Geographical Index > United States > Colorado > Lake County > Report # 24194|
Submitted by witness on Thursday, July 17, 2008.
Hiker describes possible near encounter on the Colorado Trail near Mt. Massive
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COUNTY: Lake County
LOCATION DETAILS: On the Colorado Trail, a few hundred yards east of the Mt. Massive trailhead
NEAREST TOWN: Leadville
NEAREST ROAD: Halfmoon Creek Road
OBSERVED: On Sept. 4, 2001, I climbed Mt. Massive, southwest of Leadville. The route I took starts at the Mt. Massive trailhead, in the wooded valley where the Colorado Trail crosses Halfmoon Creek. The elevation of this area is just over 10,000 feet. Near the end of this long hike, at about 6:30 PM, I was approaching the trailhead parking lot, maybe several hundred yards ahead, when I heard an animal walking through the trees to my right. The trees in this area are dense, so I couldn't see anything moving. But I could clearly hear loud footsteps crunching through the underbrush, about 100 to 150 feet away. I was not particularly worried, because the animal was rapidly moving in the opposite direction I was headed. After about 10 or 20 seconds, the animal made a loud, deep, resonant bark, like a combined dog bark and foghorn. The crunching footsteps continued moving away, when after 20 or 30 seconds, the animal made another loud bark, exactly like the first. I didn't hear anything else. I never saw anything. No one else was in the area.
I immediately presumed this animal was a black bear. This explanation seemed satisfactory until a few months ago, when I found out that black bears don't make any sound similar to the bark I heard. Also, the footsteps sounded as if made by a bipedal animal, but bears don't walk on two legs.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing else
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witnesses
OTHER STORIES: Only the reports listed on your website.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 6:30 PM
Still plenty of light
Very nice evening
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest
Follow-up investigation report:
During a brief phone discussion, the report submitter matter-of-factly described his observations and how he arrived at the conclusion that this event may have been bigfoot-related.
As he was approaching the trailhead parking lot and travelling in a southwesterly direction, he heard, off to his right and to the northwest, something loudly moving away and to the northeast. Upon first hearing the sounds, he immediately stopped to listen and follow this apparent movement. In his opinion, it clearly sounded like bipedal footfalls which were moving away in a determined but not particularly hurried manner; neither slowly or running.
He was certain that the source of the "barks" was the same as the source of the footsteps he had heard crunching away and into the distance. The sounds were identical each time and were described as very loud, short and sharp barks but of a very deep and resonant tone unlike anything he had ever heard before in his frequent outdoors activities.
The witness first considered the possibility that the source of these sounds may have been a bigfoot when he read the following front-page Denver Post newspaper articles about a year-and a-half later:
Media Article #328, Bigfoot Believers: Legitimate scientific study of legend gains backing of top primate experts
Media Article #329, Camper says she was 12 feet from curious giant
Prior to reading these articles, he was not aware of and had not considered the possibility of the presence of sasquatches in Colorado, only considering it a phenomenon of the Pacific Northwest. In his now continuing interest in this subject, while recently reviewing bear sound recordings, he was unable to find anything similar to what he had heard, and the apparent bipedal footsteps also seemed to eliminate that possibility.