Geographical Index > United States > Minnesota > Lake County > Report # 4777|
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, August 7, 2002.
Daytime vocalizations and sighting by grouse hunters near Silver Bay along Lake Superior's north shore
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COUNTY: Lake County
LOCATION DETAILS: It is a heavily forested area dotted with lakes for fishing and good deer and Grouse Hunting. Lots of wildlife.
NEAREST TOWN: Silver Bay
NEAREST ROAD: Lax Lake Road
OBSERVED: While Hunting Ruffed Grouse with friend near Bean and Bear Lakes outside the small town of Silver Bay we heard and then saw a large unidentified creature. We were near an area where there were alot of berries and were making sure that we didn't stumble upon a bear (which we had done many timees, and let me tell you...this was no bear). We heard a howling that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up...literally. ee both hit the deck and reloaded our 12g shotguns with slugs. Not a word was exchanged. We were both rather scared. It was nearing Nightfall, and we had a long way to go to get back to the car. This is a very rugged and remote area. The howling was intermittent, but we could hear the animal moving. It was a couple hundred yards away. Unfortunately for us it was directly in our path. This is a swampy lake filled area with heavy growth. I have travelled all over the world, and this is some of the toughest undergrowth that I have ever seen. We cautiously moved toward the trail (and the animal) and moved a quietly as we could. We were both experienced woodsman, and we knew this was no Timberwolf, Moose, Bear or cat. We dropped the 3 grouse we had shot as a precaution and contiued along the trail. Off to our right we heard movement. I remember being terrified. It was clear that it was a large creature, but it moved VERY fast. Faster than any Bull moose I had ever encountered. It followed us on our right flank for a few hundred yards. It was now approaching dark. We had lights with us, as well as first aid kits. I turned to my friend and pointed. At that moment we could see a complete outline of this creature. The reason it was visible, was that we were in the growth, and it was following, but there was a clearing beind it (an old logging camp area) and the light was still brigh behind it. We both hit the deck again. I find it funny that the thought of shooting at it didn't even cross our minds. We were scared. I had worked as a wilderness guide, and this was nothing that I had ever seen before. It walked on 2 feet and stood AT LEAST 7 feet tall. There was no way to really tell the color (due to the lighting adn our perspective) but it was a dark color. We continued on our way all the while listening to this thing in the brush following us. It was amazingly stealthy. Like I said we were VERY experienced woodsman for our age. We didn't do drugs or drink like other kids our age...we went hunting and fishing. It finally stopped following us as we crossed a ridge toward a more travelled trail. We both remember the day like it was yesterday. We recently spoke of it. We have both since reloacted to the West Coast (me to San Francisco and He to Seattle).
ALSO NOTICED: Just that howl. I will never forget it.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just myself and my friend. We were hunting Ruffed Grouse.
OTHER STORIES: No I have not. I was not much into this sort of thing until I saw it. I am still not a "bigfoot kook" or anyhing. College educated outdoorsman. Not prone to falling for "Fairy Tales," but the area in Northern Minnesota where this happened is very remote. There could be hundreds of them and we humans would never know.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Dusk. Clear day, light was patchy because of ridges dropping shadows.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine and hardwood (birch) forests with swamps and lakes. No real structures anywhere around there.
Follow-up investigation report:
The author of the report and person I spoke to, "K," was seventeen at the time of his and his friend's sighting. He described the experience to me very well and impressed me as an experienced outdoorsman. Although he now lives on the west coast, he grew up near the area of the sighting - the north shore of Lake Superior - and knows the animals of the north woods. He spoke about timber wolves knowledgably, as someone who has encountered them with some frequency while hunting and fishing in that country.
The vocalizations the young men heard were completely unlike anything they had heard before. They seemed to have been made by a really large animal "It had big volume with depth, a lot of base... resonance," he said "And the sound was directed at us... seemed to be saying, 'Get out!'" K said the vocalizations began with a howl that was low in the beginning and ended on a higher note, and had a duration of what sounded to be five to ten seconds.
At the end of the howl came two "grunts" that K found hard to describe or mimic, although his attempts to mimic them made them seem more complex than what I would term a "grunt." I suggested, "growl" and he didn't think that was quite the right descriptor either. He said, "I hate to say it, but the grunts had a monkey quality to them." In any case, the "grunt" noise K tried to reproduce for me was not just a one syllable sound. He said that the howl portion of the vocalization was always just a single howl and that the recording on the BFRO website made in Columbiana County, Ohio by Matt Moneymaker, was "not quite right," but came closest to matching the howl he heard. It was "very basey... with weight behind it."
That vocalization, which was repeated several times, was frightening to the two young men because it seemed to be way out of bounds for the animals of the north woods, animals they both knew well, including timber wolves and their howls. This sound was completely and obviously different and they both felt intimidated immediately upon hearing it. K and his friend decided right away to turn around and leave the area. After traveling several hundred yards back to the trail leading out of the area, both K and his friend simultaneously felt as though they were being watched. His friend looked at K in a way that said, "Did you hear that? Do you feel that?" As they backtracked out of there they heard the movements of a large animal as it paralleled them. "That's when we started paying attention to the movement tracking us," K said. They became even more unnerved when they found that, upon stopping to listen to it, it stopped too, apparently in an effort not to be heard.
When the young men came to a clearing, a marshy area relatively free of trees but mucky and hard going, they knew it would provide a view of the animal. They watched, "expecting to see a bear" emerge, and were shocked to instead see a large, upright walking animal... (a bigfoot!). K didn't say the word "bigfoot," but it was clear from his description that that is what he and his friend thought they were looking at. "It was not a bear, and it definitely was not human," he said. Among the first impressions K had upon seeing the animal, were that "its body language was not threatening... more inquisitive... which was a relief." And the animal moved extraordinarily quickly across that opening, through that terrible terrain, "faster than I could have run that distance wearing track shoes." K came back to this point several times - the graceful speed of the creature as it moved fast, "seemingly at a leisurely pace," across that difficult swampland. "I could not walk across that swamp, even today, without great effort. I would sink in to my knees on every step," he said.
K thought the animal looked at them when it crossed the clearing. He could not see its face, though, since the animal was backlit by the setting sun. "It's possible it was actually looking away from us," K said, "but I really think it was looking at us." K said the animal was "covered in hair, like a bear." When I asked why he used the word "hair" instead of "fur," K said he didn't know. "The head was sort of conical shaped, but it didn't have a distinct point." He added that it had broad shoulders, its torso was bent forward, and it had arms that were too long (compared to a human). And, he said, it seemed to have no neck.
When I asked him what he would say to me, a person who grapples with the idea of absolutely believing in sasquatch, he said the same thing another witness said to me recently when asked that: "I know what I saw. I know it's real." (My report on that other sighting - the one in which the witness used that phrase - has not been published at the time of this writing. It will be published in September.) He then expanded upon that adding, "Actually, I don't care what you think, and I don't care what you say. I have witnessed it with my own eyes. Bigfoot is real." K went on to say that the experience has changed his life. He said he had felt quite competent, very skilled even, in the woods, but the way the animal behaved and dealt with them that day, "made me feel like a kindergartener."
It's interesting that, at first, the behavior of the animal seems to be about making the young men leave an area. The vocalizations seemed to say, "I am here, and I am bad, get out!" But then, after the guys left - were leaving... the animal sought to conceal the fact that it was shadowing them. It was careful to stop when they did, seemingly to avoid detection. So, you have apparent intimidation followed by an apparent attempt at concealment. Those two behaviors seem to be at odds with one another. K said, "The way I look at it, the creature warned us and then discreetly escorted us out. That's how I felt."
I am attempting to arrange an interview with this witness's friend.