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COUNTY: Beltrami County
NEAREST TOWN: Bemidji, Minnesota
NEAREST ROAD: Town Hall Road
OBSERVED: My friend and I were leaving my dad's old house, its in the middle of the woods so normally there are tons of birds and other animals making noise, but we noticed that everything had become completely silent. All of a sudden at the bottom of the gully we hear this crashing sound in the woods. We looked back to see what it was and there was this huge creature standing in the swamp. It was standing on two feet, covered with light brown, long hair. It was shaking the trees and after we watched it for a second it took off running through the woods. As soon as it ran, so did we...
ALSO NOTICED: The most unusual things were the complete silence as we stepped outside, and the fact that whatever this thing was we saw was standing in a swamp, and was able to run through the swamp and the trees
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 witnesses, we were leaving the house through the backside
OTHER STORIES: Not that I've heard
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Middle of the afternoon, sunny, clear day
ENVIRONMENT: Swampy, forested area
Follow-up investigation report:
There were two witnesses in this sighting, both in their late teens; the author of the report, “AK,” and her friend, “L”. The sighting occurred northwest of Lake Bemidji near Alice Lake. The witnesses were inside a house, which had been unoccupied for about a year, where AK grew up. Two other friends were also along but were on the opposite side of the house when the sighting occurred so they saw nothing.
AK said the silence she “heard” when she came out of the house was really striking. L didn’t mention it. When I asked AK about it she explained that normally there were a lot of animal sounds from the swampy area below the house – frogs especially – and that had all gone quiet. Upon emerging from the house (the two had crawled in then out through a window) their attention was grabbed by a tree down along the swamp that was shaking. They saw a big, upright, hair covered animal standing there in the water. It ran and so did the witnesses.
AK said she had seen “lots of bears” growing up there and that she had never seen a bear stand as tall as this creature. And it ran off “on two feet,” she said. Although it ran across an open area, neither witness watched it because they ran, too, just after “it took off.” Neither witness could describe the animal in detail but both (AK interviewed by phone three times, L by e-mail only) described it in similar ways. L wrote, “…we heard twigs snapping in the swamp… when we turned to look, there was a creature that looked quite huge standing erect on two feet holding on to a tree and shaking it. I was so scared and the first thing that popped into my head was, ‘Bigfoot is real!’” L went on to say, “I don’t think it could have been a bear… because this creature didn’t have a head shaped the same as a bear, it was more humanly shaped than a bear’s head.”
Both witnesses mentioned the color, which was very light brown – the color of cardboard, is how AK described it. “It had to be at least 7 feet tall, maybe 8 feet because it was standing in a foot of water,” AK said. And, “it was thick,” she said when I asked her to give me a sense of the animal’s bulk. AK also said she could see its legs as it ran off, and its arms, which it used to move brush out of the way as it took off running. When I asked how close the animal was to them, AK said she couldn’t say, but when I asked if she could have thrown a rock and hit it, she said she thought so.
Mike Quast assisted me in this investigation by inspecting the area where the sighting occurred on January 7, 2003. He described the swamp, or pond, as being a couple of hundred feet across and open, with trees around the bank but none out in the water. He also reported that there were large open pastures and fields… horses in the area, and horse tracks on the roads. And, there was a game trail along the side of the swamp with many animal tracks, including deer, but none that looked like sasquatch. “I didn’t expect to find any trace of an event from 2001,” he said. There were also several loud barking dogs in the area and one of them approached him. I asked AK about the dogs, whether they had been present at the time of the sighting. She said no, they didn’t see any dogs then.
My sense is that this sighting was real. AK, the witness I spoke with, came across as truthful and only interested in telling someone about what she and her friend had seen.
Thanks to Mike Quast for his help in investigating this report.