I’ve spent a lot of time in Santa Cruz. I used to live there, many years ago, and my first job, in 1970, was at the John Ingalls brussel sprouts cannery that used to be on Laurel Street near the railroad tracks. It was torn down years ago.
I’m well aware of how spooky the old forest north and west of Santa Cruz can be. It is a charming yet shadowy and sometimes eerie area with a narrow two-lane highway winding through it. The redwood trees and dense, lush undergrowth make a trip through this forest an experience to savor. Yet I never thought of that area as a place where there might be a Bigfoot lurking in the woods.
Why? Because the Santa Cruz area is densely populated by human beings. There are miles of unpopulated forested hills there in the California Coast Mountain Range, so I know it is possible that Sasquatch are living there, but if they’re there, I’ll guess they’re feeling fairly well penned in by now as human civilization encroaches on all sides.
I was surprised to receive the following sighting report in my email, but the woman who wrote it is willing to put her name next to the claim. That’s always a good first step toward making a sighting report believable. She also told me she discussed this with Mike Rugg, owner and curator of the Bigfoot Museum in Felton (a small town in the forest near Santa Cruz) who told her there have been other sightings in the area.
Colette Alexander’s sighting report:
June 1999: Cypress Grove (on Pocono trail) 1 mile up Highway 9 from downtown Santa Cruz, California – at San Lorenzo Creek.
My friend and I were having lunch by the creek. There is a well worn trail in the first pull-out on the right hand side of Highway 9 just up from Highway 1 and Highway 9 intersection in downtown Santa Cruz.
It was a weekday around lunchtime and there was one other person, a fisherman wading in the creek and fishing less than 50 yards away. The brush is fairly heavy there, so I do not think he even noticed us.
We were eating sandwiches and enjoying nature. I looked to my right, “spacing out on the forest” when I noticed about 20 yards away a pair of big black eyes. At first I thought it was a person, maybe a homeless person (there’s lots residing in Santa Cruz), but as I focused I noticed that it was a large gorilla-like hominid “Mimicking me – eating my sandwich!” It appeared to be a juvenile female – lifting a leaf to its mouth in the same motion and speed as I was eating my sandwich. Except when I saw it do that and realized this was happening – I slowed down my bite to the sandwich in shock and so did it – with an expression of amusement and kindness at mimicking me! I wasn’t scared, but definitely in shock.
I slowly turned to my left to nudge my girlfriend to show her, and no sooner did I do that, when I looked back it was gone. It could have just closed its eyes! It’s camouflage was incredible! It was as tall or taller than me. I was sitting down and it was sitting or squatting. I could not see it’s legs. It had black/brown fur – noticed no neck and huge shoulders. Hand and face looked gorilla like except that the front of its face was flatter than that of Primates known. I could see it had straight, white teeth. No fangs. I also noticed that it seemed to have had gray moss on its fur, definitely did not bathe, but did not smell anything. (And I’d never seen a homeless person with moss on them – soot, maybe, but not Spanish moss).
The expression of amusement and the mimicking me eating a sandwich was probably more shocking than just the mere sight – although that was incredible in-of-itself. The intelligence was not animal-like! It was eating what is believed to be the Cypress leaves (young growth there in the spring). Also note: next to a creek. Seems like most sightings are in the creeks. It is imperative that migratory patterns and food sources are noted in our sightings. I studied primate anthropology in college two years after I saw a Bigfoot and it’s taken me years before I thought it important to report this and I would take a lie detector test to prove this was a truthful encounter.
In a follow-up email Colette added: “I was a firefighter in Humbolt county for two years and have been way back in the woods, Shasta/Trinity fires in 1987. Only seen/heard coyotes. Never even thought or necessarily believed in their existence until I saw it myself. . . . Natural man – the meek – may in fact – just inherit their earth back.”
Now there’s a thought that brings up goosebumps on my arms. How do you feel about that?
Does anyone in the Santa Cruz area want to research this more? Let me know if you need contact information.
[Update: This is being investigated and documented further by David Paulides of North American Bigfoot Search.]
Here’s a map of the area.
More Bigfoot sightings in that area: Campers Claim They Saw Bigfoot