This was originally posted on OCCULT SKEPTIC, a skeptic blog "fascinated by the occult". The story is well written, and hopefully you'll get a kick out of it. The author said it was a true story from a friend's Facebook note.
Originally posted on OCCULT SKEPTIC:
True Bigfoot Story by guest writer Robert Owen-Miller
Posted: June 26, 2011 by mindcore
*My friend Robert, who is known to me as Rabbit is a fun loving guy who tends to be a life loving party animal. He is very intelligent and was basicaly raised in the field by his field biologist father. He has been known to do kayaking and canoing tours, and all manner of jobs that involve teaching city folk how to be hardcore in the woods. This is his bigfoot story, which he posted as a facebook note. I noticed it was exceptionally well written and that it fits in nicely with this blog. Enjoy!
I’m going to tell you about my Bigfoot experience. I live in a town called Arcata which is up in Northern California and I used to work at an outdoor store there downtown. We sold all kinds of things there like snowboards, mtn bikes, surfboards, kayaks, backpacks, shoes, etc.
I was actually working in the shoes dept. the day that a guy by the name of John Frippo walked in. He was looking for a pair of hiking boots. Now, as a salesman it was my job to ask him all sorts of questions to make sure he got exactly what he needed without spending too much on something he would never use, but in this case what he needed was our most expensive pair of boots. They were like $220 or something like that. Anyway, I asked him what he was going to be doing with these uber-boots and he told me that he was a graduate student at the University of Southern Pennsylvania and that he was part of their star Bigfoot research team.
Northern California is famous for its Bigfoot sightings. The town of Willow Creek (which is about an hour inland from Arcata) is home to the only Bigfoot Museum in America, and probably the world. In fact, that famous video of the Bigfoot walking through the woods was filmed out just near Willow Creek, so Bigfoot isn’t news to us up there but I had never met any Bigfoot research teams. It was pretty cool, I thought, although John seemed kind of hesitant at first to divulge his true purpose there.
There are those who wish to protect the Bigfoot population, like the Hoopa who are an indigenous people native to the area. Their reservation, or “Rancheria,” is well known to have Bigfoot, and in fact the Bigfoot is a sacred animal to them and they have a corner of their land cordoned off just for the Bigfoot. No one’s allowed to go there, except for medicine men and women, and they’re very serious about that rule! There are also plenty of eco-nazis in the area who are also very serious about their Bigfoot.
After John realized that I wasn’t serious at all about Bigfoot but that I seriously believed in the possibility of Bigfoot, he opened up a little more and we talked about what he does and what-not. Whenever anyone comes in and wants to buy a kayak because they’re going to kayak from Vancouver to Mexico or whatever, I’m always like, “oh take me with you!” And in this case I was no different. I know, of course, that no one’s going to take the guy that they bought shoes from, but it’s still funny to say. Anyway I told him my father was a field biologist and that if they needed, I would Sherpa for them. Hahaha, blah blah blah, whatever. He bought the shoes, I thanked him and shook his hand and that was that. Or so I thought…
The next day John came back and asked me if I was serious about Sherpa-ing for them! I was like, “Hell yeah!” and then I turned to my manager and said, “Hey Ryan, I quit!” Haha, I was just kidding of course. So their plan was to drive out to the trail head that night, hike in the next day which was Friday, hang out all day Saturday, and then hike back to the car Sunday and drive back Sunday evening. I had Saturday and Sunday off but I had to find someone to cover my shift for Friday.
The reason they needed a Sherpa was because they do this thing called “Call-Blasting,” where they take this super powerful tape-deck and loud-speaker and they blare Bigfoot sounds into the woods and wait for one to respond. Its an old hunter’s trick. But the tape-deck was as big as a back-pack and the loud-speaker was big and heavy too. So I had to carry all my stuff, including sleeping bag, sleeping pad, a change of clothes, toiletries, and all my food; and I had to carry all the tape-deck guy’s stuff as well! But not only that, I also had to carry half of the loud-speaker guy’s stuff too, because he could only carry a day-pack along with his loud-speaker. Oh and I had to carry a three-person tent on top of all that! Luckily, someone else carried the water filter and camp stove and what-not, but I was still pretty loaded down to say the least.
The hike-in was exhausting because it was all up-hill in the Trinities which, if you’ve ever been there you’ll know, is just way too vertical! Now, John’s thesis was on the Bigfoot’s diet. He studied what the Bigfoot ate. “How do you know what they eat if you’ve never even seen one?” you might ask. Well apparently he studied their scat! Yes SCAT! BIGFOOT POOP! Which, to me, looked an awful lot like regular-ass bear poop, but what do I know right? I mean, I just sell shoes! Anyway, we kept on stopping every five minutes to study “Bigfoot” tracks and take samples of “Bigfoot” scat, and that took all freakin’ day! So when we got to camp, I was exhausted. We set up camp and, oh yeah, I was also the cook too, so I made dinner and then a few of the guys went out to do some call basting but the rest of us went bed. I didn’t even sleep in the tent because it was so beautiful and warm out. I was pretty stoked to be out there with these guys, and I was wondering if I was going to get to see a Bigfoot.
That night, as I lay there out in the middle of god-damn nowhere, out in the open, I thought of all the Bigfoot stories I had heard. A friend of mine, Mike, had told me about one when he worked as wilderness patrol out there in the Trinities. He had set up camp like I did, out in the open under the stars, and he was just about to get to sleep when he heard something. He was really silent and listened and then realized that it was just a deer or something, not a bear as he had feared. But then he heard it freeze, which was a little un-nerving because Mike had already felt like something had been watching him for a while. He just laid there and listened and the deer stayed absolutely still for a long time. Then suddenly it tore off straight down the very steep hill-side and straight at Mike! Mike had actually laid his sleeping pad and bag out next to a lake, and the deer, who must have already been aware of Mike, chose to run in his direction rather than hang around for whatever it was that was going to eat it! It ran straight down that hill, straight towards Mike, then when it got to him it jumped over him and into the lake, then swam straight across to the exact opposite bank, then got out and kept running straight in the same direction through the woods and off into the hills!
You can imagine how terrified Mike was at that point! He said he felt like a kid, too afraid to move, he literally hid his head under his sleeping bag. Then, a big rock came flying down the hill in his direction but it missed him. Then another, even bigger rock came crashing down the hill and flew past him. Then a huge boulder, too enormous for any man to move, came flying down and past him, and it was at this point that Mike realized that these rocks were being thrown at him!
That’s when he heard it: the howl! He said it was completely unlike anything he had ever heard! He knows what bears sound like, he knows what mountain lions sound like, he knows what wolves and dogs and even foxes sound like, but this was something altogether different! Mike was petrified!
A few more rocks were thrown at him, but he realized that whatever this was that was throwing the rocks and howling seemed to be missing him on purpose. It didn’t want to kill him, it just wanted him gone. Eventually it stopped and Mike stayed perfectly still until first light at which point he got up, broke camp, and got the hell out of there! When he got home he looked up the Bigfoot research website and documented his experience. Then he read up on others’ experiences and found out that the rock-throwing is actually fairly common.
They also have recordings on the website of the Bigfoot’s howl. He said when he listened to them, the first one was obviously a mountain lion. The second one was obviously hound-dogs howling in the distance and these people just didn’t know what that sounded like. But then he clicked on the third one and it was exactly what he had heard! The hair on his arms stood up, and the hair on his neck stood up, and he had to just get up and leave the room immediately! A few hours later, he tried again, same result! His hair stood up and he had to leave the room. To this day, he can’t listen to that recording.
After Mike told me that story, I had to get on the website myself and check out the recordings. He’s not kidding, it’s eerie! Anyway, it was stories like these that filled my head as I laid there in the middle of god-damn nowhere, out in the open!
The next morning I woke up and made breakfast, and I was told that four of them were going to go out and look for more tracks and scat and that I was to stay behind with this guy named Alistair, who had drank too much the night before while out call-blasting and was still sleeping. Someone had to stay behind and make sure that our camp wasn’t raided by raccoons or bears or Bigfoot or eco-nazis or whatever, so that guy was me. I was beginning to regret this trip!
They were gone all day and Alistair slept the whole time so it was just me, bored as hell and paranoid too! I kept getting freaked out and every time I heard a noise, I just knew it was Bigfoot! My thoughts kept going to negative places. When it was nearing five o’clock, I thought that they had been killed by a Bigfoot or eco-nazis or bears or something, and that they would never return. Eventually they did return, and just in time for dinner. Coincidentally, Alistair was also just in time for dinner.
John said that they had a lot of luck finding tracks and scat but the trail led onto the Hoopa Rancheria and so they could go no further. However, when it got dark they were going to go back and follow the tracks into Hoopa land and do some call-blasting. “Great,” I thought, “now I’m going to be left all alone in the dark!” But to my surprise, they told me that since Alistair had slept all day, he was the one who got stay behind and watch camp, and I was going to get to go with them! Cool! Now things were starting to look up!
We finished dinner and left Alistair in charge of cleaning up while we got our things together for the night patrol. I was pretty nervous about trekking onto Hoopa land without permission. I was also feeling a little guilty about it too. But anyway I guess I just talked myself into it somehow because I was so excited about seeing a Bigfoot! All I had to carry was my own little day-pack. The tape-deck and loud-speaker weren’t to be handled by anyone other than SPU staff and students. This was really getting better!
We set out and soon found the tracks that they had found earlier. I should say that these weren’t the kind of Bigfoot tracks that I had expected when I first signed up with these guys. They weren’t footprints, there would be a broken twig or a smooshed leaf or a tiny little hair on a tree, but these guys really had the eye for it, and they would point things out to me (we had to remain completely silent) that I would sometimes see and other times I would completely miss. Take the smooshed leaves, for example. When they were pointing them out to me all I could see was a leaf on a rock. It wasn’t until later that they explained to me that something had stepped on it, flattening out its texture and turning it a little lighter shade of green. It occurred to me that these guys were professional trackers! John, Alistair, and the professor were all big-time hunters, one of the other guys was ex special forces and had done two tours in Afghanistan, and the last guy was a super-avid outdoorsman who had done backpacking trips all over the world. They were all as right at home in the woods as I was, but they had a lot more experience with tracking than I did, because it was their job. This is what they do!
Before long it was dark and we were crossing over onto Hoopa land. The moon was almost full so we went along by its light as best we could, but eventually we lost the trail of the Bigfoot, so that’s where we started the call-blasting. The “Prof.” wore the tape-deck on his chest, and “Avid Outdoorsman” carried the loud-speaker. That was the first time I had heard their recording, and it sent chills up my spine! It was just like the recording on the website! It was the same howl that Mike had heard out in these very same hills all those years ago! It was spooky, and that loud-speaker was really, really loud too!
We blasted calls in all directions and then moved a little further in the direction that we believed the tracks had led, and then blasted some calls again. We did that for about two hours. It was getting close to midnight, and I was getting pretty tired. The guys were getting ready to call it quits when…
It started soft and low and then grew into a loud, high-pitched, full-bodied shriek! It was way off in the distance but that sound carried! We were stunned! The hairs on my arm stood up! The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up! My heart, after not beating for what seemed like forever, started beating in my chest like the double kick-drum in a “Cannibal Corpse” song! Boom-boom boom-boom boom-boom! I was sure that everyone else could have heard my heart from where they stood if their hearts hadn’t been doing the same thing! We probably sounded like an off-tempo marching band!
No one moved. The howl died off and was replaced by silence, still no one moved. Finally the professor blasted a howl in return. Everyone just about shat themselves when he did that! We were all so fixated on the silence that none of us were expecting the call-blast! I think I may have even let out an audible yelp! My heart almost gave up entirely! I don’t care how tough you think you are, when you’re out in the wild and you hear that howl, you feel as frightened and as helpless as a child!
We waited in silence again. Then, the howl! We waited, not knowing what to do. All of us were looking around at each other wondering if anyone was going to do something. Finally, the professor started forward toward the direction of the beast and we followed. We would stop and blast a call every once in a while, and every once in a while the call would be returned. Soon, the fear turned into excitement, but after a while we all started to notice that as we were moving towards the howl, the howl was also moving towards us!
This went on for about an hour and a half; moving, call-blasting, moving, howling, moving, and we started to get real close to it. We seemed to be converging on to a saddle in the landscape. It was sort of a triple-crowned saddle that left a huge wooded flat area in the middle. We knew that if it smelled us it might shy away so we had to move downwind of it. Thankfully, downwind also happened to be slightly uphill too! So that was nice, because we definitely didn’t want to be downhill of this monster! But as we were trying to get uphill/downwind of it, it was simultaneously moving uphill/downwind of us! So we were actually moving closer to each other at ever-increasing acute angles. In the middle of the flat area in the saddle was a large outcropping and on the other side of the outcropping was a clearing. It became clear that if we both continued on our respective courses, we would reach opposite sides of the outcropping, and that’s exactly how it happened.
When we reached the outcropping we let out a call-blast then moved around towards the clearing. By this point, the excitement had turned back into fear, and our movement had become painfully slow! My psychological health was truly taking a beating! About half way to the clearing our call was answered and we froze. It was just on the other side of the outcropping from us!
I have never been so scared in all my life! At this point I was going, “Where the hell is my gun? Why didn’t I bring a gun? What was I fucking thinking?” I didn’t actually own a gun at the time, but at that moment I truly wished I had! It didn’t matter that I had a big knife. It didn’t matter that I was with four big, mean dudes who also had knives. It just didn’t matter. I might as well have been alone and naked! Why hadn’t I brought a gun?
We stayed frozen for about five minutes and then started to move around towards the clearing again. Those last few steps were the hardest steps I’ve ever taken. I had to fight my screaming instinct to run for my life with every single step.
As we rounded the outcropping and came into the clearing we stopped dead in our tracks for a final time! Because there, in the clearing right in front of me, right in front of all of us, not ten feet away, was Austria’s premier Bigfoot research team with a tape-deck and a loud-speaker!