Date of Encounter:
Time of Encounter:
I was scouting a few areas for an expedition in a week or so with my friend “A”, his wife, and his two young boys. We had checked out a couple of areas that I had already investigated previously. “A” wanted to go to the third site to check it out as long as he was up for the weekend. When we arrived at the area, which was around an hour from the other locations, we found that the county road gate was still closed and locked (they lock them for the winter). I apologized, and “A” stated that he wanted to walk in to see the area I thought would make a good base camp. I told him that it was about 2.5 miles in. He discussed it with his wife and we decided we would make the trek. We grabbed what we needed, locked our vehicles, and headed down the road.
As we were walking along talking a little, the boys were getting a little tired from all the walking and were a little rammy. They were running around chasing each other and dragging sticks on the road. We only went around a block and a half, maybe two when we got to a spot where a small creek went under the road through a culvert. It was very brushy along the creek. All of a sudden the woods broke out in screams and chatter. The best way to describe the sound would be like a small group of apes that were startled. This lasted maybe 10 or 15 seconds and then silence. Nothing at all. As quickly as it started it stopped. We all stood there staring at each other in disbelief, when we heard a very clear knock a distance away. Then another knock from a different direction. Followed by another from a totally different direction. Then there were 5 separate knocks and again all went quiet.
We waited a little while and decided to continue on our way. We decided to let “A’s” wife and boys walk together behind us but within view to see if we could encourage more activity. Being it was a warm spring day, the frogs were chirping all throughout the woods. As “A” and I walked and talked like normal, the frogs continued to chirp on both sides of the road. But as “A’s” wife and boys followed us the frogs on the right side went silent. “A’s” wife also stated that she could hear something following them in a ways. This continued until we got to an area of higher and dryer ground which was an old logging landing. The spot was a mix of large, old growth pines and younger pine saplings, as it appeared that years prior it had been thinned out. This area was basically a hump of higher ground in the middle of some large spruce swamps dotted with rivers, lakes, and ponds.
When we arrived at the landing, “A’s” family decided to sit for a bit and rest their legs. Having been there before and viewed the area from Google Earth, I wanted to check out the big swamp to the north. I told “A” I was going to go take a look and headed north to the edge of the swamp (the swamp was a peat moss and spruce swamp). The edge of the swamp was around a 150 yards or so from where “A” and his family were. When I got to the edge, I radioed “A” and told him I was going to head north into the swamp a ways to see if I could find any trails and such. I proceeded somewhere around another 100 yards or so and turned east. A little while after changing direction, I jumped something that went crashing straight north. Whatever it was, it didn’t try to be quiet at all; it just busted its way through the trees. I radioed “A” and told him, “I think just startled a Moose.” It was so thick in there I couldn’t see more then 10 yards, tops.
I continued heading east for a ways and radioed “A” again and asked if they were still at the landing. He replied that he was walking a trail from the landing to the east. I said that I would head south and meet him on that trail. As I exited the swamp the terrain became easier to walk but was littered with debris from when they had logged it. So as I walked, I had to keep one eye on the ground so as not to trip over anything. I had walked maybe 40 yards or so when I looked up and saw a large, dark, upright being run across from right to left in front of me at a range of around 65 yards. I witnessed it take three full strides and it was gone. It all happened so fast. I did not hear anything at all. It was very large, very dark brown or black. It did not run but was taking long steps with the arms swinging (like a person trying to step as far as they could). It all happened so fast it caught me off guard. As soon as I had seen it, I radioed “A” and asked him to do a howl. He replied “OK, howl in 20 seconds.” When he howled, I could hear “A” to the southwest of my location. I asked him to stay there as I had just seen something and needed to walk to the spot.
As I was walking up there I asked him if he could see me? He at first said he could not, then said he did. He was now to my west. He then came over to me and asked about what I had seen. I told him and pointed out the two large trees it had run behind. “A” said to go back to the spot I was at when I had seen it and to tell him how big it looked compared to him. So I started walking back to where I was when I had seen it and had gotten about half way when he radioed and said he found footprints. I turned and looked at him and stated it was at least twice as big as him. Meaning that it was twice as bulky and taller. He stated he was going to follow it and said to wait there for his family. I did and explained to his wife what I had seen when she arrived. “A” then radioed and said he had followed the tracks to the edge of a thick spruce swamp, and felt like he was being watched. He said he was not going to go into the swamp as he felt it did not want him in there.
When he returned, we followed the tracks in reverse and discovered more tracks, one of which was clear in the pine needles; it was around 18 inches long. The tracks had been paralleling “A” and his family. Apparently it was watching them trough the smaller pines and was started by my appearance. My sighting was very quick, but I clearly saw it take three full strides before it was out of sight. I could not seen any details of the face as it never turned to look my way. The distance between the tracks were around 7 feet toe to heel.
(SRA-Andy, 11/18/2012) I was “A” in the story above, so I was on site and was able to conduct my investigation of his sighting immediately following the incident. As the witness noted, I followed the trail the animal left. The tracks were for the most part indistinct impressions, but, occasionally, I would see toe and/or heel impressions. The make-up of the forest floor at that location made it impossible to cast any of the tracks we found. One of the most interesting tracks I saw while trailing it was of three outer toes that had dug into a loamy soil bank as it climbed a hill. I could clearly see the toe impressions, each being about 3/4 of an inch across with no claw marks. As the witness said, the tracks were between 6 feet apart, heel to heel.
I followed the tracks for about a quarter mile through the pine woods, then through a poplar thicket, and then stopped at the top of a small hill where I could clearly see the trail lead down the hill into a thick, black spruce swamp. At the top of the hill, a poplar sapling had been twisted off along the trail I was following. At first, I thought it had been done that day, but, upon close examination, I saw that the sap had started thickening in the break, so it must have been more than a day old. I contemplated following the trail into the swamp and even walked down the trail a bit but got the sudden feeling that I wasn’t wanted. I decided not to push my luck and went back to the witness and my family.
We determined, based on where he had seen it pass a tree, that the animal was about 8 feet tall and 3-1/2 feet across at the shoulder. He did not see any clear detail, other than that it was uniform dark-brown to black. The full track we found in the pine needles (the area was not good for showing tracks) was 18 inches long, 6 inches wide at the ball, 5 inches at the heel, and was pressed about a 1/4 inch into the duff, though it was rebounding and would likely be gone soon.