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COUNTY: Shasta County
LOCATION DETAILS: At Lake Shasta Caverns, take tour/boat across lake then up mountain to Cavern entrance, look off to the ravine in front of you and look for skid trail of large proportion
NEAREST TOWN: Redding
NEAREST ROAD: Obrien
ALSO NOTICED: Two days or so before I had been stationed alone at the entrance doing general cleaning while waiting for the bus to arrive with my next tour. I didn't think much of it at first but there were rocks comming down the hill side and hitting the building. This became more frequent and disturbing as the area above was trees and brush, not likely just a rock slide. The numer of times this occured also became much more frequent through out the weeks.
Then came a sort of rainy cloudy day in March of 2001, I think, when I was on the mountain by myself. At Lake Shasta Caverns we had tours leaving 3 times a day and it was the last one that day. From way up on top of the mountain you couldn't see much beyond you and I'd say the visiblity was 300 yards or less. My tour arrived and turned out to only be two people, a male and female. The bus driver turned the bus around and returned to the bottom of the hill. As the three of us were standing there we were looking out across the ravine talking quietly when we heard some rustling and distinct thumps on the ground. They asked me what it was and I just kept watching thearea it was comming from. As we were looking up and down the ravine 200yrds away, a never before noticed, but clearly viewable, skid path was spotted by the man on my tour. He had a high pwered scope type camera and zoomed in. All the while we were still waiting to see what was moving down the ravine at such a high speed and moving the tops of what I thought to be pretty large trees on this path. And out of the overgrowth we saw it. Huge, on two feet arms clearly swinging wide in front of it and behind it. In a matter of 2 seconds or so it was no longer visible but we could still hear it. The thumping was it's feet running down hill to the water of the lake, straight down. The echo continued until suddenly a silence. I turned to the man and asked if he got it. He said," I don't know, I think so." I then immediatly ran for the emergency radio we keep in the storage/employee room and called down to the bus at the bottom. I told them what we all saw and to be careful and get up here, we want to go, NOW. My boss then came across and told me to calm down, get inside the building and wait there for the bus. When we got back across the lake to the main gift shop I exchanged numbers with the people on the tour but my boss kept theirs and I have not gotten anything from the from that day. The only thing I know about them is that they live in Santa Rosa california somewhere and were on vacation.
I quit my job as a tour guide there shortly after because I wouldn't sit up on that mountain by myself ever again. It is a penninsula with no raods, houses, or people. 30 miles west and 10 miles East of pure nothing, accessable only by boat. Perfect habbitat I would say.
OTHER WITNESSES: Yes, the two tourist that were with me. A lady and a gentleman that had a camera.
OTHER STORIES: Only strange sounds and sticks and large rocks be thrown at the back of the unit/building at top the mountain.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: rainy, cloudy day
ENVIRONMENT: Steep pine forested hill side on the East Side of Shasta Lake arm of the McCloud River inlet. The exact sighting area was on or across the Rock Slide across from the entrance of the cave.Ravine terrrain
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brian Zanze:
I conducted a somewhat lengthy telephone interview with the witness. She is quite credible. She has a clear recollection of the sighting and added some interesting details not included in the initial report.
All three witnesses saw a large, black figure moving rapidly on two legs down the side of the ravine toward the lake. The witness noted the figure's arms were "swinging as far as its strides." She described the path it was using as well-worn, "like where a log had been skidded."
It was the rhythmic thumping, which the witness later determined to be the sound of the creature's feet hitting the ground, and the shaking of the trees and bushes, that drew the attention of the witnesses to the break in the foliage where they briefly saw the figure.
In recalling the events, the witness noted that the increasing incidence of rocks and sticks hitting the building at the cavern entrance (which she referred to as "unit 4") took place during the weeks before the sighting, but only when she was alone. At that time, she was the only female guide on the staff.
She also reported frequently experiencing a feeling of "being watched" while there, and occasionally experiencing unexplained fear. This was particularly noticeable at the end of the day, after she had finished her last tour and had to lock up the entrance and exit of the cave by herself. She also reported noticing a strong "smell of death", similar to, but not quite the same as, a decaying animal corpse, coming down off the mountain on occasion as well.
The witness noted that she was raised in the mountains of Northern California, that she is not afraid to be alone in the woods, and that these sensations of fear were unusual for her.
Further clarification on investigation:
This investigator is quite familiar with the location of the sighting, having been to the caverns as a tourist. Not only was the witness' description of relevant details consistent with my own observations and knowledge of the site, but during the course of the interview it became quite clear she knew the place very well.
It also may be significant to note, as the witness did in her initial report, that there is no access road to the site from the land side. It is very isolated, located about halfway up the face of a rather rugged mountain. Tours leave from the visitor's center and cross the McCloud arm of Lake Shasta on a small ferry to a dock on the East shore. From the lake shore, a bus takes you up a series of hairpin turns on a steep, one lane road to the unit 4 building at the cavern entrance.
I also questioned the witness concerning the apparent inconsistency in the original report concerning the weather on the day of the sighting. She is quite sure that the weather was cloudy, and that the reference to the "warm, sunny day" was a mistake, although some of the other incidents she mentioned did occur on sunny days. In a subsequent phone call, she gave the BFRO permission to correct this inconsistency in her original report.
Further investigation, including the effort to locate the additional witnesses, remains ongoing.
About BFRO Investigator Brian Zanze:
Brian Zanze is an attorney in Northern California.