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COUNTY: Prince George's County
LOCATION DETAILS: General Location: A government operated wildlife research station in a major river drainage which empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
The **** was established as a wildlife research refuge in 1936. Prior to 1936, it was a large privately owned family estate (since the 18th century) and partially owned by the defense department in the early 20th century. The refuge area has largely been left untouched and never encroached by development, large scale farming, logging, or citizens. Farming was limited during the 18th century as the family line became very wealthy and used the massive area as a private estate for family members from the 19th century onward.
Specific Location: Central Tract (extremely secured, gated and guarded area that is off limits to all citizens that are not employees)
This area has been dedicated to bacterial, viral, pesticide, endangered species, natural resources, and migratory bird research for over 50 years. This tract is nationally famous from Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" book and the research which uncovered and revealed the extreme dangers of DDT and other pesticides. There are many old small research buildings trickled throughout the center portion of the tract. Surrounding the core of research buildings there are lots of very rare trees (true Chestnut trees, next to genetically modified Chestnut trees) and endangered plants. Beyond this core to the east are many mitigation research ponds and closed areas which breed endangered birds. The majority of the central tract is dense forests, streams, rivers and ponds.
NEAREST TOWN: Laurel
NEAREST ROAD: I 295
OBSERVED: I was camping on the largest of the river islands on the ******** River in the extra restricted area of the ****'s Central Tract. It is an old growth forest. The understory was mostly clear of bushes and brush. I would from time to time camp out overnight there. I always camp with nothing more then a sleeping bag on the ground. While on the refuge I would not light fires, not cook food, not play music; just pure silence, meditation and observation.
Late on this one evening in late July, I heard wood knocking or clapping in the distance from the south portion of the river. I instantly thought of Bigfoot (I must be honest, especially after all the activity I had observed throughout the months prior). I had a large stick with me, so I slapped it against an old tree. At first I heard no reply. I repeated the banging once every few minutes until I did got a response of knocking back. This was in the same location as before. It then returned to silence until about 15 minutes later when another knocking occurred.
About an hour after the wood knocking I heard definite bi-pedal footsteps walking very slowly. The footsteps were obviously coming from something which was being very cautious. The creature was approaching from the south where the wood knocking sounds were coming from. I assumed that it was on the next island downstream (which is separated by a narrow deep channel of water 15 ft across by 6-10 ft deep). I remained silent the whole time as to not scare it off. The next thing I heard was a loud "kerplunk" of something falling or dropping into the water channel.
Around 15 minutes later I heard a few faint footsteps walking away back to the south (these steps were not as gentle or cautious as before). It sounded as if it were tired of the game or just leaving because it investigated what I was doing. The rest of the night was silent.
The next morning I went over to the next island at the break of dawn. I found no obvious footprints or evidence. However, I did find possible large prints but they were not overly revealing.
ALSO NOTICED: I have one major noteworthy aspect that I feel may be of importance. Before writing this report I did not of even think this was important, but now I do see a correlation.
Earlier that same day, in the early morning (at dawn, this is when I started my work everyday), I began for the first time, data collecting on the island which the sounds came from.
As I was collecting data on the edge of this very channel between the islands, the loose muddy bank gave way beneath my weight and I fell loudly into the water. I dropped my Geo XT GPS/CPU unit as I hit the water. (Luckily, it was waterproof) As I went under I finally could touch the bottom and push off. The water was about 7 ft deep. Before thinking, I dove back under to retrieve my GPS unit which was day glow yellow (thankfully). Then I struggled for about 2 or 3 minutes grabbing roots and anything to help me climb out.
Once I got back up on solid land, I laid there for a minute catching my breath. I was covered head to toe with mud. I started laughing aloud and talking to myself, as I must admit, it was funny. I gathered all my equipment that had remained on dry land and carried everything down to the wide open rock covered beach on the large moving portion of the river.
Being as there was no one else out there, I removed all my clothes and washed them off piece by piece in the river. I laid all my clothes out on large rocks to dry under the bright sunlight. I did keep my underwear on however, but nothing else. While my clothes were drying I sat on a large boulder and ate my lunch.
I put my clothes back on later even though they were still damp. I remember later that day returning to the office and telling my story. Everyone kept commenting with humor that I smelled like the river and earth. At that time I figured silently to myself, "what the hell I should just stay the night out there, being my scents were completely gone and I smelled as pure earth."
So I returned back out there around 5pm after everyone left for the day and my evening story began.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me.
OTHER STORIES: Yes, there are many incidents in this direct area. Most of the accounts are within a 5-10 mile radius. These accounts seemed to have started in the 1970's when regional mass development began outside of DC and north towards Baltimore along the I-295/I-95 corridors.
I will list some of the accounts which I am familiar with:
1. During the 1990s a man driving home from work very early in the AM, spotted a dark bigfoot like creature hunched on the side of route 198 just off of I-95. As he drove past it stood up and ran off along the road jumping the guard rail.
2. During the early 2000s, a lot of sightings of a large brownish black creature along the ******** River from I-95 downward into the ****. Government biologists from **** investigated and confirmed it was a black bear. However, many observers said it was bipedal and not on all fours. Many locals around the **** claimed whatever it was took "refuge" in the ****.
3. Sightings during the building of Arundel Mills Mall in 1999, reported a large dark haired creature on the construction site. This report can be found on many sites and newspapers. This location is 10 miles north.
4. On my first day on the job at the ****, I met with my direct manager, a senior staff member, and he said to me (his exact words), "We do not discuss Bigfoot around here. Got it?" (I realized instantly he was covering some thing up). He then said, "We have a citizen in the area that from time to time sends us audio recordings and "evidence" that a Bigfoot lives on the ****. He often puts in for permits to come in and investigate. Never speak to him if you see him around the visitor areas."
5. During my first driving tour through the refuge, a biologist from **** made the following statements to me. (We had reached the security gate which closes off River Road to everyone.) The biologist said to me, "This is where the Bowie goatman lives you know? or a Bigfoot. That is if you believe in that stuff. And by the way welcome to your research area, have fun." I responded with, "No matter, nothing in nature scares me." He then looked seriously at me and said, "Until you get to see one."
6. One day, several weeks after starting my work at the refuge, I was eating lunch in the office area that we share with **** police. One of the police said to me, "Hows it going out in the hinterlands?" I said, "Fine. No one bothers me and its quiet out there." He then said something to the regards of, "Seen anything creepy or odd yet? That is a strange area." I said, "No" (however I had already had strange experiences out there, but I did not want to mention anything in case he was testing me). He then mentioned briefly, "I saw something like a huge dark bear walking on two legs one late night out on River Road, while doing a very rare drive through. I never went back through that place at night again. Only in the day light now." I just smirked and mildly laughed and said, "Bowie goatman, eh?" He said nothing after that.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Time: After midnight (~midnight-2am)
Lighting: It was very dark with little moon light. By checking moon phases of July 2006, it would reference that it occurred sometime during the last two weeks of July.
Weather: Hot and humid, clear skies. (this was during a multi-week period of high temps and high humidity and drought)
Note: I only worked weekdays on the refuge (so this was a weekday Monday-Thursday overnight stay)
ENVIRONMENT: This individual occurrence was on a riverine island on the **** River located in the center of the restricted, non-access preservation area. The island is completely old growth forest which is mostly brush free and wide open under the dense canopies. The old trees (sycamore, white oak, ash, tulip poplar, red oak) are all 40-90 inch DBH (diameter at breast height) with the lowest branches being ~30 ft. or more off the ground. The age range is 150-500 years old.
The canopy is so full that it restricts sunlight to the forest floor. Even during the brightest day on the island it feels like dawn or dust. The ground is full of rich black soil and a nice bed of fallen leaves. Scattered throughout the floor are various forms of edible and poisonous mushrooms. Where holes in the canopy allow sunlight in, there is patches of low bush berry, green briar, and other shrub like vegetation.
The entire fringe of the island where sunlight reaches all day is full of smaller trees (pawpaw, young ash, oak, birch, maple, sycamore, cherry, holly) and under which is dense shrubs (ivy, lespidesa, barberry, green briar). Beyond the islands edge to the east side is a ~10-15 ft. wide weathered rock covered beach on the river side. On the opposite side to the west is a muddy steep bank which drops into a deep channeled branch of the river (10-15ft deep).
This island very commonly has deer and wild turkey passing through and nesting down.
Also an abundance of box turtles lives on this island. The river side were muddy is packed with fresh water clams.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator D.K.:
This witness, Ron, contacted the BFRO shortly after reading BFRO Report #27702, which occurred in the vicinity of the events described in his report. After communicating with Ron over a period of weeks, I can add the following information to his report.
Ron holds a BS degree in Geography and a BA degree in Ancient Studies. He studied the history of mankind on the east coast of the Paleo period (13,000 YBP) to the Woodland period prior to Western influence. This background, and his Iroquois grandfather, exposed him to Native American folk lore describing sasquatch. As a researcher, Ron is meticulous in his observations and the data he gathers.
Some weeks after discovering his work at ****, Ron discovered a fresh deer kill in the isolated restricted-access area where he conducted his studies. The deer was still warm, there were no gunshot wounds, its neck had been broken, there was evidence of a blunt force strike to the skull, and no part of the deer had been eaten or removed. The area around the deer appeared heavily distributed, as if an altercation had occurred. The only other object in the area was a pineapple-sized rock.
The day after finding the deer kill, Ron was driving along the gravel access road and found a partially devoured hind leg from a deer. Ron observed tooth marks on the bone that were not canine but appeared flat, and ¾ inches wide. Ron went directly to the deer kill site and found the deer carcass completely slaughtered and devoured. The leg he found on the road seemed to be a hind leg that was now missing from the corpse. Each rib had been snapped off and cleaned to the bone. The internal organs were all missing, the eyes and tongue were gone as well. The three remaining legs were devoured to the bone, and separated from the boy for some distance. Other objects found at the kill site included small birch branches that appeared to have been chewed. Deer hair strewn about the kill site was evenly distributed with the exception of one large area next to the body, where no deer hair appeared to have settled on the ground.
In addition to the wood knocking incident described in the report above, Ron also experienced wood knocks and the sound of bipedal footsteps during his daylight research activities. These occurred while in densely vegetated areas near the riverine islands.
During my discussion with Ron of his experiences in the ****, he mentioned that it was a habit for him to eat his lunch while in the forest. And at the end of each meal, he would leave the last bite behind, uneaten. A tradition he learned from his grandfather, I mentioned to him that this could have been seen as a form of “gifting” on his part. When I said this Ron realized that it could explain something which had puzzled him since those days. While hiking in the forested area Ron had taken up a walking stick to help negotiate the rough terrain of holes and roots. He used it every day, but one day his stick broke and he left it behind. The very next day he hiked to a log where he frequently rested and ate his lunch in the past. And in the spot where he regularly sat, a large, sturdy stick was left leaning against the log. Ron felt it was a “gift” in the tradition of his grandfather's folk lore, but never associated with potential sasquatch habits until I mentioned the subject. Ron has the stick in his possession to this day, and cherishes it even more now.
The Arundel Mills mall incident Ron refers to above is further documented in this BFRO Media Article 45.
In addition to his own experiences, Ron also relayed the story of his Mother's childhood sighting, which she repeated to him frequently as he grew up: “My first Bigfoot story came to me by my Mother when she was spending summers up in Chase, Maryland. She told me that around 1964-65 she had a few repeated strange encounters while spending her summer vacations at her Aunt's home. During those summers she lived in a farm house with her Aunt where lots of old growth forest terrain surrounded the old house. She told me that often her Aunt would tell my Mother that she could hear strange moans and sounds late at night coming from the forest, but not to worry. My Mother was told that it was the Old Man in the woods and he was not interested in them. He lived there from long before and in fact was talked about by locals for 100's of years. This being a normal Native American tradition passed down about nature from family members to the young ones.”
“My Mother stated that over the year and a half she spent time there she heard many noises, mostly during the summer months. During the winter it was quiet. She had never seen the creature until one very hot summer night during mid summer. She got yelled at for stealing and hiding her younger sister's favorite doll. As night fell her Aunt was preparing them for bed and my Mother's young sister noticed that her doll was missing and started crying. My Aunt yelled at my Mother to find it immediately. Unfortunately my Mother had the doll a few hundred yards into the forest while she was playing there during the day. My Mother still says she was so used to hearing the late evening noises it never occurred to her as she went outside around 10 PM to get the doll. As she quickly went into the woods with her flashlight in hand she grabbed the doll and at the moment she heard a huge screeching howl coming down on her. She says she was frozen and could not even move. As she lifted her eyes up to the top of the hill in front in front of her she saw a huge dark shadowy image hunched over about 10 or so car lengths away. As she stood there frozen and scared the dark image stood up and slightly lifted its arms and let out another huge screeching howl and she immediately screamed and took off running. As she ran into the house her Aunt grabbed her and asked her if she was ok. My Mother states that her Aunt kept saying that she forgot about sending her out in the forest late at night during this time of year. That was the last month or so my Mom lived there and shortly after moved back home to Baltimore. My Mother told me this story all the time as I was growing up and told me that this was the complete truth and she has always wondered if the creature was still out there and what ever happened.”
While discussing the finer points of Ron's story over several weeks of communication, the elements of his experience were detailed and consistent. His heightened observation skills combined with unique access to a highly restricted government research area created a singular opportunity for a talented researcher to collect evidence of local sasquatch. The Washington/Baltimore corridor is a region with a cluster of fleeting reports going back to the 1970s, and reports such as Ron's, offer important clues to how a local population of sasquatch could continue to exist in such a well-developed area.
About BFRO Investigator D.K.:
D.K. is a business executive with an MS in Systems Engineering. Formerly a linguistic analyst, he applies his knowledge to the collection and study of sasquatch vocals and communication patterns. BFRO expeditions attended: Tennessee 2010, Pennsylvania 2011, Ohio 2012, West Virginia 2012 & West Virginia 2013