Geographical Index > United States > California > Del Norte County > Article # 90
Media Article # 90
Monday, October 19, 1992
Klamath, California -- September 25-29, 1992
By Steve Selke
Daryl Owen's 8-year-old son and his 12-year-old friend were out looking for snakes on September 12 when, at about 11:30 a.m., they heard branches rustling and smelled a strong odor. "The smell was like rotted chicken, it was awful. When we looked up, we saw the big hairy man standing there (about 100 feet away). He was covered with thick dark brown hair and was shaking a branch in his hand. We could see his face real good. My friend and I looked at him for about five seconds before we turned and ran all the way back home."
As the boys turned to head for home, they saw the creature turn and walk into the brush. After questioning the boys, Daryl Owen went out to check the area. "As I headed out there, the phrase the boys used to describe what they had seen kept echoing over and over in my head -- '...the big hairy man...' -- not bigfoot, not sasquatch, not even Harry from the movie. Nope, they kept calling it 'the big hairy man.' Looking back on it now, I guess that should have been my first clue there was something very unusual about their story. Sure, it was wild, but somehow it just didn't have a false ring to it, and as for the kids themselves, well, there was no faking what they were feeling. They were scared to death."
"When I got to the spot where the boys said they had seen 'the big hairy man' standing, my life was changed forever. As I went out to the creek bed I figured I'd find bear tracks or nothing at all, in which case I would know the boys were lying about what they claimed to see. Instead, I looked down and saw these huge footprints in the ground. I just froze. I came back on Tuesday to make a casting because when I first saw these tracks I sort of freaked out -- I could clearly hear something crunching through the thick brush, going up the steep hillside. When I heard that, and looked down at the tracks leading in that direction, all I wanted to do then was get the heck out of there."
The cast measures 16.5 inches long, 8.5 inches wide at the toes, and 5 inches at the heel. Owen counted 34 footprints with an average stride of 56 inches. Scott Herriott (Los Angeles) arrived in Klamath and the men spent three days examining the scene. A few strands of brown hair were found. And then there are the screams. The screams began the night after the boys' sighting. "These...screeches have echoed across the canyon behind our home almost every night since, and there is more than one of them, because you can hear a call and then an answer from another hilltop. The screams usually occur between 9 and 10 p.m."
John Green, speaking to reporter Selke from his home in Canada, said, "Keep in mind, Bluff Creek is only about 25 miles due east of Klamath, but it is another world in environmental habitat terms. I don't know, but perhaps the drought has motivated them to travel we