The Sierra Bigfoot Shooting, One Year Later

Justin Smeja was introduced to Derek Randles after an encounter with a Sasquatch in the mountains of Northern CA.  Texas native, he now makes his home near Sacramento California and works in the construction trade.  Avid hunter, tracker and fisherman, Justin specializes in scent control and camera set up.

The Yeti expedition in Russia last week have drawn the attention of many casual observers to our website. Yesterday, we received an email from Jim who asked us to clarify what the deal is with the Bigfoot shooting that took place in the Sierras.

Well Jim, here's our short version: Exactly one year ago, a man named Justin Smeja from Roseville (near Sacramento) was out bear hunting with a friend somewhere in the Sierras, perhaps near the Truckee River Wildlife area. This Justin guy said he came up to a road and saw what he thought was a black bear standing on its hind legs and waving its arms in the air. Justin felt confused and frightened, so he shot it. And then he saw another one, and he shot that one too.

As they got a closer look at the dead creatures lying on the ground, they saw that it wasn't a bear at all. Both hunters describes the creatures as "a cross between a gorilla and a bear". The story gets murky afterwards, but apparently, Justin didn't know what a Bigfoot was at the time. After learning a little more about them, he's pretty sure he had shot a baby Bigfoot and its mother.

Unbelievable right? But wait, there's more.

Justin later went to tell the authorities, but said he was laughed out of their office. So who comes to the rescue? The Olympic Project Mr. Derek Randles heard about this event from an internet forum and got in touch with Justin. Derek Randles is now Justin's boss.

Mr. Randles won't reveal much about the location or exactly what happened after he got in touch with the shooter, but Bigfoot Evidence have learned a few more details about the event that we can't reveal now.

Here's what Mr. Randles said about the Sierra Shooting and the physical evidence that was gathered:

This incident occurred in October of 2010 in Northern California. The persons involved will be known as Hunter 1, and Hunter 2. Hunter 1 is the shooter. Hunter 2 was driving the vehicle.

While driving down a dirt road looking for bear, hunter 1 and hunter 2 were noticing large piles of feces along their route. They commented on the amount they were seeing, and at the strange nature of it. They were having a rough time figuring out what was responsible. To big for Cougar, and didn't appear to be bear. It is important to note that they were hunting at considerable elevation. It's also important to note that they were legally hunting, with appropriate bear tags in a legal hunting area.

As the truck came around a corner they both noticed a large hair covered figure standing approx 80 to 100 yards in a meadow off to the side of the road. ( On the Bigfoot forum I previously said it was off to the left, that was my mistake, it was actually off to the right of the road.) The figure was standing on two legs with it's arms above it's head. It took roughly eight to ten steps toward the vehicle. The arms were moving a little either because it was walking, or it was intensionally swaying them. It was dirty grey in color with some black mixed in. The figure was very large. Hunter 1 decided it had to be a bear. It was completely hair covered, and from that distance good definition was impossible. Hunter 1 got out of the truck and leaned against the door aiming his riffle at the figure. He does admit that it looked strange but in his mind it had to be a bear. He did not believe in Bigfoot at that time. Hunter 2 was now looking at the figure and said " I'm not sure that's a bear". The shot was fired hitting it's mark in the chest region. The figure went down. It got back up immediately and started running on two legs, and then on all fours. It went from two legs to four legs a couple of times before it left view. A short time later they were very sure they heard it crash into the brush, although they never did confirm this. They couldn't believe what they were seeing.

They exited the truck and started across the meadow still wondering what just happened. When they reached the spot where it was standing they noticed movement in the nearby brush. Two smaller figures appeared from the brush and started circling around their position. The smaller ones were totally hair covered, but were much more black in color. They would go back and forth from two legs to four. They were exhibiting some type of chatter back and forth to each other. Hunter 1 and Hunter 2 described them as a cross between a gorilla and a bear. They said that they had very large heads, almost too big for their bodies. They also stated that the little ones had a much flatter face than a bear. They spent as much time on two legs as they did on four. The smaller figures began getting closer and closer, at on point, just a few yards. One of them climbed up a small outcrop above hunter 1. Hunter 1 started to get the feeling he might be attacked. He made a quick decision, turned and fired. The figure went down and rolled right down to Hunter 1's location. He lifted it up, and then placed it in the brush. They then decided that they needed to leave, now.

I, Derek Randles was put in touch with the hunters about two weeks later. I interviewed them both by phone extensively, and separately. I found that their story matched perfectly with no inconsistency's. I could also tell that they were natural and not rehearsed. Consequently, I've spent many many hour talking with hunter 1 one about all aspects of the story, and I completely believe him.

I then urged hunter 1 to return to the site and look around for any evidence from the incident. Upon returning they were greeted with roughly two feet of snow. The little one was not found. They concentrated their efforts in the area where they thought they heard the larger one go down. After digging though the snow for many hours they were able to find a piece of flesh, greasy fat and hair, but no body. The flesh and hair matched the color of the larger one exactly. White gray hair with some black in it.

I then asked him to forward a small piece of the flesh to Dr. Ketchum to have it analyzed for the current DNA study she's involved in. I cannot speak to the results at this time due to an NDA I've signed, but I will say that I 100% believe the story. Read into that what you will.

The site has been under snow since last November. Further study of the site is ongoing. To date, no bodies have been recovered or found. If and when a body or remains is discovered, the appropriate authority's will be notified.

The Olympic Project and Dr. Melba Ketchum do not advocate or condone the killing of a Sasquatch to advance science. That being said, if this sample can help with species verification and protection, then some good can come from a unfortunate incident. It's also important to note that this is but one of over a hundred samples the Olympic Project has contributed to this study.

Updates on this story will be available on this web site, and the story in it's entirety will be told by Hunter 1 when the time is right.

Thank You,
Derek Randles.

Robert Lindsay wrote numerous articles about the Sierra Kills: Click here to see.


  1. I'm a little confused why these hunters did not retrieve the "bears" they killed. Did they not have a cell phones with cameras? If they weren't sure what they were, why didn't they examine the bodies closer? Their reactions don't seem to make any sense. If I just killed something I didn't know what it was, my logical mind would be trying to examine it quite closely to determine what it was.

  2. This is nothing but fiction, a made up story in a long line of made up stories. My favorite part is "Justin didn't know what a bigfoot was at the time". Really, that's what you want to go with?

  3. Yeah...the story doesn't make any sense. Let's imagine you're walking along a forest access road and stumble across a sasquatch that is inexplicably drawing a lot of interest to itself by waving its arms back and forth (a seemingly incongruous sasquatch behavior). Seeing as this creature is standing on two feet WAVING its arms back and forth, you quickly realize that what you are seeing is not a bear. Provided that your mind isn't completely shattered and paralyzed by what you see, you allow yourself some time to decide on a course of action. Run? Shoot? Try to document evidence? You choose to shoot and kill the bigfoot (there is absolutely zero percent chance that these bozos didn't know what they were seeing and doing). At this point you realize that you just won the lottery. You have shot and killed a bigfoot, providing a type specimen for the world to see and study. If you play your cards right, you have at least a dozen or so interviews on national television, a handful of book and movie deals, and presumably a place in history. By playing your cards right, I mean make a lot of noise about what you just discovered. I personally would have video taped the entire area along with the bodies, copyrighted the subsequent footage, and finally I would have sent copies to every major news outlet in the world. Boom! Any other course of action doesn't make sense. But I highly doubt anyone has ever shot and killed a bigfoot. There's too much money to be made in an event like this. You don't sit on it for a year or two waiting for some lady (can we get some real credentials on these people?)to finish her "study" of the evidence. You put your evidence out there, get paid, and let every leading scientist in the WORLD (not some random lady) scrutinize it. Why wait for a documentary that might be viewed by a million or so people when you could have every production company bidding for the rights to your story? Again, nothing about this story makes any sense. None.

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  7. Having just seen "Monsters and Mysteries of America: the pacific Northwest", I decided to look a little further into Mr.Smeja's story. If you watch the show and his telling of the encounter he shows several "tells" indicating deceit, especially his eye movements as he makes certain statements. I find the story implausible as the show portrays it. They claim that, having obviously shot a previously undocumented hominid, these experienced hunters hid the body out of fear of approaching wardens. What would they have to fear from a warden? They were legally hunting and shot what could have been mistaken for a bear. Come on. If you had the discovery of a lifetime would you fear a game warden's ticket? Another sad hoaxer who ruins the chase for everyone else.

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  10. Fake! A true hunter and conservationist would have contacted the proper game warden of what happened and why he shot at the so called creature. Interesting did not bring so call body back to the proper authorities. Instead takes he story and revealing his story to a man on the Olympic Project that says he can reveal the scientific findings of the DNA to anyone.

    Plus the so call DNA the scientist was looking at has not come forward with the findings is a little fishy. NEED to watch Penn & Tellers Bullshit episode on Crypto zoology. All lies and fake.

  11. This story has to many holes in it total B.S this is 2010 when they shot Bigfoot as they say and not one of them thought about taking a pic with their phone because we all know in 2010 most phones had cameras especially if u just killed something that u never seen. The body isnt gonna just go bye bye either especially if its covered in snow the weather would preserve it. He never heard of bigfoot either and ur a hunter, come on please. Full of shit!!!


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