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COUNTY: Placer County
LOCATION DETAILS: From Auburn, Ca...
South on 49.
South on 193.
Turn left onto Main st (in Georgetown, CA).
This becomes Georgetown-Wentworth Springs Rd.
This road passed Stumpy Meadows Lake (on the right). About three to four miles, past it, turn left (first paved left possible). I believe that it goes to Hell Hole Reservoir. After dropping several hundred feet, the road crosses the Rubicon river. The first trail on the right (immediately after crossing the bridge) leads down to the river (and our campsite).
NEAREST TOWN: Georgetown
NEAREST ROAD: highway 193
OBSERVED: I was camping at the Rubicon River with a couple of friends of mine, a place where we have camped relatively regularly for the past 5 or 6 years.
Normally when I am there, I see many ground squirrels and chipmunks. Occasionally, I will notice a few deer, especially near the campsites (from sloppy campers). Normally, there are several birds in the area too.
We arrived late in the afternon and realized that the area was unusually quiet. No animals were scurrying or foraging.
By nightfall, the area was nearly silent. The only noises were the occasional cars passing on the bridge.
We decided to do some exploring up the river after breakfast. It was still quiet. we wanted to find good rocks for climbing and jumping into the river.
About a 1/4 mile upstream, we stopped at a formation that came up from the banks about 30 to 40 feet. We free climbed and sat up top to check out the valley.
Directly across the river (north facing bank), the rocks were very dark, moss covered and looked fairly tough to climb. There were also many trees and bushes.
There was a deep crevasse near the water level that was 4 to 5 feet wide and full of growth. we thought that it would be fun to find a way across the river and climb it. At that moment, my friend Jeff noticed a rustling behind the shrubs in the crevasse. He got our attention and we all checked it out. A moment later, we saw a large, hairy figure move into an opening in the crevasse, in a crouching position. It was crouched on the two rear feet and the front right paw was grasping a tree (to maintain balance?) The hair was dark brown, and all over the body. Although we didn't see it stand up as it moved up the crevasse, we could tell that it was well over 6 feet tall, probably closer to 7 feet. The face of the creature had no snout, but rather a flat face, much like a primate. The rear paws looked much like human feet, but larger, maybe a foot and a half long. As it went higher into the crevasse, it entered a darker area thick with trees and manzanita, at which point we lost it.
At this time, we decided to leave and get back to our campsite as fast as possible, always glancing back to see if the creature was behing us. Once we reached our site, we decided to cut the trip short and head back home.
OTHER WITNESSES: Three witnesses.
We were free-climbing around adventuring around the rock formations and looking for places to rock jump into the river.
OTHER STORIES: Unfortunately, since we are not from the Georgetown/Auburn area, we do not of any local stories or sightings.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Sunny afternoon, 11:30 or so. Warm, maybe 75 - 80 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Steep-sided river valley. Very rocky in some areas. Lots of pine trees & poison oak. Many manzanita bushes. Up above the river, the terrain flattens out.
There are a lot of bushes and rock formations in and around the river.
Above the campsite is the bridge (maybe 200 ft up).
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
Martin R. called me tonight and gave me a few more details of his and his friend's short sighting experience on the Rubicon River east of Georgetown California. I asked Martin the following questions.
*Where did this incident occur? "In the California Sierra Mountains."
*What date did this take place? "On July 18, 2001."
*What time of year was it? "Summer."
*Was it day or night? "It was during the day, late morning."
*Describe the area in which this incident occurred. "It was located in a steep sided river valley with lots of pine trees with poison oak."
*Where in California did this happen? "We went east about four miles from Georgetown, on the Wentworth Springs Road."
*Near what area? "We turned north on the first paved road past the Stumpy Meadows Lake, and we crossed the bridge that crosses the Rubicon River."
*What distance would you estimate you were from this thing when you saw it? "We were about sixty or so feet from the creature."
*What was your first reaction? "At first, we thought it was a black bear."
*What was it doing? "The creature was moving up a very steep rock filled dark crevice, which was across the river from us."
*Were you alone when you first saw this? "No, there were three of us who seen this creature."
*What's is his/her name? "They are two friends of mine, and are both males, 27 and 28 years old.".
*Did it stand and walk on two legs? "Yes, it was moving up the crevice, and it went from a crouching position to a walking position on its hind legs, and it was using its arms and hands grabbing the rocks and trees pulling itself up as it continued to climb up and into the crevice."
*Did you see it go down on all fours? "Hard to tell, because of the steep terrain, which was almost straight up and down."
*Was it covered in hair? "Yes, and it looked coarse."
*What color was it? "It was a dark brown that looked almost black."
*How tall would you estimate this thing to have been? "We are all over six feet tall, and this creature seemed to be at least six to seven feet tall even though it looked like it was crouching as it first moved into the crevice."
*What would you estimate its weight to have been? "I am 185 lbs., and this creature looked to be over three hundred lbs."
*Did you see any facial features? "No, It was moving up and away from us, but we all noticed that there was no snout on the face."
*Could you describe them? "We noticed no snout, and the face was lighter in color than the rest of the body."
*Could you describe the arms? "They were about three fourths the size of the legs, and didn't seem too long."
*Could you tell if it was a male or a female? "No!"
*About for how long did you see it? "We only seen it for about three to four seconds."
*Did it ever make any noise? "No, We had a moving river between it and us."
*Did it ever make any animal sounds from its mouth? "No, it made no sounds that we could hear."
*Did it see you? "I didn't think so, but we left that area immediately after the sighting.".
*Did you smell anything? "No!"
*Did you check for footprints? "No!".
*Did you report what you saw? (i.e.) Parents or any agency? "No!"
*In your own words describe what happened. "We were going up the river to try and locate a rock formation that we could use to jump into the river. As we climbed up a rock embankment on the north side of the river, we observed what we at first thought was a black bear, moving on the opposite side of the river. This bear/creature was up about as high on the south side of the river as we were, and it was moving into this very tight crevice. This crevice was five or six feet across and was very deep and dark with trees, brush and rocks in it. We observed that it was using one of its hands or paws holding onto a tree as it moved into this crevice. As it moved from a crouching position to a standing position, it went from about four feet tall to well over six or seven feet tall, it then no longer looked like a bear. When this creature was stretched out, it was thinner than a bear and very muscular. We then left this area and headed back to camp."
In summary: Martin did state that he and his friends have never seen a bear in the wild before, and that they had a discussion on whether this creature was a bear or what. Two of them think it wasn't a bear, but something else like a bigfoot. From what Martin described, I think they saw a bigfoot creature, and not a bear.