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DATE: near the end of
COUNTY: Bayfield County
LOCATION DETAILS: Longitude 90 55' 49.13
Latitude 46 42' 37.53
US Hwy 13N into Washburn, NW onto Hwy C, Rt at Big Rock Rd to the Sioux River.
NEAREST TOWN: Washburn
NEAREST ROAD: Big Rock Rd
OBSERVED: I was telling a long-time friend about a BF sighting a common friend of ours had related to me. He said, "You know, I saw something several years ago." He went on to say he was fishing on the Sioux River near Big Rock in Bayfield County as he had for nearly 20 years. He was upstream where the River crosses Big Rock Road. He was walking along the bank on the way back, focusing on his footing as he had chest waders on carried his rod. He looked up as a black animal, 3-4 feet tall, on the next bend in the river, about 60-70 feet ahead of him, seemed to do at the same time. He watched as it immediately "launched" itself away from him "arms outstretched" and a "blur" it moved so fast, "cut into the water at least 10 feet into the river and made a splash" then disappeared under the water. He watched and waited at least 3 minutes for it to surface but it never did. He thought about going to the sandbar it was originally on to check for tracks but would have had to backtrack several bends in the river, cross, then "bushwhack" all the way on the opposite side. He was already sweating and decided to just walk on out to the car. He said, "I can just kick myself for not going back to check."
ALSO NOTICED: The animal was about the size of a yearling bear, but definitely not a bear. The things that struck him were the outstretched arms and speed and power when it dove into the river.
OTHER WITNESSES: none
OTHER STORIES: 1976-was with 3 college friends at the intersection of 236 and 241 (maybe 6 or so miles as the crow flies) stopped the car to get out for a break and heard a non-human, high volume, single scream come from right out to the woods. Can furnish more details upon request.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4-5 p.m. and the weather was partly cloudy and about 60 degrees. It was in sunlight.
ENVIRONMENT: River Bed with road and campground at one end and the rest heavy woods including ravines.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Rick Reles:
I spoke with Joe, the actual witness spoken about in this report. As described, he was walking downstream on the Sioux River, after trout fishing. He saw an approximately 4 foot tall creature with black fur, on the opposite river bank, "launch" itself into the deepest pool of water in the river. The head was rounded, no snout, no pointed ears. It held its outstretched arms in front of it, and dove into the water, head first. He said the creature launched itself like a frog, and dove like a human would into the water. The fur was coarse, not long. Weight estimate at 200 pounds. Joe has frequently seen bears, when fishing the area, and definitely knew it was not a bear. Especially because the arms and legs were completely outstretched when diving. A bear cannot do this.
He saw it for 3 seconds, before it entered the water. It did not surface. Joe believes it swam away underwater. Joe continued to his car, saw nothing else, heard nothing else, smelled nothing unusual.
To this day he is puzzled as to what he saw.
About BFRO Investigator Rick Reles:
Rick has been on numerous BFRO expeditions over the last 6 years, and has been investigating witness experiences for 3 years in Wisconsin. He has twice published a guide book to Stick Structures found in the woods.