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DATE: 15 May
COUNTY: Bay County
LOCATION DETAILS: The parcel of land is located where North Bear Creek Road converges with South Bear Creek Road, approximately 1/4 mile from U.S. Hwy 231.
NEAREST TOWN: Youngstown
NEAREST ROAD: U.S. 231
OBSERVED: I was a boy of about 12 years of age camping on my parent's land. We had a house atop a hill that sloped down an acre or two, leading to Bear Creek, which is where our property ended. The land on both banks of the creek was thickly wooded and our land was not cleared all the way to the water. Three of my friends and I had built a fire and unrolled our sleeping bags about a hundred yards or so away from the house in the direction of the creek. One of the younger boys was not permitted to stay all night and as he left to go home, two of us were shining our flashlights at him and teasing him about a boogey man getting him. He was probably about twenty yards or less away from our little campsite, walking throught the tall (2-3 ft.) grass. In the dim light of the flashlights at that distance I saw a few yards behind him and walking in the opposite direction a form that looked like a large biped. My best estimate would make it 6' 5" or taller. What I saw was from halfway between the elbow and shoulder to about halfway between the knee and ankle, so my height estimate is quite rough. It took about three strides before it went from on side of the light to the other, the strides were long and smooth, not at all jerky, and it looked like the knees remained bent as if it was not standing straight upright but slouching somewhat, and the arms swung low. Under the poor lighting conditions I could not tell what color it was, it looked gray in the shadowy lighting, and it looked furry or hairy. Had I thought of it, I would have tried to follow the form with my falshlight, but the first thing I did was look at the boy sitting on the ground next to me, who was also holding a flashlight, and he was already looking at me very wide-eyed. He asked "Did you see that?" and I stood up and called for the departing boy to come back. He returned and when we told him what we had seen, neither he nor the other boy there believed us. He went home and the two of us who had seen it, not venturing far from the fire, looked around with our flashlights but we didn't see anything unusual. Neither of us would admit we were afraid so we stayed all night (but didn't sleep much) The next day I looked for footprints or disturbed soil or grass and found nothing.
ALSO NOTICED: There was nothing unusual or noteworthy other than what was described in the account, no sounds or smells or signs of animal activity that was out of the ordinary.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were four boys present, ages approx. 11 to 13. I was about 12 and the other witness was about 13.
OTHER STORIES: I have not heard of any other incidents in this area before or since. This may have occured too long ago to be of any use to your research. It certainly is not at all a dramatic account.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Night, clear, cool
ENVIRONMENT: The land in this area has pine and oak trees, lots of underbrush like palmettos and berry bushes, and there is a small bridge crossing the creek near the site.
Follow-up investigation report:
After interviewing the witness by telephone I believe that his encounter and his retelling of the events are credible.
During follow-up investigations, an observation was submitted by the witness which was not contained in the initial report. He stated that, “The detail I failed to mention is that, while the animal I saw was rather human in appearance (arms, legs, upright posture), the one thing other than the long hair that extensively covered its body that seemed to impress me during my brief look at it was that the forearm area appeared thicker than the bicep area, and there seemed to be more length to the forearm than would be normal in a person. I confess my sighting lasted only about four seconds, and the animal was seen at night and only in the light of two flashlights pointed at the animal, and I was only a boy of about twelve years of age, but I inherited the ability to illustrate quite well from my father and I have always taken particular notice of proportions and dimensions, even at a young age.”
When I questioned the witness further, he also stated that he clearly noticed the hands on this creature. He said that at the time he would have been more at ease to have been able to have passed the sighting off as being a bear walking upright versus a hair covered wild man roaming about that close to his home, but the hands on the creature clearly negated the possibility of it being a bear.