Mendocino County, California

Near Albion, California

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Mendocino County California (Class A) BFRO

August 1966

My encounter took place in Albion, Mendocino County Calif. in the summer of 1966 when I was 15 years old. My father was a commercial fisherman, and had his boat docked up the Albion River about 250 or 300 yards at the boat docks. We lived in Ukiah, and came over to see my Dad to bring supplies to him and visit at least twice a week. Soon after, we put a trailer on the flats near the boat dock, and moved to the coast permanently. The encounter happened one evening just before dark, as the sun was just going down over the hill. My parents, younger sister, and younger brother were on the boat and getting ready for bed. It was before 8 p.m. My older sister and myself had to sleep in the car as there wasn't enough bunks on the boat for us to sleep. We had blankets and pillows on the seat to sleep on. The car was a 1957 two-door Pontiac Chieftain. I had the back seat and she the front. I remember it being too early and light out to want to go to sleep. We sat there and talked as teenagers will do. Across the river was a steep rolling hillside that had sheep grazing on it that belonged to a man named Paul Anderson. We had the windows down as it was summer and very nice out. We were interrupted in our talking by the sounds of sheep crying out in unison and baaing in a way that didn't sound normal for sheep. We both jumped up and looked out the right side windows trying to see what was after the sheep. We could see the sheep running frantically towards the west side of the hillside pasture. The sheep were scattering in different directions, separating into smaller bunches. To the left and upper part of the field, we both spotted two very large and hairy animals chasing the sheep. We thought that they were bears running on their hind legs like trained animals would do. It was very alarming for us to watch as these bears were terrorizing these poor sheep. Our position from the attack was about 150 yards or more. We watched as these big animals chased the sheep for what seemed like hours. In reality, the whole chase scene was about 20 or 30 minutes. As it got dark, we were sure that the bears would swim the river and come for us next. We locked the doors and hid under the blankets for the rest of night. It seemed like an eternity til morning came and we could finally get out of the car and go to the boat to see our parents. We told them what had happened, and I know that they thought that we had stayed up all night dreaming up that story. That morning, we were up at the post office near where the attack had occurred, and people were talking about the sheep being killed by a wild pack of dogs that were roaming around. The Sheriff, Sam Costa said that it was unusual for dogs kill and eat only the belly and insides of the sheep. We heard about the wild dogs for years after that, every time livestock were killed and mutilated by a predator. I never forgot what I saw and heard that night, and now know that it wasn't bears or wild dogs..

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