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COUNTY: Kern County
LOCATION DETAILS: Piute Mountain region of the Sequoia National Forest, located 20 miles southeast of Lake Isabella. Our campground (Saddle Spring) was located 5.7 miles north of Piute Peak (campground). The coordinates of our campsite were 35 31.185 N, 118 24.748 W; at an elevation of 6,866 ft.
NEAREST TOWN: Lake Isabella
NEAREST ROAD: Saddle Spring Road
OBSERVED: This was a vocalization by an unknown animal.
The following event happend on the second night of a two night deer-hunting trip. The woods were alive with animals and fresh sign -- scat (bear and deer); prints (bear, deer and cat).
We were both in sleeping bags and in a small two-man tent since 2000 (mainly because the temperature dropped so quickly and it was the warmest place to be). Sometime after 0000 and before 0400, my hunting partner and I were woken out of a sound sleep by these sounds.
The clear, cold air in the mountains makes it difficult to estimate the distance of the vocalizer (s). I would guesstimate .5 to one mile -- far enough away that neither of us felt "threatned" enough to get situp with our pistols.
Number of vocalizations: 5; within seconds/minutes of each other.
First vocalization: from the northeast.
Second vocaliztion: 5 seconds or less after the first vocalization; from the northeast.
Third vocalization: 10 seconds or less; farther away (fainter) than the first two vocalizations; from the east/northeast.
Forth vocalization: 5 seconds or less; farther away (fainter) than the first two vocalizations; from the east/northeast.
Fifth vocalization: 1-3 minutes after the forth vocalization; closer (slightly louder) than first two vocalizations; from the south.
Description of sound:
Unknown. Myself, hunting partner and other hunters spoken to the following morning are undecided as to what made the sound. Possibly a cat, bear cub (why would it be out at night?)...sound variously described as resembling a seal, though higher pitched and faster; somewhere between a coughing growl and a scream.
We joked that it could have been bigfoot, except we were too far south. After checking your site, I find I am in error!
After the trip, and having just watched the special on Discovery Channel (?) I checked out your site and some of the recorded vocalizations -- they were enough to put the hair up on the back of my neck; very close to what we heard. I am glad I didn't listen to them before the trip!
ALSO NOTICED: N/A
OTHER WITNESSES: My hunting partner, and at least two other hunters in the same camping area (whom we spoke with the next morning). We were sleeping.
OTHER STORIES: Only the vocalizations/sightings already posted on your website.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Time: Between 0000 and 0400
Light: Complete darkness
Weather: Clear, Cold -- 37 deg+/-
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest; several logging/fire roads (dirt) nearby, criss-crossing the entire region; northeast a couple of hundred yards of our campsite is Bodfish canyon; to the west, within a mile are a mine, spring and water tank;
Follow-up investigation report:
I talked with the witness by phone. The following details can be added to the report:
--Witness used to be a Marine, currently is a civilian tech writer for the Air Force.
--Witness has visited the area before, but had not been in this location for about a year prior to event.
--When they heard the sounds, there were no crickets, wind or other sounds.
--Hunting partner felt that there were two individuals calling back and forth to each other, witness agreed because calls were coming from various areas, and since they did not hear any movement (no limbs breaking, etc.), he didn't feel that a single creature was moving to each of the sound locations.
--Hunting partner described the sound as being like a seal, but higher in pitch.
--Witness felt it was a growling scream.
--No one saw anything unusual the next day. They were hunting so they were looking for animal sign, and did not see anything worthy of noting.
--Witness also detailed an event from the next day. Around 9-10 in the morning as they were traveling down Bodfish Road, his hunting partner asked him to stop the car because he saw something he thought was a bear cross the road. The witness could see the area the animal traveled, because the tree limbs were still moving. The partner got out of the car with his gun to track the animal and could hear it moving in front of him. However, about 100 yards in, the animal stopped moving and this spooked him so he went back to the car. They did not check for prints because they were not thinking "bigfoot".
--Note report 5294, which reports footprints from the general location on Oct. 27th (the day the "bear" walked across the road).