my tent were trying to stay quiet, but still panicking not so quietly. I said " it's just one of the other girls." I am a camper since age 9 with a father who was a practical joker. So I said loudly "That's not how you do it. This is how it is done" & I dug my nails into the canvas & making a roaring growling sound clawed down the canvas hard & fast & hit something soft but solid on the outside of the cloth. I was picturing a man's hand/fist kind of like knuckles???. There was a loud grunt/growl & crashing away from us through the underbrush just on the other side of the tent. Now the girls in my tent are screaming hysterically about bears, The rest of the campers are opening my tent and all pandemonium broke loose. No-one admitted to playing a prank. & the leaders in the other 2 tents all day insisted everyone was accounted for & no one had left the tents not even a potty run. There was a funky smell though, that no-one could recognize. The park rangers swore there were none in the area, they were all up north for the summer. We had never heard of bigfoot, I fear I am repeating myself, so didn't even know such a thing existed. So, unexplainable incident, that with hindsight, I am thinking, could it have been??? The entire area, for square miles, has always been swarming w/ deer, even still, today.
OTHER STORIES: Around midnight, a group of my friends around the same time, along a long stretch of desolate section of Deerfield Rd in middle of Bear Brook State Park. Drove car around curve & thought it was a gorilla Halloween costume standing in the middle of the road. It was about 8' tall slightly stooped over half turned staring at the headlights. Then it turned straight & strided toward the edge of the road. There was no path on either side of the road just very thick woods & underbrush. We have stone walls everywhere here in NH. The creature never broke stride as it stepped lithfully over the stone wall & slid with ease through the thick under-brush. A human would have to bend down to use hands to clumsily straddle the stonewall, to get to the other side. There are no houses to "trick-or-treat". And who would be out in the middle of nowhere, in the near freezing (35*) cold, just mosying through the thick pickerbrush in a hairy costume?!?!?! We had never heard of bigfoot, didn't know such a thing existed.
There is also a family up in the woods of the Gilmanton area who have had Bigfoot visits for years. They leave out leftovers every so often & get thank you gifts in the next couple days. They can't use the gifts so wrap them up & dispose of them discretely, in town, so the bigfoots don't know, so no hurt feelings. NH is squatchy.
ENVIRONMENT: thick underbrush & trees
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matt Hampson:
I spoke with the witness, one incident being hers, and the other, a second hand incident from a group of her friends in the same park around the same time.
The witness was a senior in high school and a counselor for the Girl Scouts in the early '70s. She said that the whole day had been spent on activities with a nice cookout and a fire after dinner. She said that everybody had a good time singing, laughing and carrying on, and eating S'mores. Everybody turned in for the night and went to sleep. The witness was awakened around 3 am by something or someone softly "grunting" and pushing "down" on the top of the canvas tent. She said this struck her as odd because the canvas tent was pretty tall. She said that after pushing down on the tent, whoever it was then brushed their hand along the tent. The witness at this point figured it was other campers fooling around. She has been camping for years and had a father who was a practical joker. She said out loud, "That's not how you do it.. This is how its done..." She then proceeded to claw the side of the canvas tent and make a roaring growling sound. She felt something on the other side as she did this. She said it felt to her like a hand or knuckles. She said that whatever it was made a loud grunt/growl and took off into the woods. She said this was also a very odd thing for someone to do since it was in the middle of the night and there was a very well maintained trail close by. It made no sense to her that someone would run into the dark woods instead of down a very smooth path. The girls in her tent started to scream and then others close by did as well. The witness said a kind of funky smell was in the air that nobody could explain. This was the incident that happened to the witness.
She mentioned a few second hand incidents including where a group of her friends in the same State Park saw "a person in a gorilla suit" cross the road, and a persistent story of a family in Gilmanton, NH that has left food out, seen a bipedal figure a few times, and had gifting take place.
About BFRO Investigator Matt Hampson:
Matt lives in southern New Hampshire with his three sons and daughter. He first became interested in the subject after reading the book Bigfoot by B. Ann Slate and Allen Berry at a young age. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, and any chance he can get in the woods.
Maine Expedition 2008