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COUNTY: Placer County
LOCATION DETAILS: Finning Mill Road is starts about four miles out from Foresthill, the road gose far in. we were about ten miles in and it still kept going . the elevation was about 3500 to 4000 feet. Our site was on the top of the hill right next to the road if you go to the bridge you went to far. and there is an camp site there you cant miss it
NEAREST TOWN: Foresthill California neer Auburn
NEAREST ROAD: Finning Mill Road
OBSERVED: Well, I've had a story to tell for quite sometime. I belong to a world war two battle reenacting club for seven years now. The place where this happened we have been going to before I joined the club. The people in the nearest town of Foresthill know this club well.
The story I'm about to tell you is true and the people involved are veterans of the hills of California. It was back in 1998, the second weekend of September (I know this because we always meet on the second weekend of the month). Anyway, on Friday night, I was on my way up to the site to set up camp for next day. When I got up there, my unit commander was already there, so after we got done, we bedded down for the night.
Before you knew it, it was morning and all through the night we kept hearing cars and trucks pulling up. The next morning we woke up to everyone there (all four units worth). All that day, we battled from dawn until dusk. When we were done, all tired and bruised, we managed to drag ourselves back to camp for dinner. Some went into town, the rest of us stayed and had it there. Later, we were all back and sitting around four different fires and talking about the day. One by one we went back to our tents or cots and sleeping bags. The last thing I remember before I went to sleep was both of the commanders talking about tomorrow's set up and that was it, or so I thought.
Well, I was rolling over in my cot and slightly awake when, well for the lack of a better word, heard a "howling sound". I, in all my life, have never heared anything like it before. It cried out eight or nine times . After a few moments there was nothing, so I got tired and went back to sleep, but only because the sound wasn't too close to the camp. It sounded like it came from where we where battling that day up on the ridge, about half a mile from us.
I woke up again about one hour later. I had to use the bathroom, I put on my boots and walked over to a bush to relieve myself, and on the way back I heard it again, but this time it was much closer. It was right down the road from us and it was loud, very loud, and I know that this time I wasn't the only one to hear it. Several times it let out . one after another. This time it was much more deep and clear to the ear. My unit commander and several of the other unit people woke up. To my and their knowledge, we didn't know what to do . No matter what I did, I could not stay awake but before I went back to sleep, I loaded my gun with real bullets and put my bayonet under my blanket near my pillow. What ever it was, if it came into camp and hurt me or anyone, I was going to kill it. We heard it two more times that night, each time it was further away.
When we woke up that next morning, many people were confused and in denial about what happened. We all were trying to think of what it could have been, but no one said what was on everyone's mind. To this day it gives me chills up and down my spine at the thought of what we all knew it was.
ALSO NOTICED: Well, when we battle, we use alot of blank ammo. We have full and semi-automatic weapons. When we get done with a battle, we usually scare every animal in the area out of there, sometimes even the sheriff's department will come and check on us from time to time (to see if we are all still alive ha,ha,ha) but whatever it was, was not impressed.
OTHER WITNESSES: I am not too sure, alot though, 10 maybe 15 people. Alot of us woke up on the second time it yelled out. Sleeping, there is over 15 people in every unit. There was about 60+ people there that night.
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10pm, it was at night, very dark - September weather that year was warm-slight chill at night
ENVIRONMENT: Lots of trees pine forest, some oaks, steep in some places, a creek is nearby, and in some places very thick.
Follow-up investigation report:
I talked with the witness by telephone and the following details can be added to the report:
--The area is located in the Tahoe National Forest, forested with pine trees and oaks. They were in a wide open flat, which goes down to a creek;
--the club uses the area one time each month for two days. The area has only dirt roads, and sometimes, people from Foresthill come by, but mostly people who are not participating in the events are not around;
--on Saturday, their events occurred from dawn to dusk, and included a 81 mm German Mortar that shot PVC pipe; small explosives; automatic weapons (blanks); German WWII half track; Kubbel wagon; and full-blown uniforms;
--"war" activities stopped around 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. Most everyone, including witness, went to bed at 9:00, and the howls started about 10:30 to 11:00 p.m.;
--there were four events, with approximately nine screams in each event. The first sounded like it came from the ridge, the second down the road (less than 100 yards); The third downhill and the fourth further away. There was one hour between first event and second event, with the third and fourth coming quickly thereafter;
--description of howl: bellowish, very loud and deep pitched, with the deepest part turning "raspy", like a horse human. The howls also echoed, and before the echo died out, the next call came;
--sounds were similar to those on the A&E special on bigfoot, but the tone wasn't as clear and sharp as in person;
--the next day they tried to find footprints, but found nothing;
--witness has been back since, but nothing else has occurred; and
--witness has hunted, and knows bear and cat sounds, but this howl was like nothing he or the 15+ people who also heard it could explain.
Additional observation: According to an expert on military equipment, it was estimated that the sounds of the "war" activities would carry somewhere between 2 to 4 miles in a forest setting. It can be assumed that the creature that made the howls was not within this "sound" zone during the activities, because it would likely have avoided the area. Based on the fact that activities ended at 7:00 p.m. and the howls started at 10:30 p.m., the creatures apparently traveled an estimated four miles to the camp in about 3.5 hours.