AN AVID photographer found his bag gone and food scattered and eaten on a cliff top near Porthcurno earlier this month.
Michael Smith, who regularly visits the county to photograph the landscape and wildlife, was at Pedn Vounder, not far from the tourist spot, on Friday November 1.
As he was climbing down a steep descent with his camera he said he decided to stow his rucksack at the top - hidden behind a rock and concealed in bushes.
He said he set off at about 11.15am and when he returned, at around 12.30pm, discovered some of his food strewn across the edge of the cliff and his bag missing.
“I took my bag off as it [climb] was very steep and slippery,” he recalled.
“I thought I left it in a safe place - but when I got back I found my sandwich box empty and everything gone.
“The food had been eaten or left lying around the place.”
Mr Smith said the bag contained items of great sentimental value, including photographs and his diary he had kept for over a year.
He initially thought it may have been an animal, but after talking to other people about the situation questions how the zips would have been undone and rucksack carried away.
“It seems like a human took my bag, considering the circumstances,” he said.
“Why would an animal leave some of the food - surely that’s what it would want?
“I don’t know what happened but I’m not sure how the bag would have been taken and sandwich box got into.”
Mr Smith said he has left details at the nearby Logan Rock Inn and Cable Station Inn, and has also reported the loss to police in Penzance.
“I had quite a lot of personal information in my diary and an undeveloped film,” he added.
“The items are really valuable to me.”
Inspector Jean Phillips, of Penzance police, said: “At the moment this is recorded on our lost property register under 'B132989'.
“It would appear to be more likely to have been stolen than lost and I would hope that the press and social media coverage it is receiving will prompt someone to come forward and pass us information.”