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COUNTY: Riverside County
LOCATION DETAILS: About a mile down Hemet Lake Road near the picnic area North Shore Hemet Lake.
NEAREST TOWN: Moutain Center
NEAREST ROAD: Off Hwy74, Hemet Lake Road.
OBSERVED: My girlfriend and I where on vacation in Idyllwild for the week and wanted to hike up to Lily Rock to the fire lookout cabin, but we couldn't get to the main trail head due to my girlfriends fear of driving without chains up a black ice covered road, so we stuck around Hemet Lake for hiking and trout fishing due to the factor that the main roads were more recently snow plowed and grinded red lava rock laid for more traction.
Plus, I had lived in Mountain Center a few miles north of Hemet Lake, so I was pretty familiar with the area and its wild life inhabitants. I've been Hiking, fishing, hunting, rock hounding, and Prospecting in just about all of California for the last 20 years, from the Cascades to Azusa Canyon.
On one of the nights, I think it was the 16th of November; we wanted to go on a night walk around Hemet Lake since the whole city of Idyllwild goes to bed at 8pm and it was about 10:30 at night, so we drove the 8 mile drive from our hotel to the lake. We arrived at the lake at about 11pm and sat on the car next to some big green trash bins about 150 feet or so from the lake; when we heard something 400 feet or so breaking branches in a canyon to our backs. It sounded big and didn't seem to care if it was heard coming down the slope, so I assumed it was just a big black bear until the smell. The only way I could describe it was a dying wet dog.
A feeling of discomfort came over us both as we saw nor heard any more of what we assumed to be a big black bear coming down the canyon, meaning whatever came down the canyon was hiding in the tree line 300 feet or so away from where we sat. I got a chill up my spine and had that feeling that we shouldn't be here right now. We got in the car and left to come back just under a hour later hoping what ever it was would be gone, so we could try to finally go on our late night lake walk.
We pulled up and backed into to the same spot as before to notice that one of the green trash bins had been pushed over towards the lake, and that there was a 2 foot wide 4 inch deep circular dent like something big had punched it. There was no paint smear like a car had hit it. It was and had been dead quite other than the unknown thing that came down the canyon about an hour before.
I had no idea what could have done that to a big steel trash bin and for years until Google Earth Mapping of Bigfoot. I saw that there had been sightings, calls, and smells reported in the surrounding area, and came to the conclusion that might make more sense being a believer in crypto zoology. I didn't check for tracks or any other signs due to the lack of info at the time, or I would have.
ALSO NOTICED: Not that I'm aware of.
OTHER WITNESSES: My Girlfriend at the time S. McD. a PreVet Major at Cal Poly Pomona. Sitting on the hood of her car and admiring the lake with me
OTHER STORIES: Yes, a staff member named Jeff at Morning Sky(Camp for troubled youth near Mountain Center) back in 1994 spoke of a time while hiking near Pine Cove Where he had heard strage Whopping like cries not native to the area. I don't think he thought was Bigfoot but he did think it was really out of the ordinary. At the time reports of that area were common but were not well known to most people. I remember Jeff was avid hunter, fisherman, and hiker so he knows the average local mountain animals and their calls.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 11pm-Midnight Clear Night half moon+starlight.
ENVIRONMENT: There were 2 trash bins about 30' to the south of our car facing the lake and some pinic tables to the our east flank 50' or 60' away. The lake was about a good 150' to 200' away from our car with a pine tree filled moutain slope to our backs about 300' away.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
On the afternoon of 16 July 2008 Z.M. called me, and we went over his report that he and his girlfriend experienced at Lake Hemet, California, about eight years ago. The witness was credible and believable in the rendition of his report. At the time of this experience, neither witness thought about whatever it was as being a possible Sasquatch, but more like a bear.
Some of the things that I thought might be important in this report are the following; just what kind of feelings did they have and when, and just what was it that you smelled and how potent was it? Also, what kind of trash was in that trash bin, and just how large was the bin that was knocked over?
What started this episode was the noise that this creature was making while it was heading down the mountain towards the parking area where the witness and the trash bins were located. It was moving rocks and small boulders, and braking tree and brush limbs in a very defiant manner as it moved on down the mountain. As soon as it reached the area where the trees were no longer hiding it, which was about 300 ft away from the witness' location, it stopped, and everything got real quiet. That is when they believed whatever it was had to have seen them, and thatís when the feelings of being watched hit them both hard. The smell hit them a few seconds later. This smell was something like a dead wet dog, but as they breathed it in, the smell choked them up, and they knew at that moment that they had to leave this place now!
On there return trip about an hour or so later, and parking at the same location, they both observed one of those large trash bins, about the size of a jeep or a small pickup, that was knocked over with a large dent in its side. Some of the contents were laying around. What the witness thought was in this trash bin were what the grounds-keeping people had put in there. He didnít see anything that he would call human trash like food containers and such, but only tree and bush clippings plus many pine cones. Also, the trash bins didnít stink as most bins normally do.
What this witness described, has a lot of the trappings of a Sasquatch, by what took place and what was observed by this witness. He now believes it was a Sasquatch. This place might have some bears, but even if it was a bear, they just do not grow them very large in this part of California now, especially as to what this witness described this creature was doing and able to do.
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.