A woman who claimed that she saw Bigfoot is suing the state of California for not recognizing her sighting after National Park Service officials told her that she probably saw a bear.
Claudia Ackley, 46, filed a lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to get the agency to recognize Bigfoot—a hairy, ape-like creature allegedly seen by thousands of people—as a species.
Ackley went on a hike with her two daughters, ages 11 and 14, near Lake Arrowhead, California, when one of her daughters became startled.
Ackley said her daughter saw a Sasquatch-like creature staring at her while perched behind a tree, and claimed one of her daughters had the video to prove it.
“I swear to God, on my life, we ran into a Sasquatch,” Ackley said.
The mother then placed a phone call to California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, which sent an official to investigate the situation. When Ackley showed the video to the official, the official told her that she saw a bear.
“They’re supposed to be there to protect the public. They’re not doing their jobs,” Ackley said of the state agency. “If I can save one life, it will be worth it.”
“I realized at that point, looking at the creature, that there’s so much of life that we don’t know. Life is so beautiful, and I’m wasting my years,” she added. “I lost 125 pounds and decided to get a divorce . . . It motivated me to chase my dreams and live my life.”
The woman said she has more evidence to support her case in court than the video footage. Even though the lawsuit itself does not offer proof of the mythical creature’s existence, she said she would be submitting additional evidence from “wildlife biologists, wilderness experts, and police forensic officers” who would agree to testify on her behalf.
Ackely’s first court hearing is scheduled for Monday in San Bernardino.
Ackely is not the first in recent months to claim that the mythical creature exists. The North Carolina Bigfoot Society claimed Friday that they have photographic evidence that Bigfoot exists.