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DATE: Sept. 2nd
COUNTY: Del Norte County
LOCATION DETAILS: This was only my 2nd time on this highway. I'm not from the area, so I'm not sure exactly where on 199 I was. I just know there is a stretch of highway where it comes very close to the river. That's where we were when my son called out.
NEAREST TOWN: Crescent City
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 199 south
OBSERVED: While driving south on highway 199 from Grants Pass to Crescent City, my eight year old son said "Hey Dad, what's that?". We were driving just above the Smith River as it snakes alongside the highway. I assumed he was talking about perhaps a rafter or something but instead, to my surprise, he said "I saw a hairy thing sitting on a rock in the middle of the river. It was getting a drink or something". I asked him if he thought it was a bear. He said "No....it looked kinda like a gorilla". I have to go on what he said. I didn't see a thing. I was too busy driving.
ALSO NOTICED: No.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just my son, my daughters and wife were asleep, and I was driving.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Daytime, around 2 pm. Conditions were excellent. Very hot, clear day.
ENVIRONMENT: In the middle of a large river surrounded by forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
I talked with the father, Paul, and the son Aiden tonight about the son's gorilla sighting in the northern part of California, along the Smith River. Aiden, who is eight years old, has seen the movie "Harry and the Hendersons," but it was some time prior to the sighting. Aiden's father, Paul, stated that his son was sitting in the back of the van looking out the window when he observed a large hairy animal sitting on a rock in the river. Paul asked his son, "Was it a bear?" Aiden said "No, it was a gorilla!" This really took the father by surprise, but they continued on down the road.
Paul said that the road follows the river pretty closely, and they were in a 180-degree curve following the Smith River. At that point, the road was about thirty feet above and about one hundred feet from the river. The river was low and moving slowly. Paul said he was traveling pretty fast when the sighting occurred, and it probably lasted less than ten seconds. The time of day was about 2pm in the afternoon.
With the father's permission, I had the opportunity to ask Aiden just what he had seen. The following is what he observed.
Aiden said, "I seen this large chimpanzee squatting on a rock, using its hand, like it was drinking from the river. It was kind of bigger than a man, only afterwards did I think it was a bigfoot. I saw its side and the front part of it. The face looked like a gorilla with ape lips. The color was a dark brown, and it had hair all over." Per Aiden, ape lips meant that they were thin.
Aiden was very excited about the short sighting of the gorilla in the river, and Paul had to stop at the next small little roadside town and buy his son a bigfoot t-shirt and a bigfoot poster, which, by the way, had our BFRO website address on it, and that's how Paul got a hold of us.
In summary: Paul and his son were very forthcoming and sincere in their rendition of the short sighting. I believe that Aiden saw a bigfoot creature squatting on a rock in the Smith River.