Not Bigfoot?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 11th, 2006

Witness denies labeling large animal Bigfoot

West Bend, Wisconsin – A 39-year-old Menasha man has found himself in the middle of Washington County “wildman of the wilderness” fever. Steven Krueger doesn’t know where all this Bigfoot talk came from, but he will not be sorry to see it stop.

“I hope it just goes away. It’s starting to get irritating,” Krueger said. “I never once said it was a Bigfoot or yeti.”

The sheriff’s department report bears that out, only mentioning a creature “approximately 7 feet tall, very black, and very wide.”

After some kind of creature startled Krueger early Thursday morning while he was working at his Department of Natural Resources-contracted job, he deliberated reporting it because he knew there would be skeptics.

Krueger finally decided he should alert the sheriff’s department in case it was a bear or other dangerous animal. Krueger said he used to hunt black bears, which is what this animal looked like.

Except for the ears.

“They were sort of pointy – not exactly like a wolf, but definitely not rounded like a black bear,” Krueger said.

The DNR contracts and specially licenses Krueger to remove deer carcasses in Washington, Ozaukee, Fond du Lac, Brown, northern Manitowoc and northern Waupaca counties.

“Washington County faxes me every morning and gives me a complete list and exact location of where the deer are, and I make a run,” Krueger told the Daily News in May.

At around 1 a.m. Thursday morning, he stopped to pick up a small doe on Highway 167, about a third of a mile east of Station Way Road in the town of Erin. He put the deer in the bed of the truck and sat in the cab, filling out the necessary paperwork. He left the gate down, because he still had to tag the deer.

Krueger felt the truck rock and thought it was the wind, but when it rocked again he checked his mirror to see – in the light of his truck-mounted spotlight – an animal reaching for the doe with its front paws. He said he was startled, so he slammed the truck into drive and peeled off.

The deer was dragged – or fell – off the truck, along with an all-terrain vehicle ramp. Krueger couldn’t be sure exactly what he saw.

“A black Lab(rador retriever) could’ve jumped in the back of the bed and it would’ve startled me because I wasn’t expecting it,” Krueger said.

Krueger said Milwaukee television stations had contacted him trying to push the Bigfoot angle. He said kept the discussion away from that direction but they ran the story anyway. He’s asked for a correction.

The attention had the area abuzz with the idea of a southeastern Wisconsin sasquatch.

“That’s the word we were bombarded with,” said Bill Mitchell, the county’s DNR conservation warden. “We were working this morning and everywhere we went people wanted to know about it.”

With hunting season coming up, folks joked with Mitchell about licensing: Would it require a big game or a small game license, or would an archery license work?

About 60 people from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization hit the trail this summer for two three-day weekend expeditions in Wisconsin’s northern Price County looking for yetis. Around the same time, Bigfoot footage was posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube, claiming to have been shot on the Fourth of July near St. Croix Falls in Polk County.

A total of 34 Wisconsin sightings have been reported to the BFRO Web site, ranking it smack in the middle of the lower 48 United States, but not a single report has come out of Washington County or any in southeastern Wisconsin.

Mitchell said although rare, there was history of timber wolf black bear and large coyote sightings in the area and as far south as Milwaukee County, which could account for what Krueger saw. But, then again

“My wife just pointed out Halloween Express just sold off all their costumes at clearance prices,” Mitchell said.

Krueger said it was inconceivable the creature was a prankster. He didn’t see a single other vehicle or person as he drove down Highway K to calm himself, or when he went back briefly to search for his ATV ramp.

By Friday afternoon, someone sent the Sasquatch story to Jeffrey Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University. As one of the world’s foremost authorities on Bigfoot, he’s familiar with the sensation a sighting can stir.

“I’ve been out with people and every puddle of water that has a remote shape of a humanoid footprint they go, ‘Ah, look at that! Could that be a Bigfoot print?’” Meldrum said.

Last week, the Associate Press ran a story about colleagues who shun Meldrum for practicing quack science. Ironically, Meldrum’s new book, endorsed by world-famous primatologist Jane Goodall, is “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.”

“From my perspective, I’m not dealing with just the accumulation of those stories and reports,” Meldrum said. “As a physical anthropologist I constrain myself to a consideration of a data that lends itself to scientific analysis.”

Many academics and laypersons alike won’t denounce the legend, but also won’t acknowledge evidence until there is a smoking gun – or a sasquatch skeleton, he said. Meldrum said he takes the scientific route.

“I’ll see a feature in a print which looks to me like a midtarsal pressure ridge, which makes it very different and much more flexible than a human’s foot,” Meldrum said. “So let’s do some experiments.”

His tests range from examining other apes’ prints, to plotting sightings against environmental habitat using geographic information systems, to studying bio-acoustics of animal vocalizations. Personal beliefs aside, he bases his findings on the data, which he feels supports the idea of a species behind the legend.

Krueger said if Bigfoot did exist, it would probably live in a more remote environment like the Rockies or the Pacific Northwest, but “anything’s possible.”

“I’m not sure how I would react personally if I ever saw one,” Meldrum said. “I’ve had people tell me it’s a life-changing possibility because they’ve been told their whole lives that this thing could not possibly exist and now, boom! Large as life, it’s there.”

West Bend Daily News
November 10, 2006
“Bigfoot or big misunderstanding?” by John Buchel

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

12 Responses to “Not Bigfoot?”

  1. benbai66 responds:

    This is fascinating, has anyone asked this fellow would he be willing to take a polygraph? Notice also he says the creature had paws, not hands. It would be really hard to confuse the two. My immediate thoughts would be a bear, but who knows? Can’t wait to hear more of this case.

  2. Shihan responds:

    As I stated the first time this story was run; Couldn’t it have been a bear? A large male black bear could easily stand 7 ft tall and weigh upwards of 500 lbs.

  3. mememe responds:

    Well this would still be a valid test for Roadkill stake out and Camera Trap.

    After all Mr Krueger did say he saw something …

    And that something needs to eat and it eats Roadkill. Mr Krueger mentioning a creature “approximately 7 feet tall, very black, and very wide.”

    Would be a miss not to find out what it was.. No Wild Life trappers or Photographers upto it ?

  4. mystery_man responds:

    This certainly clears up some things. I posted on the other post before I could see this one. Interesting. He said he saw a large black animal at least seven feet tall, which could definately be a bear. And it’s ears would be an easy detail to misjudge in all the excitement. Even if it isn’t a bigfoot, it is still a large, obviously bold creature and I hope they find out what it is soon.

  5. cabochris responds:

    People laugh at you when you see Bigfoot. Is it possible that Mr. Krueger is changing his tune because of that? It seems quite possible to me.

    Why? Well for one Mr. Krueger works outdoors in the wee hours of the morning. So he should not be easily startled by things that go bump in the night. I just can’t see a black lab scaring him? Quite clearly something big scared him! By his own words he peeled-off when he saw the thing. He felt it was not a prankster. Then he debated making a report. Obviously Mr. Krueger did not really think it was a bear at the time, because what would be the problem reporting an agressive bear? Who would question or make fun of that? None! If Mr. Krueger had seen a bear snatch a deer, he would have reported it right away. Surely Mr. Krueger knows what a bear looks like and was able to describe the ears pretty good. I think if he saw the ears that good, then he knew he was not looking at a bear.

    Mr. Krueger may at first have thought it was a bear. I’m sure at night a Bigfoot sighting could bring bear thoughts to mind. In this case however, whatever Mr. Krueger saw scared him and was odd enough to delay a report on his part in fear of ridicule. It would have been so easy for Mr. Krueger to simply say it was a bear. But he chose not to. So in my opinion, Mr. Krueger saw something that looked like a bear, but he could not quite ID as a bear.

    I know that a dog or bear rocking my truck would startle me at night. In either case though, I would not peel-off and depart the area in fear because of a dog or bear. My reaction might be to take-off, but then a ways down the road I would stop for another look, roll up my windows and lock the doors. On the other hand, if I saw a big creature with pointy ears in the back of my truck snatching a deer carcass, I certainly would get out of Dodge in a hurry! And that is what Mr. Krueger did.

    I would think that by the very nature of picking up roadkill for a living, one would have to consider the possibility of predator encounters at night. So it should seem likely that Mr. Krueger would be mentally prepared for that and that he would be less startled, upon seeing a bear on the job, than say I.

    Is it possible from his description this could have been a Bigfoot encounter? Mr. Krueger could not trust his eyes, delayed the report in fear of ridicule and now changed his story to save face?

    Mr.Krueger knows most likely what he saw. If I saw a Bigfoot I would tell my story and then stick to it! I would see that as my responsibility to tell the truth. Too bad Mr. Krueger hadn’t report the sighting right away and the sheriff able to deploy a pack of hounds on the creature. Even if it was only a bear, such aggressive behavior might indicate the bear to be a threat to people and it should have been tracked down. If it was a Bigfoot the hounds might have turned-tail, and we would have a better idea of what Mr. Krueger actually saw.

  6. CamperGuy responds:

    Cabochis already covered almost everything I wanted to say.

    So I’ll just add if it were just a bear then I doubt Mr. Kreuger would have left his ramp at the scene. He would have driven away a bit, waited and then went back and retrieved it.

    This information also explains my questions about the “jumping” bigfoot.

    I believe Mr. Kreuger has the right to be left alone and everyone should respect that. Though none here have put this in the hoax category, I would just like to say I absolutely do not think that it belongs there to any who would put it there.

  7. Scarfe responds:

    I was going to make a comment on the first cryptomundo story linking to this incident about how it can do a disservice to automatically label any unknown large hairy creature Bigfoot.

    By calling ANYTHING a Bigfoot or potential Bigfoot, it presupposes Bigfoot exists. I neither believe nor disbelieve in the creature and I am not here to debate its existence or nonexistence. My real issue is that saying someone saw BIGFOOT when they reported an unknown hairy animal presupposes the existence of a creature called BIGFOOT; therefore, the danger is that, since Bigfoot is in large part a cultural icon in many people’s minds, it can encourage people to consciously or unconsciously shape, select, or discount current and future evidence to fit a preconceived notion.

    If Krueger is unsure of what he saw, I can understand his hesitation to let people assume it is the creature we call Bigfoot. On the other hand, if Bigfoot exists and Krueger saw it, I can understand why he would want to resist that idea due to ridicule.

  8. joppa responds:

    Pretty creepy job picking up road kill IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT! I would expect having to confront all kinds of predators, from coyotes to wild dogs, bears to bigfoots. So could it have been Loren’s Maine Mutant? My guess is a very large wild dog, who is very familiar with humans and is not the least bit shy hopping up on a tailgate and snagging a dead deer. Also, the Maine Mutant fits the bill, black and furry, pointy ears and scary.

  9. mystery_man responds:

    One question that has been bothering me is, where did that ramp go? A bear wouldn’t have taken it. And if it were a Bigfoot, what would it want with that ramp? I guess someone else could have driven along, seen it lying in the road, and picked it up, but it is still kind of creepy for some reason.

  10. Rillo777 responds:

    As I said in another post on the other story: We needn’t assume that this was simply a roadkill. It’s possible that the creature killed the deer and was miffed that his food was being taken from him. If it was nearby and so inclined it could easily have killed the man but didn’t. That makes me think that this creature was either afraid or very wary of the man, as many animals are, or it doesn’t see humans as food. (I know it’s not a pleasant thought, but a creature that size might think we look tasty.)

    But if the deer was its kill, it would try to get it back. Just a thought.

  11. subarcticbeef responds:

    It is true bears and wolves are a rarity in SE Wisconsin, but deer are very plentiful. Any predator wandering out of it’s normal range would find easy pickings with little competition. Pointed ears on a bear are not unheard of, as males do suffer injuries. Especially at the paws of a sow protecting her cubs.

  12. Knyghtmare responds:

    If its not a bear and its not Bigfoot… Then what else could it be? Anyone ever hear of the Bray Road Beast, in Wisconsin? Perhaps it has migrated to Washington and nearby counties. Krueger said he saw “pointy ears”. Holy Hill has old folks tales of the Goat Man as well. I just thought I would throw that idea out there. Something else I am curious of… The report gives an exact location of where he saw this “creature” and no one has gone to this spot to look for tracks or footprints or any evidence that some sort of large creature was present? “7 feet tall and wide” would leave some interesting impressions in the ground. Then again I suppose that it has been cold and we had a large rain and snow storm that Friday after.

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