Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 30th, 2008
Down through the years, you have read my thoughts on fires forcing cryptids like Bigfoot and known animals into new areas, into vulnerable locations where they could be seen by humans, and perhaps even into life-threatening situations.
I even wrote only a few days ago about the 50th anniversary of the prototypical “Bigfoot crossing the road” story.
It appears one of the hottest reports (all puns intended) hitting the Sasquatch sites today will be the new report out of the old original Bigfoot country of just such a fire-related, road closing encounter.
Reporter Linda Williams of the Willits News discusses a “Bigfoot sighting on Highway 101.” The essence of her detailed report is below:
During the height of the smoke from Mendocino Lightning Complex fires, a Laytonville man had an encounter with an apelike creature while driving north of Willits on Highway 101 near Shimmins Ridge Road.
“This animal stepped onto the southbound lane near where the guardrail stops,” says LoPinto. “It was very smoky and incredibly hot, at least 100 degrees but still daylight. It ran really fast, directly into the path of a small truck, which had pulled out to pass me, after the lanes had expanded from two lanes to four.
“The creature was completely black and looked all freaked out. I pointed at it so the other driver could see it and hit my brakes, hard. I didn’t think I could stop in time and was sure I was going to hit it. Miraculously the passing truck missed the creature and sped out of sight.
“As the creature ran toward me, I saw it was least seven feet tall. The animal never slowed down as it ran on its hind legs like a man.
“I thought, ‘it looks like a guy in a gorilla suit.’ When it got to middle of the freeway, I could see it clearly. Its whole head was covered in black hair. I couldn’t see any ears. As I was braking hard to make a panic stop the creature put its arms down and started running on four legs, bounding across the freeway. It had giant arms; they were very long and covered with fur.
“When my car finally stopped, I looked out the windshield and it stopped about 25 feet in front of me at the edge of the road. It was at eye level with me as I sat in the car.
“I had no idea what it was. It was covered with hair down to the ground. I looked at its face and it was completely flat without a nose. It turned his whole body toward me-its neck was stiff. We made eye contact. Its face was yellow or gold like a ripe banana. It had holes for its nostrils and a smooth and shiny forehead with ridges instead of eyebrows. It had a simian face.
“I saw a red glow coming back from its eyes; it may have been a reflection from my headlights. Its mouth was closed and it had thin lips, it didn’t show any teeth and made no sound, at all. Then it turned and leapt down into the ditch and up the hillside. I was freaked out.”
At first, Chris LoPinto had no idea what he had seen; he thought it might have been an escaped zoo or circus animal. He called the Department of Fish and Game biologist and found there were no apelike animals native to North America and that no such creature had been reported lost in the area. LoPinto filed an incident report with them. LoPinto also filed a police report with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department.
LoPinto was later interviewed by our old buddy, Bigfoot field researcher Tom Yamarone, who gave the report high marks. Yamarone thinks the creature was “obviously disturbed by the heavy smoke and fires throughout the area.”
Williams reports on several reports in Mendocino and Humboldt counties, many from Tom Yamarone, for 1961, 1962, 2004, and 2007. Read about those here.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.