Submitted to BFRO by witness on Monday, June 27, 2011.
Possible encounter while backpacking in the Hoosier National Forest
COUNTY: Monroe County
LOCATION DETAILS: I’m estimating we were about 4-5 miles deep on the grub ridge loop trail (if you enter from the grub ridge trail head). We were relatively close to the south bank of Lake Monroe (about a half a mile away). We had hiked for about 3-4 hours.
NEAREST TOWN: Bloomington, IN
NEAREST ROAD: IN-446
OBSERVED: Myself and two other people were backpacking in the Hoosier National Forest. We had setup a camp in a valley off the grub ridge loop trail (this is a 10 mile loop, were about 4-5 miles deep in the woods). We were sitting by our camp fire (it was about 1:00 am). We heard a loud vocalization (it almost sounded like a very deep growl, and then a howl). It honestly sounded like an ape.
We then heard what sounded like a large branch or tree being snapped in half and then thrown towards us (this happened a couple times). We then heard a loud commotion coming from the woods, we heard what sounded like a small animal being attacked, and making a distressed crying noise (I think it was a rabbit, but I’m not sure. It sounded like it was being killed). This went on for 20-30 seconds, and then silence. We then heard something run off through the woods. I could hear branches breaking and leaves rustling, by the racket it made running, it sounded large. You could hear its body brushing through the trees.
There are no bears or Mt. Lions in this area. I’ve grown up here and know what a coyote sounds like and it was not a coyote. I am honestly stumped as to what we encountered. This is why I decided to report this, because for the past 5 years or so I’ve not been able to figure it out, and it has always bothered me a little.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was with two other people; we were all sitting around a campfire talking.
OTHER STORIES: I have heard stories of people seeing unexplained upright creatures in the Hoosier Forest before, but I never paid much attention to it. I think most of that is imagination and mis-identification.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: late night/early morning (about 1:00 am). It was a very dark, but clear night. We could not see much beyond our camp. If we did not have a fire you wouldn’t be able to see much of anything.
ENVIRONMENT: The forest we were hiking in is mostly a hardwood forest; however we were camping in a pine stand at the time. The forest has parts that are predominately pine forest (we always camped in these parts). The area is full of large hills and ridges. We were at the bottom of Grub Ridge in a valley, we had small creek bed to the east of us (50 yards from camp, and the bank of Lake Monroe was about a half a mile to the north east of where we were located.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Valerie Adams:
This witness reports that he grew up in the area and is familiar with this forest. The sounds he reports from that night were completely unfamiliar to him.