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COUNTY: El Dorado County
LOCATION DETAILS: From US Highway 50, turn south at Sierra at Tahoe Rd., enter the Sierra Ski Resort and ask permission to 4x4 to the "Short Stuff" run. From there the site is less than a mile. Otherwise it is a stiff uphill trek from the "corral" trailhead in Sayles Canyon. To get there turn right (downhill) just before the black Ski Area metal gate, past the green and orange gate, to the trailhead. From Highway 50, this trailhead is 3.5 miles.
NEAREST TOWN: Phillips
NEAREST ROAD: Sierra at Tahoe Rd (Sierra Ski Resort)
OBSERVED: Today, August 23, 2007, I was hiking off-trail in El Dorado County, California in the forest 60 feet north of the Bryan Meadow trail, when at about 10:30 a.m. I saw a tall dark figure peering around a large red fir stump. This was from perhaps 100 feet away, I quickly walked up to the stump, but there was no one there. It would have been possible to move uphill away from me using the large stump as cover, but only a very athletic person could have managed this in the time available.
Moving then uphill and to the SE, I regained the Bryan Meadow trail and there noted a large footprint, which I photographed next to my two-way radio. It is about twice the length of my foot, (a size 12 boot size). I do not know the source of this print, but it was where the rapid retreat occurred.
I had just parked at the Sierra Ski area (Short Stuff run), and begun walking up the forest north of the trail to Bryan Meadows. I was moving quietly and slowly, crossing from the north side of the stream to the south without being on any trail. Another biologist was still moving up the canyon on the north side of the stream, but was well ahead of my position.
It could have been a human, but the person would have to have been wearing all uniformly dark clothing and had a dark complexion or been wearing dark paint. Head to knee, the figure was a uniformly dark hue and no other detail was discernable, except that the shoulders were slightly more narrow than the average person would be, and the height was at least 6'-3" to 6'-5". The figure was peering at me from the west end of the stump, leaning forward, so that all above the knee was visible. The figure was of a uniformly dark color, perhaps black.
ALSO NOTICED: The Sierra Ski Resort staff complained to me (the day prior) about a particularly ravenous bear causing problems and raiding garbage in this general location.
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witnesses
OTHER STORIES: I was told of another sighting in the El Dorado National Forest, El Dorado County in the Camp Creek area very recently but am not at liberty to offer any details, which would be second-hand anyway.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: See above
ENVIRONMENT: This is Red Fir forest, at about 8,000 feet in elevation. The site is adjacent to a creek with a thick mountain alder thicket. The canopy was full, so the light was not that great.
This red fir stump is distinctive, very large, it would take several people to reach around it. It is broken, perhaps eight feet above the ground, and the massive trunk lies in two pieces that run toward the east. The north side has an unusual amount of the edible mushroom, Polyporus sulphureus growing from it.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:
I spoke with the witness on 8/31/07 by telephone. The following details can be added to the report:
The witness was walking perhaps 30 to 50 feet off-trail.
The witness and the creature stared at each other for approximately two seconds.
The creatures right hand was touching the stump during the encounter.
The creature was described as tall, angular, and thin.
The witness first thought that he was looking at a woman based on the body movements. He saw no signs of breasts or genitalia, though. During the interview, he always referred to it as a she.
He gauged his height estimate based on the height of his field partner, who stands at six foot, two inches. The creature was several inches taller than his partner.
The witness did not notice if any of the edible mushroom was eaten or not.
The print was at the base of an incline less than 100 feet away.
In the nearby stream was a very high concentration of small brook trout. Most of the fish were between six and ten inches long.
The witness is a forest service botanist. He has served 26 years in the military, mainly as search and rescue and special ops.
About BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:
- Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music (Guitar) -- Cal. State Long Beach
- Professional educator with more than a decade of experience.
- Attended many public BFRO expeditions since 2005 (Redwoods, Sierras, Arizona, Southern California, Vancouver Island, Mendocino).
- Attended and/or led numerous non-public BFRO expeditions (CA: Bluff Creek, Blue Creek, Stanislaus NF; WA: Stevens Pass, Olympic Peninsula, Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest; Ohio: Beaver Creek; Florida: Green Swamp)
- Led the 2007 and 2008 California Sierra Nevadas Expedition (public), and the Oregon Expedition (public) in June 2008
- Can be reached at NorthAmericanBigfoot@gmail.com