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DATE: about 20th
COUNTY: Teller County
LOCATION DETAILS: At the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
NEAREST TOWN: Florissant
NEAREST ROAD: Cripple Creek-Florissant Rd
OBSERVED: I was on travel for my job and staying at Colorado Springs for several weeks. It was the middle of September, on a Saturday morning. The day before it had rained hard, then that night it cleared off and got down near freezing. I got up early that Saturday and decided to go exploring. I drove over to the Florissant Fossil Beds. It is a pretty isolated area. It was early in the morning about 8:00 and I was the first visitor to the site. I got there right when the park ranger opened the gate. Just he and I were the only ones there. The ranger told me that I should go on the nature trail through the park. It was a self guided tour. The trail is a dirt trail. I got probably 3/4 of a mile and the path got soft. The rain the day before had washed the mud on the path smooth. I noticed at that time that a herd of elk had come on to the path from the right, some time that night after it rained and followed the path for approximately 50 feet. They then exited into the forest on the left. I got to looking at the track closer and noticed that on top of the elk track were a set of large 16" barefoot prints following the elk. I thought it was odd that somebody would be out walking around that night before barefooted and in the mud. I continued on the path and it looped back to the ranger station. I still was the only visitor when I arrived back there. I asked the ranger who would be out there barefooted in this temperature. He laughed and said bigfoot.
OTHER WITNESSES: None
OTHER STORIES: All around the area they have bigfoot crossing signs.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 8:00AM clear and cold had rained hard the day before
ENVIRONMENT: mixture of aspen woods and meadows
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator K.Hovanec:
I spoke with the witness about his track find and was impressed with the detail and consistency of his report. The witness retired from the Navy in 1996 and is currently a communications engineer with BAE Systems. While working for BAE, he was on travel working on a project at Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs in September 1997. During his stay in Colorado, he visited the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument early one morning to hike and was the first one in the park that day. It had rained the night before. While hiking, he came across a place on the trail where several elk had crossed and ran or walked down the trail. He was walking on the self guided trail in a remote section of the park about ¾ to a mile from the visitor center. He noticed several very large human-like foot prints in the wet soil following in the same direction of the elk prints.
In a more detailed description of the track find, he said that there were approximately a half dozen human-like tracks on or near the trail which was soft; silty and muddy in most places. He said that both the elk tracks and the human-like tracks followed the park trail for about 40 to 50 feet. There were several (six or more) large human-like tracks visible in total. The impressions were very clear and deep. There were 5 very visible toes on each foot, like a man’s track but much larger, wider and flatter. Using a dollar bill, he measured tracks at approximately 16 inches in length. He said that the stride was very long - about 5 to 6 feet in length, and that they were in a relatively straight line. He could clearly see right foot and left foot impressions. He also said that whatever it was appeared to be running, as he could see deep heel impressions, as well as places where the toes dug in as if pushing off. What really got his interest was why would a barefoot person be out tramping out here in the middle of nowhere with no shoes on in cold and wet 40 degree weather. For a while, he was concerned that it might be a grizzly bear due to the size of the print but discounted that because the toes where arranged like a humans where the big toe was the largest with the rest angled down to the little toe, unlike dog, cat, and bear tracks. The track looked like it had flat feet because the arch wasn't that pronounced. This track was a human-like track only much larger. He said he remembered having an uneasy feeling and walked faster on the path back to the ranger station. He did not make the connection to Bigfoot until later because at that time he thought the “Bigfoot” reports were only out in the Pacific Northwest.
In his report he indicated that he had mentioned it to the Park Ranger and the ranger made a humorous comment that it was a "Bigfoot." He said that his discussion with the Ranger was cut short as other visitors had arrived at the park and he had no opportunity for follow-on talks. I asked him why he waited so long to submit a report and he said he had just recently learned about the BFRO web-site. The witness also mentioned Bigfoot crossing signs in the area. These, like the one on Pikes Peak road, were not in the park but down on the main road near the goldmine vicinity Victor or Cripple Creek. I have seen these signs and they look like the standard deer crossing sign but with a “Bigfoot” pictured on it, probably put up by the local community as a novelty. When he saw the signs he thought that the ranger might not be kidding.
Based on my discussions with the witness, I have reason to believe his report to be a credible Class B account track find. In addition, he claimed to be the first person in the park that day and saw no evidence of other visitors in the area or that anyone had been down that trail before him - with the recent rain and the fresh tracks, I think it is unlikely that he was the victim of a hoax as the site would have been contaminated with other human tracks. What he said he saw was very clear, human-like set of tracks with distinct toe impressions that were much larger and wider than a human’s, and too large to be a black bear and no evidence of claw marks. The track find was on the self guided trail but in a rather remote section of the park. The BFRO database has several reports in this area. The proximity of the track find to elk tracks is also noteable, as there are elk in this area and sasquatch have been documented predators of deer and elk, with sightings associated with elk habitat, migration routes, and winter kill scavenging.
About BFRO Investigator K.Hovanec:
K.Hovanec is a retired US Army Engineer and systems engineer for a defense contractor. He attended the BFRO Colorado Expeditions in 2005 and 2008, and will attend the CO 2009 Expedition. He continues to conduct search and investigative follow-up in Colorado.