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Media Article # 650
Article submitted by Stan Courtney
Article prepared and posted by Stan Courtney

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Witness claims Sasquatch sighting at Forest Preserve.

By Tony Scott
Kendall County Record

The witness claims that the creatures were big, furry and eight to nine feet tall, running around Harris Forest Preserve off Ill. Route 71 in Yorkville one cold night in early January.

No, they weren’t defensive linemen for the Bears.

Instead, he claims he saw a Sasquatch. A Yeti. A creature more commonly referred to as Bigfoot. Actually, he claims he saw two. Bigfeet? You be the judge.

According to the witness’s account, posted on the website for the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, they were walking their dog in Harris one evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., after dark, when a creature began throwing rocks at them.

“At first I thought it was some kids screwing around, until I got through the trail to the pond in back,” the witness wrote. “I was paralyzed with fear after what happened next. I believe it was a Bigfoot that ran out about 10 feet in front of me and stopped for about 15 seconds, it let out a very loud scream right at me then turned around and ran straight through the pond.”

He continued, “I also noticed that behind me appeared to be another very large figure that ran the opposite direction. The first one I got a very clear view of, (it) was eight to nine feet tall with very wide shoulders about twice as wide as mine, it had dark brown hair mixed with some gray, and it smelled awful. I did not get a very good look at the other one but it did appear to be eight to 10 feet tall.”

The witness claimed to be a skeptical person who is not a believer of such things.

“That being said I am having a hard time coming up with an explanation for this,” he wrote.

It is the only actual sighting reported in Kendall County on the BFRO’s website, although there was a report of Bigfoot noises in Kendall in 2006. Other nearby counties have had sightings – Grundy and Kane each have four listed on the website.

Bigfoot expert: Sasquatch sighted in northern Illinois

Stan Courtney, a central Illinois Bigfoot researcher whose website and blog – – contains information on sightings in Illinois going back to the fall of 1883, said it’s possible that the large beasts would be found in northern Illinois.

Courtney said there are plenty of areas in northern Illinois that are heavily wooded, perfect for a Bigfoot.

“There’s an immense amount of forest; all those park preserves. Most of them are interconnected with wooded streams,” he said.

Courtney said he and other researchers involved with the BFRO’s website talk to the witnesses on the phone and ask them questions about their experiences.

“All these reports where they obviously don’t have any video or audio, or foot casts or anything, they’re anecdotal,” he said. “All of our witnesses that we’ve received reports from, we’ve talked to them on the phone. So when we get them on the phone, we have to judge whether we think the person is telling the truth. Because we get an immense amount of the other type as well. Usually, they won’t give us a phone number, or if they do, they won’t come to the phone.”

In the case of the BFRO website, Courtney said the witnesses – including the one that filed the report on the Harris Forest Preserve sighting – are granted confidentiality.

He said witnesses in urban or suburban areas are going to be more reluctant to tell people what they’ve seen.

“They’re actually going to be more questioning of themselves, and they’re more open to ridicule, and they’re going to tell less people than those who live in a rural area,” he said.
Courtney said he has made recordings of Sasquatch-related sounds in Cook County forest preserves. He said he had a friend who was a skeptic who had a “daylight sighting near Brookfield Zoo.”

“I think they’re in that area,” he said. “I can’t tell you numbers. The witnesses are much, much more unlikely to come forward just because of other factors.”

The Illinois River area, he said, has a long history of sightings, particularly around Seneca, he said.

Courtney said that Bigfoot creatures also possibly use bike paths along wooded areas and forest preserves, especially at night, to travel.

“It’s fair game to them; they can move up and down those,” he said. “I also think they use railroad tracks a lot – abandoned railroad tracks or even current ones. If I wanted to go five miles through the woods, and there was a railroad track there, I’d go down the railroad tracks.”

Contrary to popular belief, Bigfoot isn’t just based in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, he said.

“When I was a kid, it was only the Yeti in the Himalyas,” he said. “And then, with the Patterson film, we knew it was in the Pacific Northwest.”

The Patterson film is a famous home movie made by two men – Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin – in a national forest in northern California in October 1967 that supposedly shows evidence of a walking Sasquatch creature.

Although scientists have criticized the film and some people have come forward to claim that it is a man in a suit, both filmmakers long insisted that it is the real thing. Patterson died in 1972 but Gimlin is still alive and makes appearances at Bigfoot-related events.

Courtney said that if a Bigfoot was in the area, it would most likely feast on deer.

“Most animals stay where the prey species is, and for these guys, especially in winter, it’s deer,” he said. “And you know what a large deer population we have here in Illinois.”

No official sightings, county officials say

Although he joked that the county has a secret “Bigfoot breeding program,” Jason Pettit, director of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District, said the county hasn’t received reports of Bigfoot creatures.

“I have some employees that maybe closely resemble that, but that’s about it,” he said, laughing. “I have one employee that says it’s his dream that he’d like to dress up in a Sasquatch outfit… but no official sightings, no.”

And Forest Preserve District officials further said that, in all seriousness, the person who witnessed the Bigfoot incident was actually breaking the law. Entering the forest preserves after dark is an offense that could result in a fine or arrest, they said.

So, for now, the Bigfoot legend of Harris Forest Preserve remains only that.

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