Every breath released a misty dragon. The silvery white dragon hung in the air in front of my camera; it circled around curling itself into the cold night air. They would briefly share the night in front of my lens before falling into mist and losing them to the deep chill of the night.
We have been on these roads dozens of times now, and still find the experience, especially at night as exciting as the first time. The gravel roads and stone crunching as we drive are very familiar to us now. This was going to be a good night I thought to myself as Alan drove my team member and I to our location. Peering out the back window, watching the blackened trees zip by, and the shadows dance in the moon light I felt like I was back in the Army National Guard moving out to an OP, geared up, and ready to react. With teams spread out all over the area, this was the most organized and well thought out plan I have been a part of in my Bigfooting experience. We were Oscar Mike without a doubt.
Stepping out onto the dead end of a dirt road we were met with an onslaught of peepers, blended with the chaotic intermittence of geese making their calls and hanging chilled air. We stood and listened to this radical chaos of late night Mother Nature orchestral sounds, and began to settle in for the rest of our stay.
The gear for our purposes this night included a parabolic mike, radios, video camera with night vision, and for our comfort, a couple camp chairs. I had brought an energy drink, however nature would be keeping me sharp and wide awake tonight. We laid out our tech, and found a good spot to set up the chairs and got comfy and sat still to let the dark night surround us. Other than the geese and peepers, we made note of the dogs barking across the lake, and an owl off to our right behind us. The wind was still, and the fog was beginning to slowly slide on the water’s surface with a lazy and silent purpose, it was effortless.
Having let things settle around us and adjusting to the surroundings, we broke out some of the gear, and fired up the night vision and parabolic. The peepers and geese continued to battle in an imaginary conflict of harmonious nails on a chalk board. With the relentless peeping, and well-timed pitch changes, the intermittent blow it all out goose squawking, we had a front row seat to nature’s ultimate battle of the bands. I would attempt to use the parabolic a couple more times, but for the evening, it was not helping, and I would find out soon enough, I would not need it to hear what was going to happen.
The chill of the night was beginning to seep into the hat and gloves, and new sounds were about to send chills up our spines. We first heard something that sounded like a footfall, or step, onto a small stick and into something squishy. This was off to our right and made sense as there is marsh like land in that direction. By itself it was interesting, but alone, not really worth any more than noting it occurred. We then heard essentially the same noise a few minutes later in the same direction except farther forward. An interesting development and this began to gain our attention.
We attempted to use the night vision video camera, and the parabolic, but they were ineffective, and at this point if there was something in the shadows, we could not see it. We would not be disappointed for long, as what happened next was the first time I felt my hair stand up, and the first thoughts of possibly having something this close, moving around us.
The splash was deep and loud, as if something heavy was dropped into the water and big enough to cause us to hear it clearly. It was still off to our right, and whatever it was now commanded our full attention. My teammate suggested for the first time the connection and that if we hear something at our 12o’clock, we could begin to develop a movement pattern. Within 15 minutes, his guess became reality as another deep and heavy loud splash occurred. The cold pressing itself through my coat no longer mattered. Was my shaking the cold, or the adrenalin?
Another deep splash occurred in the same direction.
We came up with a guess as to why the splashes were occurring and suggested that it was to let another one know its location. Could there really be two Bigfoot this close to us? We decided to have one of us essentially bluff charge the edge of the woods behind us and see what, if anything would happen. As soon as my partner made a move to the wood line we heard another loud deep splash. This could have been merely a coincidence, but we tend to think based on the previous pattern that the splash was a result of his movement. We had tried to contact the other teams to try to move in that direction, but no one could reach it in a reasonable time frame, so Alan and his team decided to drive back to our location to provide a thermal.
A short time later, what was perhaps the crowning moment of this night, came the two most compelling events that I have ever experienced in seeking Bigfoot. Honestly, I do not recall which came first, but they were close, perhaps within a minute or two of each other. We heard a howl. This came from the 12o’clock position, and when I say howl, I mean a deep resonating, even tone howl that lasted a few seconds. I know, perhaps it was a dog, or a coyote. If you had heard this, you would understand our excitement. What followed was a loud, heavy single wood knock, immediately followed by a two quick light ones. These events were so obvious, so loud; I was concerned and asked the teams if someone had done these. Their actions would not have been protocol, but I wanted to be sure. I found out later that by that point our team and Alan’s, who was in transit, were the only two out. Alan arrived and we scanned the immediate area and across the lake with a thermal to no avail. Whatever was there had moved on.
As a collective we heard around 15 of these loud deep splashes, two howls, and one, possible three wood knocks. The key takeaway of the experience is the movement of the sounds. A clear pattern of movement, with obvious actions, with an indeterminable reason why.
Why did something wait until crossing over the large stream to begin doing this? That is a question that can be speculated on, debated over, and torn apart and rebuilt over hot coffee and hot coals.