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DATE: last week of the month
COUNTY: Lake County
LOCATION DETAILS: Not posted at the witness' request
NEAREST TOWN: Isabella
OBSERVED: My son and I were hauling our gear down to the canoe after spending the night camping. We passed each other at the top of the hill and a few seconds later I heard through the woods, maybe 125 yards away, an extremely loud bellowing, kind of like a wounded grizzly, but really really loud, it lasted 10-15 seconds then there was a pretty loud muffled talking for maybe 20-30 seconds more. What I mean by loud muffled talking is it sounded like talking that was loud, but I couldn't understand what was being said, like a different language or something?
I continued down to the canoe and headed back to the campgrounds and my son was coming back down and I said "what in the heck was that?". He said " I don't know, but it was loud". It was a dead, calm day, about 3:30 in the afternoon.
The sound came from a point on the river, I told my son to go down to the canoe and watch upstream towards the rapids that go around the point and I went and got the shotgun. I went down to the point a way that I could move quiet, so I was slowly going down there and I was hedging to the left side of the point. I hadn't heard anything, I could start to see the pool of the river upstream from the rapids so I eased over to look in the pool for fish rising, when not very far ahead of me something starts moving through the brush. It is real thick in there, I couldn't see anything, it made a real heavy sound when it stepped, I could hear every step it took, thump, thump, thump, thump, I eased to my right as to make sure it couldn't circle around me, as the point isn't very wide and my son could see the downstream side as well.
The thumping and moving through the brush went towards the rapids then they quit, I headed that way to see if I could get a glimpse of what it was, but I walked right to where the point hits the rapids, and saw nothing, there are exposed rocks in the water, there was no splashing on any of them, whatever crossed had to leap rock to rock to cross, the first one being about 8 feet from shore,it may be 30 yards wide there.
The point is not very big, whatever was there walked very hard on the ground and could not have gone any place else but where I followed it, by sound, like I said it was a dead quiet day, all I could hear was it footsteps and brush moving and water faintly gurgling at the rapids.
No animal I know of leaps rock to rock when pursued, they just splash across to get away. We set up a trail camera there for a month and did not get any pictures.
ALSO NOTICED: We heard two really loud dirtbikes racing up a trail about a mile to the west from where this happened. This is the direction whatever it was had to come from and went back to.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 3:30 pm clear to partly cloudy, a calm quiet fall day
ENVIRONMENT: Evergreen forest near the Stoney River.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Robert Barhite:
I reviewed the incident with the witness. He and his family are very experienced with the outdoors, having lived in Idaho and Alaska. Both he and his son have hunted grizzly and black bears, and are very familiar with the sounds that large animals can make in a variety of situations. On the day in question the witness and his son were hauling canoes and camping supplies back out from their spot when the witness heard a very loud bellow nearby. He's an experienced outdoorsman, and he described the bellow similar to the sound a grizzly bear made when it was shot by his son, but much louder. He then heard what he described as a deep throat mumble which sounded like muffled talking. He couldn't make out the words but to him it sounded like talking in a foreign language.The sounds were close by and loud.
The witness met up with his son, who clearly heard the sounds, and told him to go to the canoes and watch upstream to an area he called "the point." The witness went back to camp, got his shotgun, then began to make his way towards the point. As he crept his way through the cedar swamp towards the point, he heard very loud, strong thuds as if something was walking very close by on his right, paralleling his moves. As he got close to the point he moved towards his right to cut off whatever was following him. There was a moment or two when his view was obscured by the low hanging cedar branches. He no longer heard the thuds, or any other sounds. The woods were dead quiet. When he was able to see the point, the rocks which can be used to cross the river were dry, and he never heard any splashing which would have been made by an animal trying to cross the river. He also had cut off any point of retreat, too. It appeared that the only course the animal could have taken was to have crossed the river on the rocks and quietly moved back into the thick underbrush on the other bank.
On multiple occasions since the first encounter they have heard howls, whoops, and snorts, none of which in the witness' experience were made by deer or other animals. On one occasion his wife woke up in the middle of the night to adjust her Army cot, and heard a very loud tree knock very close by which was followed by a nearby response knock.
All in all the witness and his family, who have years of significant outdoors experiences, are very credible witnesses.
About BFRO Investigator Robert Barhite:
A native of far northeast Iowa, Robert has always had an intense interest in Bigfoot and exploring the great outdoors.
His first expedition was the 2012 BFRO Iowa Hill Country Expedition He the 2013 Iowa Big River Expedition, 2013 Oregon Cascades Expedition, 2013 Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition, 2014 and 2015 Wisconsin Expeditions, 2014 Iowa Expedition, and the 2015 Iowa Spring Expedition. Since 2012 Robert has participated in several private expeditions in Iowa and in Wisconsin. In addition to expeditions, he has conducted numerous solo research trips in Iowa and Wisconsin throughout 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. And for the last two years has been a guest lecturer at the request of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Robert led the 2016 Iowa Spring Expedition and is assisting with the 2016 Iowa Fall Expedition and is scouting locations across North America for 2017 expeditions, and continues to monitor activity in a long-term study location in the Midwest.