So first, before I share these pictures and short story with you I wanted to say, I always take someone at their word and try to debunk respectfully if at all possible. But this is where things often get hinky I’ve noticed in this field. It is completely okay to debunk or not even believe. But always, always do both with respect.
I see many people get tortured online for posting a pic that sometimes not even they are sure of. They are often just asking our opinion. And I know not every pic or story will hold up, but still, I implore all of you to be helpful with your debunking and respectful with your disbelief. I thank you for reading that quick soap box moment, and now here is a story from Shelly Billington who was kind enough to share her experience with me.
” Good afternoon. I would love for you to blog my short story. Here is some background before I get started. I followed a friend onto Squatch Watchers about a year, year and half ago and started learning abut the biggies..I was raised camping in Sierra Nevada and know the mountains well. In October 2018, I took my first hike, but I decided to look low because of the fires we recently had. It was then when I found my first print and tri pod. Then in January of this year I found my 2nd print. Also in February of this year I found a very cool structure that was covered with snow. I went back up the hill in March to examine it closer. To me it looked like an upside down nest. It didn’t seem big enough to be a home but would make an awesome home/trap for something smaller. I found my 3rd print when walking around that area, this one was larger than the others it was 18″ inches long and 6-7″ inches wide, and was sunk into the wet, snow melted ground about 2 1/2 inches. This is just a little background of my experiences so far for you. I am new to this. That brings us up to speed and on to the photos. On April 10th my friend and I went to the Stanislaus River here in the San Joaquin Valley, we went to check out fishing holes.. I love taking pictures of scenery while I’m out..we found a little clearing with a log to sit on. Matt sat down and was watching for striped bass to make movement and I was taking pictures of the area. The first three will be of the river from where I was standing across to the private property on the other side. It was around 6:45 in the evening and the sun was on its way down. The tree’s reflection is beautiful on the river, you will see nothing dark along side of it and no reflection of anything but the trees in the water. This was picture #89 in my camera. I sat down next to my friend and was looking at the water when he said to me, “Shelly what is that?” I said “what”? he said “over there looking around that tree”.. I said “I don’t know”, you will be able to have an idea from the landscaped view of picture #89 how far away it was. I had not yet used my zoom, the next three I used my camera to zoom in on the dark figure across the river.
I took 4 pictures in all. The one you have seen is #90 of it or they, I’m not quite sure, when looking at it blown up even bigger it looks like it could possibly have a small one on it’s back, or another looking around it from behind the tree. There is only one set of legs though. At first we thought it could be a shadow, but shadows do not have reflections on water or air and in picture #89 there is no reflection on the water.
It or they had stood there and watched us. I was in shock, not expecting one to be down here in my valley, they belong up in the mountains or so I thought. I did send the pictures to another site to get feedback. Chuck from Michigan Paranormal Time Isnow, examining and enlarging these pictures for me. Also last week I did contact the BFRO, but I have not heard back from them as of yet. I understand that they get a lot of sightings and calls.
I went back to the river to look around and nothing is the same. The tree is not there and neither is the log we were sitting on actually. When the river rises I am sure to find it again. Now my goal is to maybe find some sort of structures in the area. As far as I know there are no known sightings here in the valley. I am in awe. And to answer your questions, there were no smells, but the distance was quite far, and all this happened within a few minutes span. It was maybe 5 minutes at the most. It is funny because people talk about eye-shine and find faces in leaves and I do not see any of that. In hearing Bob Gimlin tell his story last month, I was greatly inspired to share my own. I had been out looking before for Bigfoot, and then there it was when I was not even looking for it. I am sending you these pictures, which I have explained, and you are the only other researcher besides Chuck Sutherlin to see them. Everyone else has only seen the one I posted on your site. I did go back a couple of days later at the same time of day which you asked and no, there was nothing there. I’m sending over the debunking pictures as well. You will be able to tell it was a different day because the tree is not in the water because the water level had gone down a little at that time. This has been a very exciting experience for me, and I have now convinced a few other people that they are real.”
I thank you Shelly for trusting to share your stories and photos with me. I hope the BFRO or another research group can get out to your area soon to further investigate with you…
What do you think? Could it be a Bigfoot? Or maybe a large black bear? Let me know what you think. You can leave your comments here or feel free to email me at:
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Photos all supplied from Shelly Billington.