Geographical Index > United States > California > Alpine County > Report # 12818|
Submitted by witness J.F. on Sunday, October 16, 2005.
Hiker leaves main trail and finds two sets of footprints
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COUNTY: Alpine County
LOCATION DETAILS: There are no other directions to give, aside from what was given inn the narrative.
NEAREST TOWN: Hope Valley
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy. 88
OBSERVED: My wife and I were hiking for the afternoon in the Mokelumne Wilderness in Alpine County, California. Our destination was Granite Lake, two miles from the outlet of Upper Blue Lake. We reached our destination, had lunch and were returning, following the trail back the way we had come. When we reached a pond, about 1/3rd of the way back, I expressed a desire to my wife to take a hike southward across the same elevation level as the pond, to another lake called Evergreen Lake. There is no trail or pathway to this lake, and I thought it would take about 20 minutes to reach it. My wife declined to accompany me, so I told her I would return in a while. I began walking, trying to keep my position along the same contour line as the pond. The forest was fairly dense, and generally well covered with pine needle duff, generally underlayed with decomposed granite. After a short walk, I realized that very likely few people had ever gone where I was headed, as there were no signs of previous travel, and the going was sometimes difficult. I tried to stay on the contour, but kept slipping lower down I went. After a while - more than 20 minutes, I realized that I wasn't going to find the lake, so I started back. As I walked back I took a different route, trying to regain the elevation I had lost on the trip out. I came across a section of forest floor where there was mostly decomposed granite, and as I followed this - which was a bit easier to travel on - I come across two sets of footprints. The first set looked almost human, except they were wider and longer than usual. Noticeable were the toes, and a definite arch. The second set of prints were from a larger creature, and left a deeper impression, especially in the heal area. This track was wider still than the first, and looked similar to typical casts of Bigfoot prints. There was no noticeable arch, and the toes were not especially evident. Both set of tracks were superimposed at points, indicating that one creature was directly following the other, stepping in the same spots at times. The tracks quickly were lost in the pine needles further ahead.
It had snowed two days before, and the ground was damp, but most of the snow had melted. These tracks were fresh, likely less than 24 hours old.
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witness was present at the tracks.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was about 3:45 in the afternoon, and the sky was clear. The light was filtered forest light.
ENVIRONMENT: No notable landmarks are located where the tracks were seen. However, it is in the vacinity of Evergreen Lake, on fairly level ground.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
The witness (JF) stated he came across the two sets of footprints in a decomposed granite soil. This soil is just a bit coarser than sand and was still damp from 2 inches of snow that had fallen earlier. The prints were following a natural passage way through the forest.
The witness first noticed that two of the footprints were touching each other, which really made a large impression to come across. The larger print was just touching the outside corner of the smaller one. In other words, the larger track was following the smaller one. JF found three of the small footprints. One of the little prints touched the large one, one was located between the two large tracks and one was ahead of the last large print.
The small prints were about the size of a men’s 11 shoe, approximately 3 3/4 inches wide across the heel and about 1/8 inch deep. These prints seemed to indicate an arch somewhat like a human would leave behind but they were definitely wider and the toes seemed very evident. According to the witness, you could easily make out all five toes.
JF estimated the large prints were about 15 inches long, a good 6 inches wide at the toe area and about 4 1/2 inches wide at the heel. Both of the large prints were a good half inch deep and the left and right prints were approximately 4 feet apart. The toes of the large footprints seemed to be bunched together and were not as well defined as the toes of the small prints. The witness thinks that because the large prints sank deeper into the soil the impression of the toes blended closer together. The witness said when he put his size 9 1/2 boots next to the footprints and attempted to make a dent in the soil, they seemed to barely scratch the surface. The witness added he realized people would not be out at this location bare footed.
JF said his first thought after observing the prints was “OH OOH!” because that’s when he figured out what the tracks were. This put him in a state of shock because he realized what made the tracks just had to be “sasquatch.” The witness then decided he should leave that place and return to his wife whom he had left up on the main trail alone.
Note: When I first spoke to JF on October 17, he said he was thinking about going back to take photos and maybe even get a cast or two. On October 24, 2005, I received the following e-mail from the witness:
Yesterday, October 23, 2005, I returned to the area of my original track sighting. Weather was clear and warm, about 64 degrees. I had a friend of mine, KW, accompanying me on this trip. We were able to partially re-trace my previous passage through the forest, following visual landmarks from memory, but were unable to find the specific area where the two sets of tracks were seen last weekend. We looked for quite a while to find the location, but were unable to do so. A few partial and very indistinct very large tracks were seen on this trip, mostly in the pine needle duff. If I hadn't been specifically looking for them, I would not have noticed them. No photos of these tracks were taken, as there was nothing that would easily be visible in a photograph. Also seen were four different scat piles. Were unsure what made the scat. Stool shape looked similar to typical primate, with visible content consisting of a lot of fibrous material, including grasses. One pile was very fibrous, with a lot of herbaceous material, while the other three were less so, and were much darker. All of the scat looked to be between 8 to 16 days old. A photo was taken of one scat pile.
Noted on this trip were the very conspicuous tracks of two humans, one with a distinctive cleat sole of the shoe. These tracks were seen all of the way out to Evergreen Lake, and returning back to the same point of departure as us. There were also numerous fresh deer tracks everywhere, and two deer approached us at one point, while we were stopped to rest.
We were prepared for casting tracks, with casting material, water, and aluminum bracing for the cast. We also had two still cameras, including a high-grade 35mm SLR, and a video camera.
Following our return from Evergreen Lake, we traveled to Granite Lake, where there were about 8-12 other people, and one dog. It was much too noisy for anything to be around this lake.
Best regards, JF
Investigator’s note: Before JF returned to the area, we did discuss how sasquatch, human and bear scat might differ in appearance. I have had my own experiences with sasquatch scat and I feel I am somewhat of an expert on the difference between bear and sasquatch scat.
About BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
- Four years in the United States Navy, 1955-1959 (Combat Air Crewman on P4M Mercator Patrol Aircraft)
- 37 years in the aerospace industry: 33 years with General Electric at Edwards AFB; More than 5 years with the Northrop Grumman Corp. at Edwards AFB (Flight Line Mechanic on the B-2 Bomber).
- During 20 of those years at Edwards he was a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the County of Los Angeles.