Sierra Kills: Why Justin Smeja refuses to give exact location of Bigfoot shooting [EXCLUSIVE]

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.

For the past three weeks, Justin Smeja and his neighbor "the driver" have opened up and revealed a little more about the Bigfoot shooting event that took place on October 8, 2011 near Gold Lake, CA. We spoke with Justin on Sunday to ask if he could explain to us why he has kept the exact location a secret.

The Olympic Project have been involved in the Sierra Kills location for a little over a year now and one of their main objectives there is to obtain clear photographs of Sasquatch in their natural environment. They've been trying to do this for many years in the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State. The Olympic Project has one of the most comprehensive, systematic camera trap programs around. Their setup consists of fifty plus cameras placed along predatory travel routes throughout the Olympic Mountains. By doing this, they hope their study will provide the first clear pictures of Bigfoot along with photographic documentation of many apex predators and ungulates living and moving throughout their natural habitat.

To pull this project off, the Olympic Project assembled a team of expert woodsmen and big game trackers such as Brian Rasmussen, Robert Johnson and Justin Smeja (the Bigfoot shooter). Justin is in charge of camera traps around the Gold Lake area. He didn't say who else is working in his area, but he has driven up to the location multiple times this year to check on camera traps. So far, he's captured a few blobsquatches here and there, but nothing definitive. Last week, multiple Bigfoot tracks were found just 20 yards away from the road. The author who's writing a book on the Sierra Kills was also with him at the location.

"We haven't gone back again. It's currently snowing up there and we've already taken down our camera traps," Justin said.

"We're going to wait for the snow to melt and head back again next year".

Justin said this is the main reason why he's has yet to give out the exact location. He tells us the book he's currently working on will reveal the GPS coordinates if anybody wants to investigate. He says once the location is revealed, the project is over. The Olympic Project have always been careful not to attract too many visitors to an area. Too many visitors will force the creatures to relocate said Justin.

When we asked Justin about what he thought about our Top 5 List of Possible Sierra Kills locations, he was surprised to see how close we were to the actual location. As it turned out, location number 4 on the list is only 4 miles from the shooting that took place.

4. N39.62941 W120.59424 – This location does not have any apparent access roads, but there may be some unmarked dirt roads going into this area. This area is also at a pretty low elevation.

For future posts, we will be conducting more interviews with Justin Smeja. If you have any questions you would like us to ask, please comment below. We can't guarantee if Justin will be able to answer any of your questions. Surprisingly, he's claiming to have never signed an NDA from anyone, so he's pretty much cleared to answer any questions you may have.

Update: Here's an update on the NDA deal posted on Bigfoot Forums by Justin Smeja - "I didn't realize the book deal paper work was considered a nda till Derek told me it was. That I signed in the last few weeks."



  1. I would like to know, Why, if he took the time to take flesh samples for DNA did he not take a photo of the dead creature. Everyone now adays has some type of camera on their phone.

  2. I asked a question on another blog..and an IP attorney has a bit to say..
    In his opinion the Ketchum Study is taking so long because of patent opportunities.

    My question is pretty simple really:

    Does a professional (vet or scientist) have a DUTY (ethical, moral or legal) to disclose a "known sample" of a certain Sasquatch? In this case I would think placing one single sample genome in GenBank would put the scientific and BF communities BF are real and Homo something...

    No one is answering me directly...anywhere really. I tried a few other sites with the question. But, I do think it is an important me down! Surely all of us can speak to morality and ethics if not the legal issues of not disclosing?

    link to the blog (srry Shawn...just bring it over here..not sure how I ended up on Ghosttheories lolm ahh the BF world!)

  3. Well he cleared an area of thriving bigfoot. You expect them to hang around after finding their own shot by humans? Probably not. Might want to look elsewhere.

  4. @apehuman
    cannot help you with this one - but I have to admit a very interesting (if not the most interesting question so far)concerning the "Ketchum project" and the reasons why we still have to wait.
    Best, Joerg

  5. LOL Joerg... thanks, I do too...perhaps that is why no-one is tackling even the morality portion?

  6. @Irishmale
    and yes: this is the fundamental question for Smeja. Why no photos or video? I can understand that he was under shock the first time - but why did he make no pictures when he came back and apparently was able to find the corpse and to cut some flesh out of it??

  7. I am so over this story. He needs to provide proof. Yawn.

  8. Well, apparently Dr. Ketchum has the proof in the way of a large "steak" sample. She is a licensed Veterinarian... Rather than lean on a guy who might be worried about prosecution shouldn't we be leaning on the professionals that have had contact with the samples?
    Again does Ketchum have a DUTY (moral, ethical or legal) to disclose that sample to someone somewhere? Say GenBank...the world wide depository for individual genomes and utilized by all top geneticists globally .

    I think so. Dissuade me.

  9. it IS interesting that neither OP or Ketchum have denied these statements, one by Stubstad about her reaction or "freak-out" when she received the "steak." If untrue...and causing SUCH a furor in the BF community (and beyond) wouldn't she publicly denounce his claim?

    Imagine this scenario:

    A Vet receives a sample in the mail they mistake for human!.
    But, based on testimony of the supplier it is actually a Bigfoot sample.
    The Vet has previously done some research leading her to believe that Bigfoots are real and probably a type of "human" - whether hybrid/interbred/feral/relic (or maybe even a NEW ape in North America).
    In fact, the similarity of a human flesh sample and that of a Bigfoot appear so similar she is shocked, even frightened.

    Now, what would the appropriate response for this professional be?

    1. Call the Attorney General of California (go to top she has credentials and proof) and explain the situation fully, share in confidentiality her preliminary findings, but given that her work is still incomplete she feels compelled to bring a possible human death (or relic hominid, etc) to the attention of authorities?

    2. Contact the leading geneticist of either relic, or ape, or living populations and divulge her work and this sample?

    3. Hire attorney's to consolidate further her claims to the research and any fruitful patents, copyrights or trademarks that might emerge from the "discovery of Sasquatch." Continue to work toward a peer-reviewed paper to earn recognition for recognition of an entire species, or variation in an existing one?

    4. Contact her Veterinary ethics board and ask them what to do? Document the answer and follow their instructions.

    5. Contact a leading public media outlet and put it front and center of the world and throw up her hands...say it is Bigger than Me!

    6. Contact the US Department of Interior and disclose fully her work.

    6. Send the sample back and forget it. Tell the BF community to go away!

    Hey maybe Shawn can put this in a poll form? I know what I would about you guys?

  10. LOl gee must have hit the wrong key... and lost a "poll" i thought up..

    But before I bother to rewrite can anyone point me to a public statement by any of the "parties" in the "DNA study" that denounces the claim that a human like sample was sent and received by Dr. Ketchum and connected to the "Sierra Kills" players?

  11. another problem with "missing photos": if Smeja wants to publish a book, what will the readers think if there are no photos in it? To be honest, I cannot imagine he has no pics....NOT when he is planning to publish a book about it!!!

  12. Interestin point "apehuman". But personally, I dont think there should be any guilt laid on this team based on morals and ethics. It is the exact same scientists and governmant that have snubbed bigfoot research for years, and to them, I would raise my middle finger. This is amazing, the effort and dedication that these people have , as well as many others, they should be rewarded, and they should try and get as many patents and copyrighted footage as possible. Because we all know, (in this capitalist world we live in) the rich will always continue to get richer.


  13. Good point Paul, which is why I think I threw the Int. Department in there! LOL

    But, many options, specifically Genbank are a way to go Global, disclose to the TOP minds and stake your claim?

    What is the best route here?

    I feel that "Finding Bigfoot" and such shows are growing in popularity (add YouTubes, etc), and more people are out hunting for them.

    So, really, What is the right thing even now?

    Perhaps more forthright statements from Dr. Ketchum on some of these, now, very public issues (I looked around, this "KILLS; story has crossed over to portions of mainstream academia).

    But, I also include moral, because for many long term witnesses, long term researchers, native Americans, the discovery of Sasquatch is perhaps bigger than any individual or select group of BF teams? Not to mention how Bigfoots might feel about their new status and unwilling contributions of DNA.

    I do have sincerely conflicted feelings about the entire "field" of Sasquatch "research" in it's present state and in the future.....and I wonder just what is going means a great deal to many of us I think?

  14. Excellent post. I'm surprised he still goes out to the scene of his crime. I guess he's hoping to sell some books and not letting anything like a conscience bug him.

  15. As do I apehuman, I have internal arguements all the time about this subject. (is that normal?) - maybe when care so much about a topic.

    Anyways, one other avenue that hasnt really been discussed yet, that I do feel should be addressed, what about the governmant and forest industry tycoons. You never hear from them. But are they reading blogs like this. Do they know about all the "big news" thats about to be released.

    It kind of scares me that people could be bought out. As much as people say their in it for the right reasons .......... when you are sitting acrosss a table from Ministry of Forest employees, leaders, forestry owners, workers, and they are telling you how many "millions" of jobs could be lost, how many "billions" of dollars could be taken out of our already weak economy, and the decision that our team chooses to make could make a impact on all this, I dont know well I would sleep at night.

    Deep down I know I would want the knowlage out there, but what a way to do it. How many logging and forestry operations would be shut down immediatly, suspended indefinately. Those people sent home and given no date of return ........ (sigh). I live in BC, and personally know alot of people that would be affected.

    There is so much more that we dont know about. Who else is involved in these decisions.

    What Ketchum Group is doing is awesome and and brave. But to be in their shoes when things start to happen........................... I'll leave it there.


  16. I like your posts Paul.

    The comment, "Who else is involved in these decisions.." tends to drive me toward disclosure and I would have picked Several of the options/choices I outlined above. It is possible Ketchum did.

    But, I definitely would, at this stage, be denouncing Justin Smeja's claims if they were not true.

    I also believe it will be possible to continue logging w/o much impact, as Sasquatch has been around all through our various projects and developments..and probably "managed" to some extent...somehow..

    but who really knows? So, again disclosing a sample such as claimed by Smeja to as many as possible, including elected officials, etc might be a better choice?

  17. Couldn’t this whole ridiculous web mess just be ended by Dr. Ketchum DENOUNCING Justin’s Smeja’s claims?
    He only has traction because Olympia Project says it happened and provided Dr. Ketchum samples (or was it Stubstad?).
    She knows the furor this is causing and asking us to be patient…surely making this very specific statement won’t compromise her work?

  18. I really enjoy your posts to Apehumen. It sounds like you have a lot of science behind what you say. I try my best to keep up with you guys. :)

    Yes I agree it could be ended that simple. But it also makes me think, maybe there was more than just "steak" taken. A bigfoot "steak" wont get too many news agencies excited enough to follow these guys around and try and get a good story. Thats why I think they have more. I think this "steak" story was made up to take the heat off the fact they have a 80lbs baby bigfoot.

    Post after post, people keep calling these guys idiots, stupid for not picking up the baby. Well whose to say they didn't. Maybe that is why nobody is disscrediting them.

    Can u imagine a headline of "hunter shoots baby bigfoot." I dont think the whole DNA project would get much time with their specimen by themselves before someone else got involved. The story bought some more time for them, which they needed. They have recieved minimal publicity, as it only onl us diehards (guilty) that are talking about it.

    Just a theory............. another


  19. Also, I dont think Justin would want to tell the whole story before his book comes out. Maybe thats his part of the deal. He gets the book rights and the profits from the story of the specimen that re-wrote history.

    You have to think, there is a ton more he's gonna tell in the book. Why else would we buy it if we new everything.


  20. Apparently Dr. Ketchum has made a statement of something coming soon on her FB page today ..a "Phase 1" is finished - so perhaps we shall know more soon.
    It isn't the kind of definitive statement I was looking for, but then I you said...guilty...of being a diehard!

  21. If sasquatches are real and Justin Smeja shot just one, I would understand. But apparently, like a gun-happy asshole, he decided to shoot a young one "for the fun" of it.

    Why should he get to write a book? Why should he get a single penny?

    I've known hunters just like Smeja. One of them treed a huge mountain lion here in California, shot it "for the fun" of it and left it to rot at the base of the tree. He did shit like this all the time, leaving dead animals on the road so they looked like road kill. I was just a kid, so I thought this was normal behavior.

    Now that I've grown up, I detest this man and his equally disgusting brother.

    I have a suggestion on how to get a clear photo of a bigfoot. Take Justin Smeja to the site of the shootings and make a lot of noise so the bigfoots know you're there. Tie Justin Smeja to a tree then point a bunch of camera traps and video cameras his direction. Bigfoot proof and bigfoot justice, all in one fell swoop. I wonder how a tree knock feels when aimed at the crotch?

    If Justin Smeja is just playing a part in a hoax, he should bow out gracefully. The story paints him in a horrible light and he should tell the truth to save what's left of his reputation.

  22. @the last anonymous, you bring up a pretty good point some might see it as wrong but like it says in the bible "an eye for an eye". You would probably get something from the squatch's family. I know I would if it were my family. Like everyone else I feel like he has to have better evidence, what moron wouldn't take something.


  23. "too many visitors will cause the creatures to relocate, said Smeja.". And apparently shooting two of them won't? John

  24. Ape,

    Passing info from GT to BE is A-OK! Shawn and I are good friends and we support each other whenever we can.

    I have noticed that you are particularly intense about this subject. This could help you to find the truth if you don't lose your mind in the mean time, LOL!

    Shawn and I are working behind the scenes to get as much clarification as possible.

    I appreciate your input and I know Shawn does as well.

    By the way, a commenter above uses the "eye for an eye" analogy inappropriately. The Bible is not speaking of vengeance in the private sector but as the governing law would dictate.

    If we are to facilitate the dismemberment of Justin, that makes us no better than our opinion of him.

    To kill animals for fun means you have some serious mental issues. I also remember a guy (I won't call him a hunter because he doesn't deserve it) who killed for no good reason. He had come back from Vietnam and needed that feeling of stalking and killing. The only way he could do it without going to jail was during hunting season. He would shoot a deer and then tell someone to go get it if they wanted it. Otherwise it would lay there and rot.

    Thankfully, my father taught me sportsmanship, game management and conservation.

    I honestly can't call Justin a killer as I wasn't there, nor do I think the real story is out yet.

    Scott McMan

  25. Please forgive me, I was overwhelmed with the foolishness, greed and ignorance of others last night. In my efforts to befriend an old race of beings this type of behavior only taints and destroys the bonds of friendship I have worked so hard to achieve for us all. Mike J-SIR

  26. This Justin Smeja is your typical redneck idiot. I am so glad Bigfoot does not exist, because this moron and other morons like him would shoot it

    I hope he gets cancer and dies...he claims he shot a young Bigfoot that looked like a little black kid...yes Justin needs to not ever get a chance to have kids

    Again folks, this is a hoax...or a murder, either way, lets all hope Justin Smeja gets cancer and dies a painful's what he relly deserves

  27. Even if this story is true, the "real truth" will never be released to the public. It isn't the first time one has been killed and brought to the attention of someone who publicly dismissed it.


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