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COUNTY: Humboldt County
LOCATION DETAILS: Fish Lake Campground off of Bluff Creek Road; camp site #19
NEAREST TOWN: Weitchpec
NEAREST ROAD: Bluff Creek Road off of Hwy. 96
OBSERVED: John Freitas of BFRO was kind enough to allow us to borrow his broadcasting sound equipment for the duration of our camping trip. We broadcast the alleged Sasquatch "screams" and "howls" throughout the next few days, including the Bluff Creek Road areas.
Note: Before leaving the truck at the locked Forest Service gate, the Fish Lake Road, and hiking to Fish Lake, we broadcast two calls of each sound, the "scream" and the "howl". Coincidentally, our encounter occurred that same evening.
At approximately 9:30 p.m., we were in the process of setting up our second tent (there were six of us in the party), and maintaining the campfire when from directly across the road and meadow we heard a type of "whistle" or double "whoop" (try whistling these syllables "WEEOOOU, WEEOOOU") and it was immediately followed by a very intense "screech", which I could only compare to a bear cub in danger combined with the intensity of a hawk shriek. One of our younger members (15) insists it sounded like a possessed woman!
Now, I grew up in the mountains of Montana, am familiar with many animals and their sounds, and have never heard anything like this in my life. And until this moment, I have wondered what it was like to have the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I have never felt this kind of reaction, I repeat -- NEVER.
The sound sequence repeated itself again, followed by a third lone screech. Immediately, we panned the forest/tree line with our flashlights with the intent of at least seeing the reflection of an animal's eyes. NOTHING. We must have lighted the area for nearly ten minutes following the sound and still saw nothing. As time wore on, we began to relax and go about our business of finishing the tent set-up and dinner.
Then at about 12:30 a.m. (just past midnight, with two of the teenagers already asleep), we again heard the "whistle - whoop" immediately followed by the "screech", but this time directly BEHIND our camp site up the slope near the picnic areas amongst the trees. Again, we panned the area with lights (I broke out the 2,000,000 candlepower gangbuster spotlight and lit the night ) and still, NOTHING. No movement, no eyes, nothing. After panning around the entire area once again, I noticed movement on the road towards the restrooms and we quickly moved the light in that direction. Walking across the road was a tiny little grey fox, or kit fox. Well, for our needs, that was our mystery animal. (We THOUGHT). We figured it yelped and then made that raucous screech for some other reason. Funny, but that was enough confirmation for us and we went to bed for the night.
At approximately 5:30 a.m., three of us woke at the same time and after a minute or two of silence we again heard the "whistle - whoop" followed immediately by the intense "screech" and this followed again by a lone "screech". But, this time the sound was only about 20 feet from our tent as if it was standing directly on the paved road next to our camp site. We were all unnerved somewhat, but agreed it's just that darn kit fox again, and didn't bother to jump out with the video cameras or spotlights. I exchanged words with a person in the other tent (not sure if this "chased" it away), but we then heard the same "whistle" and "screech" again, but far off in the distance as if it were a quarter-mile away. This was the end of our encounter.
The following morning we checked the area for any signs of tracks and found nothing. We also nearly walked the entire circumference of the lake shore searching for signs of any kind and [got] nothing. Please note that we did not HEAR any movement in the brush or any footsteps. We did not SEE any movement or eyes of any kind and we did not SMELL anything at all. After hiking out of Fish Lake the next day, and driving back to the coast, we just didn't feel right with our "kit fox" explanation. It just didn't sit right with us. The sound was just too intense. Then, upon discussing the incident with John Freitas that same evening, he agreed with the idea that foxes almost NEVER even make sounds, much less something as nerve-wracking as that of the night before.
On our trip back south, we stopped for a break and found a poster-type map discussing the numerous Bigfoot sightings and locations and in the accompanying paragraph it stated that "... sounds associated with bigfoot encounters include whistles and shrieks similar to that of a mountain lion." We welcome your feedback on discussing these sounds.
ALSO NOTICED: Again, please take note of the fact that we broadcast the alleged Bigfoot screams and howls (available on the BFRO site) immediately prior to our three mile hike to Fish Lake; approximately 6:30 p.m.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were six of us in the party: four males, ages 32, 23, 15, and 15 and two females ages 22 and 15. All were alert during the first sound encounter while preparing the camp, tents, fire, etc. The second encounter at 12:30 a.m. included the three adult witnesses and one teenage male. The adults were standing around the fire and the boy had just climbed into his bag in the tent. The third encounter at 5:30 a.m. included the two adult males and the same teenage male. All had been sleeping but awoke nearly simultaneously prior to the final sounds as if a previous sound had awakened us from sleep.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The incident began at approximately 9:30 p.m. and ended at approximately 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Weather conditions included wet from several days rainfall, overcast, approximately 55 degrees F.
ENVIRONMENT: Lake shore Forest Service campground (our site approximately 150 yards from shore), paved roads throughout, surrounded by thickly-wooded Northern California pine forests. Site #19 first has paved road and 30 yards of open meadow before a tree line begins to the front, while the rear has slightly raised slope containing two separate picnic areas with tables, amongst interspersed with small wooded/brush sections. Site #19 is approximately 30 yards from public restrooms as well.