MIAMI COUNTY, INDIANA, RED BRIDGE AREA – OCTOBER 2004
Back around the beginning of October in 2004, a friend of mine wanted me to go fishing with him since he needed to put his boat in the water one more time before the season ended, so I figured why not we’ll get a little fishing in one more time before it gets too cold to mess with it. So we decided to run up to Salamonie Lake about an hour north of Anderson (where I was living at the time) to see if the boat ramps were still usable since the reservoir gets drained about this time of year in anticipation of the snow. We run up there with no luck, so instead of just turning back home we decided to shoot on down the road a little bit and try Mississinewa. We get over there and check a couple ramps and nothing is really looking good enough to try to get his boat in, but he had one more place he wanted to check, which was a place he claimed when nothing else was high enough this place was always fine for him to put the boat in. Why we didn’t just go to this place first I’ll never know, but it’s his gas and I’m along for the ride.
So the place we wind up at is known as the Red Bridge Area Boat Ramp, and it being the first week or so of October and about 10PM there isn’t another soul around. It’s not a bad looking ramp, but the upper ramp area’s dusk to dawn light isn’t working, but we can see that the one down by where the trailer goes into the water is. The way this ramp is set up, and my buddy’s truck not being the most reliable in the reverse department, he wants to walk down and scope the ramp out for himself to make sure it’s not another wasted trip. So he parks up at the top of the hill, roughly the middle part of the parking area pull off, then starts down that way. I told him I’d stay up at the truck until he was ready for me to bring it down to him. So I’m standing outside the truck on the passenger side, and I’m watching him make his way down the ramp. It’s dark with no dusk to dawn light up where we’d parked, but the moonlight was shining bright (it wasn’t full, but plenty of light to see around us with) and I decide to go ahead and have a smoke since this might take a couple minutes. The distance from where he parked the truck and where the waterline was would have been roughly 100 yards or so, and I can make his figure out fine the entire walk down to the boat ramp.
I think it’s important to explain that I’m not very easily unnerved, the nature of my employment was to be able to read a situation and act on it before things turned violent or escalated out of hand. My buddy worked the exact same job, and he was equally trained and just as cool under pressure. Bearing all that in mind, the following events unfolded at an alarming speed. As I’m standing by the truck finishing my smoke, the hair on the back of my neck stands up and I know (not feel, there is a difference and you learn it in a cell house) we’re being watched. I get the sense of being surrounded, but yet at a distance, like it’s just at the edge of vision. At first I thought it might be something as simple as a coyote pack, but then the silence became deafening, and I realized that except for the leaves blowing around the parking area there were no other normal sounds associated with the outdoors. I had a feeling of being watched from all 4 directions that I cannot begin to describe the intensity and sense of foreboding and oppression. After about a minute of this steadily increasing to the point where you could almost cut the tension with a knife, I see my buddy starting back up the boat ramp. He calls out to me that he’s pretty sure he can get the boat launched if he’s careful, and that’s when we hear the sound of a rock hit the pavement. He slows his walk a little bit, I assume he’s kicked a rock with his boot, and then another larger rock lands in front of him so he stops walking altogether. He yells at me “very funny, but you need to watch it, if I get hit I’m leaving your ass here”. I ask him what he’s talking about and I hear a rock hit in the middle of the distance between him and I which would be about 40 yards from either of us, so I call out to him if he’s throwing rocks to which he replies he was going to ask me the same thing. It’s dark; I can’t see anything but his outline now because he’s silhouetted against the dusk to dawn light down at the boat ramp. He’s closer to the wooded area than I am, and when the next rock lands he promptly picks up one laying close by and chucks it into the woods.
It’s at this point all hell breaks loose, something big starts moving through the trees breaking limbs as it moves, and when I say limbs I mean wrist sized thickness branches not twigs. My buddy just about pulls a Scooby-Doo as he seems to jump straight up in the air and start running before he hits the grounds, yelling “oh shit, get in the truck, get in the truck, get in the truck” as he’s hauling ass to close the distance between where he is and the driver’s seat of that Chevy truck. It seemed at that moment that everything kind of boiled over tension wise and things were not quite clear but clearly something wasn’t right, so I acted upon my first impulse and drew my .45 in case whatever (I’m still assuming it was some animal at this point) had been moving (and boy did it sound big) through the woods towards where my buddy was meant him harm. By the time my friend reached where I was he had this look of absolute terror that unnerved me more than a little (in fact in hindsight it may have been the most disconcerting thing about the who event) and he made one vaulting jump over the trailer hitch to get to the driver side of the pickup all the while still saying “get in the truck, get in the truck, or I’m leaving you” so I obliged him while not turning my back on the direction of the sounds even though I still don’t see anything coming out of the woods.
My friend got the truck running and attempted to back up to leave but the engine was racing and we weren’t moving. It was in that small moment when I realized that this is in fact how horror movies start, and also in that moment my friend realized he’d forgotten to put the truck in gear (guess when you don’t use reverse for so long you forget you actually have to engage it). As we’re backing out and starting towards the road leading out of the park we can hear it crash through some more trees on its way to wherever whatever it was wanted to go next. The whole ride back to Anderson, because at this point we have zero interest in fishing, my friend is trying to rationalize out what it could have been (he claims he never saw anything) and he can’t come up with anything that would fit the bill. The rationalizing it was important for my friend since we were only a couple weeks away from Early Archery Season for Deer and he enjoyed coming up to this exact area to hunt and he wanted to be able to hunt the area that particular year.
We never did find out what it was, we could never come up with an explanation for what happened, and although he would never admit it I’m almost positive my friend saw something that challenged all reason within him (he’s a very devout skeptic about everything by nature) and I don’t really believe he returned to that area to hunt that year. It’s been over a decade since that incident, and although the incident itself isn’t the sole reason for it, but this year 2017 marks the first year I’ve been back out in the woods hunting. I started reading up on the Bigfoot/Sasquatch as a curiosity mostly, but with some of the reports I’ve read and some of the other things I’ve heard from other people, I have decided that I will never go into the woods unarmed again (even though I was armed during this incident) and I’ll likely carry a Magnum Revolver just in case. You can never be too careful when it comes to unknown variables, and I’d rather err on the side of caution than be another missing person’s statistic.
-Written Personal Experience from Metal&Madness Staff Member