I spent the summer of 1963 in Escanaba, Michigan with my aunt and uncle.
Every Friday night we would go for the weekend to their summer cabin
in Dickinson County near the town of Hardwood. I recall it was about
a half hours drive from Escanaba. On the Friday night in question (early
July), my uncle and I were sitting on the front porch (about 7:00 PM)
and my aunt was in the back yard hanging clothes on the line. She ran
into the front yard and told us a bear was at the tree line behind the
house. My uncle went to get his rifle and I went into the back yard
to see the bear. I was a kid from New Jersey and we don't get very much
wildlife wandering the streets of Perth Amboy. When I got around back,
I stood frozen in the yard. Our visitor was no kind of "bear" I'd ever seen. He
(she or it) was standing under a tree approximately 75' from the house.
It was standing on two legs and had it's right arm draped over a branch
and was looking under the branch at us (my aunt was behind me). It had
to be at least 8' tall (we measured the height of the branch the next
day) and was covered by short, dark hair. Because it was standing in
the shadow, I couldn't tell if the hair was brown or black. The face,
under the hands and bottoms of the feet were fairly light colored (like
a light skinned Negro) and the face itself was quite human like. The
eyes looked dark because of the shadows. We all stood there for at least
a century looking at each other (probably no more than a few seconds)
when my uncle came out onto the back porch with his rifle. At that point
our friend casually turned and walked back up the deer path and into
the woods. We never saw or heard from him again although we always felt
he was near. My aunt's dog liked to go for walks in the woods with them
and after that incident, wouldn't leave the property. The dog was not
with us that night.
My uncle's cabin
was at the end of an old abandoned logging road several miles outside
of town. The entire area is heavily forested with pine and fir trees
and the ground is covered with pine needles. The terrain itself is rolling
hills with a few high ridges and is rather easy to hike into. I never
really thought about what I'd seen until the article appeared in the
old "Argosy" magazine about the "Michigan
Monster." That article was written in the mid or late 60's. There
were sightings on the upper peninsula of Michigan of a hairy thing that
raised some hell for a while and them sort of faded away. I firmly believe
our friend was the Michigan Monster.
I would also like
to point out that my uncle was a respected businessperson in the community.
He was never criticized (at least to his face) when he told the story
of our encounter. The old-timers up there know something is out there
and respect the word of people who have a sighting. Randy Wertz.