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DATE: July 13, 1988
COUNTY: San Diego County
LOCATION DETAILS: It was so long ago, I don't remember the name of the area on Palomar Mountain where we camped. I do remember being able to look down the mountain and see a road with a cow catcher on it.
NEAREST TOWN: Escondido, CA
OBSERVED: About 1988, my girlfriend and I were tent camping on Palomar Mountain with another couple. After the first night they left and we decided to spend one more night. Into the late afternoon I had the feeling we were being watched which persisted until we decided to turn in.
After settling down into our tent, and being quiet for about 1/2 hour. I heard fast footsteps run through our camp. They were very heavy footfalls like from a heavy man and sounded like someone running flat-footed in boots. I thought maybe it was a man, but why is a man running through my camp on a dark, moonless night?
My girlfriend was asleep so she didn't hear. I was still awake as I felt uneasy. Since "it" kept running, I decided not to venture outside to take a look. Nothing else occurred that night and I went to sleep soon after.
The next morning there were no footprints or other evidence.
OTHER WITNESSES: None.
OTHER STORIES: No.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 10pm. Clear night, no moon. Around 60 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: Pine forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jon Carter:
Exchanged several emails with the witness. Found him to be credible even with the long period of time since that night. A few hours before turning in there was a sense of something not being right, but in looking around they didn't see anything, but the feeling persisted until they decided to get into their tent. After about 20 minutes something came though, very fast, heavy footfalls. He stayed awake, with his pistol handy until much later.
[Matt Moneymaker's note:
This report is significant because there's a history of sightings on and around Mt. Palomar.
In the terminology of Bigfoot field research this area is a "southwestern sky-island". In other words, it is a high elevation zone in the southwestern US surrounded by low elevation arid/desert terrain.
These high mountain areas of the southwest (including Southern California) catch snow and absorb snow-melt in Winter and Spring. Much of that water leaks out the sides of the mountain, creating running springs that often disappear back underground before they reach the lowlands.
During the southwestern summers there will often be cloudburst thunderstorms that drop both rain and hail in the upper elevations. Those downpours tend to evaporate into wispy steamy clouds before reaching the surrounding arid zones at the lowest elevations.
In the Winter and Spring when the conifer/alpine elevations of a sky island are under snow, the medium elevations of oak and grassland are emerald green like springtime in other parts of the county. When the snows come to the tops the mule deer population is easily able to escape by descending to lower elevations where the air is comfortably warm and the flowers are blooming.
This sighting happened in July when the hot temperatures of the lower elevations encourage the deer herds to go up higher on the mountain when it's blooming up there. That is when sasquatches are most likely to be at the top too, both to escape the heat and take advantage of the concentrating deer population.
Much of the top of Mt. Palomar is privately held in trust or is protected gov land that you can't even hike to. There are only three public campgrounds.
One consolation is that sasquatches are occasionally seen or heard near the campgrounds that are near the famous observatory. This incident occurred at one of those campgrounds: Palomar Observatory Campground or Fry Creek Campground.
To figure which of those two campgrounds was the one mentioned in this report you would need to drive up there and see which one has a view of a road below it with a "cow catcher," more commonly known as a "cattle guard".
A cattle guard is a small slice of road with a ditch covered by arm-sized pipes that a car can drive across but a cow will not try to walk across. Cattle guards often make a lot of noise when you drive over them so this witness would have been hearing the "cow catcher" every time a car drove up or down the road in view of the campground.
Those are your clues.
The best time of year to go up to Mt. Palomar for sasquatches would be when Southern California is unbearably hot for a long stretch. Lots of animals (including mountain lions) will be concentrating up there in those conditions.
There is only once species that will run through the darkness making heavy bipedal footfall as it goes -- sasquatch.
About BFRO Investigator Jon Carter:
Almost 50 years of research. Attended Florida 2015 and 2016, Kentucky 2016, SoCal 2016, Sierras 2018, Olympic Penn. 2019