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Joe Stewart: Bigfoot Investigation in Oscoda County, Michigan

Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad

Bigfoot Investigation in Oscoda County, Michigan

Photo of Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad

Photo of Joe Stewart,
The Paranormal Nomad

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photo of Baby Bigfoot Toe Print
Photo of Baby Bigfoot Toe Print

"Say it ain't so Joe!" Yes, I'm afraid it is. Good old Mother Nature decided to keep the tradition going with every Bigfoot hunt I've been on. That tradition is rain and more rain. This time I was smart and set my tent up in a slight sprinkle knowing from past experience that it all was going down hill from there, and it did.

Well, I hiked the gear in, the tent is up and the fire pit is dug. The question is what to do in all of this rain? That's easy, go find the famous blueberry hill with all of its blueberries which are reported to be a favorite food of Bigfoot and the American black bear. Let us hope in a moonless night I can tell the difference between a black bear and Bigfoot.

After a while of searching in the rain, I did find Blueberry Hill 22 miles from my campsite. I found out I couldn't drive my car on the Blueberry Hill 2-track because the car is too low to the ground. I started to plow the road with my muffler - not cool. I decided to park my car near the main road and hike in to find a good spot to set up my night vision equipment for a future night's vigil. As I walked along, the song "Blueberry Hill" sung by Fats Domino played in my head. Maybe Sunday might be a good time for the night vigil if it doesn't rain, which is not good for the cameras.

Now that the camp is established and the rain has stopped, I decided to do a little recon (reconnaissance). I dressed for wet and medium to heavy mosquitoes with a slight chance of deer flies. The swamp never disappoints; misery is its mistress and it likes to share with one and all. Once I started trekking through the woods and swamp to my surprise it seemed deserted. I haven't even seen a deer since I've been out here. When I arrived at the pond I could see that the water level was down from last year. There were no signs of ducks or geese like in the previous year. I could hear a dove and the white throated sparrow in the swamp. Other than that, all was strangely quiet. At the ponds I found a total of 2 mosquitoes and they seemed lost.

I found my knocking tree, where last year, I tried to mimic the sound Bigfoot makes when it bangs on a tree in order to communicate. My stick for hitting the tree was on the ground and was pretty well rotted. The stick fell apart before my eyes with only a thought of using it to do some tree knocking. I couldn't find anything else in the area to use other than my head, so I gave up the idea for now and continued to video tape. It was interesting as I was setting up the camera, I started to get a lot of interference on the video screen. I thought this was very odd; there was no reason for the video camera to do that. I then remembered Jason and I tried to set up game cameras in the area and we couldn't get the camera to work. Once we took the camera out of there, it worked fine.

It was getting dark and the rain had stopped, I wanted to get a fire going. The sky was still overcast and a cool breeze was blowing out of the northwest. The weather had all the makings of a cold night, a three dog night from the feel of it. I couldn't find any dogs about so a sleeping bag and extra blanket will have to do.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quote for the Day: "What month is it anyway? It sure doesn't feel like July."

Talk about a cold night. I ended up pulling everything loose I could find in the tent on top of me just trying to keep warm. The fire went out around 2 a.m. taking the last source of heat in the area. The clouds had cleared off making it colder by the hour. Sometime in the night between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. I was awakened by a weird scream in the night. I was half asleep and my first thought was that it was a coyote. I fell asleep again only to be awakened once more by this screaming sound. Enough already, it's probably bitching about the cold. This continued on throughout the night. This time I fell back to sleep with my digital recorder running not knowing I had captured the scream. After sunrise I checked my digital recorder and discovered the scream. I recognized it as a cougar that sounded like a Tom cat on steroids. Well, I guess I have one more thing to worry about when I'm up and running around at night. I hope the cougar doesn't decide to room with me, as I'm fresh out of kitty litter.

I got up at 5:30 a.m. thinking it was 6:30 a.m. In the eastern sky were a nice crescent moon and a bright planet Venus right next to it. I did a little looking around as best I could in the darkened swamp. The cougar in the night was silent for now. I next searched in the dim light for any signs of footprints and scanned the wooded cliffs on the edge of the swamp. All was quiet. I saw on my pant leg as I sat in the tent a large white crab spider with red stripes on its abdomen. Before I screamed out like a little girl, I had to marvel on how pretty this spider was. I had never seen a white spider before and apparently it hadn't seen a pant leg before. We both marveled at each other. Once I ousted the beast, I picked it up and deposited it in the woods out of harms way, namely my boot. I made sure I shook everything out. It was so cold that apparently everything that could walk, crawl, and slither, came into my tent that night. Next time, I'm hunting Bigfoot in the snow. Maybe in the winter is when it gets war m around here.

The sun finally rose revealing a blue clear sky, so much for the weather report. After I do my camp journal I will spend the day exploring the swamp from the wooded cliffs looking for evidence of Bigfoot activity in that area. It would be a little after noon before I started my trek down the cliffs. It got hot really fast and lugging around 2 video cameras and tripods was no joy. To get certain camera shots, I had to climb down a cliff with the camera stationary and then return up the hill to retrieve the camera only to go back down the hill. Talk about your one step forward and three steps back. After many attempts to cross the creek I found no passable entrance from the western side of the swamp without stepping into muck up to my armpits.

It was threatening rain again so I decided to go back to blueberry hill to see if I could find the other entrance I saw on the satellite map earlier in the week. So, off I went for another road trip. A coke and 22 miles later I was circling the blueberry hill looking for the second entrance and I found it. However, this 2 track was worse than the first trail in. After some hairy navigation I was able get my car out with as little trauma as possible. I decided to head back to my camp area and drive some of the forest trails where a Forester from last year had his encounter with a Bigfoot male. In addition, I wanted to check out the power lines. This would be a good spot. It cuts across a lot of deep forest and it's an easy path for Bigfoot to get about.

Darkness was closing in. I checked my gear one more time and loaded up the car. The next thing I know, I was in a downpour - and how. I had nothing else better to do, so I waited it out. To my surprise it stopped in 20 minutes. I got into the car and headed to the southeast. It was too risky for my equipment to attempt the power lines tonight with the rain coming and going. I decided to search the forest area instead. I would just drive the trails and keep a sharp eye out.

It was about 10 p.m. The sky was still somewhat lit by the remnants of the sunset. As I was driving south after descending a hill, I just happened to look in my rearview mirror and there it was! There, standing on the crest of the hill I just descended, was a tall black shadow backlit by the fading light in the sky. I slammed on the brakes in the dirt. In one motion the black shadow stepped from the middle of the road into the woods and was gone. By time I found a place to turn around and return the spot I thought it was at, it was too dark to see anything. I used my flashlight looking for tracks but didn't see any. Maybe I was in the wrong spot or my imagination was working overtime.

Tomorrow I will be returning to that area to search for evidence of tonight's sighting.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Quote for the Day: "I think I just earned my Boy Scout Polar Bear badge."

Second quote for the night: "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!" (The Wizard of Oz)

Fighting off the hypothermia, I was finally able to get up. I was very tempted to start a fire to warm up, but duty calls. Namely I have to write my camp journal this morning. As the sun climbed out of the swamp, the temperature climbed to around 80 degrees or so. What extremes the temperature is here, anywhere from a 30 to 40 degree difference between day and night.

With all my survival gear and cameras packed, I was off to the forest instead of the swamp looking for the location where I think I saw the big fellow last night on the road. I arrived at the location where I thought I saw Bigfoot standing on the crest of the hill and swiftly stepped into the woods. I searched the surrounding ground and road and found no evidence of tracks. I could be off a little on the location so I moved 500 feet either direction and found nothing. This area has a pretty good stand of red pines so I thought I would do some exploring in the woods to see what I could find out. After securing my car, I stepped into the woods heading in a southerly direction.

After trekking for a good mile or so, I came across a fox den and lots of deer scat and tracks and not much else. It was about this time that I spotted something black and big in a bush to the east of me. I froze in my tracks trying to suppress my breathing while I determined what it was I was seeing. That's when I recognized the hind quarter of a black bear. This guy was every bit of 350 pounds if he was an ounce. He seemed to be looking for something while he stepped a little deeper into the foliage. I moved my camera in his general direction and tried to zoom in on him. You can see a little bit of black form from that distance upon review of the video. Ever so quietly I continued on my journey to the south and gave the bear a wide berth. I walked for a while more and found nothing but a pine forest. It was time to head back. I retraced my steps, well, in spirit that is. I ended up about 100 yards east of where I entered.

I decided to go down to the power lines and check them out while it was still light out. I was doing some video taping with the day camera when it started to drop frames. I was trying to record the power line path to the east and west. I tried a couple of times and decided to get the camera out of the electromagnetic field before it self-destructed. I continued driving the back roads looking for Bigfoot evidence.

The day ended and the skies were clear. I had to rub my eyes in disbelief that such a thing was possible. I stopped in at a local bar to get a quick bite before I hit the woods. I was listening to a group of local folk discuss their day's events. Hey, I get my entertainment where I can find it. I almost laughed out loud when one of the elderly women was talking about how bad her memory had gotten. The other old folks at the bar talked about getting a group together to help each other remember things. They decided that wasn't such a good idea since they wouldn't be able to remember to come to the meetings or remember what they were supposed to help the other fellow remember.

The old lady told how she had bought the memory enhancer pills "Focus Factor", but couldn't remember to take them. I had to bite down hard on my Bigfoot sub to keep from laughing. Then another old man that probably fought in the Civil War yelled out, "Son, I forgot how old you are!" "I keep telling you pop, I'm 76 years old." I bit harder into my sandwich. It made me think of the old comedienne Moms Mabley telling the story how she found an old man crying on the side of the road. She walked up to him and said, "Old man, why do you cry so?" he replied, "My daddy scolded me for throwing stones at my Grand-daddy." It was all I could do to hold it in after that memory popped up. I got my composure back and finished my sandwich, paid my bill, and tipped my hat to the old folks at the bar for the lovely entertainment. Hey, I've been living in the woods for the past 4 days chasing hairy beasts.

I finally arrive at the power lines and it is still light enough to see to get my equipment together. You could hear the electricity humming and snapping in the power lines. I started my journey to the west, video taping as I went. I found out I was again getting some interference from the power lines. My camera kept going out of focus and the night shot wasn't working too well. I was a little more than a mile down the trail when I spotted what looked like cougar pugmarks. It appeared to be tracking a deer. This must be one of the cat's hunting grounds. This may not be the place to be right now. This kind of cat's hunting style is to ambush you. Yes, a ground stealth hunter. I turned around forgetting about Bigfoot for a while and headed back towards my car. It seemed like a long walk back to that car. I swear someone moved it farther away while I was walking the trail. The other problem was that everything was uphill. That's when I heard it. It is an eerie sound if you don't know what it is. Well, I guess it 's eerie when you do know what it is. It was coyotes on the hunt. Usually they are real noisy during mating season which was back in March I believe. Their presence made me feel better about the cougar. Cougars will hunt coyote, so, if they are in the area maybe the cougar is not; unless it is hunting and lying in wait. Well, so much for that last comforting thought.

The thing about coyotes is they are pack hunters but not as large of a pack as you would find in wolves. I hoped I was catching their calls on the video tape. Night vision is almost useless now. As I was saying, coyotes will attack humans if they have lost their fear of them. Shit! They just broke bush and are in the field under the power lines. I can just barely see them. Their sense of smell is better than that of the dog. And their hearing range is greater than that of a dog too. It looks like there are 6 of them the best I can make out. Oh shit, they must have seen me; they are running my way as best I can make out with the night vision camera. It's time to vamoose. I had just arrived at the car. Ok, I might have sprinted the last 30 yards. I threw everything in the car while I heard them quickly approach. I remember thinking it sounded more like an army coming than just 6. I moved to the other side of the car to unlock the door.

Just like in the horror movies, the monster is almost on top of the victim and can't unlock the damn car door. I could almost hear the audience gasp. Whew - I got it unlocked and - wait a minute, the coyotes stopped dead in their tracks and turned around and ran away. What the… I know I haven't showered in a couple of days and smell like campfire smoke. That is when I saw it. Hovering over the power lines over my head was a damn UFO. I'm not kidding! It was a sphere floating above the lines like it was drawing power from them. That's probably what scared the coyotes off.

I reached for my camera. Shit! I threw it on the passenger side of the car when the coyotes were chasing me. With that thought the UFO floated away from the power lines glowing white and quickly moved to the east. I gave pursuit but lost it in the forest. I decided to go to some cross roads I knew. I would get a better view of the sky. I stood there for about a half hour and decided to go back to my camp and get a fire going for the night. What a weird night. I'm finding everything except for Bigfoot. What's next, Dogman?

I thought this was kind of interesting. While driving to the woods last night, I had on the car radio and the song "Blueberry Hill" came on. This reminded me that I have to still stakeout Blueberry hill one of these evenings.

How does it go: "Cougars and coyotes and UFOs! Oh my!"

Photo of Bigfoot Plaster Cast
Photo of Bigfoot Plaster Cast

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quote for the Day: "I will never be able to top Monday night. Oh, how wrong you are."

Believe it or not, last night was a heat wave. It was actually 50 degrees and no cold breeze.

I was in need of some sustenance and entertainment, so I went to the local bar again. This time I was sitting at the bar. I had to get up and go to the restroom and when I returned there was a middle aged man sitting in my chair. An older gentleman, apparently this man's dad was sitting next him. He realized that his son had taken my stool. He apologized to me and said, "My son took your stool didn't he?" I replied no big deal there are plenty of places to sit at the bar. The old man looked at his son and said to me, "Do you want me to kick his ass? I haven't done it in a while." The son looked at him reminding him he kicked his ass last week. I just laughed and said it was ok; we'll let it go this time. I guess the old guy and his son were looking for a car to buy. His son wanted to buy a Nissan. His dad stopped drinking his beer and slammed it to the table. "You ain't buying any damn Nissan!" The old man continued, "Who do you think was shooting at me in WWII? Those damn Japs that's who!" The son replied, " I think it might be a Korean car dad." "Shit, they were in it too," the father replied. I asked him if he was a Marine and he responded, "OORAH!" I bought him a beer and all was fine with the world. My advice to his son would be not to buy a VW either.

I was still recovering from all the activity from last night coming across cougar pugmarks, being chased by a pack of coyotes, and witnessing a UFO all in the span of a half hour. Do I know how to throw a party or what? I spent a lot of the morning documenting everything and getting ready for today. The plan was if the stars were out I would go to the power lines again only this time walking in the opposite direction to Monday nights walk. If the skies are overcast I will go to Blueberry Hill. It looks like the starry night won out.

Just after sunset near 10 p.m. I was at the power lines again. I came across a porcupine walking down the road. I tipped my hat and let him pass on by. It looked like he was on a mission. I started the walk to the east to the hum of the power lines. This trail was directly under the lines where I seemed to get less interference than when I was to the side of them. I walked for about 2 miles and it was somewhat cloudy. I was having second thoughts about going to Blueberry Hill. Nothing but nothing was happening so I headed back to the car. I was thinking that the camp journal for today was going to be sparse at best.

I decided to return to the area where I thought I saw Bigfoot in the road. I slowly worked my way over there in the darkness with my camera at the ready. Once there I got out of the car and looked around with my star scope. Nothing was to be seen and all was quiet. I knew of a long running and wide county road where on occasion Bigfoot has been known to haunt. I headed in that direction. The night was really starry now. It was just beautiful. I had my sunroof open and did a slow eastern drive at about 20 mph with my camera at the ready. As I was driving along I remember seeing a glow in the sky like a half phased moon would make. I thought nothing of it at the time. I would look up every so often at the stars.

After going for miles I turned around and headed back to the west. I was starting to think that in the tradition of Elvis, maybe Bigfoot had left the building. I know there is a 20 year plus history in this area of the big guy. Maybe Bigfoot is on vacation. Why not? Once in a while I would come across a house in the woods; other than that, the place was deserted and dark. Up ahead, I came across a road sign heading north. Hmmm…, I never saw that before. The road looked really dark. I think I'll drive down there and see what is down there. I turned and gave the car a little gas. Whoa, brakes! I stopped inches from the garage door. Yes, some guy built his house there and put a road sign up marking and naming his driveway. He wasn't home, all the lights were out, and there was no moon and it was pitch dark outside. Imagine my embarrassment. Whew, that was close, back to the main road again.

I was driving slowly with camera in hand listening to God Smack on the CD player wondering about the moon. Wait! Again I slammed on the brakes. I leaned forward looking out the sunroof. There's no moon out tonight. And there it was, the UFO from last night. The little bastard had been following me all this time positioned above my car and a little back so it wouldn't be in my line of vision. That was the light source I kept seeing.

I quickly turned the car off and scrambled to get out and couldn't find the damn door handle. I struggled in the dark and at the same time I was trying to switch the camera to daylight mode to capture the light better. In the process I found the car door, opened it, and fell out of the car onto the road and accidentally turned the camera off. I turned the camera on and got off my ass. The UFO was just sitting there, a pulsating white light mocking me. I started to video tape it and the UFO started to move again. Then it flared up really bright putting my camera out of focus. And then it was gone. There I was, on a darkened road, camera in hand, and this UFO wants to play games.

I continued on west being more vigilant now. I had to take a detour before I got back on the county road I wanted. All of a sudden everything lit up like a flash of lightning. The sky was clear. I couldn't find a source to the brief light. I continued on back to camp.

Once back at camp I started a fire and watched the skies or a while with camera in hand ready for action. It was getting near midnight when I decided to turn in. Then I heard it. There was some movement in the woods west of my camp and very close. I took the flashlight and looked around but saw nothing. I retired near midnight. I had my cameras to the ready just in case all hell broke loose. I was almost asleep when I heard coyotes howling in the night, what wonderful music they make. Hey, that was from Dracula only it was wolves. Man I'm losing it. Then I heard noises coming from the pond. That's weird. There was nothing there last time I looked. It almost sounds like some sort of communication going on between two of something.

I fell asleep with camera in hand until I heard a sound that shook me to the bones. My first thought was woodpeckers. Then I realized what I was hearing, something was rattling their teeth. This is also known as tooth popping in the Simian world. Apes do this when they are unsure and anxious about something. In other words this is a practice of Bigfoot. I thought I heard something big moving in the bush. It is the weirdest sound. Now, I hear grunting coming from the south and the east swamp side. Shit! They're in the camp. The fire is still going and probably will last until about 3 a.m. and then what? I looked about but couldn't see anything. I laid back down being really quiet with the video camera in my hand set for night vision. I fell asleep again until I heard something walking, casting shadows on the tent. It definitely was a biped. A big biped!

This went off and on all night. I would hear grunting sounds and shuffling about. I remember stories of people in sleeping bags being carried off by Bigfoot in the night. Well, if it happens to me, at least I will have my camera with me where I can get it on video. The last sound I heard was around 2:15 a.m. Other than the coyotes, it was quiet and I think Bigfoot left my campsite. The plan today was to scourer my area looking for tracks. Unfortunately the rains are coming early today and will destroy any evidence that might be out there. We must keep with tradition.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quote for the Day: "I feel like I'm one of the Soggy Bottom Boys."

The rain held off for a while. There was a nice breeze and it is very humid out today. This allowed me to check out the campsite for any evidence that might have been left by Bigfoot that came into camp last night. I spent a couple of hours walking the area all the way back to the ponds. I came up empty handed and just a note: the ponds were still void of any wildlife. So, what was in those ponds last night making that entire racket?

The day was pretty uneventful. I took the balance of the afternoon to check out noted Bigfoot sighting areas and revisit the red pine forest. Other than your normal fauna, there was nothing to be found. I also went back to the power lines to see if I could find more cougar pugmarks and I did to the west. This surely is a hunting ground for the big cat. I also found coyote tracks, too. I estimated about 6 or 7 coyotes which are about the right size for a pack of coyotes.

I drove around for a while looking for signs of Bigfoot and decided to take a nap on a 2-track offshoot. Due to the lack of sleep last night I started to fall asleep at the wheel. I almost ran off the road and hit a bush. And get this: I was blasting God Smack at the time on the CD player. I guess I do need about 40 winks.

After a couple of hours I was back on the track trying to figure out what this weather was going to do next. At that moment it started to pour and didn't stop. It was going to be dark in a couple of hours so I decided to check out a few more spots before returning to camp.

Once back at camp I reviewed the weather reports and found that we have storm systems coming in tonight and will continue throughout the weekend. Before the daylight was totally gone I was able to start a fire in the downpour. I got the fire hot enough. It burned until all the fuel was gone which was about 3 a.m. That's pretty good for a campfire in a downpour. It came to me, you know, it is pouring out with no indication of it letting up. How could I take advantage of this? SHOWER TIME! The pouring rain was just right for a brisk cold shower near the campfire.

I settled in for a wet and cold night with an occasional thunderstorm in all its fury. It was all I could do to hold the tent to the ground at certain points in the night. It looks like I'll have to pull the plug 2 days early due to this wet mess. Hey, what can I say: Camping, everyday is an adventure.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quote for the Day: "We will end this on a wet note."

The rain had been reduced to a drizzle by day break. I decided to drive to town and get a good breakfast, dry out, and, give the camp sometime to dry out. If not, I will have to pack up camp in the rain. Boy this sucks.

I found this little place where the locals hang out for breakfast. Today's topic: How to get rid of those destructive squirrels when all other forms of persuasion fail to work. What you do as one guy described the process, is to mix up a batch of oatmeal and Plaster of Paris. You put this out as food and the squirrels just love it and eat it all up. Within a few days the squirrel gets a bad case of constipation and eventually dies. Gee, my omelet isn't looking so good right now. The group of men nodded their heads while this 90 plus year old man said, "Damn, what a way to go! And I speak from experience." Shit, I had to convert a laugh into a coughing fit.

That story put me in a better mood. I had decided to pull the plug on the Bigfoot expedition due to the poor weather. I did get 6 days in the field. There were signs that Bigfoot was in the area at least for the last couple of days. I didn't get any real hard evidence this time around. Well, I can look at it this way: I had a nice vacation camping in a swamp for 6 days and a Bigfoot hunt turned into a UFO hunt. As one man put it, my idea of a vacation is when I return to my room and there is mint on my pillow. That is when I know all is right with the world. As for me, it is a spider on my pillow and a snake curled up in my sleeping bag; that's when I know all is right in my world.

Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad.

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