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DATE: Sunday Morning, 24
COUNTY: Riverside County
NEAREST TOWN: Idyllwild, CA
NEAREST ROAD: highway 243
OBSERVED: I was camping with my wife and friends from the 23rd to the 24th of August, 2008. My wife and I shared a campsite and our friends shared a campsite, with 2 tents, on a second campsite about 50ft. away from us. I had drank no alcohol before going to bed so I slept fairly lightly.
I awoke at 4:50am. Just as I awoke, I heard a loud sound that seemed to me to be someone hitting a treetrunk with a large branch. I lifted my head in the tent and looked around for any light sources and saw none. I also heard no voices. I was intrigued enough to continue listening. Our closest neighbor had a Dachsund and the next closest had two larger dogs that were tied up outside their tent. Once I heard the first loud sound the outside dogs started moving around but didn't bark. They made some moaning sounds but that's all.
From what I could tell, as far as sounds, something or someone walked through the campground from lower to higher through a ravine. It had very heavy footsteps. It sounded like it broke fairly large branches on the ground. Once it crossed the campground's asphalt, the neighboring dogs started crying, whimpering and moaning. I then heard what sounded like a rock or something similar, being thrown against a tree near our tent and falling to the ground. Right at the crescendo of the crunching branches I decided to get up and unzip our tent window and at the same time the tent of the owners of the dogs opened and a woman came out and grabbed the dogs to quiet them down. That was the last I heard of the crunching, footstep sounds. Also, there had been crickets making noise all night until this event. Once this started, the cricket noise reduced to only crickets at a great distance. By the end of the incident there were no forest sounds at all.
The next morning, we walked over to the ravine that I thought I had heard the biped walking through and found no footprints due to the extremely dry ground. I spoke to a family right next to the ravine and they had heard nothing that night but had heard footsteps the night before. The husband/father is a hunter and told me that he had seen bears 2 or 3 times in the past in those mountains but had never seen them down in the campgrounds in that area.
Mountain lions are fairly common in those mountains, but what I heard seemed to be heavier than a mountain lion. Plus, whatever animal I heard sounded like it had two feet as opposed to four.
I later found out that one of our friends had heard footsteps around his tent at about 4am. He thought it was our other two friends, camping with us, playing a joke on him.
ALSO NOTICED: None
OTHER WITNESSES: One other possible witness to sounds.
OTHER STORIES: I believe I read of an incident in the hills near Lake Hemet which is in the vicinity.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 4:50am, Clear Sky, No Lights In Campground.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest campground. Somewhat primitive.
A & G References: Southern California DeLorme Atlas, Page # 106, Index of B-2/3
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
On the evening of the 9th of September, 2008 D.N. called me and we went over his recent report in which the witness seemed credible and believable in his rendition. During this incident, the witness didn’t want to wake his wife up, because she would have freaked out, and probably caused them to leave the area.
I did ask a couple of questions that were not clarified in the report: First, did you smell anything out of the ordinary? “No” Second, did you just hear the bipedal footsteps, and or did you also feel anything that came through the ground? The witness just stated that he only heard the bipedal footsteps, and he never felt anything, probably because he and the wife were on an air mattress. Also asked if he had any strange feelings while this possible creature was in the area? He did state; that he believed this thing stayed in the area for at least one hour, because of how the dogs in the camping area were acting, and how long the crickets were quiet. The witness did stay awake until the sun came up!
The closest the footsteps got to his tent was about 40 to 50 yards away. Per DN, his friends had something similar happen to them one or two mornings later around 4 AM, same campground.
This incident is consistent with other late night or early morning campground encounters with this creature. Also of note, besides the Lake Hemet incident; which is about 9 miles south of this campground, there was recently a sighting in a trailer park located on the south-eastern side of the Yucaipa area, which is about 25 miles as a crow flies and 30 miles thru the mountains.
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.