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COUNTY: Burnett County
LOCATION DETAILS: About 4 miles north of Grantsburg, WI.
NEAREST TOWN: Grantsburg
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 70
OBSERVED: During the autumn bowhunting season, in the fall of 1985, my friend, K, his cousin, T, and myself, A, went to K's parent's cabin (along with his parents). We were all 15 to 16 at the time. The cabin is located north of Grantsburg, WI, on the edge of a very large wilderness area. On Saturday evening, the moon was full so the three of us went out for a walk, down the long driveway through the forest and then for a mile or so down the paved road. Early into the walk, we heard something moving in the bushes beside the road. K thought it might be a bear and so we began to talk louder to scare it off. We all smelled something foul on the air, like rotten meat, sulfur, and musk all rolled into one. I jokingly said that maybe it was Bigfoot, having read about it before. The other guys laughed and we passed it off as a skunk, though it didn't quite smell as bad as a skunk. Several times during our walk (about a mile), we heard brush snap, and once water splashed as we passed a small pond (as if something was thrown into the pond). At the time we were too engrossed in our conversation to fully pay attention to these seemingly isolated incidents, but putting them together now it appears as if we were being followed. After about a mile, we all got a sort of creepy feeling, and decided to head back. Just as we were getting back to the driveway of the cabin, the trees to the right of us started thrashing violently, as if a large man had grabbed them and was shaking them vigorously. At that point we bolted for the cabin, running down the long dark driveway. Once we were back at the cabin, we all attributed it to a bear.
It was then about 10:00 at night and we all headed up to the upstairs room where the three of us were staying. K's parents were settling down for the night and going to bed downstairs. We stayed up late that night playing games quietly in our room. The room had three beds and two windows. We all went to bed at around 1:00 am. Sometime in the night something woke us all up and we sat up in bed. The silhouette of a head and large broad shoulders blocked one of the windows. The moon was full outside and back lit it. The head was conical in shape, and slightly furry looking. In silhouette, it looked like a guy with a really big head wearing a furry hood. The most striking things were its eyes, they were lightly glowing orange-red. They were positioned on the front of the face, like a primate's and not like a bear. The face was very close to the window, like it was trying to peer in. I don't remember any other details of the face, as I was very frightened. I, being the closest to the window, jumped out of bed away from it. The other guys started telling me in hushed and urgent voices (though K says he remembers yelling) to shut the window shade. At that point the head went down and was lost from sight. I shut the shades and we all sunk into the beds, badly shaken. I don't remember falling asleep, but we all woke late the next morning. We didn't really look for tracks. The dog was kind of spooked all that day and wouldn't go on a walk with us (very abnormal for this dog). We did not discuss the incident with K's parents; afraid they would think we were nuts.
By the way, the windows were about 12' off of the ground, but there was a Weber grill under the windows and a horizontal 2x4 about 8 ' up. I assume that whatever it was used the 2x4, the window sill, or possibly the roof line to pull itself up to the window.
OTHER WITNESSES: 3
OTHER STORIES: K, whose parents owned the land for many years added the following as we recently re-examined what had transpired that night:
"The dog was always spooked after we went squirrel hunting to the north west of the cabin, areas I have never wanted to enter in the 15 years we owned the cabin because it felt creepy or spooky, as if I wasn't supposed to go there. This area is among the thickest parts of our wood, it would be difficult to get in there, but there were trails."
"One year we found a deer that had been killed with the only apparent wounds were that its guts were out of its body a bit (I'm assuming it was eviscerated). The carcass was only a few days old and near the spooky part of the woods."
"A couple years before that we found 2 deer near the fence line of the western most border of our land in the same kind of condition about 25 - 40 yards apart. They were in a very decayed state but appeared to have been eviscerated prior to their state of decay."
"For 3 years in a row, in the other very thick part of our land, I build a tree stand and during the morning hours I always felt watched, often time I would leave the stand early because I was freaked out. On the last year I hunted in the stand, it had been vandalized, but not by sharp objects (it was twisted apart) and it should have lasted another 3 years (based on the other stands in the area having outlasted it by 3 years and in different areas on the land)."
"Our cabin was broken into (cannot remember the details on the date if it was before or after our window experience). There were plenty of valuables in the cabin. A TV that worked was not taken, but the remote was. There was what at first appeared to be blood on the floor, but after closer inspection it turned out to be cherry cool-aid mix, as if it had been spat out. Some clothing was taken, but of sizes that varied (small, and large). It was unlike any break-in I had heard of. It was as if the intruder was just looking around, not there to take anything worth taking; no missing ammo or that sort of thing."
"There were several times (all at night) where the dog would growl and look at the door or a certain window, and wouldn't go outside, unless a person went first."
"My parents refuse to talk about "anything odd" ever happening up there; in fact they will specifically not talk about if asked or pressed on the topic."
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9:00pm to 3:00am
Full moon at night.
ENVIRONMENT: The area is part of a large tract of oak and pine forest stretching North from Grantsberg. Tground is sandy. Nearby is Crex Meadows Wildlife refuge, and to the west is the upper St. Croix river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
BFRO Investigator Patty Lee and I heard about these experiences at the Wisconsin Expedition recently, in person, from A and K. We found A and K to be credible and very experienced with the Wisconsin wilderness. These Class B incidents happened approximately 150 miles from the 2006 Wisconsin BFRO expedition location.
[Futher editor comments]
The eyes were described as "glowing," not reflecting. The witnesses were looking out the window from a dark room. There was no light to reflect.
Many witnesses describe "glowing" eyes, often reddish or orange in color, in the context of an encounter situation. Readers and researchers often attribute these specific observations to reflections off the retina (in higher primates) or the tapetum lucidum (in other mammals). The "glow" may be only that. It is important, however, to be aware that many credible witnesses are emphatic about seeing "glowing" eyes and not "reflecting" eyes. Many describe encounters in dark conditions where there is no visible light source that can be reflected, only faint ambient light in the sky, which is not as bright as the "reflection" off the eyes.
About BFRO Investigator Caroline Curtis:
- Worked as an Assistant to a Circuit Court Judge in Florida for thirteen years
- An avid outdoorswoman, growing up in the UP of Michigan on a family-owned fishing and hunting resort. Currently lives in the Hiawatha National Forest
- Certified Visual Tracker, Level 1
- Attended and assisted with numerous public and private BFRO expeditions
- She and the Florida BFRO organized South Florida Expedition 2008, North Florida Expedition 2008 and Central Florida Expedition in 2009.
- She and the Michigan BFRO organized the Lower-Michigan Expedition in 2011, Michigan UP Expeditions in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and Wisconsin 2018.