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COUNTY: Los Angeles County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was up the Angeles Crest Hwy, Not sure on exact mileage, but I would say about 10-15 miles maybe a little bit further up Angeles Crest Hwy, this road can be reached off the 210 Freeway up foothill blvd.
NEAREST TOWN: Sunland
NEAREST ROAD: Angeles Crest Hwy
OBSERVED: Me and a friend at the time were hiking in the Angeles National forest. My friend was just out of boot camp USMC and we started hiking as often as time would allow.
We were hiking down a small stream bed that went down hill. The stream was all dried up and it was mostly rock hopping until we got to the bottom of the hill, at one point there is a small section off to the side that is just dirt and makes for a much easier walk down to the bottom.
When we got to the bottom we hiked a bit more but as the sun started to go down, we headed back up the same hill/creek bed. I followed my own boot tracks back up as I was tired of rock hopping, while going up, the smell in the air was horrible, like rotten eggs or portable toilet, I then noticed on one of my tracks laid a dead ground squirrel, right over my boot track. I pointed this out to my friend and as soon as I did this, a loud banging over a short hill side was heard, it was coming from about 35-50 yards away from us. It sounded as if it was a large log being hit against a tree.
I looked at where the noise was coming from and noticed the tops of the trees were swaying back and forth; all this time of the swaying of the trees the pounding on them could be heard.
Then the pounding stopped and a loud groan/scream was heard from the same area as the pounding of the trees. I have never heard anything like it. Iíve heard Mt Lion, Black bear, this was nothing like that, and was very-very loud, to the point is was damn scary. My friend asked if we should look over the small hillside to see what was making the noise. I said no way, and he agreed. When we started walking away the banging and screaming would stop, but as soon as we stopped it would proceed with the groan and screaming and the trees would start swaying.
We finally got out of there and my friend did not want to talk about what had happened.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing that comes to mind that I didnt already list.
OTHER WITNESSES: One besides myself, following my lead back up the creek bed, nothing unusual, maybe drinking from a canteen.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was late in the afternoon, warm and sunny, but the sun was starting to go down.
ENVIRONMENT: Located in a canyon in the mountains with sage brush, poison oak, and with oak and pine trees, that made a canopy of those trees in a creek bottom with running water.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
Investigator's notes, combined with notes from an editor who also spoke with this witness:
I called and talked with RC tonight on July 28, 2006, and he went over his rendition of his and his friend's experience in the Big Tujunga Canyon area several miles above Sunland, back in 2002.
They were up there looking for a remote swimming area nick-named "Monkey Canyon." In Monkey Canyon there are, supposedly, ropes tied to branches of tall trees overhanging several large pools in the creek bed. The ropes allow people to swing out over the large pools, Tarzan style, and drop into the water -- hence the name "Monkey Canyon".
They were trying to find Monkey Canyon when they picked a fairly arbitrary place to park and descend down into the canyon. He said it was a slightly trecherous descent.
Much of terrain in the upper San Gabriel Mountains is steep and trecherous. Many hikers have died here, usually by slipping and falling to their deaths.
After they reached the creek bed they began to hear a very loud growl/scream that came from a small knoll that was about 30 yards away from their location. They also heard what they thought was a loud banging sound that sounded like a large branch or tree hitting another tree. As that was happening they watched two trees with their tops moving, as if the trees were being shaken. They seemed like fairly large trees that were about 6 to 7 feet apart. While all of this is going on, they both smelled a very pungent odor.
Hearing and seeing this, they decided to leave. He said the growling/screaming sounds would seem to stop as they would move away, but then as soon as they would stop the growls/screams would began again. This happened a few times on the way out.
As the witness said, they finally "got the message." Whatever was making those sounds wanted them to keep moving.