This expedition report is for the 2013 expedition that the SRA held this past June in Northern Minnesota.
June 12 through 16, 2103
St. Louis County, MN
Number of Attendees
The expedition was held in an area with mixed hardwoods and pine covered high ground interspersed with bogs, lakes, and rivers/streams. The foliage was very dense. We set-up Base camp in an out-of-the-way meadow we had found during the initial scouting trips to the area.
This area has a long history of Sasquatch activity. SRA scouts reported stalking behaviors, voices in the woods, wood knocks, tree breaks, structures, and gates. SRA-Jim caught a glimpse of what his thinks might have been a sasquatch during a scouting trip one week before the expedition.
Wednesday, June 12
My son, here-by called Map, and I arrived at the site around noon. We were immediately assaulted by clouds of swarming deer-flies, which would go on to plague us each day from late morning into evening each day, when they would go away and the mosquitoes would start biting until about midnight. The ticks were just as bad and assaulted us day and night, though we only saw a couple of the Lyme-bearing deer ticks the whole week.
While waiting for Kris and Kristie to arrive, we walked down a four-wheeler trail that exited south out of the clearing where we planned on setting up base camp. This trail has been maintained by hunters over the year, including a large, permanent tree stand and a salt lick. We did not find any obvious squatch sign on this trail, though I did find a few possible black bear prints.
We returned to the clearing and met up with Kris and Kristie. We quickly located a spot for the base camp pavilion and busied ourselves setting that up and placing our tent for the night. We put our tent about 100 feet from the pavilion and cooking area, down near the edge of the forest.
While looking for a suitable firewood, I came upon 3 broken trees. Each tree had the top broken and twisted down . Not far from where I found the trees, I found the beginnings of what I believe to be a Sasquatch trail. The trail was very distinct and had been at one time well used. The broken tree tops seem to be perhaps markers for this trail. I found the trees and the trail at the very edge of the large clearing. It is my belief that the sasquatches use this trail to come to the edge of the clearing and watch humans pass by and/or watch for deer in the clearing.
We followed the trail some distance into the woods, finding many broken branches 6 to 8 feet above the ground. At 6 foot 3 inches, I had no problems walking the trail. We found a location where a large, carpenter-ant mound had been broken into by something, probably last Fall or early Spring. All the sign on the trail appears to have been made within the last year but none of it was recent. While walking the trail, we noticed a side trail that branched off from it that led directly to the back of the pavilion, so it looked like we had accidentally found a very good location for it.
While installing my latrine, I noticed another very large trail leading into the forest. I called the others over and we follow the trail into the woods. This trail had a lot of animal sign on it. We noticed areas were moose had been browsing and also a lot of twisted branches similar to what we find the most sasquatch areas. The floor of the trails we found was concave in nature and did not have any hoof print that we could see, in fact, it looked like it had been made from from large flat feet over time.
Kris and I went to the other side the clearing looking for wood. There, we found more trails going into the forest. The second trail we found earlier actually continued across the clearing entering the woods on the west side and going deep into the forest. This was an excellent Sasquatch trail, having twisted branches and a standard clear and concave path construction. Finding all of these trails gave us hope that we would be able to get the sasquatches to come in close to our camp.
None of the trails that we found had very fresh sign on them and did not appear to have been used this year. We figured that the Sasquatch is must still be on the other side of the area where Kris had his encountered the week before. We decided that the best thing to do would be for us to take a long dark walk that night all the way to the second camp which is 2 miles away from us by road. We decided to walk in the dark, leaving camp around 9:30 p.m. With us we brought a recorder (instrument) to play music on, a drum that would echo through the woods, and our recording equipment that we had with us that night. Our goal was to attract the attention of any sasquatches that might be in the area and get them curious about us.
As we walked along the trail, we would stop once in awhile to play music with either the recorder or the drum or both, or to perform a wood knock routine or whoops. About halfway to our destination, one of the expedition attendees, G, drove up and we gave him directions to base camp. We asked if he wanted us to go back with him, but he declined and went to set up camp by himself. We continued to walk until we got to the first loop camp. At that point, we turned around continuing to play music and generally make our presence known as we returned to our camp. We did not get any responses to any of our knocks, whoops, or music.
When we got back to camp, G was already asleep in his tent, having had a very long drive. By this time, it was already close to midnight, and we were all tired so we went to bed ourselves. The four of us stayed in my large tent which we had pitched down near the forest near where the large trail crossed the clearing.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Sometime very early Thursday morning, between the hours of 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., Kris woke and heard something walking near the tent. He could not tell what was making the noise and after it moved away, he started falling to sleep again. It was about this time that I woke up thinking I had heard something. I could hear Kris breathing along with Kristie and Map, but realized that Kris had been up just recently because he was not currently snoring, something he always does when deeply asleep. I listened to the night sounds for a few minutes when I heard a fairly loud wood knock not too far from our tent. Because I was laying down, it was difficult to judge the direction from which it came, but if I had to make a guess, I would say it was to the east of camp back by where I found the second trail in the woods. I listened for a while longer but heard no more sounds; not even the crickets seemed to be chirping.
We woke Thursday morning to a nice sunny day. The mosquitoes we’re fairly heavy while we ate breakfast that morning. After breakfast, we scouted another trail to the north west of camp. On this one, Kris had found a small tree that had been twisted down over the trail. We took pictures and went back to camp to prepare for the arrival of the attendees.
We spent the remainder of that afternoon helping people get situated with their camps and preparing for the evening discussion and our plans for night maneuvers.
By 6 o’clock that night, everyone had arrived and we held our evening meeting at the pavilion at base camp. We held our safety meeting where we informed the attendees of the specific hazards they might encounter in this area. After that, we had a discussion about tactics that we might use during this trip, including a discussion of the various equipment we had with us including trail cameras, audio recorders, and thermal imagers. We gave an audio recorder to each group to place near their camps for continuous audio recording for the duration of the expedition (it will be weeks yet before we can listen to all of the audio we captured that week).
Part way through this meeting, we heard the sound of a tree being knocked over in the woods behind the pavilion. Not everyone heard the tree, as some people were talking, but those of us on the south side of the pavilion heard it clearly. I happened to be on the edge of camp where the tree had fallen and had heard it quite well. I believe that the tree was pushed over buy something in the woods about 50 yards to the south east of camp just out of sight of us. We have seen this behavior before when we were in Sasquatch areas. It seems that they will knock down small trees while we are meeting, perhaps to gauge what we will do. Although, I cannot guarantee that it was knocked down by a sasquatch, I do find it to be compelling evidence of their presence there that night, especially when considering the would knock I heard the night prior.
Given this incident, we had some lively discussion about whether it was better for us not make a lot of noise tonight or to go about our goading routines as normal. We decided to do some routines such as knocks and whoops but not perhaps as much as we would normally do since it seems that they had already found us.
Everybody went back to their camp and prepared themselves for night maneuvers. Kris and Kristie moved out of my tent to a camp next to the large bog. The camps at the first loop and snowmobile trail decided to walk the trail. The base camp people decided to walk the main road to the first loop and back. No one encountered anything out of the ordinary during these maneuvers.
Friday, June 14, 2013
On Friday, the expedition attendees scouted the area by foot looking for evidence. The snowmobile trail camp found a large possible sasquatch trail going into a pine forest and ending at a clearing filled with raspberries. Other evidence found that day, included more large trails in the area, and more twisted up branches but nothing solidly conclusive. Jim, however, found a large bed with several branches broken off near the bed. They appear to have been broken within the last 2 weeks. We know that because the leaves on the branches we’re still green, although wilted, and two weeks prior to that date there had been no leaves on the trees. There was a hunting stand near this site, and one member postulated that hunters may have broken the trees for shooting lanes during turkey season. Upon further consideration, we do not believe that to be the case as several of the broken branches would not have aided a shooting lane, the breaks were too fresh, and there was no indication of human activity at site. We moved to people down to that camp for the night.
We met that night at base camp and discussed what we found that day and anything that happened the prior night. Jim gave a talk on how we locate new sasquatch areas in the Midwest. After that, we made plans for that evening’s maneuvers. We decided that we had been too quiet the previous night and that we would make more whoops and other calls today.
We decided that one team would start before dark and walk to a very remote site where Kris had an encounter the week before, walking back out in the dark. The second team, would walk from from the first loop down the road to the south and back, while the team at the snowmobile trail camp followed along on the trail paralleling the road walkers. We proceeded this way knocking back and forth occasionally.
We had no responses during the first part of the night. Both the snowmobile trail walkers and the road walkers finished their walks without incident and went back to camp. The remote walkers with Kris had it tough going and were considerably slower than the rest, so we got back to Base camp before them. They encountered two trees on the trail Kris scouted the week prior. One tree at at roughly a 45 degree angle over the trail about a quarter of the way in. The other down tree was 7-10: pine tree that had been pulled down through the other living pine trees and across the trail. While no one seen a sasquatch put this tree across the trail, It is unlikely it would have been so far down through the thick stand of other living pines it was in, it would have rested at an angle or been hung up long before it made it as far down across the trail as it was. Not long after we got back to camp, we heard two distant wood knocks come from the south east. First loop camp heard it at well to the north east of their position. About 20 minutes later, first loop camp reported hearing a “whoop” call from the area to the north of them. We heard nothing else that night.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
That day, a group of us gathered on the snowmobile trail and proceeded to walk to where Snowmobile Camp had found very large trail, two days prior. We had a little difficulty finding the trail at first, but, with a little persistence, we found it and were able to walk down it. I’m not a hundred percent convinced that it is a sasquatch trail or at least it likely wasn’t originally a sasquatch trail. In truth, I think it was a wheeler access trail to the area. However, the wheeler trail was long gone and it did look like a typical Sasquatch trail in form, both in the concave shape of the trail itself and the many tree branches twisted and broken off up to ten feet tall all along the trail. The other good supporting evidence is that the trail lead straight to the raspberry patch. We found another trail leading out of the area that had a tree that had been pushed over and stomped down across the trail. That tree was about 3 inches in diameter.
After scouting that area, several of us went to the remote location where the team had walked the night before. This area was very thick and had a lot of tree damage, some of which may have been caused by sasquatches, but it is impossible to tell for sure. At the end of the trail, we found a beautiful stream and several access points to it. It would be an excellent place to get fresh water if one lived in the area. It could be why something had been so eager to drive Kris out of the area the week before.
That night the camp that we had placed in the south moved to the snowmobile trail north of the existing Snowmobile Trail Camp. We placed them in a string along that trail toward the area where we heard the knocks and whoops the previous night.
We met at base camp for a potluck dinner and fellowship which was very good. Unfortunately, the guest speaker we had lined up for the night could not attend, so Jim filled in and related many of his encounters and those of others from our research location in Montana. After that, we gave a track casting demonstration after which we made casting kits for all attendees.
We chose not to do a lot of walking around this night because we felt it would be better for the sasquatches to come to us. So everyone returned to their camps. Unfortunately, when Jim got back to his camp he found his RV was dead and it took us a couple hours to get him to a point where he could get it out of the area and get it fixed.
After nightfall, we did a series of whoops and knocks. We had some excitement on the snowmobile trail as something was walking around some of the camps. A little later on, one of the attendees saw a bear through his thermal imager. We are not certain if that was the culprit that was stalking the camp, but we are going assume it was.
Two of us in base camp took a walk down the road but had no encounters, unless you count the mosquitoes and the rabbit I saw in the thermal.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
We had a rather quiet night after everyone had gone to bed and most people got up fairly early the next morning and headed out for they had a long way to go. We packed the base camp and headed home.
It was not the most active expedition I have ever led, but all the same we did have some activity. We found many of what we’re likely sasquatch made trails which is good sign that they are in this area. We also had several calls back to us mostly in the form of wood knocks. Unlike some other sasquatches we have worked with in other areas, these seemed more reticent to come close to us. Perhaps it is because this area sees more human traffic then some of the other areas, and, being more accustomed to people, they are more likely to stand back and watch us. We really cannot say for sure.
I do feel that this site would be an excellent location for a follow-up expedition sometime; although, I think if we went again, I would want to go in early Fall.
I want to thank all the attendees for their time and for making the expedition possible. I’d like to thank the patrons and researchers (Rick, Todd, Erik, and Dave) who came and devoted their time, talent, and equipment to this expedition. Finally, I want to thank my co-founders, Jim and Kris, who did the lion’s share of the groundwork.