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COUNTY: Shasta County
LOCATION DETAILS: An undeveloped campground in Jones Valley, on the way into Jones Valley Resort.
NEAREST TOWN: Jones Valley, Lake Shasta
NEAREST ROAD: Bear Mtn.
OBSERVED: Here's what I encountered on 4/19/2003, at least the best that I can remember; at the Jones Valley Campground, Lake Shasta, CA.
It was about 22:00, slightly over cast and very calm and quiet. In hindsight I remember how odd it was for it to be that quiet on a Saturday night on Lake Shasta. Not even insects were making any noise.I had been sitting in front of a small, almost-out fire for some time when I heard a large tree branch break about 50 yards away. It was sort of an instant 'pop' sound and the branch never hit the ground. Initially it startled me but after about 10 minutes I had just written it off as one of the normal noises that the woods make at night. Then I heard another branch break in the same fashion maybe 10-15 yards from where the first had been broken, again never hitting the ground. Within a minute or two I heard approximately 10 to 13 VERY heavy footsteps heading more or less in my direction. Then after a few more minutes had passed I heard another branch break about 10 yards from were I was.
I woke up one of the other fellows that were camping with me and told him something was coming up on us and I had no idea what it was. We then heard about 3 or 4 more footsteps and that was it. My friend took up refuge in the camper at this point. I didn't see anything as it was very dark and whatever this was was in an area of trees.
I have been camping in the woods since I was a very young boy and have encountered just about every type of animal there is, at least in California. This was definitely walking on two feet. I'm confident that it was not a bear because they generally don't take very long strides when they stand on two feet. Furthermore most of the bears that I have encountered in this region are black bears and not very large.
I'm submitting this in hopes for an explanation. Was it a deer in season or a rabid bear or what I don't know, I'm at a loss.
OTHER WITNESSES: none.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Approx 2200 Hrs.
ENVIRONMENT: Lakeshore, slightly hilly, edged by medium dense forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
I spoke with the witness by phone. His submission above covers all of the most important details of the incident. He and his group did not attempt to look for footprints the next day.
There have been several sightings in and around this southern section of Lake Shasta in the recent past.