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Media Article # 537
Article submitted by Richard Hucklebridte e-mail
Article prepared and posted by Richard Hucklebridge

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bigfoot visits Antelope Valley --- or does he?

By Charles Bostwick
Antelope Valley Press

The following article is from the Antelope Valley Press, Dated Tuesday, August 28, 2007
History Section:
Bigfoot visits Antelope Valley --- or does he?
Valley Press: Compiled by Managing Editor Charles F. Bostwick.

At the top of the front page of the March 22, 1973 Lancaster Ledger-Gazette, the headline reads: “Marines report Big Foot sighting here.” Yes, that’s right: Bigfoot, Sasquatch, reclusive giant hairy inhabitant of the Pacific Northwest, in the Antelope Valley.
The newspaper story said three Marines came into the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station just after 1 a.m. March 14, 1973 to report that a dark creature of human shape and about eight feet tall had appeared in front of their car as they drove along Avenue J near 110th Street East, then ran off into the surrounding alfalfa fields.
Palmdale resident Rich Grumley, self-appointed president of the California Bigfoot Organization, told the Ledger-Gazette he had already heard from four Palmdale teenagers who said they saw a Bigfoot while camping in the mountains. He said he intended to organize an expedition to find the creature.
Ledger-Gazette reporter Chuck Wheeler suggested that maybe the Marines had been influence by a movie playing at drive-in: “The Legend of Boggy Creek,” about a giant humanoid said to in habit an Arkansas swamp.
But a week later Wheeler talked to a crop-dusting company owner who said his 19-year-old daughter had been frightened into hysterics when she came home late at night to their mobile home at 115th Street East and Avenue J, less than a mile from the Marines’ sighting.
Thinking she heard their dogs whining when she got out of her car, she walked toward the sound, only to be startled when a creature about seven feet tall and covered with hair except on its face rose up out of the tall grass in front of her. The creature ran off upright and the teen ran to the trailer door and pounded on it, shouting to be let inside, her father said. The dogs were gone all that night.
Wheeler went out to investigate with Grumley, who found a large footprint in an old farm reservoir.
Six weeks later, Wheeler wrote that Grumley, and companions out hunting for Bigfoot at night in the far eastern Valley got shot at, by people who Grumley assumed were hunting for Bigfoot as well. Then Wheeler interviewed a Sunnyvale engineer and Bigfoot hunter who had invented an infrared tracking device and who speculated that the Bigfoots, or Bigfeets, were migrating through the Valley on their way from the Pacific Northwest to Mexico.
In July 1973, Wheeler wrote that an 11-year old boy saw “a big brown monkey” rolling down a hill near Lake Los Angeles, meaning the lake that still existed then, not the housing development. In October 1973, the California Bigfoot Organization’s publicity director, who was also an announcer for a Valley radio , complained to Wheeler that people with citizen’s band radios – a fad in the 1970’s – were using their radios to made fun of Big foot hunters.
In all, Wheeler wrote at least nine stories between March and November 1973 about Bigfoot sightings. A few more Bigfoot sightings would come in during 1974, and then in 1975 would start in Santa Clarita.
(In “Supernatural California,” author Preston Dennett writes: “The truth is you can’t travel more than a few hundred miles in the Golden State without running into a place where Bigfoot has been seen.” Dennett wrote that he met an Acton woman who told him a Bigfoot-like creature roamed around her home in the summer of 2001; it left animal bones and skinned animals on her doorstep, and once put a bolder on her roof, he wrote.)
In November 1973, Wheeler and Ledger-Gazette photographer Jack Overlade accompanied Grumley and another Bigfoot hunter to a Sycamore Flats campground, on Big Rock Creek in the Angeles National Forest, where a woman had reported hearing Bigfoot-like grunts and screeches and where Grumley had said he found giant footprints.
“While Grumley showed us this footprint and that footprint and this faded print and this pretty good print and another that might have been a footprint, it was Overlade who found the only print I would say showed great definition and looked authentic,” Wheeler wrote. “The print definitely was not made by a bear. It appeared as if the owner of the foot was surprised and slipped. The foot itself was possibly twice the width. It looked like a real footprint, of some huge animal.”
Wheeler added that he had talked with a man who ridiculed the sightings as fake, and said some body was fabricating the footprints. The man told him that is 30 years to roaming the Valley; he had never seen any giant hairy creatures. But, the man told Wheeler, he had started carrying a rifle and a shotgun when he went into the hills. “Sometimes even a lunatic thing just might prove real,” the man told Wheeler.

There is a small photo with this article, with a face of a young man with a mustache holding a tape measure ruler next to an indistinguishable 14+ inch footprint! With a caption saying: Proof Positive? Bigfoot hunter Rich Grumley who died in 2000, displaying what is purported to be giant footprint in 1973 near Big Rock Creek.

Bibliographical Information:

Charles F. Bostwick is the Managing Editor

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