IBAG Report #0007-2005
Mike's opening note: This report came to me
via email and was written in a way that I felt like it would 'un-do' it's very descriptive and intense story line for
me to place it in the conventional line by line clinical style of presentation that most reports are posted in. After his
first email, I wrote "Xxxxx" back to ask some clarifying questions. His second email will be posted immediately after the
first to continue his story and explanation of what was experienced that day. I'll add my thoughts after that.
Via email on August 28, 2005 :
Hello, My name is Xxxxx Xxxxx.
I'm a native Hoosier, born in Franklin, and grew up in Greenwood.
I experienced something in 1980 in Brown County State Park that I have never forgotten. I'm an artist, and a stickler
for detail. I'm also very analytical, and perceive things that most people look over.
This occurrence happened in April, on the first Wednesday of the month, at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday was my regular
day off at my place of employment, and I decided to spend the day in Brown County to enjoy the early spring weather. One of
my favorite places in the park is Lake Ogle, and I have spent many hours painting on sight in that area. That particular
day, I arrived at the lake around 8:45 a.m., and was the only person there. The parking lot was empty. It was sunny but still
foggy, with a mist rising off the lake. You could make out details of the landscape maybe 50 yards away in the fog.
I started walking on the southern beginners hiking path that is closest to the lake. If you have been to Lake Ogle, you know
that there is a beginners, and intermediate, and an advanced hiking path around the circumference of the lake. It was peaceful
and calm, with no wind. I proceeded to the eastern most side to the shallows, and sat down on the wooden deck that is constructed
over the marshy area of the shallows to look out over the water to the West. I had been sitting there roughly ten minutes
when I heard movement and twigs snapping on the intermediate hiking trail, about half way around the lake in the
northern area that I had just walked through. Lake Ogle sits down in a bowl, and on a still day, you can hear a car door slam
in the parking lot from the other side of the lake. The sounds got nearer and louder. Roughly a hundred feet away,
I could hear a very low and raspy sound of breathing. This was not a normal sound of breathing in an out, it was
coming from a very large set of lungs, and it sounded like an asthmatic. The inhale and the exhale was extended. It was proceeding
right toward me on the intermediate trail in the fog. I could hear the footfalls of this thing as it approached, and the breathing
was accompanying the rhythm of it's stride. The footfalls are another detail that has stuck in my mind. The stride of
this thing was abnormally long, as the time span between them was greatly extended. As it approached the area where I
was sitting, the weight of it could be heard more clearly as it's feet struck the ground. It was not the weight of a human.
I have no problem with stating that I was paralyzed with fear, and my heart was pounding like a sledgehammer. In my mind,
I actually prayed, "Don't let me see it, don't let me see it!" It came roughly 50 feet on the trail above me to the left,
and changed its course back to the Southeast, and went upward on the rise toward the top of the ridge. I heard the sounds
fading as it went over the hill, and that's when the paralysis lifted. I ran like hell like I have never run before around
the Northern side of the lake to the parking lot. I was wearing cowboy boots, and I fell over tree roots twice on the sprint
around the lake. I tore both knees out of the jeans I was wearing. When I got back to the car, I was so winded, I had to sit
there and concentrate on breathing. I have never been afraid of being alone in the woods before that incidence. I lived
in the woods as a child, and even roamed around in the dark. I have never returned to Brown county in the dark, and when I
go there now to paint in the park, it is usually not very far away from people. This has marked me for life, and I will never
forget it. I am glad someone in Indiana believes that these things are here. I've come close enough to one of them that I
don't ever want to experience it again.
Thanks for the website
THEN THIS FROM A FOLLOW-UP EMAIL :
Yep, I'm still a Hoosier. I live near Irvington on the east side of Downtown Indianapolis. I'm 48 now, I'll be 49 in
November of this year. Believe me, before that incident happened, I have never been afraid of any wooded and isolated area
in my life, nor had the concept of a Bigfoot actually existing even crossed my mind. I literally grew up in the mountains
of Kentucky as a child, having stayed with grandparents who lived in a very rural andsolated setting for three months
at a time during school breaks. I have hiked most every trail in Brown County State Park dozens of times, and have had dozens
of hikers ask me for directions in the place. When I received my driver's license in high school, the state park in Brown
County was the first place that I drove my car too. This was my favorite place. Nothing like this had ever happened to me
before, and up until that time, I would have never thought that anything such as this would have altered my sense of
reality as this has. Although I did not see the thing, I am absolutley certain that it was not a human
being, nor any other animal indigenous to that or any other area. I know in soul, that if this thing had walked
out of the fog and into view, I would have died on the spot from absolute terror. And I will state again, I did not want
to see it. I am grateful to God that I did not see it. Just being as close to it as I was, the sound of its size struck me
paralyzed with fear. It was totally illogical in my mind that this thing existed, and was just a few short yards from
where I was sitting. I held my breath as it passed by. I was actually afraid that it would hear me breath and come to investigate.
The stride of this thing was entirely too long, and the weight of the percussion of it's footfalls as it was
closest to me, actually reverberated in the planking of the deck that I was sitting on. It walked with a purpose, and
never vaired in it's gait, even while it was walking up the neighboring hillside which is a very steep angle of ascent. I
can still hear it breathing like an oversized asthmatic. I had been to Lake Ogle countless times, both alone and with
family and friends, in daylight and after dark into the midnight hours. My family held a family reunion at that
lake while I was in high school. Before this incident, I had been an avid student of astronomy, having purchased a sizeable
and expensive telescope equipped with Barlow lenses that I took to the state park most every weekend, even in the
winter. The celestial views from Hohen point at the southernmost area of the park is unrivaled anywhere on a clear and
moonless winter night. I, nor the telescope, have been there after dark since this incident happened unless accompanied by
someone. Even in the presence of another person, I am not entirely comfortable after dark. I have since returned several times
to Lake Ogle in broad daylight alone to try and come to terms with this, and depending on how many people are present, I may
not even get out of the car. I have replayed the scenario over and over in my mind, trying to make sense out of it. I have
tried to attribute what I experienced to a host of other logical factors down through the years, but everything
plays out the exact same way in my mind. I have since purchased a Browning automatic firearm. And if there was an occasion
that demanded my being in that area alone after dark, or even alone in a secluded area alone in broad daylight for that matter,
the gun will be on my person at all times. This experience has successfully turned a rational and nature loving human being
and outdoorsman into a very uncertain and watchful paranoid.
Thanks for getting back to me, and good luck and best wishes for the website. I guess I'm a little more sane that I thought!
Mike's Final Notes: While I can't begin to imagine what it was like for "Xxxxx"
to experience what he did, I do know the anxiety of hearing things like we did during the time(s) we believe we were having
a series of night-time visits after Anthony's October 11, 2005 sighting. Also, there certainly isn't any "provable way" to
say that BECAUSE of what he heard it "had to be" a Sasquatch, but there is that personal sense one has when he weighs what
he KNOWS from experience with what he is being exposed to that has absoluetly no frame or point of reference to anything known.
Unlike many others who sometimes go out in the woods with "bigfoot on the brain", I certainly don't see this experience being
born from a preoccupation like that.
Maybe this is just one of those "great campfire type stories". Maybe it was exactly what
'Xxxxx' believes it was. I don't know. For HIS sake, I hope it was. For any of us who get out there and look, waiting and
hoping for that kind of encounter, I HOPE that should we hear and experience that same sort of event, that what ever it is
that tromps it's way out of the fog, WE have the fortune and guts to stand there and watch it.
Michael R Bardsley
Indiana Bigfoot Awareness Group
Received/Posted: August 28, 2005 / August 31, 2005