Geographical Index > United States > Montana > Gallatin County > Report # 63362|
Submitted by witness on Thursday, September 12, 2019.
Three field biologists describe possible sasquatch vocalizations outside Big Sky
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DATE: early in the month
COUNTY: Gallatin County
LOCATION DETAILS: We would've started out at a trail head that's off of Porcupine Creek Rd. Our headquarters were the FS cabin right off of Hwy 191 and Porcupine. So we were pretty far in there (hiking east and then winding around with the trails).
NEAREST TOWN: Big Sky
NEAREST ROAD: 191
OBSERVED: I was a part of a 3-person research team collecting data from the forests and meadows in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. We had hiked quite a ways in, surveying study sites along the way, and then hiked further to where we would start surveying the next day. We set up camp here, ate our sandwiches and climbed to the top of a big hill to enjoy the scenery lit up by the full moon. In a moment of silliness (and stupidity), we all 3 started howling at the moon. When we stopped, something howled back at us. We were all terrified and literally peed our pants. It seemed to be really far away, yet really REALLY LOUD. We tried to figure out what it was, but none of us could identify it. Then, we were trying to figure out what we should do. Should we stay up? Should we all get in the same tent? We certainly weren't going to hike back to civilization in the dark! We ended up each getting in our own tents and just staying awake all night keeping vigilant.
Never once did the idea of sasquatch enter my mind.. because at that time, sasquatch was not a "real thing" to me, and I had a real problem here, so why would I even think about some folk lore legend? But the memory of this terrifying night has never left me. Recently, I found some very compelling interviews and stories about sasquatch which brought me to bfro.net. I started clicking on reports from states and counties where I've lived (Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, California, and Montana). When I saw that there was an encounter from the exact time and place that we heard that thing scream at us, my jaw dropped and I thought "WOAH!!!" I'm grateful that we didn't see it, because I think that would have traumatized me for life. Instead, I just have a lasting memory along with a scary campout story. My heart goes out to all of you who have had terrifying encounters.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two others, we all witnessed the same thing together.
OTHER STORIES: Report #1454 is what helped solve this mystery for me.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was night time, clear sky and full moon (or close to full).
ENVIRONMENT: Our camp was at the edge of a tree grove maybe part way down a valley in a meadow. Thick forests surrounded the meadow on all sides.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caitlin & Thomas Ertz:
Witness was on a bird and butterfly research expedition with two other females. Research was for the University of Kansas and they had three different types of forest locations (dependent upon how dense the forest was) and three different types of meadows (dependent on how much water was in the meadow). Most of their sites were very near roads with easy access for research, however two sites were very remote and required an overnight camp and long hike in and out. They serviced these areas roughly once a week to every 10 days in rotation. She said due to the research they were conducting, there was a lot of hiking but not much camping, and most of the nights had dinner at the Half Moon Saloon (it is noted that the name has now changed to the Gallatin Riverhouse Grill). They were in the field most days about 14 hours a day and still now, over 20 years later, witness says you could drop her anywhere in their research area and she would know where she was.
It was a full moon night in July (**NOTE: after witness submitted report, she discussed the event again with one of the other witnesses and they determined the vocalization was in July. The only full moon in July was on July 3rd.), they were camping in a meadow that was surrounded by trees that had also a small grove of trees in the middle of the meadow. She said the three researchers hiked up a small rise in the terrain and were goofing off howling at the moon. It was a clear night and if it wasn't a full moon it was almost a full moon to the point that they would have no way of knowing if it was not full without consulting a guide. Out of the east, a long howl came back at them. At first they thought wolf, however they commented to each other that it was too long (5 seconds at least longer than a wolf howl) and although it was a ways away from them it was obviously loud and powerful. She stated the end of the vocalization sounded as if whatever was making it was forcefully pushing out all the air in their lungs to further the noise. They all discussed known animals in the vicinity; Bears, mountain lions, bobcats, wolf, coyote, moose, elk, etc. None of the animals they knew of would be able to replicate the noise. Witness said that it frightened all of them, and they had a long discussion about what to do, including if they should sleep in one tent or separate tents. They agreed on sleeping in their individual tents, and had no further action that evening.
They broke camp and continued on their research without further incident. The witness said to this day she still questions herself; "Why am I an idiot? Why don't I know what it is?" When asked specifically about the vocalization, she stated that it was one voice, not two, and high pitched. her current thought is that whatever it was, was mocking them. It seemed to start like a wolf, but trailed off in the end to be something indescribable. They did tell the professor and the professor's husband, and both of them just laughed it off. They had become regulars at the Half Moon Saloon and told other regulars there. They were interviewed by a local newspaper and the story ran within a week or two of the experience. Witness could not remember the publication, but thought it was either Big Sky or Gallatin based. *Note: We will be researching this to look into the article. The Half Moon Saloon called them the "Birding Butterfly Gals"*
The witness did return 7 years later and said there were areas of the research locations that had burned in forest fires since they had been researching and it was eerie, but at the time of research, there was not any recent burn areas where they were. One point she did mention, was that there were a lot of moose. She stated that of all the large animals they encountered, they came across moose the most. This was the only summer she participated in the study, but the professor did this study in this area for many years before and after the witness was involved.
One of the other researchers on the team stayed in Montana and is still residing in the Gallatin Area. The witness contacted her to discuss that night, and the other researcher agreed that it was an unknown vocalization, also something she could not forget. Agreed it was possible it was bigfoot, however is not willing at this time to come forward with her own description of the event. it also should be noted that the same year on June 3, 1993; there is a published report from the same area. BFRO Report #1454. This report is also published and noted in the Benchmark Montana Atlas Second Edition Copyright 2012.
The witness also stated in an email: "Diane and James went out with us at the very beginning, and then Katie, Liesl and I worked it alone once we had the process down. I was not an experienced birder, but I spent a lot of my last semester perstering Diane to take me along. I REALLY wanted to go. She finally caved because she knew that musicians (which I am) make good birders. She was right! I had 150 bird songs memorized by the 2nd week! What an amazing experience!" For reference, Diane was the professor, James is Diane's husband. Katie and Liesl are the two additional researchers with the witness.
Witness also provided a copy of the paper they published from their research:
The witness provided photos from the research they participated in, and these images are to show the terrain they were working in only. There is no bigfoot activity or claimed photographic evidence of bigfoot in the images. It is just for reference of habitat that they were constantly in.
About BFRO Investigator Caitlin & Thomas Ertz:
Thomas is an avid outdoorsman, including hunting and fishing along with hiking and is becoming increasingly familiar with nature. Growing up in Eastern Washington, his curiosity has only grown through his life regarding Bigfoot. Caitlin grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is an avid hiker, camper and nature photographer. Being in PACNW meant for her that the curiosity for Bigfoot has always been on her mind. Both began year-round research after Caitlin's brother brought them compelling evidence in 2012. Both Thomas and Caitlin have countless hours in the field, including attending WA-2 BFRO Expedition 2014.