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COUNTY: Trinity County
LOCATION DETAILS: West on highway 299, about 14 miles west of Weaverville, Ca. then go north on the Hobo Gulch Rd.
NEAREST TOWN: Weaverville
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 299
OBSERVED: In Feb. 1977, a friend, his two older brothers, and his younger cousin and I went backpacking in the Trinity Alps area near Shasta Ca. I was 17 at the time, and would regularly take time off from high school with my parent’s permission to go on camping trips as long as I kept my grades up. I do not remember the exact date's as it has been nearly 26 years since the trip.
My friend and his brother had camped at the area the previous year in the Trinity Alps. We departed from our homes in Whittier and Pico Rivera, Ca. in a newer model popup camper Volkswagen bus driven by one brother, and a '69 VW bus driven by the other brother. Since I was not driving I do not recall the highways or road to the campground that we took, and I no longer have contact with my friend and his family. I remember it took around 10 hours to get there. We had to turn off the main highway on to a dirt road that we had to drive approximately 10 to 15 miles in order to reach the campground. On the way to the campground on the dirt road there was patches of snow on the ground but the road was very drivable.
About 8 miles on the dirt road we saw an older model VW Beetle coming towards us and we flagged it down, so we could ask the driver what the conditions were like at the campground. The driver was alone and appeared to be in his mid to late 20s. He had long hair and a beard and he appeared to be very nervous and distracted when he spoke to us. He said, "that the fishing was good along the river" and that’s about all I remember him saying besides "good luck and for us to be careful" before driving off. The whole conversation only took about 2 minutes. We continued on towards the campground and I remember us kidding to each other how weird the guy had acted as if something had frightened him.
When we got to the camp area we saw that there was no other campers around and no sign of any recent visitors. We set up camp by parking the '69 VW parallel to the river about 25 feet from the bank that led to the river and by parking the other bus the other way about 20 feet away from the '69 bus with the fire ring between the two vehicles. The popup VW was parked with it's rear bumper facing the base of a long hill and the front facing the river about 45 feet from the river. The campground was in a very remote and densely forested area nestled between large mountains in every direction.
We set up camp and decided to go for a hike. We hiked about five miles into a very primitive area along a trail that was hard to follow in some areas. After awhile we came upon an old cabin. The cabin appeared to be abandoned for some time by the shape it was in. One of the brothers was able to get the door open and we all went inside. There was a few old cans of food, an old rusted shotgun, old blankets, and an old gas lantern. There were rodent droppings throughout the cabin, and we figured that it possibly was used by seasonal hunters. We closed up the cabin, and continued our hike. It was getting late so we decided to sleep under the stars that night instead of hiking back to the campground in the dark. I remember that it was one of the coldest nights I had ever been through as my frozen boots that I had left outside of my tent attested to in the morning.
We hiked back to our camp the next morning, and prepared breakfast, and just kind of relaxed all day. Later in the afternoon we took our guns out, and had target practice on some tin cans. At night we made a huge fire in the pit, listened to music on the tape deck and talked about the day. We all headed for bed around 9:30 or 10:00 that night. The cousin and I slept up in the canvas pop-top of the bus, while my friend and the older of his two brothers slept below on the foldout bed. The other brother slept with his dog in the other bus.
Around 10:30 I remember I was almost asleep when I heard a noise coming from far above on the hill next to us. I then heard something moving at a high rate of speed coming down the hill towards us. Suddenly the whole bus started rocking back and forth from side to side and at one point I thought it was going to tip over. I remember hanging on tight and then worrying that if the bus did roll over that I may be crushed if the popup collapsed so I dove for the floor of the bus, and a second later the cousin landed on top of me. The bus stopped rocking suddenly and I remember hearing over our screams a lot of noise just outside of our vehicle. We then heard yelling coming from the other brother in his bus and his dog barking like crazy. We tried looking out the windshield and the side windows but it was iced up and fogged up from the cold. In a second it was dead quiet again. We rolled down the passenger side window and called out to the other brother if he was ok. He said that he was and we all slowly got out of the buses. The brother in our bus had grabbed his 44 Magnum, and led the way out. The first thing I noticed was that all of our backpacks had been flung about the camp and that my pack and the cousins pack had been torn open and the contents of our packs was strewn everywhere. We left everything where it was, and we all crammed into the popup bus for the rest of the night. Needless to say we barely slept that night.
The next morning we cleaned up the mess outside, and speculated on what could have attacked us. The whole attack lasted only a few minutes. We ruled out a bear because there were no bear tracks. And a bear would have still been in the area. I climbed the hill behind our bus that I heard whatever it was that had come after us, and I noticed long skid marks that started higher than I could climb, but I saw no footprints. I tried to match the stride of the skid marks coming down the hill but couldn't because of the steepness of the hill and the space between the skid marks. We went on with our day by preparing and eating breakfast, and later going for a short hike, and again shooting our guns at targets. I think that we were all a little edgy after the attack, and I know I kept looking around and over my shoulder whenever possible.
Later that night we again sat around the campfire, and listened to music, and talked. And again we went to bed around the same time. We kept the same sleeping arrangements and I remember being jumpy at every little sound that I heard outside. Once again I remember that I was almost asleep when again I heard a noise coming from high above us. I then heard something rolling down the hill towards us, and the back of our bus being hit by some large object. I remember all of us saying something like "oh no, not again". I then heard the same sounds as the night before coming fast at us from the hill. This time I didn't wait, and I dove for the floor, and again the cousin landed on top of me. And once again the bus started to rock violently from side to side for about 30 seconds. My friend’s brother had kept his 44 near him, and he was waving it around at the windows, and I remember thinking that one of us may get shot by accident. When the shaking stopped we again heard the other brother yelling from his bus and his dog going nuts. We tried to see through the iced over windows again with no success. We exited our bus as soon as we were sure the attacks were over, and called out to the other brother who said he was ok. I remember the strong smell of something for a short while. With our flashlights beaming we conducted a brief search of the immediate area.
This time our packs were undisturbed. We walked to the back of our bus, and there was a large rock about 3 feet in diameter wedged between the rear bumper, and the back tire on the driver’s side. One side of the rock had a very pointed edge to it, and it was inches from the tire. Whatever had attacked us had thrown the boulder down first before it began its attack on us. We then noticed that the other bus that the brother was in, which was the closest to the river, had been either pushed or dragged about 5 feet towards the river. Whatever had attacked us had been very fast and extremely strong, to have attacked so quickly, and to have moved a whole VW bus by itself. Again I don't remember getting much sleep that night, and the next morning we cut our trip short by packing everything up, and getting the hell out of there.
Ironically the first campground that we came to was the Bigfoot RV Park not far down the main highway if that helps with the location at all. We stayed there for the night and used the showers to clean up, and we slept for 12 hours straight as I recall before leaving for home the next day. I remember not having to drive too far to where there was a statue of Bigfoot in a town called Red Bluff or something like that on the way home.
I am 43 years old now, and I have only told this story to a few people including my wife and three kids. My friends and I never really talked about it when we got back from our trip only because it was so surreal, and I personally thought that people would think that I made it up, or I was insane or something. I remember for a long time after the trip that I would still get the chills if I was home alone, and I would think about the attacks. To this day I really don't have any idea what it was up there. I have thought about everything that it could have been including that crazy looking guy we met on our way to the campground but it would have been impossible for him to match the strength and quickness that I witnessed those two nights. I don't believe in supernatural forces, monsters, aliens, and creatures that have never been discovered.
I consider myself an intelligent man, and a reasonable person. I see enough in the real world as a peace officer to believe in fairytales. I am only writing about my adventure because I saw the article on bigfoot on AOL, and decided to check out the web site. I thought it would be fun to share my incident with you. To this day I am not saying that we were attacked by a bigfoot, because we never saw anything to support that claim. I am only saying what I am saying, and that we were attacked twice by some unknown man or animal, with enormous quickness, stealth and strength.
The next year my friend went back to the same campground with his brother and another friend, and no further incidences occurred. I am open to any reasonable explanation, but I don't lose any sleep over this after all these years. I just thought this would interest you.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just the four other people that I was with.
OTHER STORIES: I am not aware of any personally, but I heard that there has been sightings nearby.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: B/t 10:00p.m., and11:00p.m. Lighting was nonexistant as it was pitch dark and the weather was clear but very cold.
ENVIRONMENT: Huge mountain’s, dense forest, rugged landscape, and a river about 40 ft. across, about 15 miles from the nearest highway.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
On October 29, 2003 I spoke with Pete about his experience in the Trinity Alps of California during he and his friends winter outing of 1977. Today, Pete is a respected peace officer in a very large department and he would like to remain anonymous. We went over his report, but I had to ask him a few specific questions about his encounter.
The first question I asked was where this encounter took place. At first Pete couldn’t remember exactly where the encounter took place so we had to go back and refresh his memory. I found the Bigfoot RV park in my wife’s Trailer Life Directory, which turned out to be on Highway 299 about 12 miles west of Weaverville, Ca. Then we had to figure out which road the group took to get into the backcountry with VW buses. I suggested a few road names that were in the area, and Pete remembered the road as the Hobo Gulch Rd. Now for the campground you are on your own. It’s about 12 to 15 miles in, north of Highway 299 and next to the river.
Next I asked him why anyone would have stayed a second night after the first encounter, and how long did this encounter last? Pete said, “We were young and fearless, and were not afraid of too much, plus we thought it might have been a hoax, and perpetrated possibly by the guy that we had met coming in to the campground, or maybe it was the cabin owner. That first encounter lasted about 30 seconds. But, the second time it happened, the hoax, and any human involvement were proved false, because who or whatever did that to us a second time had to be quick, strong and stealthy, and it or whatever it was really wanted us out of there.”
My third question to Pete was if he had ever found any tracks or fresh sign of any kind? Pete said, “The only sign that was observed was the skid marks down a very steep hill, and we could not even try and duplicate them due to our inaccessibility on that hill.”
My fourth question was did he hear or smell anything that he could recall now? Pete said, “After the rock hit the VW bus, I heard a loud swishing sound approaching the vehicle. After the second incident, and after we exited the bus, we did smell a musty odor that didn’t linger long.”
Pete further stated that his wife made him tell his story “because she thought it was just too good not to have been told. At the time of the incident, we never even thought of, or mentioned that it might have been a bigfoot. I now feel that this creature, unknown, was a little more intelligent than a regular animal, like a bear, because it never hung around, and it never left any marks or tracks around our camp site.”
In summary, I believe this to be a classic class “B” report, and from what occurred, I feel that Pete and his group had an encounter with a sasquatch type creature who was not looking for food, but wanted them to leave the area.
Some of my reasons for believing this are:
1. The rocking of both VW buses in which the guys thought they were going to be rolled over. No tracks or claw marks were observed in and around the vehicles on the following morning inspections.
2. A large granite boulder was thrown or rolled down the hill and ended up under the rear bumper, and behind the rear tire of the VW bus that Pete was sleeping in. He described the impact as, “like a linebacker hitting a quarterback.” This bolder was 3’ x 3’, and weighed over ninety pounds. It was not a river rock. Per Pete, “it looked like it was pulled out of a mountain.”
3. The other VW bus was dragged or pulled over 5’ towards the river, and they never smelled a musky odor until they got out of the buses on the second encounter.
4. The backpacks and the other camping gear that were left outside on the first night were thrown around. The packs were opened and their freeze-dried food was scattered around the campsite. There were no teeth marks or claw marks on the backpacks or anything else.