A listener writes “I found your show last year and have been listening ever since. I wanted to share an encounter with a bit of anonymity. I had about 23 years ago outside of Fort Bragg, California.
I was about 12 years old and my uncle and I drove out to visit some family and go fishing on our family’s charter boat. Our cousin owned and operated a charter fishing boat so we would drive up and stay with our cousins and fish and pull up crab pots and have a good time. Our family’s home was out in the forest outside of town. They had a few acres in the forest. During that trip I was outside with two of my younger cousins. We were out in the woods near the house playing baseball. I was a bit older than my two younger cousins so I was soft tossing them so they could some swings in.
We were playing in an area where the forest had been cleared and cut. One of my cousins hit the ball really good and sent the ball in to the forest. It was still nearby the cleared section. I ran to go the ball and there I saw big dark creature stand in at the edge of the forest. I’ve grown up camping and fishing in the Sierra Nevada mountains and have seen a lot of bears and other wildlife. I ran to get the ball and I abruptly stopped thinking that I ran up on a bear. My instinct was to stop, calm down and slowly back away. I was told not run and trigger a predator/prey response.
So I maintained sight of the creature, it was standing upright behind a tree stump from a tree that had broken. What it did next assured me that it wasn’t a bear. It leaned over at it’s hips and peered around the tree stump and looked at me. It uprighted itself again and walked across from the edge of the clearing and back into the thicker forest. It was very dark brown to black in appearance. Its demeanor was of it knew we were there but didn’t expect one us to intercept it on its walk away from the area.
After I realized it wasn’t what I thought it was I turned and ran back to my cousins as fast I could. I told them that I couldn’t find the ball and we needed to leave and get back to the house immediately. This encounter happened in the mid morning on early.in the summer.
The appearance wasn’t frightening and I don’t think it was a full grown, I would say it was at least six feet tall based on the broken tree it was standing behind. At first it was stood still. I am pretty sure it did not expect me to see it and it didn’t have an ideal place to hide and it stood still maybe hoping I wouldn’t notice it. I would say it seemed unserious, meaning that it wasn’t aggressive or particularly scared. It was like seeing another kid that you didn’t know and it didn’t want any trouble.
I never told anyone for a long time. I later told my wife, my dad and eventually my best friend.”