Del Norte county, CA
Nearest town: Klamath
Description of event: Working off of a report of a Bigfoot sighting in Klamath, California, I decided to investigate the claim myself. I was a radio journalism student at Southern Oregon State College in Ashland at the time. I met up with a reporter named Steve at the Crescent City Triplicate, which was the paper that produced the story that was repeated by the Associated Press. He played a copy of the Puyallup audio for me before we left his office to go visit the family who reported a sighting a few days before. The story was from two boys playing in a (mostly) dry riverbed that ran along the base of a steep set of mountains. A row of houses sat about a quarter mile from the rocks of the riverbed. Their story is that while playing in the rocks, 'a big hairy man' got their attention by shaking a branch. They looked up, caught a whiff of a strong smell and started running home. One of the boys looked over his shoulder and said the 'big hairy man' began walking away, up a trail that led back into the heavy brush of the hillside. The boy's father investigated and found several quality tracks that were photographed and cast in plaster. I was told several Bigfoot investigators descended on the area and searched for more clues. The family said they became the target of vandals who spray-painted their driveway with things like 'Leave it alone' and such. Apparently because they have lived with Sasquatch for years before this family moved in. I interviewed the boy, his dad and mom for a story. They talked about the calls at night and said they heard some local Indians stories about a baby that had recently died.
Because of the calls, and my desire to record them, Steve and I decided to try and spend the night in a draw on the western side of the mountain and roll tape all night. Before evening, we spent the afternoon walking where the sighting had taken place and all through the nearby forest. I remember heavy brush and numerous small diameter trees all around. As we walked, my reporter friend collected wads of dark, wiry hair off protruding branches and the bark of trees. It seemed to be very prevalent. My friend talked of how DNA testing of the hair always produced a negative match, meaning it was confirmed NOT to be bear, deer, elk, etc. He collected enough hair that we stopped taking it after awhile. Later, we took our sleeping bags into a small clearing near the area where the sighting occurred. I had a sleeping bag, he had a blanket. We settled in on either side of the miniature valley, with the tree line to each of our backs. I moved closer to the rootball of a fallen tree to ensure nothing could come up behind me. I rolled tape and we sat quietly. As dusk settled in, we could hear every leaf fall to the ground due to the layer of already fallen dried leaves. As darkness fell, we talked quietly - and relatively calmly - until we both started to get antsy at the same time. I remember thinking "stay calm, stay calm" figuring my counterpart was doing just fine. I sat still, fighting the fear until he quietly said something like "you getting that feeling?" or "are you as scared as I am?" When I said yes, he suggested we each slowly pick up our stuff and get out of there.
We pulled the corners up on our blankets and ran down the draw toward a pasture that lead to the riverbed and the row of houses. We both carried flashlights and as we got to the bottom of the draw, our lights reflected in the eyes of a cow that had come into the pasture and was looking at us. We both stopped in our tracks, thinking it was Bigfoot. To get around the cow, we backed up to the tree line that ran along the edge of the draw and the pasture. I have always wondered what we would have seen if we would have shone our light into the trees there. We scampered back to the house where it seems a few extra people had gathered with the family, when the door opened, they broke out in laughter knowing there was no way a couple of reporters were going to last very long on that mountain.
The moon came up over the top of the ridge a few minutes later, again making me wish we could have held on a few minutes longer. As we sat, I was recording audio from a microphone I set outside. With the input cranked and the volume on my headphones up as far as it would go. I rolled tape from the house while we talked inside. We were suddenly interrupted by the barking of the neighborhood dogs, which would always bark at the higher pitched sound of one of the calls from the mountain. I then heard the lower response from another animal, coming from a point further north on the mountains. My head snapped up and as I looked at the people in the room, they said my face turned white. I clearly heard a call similar to that which the other report played for me in his office before we left. I do not remember anything else about the trip after that. I can’t remember hearing any other calls or where in the house I slept that night, or the return trip home. But I seem to have that moment of hearing that call etched into my memory with great clarity. As for the tape, I tried playing it back for my instructor in Ashland, but it was far too quiet, amid the hissy and grainy cassette tape to be heard. I never wrote a story on the air about the trip, another regret I have. I just couldn’t figure out a way to write the story without becoming the story – a critical no-no in my business. The story that launched this adventure was featured on BFRO. Here is a link: http://www.bfro.net/GDB/show_article.asp?id=90.
record updated:0000-00-00 00:00:00