Over the years Idyllwilders from all walks of life have contributed a wealth of eye witness accounts to our archives. As I often say, "you can't make this stuff up." At least I can't. Below for your consideration and edification the report of one long-time Idyllwild resident.
Witness: Pat Ladd
Interview date: 1/5/2010
This happened 5 or 6 years ago. The first sighting was off of Fobes Ranch Road. Down the dirt road off the right-hand side 2-3 miles in. There was a creek back there where we went to look for rocks, me and John Schroke. You can polish and sell them. We saw multiple tracks, different sizes, big and little ones. They weren’t bear and they weren’t human, they were too big. Little ones all the way up to ones too big to be human. They were fresh. We went and brought the ranger back to show him. He didn’t know what they were, no idea. John made plaster casts of them with dry-wall plaster he had in his truck. Those cast are now lost, lost in a marriage break-up thing.
A month later we came back to the same area. There are some really beautiful rocks for carving and selling there. Crystals too. I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. That’s when I tapped john on the shoulder, I said:
“look over there!”
“No that’s just red shank [a kind of tree]” he says.
“No, look right there”
“Oh my God.”
We backed out of there slowly. It was not growling but sneering, showing its teeth like a dog threatening or warning. So we backed out and split, a half mile to the truck.
The next sighting happened probably 4 years ago, maybe 3 and 1/2. I was going down to Clifford Dorn’s by the Boy Scout camp. Back side of Garner Valley, over the Hill off Morris ranch Road, We were driving along and I said “Stop the truck right here.” I pointed to it and he saw it.
“That’s just a tree trunk.”
I said “Watch this!”
I got out of the truck and shook my hands and butt, and it did the same thing right back, raised its hands and shook its butt, like it was mocking me. It didn’t look angry. It just turned and walked off. It was just sunning itself watching the road, across the canyon about 200 yards away, close to the Scout camp.
Another one that happened 3 or 4 years ago, we were living on South Circle. Jeff (Harron, Harrison?) was camping out over on Strawberry Creek, by the Church Camp. One morning, sun barely up, he came pounding on the door, saying “Pat, Pat, you’re not going to believe this!”
“A Bigfoot stole my sleeping bag!”
It shook him by the feet and he back-pedaled out of it thinking it was a bear. Then he saw it was not a bear, it was upright. Not a bear, not human, it was Bigfoot. He was pretty adamant about it.
He told other stories; one of them stole a chicken from his open fire, that same year. He heard something in the bushes. He went to his tent to get his gun… and turned to see this thing take the chicken off his fire. He also recalled the time one of the creatures spooked a horse he was riding.
Another person that’s seen them is Old Bruce, of Val and Bruce’s market down by Mountain Center. He sells roasted nuts and beef jerky down by the highway. They broke into his store. He thought it was people and went upstairs to get his gun. It was this big hairy thing. Lots of incidents, cabins broken into.
Clifford too has seen a lot of them. He was a trailblazer, knows every inch of the back country up here. So did I, back in the day. He’s seen whole families, groups of them.