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COUNTY: Humboldt County
LOCATION DETAILS: I was prospecting for gold on the east side of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.
NEAREST TOWN: Orleans, Klamath River area.
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 96.
OBSERVED: In 1978, I was alone and gold hunting up behind the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation. I had to take a side trip across the mountain to avoid some heavy snow and brush. I found this trail that was going up the mountain, where their were large steps in the trail that were throwing my climbing stride off. At this point, this side of the mountain, that I was on, was bald and it was open ground with no trees or brush close by to hide behind.
Suddenly, I had this very bad feeling. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up straight up! I never had that happen to me before or since. I believe this happened for no other reason except fear. I then left this out of stride trail. Actually, I ran off the trail feeling terrified of something that was coming down this same trail. I only got a short way off, when I went down on my knees and covered my face and eyes with both hands and tried to hide. At that moment I heard an animal on two legs come down the trail, a few yards from me, it stop and it had to gaze right at me for awhile, then it continued on down the hill. I didn't look until after it left and continued on down the mountain out of sight. So, I never saw this animal. I believe this creature was directing a silent feeling toward me, and I complied.
At this point in my life, I had been a seasoned mountain man, and have had numerous encounters with many kinds of animals including bears and deer, day and night, but nothing like this. With no more fear I returned to the trail feeling fine. I thought of bigfoot right away. This time I paid close attention to detail. There was no odor or smell, and the only odd thing was that the trail became fainter, as I continued to climb on up this mountain. I had expected this trail lead to somewhere, like a cave perhaps, but no, it just ended at a small meadow. I looked all around, and I could see there was a lime stone ridge out-cropping in the distance, but no signs of a cave.
This encounter was really something to remember, and it was my experience. There isn't any need for the so-called experts to tell me anything, they will just have to get they're own experience. Besides, they're just not in the loop.
ALSO NOTICED: Unusual things, like that feeling of terror, no other sounds, or smells. Also, there were no tracks, because the ground was too hard. The trail was very old and it had been used a lot. One area had worn steps that were out of sync to my steps. I just had that bad feeling and the hairs on the back of my neck stood out. I have never had that before or since. This animal was not afraid or interested in me. I could find the trail again, but I will not divulge the location except by stringent interviewing.
OTHER WITNESSES: At the time of the incident, I was alone, and in a bad spot.
OTHER STORIES: While I was living in Takilma Oregon, I had heard many stories about this animal, and a lot of the locals had many encounters with them. Some of them are: that bear dogs would not run these animals, they would just whine and rub up against there owners legs, acting terrified. A young girl saw one cross road near dusk, and go into the dark woods. These people seemed honest about what they saw. While living in Takilma Oregon, in my cabin on the Illinois River, I heard a call sounding exactly like a great ape out of a zoo. On another night, when I was in Young’s Valley California I heard a hooting call repeated several times coming from Preston Peak area, this also sounded exactly like a great ape out of a zoo.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was midmorning, and it was a bright and sunny
ENVIRONMENT: : It was rugged country with a lot of snow and brush with some pine trees. There was a stream nearby and a lost mine which I later found. Down hill from the mountain ridge was a fire trail.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
I contacted a Mr. Lou D., male 70, on the evening of July 11, 2002, and we went over his rendition of the two reports he had turned in; the other report being #3990. I have combined the both of them here. Lou was very adamant and sincere about what took place on that California mountain trail in the spring of 1978.
Lou was very believable about his prospecting activities in that area, because I can relate to some of what he is talking about. Lou seems well educated and informed in that field and knows that area. Lou stated that he was never armed while on these prospecting trips.
Now, as to what Lou experienced on that mountain trail in 1978, I will have to leave that up to your knowledge of this creature. I made this a Class “B” report because he actually never saw it, he just heard it walk by while he was in a fetal position, with his hands covering his eyes.