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COUNTY: Jefferson County
LOCATION DETAILS: Staunton State Park
NEAREST TOWN: Conifer, CO
NEAREST ROAD: 285
OBSERVED: My girlfriend and I were on a short hike 2 weeks ago in Staunton State Park, in between Bailey and Conifer, CO. We chose a route which would have less people, as I'd hiked the other routes in the park previously. After hiking uphill along a stream for about an hour, we saw a rocky outcropping and hiked off-trail briefly to check out the view.
It was very quiet out with little wind movement. There were no clouds in the sky and the temperature was in the mid-50s. Time of day was approximately noon MST.
We sat in the sun on the outcropping for about 10 minutes very quietly, enjoying the view and the weather. We looked down below the cliff and noticed a gentleman riding a mountain bike quickly up the path with headphones in. As we watched, we heard a very low growl which sounded like a startled exhalation - "Grrrrrrphhhh," followed immediately by a very different, higher-pitched "Whoooooooop." The mountain biker seemed to hear nothing, as the headphones must have been too loud. The two noises came from the same direction, approximately 30-40 yards below us on the outcropping through thick forest. We were unable to see any animals, but the sounds were very clear and definitely came from the same animal. The animal definitely sounded startled by the fast-moving biker.
My girlfriend's eyes got very wide, and she whispered to me that she had no idea what kind of animal made that noise. I responded that she'd say I'm crazy, but that only primates make the "whoop" noise. We climbed down from the outcropping a few minutes later and searched for whatever made the noise, but were unable to find anything, nor heard any more sounds. We definitely did not feel threatened in any way.
ALSO NOTICED: Nothing else was observed. Just the very distinct two sounds, a startled-sounding exhalation/growl and a higher-pitched whoop immediately following it.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2 - My girlfriend also witnessed the 2 distinct noises. We were sitting quietly, off-trail enjoying the sun on an outcropping approximately 40 feet in the air above the trail.
OTHER STORIES: No
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was very quiet out with little wind movement. There were no clouds in the sky and the temperature was in the mid-50s. Time of day was approximately noon MST.
ENVIRONMENT: We were sitting on top of a rocky outcropping, 30 yards off trail. The trail itself is nestled in between two rather steep mountainsides with a small stream running down the center, parallel to the trail. Forest is primary evergreen, with some Aspens. It's a very moist area, with a large amount of moss on trees and on the ground. The mountain ridge is primarily on the left side of the trail, but the outcropping we chose to sit on was the lone such structure on the right of the trail. To explain the topography, the left side of the trail is very rocky, steep, and culminates with a ridgeline. The right is more shadowed, had large amounts of moss and evergreens, and is exceptionally steep, but not rocky.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Scott Miles:
I spoke at length with the witness by phone. He was able to clearly describe the incident and the surrounding terrain and other incidentals.
While Staunton State Park is a very heavily utilized area, with hundreds of visitors during the time that this encounter happened, the area that the witness and his girlfriend were located was in the far reaches of the park, close to the boundary with the Mount Evans Wilderness Area, and close to an area with a couple of Class A sightings including Report #45666 and Report #7225, and within 3 miles of a winter track-line that I witnessed personally.
I am planning to return to the exact location with the witness sometime in January to map the location and terrain in detail. I am very familiar with the Mt. Evans Wilderness and Arapahoe Forest area adjacent to the park, and will be spending time this winter snowshoeing the area.
This incident is obviously interesting because of the combination of sounds that were witnessed. The first vocalization - the cough/bark, is a commonly described sound that could be made by anything from a black bear to a moose, elk or other ungulate. But, none of these animals would also emit a whooping sound immediately after, and rock clacking sounds were heard as well by the witnesses girlfriend.
In my opinion, this incident may represent a warning to other Sasquatches in the area that the mountain biker was approaching.
About BFRO Investigator Scott Miles:
Scott is a retired IT professional. He has been involved in Bigfoot research since having a Class A sighting in the early 1980's. With many thousands of hours of wilderness research, he specializes in tracking and survival skills. Having grown up in upstate New York, and spending many years living in the deep South and Colorado Rockies, Scott is a skilled outdoorsman and backpacker, and enjoys mountain biking, hiking and rock climbing.