Inyo County, California
Barney Lake, near Bishop - 1972
I do not know who to contact but I have a story to tell. My name is John Clinton and I am a 41-year-old Vice President of a bank and have been harboring an encounter for 31 years secretly out of fear of ridicule and shame. But now that I have seen that other people have had similar situations I must tell my story.
During September 1972, I was hiking down from a lake with my dad and my friend on a fishing trip. We were at a place called Barney Lake out of Bishop, California near the Piute Pass and were on our way home. After a weekend of camping and fishing we were backpacking out from this lake. I was the lead person. I had outpaced both my friend John Coda and my dad by about 4 minutes without knowing it as I was moving quickly downhill. After about 10 to 40 minutes from the lake down (I can't remember after all these years), I came finally into a clearing. It was a small flat grassy meadow from all the trees I had been seeing downhill till then. I took a break from my fast strides to rest and looked out over the meadow. The first thing I saw was a big white rock boulder near the end of the meadow and there was maybe 20 yards by 30 yards of grass here.
At the point of the clearing to my left I heard extreme thrashing going on. I looked to my left to see a huge animal bent over with its rear end facing me. It was only about 12 feet away from me. I saw that it was hairy and had a reddish orange brown multicolor mix hair to it, and most different was a rear end that was bare like a monkey. I knew this because during this time in my life I spent all my lunch hours in the library reading about zoology and marine biology. I thought this was very strange at first as no bear can bend over like this at the waist and have skin over the rear area. In my fear I was frozen and shocked and bewildered at the same time. I had never known or heard of big foot or sasquatch at this time in my life.
At this point it had been only 5 or 6 seconds, and then the animal lifted up and stood erect. It was enormous. It must have been 8 feet tall or more, which to a 10 year old is unreal. It had been scratching with its hands and grubbing and digging prior to looking for what I thought was food. Its back was to me and when I saw it stand I saw it was built in the same way us humans are with alot of hair. I knew this was no bear from my background. I also know only black bear were seen as an almost extinct species here and would have been much smaller in height and stature. I got so scared I ran full pack towards that big white rock. I literally dove over the top pack and all and when I landed snuggled against the rock so scared to even look, in case the creature had heard me. Finally after about 20 seconds or so I peaked over the rock to see nothing and no one on the trail. Within 1 or 2 minutes my dad and John came down the trail into the opening and I started to scream at them. I said, "look out, look out," in fear that the creature was still there and would do something. They froze bewildered and looked left and then at me in confusion. They stood at the clearing at the spot I was at.
I finally came out and walked to them and looked into the trees and thick brush to see nothing but some broken brush and twigs and some hair there. We moved on finally and I never spoke of this again except to my dad and a couple of close friends. 8 years later I saw the big foot movie and the Patterson video. Once I saw this I knew without a doubt this was what I saw. I still kept my story a secret out of fear, but the vision haunts me and will all my life. I know it was so real. I will never forget this and take it to my grave. I am now someone who needs answers and must try and find out that this creature does exist or I will not put my memory to rest. I know what I saw was no figment of my imagination or hoax. I want to seek it out. Anyway. I hope this eyewitness helps somewhere some how. Contact me if necessary please.
Posteed: Thursday, April 15, 2004