On August 28, 1967, John Green received a phone call from road contractor Bud Ryerson. Green had just returned the day prior from Onion Mountain, California where he was investigating footprints found on the road being built there.
Unfortunately, the tracks were mostly too deteriorated by the time Green had arrived. The call from Ryerson was an urgent one informing Green that numerous tracks had been found on the Blue Creek Mountain Road which was just a few short miles away from Onion Mountain. Green flew down after making some calls. He was joined by Rene Dahinden and dog handler Dale Moffit. The pilot who flew them down was Keith Chiazzari. They flew into Orleans, California, and then were picked up and driven to where the new tracks had been found. In Green’s words, “There had been three individuals walk down the road, according to Ryerson. They went about 125 yards on the road, then followed the ridge past the old lookout on Blue Creek Mtn., for the best part of a mile, then were back on the road for 500 yards. The road is a new one and pretty well follows the top of the ridge. By the time we got there traffic had wiped out all the tracks in the travelled part of the road, but we still counted close to 600. There was the 15” track with the split in the ball of the foot that you cast on the sandbar and a 13” one with no remarkable peculiarities. Ryerson said there was also a 12” track, but that was no longer evident by the time I saw them. My arrangements took too long and we did not reach the tracks until dark. The dog wanted to follow them and seemed very excited, but the handler would not.
I didn’t much blame him. Next morning the dog showed no excitement. It did appear to have the scent for a couple of hundred years, but then lost it. Meantime I phoned the museum again and told them they were passing up the chance of the century, so they sent a man down, Don Abbott, an anthropologist. He did not get there until Wednesday night so saw nothing until Thursday, but he was convinced. He got five men from Humboldt State [University] to come out on Friday, but when we arrived we found that the grader had wiped out most of the tracks, including three we had worked half a day trying to soak in glue and make a cast of the actual ground. We had saved the best tracks for the museum people to look at, so did not get as good casts as we should have. There were also tracks down in the creek, the same 15 and 13, and on Tuesday there were 101/2 inch tracks made at the same place below Onion Lake where the first set of tracks had been. These could have been a man, of course, only he would have had to be a regular barefoot walker to have gone where he did. Maybe a hippie. The tracks in the creek had gone through a trailer camp, and had been pretty well stomped out when I first saw them.” (Green letter to Titmus Sept 7, 1967)
The Blue Creek Mtn track find and investigation ultimately lead to Patterson and Gimlin going to Bluff Creek.