NEWS

Researcher says we’re near the heart of Bigfoot country

Charlie Unkefer
A sketch of Bigfoot by forensic artist Harvey Pratt, who joined forces with Bigfoot researcher Dave Paulides on two recently released books, The Hoopa Project and Tribal Bigfoot. The organization North America Bigfoot Search has produced a map that shows over 350 locations in Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity and Siskiyou counties where claims of Bigfoot sightings have been reported.

Though there have been sightings in every state except Hawaii, Siskiyou County lies within what is considered to be the heart of Bigfoot country.

A map published by North America Bigfoot Search, a Los Gatos based organization, lists 47 locations throughout the county where a Bigfoot has been encountered, with the earliest recorded sighting going back to 1850.

“There’s a long history of sightings in the Marble Mountains in particular,” said David Paulides, executive director of the organization, which is dedicated to a science-based approach to unearthing the Bigfoot mystery. 

Included on the map are sightings on the flanks of Mt. Shasta, along the Klamath River (with a large number of sightings in the Happy Camp region), outside of Yreka and near the entrance of Castle Crags State Park, to list a few.

Paulides said that while the Mt. Shasta area has certainly had its share of sightings, he believes that this population is primarily transient, compared to the stationary populations closer to the coast.           

Paulides said the highest   concentration of sightings have occurred within 40 miles of the ocean, a fact which he feels is rooted in the biped’s diet, which includes kelp, seaweed and fish.

Paulides estimates that there is a current population of 2,000 Bigfoot.

Hoopa Project and Tribal Bigfoot 

A quick perusal of the Bigfoot map shows a particularly high concentration of sightings around the Hoopa Reservation, near the town of Weitchpec.

Paulides said this observation led him and his team of researchers to this area, as  his team began their research for what became The Hoopa Project.

He explained that the   project, which was completed in 2008, was based on a series of 45 interviews and site visits on the reservation. He said his team of researchers spent over two years in that area, typically working one week on and one week off. 

“We got in good with the elders,” he said, noting that sightings on the reservation are common. “Our mission was to understand why they were there,” he said. “What makes them appear in that region?”

The connection between Native Americans and Bigfoot is further explored in Tribal Bigfoot.

Research-based approach

Paulides stressed that his organization takes the pursuit and study of Bigfoot seriously. While he clearly  understands that the mainstream scientific community has discredited the Bigfoot theory, he hopes to unearth facts that will speak for themselves.

A former law enforcement investigator, Paulides  says he approaches his   research using similar methodologies.

The Hoopa Project involved the testimony of 45 “solid” witnesses as well as sketches made by a professional forensics artist, Harvey Pratt, who sketched several versions of the creatures, based on the witnesses’ descriptions. 

According to Paulides, his organization aspires to combine three factors in its pursuit of the truth: sightings, sworn affidavits and forensics.

“We’re the only group that holds our interviewees accountable,” said Paulides.  

More human than ape

From the several drawings done by Pratt, a composite was formed which, according to Paulides, appeared more human than ape like. This, explained Paulides, was a groundbreaking discovery, as the biped has been historically associated more closely  with the ape family than the human family.

Paulides said his organization has taken hair samples to forensics specialists, who are specifically looking at the DNA composition.

Early sampling indicates  that it is not human hair, said Paulides. He added that the results, when released, could be significant.

Sample of

Siskiyou sightings

Below are a sampling of the entries from the North America Bigfoot Search map for Siskiyou County.   Included are sightings in the Mt. Shasta Area or along the I-5 corridor. Though there are a substantial number in  the area, the majority for the county appear along the Klamath River and its tributaries.

The map states that it was produced “for the mere value of vacationers enjoying the atmosphere of Northern California.” It further states “we cannot attest to the accuracy of any report that is not our own.”

1850 – A miner observes a huge hairy creature walking on two feet break a sluiceway against a tree.

1947 – Two people see Bigfoot cross Highway 89 south of Mt. Shasta.

1962 – A women reports camping in her trailer on the eastern slopes of Mt. Shasta and observes a Bigfoot give birth to a baby while under a pine tree. (There were two other sightings reported that summer, as well.)

1968 – Reddish brown Bigfoot seen crossing 1-5 near Dunsmuir.

1979 – Bigfoot visits a remote campsite at 3 a.m. about 20 miles north of Weed and steals eggs.

1992 – Campers saw Bigfoot while camping in a meadow on Mt. Shasta at 10,000 feet under a full moon.

 1994 – One mile west of Yreka, an individual reported hearing a loud guttural scream and carcass type smell.

1999 – Reddish dark brown Bigfoot seen crossing road near McCloud.

2001 – A Bigfoot is seen in the creek near the entrance  of Castle Crags State Park.

2002 – A Bigfoot is seen crossing a meadow on a ranch outside of Yreka. 

The most recent sighting listed on the map for Siskiyou County is at a private residence near the Happy Camp airport, dated 2005.

A visit to the North American Bigfoot Search website reveals a sighting on the Hoopa reservation as recently as Nov. 20, 2009.

For more information about North America Bigfoot Search, the map of sightings or Paulides’ two books, visit nabigfootsearch.com.