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COUNTY: Tuolumne County
LOCATION DETAILS: Near the intersection of Ponderosa Drive and the main road, Twain Harte Drive.
NEAREST TOWN: Twain Harte
NEAREST ROAD: Twain Harte Drive
OBSERVED: I was just about to go to bed for the night when I took my dog outside for a quick walk. The area around my house is very densely wooded and my backyard is so forested that it's hard to see in the dark more than maybe 20 feet in.
As I was about to head back inside I heard what sounded like a person walking through the brush about 80 yards out. Because of the time, I was curious as to who was walking in my backyard and decided to stay silent and observe rather than calling out.
After a few moments of silence there was continued wrestling in the trees and what sounded like the snapping and breaking of branches. My dog started a low growl and the movement in the trees stopped. A few seconds later, there was a deep, loud growl in the trees. I told my dog to be quiet, but she barked at the noises causing the creature in the trees to start a progressive scream which at its peak was so loud I am sure it was not human.
I went back inside immediately, but my dog continued to growl at the noises for quite some time. I didn't have a view of the yard from my room because of a stairway in the way, but I continued to hear the creature vocalizing over the next ten minutes. I've heard the screams of mountain lions before, but never anything like this.
ALSO NOTICED: I looked around the area where I heard the noises this morning, but couldn't find any footprints. It looks like some of the underbrush had been disturbed as well as a few branches broken.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was the only person awake at the time.
OTHER STORIES: I've heard stories of Bigfoot-like creatures being seen on Big Hill Road between here in Twain Harte and Columbia as well as incidents up the hill above Confidence. I've never personally experienced any other incident myself.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 1 AM in the morning.
Pitch darkness, clear skies.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest, nearby manmade lake, only one major highway between here and open wilderness.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tom Yamarone:
I spoke with the witness by phone and have the following details to add:
The witness described the vocalization as starting out as a low, guttural howl changing to a high pitched scream.
He estimated the duration of this vocalization at 15 seconds.
He has heard mountain lions scream on two occasions and described those "like a woman screaming" - this was not anything like that. (as he mentions above).
Once back inside the home, he heard, through an open window, the sound of the animal walking off back the way it came.
I drove through the neighborhood on 12/08/06. I saw the backyard and it is a heavily wooded hillside.
Twain Harte is a community in the Sierra Nevada mountains and is surrounded by the Stanislaus National Forest. There are other reports from this area as well.