Bigfoot Encounters

Yolla Bolly - Middle Eel Wilderness

The Record Searchlight
News and information for today, October 24, 1998

Big, hairy creature Bigfoot? "Redding man sure of sighting"

There may be a lot more than deer, bears and birds living in Trinity County’s wilderness. A Redding man said he’s sure he saw Bigfoot there. By Jim Schultz, Record Searchlight staff reporter The legendary Bigfoot may be alive, well and a little cranky in a remote section of Trinity County.

A 22-year-old Redding man reported to state Department of Fish & Game officials Thursday that he and some of his friends and relatives spent an uneasy and frightful Saturday night in the company of the elusive human-ape creature.

"I’m positive" it was Bigfoot, Tim Ford said Thursday. "I seen the son of a bitch. Now I know it’s real."

Ford, an unemployed automobile lubrication technician, said he was on a camping-hunting trip near Mud Springs south of Hayfork on

Saturday when one of his friends, 28-year-old James Harmon of Reno, Nevada, heard a loud rustling in the bushes as they roasted marshmallows at their campsite.

When he got his flashlight to investigate the noise, Ford said he spotted an enormous creature standing about 50 yards away on the other side of a creek.

Ford said the beast stood at least 9 feet tall, was covered with fur and had huge yellow eyes.

"You could see his arms hanging way past his knees," said Harmon. "It was scary."

Ford and Harmon, who were accompanied on the trip with five others, said none of them had been drinking or taking illegal drugs.

Although they said the creature kept a safe distance from the campsite most of the night, it stayed within the vicinity for several hours and often let out blood-curdling screams.

"I wasn’t going out there," said Harmon, who added that he is a volunteer at Reno’s zoo and who works at the Wal-Mart in Reno.

Harmon said he’s seen a number of bears in his life and he’s certain what he saw wasn’t a bear.

And, Ford said, he’s not concerned that people might think he’s crazy, noting the beast left tracks that were 6 inches wide and 20 inches long.

"I would say to those people who don’t believe me to go to Mud Springs and spend the night there," said Ford. "They would be traumatized."

But Ford, who said he has hunted all his life, vowed he would never again camp or hunt there.

"I won’t ever go back," he said.

Paul Wertz, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish & Game in Redding, said Thursday that while Bigfoot sightings are rare, they are not unheard of in Trinity County.

Wertz also noted that the Bigfoot sighting was near the rugged Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness.

"That’s wilderness country out there," he said.

Still, he said it’s unlikely the agency will investigate the reported sighting.

"Probably not," he said. "We don’t have a management plan for Bigfoot."

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