Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ChiSquatch: Chicago Sasquatch Report #4




This is a new series by Karl Sup, researcher who has written many great observations on Bigfoot (right hand side of the blog are links) and the very popular Long Island Bigfoot series. His travels have taken him from Long Island to Chicago. This series kicks off "ChiSquatch" and the search for Bigfoot in Illinois not far from the fringe of the cities. 







Chicago Sasquatch #4 
Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois (Cities Withheld), February-April 2017


Winter slogged on with its grey skies, snow, freezing rain and sleet. During the inclement weather days, I did research and reading on previous reports in the greater Chicago area. Two reporting areas stood out in the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO) database: Report # 46494 in Schiller Woods (08/15/1967), and Report # 45830 near Country Lane Woods (07/11/2014). I tackled the Schiller Woods South report first. The report relayed the story of the terrified witness: 




“I was taking a bike ride along Des Plaines River. I was very tired so I sat down on this fallen log and was watching the river. Across the river in the dark shadows of the forest a shadowy figure emerged. I watched it closely while it was splashing in the water like it was looking for fresh water clams or crayfish. It scared me because it was covered with a thick coat of hair like an ape. It resembled a cross between an ape and a cave man. As I watched it thru the ragweed and cat tails which hid me I cleared my throat and coughed. It looked all around and seemed to be agitated.


I kept sitting on the log because I lost sight of the creature. Suddenly, three huge rocks were tossed from the river toward me. They were the size of throw pillows. Moved out with my bike around the cat tail blind and saw it face to face. I yelled wow! It was moving into the cat tails for it crossed the river without a sound. Upon seeing me it picked up more rocks and hurled them at me.


It was muscular black brown in color with mud on its face very wrinkled skin. It had bulging eyes and a pushed in nose. I ran as fast as I could along the game trail along the river. As I ran I heard a howl that sounded like an air raid siren. As I ran I heard screaming and saw shadowy figures on other side of river moving. Bigfoots? I got to the parking lot on East River road and left.”





I arrived on a sunny but sub-freezing day at Schiller Woods South, and noticed immediately that the Preserve maintained hand-pumped water wells, just like other Forest Preserves. As I started off hiking into these winter woods, I noticed a lot of deer prints had been left in the mud created by snow melt. I kept just off the trail to avoid the mud and leaving tracks. I found it easy to avoid leaving any footprints. I followed the shoe prints of an adult male and two kids, a boy and a girl based on the floral pattern in the smallest prints, for some distance until they must have finally decided to double back to the parking lot. Pools of water in depressions were frozen, and the creek was overburdened with ice on its meandering path to the Des Plaines River.


I followed the tributary to its ultimate destination, staying just off trail the entire way. Despite the frozen beauty on display that day, I didn’t notice any significant signs of habitation. I did, however, validate the area as a prime habitat that would allow easy transit across the woods from the river without leaving a trace. From the river, an incognito north-south transit could easily be accomplished throughout the near west suburbs.

My next area I researched was further to the south. There are numerous reports in the woods near Bachelor Grove Cemetery. I suspect that some of the paranormal anomalies experienced in that area can be attributed to Sasquatch. I chose to follow up on a road crossing event that occurred three years earlier near the Country Lane Woods in Palos Township. Road crossings are typically the most common sighting, and I always find them intriguing in tracking transit paths. From the BFRO report: 




“I was driving home from my shift at UPS at about 4 a.m. last night. Traveling east on 95th street, most likely before LaGrange Road, but I am not certain of which main cross street I was near, because I normally don't take 95th home. I was still in a heavily wooded area. (Although the area is heavily wooded, the moon was full and had not set yet. The moon set at 4:38 a.m. a little over a half hour after the sighting).


As we were driving something darted out in front of me, perhaps a block or so ahead, it ran across the street from left (north) to right (200 feet away). I thought it could have been a person, but it ran across the street really fast, like someone with those fancy prosthetic legs. As I approached the area, I slowed down to see if there was someone there, but no person was in sight. Like I said, it was tall (6’), thin, and ran fast, like it only had to take a few steps to cross both lanes.”




I found this forest to be an ideal habitat with numerous game trails exiting the woods. The vegetation was dense right up to the roadway, with a smattering of marshy areas that would limit human access. On the road, there were several roadkill rabbits and one skunk that perished while attempting a road crossing. Wildlife was plentiful. Based on the habitat and geography of the crossing area, I don’t doubt that the witness saw a hairy, bipedal creature cross the road that night.



My next outing was back into the research area (location withheld) on February 9th to check on the latest apples I had left. Overnight, the temperatures dropped further and the creek was frozen solid with a slight frosting of snow on its banks. I hustled down the trail, then bushwhacked to the gifting tree. One nice thing about these frigid temperatures was frozen mud, which made traversing the brush much easier. Both apples were completely gone.



With the mud now frozen, I ventured into areas I hadn’t explored before. I came across a well-used game trail that had frozen deer and raccoon tracks in the mud. I followed the game trail for about 200 feet when I heard a horse plodding down the main trail about 60 feet away. I stood behind a narrow tree, not particularly well camouflaged and remained perfectly still. Through the naked branches of the forest, I clearly watched the horse and rider appear and pass. The rider was surveying the area, but didn’t notice me at all. Sometimes it’s fun to see how oblivious humans are to their surroundings. Think about that next time you venture into the woods!

I walked a little further down the game trail when I came across a large dead tree that had been placed far away from wherever it had fallen. I search a 50-foot radius without finding its original location. Next to the trunk, was a large, straight branch that was sitting nearly vertically next to it. The trunk was set down with a nearby sapling bent over and woven through its branches. It was certainly an odd configuration, and was not natural by any means.





I went about 40 feet further down the trail when I found some scat. It was short but stout in diameter, and was most definitely from a meat-eater as there was no visible organic material in it. I took some photos of it and bagged the already frozen sample. 




About 4 feet away from the scat was a ground glyph in the middle of the game trail. 




Another 12 feet away was another glyph, again in the middle of the trail. And 6 feet from that one was yet another. The last two were slightly woven! 






If there was only one set of sticks, I might have written it off as an odd coincidence. But three, two woven, along with nearby scat, directly placed on the trail without many other twigs lying on the trail was a definite anomaly. To identify a glyph, I find that they will always have snapped or broken ends that are not chewed. The ends are broken purposefully into shape, with the design appearing natural, but are extraordinary upon closer inspection. But what are their meanings? Perhaps they are a map?



As I was photographing the last glyph, I noticed that near that glyph was a flat, long scuff in the forest litter right down to the mud. It was about 12 inches long and 4 inches wide. The mud print showed signs of movement and drag marks. About 5 feet away was another impression in the forest litter that depressed the print area but left no discernable features. Nearby were numerous chestnuts on the ground, and quite a few of them had been broken. I documented these items, and finally decided I was losing too much feeling in my extremities and decided to hike out to the main trail and back to the car. On the way out, I noticed some unusual frozen fungus as well as some coyote scat. I stopped only momentarily to capture photos. I finally reached the car, parked a half mile away, to discover that the trail rider that passed me earlier decided to spit his chew across the hood of the rental car. I’m glad it was a rental!


I headed out of town back home to Arizona for the weekend. I had to stop at the I-90 Oasis Mobil station to refill the rental car, and was surprised to see that someone had stuck a decal on the gas pump. In fact, my pump was the only gas pump that had this sticker affixed. To me, it surely looked like a Hangry Sasquatch! I laughed for a while and took this as an omen as I looked forward to my adventures next week!




The following Tuesday I took a drive out into the farm lands to look at some of the river and creek habitats at night with my thermal camera. All I could see on the thermal FLIR were some mice, two raccoons, one opossum, and an owl that was very inquisitive and chatty. The drive at sunset into the rolling hills of the plains was outstanding though and worth the trip! I worked remote for the next couple weeks and didn’t make it back to Chicago until the first week of March.



After I returned, I decided to spend my time checking the remainder of the Forest Preserves in the vicinity for habitat and possible evidence. I stopped at over 15 different forest entry points and trails, but I didn’t find anything that I couldn’t dismiss with a skeptical eye as a natural occurrence or created by humans. At one preserve I did get to see a large herd of deer that kept a good distance from me, but they weren’t too overly concerned about my presence. I left my apples out in the field for them.


As a sage logician once stated, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” 



The fact that evidence wasn’t collected in these Forest Preserves doesn’t indicate that they had never been there, but that they likely didn’t frequent there. Armed with this knowledge, I narrowed my search to the areas where potential evidence had been gathered. The Forest Preserves yet to explore that were adjacent to the research area were expansive and largely wild.





Later in the month I had to make a drive out to Lost Lake, IL to meet a friend for dinner in Dixon. 





Naturally, I took my thermal with me for some later night investigation along the Rock River. The views at Lost Lake were beautiful, and had a natural tributary flowing down to the Rock. While the area had tons of potential, the north side of the lake had many more homes constructed since the last time I had visited there. Dinner was fantastic at an Italian restaurant in downtown Dixon. The night thermal investigation north of town was a disappointment with just a few deer, but nothing else of note.

Spring finally arrived and began to shake off the cold of winter. I returned to my research area, and attempted to get into some of the remote, inaccessible areas to the north of where I had found the previous evidence.

In the northern end of the preserve is a large, marshy lake with lots of cattails, or bulrushes throughout. The root stalks (rhizomes) of the cattail are edible. Evidence of preserved starch grains on grinding stones suggests they were eaten in Europe over 30,000 years ago. Tules, which are similar marshland plants indigenous to California and Nevada, are said to have been eaten by the red-haired giants of the great Pleistocene Lake Lohontan (now dry near present day Lovelock Cave/Winnemucca, NV) through the oral history of the Paiute Indians. Fish were out feeding in the lake, but other aquatic life and amphibians were still
hibernating for the winter. Despite my best efforts during the waning light, I could not find any way to access the marshlands without a boat. I did find a few locations within a short-hike that had good vantage points a distance across the marsh and lakes. I decided to return the next night with the thermal camera.




The next night saw a thunderstorm with a heavy downpour, so put off the thermal outing to the following night as high humidity and moisture diminishes the thermal camera’s ability to discern structure and movement. It was raining the next day as well, so I had to put off night investigations until the following week.


The evening of April 12th the weather was finally cooperating and I could head out into the darkness with my thermal in hand. As I have mentioned before, I really need to get a separate DVR recorder to hook into the FLIR as ‘what you see in real time’ gets compressed and pixelated when it is saved to the internal SD card. I traversed the entire Forest Preserve, staying to the perimeters of the woods and obeying the Park District’s ‘Dusk to Dawn’ closure rules.


I saw a fox meandering down one of the game trails where is crossed a road, a raccoon up in a tree, one coyote trotting through thick grasses, and numerous deer. I also saw something that I am unsure of what it was, but it appeared to be shaped like a capybara and was of a similar size. As it moved, it loped in motion at times and the front legs appeared shorter than the rear legs. It didn’t hop like a rabbit, and there was no discernible tail. I must assume that it was a groundhog or a beaver and the tail wasn’t showing up on thermal.

I worked my way to the south methodically through the labyrinth of the Preserves. I stopped in areas along the road to check areas that I could only do at this late hour (my FLIR clock is 2 hours earlier). One location, a large X tree placement spanned the game trail that led to a road crossing. I found this interesting and decided to follow up on this during the day. I did confirm later that these trees had been pushed over to form this X, with one of these trees still alive.




Night investigations always get your adrenaline pumping, but I had no idea what I would encounter two weeks later….

Karl Sup is a software architect, developer and analyst, and an avid Bigfoot researcher working in the mountains of Arizona for many years. During this research and in other states including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Georgia and Wisconsin, he has been fortunate enough to interact with and view multiple subjects over the years. Karl also has had decades of audio analysis and editing experience, and assisted in helping M.K. Davis clean up and enhance audio from VHS tapes he had been studying and discovered the presence of infrasound within those recordings.

3 comments:

  1. Great investigations and you do get around for sure! Might try to communicate with them! They do understand us when we speak to them. It takes them a while for them to get to know you, but being a people they will remember you! Good luck with your investigations. They really do not like us to investigate them and record what they are doing on video, but do not mind us making friends with them. Good Luck!

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  2. I wish more researchers would approach the subject this way, in a scientific manner. I enjoyed the read, especially since I have a group in Northern Illinois and one of your reports is based on one of our members' 2014 sighting.

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    Replies
    1. If you guys want to meet for dinner or drinks sometime Monday-Wednesday let me know. Just wait till you read the next installment!

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