Geographical Index > United States > California > Tulare County > Report # 2878|
Submitted by S. H. on Thursday, August 19, 1999.
Two Local Residents Interviewed about Sighting
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COUNTY: Tulare County
LOCATION DETAILS: In Re: the Three Rivers sighting in Tulare, CA, August 1998
OBSERVED: This is not a sighting report. But it is a report. My name is Steve High. I read the anonymous sighting report you have posted for Three Rivers, CA, in Tulare County. I work in Visalia, the closest major town to that area and am familiar with Three Rivers.
I had business to attend to there last Monday (8/8/99) and afterwards scoped out the area of the story and spoke to 2 locals. The area of the sighting was easy to find as there is only one bridge in that area and it is indeed silver [in color].
The vegetation there is heavily riparian and even unusual. Blackberries, poison oak, willows, sycamore and live oaks are in an amazing and dense tangle. The berry bushes and poison oak is a daunting floor, wall and canopy up to about 15 feet and quite thick and intimidating. Visibility in the field of the vegetation is perhaps 20 to 30 feet. It is possible to be completely out of sight of the road within just 5 feetof the road on either side.
Of note is that this is a riparian habitat and only extends to the bottom of the canyon, which in the area of the bridge would give it a width of perhaps 50 yards. Other places upstream and down, it widens to perhaps 200 yards.This vegetation gives way abruptly to normal foothill trees and grasses with wide and steep expanses of open terrain where a coyote would have difficulty hiding. It is really a quite striking contrast.
Also, there is little to no water above ground in the stream area at this time of year and it becomes drier up through October. The rains begin here in November. My observation is that the vegetation and terrain and the dry stream bed would afford a hidden passage for any animal up to the size of a large elk travelling up or down the canyon.
My speculation is that Three Rivers is about as far down the canyon as any animal would get and still be useen, as this blanket of vegetation falls off rapidly into the highway and opens up to Kaweah Lake. However, going UP the canyon, the area winds about and becomes seriously more rugged and difficult to travel over the next 15 miles and extends up into Sequoia National Park.
There is no hunting in the park and it would be a natural game path for animals as diverse as racoon, deer, black bear, fox and mountain lion to travel. I saw no reason why a Bigfoot could not also take this same trip. What should also be mentioned is that there are three homes rather impossibly nestled in the undergrowth. One is below the bridge and two above. All three showed signs of a full family living there year round. A large animal or even a poacher would have to come out of the undergrowth and cross the road in this vicinity OR risk detection from one of the homes.
Of the 2 locals I spoke to, one was a deputy who had lived up there his entire life and who was actively involved with the search and rescue unit. I asked him plainly what his opinion was of the Bigfoot sighting last August . He said that it was the first he'd heard of that. Also, that if something like that had really happened that EVERYONE in town would know about it by the following morning. He believed it was likely a story put out by one of the citizens to entice more people to drive up the road as tourism to Sequoia had been slow.
An acountant listening in seconded the opinion. Both men were locals and were certain that there was no truth to it, even as a rumor. I then asked them if they had EVER heard tale of a Bigfoot sighting in Three Rivers. They said they had not. They were in fact incredulous that I might be taking such a thing seriously. They both said that it could have been Deputy B_____ as he was 6-ft-6 and often wandered about town. He was the closest thing they had to a Bigfoot.
So, what we have here at best is a very quiet sighting that was not mentioned to law enforcement or the press, or at worst a fiction. If it were a rumor put out to generate interest and get more people to drive up to the area, it failed.
I will also check with the local newspaper for the dates following the sighting and see what they have to say.
REPORTING LIVE FROM THREE RIVERS, CA - Steve High