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Joe Stewart: Bigfoot Investigation in Washtenaw County, Waterloo, Michigan

Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad

Bigfoot Investigation in Washtenaw County, Waterloo, Michigan

Photo of Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad

Photo of Joe Stewart,
The Paranormal Nomad


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Photo of Bigfoot Head and Hand Prints
Photo of Bigfoot Head and Hand Prints

Yesterday I met up with Bob Daigle to do a little Bigfoot recon in Washtenaw County. The snow was very deep and the terrain was unforgiving. Bob only got his SUV stuck once but we managed to escape.

The day was rather nice except for the wind that cut through you like a knife. It wasn’t so bad when you got in the woods. We had difficulty finding a place to park without getting stuck. We finally found a promising spot, put on our gear, and, headed for the woods via a large field with a lot of tracks in it. We spent a little while reading all the tracks to see what was about. We detected deer, rabbits, some birds, and a field mouse or two. Some of the deer had come out of the woods on the run down to the road. You could clearly see their leaps and bounds.

As we got our bearings Bob took the lead to the east; the tour began. We walked along looking for signs while Bob entertained me with numerous stories of Bigfoot encounters. I tend to agree when Bob said he could talk about Bigfoot all day, and he did so to my enjoyment.

We had been walking awhile through the snow drifts up to our knees. We finally came across a trail Bob thought he recognized. At that moment as I caught up to him I heard him yell out, “We have a biped here.” Once I was by his side he was quite correct, it was the track of a biped. The dominating feature of the footprint was the deep heel strike. The toe area had been somewhat covered by fresh blowing snow. The stride was leisurely but with purpose. The stride measured about 26 inches long. That is too long for a casual human walking stride. The right and left footprints showed little to no straddle, unlike a human who has a very distinct straddle. It appeared we had the prints of a young Bigfoot on a walk-about. At best we could figure the tracks where made between last Tuesday and Wednesday. In addition, we made the observation that the Bigfoot walked in the dead center of the trail and did not once leave that imaginary center line until it changed direction.

Photo of Bigfoot Toe Prints
Photo of Bigfoot Toe Prints

I got out my measuring gear and gave my video recorder to Bob to record the prints while I measured everything. It appears the foot size is 8 to 9 inches. We followed the tracks to the north. As I walked along I was matching the pace of the tracks. I noticed my left leg stride was longer than my right leg stride when I mimicked the walking pattern of the tracks. I kept this up for about 75 feet. This Bigfoot’s right leg had the strongest action, which suggests that he could be right handed. The tracks came to a fallen tree and veered to the left. This inspired me to look for a snag of hair or even a handprint on the fallen snow covered trees that had fallen over the trail; no such luck.

We found a depression in the snow, and from a cursory exam it looked like Bigfoot had sat down in the snow with its elbows dug in. We didn’t want to disturb the site while we documented everything. We photographed everything and circled the surrounding area to read the tracks and see what else was about. Bob spied a groundhog burrow nearby where it looked like Bigfoot had sat down. I went back over to the alleged sit down site for a more thorough investigation and discovered it was another burrow that appeared to be connected to the burrow Bob found. Bob told me that Bigfoot had a good sense of smell. Bob believed because of its sense of smell, Bigfoot might be aware when someone was carrying a gun. The belief is that Bigfoot can smell the gunpowder and oils of the gun. We inspected the burrow closer. It appears that Bigfoot put his head in the burrow entrance with his hands on either side. You could see what looked like a head imprint. It looked like Bigfoot smelt the burrow to see if dinner was at home.

From the burrow entrance, Bob followed the tracks which suddenly passed through a couple of saplings into a small grove of saplings. This made no sense to us until later. The road was not that far away and quite visible from that position. Bob speculated that the Bigfoot might have been taking cover from an oncoming car. The footprints seemed to support that theory.

Photo of Bigfoot Tracks, One Foot in Front of the Other
Photo of Bigfoot Tracks, One Foot in Front of the Other

We continued to track him until the drifts destroyed the trail. We decided to hike back to the original trail and back track the Bigfoot to the point of origin. Soon we were on the trail again and followed the trail to the road. We noticed larger tracks just off the road by a large oak tree. These were more along the size of 10 to 11 inches and 5 to 6 inches wide. You could look into the track on an angle and see where the toes made an impression into the snow bank. It looks like a mature Bigfoot was standing by the tree while the juvenile was out for a stroll checking its favorite spots for a midnight snack.

We hiked back to our vehicle on the road. Bob wanted to break for lunch so we momentarily left the cold wind for a little warmth.

Soon we were back on the road again with renewed spirits. This time we had a lake for a target Bob was looking for. He wasn’t quite sure the entrance to the trail. We found a spot to park and promptly got stuck. After getting the SUV free we parked and started to hike across country. Bob said the lake is somewhere out to the south east. So we set out trekking through the snow drifts, thorn trees, briar, and dead trees. At one point, Bob stepped on a large branch lying on an angle and hidden in the snow, which sent him sprawling into the snow. Unfortunately his camera went into the snow too. Later when we tried to use his camera the water in the camera froze parts of the camera making it useless. I still had my still and video cameras. It wasn’t long after I took a spill. My backpack acted like it had a large magnet in it and the earth was the iron and away I went too into the snow bank. Once I recovered my dignity I caught up to Bob just in time to walk through a thicket of briar. We figured we were getting closer to the lake. We could see a lot of sky in the distance through the woods indicating a lake or large clearing.

Finally, our eyes beheld the lake. We stood on a ridge looking at the thick briar protecting the lake shoreline. Yes, it was ouch all the way down. The damn things were grabbing at us from all sides. When our feet touched the frozen lake the wind kicked up and didn’t stop for the whole time we were on the ice. We were focused on an island in the middle of the lake. This is the location of the footprints of a previous Bigfoot hunt.

We walked by where some ice fisherman had been fishing. Bob had been telling me stories about Bigfoot as we crossed the wind swept desert of ice. At one point Bob said one of his fellow Bigfoot hunters had fallen through the ice on a lake and ended up under the ice. Ever since then he is anxious about crossing frozen lakes. Gee, thanks for that story, Bob! My next question to him was how deep this lake was anyway, and wondered if there were any lake monsters in it!

Photo of Glove Next to Smaller Bigfoot Tracks
Photo of Glove Next to Smaller Bigfoot Tracks

We made it to the island. There were the remnants of an old duck blind there. There were no tracks to be found other than one set of deer tracks. Bob talked about how Bigfoot will use abandoned structures as shelter. We looked across the lake to the distant shoreline. Bob remembered that there was a two-track in the area we were looking that should lead us out. So off we went.

This time the shoreline was a bit wet and full of slush. Oops, we’re melting here. Of course to climb out of the lake area we had to climb a steep bank. My backpack threatened to throw me in the snow again but I kept it under control. Bob found the old two-track but it didn’t look too promising. That’s when we saw it; it was the tracks of our wandering young Bigfoot. As before, it had walked down the center of the trail. The little guy sure gets around.

I photographed the tracks since Bob’s camera was now an ice cube and the camera shutter was frozen solid. The tracks led back to the lake. We followed the trail to where the little guy left the trail for the lake. I again matched the pace of the tracks as I walked and it was the same pattern as the other set of tracks we found earlier. Bob commented on how he wished he could stay longer to continue the hunt. A bonus was that the Bigfoot tracks had led us to a snowmobile trail which took us back to the road after a 10 minute walk.

Bob was pretty pleased with the recon mission as well as I. I think we learned a little more from the wilderness giant that day, or at least from one of the kids, who seemed to enjoy his walk-about.

Joe Stewart, The Paranormal Nomad.

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