FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – October 20 is a very significant day in the bigfoot community. It is on that day 55 years ago that Bob Gimlin and Rodger Patterson filmed the most famous and controversial bigfoot sighting clips of all time. It is why the bigfoot community also refers to this day as Sasquatch Awareness Day.

The legend goes that on Friday, October 20, 1967, Patterson and Gimlin were riding northeast on horseback along the east bank of Bluff Creek. Sometime after 1:00 p.m., they spotted the figure standing on the opposite bank.

Gimlin says that Patterson’s horse reared up and it took him some time to get off and get his camera from his saddlebag. The mysterious figure started to walk away from them before Patterson began to run after it. The film is initially very shaky, then the figure looked back and Patterson fell to his knees. The creature would eventually fade into the trees as Patterson ran out of film.

In an interview with YourCentralValley.com during a visit to Fresno in 2019, Gimlin talked about the experience and how it made him feel.

“I’ll never forget those few seconds that I got to see her, it will be with me for the rest of my life. I feel that I was pretty much blessed. Well, I won’t say that I was blessed but whatever the reason that I got to be the one that witnessed her, and I’m still alive makes me feel really good”.

– Bob Gimlin

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) was founded in the mid-90s and it includes a large team of people who review reported bigfoot sightings. They even keep a list of what they consider credible sightings by state.

While Washington is the top state for bigfoot sightings, in second place is California. So what are the top five counties with bigfoot activity according to BFRO?

  • 1. Humboldt County – 47
  • 2. Tuolumne County – 38
  • 3. Siskiyou County – 31
  • 4. Del Norte – 29
  • 5. Shasta – 28

If you are curious about our numbers here in Central Valley, Fresno and Tulare County have had 19 credible bigfoot sightings. Madera, Merced, and Kings County have had a combined one sighting.

Gimlin says that before his close encounter with the creature, he was “kind of down the middle of the road” as far as his belief in bigfoot. But his experience 55 years ago completely convinced him of their existence. He went on to give a message to skeptics.

“Think whatever you want to think. I know what I saw. If you’ve seen the film footage, analize it and think about it. (…) I’m not out here to prove to anyone that they exist at all. I know they exist.”

-Bob Gimlin