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COUNTY: Trinity County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was Big Bear Lake. The trail head is off HWY 3 about 40 miles north of Weaverville and about a 5 mile hike to the lake.
NEAREST TOWN: Trinity Center
NEAREST ROAD: HWY 3
OBSERVED: I have been backpacking in the Trinity Alps for 12 years and have ran into many bears and even mountain lions but this experience was much different. My wife, brother, and another friend of ours went packing to Bear Lake in the trinity alps. It was our last night and we were the only ones at the lake. Since it was in August fire wood was scarce and we had none for our last night. We sat in our dark camp until about midnight then everyone wanted to sleep. My brother and our friend shared a tent and my wife and I shared one. I lay in my tent and couldn't sleep. I looked at the time and it was 1:30 am. My wife was asleep and I heard what I thought was my brother walking around in camp. It walked around for at least a minute so I whispered my brothers name to see if it was him but it kept walking around and not responding which made me very nervous.
I heard the steps getting closer to my tent and I started to smell a horrible animal stench. I had left my backpack leaning against a log about 15 feet from our tent. Whatever it was walked over and picked up my pack off the ground and was holding it above my tent. I could see the shadow of something very large standing outside the tent trying to rip open my pack as it held it above our tent which had no food in it., Our food pack was up in a tree on the other side of camp with only freeze dried food. I was in such shock I yelled at it and it stood still. My wife, brother, and our friend all woke up from my yelling. My brother was trying to get out of his tent when the animal dropped my pack on top of our tent and ran out of our camp.
ALSO NOTICED: We looked for tracks around the tent the next mourning but it was very dry dirt and to shuffled to make anything out.
OTHER WITNESSES: There was 4 of us. My woke up from the backpack falling on the tent and my brother and our friend woke up from me yelling.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was about 1:30 am. It was a clear night.
ENVIRONMENT: High elevation lake, very remote, Lots of brush and dense forest surrounding.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Trace Taber:
After talking with the witness at length, I can add the following:
The shadowy silhouette was illuminated by the moonlight that night and the witness was able to see details like arm and hand movement as it held up the back pack in an apparent attempt to open it.
There was also an uneasy feeling in camp that evening prior to sundown, described by the witness' brother as a feeling of being watched.
The witness woke the rest of the campers by yelling at it and everyone present heard bipedal footfalls as it made a hasty retreat back into the woods.
The witness now has a strong desire to learn more about the Bigfoot phenomenon and has planned a return trip to the area in the spring.
The Shasta/Trinity wilderness area of Northern California has a long history of encounters. There are some 40+ reports in the BFRO database from this general area.
I found the witness to be sincere, believable and a bit baffled by his experience.
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.