Bigfoot Encounters

The C.B.F.O.
(California Bigfoot organization)

Notes from Rich Grumley 1999

The C.B.F.O. (California Bigfoot organization) was the creation of Louis R. "Rich" Grumley, (1935 - 2000) a resident of Palmdale, seen in the faded old photo right with Peter Guttilla in the 1970's...

Most organizations in the early days involved with Sasquatch search were very ad hoc affairs, in that if they have any existence at all beyond a name on a letter head.  Rich Grumley worked on the opposite principle.  The organization he founded was structured in every detail, its meetings were formal and its operations were conducted with all but military discipline.  It began simply enough, in 1969 when he and Floyd Smith got a few people together and began going to the Kennedy Meadows area in the mountains east of China Lake to spend weekends in the bush and also holding regular meetings in Palmdale.  They concentrated on Kennedy Meadows because a man had told them that he saw something reddish-brown and about seven feet tall run off on its hind legs while he was working on a truck there one afternoon.  They would stay awake all night and then spent most of the day moving around in the area talking to people. Thousands of man hours were spent without much in the way of results, in the meantime the organization became increasingly elaborate.  There were committees for such things as communications, research and development and capture and confinement as well as for more mundane functions like publicity and ways and means.  They had their own radio codes and a full set of operating rules and regulations.  News coverage attracted both additional members and information.  Among the people they talked to were a youth who claimed to have shot a sasquatch four times with a 30-30 behind the Little Rock Dam just south of Palmdale in 1971 and four young people who told of watching such a creature for a long time by moonlight as it moved aimlessly around in a campground where there were staying at Lake Isabella in February 1972.  Then in March 1973, things started happening right in town.

Member Ken Coon was still living in Palmdale for a part of 1973, but he and his police associates by that time were all working in Los Angeles and he was also busy winding things up for his retirement from the Sheriff's department and a permanent move to Colville, Washington.  He did not hear about most of the incidents until several days after they happened, and while he did interview some of the witnesses and spent time looking for footprints, it was the C.B.F.O., members who were on top of these situations.  

In July of 1971 Ken Coon learned about a hiker report, which stated "an upright walking bear" had been seen in the California Mountains near Newhall, the northern part of Los Angeles County. A new phase of southern California sightings begin in the early 1970's, not the least of which was a two-mile stretch of 17-inch tracks with a "7-foot" stride found up a hillside in the general vicinity of Nine-Mile Canyon, west of China Lake, CA.

It wouldn't be until 1971 when Officer Ken Coon investigated "the zoobies" of Alpine, California, a family of sasquatches that annoyed a resident psychiatrist and his family to the degree that the doctor brought a gun to protect himself.  

In October of 1999, during a visit to Rich's apartment off Hwy 99 in Stockton  he showed me a copy of the Lancaster Ledger-Gazette news article, which told the following story, a great story he investigated back when the C.B.F.O was active: 

Kim McDonald was returning home on East 115th Street around 2 in the morning from baby-sitting at her sister's house.  She heard one of her dogs whining when she got out of the car and went looking for it. Here is part of the story as written in that newspaper article:  

"The girl walked behind the trailer expecting to find the dogs, calling "Shad" and thinking the cries were coming from a grassy area 100 feet away near a telephone pole she hurried over to the pole. It was a night when the moon was so bright her step dad could read his wrist-watch clearly. She fully expecting the dog to leap out with the customary friendliness, but not that night. Suddenly from the rustling grass, a huge dark figure rose up as if awakened from sleep; it stood straight up like a man. She described it as being about seven feet tall and nearly as high as the trailer in which she lived, which was eight feet in height.  

The girl said that the huge hairy monster stood straight up and was completely covered with hair - except for the face - and went away walking on two legs but not at a high rate of speed. Her stepfather said she saw something and added that she had no fear of the dark or coming home alone. She has lived there all her life and is not afraid of the fields and is the scary type. The stepfather got his rifle and patrolled the area for a quarter mile radius until daylight without finding the hairy thing or his dogs, which had run off and did not come home until daybreak."  

C.B.R.O. members later questioned the girl in detail and recorded the interview.  She told them the creature was far wider than Rich Grumley who stands six foot six and weighed 250 at the time. The witness stated the creature never stood entirely straight but was about two feet taller than she was.  She was not afraid at first when it started to get up but it seemed to keep getting taller forever.  When it turned and loped off, she ran and pounded on the trailer doors, forgetting that she had a key. Searching the area, Grumley told me he found 13-inch tracks that were far wider than a man's foot in an old reservoir near 110th street. Grumley said the spaces between the first and last toes were widely splayed.  

Rich remembered another sighting his organization got wind of that same year. Footprints were found in the nearby desert of Palmdale that left a whopping five and sometimes six foot stride, "...that's a stretch further than I can do at my height," Grumley added, I'm not kidding you Bobbie, the stride was enormous! That creature was described as hairy and about 8 feet tall with a heavy build but smallish head for its size!

Another investigator, Ron Bailey actually saw a dark figure standing near a telephone pole in the same vicinity. It was heavily built, hairy and once it sneezed like a person but there was no other sound except a thumping as it walked away. Rich noted that almost all of their reports mentioned, "walking away" and not once mentioned "it ran." He laughed and said, "for a Sasquatch, ...that's confidence."

Bailey's sighting included his remark that the toes were splayed as well; perhaps indicating its great weight and it may have been the same fellow Kim McDonald saw. 
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40 year old photo is courtesy the files of Peter Guttilla 2010
Additional article on the C.B.F.O. and Rich Grumley's associates

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