Geographical Index > United States > California > Tuolumne County > Article # 182
Media Article # 182
Article submitted by Kathy Moskowitz
Wednesday, January 30, 1963
...Old Monsters Just Fade Away
Union Democrat - Sonora, California
Reports of the grotesque figure and weird sounds of a to-foot monster have been all but dismissed as the work of a bear and a mountain lion.
But gigantic footprints, traced yesterday though an area below Cold Springs, remain a baffling part of a two-day hunt by sheriff's deputies.
"I have never seen tracks as big as that," Sheriff Miller Sardella reported last night. "They measured a good 16 inches."
Sardella said the prints were made by shoes - not by rubber over boots that would have enlarged the traveler's regular track.
"They were definite shoe tracks and they must have been made by a big man," the sheriff observed. "Of course, it could be a little man with big feet, too."
Sardella and Deputies William Huntley, Elbert Miller and Pete DeMott picked up the trail just below a gravel pit north of Peter Pam subdivision, the same area where an anonymous Sunday night phone caller said he had seen a man at least nine or 10 feel tall.
The tracks led downhill to a Baptist camp area then apparently doubled back on the road. Sardella said cabins throughout the area were checked but the officers found no sign of burglaries or damage.
In the Sunday night report, the sheriff said he is confident the 10-foot figure was a bear. Shrieking sounds, heard by Huntley and Miller when they went to investigate the report, Sardella said, must have been made by a mountain lion.
The sheriff concluded, "Somebody went up there in the woods. They saw a man or a bear or something and got scared. Our men went up and hollered, and a mountain lion hollered back."
Miller also confirmed: "We're pretty well satisfied they (anonymous caller) saw a bear or something. We've come to the conclusion the noise we heard as a mountain lion.:
But the size of the tracks, Miller commented, "It would have to be an awfully good-sized man.