So was Bigfoot crossing the Cass River, as some may think after an internet video raised that question this month?
Caro’s Wayne King, for one, says “the animals are alive and well in Tuscola County, and I just want the public to know that.”
King, 85, said he has seen three bigfoots in the county, though the sightings occurred decades ago. He’s not connected with the video that appeared last week on coasttocoastam.com, showing a being crossing a river in sunlight.
Coasttocoastam.com’s Tim Binnall wrote that the Rocky Mountain Sasquatch Organization received the Michigan report earlier in July “from an individual named
Eddie, who claimed that (his) cousin spotted the strange scene while kayaking on the Cass River.”
Other online sources showed a photo of a being in the river – which appears to have been taken from the video – reportedly south of the M-46 bridge in Tuscola County’s Juniata Township.
Some theorize the video “captured footage of an adult bigfoot holding either a juvenile version of the creature or perhaps a deer as it makes its way across the Cass River,” Binnall wrote on the website.
“As one might imagine, more skeptical observers have argued that the ‘Sasquatch’ is merely a hunter or maybe the whole scene is a clever hoax.”
Perhaps coincidentally, the reported location of the creature on the video isn’t far from where King claims he spotted a bigfoot one spring night in the 1970s when driving from Caro to his job at a General Motors plant in Flint.
King was driving west on M-46, approaching Sheridan Road.
“An old Buick passed me and it had these wide taillights in the back, and the Buick was turning left onto Sheridan Road – and his taillights were so bright when he hit the brakes to turn – and something crossed over the road behind those taillights,” King said.
“I thought it was a deer or something but then I turned my bright lights on because the car in front of me had turned. That’s when I saw it was a bigfoot, and it walked right across the road in front of me.
“By the time I got to where he had crossed, he was already headed for the Cass River that runs in the back of Enos Park near (the corner of) M-46 and Sheridan Road.”
King said he pulled his car over on the side of M-46 and, carrying a flashlight and pocketknife, pursued the creature.
“I don’t know why but I didn’t have any fear of anything at all,” King said. “I went after him but I ran into a whole lot of water and messed up my shoes. But I could hear him, ahead of me, making deep impressions in the watery muck near the river.”
King didn’t get a second look at the being, but said the creature had “dirty gray” hair, and was at least seven feet tall. He estimates it weighed 500 pounds.
The being shown in the online video surfacing this month has a reddish-brown color.
King eventually began operating the Michigan/Canadian Bigfoot Information Center, which technically remains in existence, according to King, though he notes he lacks internet access. King recalls being interviewed by big-city newspaper reporters and radio broadcasters, in decades past.
Years after King’s report of his first sighting, he said he received an early morning phone call from a concerned woman outside Kingston in Tuscola County.
“It was along Bevens Road near Kingston, and it’s quite a desolate area there, and it was about 2:30 a.m. and two (bigfoots) were in an abandoned orchard in the back,” King said.
“I saw a bigfoot mother and an offspring. The state police were there, too. They know about it as well, but they’ll deny it.”
King said he has received more than 30 reports of bigfoot sightings, through the years, in or near Tuscola County.
Tom Lounsbury, 72, of Elmwood Township, a hunter and lifelong Tuscola County resident, said he hasn’t seen a bigfoot in the county.
“About 30 years ago, I had an elderly gent near Mayville contact me, saying that he had been seeing a bigfoot around, but I didn’t follow up on it,” Lounsbury said.
Lounsbury, an outdoors writer for The Advertiser, said he has received several reports of cougars in the Thumb area, though.
Cougar sightings have been reported in southern Huron County, northern Sanilac County, and near Deford in northeast Tuscola County, Lounsbury said.
“The Deford claim was a bowhunter who bumped into a cougar while going to his deer blind about 20 years ago, but the cougar was never confirmed or spotted again,” Lounsbury said.
Lounsbury said he hasn’t encountered a bigfoot – or even its potential tracks – in his travels in the Thumb area or in wildnerness settings.
“Anything is possible, though,” Lounsbury said. “I never thought there would ever be a wolverine or Canada lynx in the Thumb area.”
Both of those creatures were confirmed residents of the Thumb in recent years, though the “lone wolverine” died, and the lynx was captured and relocated elsewhere.
Lounsbury, however, said he once locked eyes with a bobcat along the Cass, in Tuscola County, when he was a teenager wade-fishing the river.
Lounsbury said he “told nobody, because they most likely wouldn’t believe a kid.”