Indiana Bigfoot Awareness Group, Report #0001-2005
DATE: Late June, 1995
TIME: around 11PM every night while camping at site
SIGHTEE: name(s) withheld upon request
TYPE: Various – sounds/smell/ with additional info
LOCATION: along railroad tracks outside Syracuse, IN. behind “Chinese Gardens”
AREA: wooded area along Syracuse Lake, swampy/lake channels nearby
WEATHER: clear, dark, hot and humid, not much moonlight, each time
EVENT/ENCOUNTER: THE FOLLOWING IS DIRECTLY QUOTED FROM PERSON WHO SUBMITTED THE REPORT —
“”I am from Syracuse Indiana, lived there most my life. It was midsummer 1995 I was between jobs and living with friends off and on. I often camp, and fish around that area so I just set up a tent along the railroad tracks and fished off the bridge where Syracuse Lake leads to Wawasee. I just thought I’d spend a few weeks collecting my thoughts, before I would pursue my next job. I spent about 3 to 5 days/ nights at that location, got into a routine of getting back to the campsite around 10 pm make a little campfire and cook a can of soup etc, before going to sleep. The next day came and went I was in town till around 10pm I went back to campsite, made my little fire heated up my soup and got into tent to go to sleep. That’s when I first heard something that sent chills down my spine. What I heard was not a scream or a yell, but instead something that sounded like it weighed around 800 lbs walking on 2 legs. It was snapping tree branches like twigs and crushing anything it stepped on. When I first heard it, it appeared like it was coming from way over by the Syracuse lake side of the tracks walking slowly up through heavily covered woods and thick brush. Snapping and popping anything in its path slowly working its way up to my campsite. I was trying to convince myself it was a dear maybe or large animal, but I knew what I was experiencing was completely different from any animal walking around. This thing was walking upright and had to weigh around 800 lbs and it was coming right toward me. I sat up in the tent as it came up right beside my tent, nothing but a thin layer of canvas between us; it was rummaging through my soup cans. I was scared stiff trying not to breathe too loud etc. Well this went on for the next night, same time, same direction, and same sound of trees snapping, except I just realized that I had fish and empty soup cans in a bag right beside my tent and sure enough it came right up to the tent where I was sitting. About ready to freak I was thinking, well if I’m going to get attacked by something weird I at least want to see what it is, so armed with my trusty lil hatchet I unzipped tent and jumped out. I was right next to something huge, smelly; I was face to face with the creature. I could have easily been crushed like a tooth pick. I was so scared I forgot I only had what little fire I had going in campfire to see with. I could hear deep breaths and I just know this thing was not anything I’ve ever encountered before. I tried desperately to see what this thing looked like as it slowly retraced its steps back from where it came. It was very dark that night, I could not see what it looked like, but I do know it was something amazing.
The next day I told my friend about what I had experienced, he just laughed and made fun of me. I think he thought I was pulling a joke until he saw how upset I was about returning to campsite and how serious I was about the whole thing. He offered to go out there with me and confirm that it was a dear or something; I warned him every night, same time, same thing was happening.
We arrived at campsite we stayed pretty quiet didn’t talk much. I went through my routine made a little campfire and we just sat around the fire this time. Before long here it comes, snapping tree limbs and crushing and cracking under its enormous weight, and on 2 legs. Well I got the last laugh because my friend freaked. He started picking up rocks and throwing them at its general direction until I stopped him. I told him 2 things it could have killed me but didn’t and also I don’t think you want to make it mad.” We both decided to abandon the campsite at that point. I have to say I’ve told a few people about that night and they have all just laughed at me and thought I am nuts. But I can’t deny what I have experienced, I just ran into this site because of the news broadcast the other day. I am finally glad to have a place that maybe people will listen. The weird thing is that since this occurred it appears to be following me somehow? I keep encountering it from time to time, different places. Also I never even realized that there have been others that have encountered similar creatures in Indiana let alone right in my area.”
HAS AFFECTED SIGHTEE: “”I have since had a feeling of connection to the outdoors and a compassion for whatever they are””
“”opened my eyes and awareness, I played it over and over in my head and it wasn’t a known animal I can’t deny what I experienced.””
“”It was too dark to see anything, but I felt and heard and smelt it. I was within an arms reach of it, and it was something of great power and mystery.””
VISUAL OVBSERVATION: could not make out color or features due to darkness… stood beside it and heard it breathing a couple feet higher than his own head
MIKE’S NOTES: Report was submitted to me via web form after *** saw news article on WNDU about my son’s 2003 sighting and heard about my website. I spoke with *** by phone. He had no idea other people in this area had ever seen or had encounters.
My synopsis of his encounter is such: on a nightly basis, *** would return to a campsite he had set up just out of town in this semi-rural area. It’s wooded, wet/swampy in an area between Syracuse Lake and Lake Wawasee. After making soup on his campfire nightly, he would be in his tent going to sleep when around 11Pm nightly, “something” would come walking out of the wooded area making substantial noise. It would come into his camp and begin rummaging thru his trash and then eventually leave. After 3 or 4 nights of this happening, he finally decided after several nights he wanted to know what it was, so he grabbed his hatchet, unzipped the tent and quickly got out of the tent to find he was standing directly beside this “something” in the dark; the campfire had mostly gone out. He stood there in the dark beside this “something” that had a similar smell to it of a wet dog, yet different. He believes he was within an arm’s length, because as he stood there, he could hear it breathing, and the sound of it breathing was a couple feet above his head, only a couple feet away. After a short period of time, the “something” walked away without doing anything else. The next night, after bringing a friend with him who didn’t believe ***’s story, the “something” returned and began to come toward the camp. The friend wanted to throw stuff at it to make it go away. After short debate, the two left the campsite quickly and came back the next day to get everything.
I spoke with *** about this incident. While he does acknowledge he never saw it, even as close as he was to it, having been a hunter and fisherman in this area, this was nothing he has ever encountered before. Even the sound of its “gait” as it walked was very unique. Every time it came into his camp, it would rummage thru his trash, apparently attracted by the smell of the recently cooked soup.
*** had another unusual ‘encounter’ in 2002 which will be reported separately. It’s not clear whether this should be a Class “A” or “B” encounter, due to not visually identifying the subject in question, but *** is resolved in his belief that he stood beside “something” near 8 feet tall. *** understands his suggestion that it weighed 800 pounds is just his opinion, based on how heavily it seemed to move.
Notes added 8-14-05 I spoke today *** to clarify how he heard or knew how tall the creature might be. *** is 5’6″ (five feet, six inches) tall, so when he stood beside the creature in the dark and heard it breathing beside him, it was his estimate this was at or near 2 (two) feet over his head in height.
Michael R Bardsley
Indiana Bigfoot Awareness Group