Clinton County, Outside of Follets, Iowa
October 2006 -- This is a farming community and the main staple is corn and other grain products. There are quite a few fruit bearing trees near the river...mainly apple and pear trees.
My encounter occurred on October 22, 2006 along the Wapsipinicon River just outside of Follets, Iowa. In case you wanted to know what the exact location is, I will describe how to get to the location where I encountered something I have never seen before.
Follets, Iowa is located south of Camanche, Iowa on highway 67. If you continue to travel south on that road south of Follets approximately 1 to 1 1/2 miles, the road crosses over the Wapsipinicon River. People in this area commonly refer to it as the "Wapsi". Immediately after you cross the bridge, you can access the shoreline along the river on both sides of the bridge. I experienced this sighting about 2 miles from the bridge on the right side of the road.
I frequently fish the river in about the same location several times a year, but mainly in the fall season as catfish tend to be more active and we can catch quite a few of them during the night time hours. Due to lower temperatures during this time of the year, we light a fire near the shore line to keep warm and help us see our fishing poles.
That day we traveled from my home in Camanche down to the Wapsi and parked the truck along the road on the gravel siding. We arrived about a half hour prior to sunset so we could get to our fishing spot while we still had some light to see. We had flashlights, but only intended on using them when we left that spot later in the evening. We unloaded all of our fishing gear, and traveled along the river to our fishing spot.
We immediately gathered some wood and started a fire. The temperature was cold about 35 degrees, and the warmth of the fire was quite soothing. We set a few shore lines hoping to catch some catfish that would probably be trolling near the shore after dark gathering food. We then cast our poles and attached bells to the end of the rods to alert us in case we got a bite. We settled near the fire and talked about fishing and camping.
It wasn't abnormal to hear animals wandering about along the shore line or on the tree line as raccoons, beavers, possums, and other small species of animals found an abundant food source along this river. However, the noise that I heard from across the river was not normal. It sounded like a larger animal or perhaps another person looking for a good fishing spot. It seems that the other two people that were with me did not hear the noise as clearly as I had. When I asked them if they heard the same noise, they said they didn't.
Standing near the fire probably obscured my night vision, so I moved away from the fire to see if I could identify whatever was making the noise. The moon was out but there were alot of clouds in the sky that allowed one to see shapes, but not clear images of objects further than 10 feet away. The river at this location is about 100 feet across. I looked across the river to the location where I thought I had heard the noise and noticed a figure that was really huge. Although it was difficult to tell exactly how large the figure was, I would venture to say it exceeded 7 feet in height and it probably weighed well over 300 pounds. I am not sure if the creature saw me, but it continued to move around in the same area as if it were foraging for food.
I would say I was probably more intrigued than scared, and I had to tell the other two guys that were with me. They were still near the fire, so I went back over to where they were standing, told them what I saw, and grabbed a flashlight.
We walked back to where I was standing. I described what I saw and left the flashlight off. I told them I wanted to surprise it and let them get a glimpse at the same time. I turned the flashlight on and pointed it towards the area where I had seen the figure. The light hit the figure and I saw what appeared to be a very hairy creature. As soon as the light flashed on it, it disappeared into the woods.
Both my brother and my friend said that someone was playing a trick on us. I told them that I thought it was a bigfoot. They both walked back to the fire and dismissed the sighting. I continued to scan the area with the flashlight hoping to see the creature again, but it never reappeared.
I don't exactly what time it was, but it was well past sunset. We remained there until about 2 AM the next morning. During that entire time I never heard any other usual noises, such as animals prowling about. I considered going back the next day to see if I could find any tracks on the other side of the river, but it is pretty inaccessible unless you travel by boat.
I tried to describe this as well as I could. If you have any questions, please let me know. As I said previously, I want this story to be told.
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