An attendee on the 2014 SRA Minnesota Expedition had a stalking encounter with an unknown biped in the early morning.
Date of Encounter
Time of Encounter
The following audio is a portion of the interview with the witness as he described his encounter:
The following audio is an interview with another witness who had heard “chimp chatter” in the woods much earlier that night and also corroborates the witness’s account of the sounds on the tent:
This encounter took place early Friday morning on the SRA Labor Day expedition.
I arrived at the base camp in the early afternoon Thursday. I set up my tent in the north east part of the base camp area adjacent to what had previously been a logging road but was now growing back into thick brush and vegetation. My tent is quite large, 10 x 14 feet. It was tucked back into the brush with only the west end facing open ground. There was about a 1 foot clear area along the south, east and north sides, caused by me trampling the vegetation while setting up the tent. I kept the tent guy lines close, staking them out only about a foot out from the tent.
That afternoon, myself and three others took a short hike without finding anything. That evening several of us took a dark walk, also without any incident. The night was very dark, with no moon and an overcast sky. When I went to bed, I had my sleeping bag located in the southeast corner of the tent, so the brush line ran close behind and alongside where I was sleeping.
At some point, I woke up during the night. I didn’t know what time it was as I didn’t have my watch handy and I had turned off my phone to save the battery. I don’t know what woke me up, but I could see that it wasn’t morning yet since it was still completely dark out. I just laid there trying to go back to sleep. I could hear snoring coming from SRA-Andy’s tent to the south and SRA-Todd’s tent to the west. Other than that, the night was very quiet.
After laying there several minutes, I heard footsteps approaching through the brush to the east of me. They approached slowly, but there didn’t seem to be much effort to be quiet or stealthy. I could plainly hear them. I am quite certain that these were bipedal footsteps. They sounded exactly the way it would have sounded if I was walking in the brush. They came up and stopped directly behind where I was laying. I believe they were within about 2 feet of me.
I didn’t move or make any sound, I just listened. I was very nervous and I didn’t know what was going to happen. After about a minute, I began to hear a fairly loud scratching sound from behind me. It sounded like something was scratching on my tent. I then heard footsteps move slowly along the south side of the tent, and the scratching sound moved with them. It was too dark to see if the tent walls were moving with the scratching. The footsteps and scratching moved along the south side of the tent, came back to the location behind me and then moved along the east side and down the north side, eventually coming back to the spot directly behind me. This movement and scratching went on for what seemed to be about 15 minutes, with the footsteps always returning to the spot directly behind me. It almost seemed as if whatever it was knew where I was laying in the tent. At one point, it sounded as if the scratching was on the roof of the tent. At no time did the footsteps and scratching cross the west end of the tent, which is the end that was not covered by brush. Also, whatever it was never seemed to strike any of the guy lines of the tent.
Eventually, I heard the footsteps moving away. It sounded as if it moved to the northwest, but I’m not exactly sure. I stayed still and made no noise About 3 minutes after it moved away, I heard to the northeast a loud grunt that sounded like the world’s largest man clearing his throat. After that, nothing else happened. I waited several minutes and then turned on my phone. It was 4:29 AM.
(SRA-Andy) I interviewed the witness when we all woke up that morning and recorded his account that evening. We examined the area around the tent. One could clearly see that something had passed through the brush, but no distinct marks could be found that could not have been made by us as we setup camp. Everyone on the trip was accounted for and it would be very difficult for someone else to have come into our area in the dark. This report is but one occurrence of many during that expedition. I will publish the complete expedition report when I have the individual encounter reports complete and finish reviewing all of the audio data. One of our recorders was within range of this tent and we may have captured this incident on it; I will post an update once we have finished reviewing that evidence.