Report # 8305 (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Thursday, March 18, 2004.
Family finds long-stride footprints in snow near house
COUNTY: Susquehanna County
LOCATION DETAILS: In yard of house near heavily wooded, rocky area with a rock quarry just over the ridge, and a nearby open farm field.
NEAREST TOWN: Springville
NEAREST ROAD: [WITNESS DOES NOT WANT ROAD NAME POSTED ON PUBLIC VERSION OF REPORT]
OBSERVED: After a 7″ snowfall the previous day (March 16, 2004) and couple more inches overnight (March 17, 2004), I noticed out the side window of the house large tracks about 4 feet from the side of the house. The tracks had been made at some time during the night because most of the snow had fallen but a couple of more inches had accumulated in the tracks making identification unlikely. At first I thought they were some sort of anomaly from snow sliding off the roof or some such thing because they were spaced about 5 feet apart and I called my son down to the bottom floor to have a look. From our vantage point we could only see the tracks along the side of the house and they seemed to disappear into the open yard. We had had some wind with the snow and I thought it may have eradicated some of the tracks. We both went about our daily work and later that afternoon the dish on our satellite needed cleared of sliding snow and I went around the house. Immediately I noticed indentations from the tracks that crossed the front yard and went into the woods. I got my camera and took some pictures of the tracks, which were definitely made by a tall, bipedal animal. Even a bear walking upright would not have able to make the tracks so far apart or sustain the upright stride for so long a distance. I took pictures of the tracks in relationship to the side of the house (for scale) and also in relationship to my own stepped off, end-to-end boot tracks in snow between the tracks. The tracks came from the open field side of the property, through the yard near the house, and continued across the front yard into the woods. There was no indication that the animal had stopped or paused at any time, but the tracks were closer together (slower pace) near the woods. It seemed as if the animal hurried through the open yard and slowed as it neared the relative shelter of the denser woods. I haven’t got the photos developed yet so I don’t know what I have. Snow is not the best thing to try to get a photo of.
ALSO NOTICED: Before: My son has lived in the house for 5 years and the house had been empty for 3 years prior and there was lots of wildlife treking through the property when he first moved in. One night after dark he smelled a rotten egg smell heard something moving through the woods near the house. One other time a short time later that same first year he and his wife heard an eerie screeching in the woods. Their two dogs got up, left the room, and went into the front room with their heads down and got into a hiding prosition. Normally they would be barking at something unusual, but not that time, they never made a sound.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 witnesses, we noticed the tracks in the snow the next day.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Sometime between 12:00 a.m. and approx. 6:00 a.m.
ENVIRONMENT: Very near house in open area between wooded ridge and open field.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The witness stated that the tracks had a step length of between 5′ and 5.5′ and that there were no drag marks ahead or behind the print, but that they seemed to be stamped vertically into the snow. She also mentioned occasions of a putrid smell in the area. On one occasion, a garbage sack with, among other items, some broken plastic (making noise) in it was picked up next to a window, being heard by the resident sitting near it. Upon running out to the front porch, the witness heard the “abductor” of the garbage drop it some distance from the house near the forest. On recovery the next day, there were no bite or claw marks on the bag but it had only split open from being dropped on the ground.