Bigfoot Encounters

Excerpt from Siskiyou County Sheriff Charlie Edson's book:
"My Travels with Bigfoot, a true life Odyssey"
This out-take has to do with no third person in Bluff Creek October 20, 1967

Page 72 – 4th paragraph:

When I got home that night I remembered to enter even this minor incident into my diary, though from long experience, I knew better than to volunteer any of this information to my men when they questioned me about my findings. I didn’t want to pique their curiosity so they’d all go tramping through that area like a lynch mob. And in case you are wondering, my new status as “Boss man” didn’t do a thing to prevent the guys from teasing me about my avid interest in this subject. I had been talked about too long by now not to expect to go on being the target of their jokes and pranks.

”Charlie Bigfoot rides again!” they’d laugh whenever I couldn’t contain my excitement over finding new evidence. “You want to know the real truth about Charlie’s search for Bigfoot?” one of the guys said one day while we were having lunch. “He just found out he was adopted, so now he’s looking all over creation to find his real Daddy!” ”Hell, I heard all our ancestors used to swing from trees,” said another guy, “but I sure didn’t know it was that recent.” “Now you’ve gotta admit, there is a resemblance, big and brutal-lookin’ as old Charlie Edson is…” “That may not be as funny as you guys think, I said, though I couldn’t help laughing along with them. “After I’ve collected all the information I need, it may turn out we are all close kin to Bigfoot. What would you guys say to that?” (Prophetic words for 1979?)

During the next two years, all of 1965 and ’66, my buddy Red Collier and I went on frequent tracking and backpacking trips together, but in all that time we didn’t see a trace of Bigfoot. No tracks, no sightings, no shrieking wails in the night and not even a hint of their unmistakable odor.

“I wonder if we’ve succeeded at last, Red.” I said one day when I was feeling particularly discouraged.

“How do you mean, ’succeeded?’ Charlie? We haven’t seen hide nor hair of those creatures in years.”

“Succeeded in chasing them clear out of the state of California,” I said. “That’s what I mean, Red. What with more and more logging activity going on and a lot more nosey tourists, it could be we have finally driven the Bigfeet out of our read forever…”

“Aw come on, Charlie, you don’t believe that. They’re just layin’ low, that’s all. They’ve done that before, you know. You told me yourself you didn’t see your first Bigfoot ‘till more than three years after you first saw their tracks. They’re just doing what they know how to do best, that’s all. You know, like those news reporters say on TV, they’re keeping a low profile.” ”Which has to be a pretty smart trick when you’re more than eight feet tall,” I said with a laugh, though I really didn’t feel too cheerful.

As the months wore on and we had no luck in finding new evidence, I really feared the creatures had given up the northern California area for good. I certainly couldn’t afford to leave my business and family and just go tracking them up into Oregon, Washington or Canada – locations where they were still being sighted. No, the truth was I could only make a career of hunting for Bigfoot as long as he remained in the area where I made my living. The prospect of tailing the creatures half way around the world just didn’t get in with my budget.

The summer of 1967 was a particularly dry one, so my men and I were called upon to do a lot of double duty fighting nearby forest fires in an effort to reinforce the manpower of the Forestry Service. By the time fall arrived, everybody was praying for rain or an early snow, whichever came first, as long as it was wet. As for me, I also threw in a few prayers for the Bigfeet. I prayed they would all escape the fires alive and that I’d be able to see another of the creatures soon.

In October of that year, I almost got my wish. But a couple of other guys beat me to it – a couple of horse breeders, cattlemen by the names of Bob Gimlin and Roger Patterson. Red and I happened to be scouting the Bluff Creek area up in Del Norte County the day those guys made that controversial film of a female Bigfoot on the run. I am sure if you have even the most vicarious interest in wildlife, you must have heard of that film by now. Hell, it was in all the papers, show on TV and in practically every country on earth.

As for whether or not Gimlin and Patterson shot film of a real Bigfoot or a man dressed up in a fur suit, it appears the jury is still out, weighting all the pros and cons. A lot of brilliant experts say yes, but there are a lot more who say “no way!”

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I would have to say, “Yes!” And not just out of loyalty to the Bigfoot either.

It wasn’t sheer coincidence that Red and I happened to be tracking in that area that day we accidentally saw Patterson and Gimlin go galloping past of on horseback. Of course, at the time we didn’t know who the hell those guys were or what they were up too. We only knew we didn’t care to get involved in any kind of social chitchat; not have to explain what we were doing in the area. We just squatted down and hid behind some underbrush until they rode past us. When we saw they were lugging a lot of equipment with them on a packhorse, I guess we just figured they were timber surveyors. Either that or gold miners as there had been a lot of prospecting for gold in that area in recent months.

It wasn’t until later that we found out it was only about a half hour after we spotted them that they must have spotted that female Bigfoot and gotten their historical 16mm film.

Now for the “coincidence.” We were in that precise area for a reason. Some hunters had reported seeing tracks in this vicinity only a few days earlier. And judging by the location they described when Red and I questioned them, it had to be right in the same general area where Patterson and his buddy had filmed their female. As I said, they got there first. But since I didn’t have a movie camera with me, I’m kind of glad they did, because controversial or not, I like to think at last somebody came up with what I fully believe to be “concrete evidence” that these creatures exist.

For one thing, the size of the tracks those hunters told me about jived with what Patterson and Gimlin found after the “star” of their film ran off. The prints were between fourteen and fifteen inches in length. Unquestionably female prints, since all the male tracks I had found were usually between seventeen and eighteen inches long. Also consensus had the height of the female as seven feet or thereabouts. That too, coincided with what Red and I had observed in the past; the females were generally between six and a half to seven feet tall, with the males averaging between eight and nine and a half feet tall.

As for the possibility that a third person had been with Patterson and Gimlin and had dressed up in a fur suit, both Red and I will swear we only saw two men ride past us that day, not three. And since we had been scouting that area for many hours before we saw those two guys on horseback, it’s not too likely that mysterious “third man” could have gone on ahead, since I presume he would have traveled on horseback too, and there was only one time that day when we heard or saw any horseback riders in the area; when we saw Patterson and Gimlin gallop past us.

Come to think of it, I sure wished I had known what those guys were up to when we saw them. Instead of hiding, I would have yelled out, “Take me along!”

And who knows, maybe that female was one of the same creatures I had seen before and chances are if she remembered me and I wasn’t as much of a stranger to her as the other two guys were, she might have hung around the area a little longer before taking off, resulting in a few more feet of film maybe and thus more evidence. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.

Red and I got sidetracked in an effort to keep the secret routes and back roads that the tourists knew nothing about. That way we felt we had a better chance to do our tracking completely unobserved even though this usually involved our taking the longest way around rather than a short cut. That is how we got detoured up through Elk Valley and accidentally came upon some tracks we hadn’t counted on.

True, this was quite a way from our intended destination but as I mentioned, it had been two years since I had seen any sign of the Bigfoot. As a result, I got so carried away with excitement, you would think it was fifteen years earlier and I was getting my very first look at these tracks. This was also the first time I was just excited and not scared.

Red’s reaction was a little different. For the first thirty seconds or so, he seemed absolutely jubilant. Then when he saw how fresh the tracks were, he got very wary though first he tried to laugh it off by doing his “Lenny” imitation from Of Mice And Men “Which way did they go, George?”

Poor Red! I thought as I took out my tape measure and measured the seventeen and a half inch tracks, thinking they were very fresh indeed. The expression on his face looked as if part of him wanted to go on following those tracks while another part of him – his feet—would much prefer to backtrack in a hurry! “I’ll bet this guy is only about forty minutes ahead of us, Red” I said, “what’s your opinion?”

”Don’t panic, Charlie,” he said, panicking.

“Why should I panic? Do you realize how far a Bigfoot can go in forty minutes?”

Sure I do. But wouldn’t that depend on the direction he was headed?” I mean, even if we suddenly smelled one of them real close and we started running, how do we know we won’t run smack into it?”

“Who running,” I said…

”I think I smell one of them, Charlie. I didn’t want to tell you….”
End of except: Page 77 from “My Travels With Bigfoot, a true life odyssey” by Sheriff Charles “Charlie” Edson 1979-- Crescent Publications, Los Angeles, California

Edson, Charles W., author, meticulous keeper of a diary, one time logger and Siskiyou County Sheriff in California; author of the 1979 My Travels with Bigfoot, a true life Odyssey. Edson first spotted a Sasquatch in 1955 and 16" tracks while he was Sheriff in Siskiyou County but continued searching for the creatures, personally spotting Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin riding horse back just thirty minutes before the alleged filming of a Sasquatch, October 20, 1967 at least he and logger friend Red Collier said they saw the two of them with a pack horse and thought they were timber surveyors, prospectors or miners. 

It's interesting to note that Charlie Edson recalls many reports in the region of Bluff Creek and that tracks were found winter through summer of 1967, which is why he and Red were out looking in October when they saw two riders tethering a pack horse; they didn't know who the men were. This conflicts with statements Lyle Laverty made about being in and around Notice Creek all summer long and never seeing any tracks or other people. (Mike Dennett Interview with Lyle Laverty on 12/26/06)

It could be that Edson was speaking of October 1967 trip Patterson & Gimlin took and Laverty was speaking of an earlier time in summer of 1967 when he saw Patterson & Gimlin because Laverty is on record as stating he was in the area of Notice Creek all "summer long," not in the fall.

Edson, a big man on the order of 6' 6, died October 11, 1999, he left a widow Genevieve "Ruby" Edson and two sons. Edson was a kind man with gentile nature, wisdom, words of advice and help in an area filling station in 1995. ...Bobbie Short

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