This post is a guest post by researcher Karl Sup and part of a series. The entire series can be found on the right hand side in the favorites posts (LINK).
Central Long Island, New York (City Withheld), July-August 2016
After all the excitement that happened on Monday July 11th, I was a little anxious to get back into the woods again before I had to fly out on Thursday. On July 13th, after a long day at work I decided I would head into the forest in the dark. With my thermal camera sporting fresh batteries and perfect night weather, I trudged into the woods about 8:30 PM in the dusk.
I was hoping that I wouldn't encounter a park ranger as the area is closed after sunset. I hiked all the way down to the basin of the quarry and got there with enough light left to take some photos of the footprints I found on Monday with my tape measure.
In the dark, I could hear a lot of movement in the thick brush to the north of my location but I couldn't see any heat signatures that would account for the noises. Whatever was crunching in the forest litter and snapping twigs was at least deer-sized. After about 10 minutes of listening and straining to see anything through the vegetation I started to feel uneasy. I'm not sure if it was simply the situation getting the best of me, or if I was being affected by something else. I don't scare easily.
I decided to wrap up my night investigation at the quarry, placed an apple in the ‘gifting tree’ and headed back out. Along the trail, I walked slowly and deliberate as I scanned the trees and tree tops on both sides with the thermal camera. There was nothing anomalous until I was approximately halfway back to the car. I spotted a heat signature about six feet off the ground that appeared to duck and peek out from behind a tree. I was about 80 feet to the west of the trail.
I was excited but tried to be reserved. The more I watched it, the more I kept trying to debunk it. Was it a squirrel? A raccoon? An opossum? Some sort of bird?
Just as I was contemplating the possibility of a bird, the heat signature took flight and landed silently about 20 feet away to get a better look at me. It was a Great Horned Owl (see thermal video). I let out a little 'whoop', and it bobbed and weaved its body on its perch. It's the little things that make you smile.
The remainder of the hike out to the car was uneventful. I did stop by the horse pasture on the way out of the preserve but didn't notice anything in the field but the grazing equines.
The comfy bed at the hotel certainly felt great that night!
I hiked down to the area where I witnessed something run on all fours on July 11th, but didn't find anything that appeared out of the ordinary. On the top of the rim, I did notice a rock that was out of place and certainly wasn't there on my last visit. That's one of the benefits of recurring visits to the same investigation site; it's much easier to see things that have moved. It was right on edge of the rim of the quarry, and purposefully placed there.
The rock was 3-1/2 inches in diameter and nearly round, with one side cleaved to create a flat pedestal. The weathering of the cleaved side showed that it was not a fresh modification to the stone. I reasoned that if a human had found this rock, they likely would have tossed it off the rim into the quarry instead of placing it with care. I documented it by taking photos of its placement and size then continued on my way.
While I was traversing the slope of the loose quarry material, a large black beetle popped out of a hole and quickly scurried away from me. I followed it for a while, imagining what it must have thought of me pursuing it. The beetle reached the edge of the forest and disappeared into the greenery.
After that little interlude, the forest was very quiet and I didn't see anything else out of the ordinary. After I reached the car, I took a few additional panoramic photos of the Sentinel Tree, and the split of the driveway where the 'jogger' had approached me previously (see report #9).
This would be my last foray into the woods this month, and it brought an exciting month of research to an end. I sadly received notice that August 19th would be my last day working on this assignment on Long Island, and I was now more determined than ever to complete this research to the best of my ability.
The rock found on July 27th was still perched on the edge of the rim in the exact location where I replaced it. There was a mushroom that had been nibbled on not far from it. Only one piece was missing, and the remainder was still growing.
Fluke is also occasionally called 'summer flounder', but never to Long Islanders. I didn't land one, but did hook one that came off before it made it onto the deck. I did however catch about 30 sea robins; a weird fish when caught that makes a croaking or barking noise. Overall it was a beautiful evening and truly showcased the majesty and intangible riches of Long Island.
I went to the quarry and found that the apple I had left last week was gone, then investigated all of the areas of previous note without finding anything disturbed or collateral evidence.
I fired up the thermal camera to survey the woods. Nothing stood out, so I started heading out of the area. As I was leaving the quarry on the upper rim trail, I surveyed the bowl of the quarry and saw a hot signature that was deep in the inaccessible vegetation. I walked back and forth to determine if it was a hotter tree trunk or other vegetation causing the anomaly. I was neither, however it remained mostly stationary. It seemed to move slightly, especially when I glanced away but kept the camera on it (see video #1 at the end of this post).
Since it was just past sunset, I took a photo of the area to compare and overlay the thermal image on a photograph. The thermal hit was unusually high in a tree, or on an upslope across the quarry. I monitored it for quite a while, until it started getting dark. I joined the main trail and started the walk to the car. In the darkness, initially I thought I was hearing echoes of my footsteps but was unsure. I stopped. To the west, there was one additional and distinct step. I turned on the thermal camera and while I was waiting for it to boot up, I walked another 30 feet. This time when I stopped, one step came from the west but TWO more came from the east.
After I returned to the hotel, I reviewed all of the thermal footage. There was definitely something there, and it appeared to have moved twice. I decided that I would go back out the next day to try to debunk the thermal hit. I had placed a rock in the location I was standing in when I was filming so I could replicate the footage. I went to sleep tentative but anxious to get back out. The next day I was able to get to the quarry area around 7 PM.
After I got there, I decided to attempt to make it back into the area where the heat signature registered. It took me a while, but I found an old overgrown trail that headed in that direction. After I followed it for a distance, it forked with one branch heading northeast, while the other turned south toward the north end of the quarry. I didn’t follow that path very long when I encountered a severe blockage. Several trees had been placed across the trail, completely choking off that route into the dense vegetation. Close examination showed that not one of the branches and trees had come from nearby sources. A typical Sasquatch modus operandi to keep humans out.
I hiked up to the high rim trail and stood in the same location and used the thermal camera once again to replicate the recording from last night. The heat signature was in nearly the same location, and seemed very stationary this time. I started to doubt what I had reviewed in the thermal recordings and simply gave up for the evening. I was tired, and assumed I had made an error in analysis. I reasoned that I had been staring at a likely tree trunk. That night I drove out to Country Corner in Setauket for trivia night and some good food and a beer for the last time.
I later reviewed all of the thermal recordings again, and decided that there was still enough differences to cast doubt onto my hasty dismissal of evidence.
Monday, August 15th would be my last foray into the woods. I waxed sentimental on the series of events and discovery that would be missed. I had become a part of these woods. Not a resident, but as a welcome guest. Hiking back to the quarry felt like a walk through a portal, as I absorbed every detail of the forest into my soul. I would certainly miss it.
I started out in the quarry basin, and attempted to find a path across the basin floor into the area where the heat signature stood. There was no ingress to be found. I took a photo at eye-level (about 6 foot) to demonstrate the volume of vegetation that stood before me. It was daunting and impassible.
I decided to drop off my two apples in the gifting tree so I turned to head up the steep slope of the quarry. Near the edge of the vegetation was a deteriorated pile of fecal matter about 4 inches in diameter and 2 inches high. The previous weekend had seen some rain, so it was unclear when this massive pile appeared. Certainly it was no greater in age than 6 days old, or I would have noticed it on August 9th.
I used a stick and broke it apart further and found very little plant material in it. I placed the apples and called out, ‘these are for you!’ then headed over to the overlook from the quarry rim. I broke out the thermal camera one last time. The heat signature was still in that general location, but it was slightly to the right of the previous location. And it looked larger. Significantly broader with apparent shoulders and a head.
It was just slightly out from its previous location. I rocked the camera back and forth to determine if it would change shape, or if the shape would change significantly. It didn’t. I took a photograph of the area once again in an effort to debunk it. Whatever was giving off heat was back in the dark recesses of the vegetation.
As I watched intently, I let out a ‘whoop!’ I have heard Sasquatch call out in that manner. I reasoned that perhaps if it truly was a big person I was looking at, that they might move into cover once I tried to communicate.
The forest laid silent as my whoop dissipated into the void. Time seemed to stand still.
From across the quarry, a distinct, deep ‘Ah!’ was heard (reenacted in an audio clip). I was stunned. The ‘A’ was very staccato or sharp in pronunciation. I finally regained my composure and let out another ‘Whoop!’ This time, it answered within 10 seconds; ‘Ah!’ I grinned. My eyes welled up a little as I let the cameras down, and simply raised my hand up.
And on that note, I hiked out of the forest; content that all this effort had been worth it.
Audio recreation from Karl Sup of the Ahhhh called out from the woods
***Tomorrow, Karl Sup and MK Davis will be on the radio show "The Long Version With Fletcher" (LINK) at 10 am to 12 am EST/9 am to 11 am Central/8 am to 10 am Mountain/7 am to 9 am Pacific talking about Bigfoot.***