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Geographical Index > United States > California > Mono County > Report # 13613
Report # 13613  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Thursday, January 19, 2006.
Hikers find footprints, hear sounds, etc., near Leavitt Meadows

YEAR: 1980

SEASON: Summer

MONTH: August

DATE: weekday

STATE: California

COUNTY: Mono County

LOCATION DETAILS: From Leavitt meadows campground: Hike S ~5 mi to Roosevelt & Lane Lakes (connected by narrow stream); At W end of Lane Lake vocalization occurred; Directly S of Lake is an estabished primitive campsite (area) just E of River & S of Lake. From Campsite Hike SE ~1 mi (past glacier) to top of ridgeline/cliffs to ~1000'+ elev from campsite. "Skunk" odiferous canyon (steep ravine) is just S of Marine Corps Helicopter crash site.

NEAREST TOWN: Bridgeport, CA


ALSO NOTICED: Two sets of bipedal snow prints sidestepping up steep glacier slope. One set larger than other. Several of the lowest prints had distinctive big toe impressions. [Editor's note: More details contained in investigator's comments, below.]



TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early Afternoon; Bright, warm, clear sunshine, no wind

ENVIRONMENT: High Alpine pine/sage forest at treeline

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

I spoke to the witness on 7/31/06. The following details can be added to the report:

-The incidents detailed below happened when the reporting witness was around 21 years old.

-Besides the reporting witness, there were three other young men on this trip.

-The incidents happened on the witness’ third camping trip to the area.

-After camping at this location for a couple nights, the witness went to a snowdrift (“glacier”) directly above the camp. He was startled to find two sets of large footprints in the snow where the day before there were none.

-One was approximately 15 inches long and 9 inches wide, and the other was about 12 inches long and 10 inches wide.

-The first prints at the bottom of the snowdrift were the only clear ones. The toes were plainly visible, with the first digit (the “big toe”) being most deeply impressed.

-The prints above the first were much messier. The witness says that the prints were impressed sideways into the snowdrift, and that whatever made them stepped into its own prints as it ascended the slope.

-The two trackways were spaced about 8 feet apart.

-The young men followed the trackways to the top of a cliff. There was an old military helicopter crash site at the top of the ridge. The nearby marine base was very active at this time, and there are many such crash sites out in the Sierras, according to forestry service workers interviewed regarding this report.

-Near the helicopter crash site, there was a thickly wooded canyon. The young men would not enter it due to the overpowering smell that came out of it. The smell was described as being like a dirty cage at the zoo (the witness specifically compared it to the lemur cage at the Sacramento Zoo). The witness described it as making his eyes water.

-There were large boulders precariously balanced along the edge of the cliff. The young men took great pleasure in pushing them off the cliff and listening to the sound of the boulders crashing through the underbrush below. The number of rocks was such that it took as long as 15 minutes to push all of them off the edge. Most of the rocks were the size of soccer balls, but many were as large as “large beach balls.” The rocks were said to be large enough to be difficult to move, yet purposefully placed.

-That night, the young men were awakened by the sounds of “a big man” walking through their camp. The witness did not think it was a bear because it sounded bipedal. Their two tents were situated door to door, with only a few feet between the openings. The men excitedly whispered about how scary it was for a few moments, at which time the walking stopped. After they stopped talking and started falling back asleep, the walking started again, apparently from very nearby the camp. It seemed as though the visitor was waiting for things to quiet down before lurking around again. The witness is positive that there were no humans camping nearby.

-Two or three days later, while fishing at nearby Roosevelt Lake, a very loud howl occurred from a forested area above their fishing spot. It was similar to the "Ohio Howl," and the witness was very impressed with the volume of the call. The howl happened at approximately 3 pm. Several of the young men momentarily “ran in panic” at the sound, including the witness. It was obvious the witness was very frightened by this.

About BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman: