Mio, Michigan 1976
When I was kid I grew up in northern Michigan, Mio Michigan to be exact and it was in the year 1976 or 1977. It's situated in the upper part of the Lower Peninsula and is really not very populated; or wasn't at least wasn't back 30 years ago. The town is situated in the middle of the Huron National Forest and let me tell you the trees go on for miles and miles up there.
As a kid there wasn't much to do but ride my bike or walk the endless miles of trails. One day I was walking home from school (we lived less than a half mile from the school right on the backwaters of the Mio Dam, which is the Au Sable River) on the street that led down a hill when I thought I saw something up ahead of me moving in the Jack Pines to my left.
At first I thought it was someone dressed in brown pulling at some undergrowth (There are lots of wild berries up there!) But then that someone dressed in brown stood up and I realized that it wasn't a person but some big gorilla looking animal that I had not seen before. It was around 3:30 pm and it was a bright late May afternoon and the light was perfect. The small Oak trees were just getting that early blush of green leaves and had not filled out yet so I could see pretty far. Whatever it was wasn't any more than 200 feet from me at this point.
It was about 6 or 7 feet tall and very hefty but not fat. Its eyes were dark and it looked right at me. I must have startled it because it very swiftly started walking along the power lines and the tree line. I watched it until it was out of my sight and it did look back at me 5 or 6 times.
I wasn't scared or anything I just remember being in awe about the experience. I never went looking for it after that but I kept a keen eye out for it every time I walked that part of the road. I never saw it again and I never heard anyone talk about such an animal until many years later.
I told my father about it that night when he got home from work and he thought that it was most likely a big bear. I didn't question his wisdom but I KNEW it wasn't a bear . I don't really ever talk about it but I have told a few people and they sometimes will start in about how they have seen a ghost or something. I know what I saw and I am glad for the experience.
I moved away from there long ago but do go back for a visit once in awhile.
Every time I go past that spot I wonder whatever became of the BEAR I saw so many years ago.
Name withheld by request....