DHS Squirrel
Geographical Index > United States > California > El Dorado County > Report # 11948
Report # 11948  (Class B)
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, June 22, 2005.
Quad riders find fresh footprints, encounter overwhelming stench near Stumpy Meadows
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YEAR: 2002


MONTH: September

DATE: Saturday

STATE: California

COUNTY: El Dorado County

LOCATION DETAILS: Down one of the many cow trails that lead away from Stumpy Meadows Lake.

NEAREST TOWN: Georgetown

NEAREST ROAD: Wentworth Springs Road

OBSERVED: My husband and I were out quading up by Stumpy Meadows, that is up out of Georgetown, California. I have lived in that area for roughly 40 years. I have smelt some awful smells up there in the woods. This day my husband and I rode down this one road and found out it didn't go anywhere, so we turned around and rode back out. I went out ahead of him, I got far enough ahead that I couldn't see him when turned to look to see if he was following. Anyway I stopped to wait for him. I thought I smelt someting dead, or like something peed there more then once. It was a really strong smell. My first thought was a bear. While I was sitting there looking around I got this wierd feeling that some one was watching me. I was really getting scared, I always carry a 44 mag with me, so I figure I can be pretty much safe when I'm out there, but not this time. I decided to go find my husband, as I started my quad up I heard a branch break. I'm still thinking bear, but the smell was awful. I started to pull away and I looked down and there over the tracks we made earlier going down the road were the biggest footprints I have ever seen, then I knew that was no bear. I took off, I got about ten feet down the road when my husband pulled up. He looked at me and said what's up?, you see a snake? So I showed him the tracks. Now my husband is the type of guy that would have to be knocked down by a bigfoot before he would believe. Then still he would say it was something else. He said that because the road was so dusty that the prints looked larger then they actually were. He said he didn't smell anything but a faint smell of something dead. I wanted to believed him. I never went back to that area again.

ALSO NOTICED: I saw nothing in the trees. I cannot remember if I heard any birds.

OTHER WITNESSES: My husband was there, but refuses to be a witness to anything I tell you. So you just have me.

OTHER STORIES: While growing up in the area, the witness would hear knocking and "whoops" in that general area while camping. Her older brothers would scare her by telling her that it was bigfoot coming to get her. They may have been partially correct.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was in the early afternoon. I stopped in the shade of the pine trees, so the lighting was shaded. It was a sunny day.

ENVIRONMENT: The trail was surrounded by pine forest, and a lot of burnt trees, it had been logged at one time. It was in the shade of the pines.

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

I spoke to the witness on August 17, 2005, and can add the following details to the report:

• The witness noted that the woods were really quiet. She remembers thinking at the time that it was so quiet that it was not normal.

• She lifted the face mask of her helmet and then smelled the stench. The witness struggled to describe the smell. She said it was worse than a male goat smell, something like buck brush, very “pissy” and ten times worse than a fox den. The witness used to hunt bears and the smell was very different from them. She repeatedly stated that the smell burnt her nose.

• The sensation of being watched made the witness very uneasy. She said the best way to describe the feeling is “it felt like hatred.” She got the distinct impression that she was not wanted there. The sensation made her frightened, almost panicky.

• The footprints were made between the times she and her husband drove in and when they drove out – probably no more than 10 or 20 minutes. Her quad ran over half of two separate footprints, the front half of the first one (leaving just the heel) and the back half of the second one (leaving the toes visible). Because of this, no overall length can be given of the print, but the width at the ball was approximately eight inches. Her quad running the prints over would indicate a step length of something like four feet.

• The second print (the one with the toes) was intact enough to notice that a flat foot with no evidence of an arch made the print. She looked for, but did not find, evidence of hair impressions in the fine dust around the toes as one often finds with bear prints.

• The area was thick with pine trees and manzanita that prevented a clear view into the forest.

About BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:

  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music (Guitar) -- Cal. State Long Beach
  • Professional educator with more than a decade of experience.
  • Attended many public BFRO expeditions since 2005 (Redwoods, Sierras, Arizona, Southern California, Vancouver Island, Mendocino).
  • Attended and/or led numerous non-public BFRO expeditions (CA: Bluff Creek, Blue Creek, Stanislaus NF; WA: Stevens Pass, Olympic Peninsula, Gifford Pinchot Nat'l Forest; Ohio: Beaver Creek; Florida: Green Swamp)
  • Led the 2007 and 2008 California Sierra Nevadas Expedition (public), and the Oregon Expedition (public) in June 2008
  • Can be reached at

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