Bigfoot Encounters

A 128 Year Old Story Taken From
Friday, November 18, 1870

1870 Their Appearance - The Story Of An Old Hunter


A correspondent of the Anitoch Lady, writing from Grayson, California under the date of October 16, 1870 says: "I saw in your paper, a short time since, an item concerning the gorilla which is to have been seen in Crow Cannon, and shortly after in the mountains at Orestimba Creek.

You sneered at the idea of their being any such critters in these hills and were I not better informed I should sneer too, or else conclude that one of your recent prospecting parties had got lost in the wilderness and didn’t have sense enough to find their way back to Terry’s.

I positively assure you that this gorilla, or wild man or what ever you chose to call it is no myth. I know it exists and that there are at least tow of them having seen them both at once not a year ago.

Their existence has been reported at times for the past twenty years and I heard it said that in earlier days, an orang-utan escaped from a ship on the southern coast but the creature I have seen is not that animal and if it is, where did he get his mate? Import her as the Web foot did their wives?

Last fall I was hunting in the mountains 20 miles south of here and I camped five or sic times in one place as I have done every seasons for the past fifteen years.

Several times I returned to my camp after a hunt and saw that the ashes and charred sticks from the fire place has been scattered about. An old hunter notices such things and very soon gets curious to know the cause.

Although my bedding and traps and little stores were not disturbed as I could see I was anxious to learn who or what it was that so regularly visited my camp for clearly the half burnt sticks and cinders could not scatter themselves about.

I saw no tracks near the camp as the hard ground covered with dry leaves would none. So I started on a circle and the place and 300 yards off, in damp sand I struck the track of a man’s feet as I supposed — bare and of immense size.

Now I was curious, sure and resolved to lay for the bare-footed visitor. I accordingly took a position on a hill side about sixty or seventy feet from the fire and securely hid in the brush. I waited and watched.

Two hours or more I sat there and wondered if the owner of the feet would come again and whether he imagine what an interest he had created in my inquiring mind and finally what possesses him to be prowling about there with no shoes on.

The fire place was on my right and the spot where I saw the track was on my left hid by brushes. It was in this direction that my attention was mostly directed, thinking the visitor would appear there and besides it was easier to sit and face that way.

Suddenly I was started by a shrill whistle, such as boys produce with two fingers under their tongues, and turning quickly I ejaculated "good God" as I saw the object of my solicitude standing beside my fire, looking suspiciously around. It was in the image of a man, but it could not have been human. I was never so benumbed with astonishment before.

The creature, whatever it was, stood full five feet high and disproportionately broad and square at the shoulders with arms of great length. The legs were short and the body long. The head was small compared with the rest of the creature and appeared to be set upon his shoulders without a neck.

The whole was covered with dark brown and cinnamon colored hair, quite long on some parts, that on the head standing in a shock and growing down to the eyes like a diggers Indian’s.

As I looked, he threw his head back and whistled again and then stooped and grasped a stick from the fire. This he swung around and around until the fire on the end had gone out.

When he repeated then maneuver. I was dumb almost and could only look. Fifteen minutes I sat and watched him as he whistled and scattered my fire about. I could have easily put a bullet through his head but why should I kill him?

Having amused himself apparently all he desired with my fire he started to go and having gone a short distance, he returned and was joined by another — a female unmistakably when the both turned and walked passed me with in twenty yards of where I sat and disappeared into the brush.

I could not have had a better opportunity for observing them as they were unconscious of my presence. Their only object in visiting my camp seemed to be to amuse themselves with swinging lighted sticks around.

I have heard this story many times since then and it has often raised an incredulous smile, but I have met one person who has seen those mysterious creatures and a dozen who have come across their tracts at carious places between here and Pacheco Pass.

Grateful appreciation to John Young of Toronto, Ontario, Canada for sending this 128 year old story to Bobbie Short's Bigfoot Encounters

Posted to the IVBC - February 27, 1998

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