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COUNTY: Champaign County
LOCATION DETAILS: Southwest of Mechanicsburg off of State Route 187
NEAREST TOWN: Mechanicsburg,Ohio
NEAREST ROAD: State Route 187
OBSERVED: I'd loaned my pickup truck to a friend that moved. To repay in a way they offered me dinner and to prove to me that Bigfoot was actually around their property. It was a small three room building near their parents cabin. I knew from reputation that the area was good for hunting mushrooms. So I asked to go back and poke around. We walked back a muddy tractor path as my friend had to shoo a calf up towards the barn. As we returned to the house up the muddy tractor path I looked down to avoid a mud puddle, and I saw a footprint. It was twice as wide and almost twice as long as my own foot. I thought they were setting me up to play a practical joke and scare me and I told my friend that. He told me to make one if he think they had faked it. I was unable to get the same effect in the puddle, my track was much smaller and I could not get the toes to show up as well. My friend had some plaster in the cow barn so we went and mixed some and poured it in the track. We saw nobody at the little house they were living in, so we went up to the cabin. My friends in-laws were on the porch with his wife and their two kids (toddlers) also. My friends mother in law asked why were down by the rabbit pens and we told her we had found a footprint and we filled it with plaster. His mother in-law said she wanted them to stay out of the rabbit pens, his father in-law handed me some binoculars and my friend a shotgun saying just shoot to scare them off. My friends wife said she needed to feed the rabbits and headed toward the back of the property. While we were having a cup of coffee she ran in the back door in a fright. She said she had heard breathing and it was just outside the rabbit shed when she was in there putting the feed in the cages, she was clearly shaken. It was at that point that I realized this was either the best practical joke I'd ever seen perpetrated or it was real. My friend and I went down and checked out the shed. Nothing.... I was going to leave but, it had started to rain, so Neal and I were goofing with the field glasses. The woods beyond the cabin ended in a wheat field. I scanned around the area and bright sunshine flooded the field. I spotted a manlike figure appearing totally black with one hand on a large tree limb. It bobbed up and down in an ape-like manner. I had a chill go up and down my spine. I pointed toward it and asked my friend what it was. My friend said he saw it standing there bobbing up and down also, and that the tree limb it was holding onto was ten feet off the ground. He started to move toward it. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted something down the tractor path. Partially obscured by weeds I saw something move. I peered through the binoculars and saw flowing fox colored hair on a hand touching the plaster of paris in the footprint. The hair/fur didn't cover the whole hand, just the top to just over the knuckles and back to the wrist. The skin color was human like but yellowed. It pawed at the plaster. I saw no thumbs but the hand was really long. The head was obscured by weeds. I got my friends attention and we went back toward the rabbit shed, my friend carrying the shotgun. We did not find anything down there and decided to head back to the cabin. With our backs to the puddle walking up the path, we heard a rushing rustle through the weeds and the sound of bare feet slapping wet muddy ground within just a few feet of us. I ran to my truck and left. I waved as I went by. I never went back there again other than driving by.
ALSO NOTICED: Didn't ask and didn't want to know. The plaster didn't work and it just fell apart. Never went back to the sight.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two or more. My friend, his wife, and her parents.
OTHER STORIES: I'd heard a story of a Bigfoot messing with a clothes line west of Urbana, and one or two pounding the side of a house in Mutual. Both of those stories were second hand.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Overcast at times with periods of rain. As the day went on there was plenty of bright sunshine.
ENVIRONMENT: Fruit and nut trees and berry bushes. Maple, locust, oak, black walnut, thorn and hickory on the edge of a plain from glaciation. Creeks, ponds, and swampy areas nearby.
Follow-up investigation report:
** This investigation was handled by S.P. of Ohio **
I spoke to the witness by phone for about one hour. From this conversation I can add the following items:
-The first creature was seen at a distance of approximately 100 yards through field glasses. He stated that it was standing just inside the tree line on the other side of a field in the shadows, It appeared dark and he could not make out any facial features or ears. He added that the fence along the edge of the field just about reached the waist of what he observed (the usual Ohio farm fence is at least 4 feet and up to about 5 feet tall).
-The second incident of the hand coming out from the bushes was at a distance of 30 yards and was again observed through binoculars.
- The witness had not talked about the incident at all for a number of years. About two years ago he was out camping and trading ghost stories and decided to tell this real life scary story. He has still not returned to the property and has no interest in doing so. One could tell he was becoming agitated even as he related the event.
- The witness had gone to the property to get his truck. His friend had told him that they had been having some problems with a bigfoot around the farm, but he was totally skeptical of that story. Up until he actually spotted the creature standing in the tree line, he thought his friend was trying to pull a big practical joke on him.
- The witness knew that his friend had moved off the property but he sometimes saw his wife at a local establishment where she worked. A few days later, he provided me with an email giving the friend's phone number, which was unlisted, and stated the wife was willing to speak with me about the incident.
On another call I spoke with both the friend and his wife. They were initially very reluctant to discuss the situation but eventually confirmed the events that the witness described had occurred. They also provided me with the names of her parents, and I was able to visit the Champaign County library and confirm that they lived there during the time of the incident. They also related some other incidents that had occurred on the property. The investigation continues with the goal of making contact with the mother-in-law and current residents of the property in the unlikely case activity continues.