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COUNTY: King County
LOCATION DETAILS: The Riley family owned the Aqua Barn Ranch on the south side of the Cedar River in Maple Valley and another large property, just a little ways east of the Aqua Barn, but on the north side of the Cedar River
NEAREST TOWN: Renton, Wa
NEAREST ROAD: The Maple Valley Highway, across the Cedar River
OBSERVED: July 1975 - Renton - Aqua Barn Ranch campout property on the north side of the Cedar River.
A group of 75 kids age 7 to 17 and the camp personel. From a huge pasture area all the campers walked down a trail that was thick with blackberry bushes and was lightly treed with alder, etc. The trail was about 200 yards long. At the end of the trail, there was a circular clearing about 150 feet in diameter. This is where the group set up camp. There were 3 trails out of the clearing. The one going to the pasture, one going to the river (over a little rise and about 100 feet away from the clearing) and one trail that deadended 50 feet up. This is where the campers were to relieve themselves. A group of 4 twelve year old girls were going to relieve themselves down this trail at about 11pm. From deep in the berry bushes, we heard something moving. It sounded like the animal would move a little ways, then stop. We could hear branches and twigs snapping. We couldn't figure out what it could be because it was such a thicket of berries. No human could be in there without getting massively scratched. We listened for quite awhile and noticed whatever it was was moving closer to us, but it was still a ways away. Getting scared, we ran back to our sleeping bags. There was a big circle of girls in their sleeping bags and our group of 5 was off to the side, near the "bathroom" trail. I listened for a long time from my sleeping bag & noticed the animal was getting closer. I got up from my friends & moved into the center of the circle of girls! I fell fast asleep. One of my best friends did not. What Jane heard as she lay awake was whatever it was, eventually came out of from the berry bushes. There were 2 of them. They communicated by making soft cooing noises to each other that sounded very much like pigeons. Jane was laying on her stomach in a goosedown sleeping bag with her head on her arms & was petrified. She could not look up at what was in our camp because she was afraid of what she might see. She said the two creatures moved all around our camp. If someone stirred in their sleeping bag, they would stop moving & make no noise. She could hear them get in our boxes of food. They continued exploring our camp for hours, intermittantly calling softly to each other. All the while she is stiff as a board in her sleeping bag. Then to top it all off, one of them steps on the end of her sleeping bag & she feels the whoosh of the air coming up to her feet. She moved her feet. Whatever it was reached down and lightly touched her back! She - even MORE petrified, just layed there, hoping it wouldn't hurt her or carry her away!
I woke at dawn from the center of the big circle of girls & got up to go relieve myself. Jane was laying in her bag exactly as I described. She hadn't moved & the down bag was literally soaking wet with her sweat. I believe she was in mild shock. She dull-ly told us what happened to her, but she was so wrung out, there was little emotion she showed. My friends and I walked all over looking for some sign of what she said happened but since the ground was dry, there weren't any distinguishable footprints. Later when we got back to the Aqua Barn, Jane layed in bed the rest of the day to recover.
Our group, to this day, calls this incident "The thing that came to camp!" Since I was not greatly affected by this, it's fun for me to recall. Jane and I talked about this incident in 1990 and she IS NOT happy to relate it! She literally started sweating and got a little shaky as we talked about it.
ALSO NOTICED: I don't remember finding anything.
OTHER WITNESSES: Jane was directly involved! Two other girls and me.
OTHER STORIES: Sometime before (I'm not sure how long), the PI reported a bigfoot sighting on the side of the road of the Maple Valley Highway, right by the golf course, just outside of Renton. The man saw something big and hairy laying on the side of the road at night. When he shined his headlights on it, it got up and moved away.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: First heard them at 11pm
A clear night, dry outside, no lights anywhere nearby
ENVIRONMENT: It had not rained for a long time. The clearing where we camped was grassy. The woods where the animals came out of was deciduous cottonwood, alder and maple. Very much overgrown with blackberry bushes.
Follow-up investigation report:
Since this incident, the owners of Aqua Barn Ranch have sold much of the acreage. This land is now commercial and residential property. In the seventies it was remote and wooded.
I spoke with Kristine on 8/5/02 and reviewed the events as stated above. Kristine gave me the contact information for Jane.
I spoke with Jane on 8/15/02: She did not know what Kristine had written and has never seen our website. I asked if she could relay the incident of that summer night and this is her view of events:
She was 11 yrs old at the time. She doesn't remember how many kids were at the camp that night, but that there were a lot. It was a clear, warm summer night. She and a few others girls, including Kristine, broke off from the group to talk at least ten feet away from any other kids. The counselors were sleeping on the other side of the camp.
The other girls eventually fell asleep after midnight, but Jane remained awake. She was lying on her stomach, with arms under her head. She heard the bushes rustling near her and she froze. Whatever it was stopped at the edge of the clearing and remained there, she could hear slight rustling as if it were shifting weight, and light breathing. She is unsure of the amount of time that had passed when it began to walk towards the group. Jane stated she was petrified. She felt it step on the edge of her sleeping bag as it walked past. Jane was too frightened to call out.
Jane remained still. She is unsure when, but at one point she began to hear a very deep cooing sound, not from the ground, but higher up. The sound was near her and another deep cooing responded from across the camp. At this point she knew that there was more than one "thing" in the camp. She was perspiring heavily. She heard them rustling around the boxes of supplies..softly, not tearing through them as a bear or raccoon would do. They continued cooing to each other. Jane then heard them walking towards her part of the camp again, and then felt something step on her leg. She had been laying with one leg straight and the other bent as usual when she sleeps. When she felt heavy pressure on her leg, she moved her leg and whatever it was stopped. She is not sure how long it stood there, but it kept its foot on the sleeping bag. Jane stated she was breathing very hard and then felt a large hand press into the center of her back. She recalls that it was as if it was feeling her breathe. Jane believes at this point, she passed out. She remembers nothing more until morning.
Jane told the other girls about the evening encounter and remembers telling one counselor, who brushed it off. Jane recalls taking a hayride the following morning with the other kids and upon returning to her cabin, dropping into her bunk from sheer exhaustion. She did not get up for the rest of the day.