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COUNTY: Humboldt County
LOCATION DETAILS: I don't specifically recollect, it has been 41 years ago and I didn't know the area to begin with. However I may be able to point it out in a general way on a map.
NEAREST TOWN: I believe Willow Creek, Calif.
NEAREST ROAD: Deserted and very remote narrow dirt road.
OBSERVED: This incident happened 41 years ago when I was 19 years old. My friend and I were bear hunting up in Humboldt County on the Hoopa Indian Reservation. It was in March or April. Back then bear hunting was open all year long in Humboldt County, and there were no limits. We were from Southern California, and were totally unfamiliar with the area. We stopped in a town on the Trinity river, I believe the name of the town may have been Willow Creek, I'm not sure. Anyway we met some Indians in town, and asked them, if they knew of any good places to hunt bear. They said they didn't, but added, that there was an old man in the grocery store who may be able to help us. The Indians pointed to an old blue 1950 Buick parked in front of the store, and told us that the car belonged to the old man, so we waited there until he came out. When he came back to his car, we introduced ourselves, and asked him if he knew of any good places to hunt bear. He told us it was pretty good up on the Hoopa Reservation, and gave us some general directions. We ended up on an old deserted dirt road high in the mountains in my friends dads 1949 (4) door Chevy. We kept going up until we hit snow, started to fishtail, and the right rear wheel went over the side. We set the hand brake and got out of the car to evaluate the situation. We decided to get the bumper jack out of the trunk, and jack the car up, and then push it off of the jack back on the road. The plan worked and all 4 wheels were back on the road. We backed down the road until we came to a place where we could turn around. By now it was dusk, and we decided we had better pitch our tent before it got too dark. At the turn around spot next to the road we saw a big pine tree and decided to set up camp under the tree. By the time we pitched the (4) man umbrella tent it was dark. We put all of our sleeping gear and firearms in the tent and lied down, and were talking for about ten minutes, when we heard the first grunt outside the tent. We both pretended that we didn't hear anything and kept talking. Then it did it again, and this time we both stopped, and I asked my friend if he heard that. He said he did, and also heard it the first time. I said yeah, me too. Now, we both shut up and listened. We could hear it circling the tent, because the ground was covered with bark, and we could hear the bark crunching under its feet. We could also hear its very loud breathing. By the sound of its footsteps and its breathing, we figured whatever this was, it was huge and it was walking on (2) feet. It circled the tent several times, and we decided that one of us should go out and see what it was. Niether of us wanted to go out, because we were scared, so we decided to flip a coin to see which one of us would go. My friend lost. I then suggested that before he went out, it may be wise, to fire the 44 mag out of the tent flap first. He concurred, and stuck the barrel out of the flap and fired 5 shots. We then both went out, he had the 44, and I held the light. We looked all over and didn't see a thing. We went back in the tent, laid down, and were trying to figure out what had just been outside of the tent. We had never heard of sasquatch. We had been talking for about 5 or 10 minutes when we heard a very loud high pitched scream, that lasted for about 5 seconds, and sounded like it was about 50 to 100 yards away. We looked at each other and asked, what the heck was that? That was one heck of a scream. We talked a little longer and then went to sleep. The rest of the night was un-eventful. We arose the next morning and went outside, and looked around the circumference of the tent for footprints. We couldn't see any, because the ground was covered, with many years accumulation of bark from the huge pine tree we were camped under. We had wondered many times, what it was, that had been outside our tent that night and often talked about it. Then one day several years later, I happened to be in the barber shop, getting a haircut. I picked up an Argosy magazine, and it had the now famous controversial picture of the female sasquatch on the cover. I read the article, and in the article there was a map with an X on it. The X indicated where the picture was supposedly taken. The X on the map wasn't far from where we were camped that night. That's when I made the connection and since then after reading about many encounters I am pretty well convinced that the animal that we had heard outside of our tent 41 years ago was a sasquatch.
ALSO NOTICED: none
OTHER WITNESSES: Yes, one, my hunting partner.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Between 6pm and 7pm approx. Weather, clear. Lighting, dark.
ENVIRONMENT: It was in the mountains just along side a dirt road that was on a ridge. The vegatation was thick like in a rain forest, with a lot of ferns ect.
Follow-up investigation report:
I talked with the witness by phone and the following details can be added to the report:
--Back in 1961, bear hunting was allowed year round, with no limits.
--Witness had never heard of "bigfoot" before, and didn't associated what happened with a "bigfoot" until many years later after news of the Patterson film broke.
--Animal was very large, based on how it moved on the bark (forest litter). It was obvious from its movement, that it walked on two legs.
--Witness never smelled anything, nor saw any footprints the following morning.
--After the creature left the area, the hunters went to sleep and nothing else happened. They left the next morning without any problems.