Cumberland Bigfoot

Location:    Cumberland, Barron County, Wisconsin


The Reputed Sighting:

Cumberland, nicknamed the "Island City," is home of the Annual Rutabaga Festival, but for many people it is also the home of a Wisconsin Bigfoot.


Loretta I. Potter

In July of 2002, Loretta I. Potter, 42, and her son Peter R. Cupp, 18, had a close encounter with a Bigfoot at their Maple Plain home on the St. Croix Indian Reservation near Cumberland, Wisconsin.

The encounter was so frightening that Potter  stayed in a Turtle Lake motel for two weeks afterwards and eventually moved to a different house.  


After the brouhaha caused by the media coverage of the Cumberland Bigfoot sightings, the manager of The Spot Bar in downtown Cumberland commissioned a local woodcarver to create this statue of the legendary beast. 

The deck on the Potter house where the Bigfoot was spotted.

It was in the early hours (approximately 5:00 am) of July 18th, 2002, that she spied the Bigfoot on the deck of home.  She described it as tall, perhaps 7-8 feet in height, with hairy legs and long hair on it's head.  It reminded her of one of the apes from Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes except that the face was more humanoid than simian.  The creature, which appeared to be listening at the daughter's window, was close enough that Potter could see that the face was hairless with a grayish complexion.  She also noticed that it reeked of a horrible stench similar to rotting onions. 

She said the creature nodded at her, then ran off at a fast pace.

Earlier that morning (approximately 1-2 am) her son Peter Cupp had also witnessed the bipedal creature.  He also noticed the putrid odor.  "It was rotten, like something dead." Cupp described.  He was walking to his car when he first caught a glimpse of what he described as a large and dark creature. 

Cupp ran back into the house to get a flashlight, and when he got back outside he heard the sound of breaking branches as the creature fled.  "I think it was more scared of me than I was of him," Cupp said.  

Cupp called the Barron County authorities and St. Croix Tribal Police Officer Marvin C. Halverson, 45, came out and took photos of the footprints that were found in the driveway.  The prints were described as large with human-like toes.

The next morning Cupp and Potter noticed that two of their pet rabbits were missing.

Numerous residents in the neighborhood have also reported seeing Bigfoot creatures.  Sometimes they hear the howling at night; other times they hear them rapping sticks against trees.  Often they find their tracks.

St. Croix Tribal Elder Louis E. Bearheart recalled an incident that occurred about 50 years ago, when residents encountered a "screeching demon" that matched the physical description of a Bigfoot.  He said some of the women of the tribe beat the "demon" with brooms and chased it away.  According to Bearheart, when he was a young man he heard about the creature from his Tribal Elders.  It seems that the Bigfoot has been seen in this area for several generations. 

Tribal Elders did recently perform a cleansing ceremony in the area of the sightings, but they are reluctant to discuss the creature as they believe talking about it will bring misfortune.  Potter agrees with that belief, and related how the year after her son Peter had encountered the Bigfoot, he attended a party at a home on the Maple Plain Reservation.  He went to move a cocked revolver that he found on a folding chair, and the gun accidentally went off when he picked it up.  The bullet fatally struck Erica Blake, 20, of Shell Lake, in the back of the head.  She was the mother of a 5-month-old son.  

The neighbor's house.

The sweat lodge behind the house.

The Investigation:

Recently the neighbors across the road from Potter's house reported hearing scratching sounds on the back of their house between 12:30 and 3:00 am.   Upon investigating we discovered a series of scratch marks across the outside wall on the back of the house (see images below).  The marks were all approximately five feet above ground level.

The neighbors also reported seeing huge footprints in the snow the next morning, but it had rained the day before our investigation, and no tracks were visible in the snow.  We did find one print in the dirt (see image to the right) near the same wall where we found the scratches.

The neighbors reported hearing growling sounds on earlier occasions, and frequently finding Bigfoot footprints.

They related an incident when six newborn puppies disappeared from a spot near the sweat lodge behind their house, and Bigfoot footprints were found nearby.

Our investigation is ongoing.

Some of the scratch marks that were found on the neighbor's house.

A possible Bigfoot footprint.

Designed by Terry Fisk
Copyright Unexplained Research. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 28, 2004