BFRO Expedition Michigan UP 2013
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 Posted: January 22nd, 2014 09:48 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

BFRO Michigan Upper Peninsula Expedition 2013
Organizers: Caroline Curtis and Jim Sherman

The location for the expedition this year was chosen because last year we experienced substantial possible activity and we knew that there were more areas which we wanted to explore.

Caroline and I knew where we wanted to establish our base camp (BC). We used it last year and it offered electricity and space for those with campers as well as a beautiful river view. A central pavilion added protection from the elements and offered a location for meetings and presentations. We figured that during the expedition Caroline would be stationed here and I would set up at a remote satellite camp. We then set about GPS plotting places of interest and finding new trails to walk people through. This part of the trip was hot and uneventful until we decided to take a canoe trip down the river to scout. It was ninety-five degrees and the black flies were ridiculous. Just as we rounded the bend to our pull in site at satellite camp creek (SC), three tortuous hours later, we heard branches snapping along the river bank. I suggested that Caroline do an aggressive hoot and moments later we heard a tree falling over. Was it a coincidence? We did not care. At that point I would have lit myself on fire to get rid of the bugs.

Later that night we set up at (SC) and had a nice bonfire. We put the motorized thermal imager (R2D2) unit on my car and scanned the area. I walked 200 meters from the fire and played a recording of possible Sasquatch audio I have recorded in other areas of Michigan. On the way back a rock or branch flew through the tree branches above me going from east to west toward the river. It was traveling on a fairly flat trajectory and I did not hear it hit the water or the other bank. There is no good explanation for this as we were all accounted for but it hastened my travel back to our very little “group.” As I was rapidly moving in that direction, Caroline contacted me via radio stating that she had a thermal hit across the river. We watched a very warm living creature peeking around a tree. I walked along our bank to draw it out but it remained hidden. We decided to drive my car down the road while keeping it on the screen. Eventually the creature ran up the slope and we both saw it and were excited to have the newest and best evidence in the world. When we got back to BC we watched it a number of times and deduced that it was probably a deer but the recording was inadvertently erased.

When the time came for the expedition we were very lucky to have thirteen BFRO members from as far away as Florida with us. We had an equal number of return guests or others who had been on expeditions in other states. We also had a similar number of new individuals with varying degrees of outdoor skills. We had photographers, police officers, soldiers, hunters, entire families, teachers, and more. It was a great group.

On Wednesday almost everyone arrived. We placed people at BC as well as SC to the south and Satellite River (SR) to the north. Both SC and SR were rustic areas with limited camping and few human visitors. We used this night to get out and scout around. We went over radio protocol and discussed how to record and collect evidence. It was a great learning experience and a wonderful night but we had little activity.

Thursday—it rained. There had not been rain like this in recent memory as we found out from the locals. I recorded a 4 ˝ foot rise in the creek I was camping on. This was tough. Luckily we had the pavilion in BC and at my camp I set up a screened in tent. I worried that it would continue to rain and the trip would be a bust. Had it been just rain and not the thunderstorms and high winds it may not have been as worrisome. We continued to plan for the night’s excursion wondering if we would have to cancel. Luckily there was a break for a short time and we made it out into the field. We broke into four main teams. One went to the ridge to the south of SC, one walked the road heading west and followed the river, Caroline and I took a team much further north and sat above a river with the R2D2 and call blasted.

The team that walked the road dropped people off at various sites overlooking the river. We had done this the year prior and had a close range visual encounter after experiencing paralleling behavior. The team attempted to duplicate this.

The team I was on had little cover when the rain began in earnest and we successfully lost a radio.

The team that went on the ridge passed by Don’s camp on the way to their position overlooking a heavily forested area. Don set his camp far away from everyone and experienced a very heavy thud that night that he felt through his air mattress. The team set up along the ridge. Here is a partial account of what they experienced in the words of one of those present:

We drove 4 miles down a gravel road to the campground then continued another mile up a logging road to a spot near a ridge. Don, one of the experienced squatchers, had his tent set up here outside the camping area, all alone. Don has nerves of steel. We left the vehicles near his tent and walked up to the ridge.

I had my camp chair and 4 of us sat on a high spot on the ridge for half an hour, watching and listening. The other four in our group of 8 wandered off to our left. We were allowed to talk and act like we are out for a hike in the woods. We have walkie talkies to be in communication with each other. There were probably 30 people in various locations.

Our vantage point on top of the ridge overlooked a vast area of semi-swamp. However, our vision was limited by the darkness, and the trees at the edge of the swamp. Our other group of 4 called us and said they were going to walk down the logging road that we had driven in on. We packed up our chairs and joined them.

When we had walked one hundred yards we stopped and looked back up towards the ridge. The sky, although it was dark, was lighter than the forest, which was very dark. Looking up to the ridge, we could see the lighter sky between the trees on the horizon. One person said she saw something moving. I saw the shadow of a figure run between two trees silhouetted against the light sky. The shadow appeared to be a person or a bigfoot. It walked or ran upright with swinging arms. I calculate that the image lasted for one second. I could see no features but only the outline of a man or a sasquatch. I can make no judgment of its height. It could have been 6 feet tall or 8 feet. I had no point of reference. The arms and body did have a greater thickness than those of a normal man, unless the man was wearing a thick jacket or costume. It disappeared into the shadows off to the left immediately. It was moving perpendicular to my line of sight, so I saw a side view of the creature. At one point the right arm was forward of the body and the left arm was behind the body. (Or the other way around??) Then the arms switched places in a normal swinging stride motion. That took about a second and then he was gone.

Similar lights had been seen the previous year and I admit that I was initially a bit skeptical.

It is also important to note that one team of two individuals took it upon themselves to kayak a very long stretch of a barely navigable river. Barely navigable when the water level is down but after the rains, they found the trip to be quite arduous. A full day after they left they returned but without their kayaks. A friendly local picked them up and brought them back to civilization. They did collect some interesting and very large footprint photos along the way while earning the nickname “The Lost Boys.” The next day one of the Lost Boys was kind enough to let us practice opening a locked door on his vehicle. The things you learn.

On Friday we hoped the rain would stop and we had a lot of time to continue hoping. We surveyed the damage from the storm and found many trees had been knocked down. We listened to the stories of the events of the previous night while enjoying great food and good company. We listened to BFRO presentations regarding audio collection and tried to create a plan for dealing with the weather and getting out and hitting the field. At 6:30 pm the rain stopped.

We set up the teams to hit the ridge, walk the road, and go to a ski trail area some of the members had found.
I was on the ridge group and we set ourselves up in three groups, each having some form of thermal or night vision capability and/or parabolic microphones. We were set to pick up anything that moved or made a noise near us. An hour or so into the vigil we heard the radios crackle to life. “Is anyone moving on the ridge?” “Who has a white light on?” I asked everyone to go lights out. Apparently, the eastern group had seen some sort of movement between themselves and the next closest group. It looked like “two white lights, close together, but dimming and then brightening (blinking?).” When we all went lights out (and no one had white light on) the light switched to a single dim white light and blinked a bit as it seemed to pass behind trees heading down the hill. I was 200 of so meters away from this and cannot confirm it…but I was 200m away from the action…again.

This alone is an incredible amount of activity and when I heard about it I could not believe that I had again chosen the wrong place at the wrong time. It was not until the next morning that I understood some of the radio chatter I had heard as I was getting ready to settle down at my extremely vacant-of-any-other-human-being campground. I arrived at BC the next morning and it was still raining. BC was a bit less full. Some people opted to visit a hotel not too far away and we met up at a local restaurant. This is where I heard about the activity that had been experienced by the group that had followed an old ski trail to the south west.

The ski trail group was large so I compiled their experiences in their own words but in an edited format.

The next night, Friday we went into a cross country ski area. There are many trails back there. We walked for miles from 9:00 PM until midnight, then stopped on a bridge and remained there until after 1 AM. While stopped on the bridge we did a wood knock. An instrument is struck which sounds like two pieces of wood being struck together. The hope is that a Sasquatch will respond with a wood knock or a howl. Then my buddy Mike gave two Whoops. He put his hands to his mouth and out came wwhhuuuuuuup. After a period of time the other 5 people saw eye shine. Most saw red eyes, either single or in pairs. One person reported a chill run down his back when he saw the red eye shine. This is a common color in reported Sasquatch night sightings. There is debate as to whether Sasquatch have self luminescence and can broadcast light. The eye sightings went on for perhaps a half hour about 50 yards to our front. [Note: the presence of “eye shine” reflected or produced is not a topic this report will discuss].

The gravel trail that crosses the bridge we were standing on runs straight for one hundred yards before it curves to the left. The trail was a light color compared to the trees, which looked dark or black in the night. Several noticed the road appeared to narrow from the left. Yes, the road looked 12 feet wide then a section of it looked only 10 feet wide, as though the woods were consuming the left side.

Then one man reported seeing something cross the road from left to right. “I saw it too”, M confirmed. M is quite the outdoorsman and hunter. He said he would have thought it a bear if we had not seen the eye shine, moments before, indicating Sasquatch were present. Sasquatch [have been reported to] move on all fours as well as on two legs.

At 1:30 AM we began our retreat back to the vehicles. We stopped just before entering the tree line. As we paused we heard six, yes six vocalizations. Each was drawn out with varying pitches. Some vocalizations overlapped indicating more than one source. Some in our group guessed they were calling us back, others that they were alerting their fellows that we were departing. It was all speculation. This had been quite an exciting evening for our group of 6.

At the end of this report you will find a link to a video that has pictures from the trip and most importantly real-time testimony from people in the field and interviews just after events occurred.

Saturday the sun was shining and we met to discuss our plans for the day. Everyone wanted to go to the ski area. Collectively we decided it would be setter to only bring a small group for fear we would bust the site. This required finding really good alternative places for everyone else to go. One group went to the ski trail site during the day to search the area, take photographs and re-create the road crossing that Matt had seen. The rest of the group would travel to SC and participate in Bacon-O-Rama. We fired up all of our portable stoves and cooked all the bacon we could procure from local establishments. This was done in the hopes of calling attention to our location. Just before we all met my uncle was using my axe handle as a bat and hit a rock across the river. It made a loud crack. A few seconds later we heard a great return knock to our northwest.

Everyone not going to the ski trail had a great time with a nice fire and we started to dry out. One team headed to the ridge, one stopped by one of the sites overlooking the river, and one walked the road. We had communication at SC which was controlled by David in the hopes that we could quickly react to any activity. It also boosted the range of our radios. Caroline drove the R2D2 up and down the road. There were 1 foot deep puddles that just got over the tops of your boots.

My group visited the ridge then walked to check on the overlook group and finally decided to go onto a trail we had found the year before. I was in the lead and noticed what looked like a single red light ahead of me that had to have been thirty feet up a tree. I covered my headlamp and eventually turned it off. I asked the people around me if they had seen anything but did not get an affirmative until much later. A link to the audio for this part of the expedition will be available below. What I did not realize is that we were heading up a hill. Further, there was a second small hill that I did not see that allowed a human-sized creature to stand next to a tree and appear from the bottom to be really tall. The single red light “blinked.” It also moved away and then closer to the tree. I was ready to dismiss it had it not been for group corroboration. Further, the audio was analyzed after we got back and there were wood knocks going on as we walked that were imperceptible to us but came from the west away from the river we were following. Once we made it to the lookout point (called mattress site due to the strategically located mattress left there) we decided to make an aggressive call. Larry did this and we heard something moving away from our location toward the river. You could hear something brush against one of the pine trees. Moments later we heard an obvious rock hit the surface of the river. It was not a small rock and could not have been caused by a log moving in the current and could not have fallen because it came from the opposite bank and there was no ridge there. We also recorded something moving in the water—taking deliberate steps. We used our night vision but could not locate the source of the sound as it was too overgrown. We could not advance to that location as there was a precipitous thirty foot drop to the water. A month later I tested the depth of the water at the location and it was three feet and then it rose straight up to the shore. In waders I could not replicate the stomping and splashing we heard that night. The only thing I can reason it being was a moose or elk (which are pretty rare) because even a big black bear would be pretty submerged there. On the way home two members of our team heard something following along beside us paralleling our moves. On audio it is not very clear but while we were discussing this in the middle of the dark we heard the loudest howl imaginable. We froze. One of our team frantically reached into her backpack and hit stop on her ipod…it had been set to very loud Humpback Whale calls. That completed our night.

The next day we heard stories from the previous night and people packed up to leave. The folks who stayed at SR found possible track ways in the moss. They were very experienced BFRO investigators from Florida and they documented their findings. Their video can be found in a link below. Matt, another BFRO member staying at SR lingered after everyone else had left and experienced a final night with something walking around the entire campground. He heard a single loud wood knock just before morning.

Overall the trip was a success for those that could weather the wind and rain. New people learned about collecting evidence, tracks were cast, audio was analyzed, trail craft was discussed—we crammed a great deal into the dry days we had. Most importantly, we made pretty cool friends and connections throughout the country. I bet most of us will be back out in the field as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to ask any questions. I will provide links below to audio captures and video interviews. Any mistakes made here are my own.

Jim Sherman

Jim Sherman
BFRO Investigator, Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition 2011, Michigan Upper Peninsula 2012, co-organizer MI UP 2013.

Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 18

 Posted: January 22nd, 2014 11:37 AM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Hi! Jim & Caroline
Thank You for hosting this expedition it was my first and it was a great learning experience!
I have to say I and Rodger saw no white eye shine or glow up to this point on Saturday night ops. I did see red eye shine or glow the night before with the ski trail group.
We went up on the ridge Saturday night, and I and Rodger stayed on the middle portion of the ridge, with a small group going up the ridge to the south, and another group going down the ridge to the north.
Rodger and I were looking to the northeast out over and down into the swamp. We turned our chairs more to the north after it got so dark we could not make out hardly any shapes or forms in the swamp.
Shortly after turning our chairs we both started seeing what we believe to be eye shine or glow, but said nothing to each other for a short while, cause we were not sure, what we were seeing. Rodger asked me first if I was seeing anything and we came to the conclusion what it might be, and Rodger got on the radio and asked if anyone had lights on. No reply so Rodger requested all lights out. We continued to see eye shine or glow to the north at this time. We still thought in some small way we could or were seeing some very small lights to the north.
Bob in the group to the north turned and was looking towards Rodger and I and he too saw the white eye shine or glow, but could not see us. This was really great to hear and validated what we surely felt we had seen.
The night ops ended not to much longer after this, and when the north group turned on their headlamps they were quite a bit more west of where Rodger and I saw the eye shine or glow.
Rodger and myself finally got to see what quite a few other people were experiencing during the previous night ops expeditions.
Not everyone is open or even knowledgeable to eye shine or glow, from BF, as discussing this on other expeditions with other bigfooters. They compare it to if, the eyes glow on BF, then maybe the ears on bigfoot should be able to make noise. Thanks Again Caroline & Jim Great Expediton!

(Edited by srvive)
Mike Collier

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1269

 Posted: January 22nd, 2014 12:28 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Thanks for posting. Sounds like a good time.

Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 187

 Posted: January 22nd, 2014 01:13 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Yes, thanks so much for taking the time to post your experiences, I really enjoyed reading it. Good action

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 64

 Posted: January 22nd, 2014 03:00 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Here is a link to pictures and interviews. The audio at the start was taken from the expedition itself and the rest was used to call blast throughout the trip.

Jim Sherman
BFRO Investigator, Michigan Northern Lower Peninsula Expedition 2011, Michigan Upper Peninsula 2012, co-organizer MI UP 2013.

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1269

 Posted: January 23rd, 2014 12:22 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Thanks for posting that. The pictures are great. And that first howl/whoop that you did just scared the CRAP out of my coworkers! I didn't realize it was going to be that loud. Ooops.

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 118

 Posted: January 23rd, 2014 03:36 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Of course Jim got his vest in the movie

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 378

 Posted: January 23rd, 2014 06:05 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

Thanks Jim for sharing this with all of us! It's greatly appreciated.

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4

 Posted: January 27th, 2014 11:29 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

What were the dates for this expedition? From the youtube video it looks to have been during the summer months.
We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no idea of their absolute nature.
With five feeble senses we pretend to comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos.

Joined: Jun 2013
Posts: 118

 Posted: January 28th, 2014 05:08 PM  Edit Post Delete post Back to top

end of july


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