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COUNTY: Marquette County
LOCATION DETAILS: Take Co Rd. 553 south out of Marquette, about 5 miles south of the Ski Hill on the right hand side of the road, on old 553.
NEAREST TOWN: Marquette
NEAREST ROAD: Co Rd 553
OBSERVED: It was a summer day, 1996. Some friends and I were riding dirt bikes(motorcycles) on this old abandoned highway just south of the city of Marquette. The new highway (Co Rd 553) runs parallel with the old highway. We were headed north on the old 553, as we approached one of the many downed trees across the road, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. The creature appeared to be croutched low to the ground. I believe it was either trying to hide from us, or was sitting watching traffic on the highway perhaps eating or something. As the creature turned it's head to see us, I realized this was something unusual and began braking. It slowly stood, somewhat hunched, like it was trying to stay low to the ground, I instantly realized it was walking on two feet like a human. I started to get quite scared and excited. I've never seen anything like this before. It cautiously proceeded out into the middle of the roadway, stopped, stood facing me and stared at me for what seemed like 3 seconds, then looked over it's right shoulder at a 6-8ft. embankment next to the road. I believe it was planning it's escape route. Then turned and looked at me again, this time about 5 seconds.
By this time I was shouting to my friends to look at the creature as they pulled up on their motorcycles. The creature had no real noticable features, it's body was completely fur/ hair covered,the fur was similar to that I've seen on a moose, very dull looking. It had longish arms and the legs weren't very long in comparison. It's body was like a gorillas, I could see a face, but the flesh was dark like the fur. All I could really make out were the eyes, They were almost aglow, of course this must be from the sunlight shining down since the sun was at our backs. The creature moving very slowly towards the embankment and then lunged up the bank with ease. I lost sight of it for a second, then watched it run through the trees with great speed and agility. It even lept over a down tree like a hurdler.
ALSO NOTICED: Well, I was mountain biking back there this spring when I scared something up, very big and dark and fast, I couldn't see anything due to heavy vegetation, and I was trying to stay out of it's path so I went the opposite direction in a hurry.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were 4 of us, the others refuse to discuss the incident due to criticism. We were motorcycle riding.
OTHER STORIES: YES! I overheard a bank teller telling of an ocurrence that happened to her and her husband near their home. They spooked up a hairy man type of creature that ran through the woods quite fast. She was shaken when describing the incident. I didn't ask her about it so I wouldn't appear to be nosey. But I wanted to ask, very bad.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was mid afternoon, the day was warm and clear, very sunny. A typical summer day.
ENVIRONMENT: Heavy hardwood/ pine forest. No real landmarks except the old highway.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
I spoke with two of the witnesses by phone. The animal was described as being about six feet tall with fur of a flat dark color. It was always upright and very heavily built with a broad chest. They were unable to make out any facial features other than the eyes.
About BFRO Investigator Stan Courtney:
Stan Courtney has a special interest in wildlife audio recording. He has attended numerous BFRO Expeditions and travels throughout Illinois giving presentations on "Bigfoot In Illinois". See Stan's blog StanCourtney.com for recordings he has collected over the years.
Stan Courtney can be reached at email@example.com