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COUNTY: Washtenaw County
LOCATION DETAILS: North of Willis Rd between McKean and Bunton roads
NEAREST TOWN: Willis
NEAREST ROAD: Rawsonville Road
OBSERVED: On the first weekend of summer, 1999, two of my sons and a friend planned a Saturday night bonfire in our backyard fire pit to celebrate the end of the school year. They went out about midnight and started a wood fire to throw their books and papers into. After the fire was going, they began to throw the school stuff into the fire. The firepit is almost visible from the couch I was sitting on in the family room on the southwest side of the house. I fell asleep about 12:30 or so, and was awakened by the slam of the bathroom door at about 1:30 AM. I asked the boys what was wrong, and my younger son and his friend were crying. The oldest son was white faced and visibly shaken. They apparently heard what sounded like women screaming at the back of our yard, to the west, then north, then east, like the screamers were surrounding our yard and taking turns making the screams. The boys said that the screams sounded like they started high pitched, then descended into a low growl and were moving.
I used to be an avid hunter and target shooter, but, as I moved around the country for my job, I got tired of learning new rules, etc., and stopped hunting, but I still had a few guns and police grade flashlights around the house. When we moved to this semirural area, I had a standing deal with my sons that they would get me if anything unusual happened around our property, no matter what. This time, though, they never got me up to tell me what happened. By the time I figured out that they heard something unusual (at the time I thought a local girl was being harrassed by local punks), and I got out the back door with a light, whoever/whatever was there was gone. They didn't want to call the police because they were afraid I would tease them, let alone the police, who might think they were lying. The next morning, my sons took me out back to the field behind our property, but we found nothing. The following Tuesday night, just at dusk, my middle son heard the same scream and movement in the corn field on the east side of our house, and ran in, badly shaken. Again, I ran out, this time armed as well as with a good light, but saw and heard nothing. Interestingly, the area around us is still farms with corn, srawberries, and other crops growing most of the year, even though the area is ten minutes from Dearborn, Michigan.
ALSO NOTICED: No.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two sons, ages 14 and 11, and there friend, age 12. They were burning their school books and papers, laughing and joking around.
OTHER STORIES: The kids in the area believed that bigfoot came around during the nice weather, when food crops were growing.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 1:30 AM, the area behind the property had no lighting, clear night
ENVIRONMENT: Farm area, crop fields with drainage gullies going n/s, with woods, lots of fields and woods.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Fred Greca Jr.:
I spoke with one of the witnesses, now a young man, and his father by phone for a good length of time and have the following information to add to the report. The witness explained the vocalizations were heard coming from the cornfield immediately after there had been a large flare-up of the bonfire. The witness could not see anything from the direction of the noise since it was dark and there were trees also obstructing the view.
The witness described the screams as sounding like an unnatural chimpanzee's scream, but with great volume. When asked if it was similar to that of a raccoon's high pitched snarl, the witness replied no, and that he has heard that particular raccoon sound before. There were a number of screams and enough to send the boys running into the house before they heard the end of them.
The father expressed that the vocalizations had a profound effect on his sons. The father also added that there had been unusual incidents that had occurred while living at that location. There was a huge log in the backyard that would, on occasion, get moved from one location to another. The log was of such size that it would take at least three men to move it. On other occasions, the household garbage dumpster was found in the corn field adjacent to the house, with the contents (plastic kitchen bags full of garbage) neatly piled next to it, with nothing having been strewn around, but obviously rummaged through.
The residence is located on the side of a small group of houses off of a rural road. A large farm field, usually planted with corn, is adjacent to the house and is separated by a thin line of various trees and bushes along the property line. The corn was estimated at being 3 feet tall at the time of the incident.
About BFRO Investigator Fred Greca Jr.:
Fred Greca Jr. is an Engineer. He has participated in the following BFRO expeditions: Ohio 2006, New York 2006, Ohio (revisited) 2007, Michigan U.P. 2007, Ontario 2007, Michigan U.P. 2008, Ohio 2009, Michigan L.P. 2011 and Michigan U.P. 2012.