Editor’s Note: Red is one of the most ethical individuals to have ever worn a badge.
By Red Smith
I was working swing shift out of the Gold Hill Sub-Station in the fall when I was dispatched to a report of a Big Foot sighting. Upon arriving at the complainant’s residence on Lampman Road and making contact with the parents of a male juvenile, I was told by the mother that her son had come home from school with a less than acceptable report card. She had verbally chastised him and told him, “you just wait until your father gets home.” After hearing this, the boy grabbed his jacket, some magazines, sleeping bag, and his back pack, along with some cans of pork and beans and soft drinks as he departed their home.The boy eventually returned home, which led to his mother calling the Sheriff’s office.
I then asked to speak with the youngster. I spoke to him in his room and questioned him at length about his alleged sighting. He appeared to be telling me the truth. He described the area in the pasture, about two miles from his home on the other side of the freeway. He had rolled out his sleeping bag under a tree, had his dinner of pork and beans and a soda pop. He read his magazines for awhile, rolled up in his sleeping bag and went to sleep. He awoke after dark and saw what he described as a large (7 to 8 foot tall) hairy all over creature coming down the side of the hill near the irrigation ditch close to his location. The creature stopped at the top of the irrigation ditch, bent at the waist, and drank. He must have startled it because it suddenly spun, running back up the hill. He was so frightened he got up and ran all the way home. I explained to him how this must be impossible. I continued by saying that tall of an animal would fall over if it tried that maneuver because the majority of its weight would be lower than its feet while trying to drink.
I asked him if he would be willing to accompany me to the area where he had seen Big Foot – his face got white, his eyes got very large and they teared up. It was quite obvious he was terrified. I explained he did not have to go with me. When I spoke to the parents again, the father volunteered to go with me to collect his sons belongings that were left behind.
We walked to the back of the pasture by the only tree in the flat area where the boy had put down his sleeping bag. The father wanted to immediately gather up his boys belongings. I asked him to wait where he was so I could investigate the area and check for foot impressions, shoe impressions, or any other evidence. He complied and watched me moving about. I found nothing of any consequence until I jumped the irrigation ditch on the high side and looked at the fresh deer tracks there. Part of the tracks displayed the sudden burst of energy as the animal spun and ran from the area up the hill. I explained to the father what I had seen and that I believed the boy had been reading his Big Foot, Moth Man, and Swamp Monster magazines before he went to sleep. When he woke and saw something in the twilight highlighted against the sky – the deer drinking with front feet down near the water
and hind quarters up at the top of the ditch in the bad light his imagination must have got the better of him. He got frightened and ran home.
I transported the father back home, explained to the boy what I believed he saw and suggested to both the boy and his parents he read fewer of these types of magazines before bedtime. Case cleared by report and a smile.
About Me: My name is William Holden Smith, but most people know me as “Red”. I think communication is the most important tool any person can use, especially as a police officer. I’m retired from the Sheriff’s Office after being a reserve for years, with twenty-eight years full-time.