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COUNTY: Tulare County
LOCATION DETAILS: Take the Kennedy Meadows exit from Highway 395 (I don't remember the road name or number) and drive about 22 miles up into the mountains.
The Pacific Crest Trail is on the far side of the campground.
NEAREST TOWN: Kennedy Meadows, CA
OBSERVED: My incident was not a sighting of an actual Big Foot creature, but of footprints.
My father and I were camping at Kennedy Meadows Campground on the South Fork of the Kern River in California.
On April 24, 2001 - we had cross the stream to do some hiking, but could not cross back the same we had came. We decided to go upstream to see if there were any better crossing points, or cross the bridge which was much further upstream.
About 2 miles upstream from the campgrounds we found a suitable place to swim across, then we proceeded uphill to look for the Pacific Crest Trail which leads back to the campground. We figured we were probably within a quarter of a mile from the trail which runs parallel to the river.
While walking through the forest looking for the trail, I happened to look down and noticed some unusual tracks. I called my father over to look at them as well, and to provide confirmation that I was not just "seeing things".
What we saw were footprints which looked approximately 12 inches long and probably 5 or 6 inches wide in the shape of a human foot. The print had 5 toes - with the big toe having the most prominent print. The foot did not seem to have the concave pattern on the inside which would indicate an arch - it seemed almost square in shape.
I considered the possibility that these prints could be a hoax, however, at that point, we had not yet found the trail and it turned out that we were still about 100 feet from it. The prints we saw were in the forest between the river and the PC trail and actually looked as though they could have been travelling parallel to the trail.
We could not determine the age of the print. It had rained probably 5 days earlier and the print had been made after the rain, but did not look much older than a day or two.
This is all the information I can remember at this point, but I am anxious to go back to see if I can find more footprints.
ALSO NOTICED: There did not seem to be anything unusual about this area
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 witnesses - my father and myself
we were hiking
OTHER STORIES: My parents had been camping up in the Kennedy Meadows area years before (~1995) and had taken the PC trail upstream to look for a better fishing spot. At one point, both my mother and father said that they had the strange sensation that something was watching them and the tiny hairs on the back of their necks were standing up. The decided to walk back to the campground by following the river instead of the trail.
Also, prior to that experience, my father said that some Rangers were doing maintenance on the PC trail and one of them had stood up to straighten his back and looked down the trail. At first he thought he was looking at a bear on the trail, but the way it stood up and moved did not indicate bearlike behavior. He asked his partner to look and they both saw "something" before it ducked into the woods.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was late afternoon when we were hiking back and saw the prints.
The weather was clear and warm, and there was no wind.
ENVIRONMENT: The forest consists of mainly pines and cedars, and a mix of deciduous trees. It was not so thick that you could not see daylight, however, trying to get any bearings by looking for landmarks such as mountains would be a problem.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
On the May 8, 2001, I telephoned TR, and tried to get a little better direction and location of the tracks that she and her father observed above the Kennedy Meadows campground. On the May 12, 2001, a friend and I went to the above mentioned campground. We made a two mile plus trek up the South Fork of the Kern River, from the Kennedy Meadows campground between the river and the Pacific Coast Trail, but failed to locate her bigfoot tracks, reason possibly being the fact that numerous fishermen and backpackers have been using that area since April 24, 2001. We observed many fresh human boot prints, some old bear tracks, and numerous fresh deer tracks. On May 25, 2001, I again called TR and advised her of our findings and attempted to gain any other pertinent information on the subject. TR and her family have made many trips to this area over the years, and have had several suspicious things happen to them. A few years ago, her brother observed something dark moving through trees very fast which he thought may have been on two legs. TR and her dad know what bear tracks look like, but the tracks that they encountered were bare foot with five toes, squarish looking, and the stride was much longer than any human that they could identify with. On my first phone call to TR, I asked about the 12" measurement of the tracks when she made her original report, and she stated that on the report, they were probably a little short by a couple of inches.