AN AVID photographer found his bag gone and food scattered and eaten on a clifftop near Porthcurno earlier this month.
Michael Smith, who regularly visits the county to photograph the landscape and wildlife, was at Pedn Vounder, near 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 an animal was to blame, but now questions how the zips would have been undone and the rucksack carried away.
"It seems like a human took my bag, considering the circumstances," he said.
Mr Smith said he has left details at the nearby Logan Rock Inn and Cable Station Inn, and has 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."
Penzance Inspector Jean Phillips said: It would appear to be more likely to have been stolen than lost."