By Blake Mathys
This report comes from Cheryl Barger. At approximately 1 a.m. Wednesday, March 13th (2002), Cheryl was getting ready for bed. She was standing near a window. All of the sudden, something screamed at her. She ran to wake up her husband, and then opened the door to listen. The thing stopped screaming when her husband yelled at it. She estimates that it screamed 15 to 20 times. Cheryl said that the sound was virtually identical to the scream sound on the BFRO website. Her dog took about three steps out the door and then backed into the house. Nothing else happened that night. The next day she contacted one of her friends, Angela, and they checked the riverbank. From the screaming that she had heard, Cheryl expected to find something dead or dying. While they were checking the area in the daylight, they heard thumping sounds. The sound was described as like thumping the side of an empty milk jug. This sound was first heard down near the water and then sounded as if it was circling them. They decided to leave. A few hours later Angela, Cheryl and one of Angela's daughters came out to look around; they carried a digital camera with them. They found a series of tracks, which they photographed. On Thursday night (March 14th, 2002), Cheryl's brother-in-law came to visit. He arrived about 8 p.m., completely unaware of the events of the previous few days. As he pulled in, he thought he saw someone up near the house run down toward the river. Thinking that there was someone messing with the house or perhaps attempting to break in, he pulled his truck around so that his lights shone down toward the Ohio River. He didn't see anything. No one was home at this time and the family felt that it would be very unlikely that anyone would be around there like that, basically because that sort of thing gets a person shot. He said that all he saw was basically a shadow, nothing that he could really identify as being a person or otherwise.
I arrived at the Barger residence on Friday, March 15th, 2002, at around 6 p.m. On my drive down it had rained, and the tracks were indistinct enough to preclude any positive identification. Apparently there had been toes visible in the tracks when they were fresh, but these were not discernible when I arrived. The photographs taken the day of discovery with the digital camera do not show the toes. I set up a voice activated tape recorder at approximately 6:30 p.m. After some discussion with Cheryl, we left to talk to Angela about historic reports. It began raining, and a thoroughly drenched tape recorder was collected about 1 a.m. The only sounds recorded were barges blowing their horns on the river, thunder, and rain. The next day, I checked the area thoroughly for tracks or other unusual things, but found none.
Wildlife: Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, European Starling, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, American Crow, Blue Jay, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture
Angela proved to be a wealth of information about historic reports in the area. She reported many encounters with something, she never got a good look at it, that would watch her and then run away through the fence line, snapping branches and generally sounding like a large creature not trying to conceal its movements. She introduced me to her son David. He told me about what he had seen in 1978, when he was ten years old. This happened near the town of Utopia, in Clermont County, near the Brown/Clermont County line. Five of Angela's children, including David, and two of the neighbor children were outside playing during the day. Toward the back of the yard was a strawberry patch and some fruit trees, and on the back side of the strawberry patch sat an old VW camper van. David noticed that one of the girls seemed excited, and was staring at the camper van. David looked where she was looking and saw a creature crouched down, watching them through the windows of the van. As he looked at it, it stood up. David was looking right at its face. Some of the other children screamed, which alerted David's mother that something was wrong. She was in the house and came running outside. As she was running through the house, the creature looked over toward the house, looked back at the children and turned and went into the fence line. During this brief time, one of the neighbor children had fainted. David's mother did not see the creature; she thought that the children were screaming because of the neighbor child fainting. However, after she was told what had happened, she could still hear the thing running through the fence row away from them. David estimated that the entire encounter lasted 15 to 30 seconds. He described the creature as muscular and massive. It had a broad nose and a rounded head. The color was auburn. It didn't have as much hair pectorally or on the stomach. He estimates that it would have weighed 600-700 pounds. He said that it looked very similar to the creature in the Patterson film.
Click to see David's sketch of the face
Another report that Angela related concerned another of her sons, Matt. Matt was using a weedeater when he looked toward some trees and saw a Bigfoot. He threw the weedeater down and ran to the house. The creature was eating pawpaws (Asimina triloba) at the time.
A last report, one which occurred before the other reports mentioned here, concerned one of the family coming out of the woods complaining that a bear was trying to shake him out of the tree that his deerstand was in. He was so frightened that he left his shotgun in the woods and refused to go back to get it. This episode earned him the unfortunate moniker "Sugar bear."