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Bigfoot sightings not uncommon in Kosciusko County

By STACEY ANDERSON

Assistant Editor

The Mail-Journal

The putrid stench, the unexplained blood-curdling screams in the night and brief sightings of hairy creatures with super-human size and strength can only mean one thing: Bigfoot is looming in Kosciusko County.

Mike Bardsley of North Webster does not claim to be a Bigfoot expert, nor will he say he believes the legendary creature actually makes its home here. But he is certain that something extraordinary does, at least occasionally, lurk in the wooded areas of our county.

"My personal opinion is, having read countless reports from all over the nation and having discussed this topic with many, many people from literally all around the nation, that whatever Bigfoot/Sasquatch really is, he does move from place to place, time to time, at his own leisure and time of choice," Bardsley explained. "(He) is held to no specific agenda, other than the one he sets for himself, and if he should choose to walk through your back yard day or night, he will do so whether you live in Texas, Oregon, Pennsylvania or Indiana."

Alleged sightings of the half-man half-ape creature have been reported in Indiana since the 1970s and Bardsley has made it his full-time hobby to research such sightings, searching for any clues that could explain the mystery that has consumed legend lovers for centuries.

Those who claim to have had close encounters with the mysterious creature report commonalities like a smell of rancid meat, physical features that include a height of 7 feet to 10 feet with massive shoulders up to 3 feet wide and long, powerful arms. Estimated at up to 500 pounds, it is also said to be covered in thick black or dirty white/gray long hair, possess superhuman strength and quickness, and travel by walking upright. Many witnesses have said the ape-like thing vocalizes with high-pitched screams, growls, grunts, howls or low rumbling noises unlike any other creature.

Such creatures are allegedly seen in wooded areas that have nearby water sources such as a creek, river or even lake. And, with local sightings commonly reported in April and October, most believers say Bigfoot is most active at night.

Bardsley became a believer in the beast one October night in 2003.

"I had a real creepy feeling one night but thought maybe I was just paranoid because I was hearing noises outside the trailer," he said. "I’d been asleep about 40 minutes when the kids started banging on the door and screaming."

Bardsley explained that his then 15-year-old son and two of his friends arrived at their rural North Webster trailer late one night. Though close to 1 a.m., a full moon illuminated the woodsy area and the bank of a small, private lake just a stone’s throw from the trailer.

Hearing a noise as the three approached the darkened trailer, one of the boys looked toward the water where he observed and commented on a stump. Bardsley’s son noted there was no stump by the water and, when he and the third boy looked, the "stump" stood and faced the boys. "Even in the moonlight they knew it was not a deer. It was big and standing on two legs," Bardsley said, noting the boys began yelling and banging on the door, begging to be let in.

The boys claimed the creature began running away, splashing through the shallow water and making grunting noises as it fled. Seconds later, the thing was hurrying back toward them, but disappeared beyond the remaining fall foliage.

"I created the Web site (www.bigfoot46555.net) within two weeks of that because odd things kept happening and that drug out for four months."

And the sightings do not end with Bardsley. On his Web site, people from all areas of Kosciusko County have reported their own encounters with a large hairy ape-like figure.

One of the most recent came at about 5 p.m. Friday, April 2, 2004.

Although Bardsley withholds the woman’s name, he said she reportedly saw two large figures, covered in black hair, crossing CR 1100N at CR 300E, near Dewart Lake. "My Suburban has my Web site name and address on it and the family stopped me at the grocery store to tell me about the sighting," noted Bardsley, who has since added the woman’s story to his Internet site.

And there are more reports ranging in proximity from Syracuse’s Chinese Gardens and Bowser Road to a frightening encounter in Tri-County Fish & Wildlife Preserve, to rural sightings in Mentone, Warsaw and Silver Lake.

Still, despite years and years of research and exploration by scientists searching for the elusive humanlike beast that is mainly a creature said to live in the Pacific Northwest, most often seen in the mountains of California, Oregon and Washington, and in the British Columbia in Canada, Bardsley knows it will take nothing but a miracle to prove the existence of such creatures is more than mythical.

With no photos and no hard evidence to prove a Sasquatch/Bigfoot type beast exists — not even a corpse of such a creature has ever been found — Bardsley can only presume that whatever lurks in the woods is an intelligent species that mostly avoids man and may even bury or otherwise dispose of their dead. "Obviously it’s only speculative, like everything that we know about (Bigfoot)," he explained. "But it may explain why no one has ever found a body."

He also said, "In theory, if you send someone out in the wild in a given area known to have a bear population and gave them a mission to find a carcass, they wouldn’t find one. Upon death, nature has a way of quickly disintegrating a carcass."

To explain the bone-chilling screams and growls associated with Bigfoot, Bardsley noted, "The DNR says large cats can make screaming sounds, like a woman screaming, but what we heard was louder and different and everyone who reports it says the same thing; it’s a sound like nothing else."

DNR Lt. John Sullivan of District 1 Law Enforcement, Syracuse, said his office has never received a report of any Bigfoot sightings or otherwise. "But we do get panther or cougar reports," he told. "People think they see those from time to time."

While Bardsley has never had the excitement of seeing a Sasquatch himself, he insisted he believes his son and his friends and he is certain that his quest for the truth will continue. "Hundreds of people have been seeing something over hundreds of years. If Sasquatch does not exist, then what are people seeing?" he asked.

- The Mail-Journal  - Milford Indiana

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

mike_and_truck.jpg

ON A MISSION — Mike Bardsley of North Webster has made a full-time hobby out of researching Bigfoot ever since his son and two other teens saw a large, hair-covered creature outside his home in 2003. While some may think he is insane, Bardsley has enough unexplained sightings and occurrences to know that, whatever lurks in the woods in Kosciusko County, it must be something extraordinary. Bardsley’s Suburban bears the name of his Web site, www.bigfoot46555.net, a place where he welcomes individuals to post their own experiences. (Photo by Stacey Anderson)

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SITE OF SIGHTING — On a moonlit October night in 2003, Mike Bardsley’s then 15-year-old son and two of his friends claimed to have seen a giant, hair-covered ape-like creature standing in this clearing by the edge of a private North Webster lake. The clearing is only yards away from the trailer where the family lived. (Photo by Stacey Anderson)

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Indiana Bigfoot Awareness  is an ad-hoc, not-for-ANY-PROFIT,  believe-it-if-you-want-to-or-not website for Hoosiers or anyone else who cares to report a sighting or encounter. While any report to this site IS checked out before posting, I nor anyone else can be held responsible for verifying that in fact that everything posted here or at any linked site can be held as completely true or real. While I certainly believe Bigfoot/Sasquatch is real, neither this site or any other currently on the web has any form of concrete proof.
 
Indiana Bigfoot Awareness  is a "No Kill" website as it pertains to the intentional hunting or killing of a Bigfoot/Sasquatch.
This site created Sat. Oct. 25, 2003.

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