Geographical Index > United States > Wisconsin > Door County > Report # 23496
Submitted by witness BJ on Tuesday, April 1, 2008.
Possible daylight encounter by a rural resident south of Sturgeon Bay
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COUNTY: Door County
LOCATION DETAILS: I lived in the woods on a private road called "Sleepy Hollow Drive" in Wisconsin.
NEAREST TOWN: Forestville near Sturgeon Bay
NEAREST ROAD: Main St through Forestville
OBSERVED: I have been haunted for 5 years by an experience I had when I lived in Door County Wisconsin. I lived in a small town called Forestville. We lived in the woods. I should have called the DNR when it happened but I wrote it off as a bear even though I know all the bears in Wisconsin are black. What I saw in a thicket beside my house was redish brown. I walked down my driveway to get the mail....it was very early Spring. I heard loud noises that sounded more like a man than an animal. I peered through the thicket and all I could see was the hump of its' back as it pounded its' head or shoulder against the tree. It was large. I was so very curious to see more that I walked up onto our mound so I could look down into the thicket. I could not see it better but it must have picked up my sent or seen me because it ran toward me. I could hear it running and growling. It hit some downed trees and could not catch up to me....I heard it hit the trees as I was running to my back door. I am not crazy. I am an educated woman. I know what I experienced. I have contacted the DNR of Wisconsin from where I live now because I just have not been able to get the experience out of my mind...it haunts me. The DNR said it could not have been a bear. So what was it??
ALSO NOTICED: I never went into the thicket to investigate tracks. I should have as I have been haunted by this experience since it happened.
OTHER WITNESSES: No - unfortunately.
OTHER STORIES: I just contacted the Wisconsin DNR and talked with them on the phone. They just told me that what I saw was not a bear. I already knew that as I have done research and ALL the bears in Wisconsin are black. What I saw was reddish brown.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Afternoon...good lighting. It was a sunny day but cool.
ENVIRONMENT: In the woods in a thicket.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Noffke:
After talking with the witness on several occasions, I believe she is a very credible and sincere witness. It is obvious that this encounter has left a lasting impression on her, and the details that she recalls seem to be very precise and factual.
A few details to add after discussing this encounter with the witness:
While returning from the mailbox to the house, the witness first heard a series of simultaneous grunting and thumping noises. She described the grunts as deep, low and man-like grunts. She also said the thumping, which occurred at the same time, sounded similar to the sound of a branch being pounded on a tree. She had stopped walking and listened carefully for about two to five minutes while the animal made these sounds. She was unable to see the animal at this point since it was located in the middle of a thick strip of brush along the south side of her driveway. She was curious about what was making the noise so she walked a little farther up the driveway to a spot where she could see a portion of the reddish-brown fur covered animal. She observed portions of the creature through the thick brush for about one minute, but she could only see the midsection from about the waist up to the shoulders. The animal was partially hunched over, and she could mostly only see the midsection of its back. The rest of the creature was obscured by brush and trees. She estimates the size to be six to seven feet tall if it were to stand up straight, and with its muscular build to have been in excess of 500 pounds. She also mentioned that when she saw the animal rubbing or pounding its head or shoulders on the trees, she thought it might be scratching itself.
She then decided to try and walk around the outside of the thicket to the other side in hopes of getting a clearer view. I asked her why she didnít immediately go back to her house, and she replied that she was more curious at this point than she was frightened. She was very uncertain about what she was observing. She wasnít sure if it was a bear, a man or some other animal and she wanted to see what it was.
After moving around to the other side of the thick brush and climbing to the top of the mound system, the creature took notice of her and ran toward her, running and growling. Although she was immediately running away at this point, she recalls hearing the heavy footfalls of the creature until they abruptly stopped near the edge of the thick brush. The growling and snarling sounded menacing and intimidating to the witness. She may have surprised the creature and it reacted defensively.
Prior to visually seeing the creature she was suspecting it was a man. To her, the noises it made sounded like an angry man. After seeing the thick reddish-brown fur on its back she began to suspect it might be a bear. I asked her why she concluded it wasnít a bear and she listed several things. After she talked to the DNR she learned that only black bears live in Wisconsin and none of them are reddish-brown at any time of the year. She also recalls that the upright and hunched over posture of the creature is not the way a bear typically carries itself. She doesnít believe the noises she heard are typical bear sounds, and she also vividly recalls the sound of the footfalls while it was running toward her. Although she had turned and was running away, she recalls the long heavy footfalls of the creature to be more similar to that of a two-legged person than that of a four-legged bear. For these reasons she believes the animal encountered was not a bear.
The area around the sighting location has ample woodlots mixed with farmland, open water, and a large swamp area only a couple miles away. During one of the interviews, I asked the witness if they had seen or heard anything unusual before while they were living there. She replied that on a half dozen occasions over the five years they lived there she had heard sounds like something being pounded against the side of a tree. She recalls the pounding to have been in a series of two to three raps in succession and they came from a wooded area to the Northeast of her home.
About BFRO Investigator Richard Noffke:
Rick is an entrepreneur in the manufacturing industry and an avid sasquatch field researcher. Rick has participated in the WI 09', MN 09', and MI 09' expeditions as well as numerous private and independent research expeditions.