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COUNTY: Riverside County
LOCATION DETAILS: I,m sorry , it has been 12 years. I remember it was in the Dutchmans flats area near Idyllwild. We were camped maybe a mile off one of the trail heads.
NEAREST TOWN: Dutchmans flats area by Idyllwild California.
NEAREST ROAD: Not sure of the road.
OBSERVED: This is a late report, but however, it is a valid one. What prompted this report is the fact that I now currently reside in Snohomish County Washington and just read about local sightings in my area, surprised at the number of reports. I used to live in Orange County California, and an old girlfriend of mine and I, were camping up in Dutchman’s Flats area, near Idyllwild. We were out-packing, not in a campground.
We were awakened by screams that resembled the sound of a pack of coyotes that had just made a kill right outside of our tent. The screams however had a bit of a deeper tone than a coyote. At the time that is what we thought it was, so we stayed quiet not wanting to interrupt a wild animals meal. The screams and screeches continued for what seemed like an hour, but was probably about 5 or 10 minutes. The screams stopped, but we could hear what sounded like heavy footsteps right outside the door to our tent. We could hear sniffing sounds, and heavy breathing sounds. That is when I got really scared. I know a coyote does not step like a 300+ pound man in combat boots.
I was too scared to even turn on my flashlight, and take a look. (Thinking maybe a bear had just run off what we thought were coyotes). We stayed up, paralyzed all night with fear until the sun came up. Even then there was still a dead silence. No birds, no crickets, nothing. I was still scared to go outside, but did.
I could see that something was in our camp, due to the scattering of pine needles and dirt around our tent. But there was no sign of a coyote kill, like no blood or fur laying around. What I did see was a pair of big deep footprints going away from our site down into a deeply wooded ravine. The thing, what ever it was, walked upright, and had a 3 to 4 foot gait. I followed the steps for a few yards down into the ravine while my girlfriend watched. It was still deathly quiet and I had a very eerie feeling that I was being watched. The footprints led right into a thicket and I could see it was a wide path left by whatever it was. I turned and ran back up the hill, packed our stuff up in a big hurry and left.
At that time I was in my early 20's. I am in my late 30's now and take my wife and kids camping all the time up here in Washington, but I do it with a new respect for nature now.
ALSO NOTICED: We did not notice any foul smells like I have read about.
OTHER WITNESSES: Only myself and my girlfriend at the time.
OTHER STORIES: I have heard of incidents in the Barton Flats area.Mostly what I have read in your website confirms 12 years later, that what we heard and the prints we saw , were experienced by others during the same time period, in the same surrounding area.That is why I submitted this report. We have had sightings where I currently live in Washington, a mile from my house. Trust me , my eyes are wide open when I am hiking and fishing now.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The action occured sometime during the very early a.m. It was pitch dark coming into sunrise.
ENVIRONMENT: We were on the edge of the mountain so there were some rock formations. We were camped on a flat surrounded by pine forest with slope into a dark ravine .
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
On the afternoon of the 25th of November 2002, I talked with Bob M. about his and his girlfriend’s strange sound encounter in a mountainous area of Riverside County.
Bob and his girlfriend were plenty scared, as they heard what he described as the sounds of a possible three hundred pound coyote, and the vocal and physical confrontation that he thought was taking place outside of his tent. He then squeezed in the statement that he never left his tent until that next morning, and in so doing, when he had to take a leak, he used an inside corner of his tent. Early that next morning Bob grabbed his buck knife and slowly exited the tent. He did not find any blood or fur in or around his camping area as expected, but he did find some fresh, deep, and large footprint impressions in the pine needles, going down into a ravine.
Bob described the footprints as being about one inch deep in pine needles and about sixteen inches long and over six inches wide, because he put his size twelve boot into the track and there was plenty of space left over. He did not observe any toes in the tracks because of pine needles, but the prints looked to be that of a large human.
Summary: Bob was very sincere and believable as he went over his rendition of events that occurred on the outing that he and his friend had during June of 1990. No measurements or photographs were taken of that incident. At that time, Bob never thought that a sasquatch critter even existed. Bob said that he had stored his excess food in his backpack about twelve feet off of the ground over a tree limb, with a rope that was tied off to the trunk of that tree. The reason that I made this report a class “B” report is the fact that Bob knows the difference between bear tracks and human tracks, and he heard a large bipedal creature walking around and through their dark campsite.
Bob now has in his possession a camera and a voice recorder, which he brings along when he and his family are out camping.