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COUNTY: Calaveras County
LOCATION DETAILS: Starting from Big Meadow Campground heading down to the river, we camped about 100 yards from the river.
NEAREST TOWN: Arnold
NEAREST ROAD: Highway 4
OBSERVED: Three successive screams starting from about 50 yards away, moving away to 100 yards, then finally about 200 yards away. Each scream was about 1 second in duration with almost identical characteristics.
ALSO NOTICED: Hardly any "bear type" food sources availabe, no signs of deer, bear, coyote etc. The first scream felt like it was right on us, then the other two clearly were heard moving away. The backgound sound of the river was faint. We had no radios or other electronic gadgets except my 2 Meter HT which was not being used
OTHER WITNESSES: My friend was the only other person around for a at least a mile
OTHER STORIES: I've never heard anyone directly or remotely connected with the area openly mention anything about BF in or near this area. Only ocassional black bear. I got a link from Coast To Coast and noticed a report filed from Calaveras Big Trees - that prompted me to file my account. Look, I've heard the sounds of just about everthing out there. This was a powerful scream that sounded like a cross between human and maybe gorilla. It was not feline - I know what a mountain lion sounds like. It struck me as almost offensive in nature, very wild, very powerful!
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 9pm, no wind, no moon, clear skies, pitch darkness, no camp fire
ENVIRONMENT: Very rocky Sierra pine forest. A good portion of this area is practically unwalkable. We heard the screams about 50 yards up hill from us coming from the thickest part of the terrain, moving down river from us.
Follow-up investigation report:
I talked with the witness by phone. The following details can be added to the report:
--Scream was heard in the Hellís Kitchen area.
--Sound was human-like but more guttural. It had the bass of a gorilla. However, the scream didnít have a lot of tonal components (no range, notes, or scale).
--Scream was not one of help; but rather of offense or warning.
--After the first scream, they listened and didnít hear anything moving. They got up to look around and about 3 minutes later, heard the second scream, moving away from them. The witness then used his slingshot to fire rocks into the surrounding area. Three minutes or so after that, they heard the last scream, now even further away.
--The witness never heard anything in that area before, including coyotes, bears or other wildlife.
--The area is very rugged, no animal trails or breaks in the vegetation.