Bugs’ Story

This essay is from Bugs Mitchell. It is entirely his work and in his words. It covers the period of time he was in our camp at the Elk Meadows Ronnyvoo. The illustrations I have added to bolster the effect of his words… please enjoy this account of his visit.


Thom Cantrall

First Bigfoot Encounter 2014

July 15, 2014 at 6:49am

June 21-22, 2014

This summer my friends Deb and D’Anne and myself attended the first annual Bigfoot Community campout in Willow Creek, California. While there we had the opportunity to go camping for 24 hours in a remote part of the Northern California forest in a clearing known as Elk Meadow. It’s located 67 miles north of

Our Camp

Willow Creek off of highway 96.

We left for the remote camp shortly before noon in Dee’s jeep. We had packed just enough stuff to stay for one night knowing we could sleep in a group tent. We had a relatively uneventful drive with no wildlife sightings or any other sightings to report. We arrived around 1:30 pm to the camp and greeted friends Thom, Jackie, and Kathi. The location was absolutely gorgeous. It was a peaceful clearing with meadows and a creek surrounded by beautiful trees. There was a ridge to the north and a 7,000 ft peak called Turtle rock to the west.

Shortly after getting acquainted with our surroundings in the meadow, I let the others know I was going for a solo walk north of the camp to see how far the road and paths led. The road ended at an empty campsite. I proceeded about 300 or 400 yards beyond this and stood on a large fallen tree. I stood there for a while being as still as I could and trying to be at peace with the beauty of it all. I was also a little tense and tried to keep my imagination in check. We knew there were bears in the area and I certainly didn’t want to surprise one of them and I had come to experience bigfoot. You get the picture. Just then I heard a wood knock to my right. It was clear, so much so that it startled me for a split second then silence. I waited motionless for about 3-5 minutes. I decided to take a few steps down the log and no sooner than I did another knock rings out at me as plain as could be. Wow! This knock was definitely not a woodpecker as I had been hearing those since I arrived. No these knocks were more substantial and singular unlike the repetitive knocking from the birds. I waited another 10 minutes but nothing else happened so I headed back to camp.

When I got back Thom informed me that Jackie, Dee, and Deb had gone south for a walk along the road. I met them as they were heading back toward me. They had just experienced some very strange noises and were a little spooked.

In an attempt to adequately describe these noises we called them a “gump” sound. We called it that because to us it sounded like a cross between a deep gulp and a very low frequency thump that could be felt in the chest. So we figured a gulping thump should be called a gump.

Deb, Dee, and Jackie explained that they had been walking along the road and started coming up to a section of the forest that had been burned. Deb started feeling very uneasy about the location and verbally expressed that to Dee and Jackie. Soon after that they heard the gumping sound directed at them. Jackie turned to them and asked what the heck it was and that it was reminiscent of sounds gorillas make. Apparently it took them quite by surprise and seemed quite out of place. Jackie did some howls and a few tree knocks but they didn’t hear anything but the same gumps coming their way.

That night we sat around the campfire. I whooped. We wood knocked. Mostly very very quiet night. But later that night we heard one very large tree break from the southwest. We also heard a “coo” and a “whoop”. These were very delicate and came from what seemed very close. They sounded like they came from just the other side of the creek from our campfire. Deb and Dee were sitting side by side and they thought the coo sounded like it was just over their shoulders. Dee got up from her seat and came toward me a bit unsettled. It unnerved Deb and she went to the tent soon after this. To us it sounded as though they were uttered by a young female because of the sweetness and gentleness of its tone.

I did not hear the coo myself because I had stood up to grab some more firewood but I distinctly heard the whoop. As soon as I did I looked to the others who I know were not messing with me. There was absolutely no doubt that what I heard was, “W-H-O-O-O-P”, whoop. It was not an owl nor was it a bear because those creatures don’t actually speak like this had. We heard back exactly what we had been saying into brush just a few minutes prior.

The next morning Deb, Dee, and I took a walk south along the road. We got maybe half a mile when Deb started feeling ill. We stopped and she said she felt they didn’t want us to go any further and our presence was not welcome. Within moments of her telling us this we began hearing and feeling the gumping noise. I was thrilled because this was the first time I had heard it. But Deb turned back to camp and we couldn’t get her to walk any further with us. Dee and I decided to press forward. We got to the bend in the road and got gumped even more. It resonated in our chests and seemed to come from down the slope to our right, west of the road. I counted 5 to 6 gumps per burst. Bursts were separated by 1 to 3 minutes at a time.

Dee tried to record the sound on her phone but its frequency was too low to register. After several more minutes of this we began to head back toward camp. On


the way back we cracked some logs against some tree trunks. We hit them pretty hard and even broke a couple. We would stop every few steps and listen for any responses, but it had quieted down completely. We figured that was probably about all we were going to get so we started walking a bit faster and all we could hear was the gravel beneath our feet and our walking sticks when suddenly we heard a protracted roar howling from the upper ridge above and east of the road. It was so obvious and so strong we both looked at each other wondering if we were actually experiencing it (because these things just don’t happen right?).

The roar lasted for about 15-20 seconds and just as it ended Dee looked up to her right and exclaimed, “OMG something is coming down the mountain at us!”. For a split second I could feel her urge to bolt from a fight or flight reaction, but she held her ground and so did I. We just looked at each other frozen and as soon as we did the gumps began directly from behind me from the west. Whatever had been gumping us earlier had followed us, or there were more than one down there. That was when things became very clear in my mind that we were dealing with one too many coincidences to continue avoiding the obvious explanation for what was happening.

D’Anne ‘n Deb

After a few moments this all simmered down. We waited a bit longer and then returned to camp. We asked whether anyone had heard anything. They said they didn’t and we proceeded to describe what we heard and then we heard three very loud tree knocks, the third was so loud it sounded more like a crash.

When we told Deb what had happened she told us that she had been followed by chest thumping noises both down from the west and from the ridge to the east of the road as she headed back to camp. She finally got so tired of it she audibly told them to leave her alone and go and pester Dee and myself. Well, it seems they did just that. All of this was just too much for my way thinking to be pure happenstance and misidentified sounds.

I asked Thom if there were any animals up there that made that gumping sound. He said there was a bird that made a noise kind of like that but that it started out slow and then increased in frequency before it stopped. What I heard was a fixed frequency and besides birds don’t do infrasound that feels like a bass drum in your chest cavity.

Anyways, there were a few other things that happened but I wanted to capture the bulk of what I remember and what I found most significant. I hope you can


see why I was so excited about what happened and why this was a life changing event for me. It’s not that I didn’t believe these people were real, it’s just that I very much wanted my own experience with them to help bring it more fully to my scope of reality. I welcome your thoughts on what you’ve just read and I thank you for taking the time to share in what felt and heard on this my first bigfoot encounter.

Bugs Mitchell