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COUNTY: Siskiyou County
LOCATION DETAILS: Parking and picnic area directly off Hwy 96 where the hwy runs parallel to the Klamath River. At the north end of the Klamath National Forest.
NEAREST TOWN: Orleans
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 96
OBSERVED: I have two distinct incidences from 1997 and 1998 in the Klamath National Forest. The incident from 1997 was more of a Class B incident on the Klamath River directly off of Hwy 96. The incident in 1998 was during a solo backpacking trip in the Marble Mountain Wilderness where I hiked over 95 miles by myself.
In 1997, I was working in the field conducting a survey to the National Forest users about federal land issues. It was an internship, and my field partner and I spent almost every night outside. The night of the incident was late summer, the second week of August. We had conducted the survey at a fishing and camping campground on the Klamath River and decided to go find our own camp for the night. We chose an undeveloped site just downhill from Hwy 96 that had nice sand bars along the Klamath River adjacent to a parking and picnic area. The parking area was situated between the river and the Hwy and was downhill from the hwy. The road and the river run parallel to each other here. Ben, my field partner, parked the car, and we grabbed our sleeping bags and a few items and went to crash for the night on the sand bars. Late that night, probably around midnight, we woke up to a large creature walking, actually limping, like a step, drag of foot, step, drag of foot, along the hillside below the road and above the river and us. It sounded like Eigor, but was definitely a two legged creature. We thought it was a person. It was limping along this slope that was covered in about 12 inches of oak leaf duff and the drag of the second (possibly injured) foot was loud through these leaves. Ben asked me if I could hear it, or was I awake. I said yes. I jumped out of my sleeping bag and grabbed a light and a knife. I shined the light up to the hill but could see nothing, and the movement on the hill stopped when I shined the light. I sat in my bag firmly gripping the knife with the light off. It continued to walk along the hillside coming closer to us. Suddenly, it reached a point on the hill directly above us and let out a gnarling, gutteral yelp. Not a scream, but a cry for help. Over and over again, this gnarled inward drone was very loud and continuous. Honestly, Ben and I could see nothing, and just sat there frozen. Waiting. We must have sat there waiting for over an hour, and the creature did the same. It was about 30 feet up the hill from us. Again, in honesty, Ben and I were not scared, and somehow, we both fell asleep. I think I relaxed finally, and just waited, and somehow fell asleep. I awoke some 20 minutes later to a huge splash in the river directly below the sand bars we were sleeping on. Across the river, the next day we could see nothing. No tracks in the sand, no tracks in the leaves, no nothing. We both agreed that it was not a bear, not a cougar, not even a human. There was only one explanation and it was sasquatch.
In 1998, actually, I'm going to submit this one on the next one, because I think I'm close to 20 minutes. Sara
ALSO NOTICED: The call for help or yelp seemed trustworthy. And it was not a human. It was an inward drone that was very loud and sort of a yelping cry. The cry occured for about three minutes. That part was kind of scary, but not, in a way. We didn't know what to do. We were in shock.
OTHER WITNESSES: Two witnesses; sleeping prior to and during/after
OTHER STORIES: Yes, in 1998 in the Marble Mountain WIlderness. I will report that separately, now in the next report. It's a long story.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: midnight, clear, cool night.
ENVIRONMENT: Riverine, scrub oak and black oak forest with some gray pines and douglas fir. Sand bars along volcanic rocky river bank.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Brandon Kiel:
I spoke with the reporter for almost 2 hours and felt that her details of the incident were accurate, consistent, and trustworthy.
She was working with a California non-profit doing user surveys of land areas and issue reporting for the Klamath National Forest Service (specifically grazing/timber usage/fishing/ etc). She and her work partner were sleeping out most nights and this night in particular they decided to drive along 96 looking for RVs and angler fishermen along river to speak with. At about 6pm they stopped and decided to make camp for the evening. They found a campground/picnic area while it was still light and decided to camp beside the river. They set up their tents about 15 ft apart, cooked food on a camp stove, and ate dinner before settling in to sleep. They built no fire and were fairly quiet throughout this period.
At about 10pm they fell asleep and she states she was in a sound sleep when she was awakened by a "step/drag/step/drag" limping sound coming from a slope near their car and the road (it would now be about midnight). The slope was roughly 10ft away from where they were camped and the sound was 75 yrds up the slope.
The sound was obviously bipedal and she became somewhat afraid it was a crazy person in the woods so she picked up a knife she had with her and sat up in her sleeping bag. After a few minutes and the sound getting closer she shined her flashlight towards sound and the sound stopped. She couldn't see anything other than the light itself. In researching the date and time it would have been a new moon so the night would have been extremely dark.
She turned off the flashlight and the walking began again still moving in their direction. It got within 10 yds and then began to make a gurgling/ throaty noise. She estimates that it is now about 20ft away. She states that she was very nervous and that her adrenaline was soaring.
The animal was silent for about 10 seconds and then began making a "very loud inward focused 'I'm injured' kind of whimpering; a sort of moaning/ crying kind of sound". She says that it sounded as if it was asking for help, almost that it had sought them out. It cried like this for 30 seconds uninterrupted then ceased any noise. During the crying it sounded as if it may have sat or laid down. She and her companion both stayed awake for the next two or so hours not moving or speaking and then just "passed out" due to exhaustion and adrenaline. She felt that the animal never left during that time.
Around 5am she awakened to a tremendous splash in the river (the other side of the river is a deep wilderness area). She laid in her tent the rest of the morning never sleeping again. At first light she got up and looked for tracks finding nothing in the deep leaf cover other than "scrapes and drags" in the leaves.
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.