Bigfoot Encounters

Bigfoot Sighted in Sterling Area with 19 x 9 inch tracks!!
The Sentinel, Burnett County, Grantsburg, Wisconsin, 1976

Although no positive evidence was secured at first to either prove or disprove the sighting of a Bigfoot in the Sterling barrens area earlier, the St. Croix Falls Standard Press sent a crew out to investigate - and they did come up with photographic proof.  

The article, reported by Pete Jensen and Frank Zaworski, included a detailed description of the sighting incident along with photographs of the tracks, which were loaned to us for publication by the Standard Press.  

The episode began in the dark evening hours of Friday October 8th when 12 teenagers from Cushing-St.Croix Falls area set off on an expedition to shine deer in the barrens area.  

In an area along the north end of some open fields on the Sam Burton property, the caravan spotted something peculiar along the woodline.  They got out of the car to get a better look. 

As John Hanson, son of Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Hanson of St. Croix Falls described, "We were out shining and spotted something different out in the field so we waited around for a while. Some one further up the road came running back saying it had crossed the road.  Everyone beat it up the hill. (a small hill on the gravel road) some were on foot and some were in cars. This is when we spotted Bigfoot on a sand bank on the south side of the road.  He stood in one spot for about 10 seconds when me and Rodney Bystrom ran up in the woods.  We heard him coming through the woods and we took off and ran down the hill. By that time most of the cars had taken off.  We found a car and took off too!  

Hanson told reporters that the creature he saw was about seven to eight feet tall and all covered with hair, except for the face which was man-like.   

The story by the group made rounds quickly throughout the Cushing-St.Croix area and on Saturday morning, a large group of disbelievers set out to search for tracks and perhaps the real bigfoot.  

Their non-believing instinct soon changed as they discovered some very large, clear tracks which ran for about 1/4 of a mile.  The tracks were measured and both the right and left footprints were 19 inches in length and 9 inches in width.

At first the reaction appeared to be expressions of a possible hoax and the tracks were perhaps the result of pranksters.  However, further detailed examination of the large footprint revealed definite impressions of large toes and the contour of the human-like foot would require a rather sophisticated contraption if indeed it was pranksters. Disbelievers soon turned into believers as a result.  

Another interesting fact observers discovered was that trees along the trail left by Bigfoot had branches snapped off at the seven and eight-foot level. Also found was a stump which had been freshly uprooted.  By the stump, observers saw the large footprints - no automotive tracks in sight.  

Al Seidenkranz, naturalist for the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway stated that this is the first sighting of its type in this area.  He added that similar sightings reported in other parts of the country appear to be authentic and have yet to be disproven.  

"I studied wildlife management at college in northern California," Seidenkranz said, "and worked in a wilderness area for 5 seasons in that area." He added, "The most authenticated sighting of Bigfoot was made in that area and I personally would not say that there is no such thing." 

He compared this sighting with the California Bigfoot and one reported in Florida stating, "it's interesting how the creatures always seem to match the same description."  He added, "I would not discount the possibility that Bigfoot exists," and alluded that what the teens saw in the barrens area may not be imaginary.  

Nevertheless, the Bigfoot sighting has area residents wondering, debating and searching.   Some are still disbelievers while others are fully convinced that Bigfoot exists in the barrens.  

As it appears, the possibility of a Bigfoot is backed up by some strange evidence, but final convincing perhaps will not come until some adventurer happens to get the creature on film.  Until then, it's something to sit back and wonder about.
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Article is courtesy veteran investigator Peter Guttilla, Los Angeles, Calif..2010

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