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COUNTY: Gunnison County
NEAREST TOWN: Crested Butte
NEAREST ROAD: Taylor pass road
OBSERVED: I was camping with my family around Taylor resivor, towards Aspen in a Coleman pop-up camper.Around midnight I heard something moving or licking our cast iron skillet that was washed and left by a tree outside our camper. I got up and opened the door of our camper expecting to see a bear. At that time my friends dogs that were sleeping in his tent about 100 feet from our camper strated to bark. In the distance I saw a large dark object running into the woods. The suprising thing was that our camper started to shake rapidly. In the morning I asked my wife if she could feel the camper if I ran by it. I weigh 220 lbs and couldn't make it move at all. When this animal ran away from it it felt like an earthquake. Very Strange.
OTHER WITNESSES: Sleeping
TIME AND CONDITIONS: night time,dark
ENVIRONMENT: Clearing in a pine forest
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Mark Taylor:
I spoke with the witness the evening of August 11, 2008 and have the following details to add. The witness, his wife, and a friend were camping in the Taylor Pass area between Aspen and Crested Butte. They had retired to bed for the evening at approx 10:00pm. Shortly after settling in, the witness’s wife nudged him to say she heard something outside. They listened for a few minutes and heard a lapping type noise and the skillet rattling that was setting on a folding camp table about fifteen feet behind the camper. They quickly decided that a black bear was the culprit. The witness opened the door expecting to chase a black bear away. The camper shook as the culprit ran away. The witness described seeing a large, dark, upright object moving swiftly away from the camp at a distance of about forty feet, and within a few seconds it disappeared into the dark timber. The witness said it was too dark to make out any details. No vocalizations were heard and the rest of the evening was quite.
The next morning they asked their friend sleeping in the tent if he heard anything. He was asleep, but was awakened by his dog barking at the commotion and didn’t hear anything over the dog’s barking. They looked for tracks but found none. They attempted to recreate the camper shaking by running and jumping outside, but could not get the camper to vibrate as it did during the event, leaving them to believe the animal was substantial in size.
During the interview the witness said several times “this was not a bear”. The witness camps often, lives in Aspen Colorado and frequently sees bears.
About BFRO Investigator Mark Taylor:
Mark Taylor works for a plastics manufacturer and travels throughout the USA. As a Rocky Mountain area native he is an avid outdoorsman and was Group Leader of search and rescue operations logging over 800 hrs of field time in 5 years as well as 200 hours of professional search and rescue training. He resides in Evergreen CO with his wife and two children. Mark has worked in recent years with Colorado BFRO members and attended the Colorado 2008 Expedition.