Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 24th, 2010
San Francisco Chronicle
April 23, 1980
Marin Mystery–A Night Creature
By Peter Stack
There was talk in Mill Valley yesterday that an “animal-like” figure that screeched horribly during an encounter with two policemen was the legendary hairy Bigfoot of Mount Tamalpais.
“It was a weird thing all right, but I never said anything about Bigfoot–somebody must have made that up,” said Patrolman Dan Murphy.
Murphy and his partner, Edward Johnson, were dispatched at 1:16am last Friday to investigate a report by a frightened woman that something was “screaming and screeching and growling” below her hillside home.
The woman said she couldn’t discern whether the sounds were human or animal.
For years there have been rumors of periodic sightings of a large, hairy humanoid prowling hills and valleys of Marin’s Mount Tam region. The existence of the omnivorous nomad, sometimes known as Sasquatch, has never been confirmed, but there have been frequent reports of him throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Murphy said he and Johnson answered Morris’ call like any routine assignment.
“When we got there, we heard the sounds too. They were strange, high-pitched sounds like something was screaming or howling viciously,” Murphy said yesterday.
The two officers nervously hiked down the wooded slopes while training their flashlight beams through the underbrush. It was pitch dark and windy.
“I heard this heavy breathing ahead of us,” Murphy said, adding that there were, “crackling and rustling noises as if something was approaching through the brush.”
According to official reports, Officer Johnson warned Murphy that he heard something coming from off to one side of them as well as from dead ahead.
The two policemen drew their service revolvers and slowly retreated uphill. But as they withdrew, Murphy caught a glimpse in the beam of his flashlight of a “large, dark-colored THING.”
“it was walking on its hind legs,” Murphy said. “I saw it climb an eight-foot retaining wall and dissapear into the brush.”
Later that morning, the two officers returned to the woodsy setting under the first glimmer of dawn. Once there, they found a thick trail of blood, which they followed through the heavy brush.
Suddenly looming before them was the disemboweled and badly mangled carcass of an adult deer. The animal’s neck had been ripped open and its belly torn open.
“There were no tracks or anything around,” said Murphy.
The deer’s carcass was removed by the Marin Humane Society, but no autopsy was made, so only speculation remained as to what killed the animal.
The humane society guessed the attack was probably by a mountain lion.
From the files of Kyle M. and many of us.