Casey Kedrowski said he's always considered himself a skeptical sort of person, but an image captured by a trail camera in the woods of northern Minnesota has left him scratching his head.
In October, Kedrowski, 20, and his brother Peter, 30, set up a motion-activated camera to take pictures of deer near their families hunting shack near Chippewa National Forest. But when they pulled out the camera's memory card and took a look at the images, they couldn't believe their eyes.
"This came up and we both kind of looked at each other and said, 'Is this you?'" said Casey Kedrowski, a sophomore at St. Cloud State University. Both brothers thought the other had staged a hoax.
"I thought it was him and he thought it was me," Casey said.
At first the brothers and their father Tim thought the dark, fuzzy figure was a bow hunter. But then they wondered why the figure wasn't carrying a flashlight or a bow and arrow.
They also asked their fellow hunters if any of them had been in the area at 7:20 p.m. on Oct. 24, the time stamp provided by the digital image. Everyone said they stayed out of the woods that rainy evening.
"Everyone that we know that hunts in the area was not there that night," said Tim Kedrowski.
Intrigued by the unfamiliar image, the Kedrowskis reached out to Don Sherman and Bob Olson, founders of the Northern Minnesota Bigfoot Research Team.
Since 2006, the pair has monitored and investigated Bigfoot sightings in northern Minnesota.
"My first reaction when I saw it was that it's a guy in a suit," said Sherman, 56, who is a hospital facilities manager. In the past three years, he said he and his partner have compiled more than 75 stories of Bigfoot encounters, sightings and sounds in the area.
And the more he analyzed the photo and checked it against descriptions provided by others who claimed to have spotted Sasquatch, the more he said he believed it to be Bigfoot.
Sherman said he compared the Kedrowskis' picture to an image from a short film made by Roger Patterson in 1967 that famously purported to contain footage of a real Bigfoot.
Though that film has sparked much controversy over the years, Sherman said the body proportions of the alleged Minnesota Bigfoot, in particular the arm length, are very similar to the Patterson Bigfoot.
Sherman said he and his partner went out to the site where the Kedrowskis' image was taken and tried to recreate the image. And when his partner, who is 6 feet, 6 inches, walked by the tree in the picture, Sherman said, "There was no comparison."
Not only does he think the figure photographed by the trail cam is much taller, he said its arms are much longer than human arms.
"If somebody did hoax it, it'd be a pretty elaborate hoax," he said. "I am pretty convinced."
After hearing the researchers' conclusion, the Kedrowskis were still stumped.
"I still don't know what to think about it. I'm still not convinced. I'm still not convinced if it's Bigfoot or a person," said Casey Kedrowski.
But area wildlife experts are convinced. And they think the explanation is anything but exotic.