ChiSquatch: Chicago Sasquatch Report #6

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 #6 
Suburbs of Chicago, Illinois (Cities Withheld), May-June 2017

There is a tremendous point of pride when you conceive a theory, do homework and analysis, assemble and formulate a plan; then breathe life into it. Spring finally began to explode onto the scene, and along with it a huge sigh of relief. The grey skies winter had really worn me down. I knew that May 2017 was going to be a busy, busy month at work, and I was hedging my bets that it would be busy out in the woods as well.

Based on their presumed movement and routes I had formulated from the railroad track sightings, I set my sights on the area north and west of the tracks. Doing research in the inaccessible area east of the tracks would be nearly impossible to pull off without some significant equipment and danger, and besides, I truly believed this to be their ‘safe place’. I refuse to be an invasive researcher that causes undue stress to a family clan I want to interact with, not hunt. Those that think they could shoot Forest People without consequence are delusional.

Having seen a large adult male in Arizona run along a canyon ridge from its stationary observation post 100 feet from my position really opened my eyes. His size, speed, and agility stunned me for the first second of viewing. My adrenaline-flooded brain couldn’t engage my arm to raise the camera clutched in my hand in time before he disappeared into the brush. In those fleeting moments, I intensely understood that if they wanted to take us at any time, there would be nothing I could do about it, armed or not. The fact that they don’t attack us unless provoked or a family member is injured, it is far safer to be a textbook emissary than a vile combatant.

Planning with Google Earth can only take one so far, and it was time to examine these areas at ground level. 

On May 9th I began to drive to all points in this Preserve area to determine the best places to enter the woods and fill my notebook with observations regarding residential homes, roads, traffic patterns, foot traffic, and wildlife. Unlike the Busse Woods, the 90% of foot traffic was limited to within sight of parking areas. There was quite a bit of horse tracks on the dirt trails, but perhaps only 4 or 5 different shoe prints with one notable set of bare hoofprints.

Wildlife was abundant with deer, frogs, fish, crawfish, coyotes, squirrels, egrets, herons, and beavers. The beavers had been doing a number on some of the trees near one lake and had built a large lodge in a nearby pond. The Preserve had five lakes, two of them easily accessible from parking lots with the other three accessible only from trails that appeared to be maintained only once a year. Some trails were never maintained in years and were severely overgrown, only observed due to infrequent horse traffic on them. All other parking lots, roads, trails and access points to this Forest were closed permanently to ‘restore habitat’ according to the Park Rangers.

By May 15th, I had determined the best route into the woods that would access into the theorized route the clan would take from this area into the safe place across the tracks. It had been a perfect spring day, and after work the area was nearly empty.

The sky was astonishing as the sun lit the lake up with an amazing array of colors from its astral palette. It was hard to tell from maps if there was a primitive trail that circumnavigated the lake. I decided to bushwhack my way along a trail that hadn’t seen foot traffic in a while. The abundant flowers and grasses were over taking the faint trail for a distance. Bellflowers and violets were the early bloomers of the year. Once the path reentered the woods, a trail was very apparent. Within 100 yards, from the edge of the woods an interesting stick structure caught my eye. It was far enough off the trail past a tangle of growth to eliminate an easy explanation that it was a human-made dump from clearing the trail. I pondered whether a beaver could have made this structure on high ground, still within proximity of the lake. It surely seemed unlikely but the only other possible explanation. Be the skeptic always!

With that in mind, I took an up-close examination of the sticks. They were all similar diameter, and all of them had been broken, brought to this location and stacked. There was no evidence of chew marks that a beaver would have left. The large branch laying across the stack was from a natural fall. I couldn’t determine why this structure would have been built at this location until I continued down the trail a short distance to the edge of the lake.

Fishermen had left some monofilament line, a broken bobber, and a foam container with dead worms in it. From the looks of it, they were still there from fall and were aged by winter’s bite. The stick ‘mound’ would be an ideal place of cover to observe any fishermen on this end of the lake.

The undergrowth on the forest floor was densely carpeted and forming a lush green blanket across the woods. I examined the area for additional signs, but found nothing that I could not explain away. I headed back out of that area, strengthened with the sensation that this swath of woods will reveal many more signs.

Along the trail, I did find some small branches that were near-freshly broken in the center of the path. I didn’t notice these on the way into that area. The ends were broken, not chewed, and had fallen from the new growth in the tree canopy. Something had moved through the trees above. I scanned the canopy and only a few birds flitted back and forth, keeping an eye on the intruder to their home. I wrote these off as likely squirrel activity, even though I hadn’t see a squirrel that day.

Over the next few weeks, I traversed the trails throughout the Preserve. I saw numerous frogs near the lakes, ponds and marshes. The meadows were unshorn with spring prairie grasses and more flowers were noted. On each hike, I left an apple up in the same gifting tree in the center of the meadow.

The apples were always missing from their hiding place, and I could see traffic patterns in the grasses that led toward the lake, the creek, and in the direction of the railroad crossing. No tracks were visible, but the tamping down the grasses was quite evident.

By May 6th, I had crisscrossed nearly all the northern section of the Preserve. I stopped by the hotel and changed before heading out. On today’s hike, I had found an interesting tree break. One was very low to the ground; only 3-1/2 feet high. This seemed very odd to me, as the diameter of the trunk was stout and seemed unlikely to be broken by natural causes. It didn’t look like a typical snow or wind break and had a twist to it. I wanted to get up close to it, but after spotting some poison ivy in the forest floor growth I decided not to wade through the vegetation. Without an in-depth examination of the break, I couldn’t conclusively determine the origin of the break.

I continued down this trail for about one-quarter mile when I noticed that something had been walking the edges of the trail. On either side of the trail, I could see prints in the short grass and vegetation that had been trampled by something purposefully avoiding a step onto the trail bed. It seemed to be A LOT of traffic. I examined the trampled vegetation. It looked like it was bent and crushed in where I assumed a heel strike occurred, and the other vegetation was bent and flattened. I was bent over, taking a couple of photos of the pathway when I heard a cacophony of sound from the underbrush. This was nothing out of the ordinary on these hikes, as deer would occasionally sprint out from the tree line or skip across a trail.

This, however, sounded like at least two deer bounding and crashing through the woods. I abruptly stood up to watch for the deer, filled with absolute certainty that they would come into view any moment. The moment lasted 10 seconds then the woods fell to deafening silence without so much as a 
branch swaying or a twig snap. The commotion ended so abruptly that I simply froze, and my senses were at high alert. It was as if all the air was sucked out of me and the woods. As I stood there locked in place and staring in the direction of the latent sounds, another sound was heard. This time, the sound was vertically oriented, not at ground level. I looked up toward the tree canopy just in time to see a long, black hair-covered arm stretch out from foliage high up in a branched junction in the tree trunk 30 feet off the ground.

I say a long arm, but it was small and thin for a Sasquatch. It was the equivalent length and thickness of my arm, and I wear a 37” sleeve. My impression was that the subject was an infant, between 5 and 6 feet in height based on the arm length.

Its hand grasped the fresh, new branch full of greenery and pulled it into the nook up in the tree. The body of the subject in the tree was obscured by one of the trunks. Once the branch was pulled in, the foliage shook slightly then all became perfectly still.

I was utterly stunned. I did not expect to see what I had just seen. I hustled down to the location where the trail made a circuitous route around the tree. The tree was about 40 feet off-trail into the underbrush, which was approximately 5 feet high. I carefully examined the area where the subject must still be sitting, as I had never taken my eyes off the tree. Nothing moved. I knew it still had to be there, without a doubt. I started talking to it for a while, but still nothing stirred. Not even a leaf. I zoomed in on the junction in the trunk from different angles, but I couldn’t really make out definition of the subject. It was perfectly camouflaged. So, I decided I would see if it would peek out of the greenery if I turned my back to the tree. I faced away from the baby and pretended to be taking photos looking in the other direction but had the camera in selfie mode. 

Comparing the photos later showed that it did not move. I took several more photos, then switched over to video only mode on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge cellphone and walked the curve in the trail for a 180-degree view of the tree. I did not think it wise to enter the tall undergrowth, due to poison ivy and the likely presence of the adult Sasquatch hiding in there. It was SO frustrating. There was a baby Sasquatch no more than 50 feet away from me, and yet I could not see it. The sun had set about 10 minutes before the sighting, and the lighting was now growing dim.

After about 10 minutes in total at the encounter site, I started to hear brush and small twigs breaking on either side of the trail in the dense ground cover. After another minute, I heard one loud and long exhale that honestly gave me goosebumps. I assumed it was the adults positioning strategically around me, and not very happy with me at this moment. I turned to each side of the trail, and verbally thanked them. I told them I was sure they were worried about their child in the tree and I meant no harm. I said my goodbyes and turned and left on the trail, glancing back at intervals to see if there was any movement in that tree until it disappeared.

I later went through all the photos and video I took during the sighting and encounter of the tree. The first image I found of the adolescent was in several photos including my selfie picture above. These photos are taken toward the south side of the tree facing north. A slim portion of its body protruded from the trunk. It’s a profile of the right side of its back. The sun had set to the west (left) in the photo with light reflecting off its hair, giving a sheen and highlight to the black hair. The buttock, waist and back are visible in profile, displaying a spinal curve.

Further examination of the photos and video revealed four additional glimpses of the infant. The first was taken from the east side of the tree facing west. Its head and part of its torso is visible in silhouette along the edge of the trunk. It is holding greenery in front of itself.

The second image was of its hand placed at the bottom of the trunk split where it was sitting. Oddly enough, it only appeared in one of the photo sets and video that I took around the tree. It is much darker than the trunk, and has a slight bulge from one side that appears to be a thumb. Based on its orientation, that would make it a left hand. There is also a slight separation and distinction of the fingers. Considering that the infant was facing east, this would make complete sense that is was using that area as an anchor point.

The third image is far less distinguishable from the video, but shows anomalous curves of an object in the tree. The trunks are straight lines, but there is something with a curve in the same trunk split area. This image was taken facing southwest, so the waning sun backlit the subject in the tree.

In the fourth image was outstanding. I inadvertently captured the infant’s face as it peered over greenery. When I was reviewing all these photos, I highly doubted and never dreamed that I would make such a remarkable find. When I did discover it, I was quite disturbed since it had been staring directly at me when I took the photo; and I couldn’t see it at all.

The cone-shaped head is obvious, and the hair length and texture appears to be the same as the other profile view of the back. The large eye sockets and the bridge of the nose is very visible, as well as the absence of, or shorter facial hair. The first image is not enhanced. I lightened the contrast and brightness to bring out details a little more. Once again, the head is right where it should have been based on the profile back photo.

So how big was the infant? My initial guess was 6 feet tall, based on other examination of Sasquatch proportions and my clear view of the arm. However, using some basic geometry we can get a much more refined estimate. By calculating the hypotenuse of the right triangle formed from my location, the individual was 50 feet away from me while I took the photographs.

I’m not going depend on the lens focal length to determine the height, but use the tree height itself. Based on the estimated 30 foot height of the trunk split, if I take the size and height of the subject high in the tree, and extrapolate that size in comparison to the trunk of the tree, the subject’s size is approximately 1/10th the size of the tree trunk to its perch which would make the buttock to shoulder of the subject around 36 inches tall.

If I estimate at least 9 inches for the unseen head, and an additional 24 inches for the legs, that would make the subject about 5 feet, 7-1/2 inches tall. Of course, these are just rough estimates and could vary plus or minus 4 inches.

This estimated range would fit into the witnessed arm length and breadth in comparison to my own arm. I’m 6 feet, 5 inches and in comparison, to the Patterson-Gimlin film subject Patty, her arm length proportion is longer than homo sapiens. This would also seem to fit the proportions of the infant, or juvenile. I still consider this sighting to be of an infant, as the adults sent their child up the tree for protection.

In any case, that’s one big baby! The moon that night rose on my excitement and the hope of more to come!

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.