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COUNTY: Nevada County
LOCATION DETAILS: Here's the "general" area on Topozone.com
I remember it was one of the rough 4-wheel drive roads off the Meadow Lake Rd as I was trying to find White Rock Lake.
From Truckee I went north on Hwy. 89 and turned east on Henness Pass Rd. then turned south on Meadow Lake Road at Webber Lake.
NEAREST TOWN: Truckee, CA
NEAREST ROAD: Meadow Lake Rd.
OBSERVED: This is the honest truth of an experience I had 20 years ago. I’ve been meaning to submit this experience to BFRO for a while now but I wanted to find the right timeframe noted in my journal. I had lost this journal but I recently moved and found it in a box while unpacking.
I still remember it clearly, although I have never submitted it to any site such as this before. I am an avid backpacker and have backpacked extensively in the western states, in the wildest and remotest regions, and have encountered many large wild animals including grizzly bears. Never before nor since have I had such an odd experience as this one.
I left one Friday evening (August 1, 1986) by myself after work with my dogs (at the time my family had a beagle and a poodle, I'll take anything hiking with me!), and I was trying to find a lake up in Tahoe National Forest called White Rock Lake. I had never been there before so I wasn't familiar with the unmarked roads. According to the topo map I could get there via a 4-wheel drive road.
Way back behind Truckee, northeast of Fordyce Lake, I found myself driving slowly, at night, on rough rocky dirt roads, trying to figure out where I was. Roads would seem to peter out, or bisect with other 4-wheel drive roads, and I had no clue where I was going. I was way out in the middle of nowhere... no lakes or significant creeks or any destination type areas within miles.
I decided to wait until daylight before I confused myself anymore in the darkness. I'm sure I didn't even need to pull off the little "road" I was on since I hadn't seen anyone or anything, but just in case, I did. I pulled off the rocky road just a few yards, my Datsun 4-wheel drive pickup hidden by trees. I grabbed my sleeping bag, tossed it outside in front of my truck, and me and my dogs slept under a very starry night.
Sometime early in the morning, around 3 or 4 a.m. (it was still pitch black), I awoke and heard something walking up the road in my direction. I could tell it was heavy, and it was walking steadily my way. At first I thought it must've been a backpacker, as it was obviously bipedal by the rhythm of the walk. The steps were distinct. Then I thought to myself, what would a backpacker be doing way out here on this road, in the middle of the night, with no light, with nothing but miles of thick forest in all directions? I knew it wasn't a bear (I've encountered dozens of bears in my years in the wild). I had no idea what this was, but a backpacker was still my best guess.
As it got closer and closer, I wondered if I should say something, but I didn't want to scare anyone unnecessarily. I'm sure it would just walk right by. But, for some reason, I was getting increasingly nervous, and there aren't too many things in the wilderness that make me nervous. The odd thing was my dogs weren't making a sound, or a move for that matter, which added to the suspense. My dogs would have normally at least given a warning bark or two. This heavy, bipedal thing was coming closer and closer and was about to come to the point where I had pulled my truck off the road. I laid there very quietly. I didn't know what to expect, and hoped whatever or whoever it was would just continue on by, not even noticing me. It was so dark I couldn't see a thing.
The closer it got, the bigger I realized it must be, because through the rhythm of the walk I could tell it was quite large. I stayed silent in my nervousness. A sasquatch was the last thing on my mind as I hadn't really given much thought in the past to such a thing, especially in the Sierras. That was about to change. It came up to where I had parked my truck off the road, and... silence. It stopped. Although I couldn't see it in the darkness, it was only a few yards away from where I was laying in my sleeping bag.
I don't know if I made a sound, or one of my dogs made a sound, but something happened that made it react. This thing let out the most heinous, forest-piercing scream you could imagine. I can't even attempt to put in words what this thing sounded like. It had a set of lungs on it like nothing I could describe or accurately imitate. Then, still screaming, it turned around and ran back down the road in the darkness at a fast rate of speed. It screamed the whole time, echoing through the forest. It never let up. I could hear the screams fading in the distance.
I laid there in total shock. I couldn't believe what just happened. Eventually I jumped up and tossed everything in my truck. My dogs acted just as freaked as me. I knew whatever it was a long distance away by this point, so before leaving the area I drove down the road with my brights on, trying to see if I could see any footprints or signs of anything odd. My adrenaline was flowing big time. Although I didn't actually get out of the truck, I opened the door and looked down to see if I could see footprints or any clue of what this thing was. The road was too rocky for footprints. I then let my dogs out, hoping they would pick up a scent (although I didn't know what I'd do if they did), but oddly they jumped right back in the truck. This was out of character for them. I tossed them back out again, and they jumped right back in. I decided if they're as freaked out as I am, I better get the heck out of there and I drove many miles back towards the main road.
I hadn't thought much of a sasquatch before this experience, but now I'm certainly a believer. People try and explain it away to me, but I know what I heard. I didn't see it, nor did I smell anything, but it was so close I could feel it. And it was so close when it screamed that I'm surprised I didn't get spit on. Nothing in those forests could scream like that, nor run that fast, especially nothing that walked upright. I don't dwell on the bigfoot subject, nor have I made it a mission to seek them out, but I know they’re out there. My experience is still very vivid. It doesn't matter to me whether someone believes it or not. I'm not submitting this report to convince anyone otherwise. I'm just sharing an experience I had in the Sierras one night, near Truckee.
ALSO NOTICED: None.
OTHER WITNESSES: No, just me and my two dogs.
OTHER STORIES: Not to my knowledge.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was early morning, approx 3-4 a.m., pitch dark, clear skies.
ENVIRONMENT: Thick forest, rough rocky road that was tough to follow at night.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brandon Kiel:
I spoke with the witness for close to 45 minutes and he reiterated the facts and details of the incident. I found him to be a level-headed and sincere witness. He has no doubts about his encounter.
About BFRO Investigator Brandon Kiel:
Brandon Kiel is a professional photographer and naturalist living in the Bay Area.
He was the chief coordinator of Northern California Expeditions for 7 years and has planned/attended more than 20 expeditions throughout the US.