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COUNTY: Josephine County
LOCATION DETAILS: At the "Forks" Park right outside of Cave Junction.
NEAREST TOWN: Cave Junction
NEAREST ROAD: Redwood Highway
OBSERVED: I had lived in Indiana for a few years and had returned to Oregon in 2005. I was so excited to be back home; even the air smells sweeter when I got back. I would get in my car and just drive sometimes. One day, winter of 2006, my daughter and I drove up to the Oregon Caves and then meandered back towards Redwood Highway. I decided to stop at a park on the outskirts of Cave Junction to smoke and stretch my legs. It was winter and nobody else was in the park, very quiet and cold. We walked down to the river, randomly talking about how pretty it was. Out of the corner of my right eye I saw someone walking in the river. My first thought was of concern because it was so cold and I could not imagine anyone being in the river except if there were an emergency. I turned my head and all I remember seeing was a very large dark person (It walked like a human). I don't remember much after that except sheer panic. My hair was standing on end and I yelled at my daughter to "RUN"!!! I didn't even look back to make sure my daughter was behind me, I figured I could hear her footsteps and that was good enough. All I could think about was whatever that thing was, it wouldn't take long for it to catch up to us before we made it to the car. Once we were in the car I don't even recall how fast we got back to the highway. I stopped in a parking lot once we were in Cave Junction and tried to calm down. We hadn't even spoken to each other until then. My daughter finally asked me, "Mom, what was that?" I told her that I had no idea, maybe it was a bear. Her reply was that it didn't look or walk like a bear and it was too big to be a bear. I agreed with her but I didn't have any other answer at that time. I honestly cannot recall a time when I have been that panicked especially considering that there really was no reason to panic. This thing was far enough down river that I could not make out details of its face and it was just "strolling" through the water. It was not making threatening movements at all. I had pretty much convinced myself it had to have been a bear and forgot about the incident until recently when I saw a bear while hiking. I have seen bears in the past but this bear was quite close and it didn't really bother me. I just turned around and walked back the way I came in. It occurred to me as odd that being alone, seeing a bear ahead of me (with my car quite far away) I felt no panic and very little fear. I couldn't understand my fear of whatever was walking in the river. It was much farther away than this bear had been, my car was much closer and I was not alone...I was in a public park not far at all from Cave Junction, I mean it really bothered me.
OTHER WITNESSES: My daughter 13 years old at the time
OTHER STORIES: Yes, quite a few.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Cold winter day probably around 4PM
ENVIRONMENT: At the river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Trace Taber:
I spoke with the witness for quite some time and found her to be quite sincere and able to recall with detail the events of the day.
I am able to add the following:
She and her daughter observed what they believe was a bigfoot from approximately fifty to seventy-five yards away. The bigfoot was shin deep in the river, appearing to be looking down and moving towards them. The bi-pedal creature was splashing and walking as if looking for something. Her description: "It was all dark from head to toe. It walked like a man with its head down but much, much bigger." At some point it stopped walking and looked up, possibly noticing she and her daughter. This is when they left the area in haste.
This area is just outside the small city of Cave Junction. Across the Illinois River is a large tract of forest land which leads to the protected Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area. This sighting is also in the same general area as the well-known sighting at the Oregon Caves by Dr. Johnson in 2000, see Report #678.
About BFRO Investigator Trace Taber:
Trace is an Oregon resident who has Attended several BFRO expeditions in Oregon and Northern California starting in 2006. He has spent 30+ years exploring the wilds of Southern Oregon and Northern California.