Geographical Index > United States > California > Inyo County > Report # 67480|
Submitted by witness Jesse M. on Saturday, January 9, 2021.
Camper's encounter with a Bigfoot outside tent in North Lake Campground near Bishop
(Show Printer-friendly Version)
DATE: Monday night
COUNTY: Inyo County
LOCATION DETAILS: We were camping and fishing at North Lake in the Sierras above Bishop.
[Investigator note: Longitude / Latitude:
NEAREST TOWN: Bishop CA.
NEAREST ROAD: 395
OBSERVED: In the summer of 1991 I took my son and nephew fishing with me to North Lake outside Bishop CA. We arrived late Sunday and we set up camp. The following morning we started fishing with no luck, and the mosquitos were eating us alive, so I decide to go back down to the local McDonalds. That afternoon we did alright by catch a few decent size trout. Mistakenly, I clean the fish at our campsite. I put them away in an ice chest as proof we did have some luck.
We went to bed proud of our catch and tired from the sun and the lack of oxygen due to the high altitude [9350 feet]. Needless to say we all fell asleep fast.
I don’t know if the dead silence, or if the heavy footsteps woke me up. But I knew someone or something stopped just outside our tent. My nephew asked what is it. I quickly hushed him. I stood up and was able to peek outside to see if it was a bear.
I’d like to mention before I continue that I’ve had run in bears and mountain lions. I worked around then with great caution and a bit scared of what may happen if they attack. Fortunately, I never had the feeling that I was in a life or death situation. What I saw that night made feel I had to leave the mountain as soon as it was safe.
The angle I had only allowed me to see the legs. The legs were muscular and human like. Its buttocks would have been at my mid abdomen. I am 5’6”. Yes, I’m short but this was Shaquille O’Neil level. Hairy, muscular legs, and just huge.
I‘ve been afraid before but never paranoid. I was frozen and shocked. I shined my flashlight on its legs very briefly through the tent mesh then I turned the light away, pointing it at my chest. It stood there for about a minute or two, but it felt like 5 minutes. It moved on and I listen for a while. As soon as I felt it was safe, I packed my nephew and son into my car. I grab our bags and some other stuff but the fear was over whelming. I left the tent and some other camping gear.
We made our way home two days early. My son never realized what happened, only to wake up at home Tuesday morning. Everyone was asking why we were home early. I never said why, other than that the kids were getting board. My nephew brought it up 10 years later, and when I told them, I was mocked. So I kept it to myself.
ALSO NOTICED: Heavy foot steps that stopped right outside our tent. I had bears walk up on while camping. They are usually more stealthy. In this case the presence of something huge outside our tent was evident.
OTHER WITNESSES: My 10 year old nephew, son 5, and I were sleeping in a 4 man tent.
OTHER STORIES: Not to my knowledge.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around midnight
ENVIRONMENT: The campground is tucked away beyond the lake. Covered with dense pine trees.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
This is the recently received report of an old incident but it is significant because of the location. It's a remote campground in the Sierras that has been improved a bit since the early 1990's but it is basically the same as it was -- heavily forested with lots of mule deer around.
It would be a good place to camp if you want to be in a potential Bigfoot area in the eastern Sierras in the summer.
The witness, Jesse M., is now a 55 year old employee for the County of Los Angeles. He lives in La Puente. Years ago he was a boy scout. During that period and thereafter he camped in the Sierras many times to hike and fish. Like most people who have camped in the Sierras repeatedly he has had encounters with bears, including right outside his tent more than once. When he shined his flashlight through the mesh of the door of his tent that night he expected to see a bear. Instead he illuminated the calf (lower leg) of a very tall bipedal animal about three feet away from the tent. The leg was covered with hair but not so much that he couldn't see its shape and size clearly from just above the foot to just below the knee. It was very different than a bear's leg. He saw two legs but one was closer and better illuminated than the other. The mid section of the enormous calf muscle was at Jesse's knee height. He said it was like the leg of a hairy Shaquille O’Neil sized man or taller, and tremendously muscular.
After lighting it up well for a few seconds Jesse turned the light away and only saw it by indirect light until it walked away a moment later. He was stricken with fear.
The camp site was a walk-in type, 15 yards or so from where he parked his car. Not long after the creature left, Jesse brought his 10 year old nephew and 5 year old son back to car, put them inside, then quickly walked back to the campsite to pack it all up. He removed the sleeping bags and few other items from the tent but felt terrified walking back and forth the 15 yards in the dark so he left his tent and everything that was still on the camp table. There were only 1-2 other vehicles in the campground. None were close by.
He drove back to Bishop to get fuel, almost falling asleep after the adrenaline wore off, but he gathered the strength to drive all the way back to Los Angeles that night.
This report can be considered Class A rather than Class B because of the witness's prior experience with bears and his certainty that the leg was not that of a bear, deer, etc. It was the huge lower leg of a very tall manlike animal only a few feet away outside the tent and illuminated briefly by a flashlight.
The context is helpful to bigfoot researchers because it is another high altitude area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains that has a lot of deer traffic in the summer. Jesse said there are loads of mule deer in the area in summer. Those deer would not remain at that elevation (9300 feet) in the winter when it is under deep snow. The would descend down slope.
The campsite itself is instructional to bigfoot researchers because it is among large trees very close to the tent spot, including some trees large enough to hide a bigfoot standing behind them. That is very relevant because in many cases, including many cases on BFRO expeditions over the years, bigfoots came closest to tents set up among large trees, rather than tents in open spaces away from the tree line.
The well known pattern and speculation about that pattern: Bigfoots only approach occupied tents under cover of darkness, usually very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, just like other large curious animals will often do. They seem to feel emboldened in the darkness. By the same token, bigfoots seem even more emboldened when they can approach tents set close among large obstructions like large trees or boulders to which they can quickly hide behind if the people inside the tent begin to emerge from the tent. Therefore, if you want a bigfoot to come close to your tent, thereby reducing the amount of space you need to cover with trail cameras, then set the tent among the largest trees in the area rather than out in the open away from the trees.
Here is the location of the camp site:
About BFRO Investigator Matthew Moneymaker:
Matthew Moneymaker is originally from the Los Feliz District of Los Angeles, California.
- Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
- Founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization,1995.
- Writer and co-producer of the Discovery Channel documentary "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science", 2001.
- Co-producer of the TV Series "Mysterious Encounters" for the Outdoor Life Network (OLN Channel), 2002.
- Producer of the "2003 International Bigfoot Symposium" (Willow Creek Symposium) DVD set, 2004.
- Co-host of "Finding Bigfoot" on Animal Planet Channel, 2010 - 2017.
- Current Director of the BFRO