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COUNTY: Clackamas County
LOCATION DETAILS: we live outside estacada on property that borders a national forest. it is at the foothills of the cascade mountain range.
NEAREST TOWN: Estacada
OBSERVED: late one fall evening in 1978, about 2 am in the morning, our horses suddenly became very agitated and noisy. figuring a bear may be prowling about, my son and i grabbed flaslights and our 30-30 and hustled off to investigate. by now the horses were very upset and in danger of hurting themselves in an effort to get away from the bear. i was fearful that the bear may have entered the corral. when we arrived at the corral whatever animal was present was crashing off into the brush, we could hear it. the horses were terrorized. to our amazement, a 7 inch diameter tree which had served as one of the posts of our corral had been snapped and bent over. it seemed odd that a bear would do this, but we had no reason to suspect otherwise. we shined the light off into the woods but were not! about to go tracking off into the dense woods at that time of night. we did not want to enter the corral with the horses worked up the way they were. we decided that they were slowly calming down in our presence and we may as well go back to the tree to take a better look at how it was broken. that is when i came to know a fear that i didn't think possible. at and around the base of the tree were foot prints which were obviously not bear. as we looked closer the slow realization came upon us that these footprints were very large and very human like. as the unthinkable became obvious, i felt a tingling wave sweep over my body and the feeling that i was not present in my own body, but merely an observer from a distance. i could not accept what i knew was true. the prints were deeply implanted into the soil at end of slip marks that were about 8 to 10 inches long. at the end of the slip marks were the deepest imprints....5, very human like toe prints. i believe this was cau! sed by the animal's foot as it dug in to brace itself to braek the tree. this is the first i have talked of this incident. soon after it happened i sold the property. i was never comfortable there after that night, always feeling i was being watched. to this day i still suffer nightmares were i hear panicked horses and awaken to the vivid sight of those footprints lit in the flash of a lighting bolt. i had always been an avid and capable woodsman and hunter. i know game and the ways of wildlife. this is something that i cannot explain.
you can use this as you wish. i am now 67 years old and i think it needs to get out. only my son, who sits with me as i write this, and i know what really happened that night. we agreed to tell my wife and daughter it was a bear and wiped out the prints. we do wish to remain anonymous as we feel our credibility and prestige in the area would be damaged....we are one on the largest land owners in the county.