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DATE: not sure
COUNTY: Inyo County
LOCATION DETAILS: From Highway 395 south of Mono Lake, take 203 towards Mammoth Mountain, but turn south to the trailhead to Barney Lake, which starts near Lake Mary.
NEAREST TOWN: Mammoth Lakes
NEAREST ROAD: Interstate 395
OBSERVED: I do not know whom to contact but I have a story to tell. My name is J. C. and I am a 41 year old Vice President of a bank. I have been harboring an encounter I had for 31 years secretly out of fear of ridicule or shame. But now that I have seen other people have had similar situations, I must tell my story. During September 1972, I was hiking down from a lake with my dad and my friend on a fishing trip. We were at a place called Barney Lake out of Mammoth, California, and were on our way home. After a weekend of camping and fishing we were backpacking out from the lake. I was the lead person going down the trail. I had outpaced my friend J. C. and my dad by about 4 minutes without knowing it as I was moving quickly down the trail. After about 10 to 40 minutes down the trail from Barney Lake (I can't remember exactly after all these years) I came into a clearing. It was a small flat grassy meadow from the trees which I had been seeing downhill till then. I took a break to rest from my fast strides and looked out over the meadow. The first thing I saw was a big white rock boulder near the end of the meadow. The meadow was maybe 20 yards by 30 yards of grass. At the point of the clearing to my left I heard extreme thrashing going on. I looked over to my left to see a large animal bent over with its rear end facing me. It was only about 12 feet away from me. I saw that it was hairy and had a reddish, orange, brown multicolor mix hair to it, and most different was a rear end that was bare like a monkey's. I knew this because at this time in my life I spent most of my lunch hours in the library reading zoology and marine biology books. I thought this was very strange because no bear could bend over at the waist and have skin over its rear end like this. In my fear I was frozen, shocked and bewildered at the same time. I had never known or heard of big foot or sasquatch at this time in my life. At this point it had been maybe 5 or 6 seconds and then the animal lifted up and stood erect. It was enormous. It must have been 8 feet tall or more, and for a 10 year old boy this was unreal. It had been scratching with its hands and grubbing and digging prior to looking for what I thought was food. Its back was to me when it stood so I could see it was built similar to a human but with a lot of hair. I knew this was no bear from my background. I also knew only black bear were seen as an almost extinct species here during this time, and would have been much smaller in height and stature. I got so scared I ran full pack towards that big white rock. I literally dove over the top, pack and all, and snuggled against the rock, so scared to even look, in case the creature heard me. Finally after about 20 seconds or so, I peeked over the rock to see nothing and no one on the trail. Within 1 or 2 minutes, my dad and John came down the trail and into the opening. I started screaming at them "look out, look out," in fear that the creature was still there and would do something to them. They froze, bewildered, looked left to where I was pointing and then back to me in confusion. They were standing at the clearing at the spot I had been at. I finally came out and walked to them and looked into the trees and thick brush only to see broken brush, twigs and some hair there. We moved on finally and I never spoke of this again except to my dad and a couple of close friends. Around 7 or 8 years late I saw a couple of bigfoot movies including the Patterson video. Once I saw this, I knew without a doubt this was what I saw. I still kept my story a secret out of fear, but this vision haunts me and will all my life. I know it was so real. I will never forget this and take it to my grave. I am now someone who needs answers and must try and find out that this creature does exist or I will not put my memory to rest. I know what I saw was no figment of my imagination or hoax. I want to seek it out. Anyway, I hope this eye witness helps some where some how.
ALSO NOTICED: Broken twigs, brush and some hair on them.
OTHER WITNESSES: Not during the incident but after, yes my dad and my friend J.C.. They were on the trail behind me coming down.
OTHER STORIES: Yes, according to the Bigfoot encounter web site, a person contacted me to tell me of a similar incident during 2000 by some business men out of Bishop, Ca.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Towards the mid to later afternoon, I would say around 2 to 4 some where. We were on our way back down the mountain going home. It was blue sky and sunny and warm. I still have pictures of this trip in my album. The light was good, especially the open meadow in front of me. He was around 12 feet away and 9 feet into the brush.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest, fairly thick,and low brush. Open grassy meadow there. Big white boulder rock in the meadow. Creek somewhere nearby, perhaps within a 1/4 mile paralleling the trail.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The eye witness observed the creature at very close range - evidently the sasquatch did not hear the approaching hiker due to its own activities. It was digging in the ground with both hands, throwing the dirt behind itself through its spread legs. When it stood up it was "enormous" and very hairy, especially with long hair on its arms, notably the upper arms. This part of the Sierra has an enormous snowfall depth in the winter and would not be a hospitable place to try to survive. Aside from the rich vegetation associated with the lakes and streams, this area has generally an abundance of marmots and pikas and now, introduced by relocation from Yosemite Valley, many black bears. The elevation at this site is about 10,500'.