Editor's Note: the Almanac includes the following as speculation and folklore - not history. Although some elements of the story may indeed be historical fact, we offer these stories, along with other stories in Mysterious L.A., as a part of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles County.
According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (an actual organization), California ranks among the top states for Bigfoot sightings (441 of 5,290 at last count). Los Angeles County alone is credited with 20 of these through 2010. Mostly occurring during the 1970s, these detailed sightings of and encounters with large, bipedal, hair-covered and often foul-smelling creatures in the mountains and desert areas of Los Angeles County. The Almanac takes no position on whether these accounts are fact or fiction. Our interest is only to relate these accounts as part of the stories and cultural fabric of Los Angeles County.
--In the 1960s, two men reported to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies that they had seen in the Quartz Hill area a dark, giant biped silhouetted against the sky on a hill.
--In the early 1970s during the fall, two hunters reported a sighting through their hunting scopes in Cooper Canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains. They could not determine if what they saw was animal or human. Because of concerns that it might actually be a human, they elected not to shoot at it.
--In 1973, in the Big Rock Canyon area, numerous sightings were reported of huge bipedal ape-like creatures.
--In March 1973, three U.S. Marines reported a sighting of a large, bipedal, hairy creature in Lancaster. Later that month, a young woman, thinking she was responding to one of her whimpering dogs, reported being surprised and frightened by a large, bipedal, hair-covered creature that rose up from the tall grass and ran off.
--In April 1973, three men from the San Fernando Valley reported seeing an eleven-foot bipedal creature near Sycamore Flats Campground.
--In subsequent years from 1973 through 1976, other sightings of large, ape-like, bipedal creatures were reported around the Big Rock Campground.
--In October 1974, two men reported a sighting of a large, hair-covered bipedal animal in Quartz Hill backyard.
--In the summer of 1976, two brothers doing late night fishing at Morris Dam encountered an erect, "human-like" creature on a deer path.
--In September 1976, a hunter reported a sighting and frightening scream of a large animal near the West Fork River in the San Gabriel Mountains. He insisted that the animal was not a bear.
--In November 1976, during daylight, four hunters reported finding unusual tracks at a family property after investigating why horses on the property were highly agitated. A foul odor was detected in the area. After following the tracks, they sighted a large bipedal creature at a distance moving away from them.
--In 1978, a truck driver reported a sighting of a large bipedal creature crossing the road near Lake Hughes.
--In May 1980, two campers in the Green Valley area reported a large entity moving in the dark of night around their campsite. The following day, at sunset, they reported an encounter with an eight or nine-foot tall bipedal creature covered in dark hair. However, unlike as in many reported sightings, they did not experience an unusual odor.
--In 1993, two men, stopping in their car at night due to a flat tire along Highway 138, not far from Gorman, reported being approached by a large bipedal creature, about seven feet tall, covered in long grayish hair. The men reported to be so frightened that, instead of leaving their vehicle to replace the tire, they instead drove away on the flat.
--In April 2002, two hikers in the Big Tujunga Canyon area during daylight hours were intimidated to vacate the area in which they were in after detecting a foul order and hearing unusually loud and frightening screams and the pounding and swaying of nearby trees.
Sources: Big Foot Field Researchers Organization and Mysterious California by Mike Marinacci; Panpipes Press.