Bigfoot Encounters

Covelo, Mendocino County, California

I would like to make a report of two encounters that happened to my uncle and I, that took place in 1970 & 71. We were 16 years old at the time. Both happened within a few miles of each other N/E of the town of Covelo, in Mendocino County, California.

The first was a rock throwing incident that happened at the Eel river, below Howard Lake. My grandparents & my uncle lived in Covelo at the time, & I would spend summers there. My uncle & I were very close in age, just 5 months, so we were more like brothers growing up. this first incident my grandfather dropped my uncle & myself at Howard lake, for a 3 day two night camping trip. We only brought our sleeping bags, (no tent), fishing poles & a Sheridan pump pellet gun. We had about a dozen apples a few oranges, and we would supplement that with fish & small game, birds etc. The 1st day we caught fish for dinner and nothing of note happened.

The second day we decided to hike down the mountain to the Eel River to fish & explore. After a while at the river we got a little bored and I had found a piece of driftwood shape very much like a baseball bat. So being kids we started a simulated baseball game, where one of us would pitch small rocks from the gravel bar that we were on & the other would smack it with the bat. We did this for a while when all of a sudden a rock about fist size came flying down from the hillside behind me and landed between us. We were very startled to say the least. We yelled at whoever had done this to knock-it off! Due to heavy brush and trees we could see nothing. My uncle thought it might be some of his buddies from town that followed us up there. No one was seen. We moved closer to the river and continued our impromptu game when another rock about the same size crashed between us again. We started to get pretty freaked out by this time. We yelled that we were armed (pellet rifle, I know lol) and dangerous and to show themselves. When nothing happened further we grabbed our stuff and hiked back to our camp.

We had to go up where the rocks had come from. My uncle carried the pellet gun and I carried my Bat. "tough guys" I know. Anyway we made it back to camp to discover that someone had gone through our camp, unrolling sleeping bags & scattering everything in camp.

We had our fruit in a small pack that we had hung in a tree, about ten feet high; there are bears in the area. The zipper of the pack was opened and our fruit was gone. Nothing else was missing, just thrown about. We grabbed all of our stuff and made a beeline for the road back to town, we were not going to stay there any longer. Luckily for us a family in a camper came by right away and gave us a ride back to town.

When we told my grampa what had happened, as he was curious to why we were back a day early, all he said was "Damn Hippies" we got a chuckle out of that. We didn't know who or what had messed with us. But we knew it wasn’t "hippies"

The second incident left no doubt what was in those same hills. The next summer my uncle had his driver’s license so we went up further than Howard Lake to a place near Hammerhorn Lake. There was a stream that my uncle knew of that had a population of native brook trout that he wanted to show to me. He had been there before as he lived in Covelo and he was a great outdoorsman and explorer at 17. He was fearless at that age.

We arrived and started fishing going upstream. We were in stealth mode as this was a small creek and the trout would spook at any loud noise or fast movement. We went for a while and doing well, catching and releasing many fish, as they were kinda small, but we were having a lot of fun.

We came to a large slab of granite that rose up at an angle about 20 feet or so, my uncle started up it so I followed right behind him. When he got to the top we heard a loud scream from right below us.

My uncle stepped back right into me as the scream startled the both of us. Almost immediately we saw an animal take off from below us across an open sand bar. It was on all fours, it took four leaps; it made a noise on every leap that sounded like HOOF, or WOOF.

This happened so very fast that we stood there in shock watching. When it made its 4th leap in almost the same instant it stopped turned around and stood on two legs staring back at us. It was about 20 or 25 yards away. We and it stood for maybe 5 seconds, it then made a huff noise turned and walked away on two legs.

It only took a few seconds to disappear in the brush. We just turned and started leaving post haste. I remember one of us or both of us saying WTF was that. We were in shock!

Let me describe this thing as I remember, I got a real good look at it and it was not anything I had ever seen before. It was dark brown to black in color. It had hair not fur, it stood semi crouched, it had long arms that were kind of outstretched forward and slightly to its side, with its palms pointed down. It did not have hair on its face or on its fingers; its skin was dark gray. Its eyes were dark brown with no whites that I could see. It had a flat nose with the nostrils pointed down. I think this animal was about 6 1/2 feet tall. My uncle was 6'3" at that time and the creature was slightly taller. It had broad shoulders that tapered down to the waist. I would estimate the weight to be 250lbs.

The s deal about it being on all fours... if I was to speculate, I think that it was laying down below the granite slab that we were on and we surprised it. Thats why it just took off on all fours. We did not see it until it was moving. And man was it moving!

The look on its face was one of shock or surprise. Almost like it couldn’t believe that we had gotten so close to it. We had decided to not tell anyone about this, so as to not be ridiculed. We did not think anyone would believe us. We talked about this a few times and started hearing & learning about Bigfoot to the point that we had no doubt that we saw one.

My uncle was killed in a tragic car accident in 1977; I have kept these things to myself to avoid ridicule. I feel that with all the research and photos and videos now that it is only a matter of time for definitive proof of Bigfoots existence. My family members are skeptics and don't really care about this one way or another. I think that maybe by reporting this here I can get some closure. It has weighed on me for over forty years

PS. These things happened over forty years ago, and everything that i have stated here is to the best of my recollection. I may have some details off a little, for that I apologize.

Stephen Damele
Thursday, April 26, 2012



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