There exists an extensive history of the Sasquatch in Native tribal stories handed down through the generations and in ceremonial artwork. I give a partial list of tribes and names in my current book "Notes From the Field, Tracking North America's Sasquatch" identifying approximately 90 tribal groups and twice that many names alone. Nearly all tribal groups across the American continent have at least one, some as many as 5 names for these creatures and ceremonial masks and other artwork representing these creatures. The Sasquatch, often called the "Wildman of the woods" or "Cannibal Giant" are thought of as a much lesser developed tribe and not as animals. They have no permanent homes or language or use of tools. Below are some Native artwork depicting the Sasquatch. These are "Bukwas" meaning "Wildman of the Woods".
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This next photograph is of another set of bear tracks I cast in 2008 in Northern California.
This is part of a line of bear tracks I photographed near Mt. Adams in Southwest Washington in 1995. Adult black bear hind feet are typically around 7 inches in length, and the front and hind foot prints are approximately 12 inches apart in this line.
I took some of the footprint casts from my collection here to show the actual size relationships of A- an adult human male foot, B- this 14 inch Sasquatch footprint cast near Bluff Creek California in 1963, C- are the 14 inch Sasquatch footprints cast by Roger Patterson in 1967 at Bluff Creek after he filmed the creature, D- are black bear tracks I cast near Bluff Creek in 2004, E- are Elk tracks I cast, and F- is a deer track.
The photograph above is a closer look at the bear tracks I cast at Bluff Creek in 2004. Bear tracks are nowhere as long or wide as Sasquatch footprints. Distinguishing one from the other is very easy.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
My face to face encounter with two Sasquatch's in the fall of 1974 was a very traumatic experience, and it would have remained just between my friends and I had it not been for one friend recording the experience and sending the information to John Green without my knowledge. Here is my account of the events that would propel me to become involved with the founders of the issue, and my continued search today:
The middle of December 1972 in Graham, Washington was very cold. Temperatures had been in the teens with a few inches of snow covering the ground. I was 14 years old then and found something that Saturday morning of December 16th that changed my life.
My friend Mark Barshaw had come over to spend the weekend, and that Saturday morning we had planned to go visit another of our friends, John Adams who lived a mile or so away. Normally we would have used a trail through the stand of forest between our homes, but the snow prevented us from finding the trail. So we decided to walk down the road to a Burlington Northern railroad line, this would take us right to John's house.
We got about half way along the railroad tracks to John's house, when we spotted something between the rails. As we reached the spot, we found animal intestines lying between the rails. The intestines were roughly the amount that would come from a medium size dog or coyote. What we couldn't figure out was how they had got to where they were?
Now the railroad company had used a bulldozer the previous summer to build a rough road along both sides of the tracks for fire access. This portion of the rail line ran alongside of a hill. As we walked to John's house, the uphill portion was to our left, and on our right was downhill. We could see very well on the fire road below us, and the snow was undisturbed there. There had been no footprints of animals or people the direction we had come, leaving only two possibilities, directly ahead of us or on the uphill area to our left.
I told Mark to check ahead where we were going, while I climbed the ten foot embankment above us. When I got to the fire road above us, I found footprints everywhere! I yelled for Mark to hurry up and get up there. What we found were human looking bare footprints, but much larger than a person’s feet.
We looked at the prints, and saw that something very large had sat on the edge of the embankment and had evidently used a closed fist to help it sit down, I put my closed gloved fist inside the impression and there was an inch between my fist and the outline of the fist impression in the snow. Mark and I suddenly remembered that the intestines below were not frozen yet when we found them, and since it was 17 degrees out that morning we realized that whatever made the footprints must still be very close by! This really scared us and we began running the rest of the way to John's house.
When we got to John’s house, we ran onto the front porch and pounded on the door. When it opened we rushed in and John and his brothers and sisters crowded around and we tried to tell what we had seen. It was very confusing with everyone trying to talk and ask questions, then John’s father interrupted and said “boy’s, take me to where you found this”. He got his camera and .45 pistol and followed Mark and I, and John and his two brothers and two sisters to the place we found the strange footprints.
When we got to the place, John’s father took quite a few pictures. We measured the footprints, the largest was approximately 18 inches long, and the smaller prints were 15 and 16 inches long. John’s father then told us what he believed made the footprints. We had never heard the term “Bigfoot” up to this day, and being 14 year old boys, the thought of real monsters inhabiting the forests really excited us!
We met at John’s home every weekend for months after that day and after hours of talking about these creatures; we would go searching the nearby forest areas for more evidence and the creatures themselves. We did not have any more luck finding signs of the creatures, and soon turned our attention to other things….but this would change in the fall of 1974.
I don’t have any reference to know what exact day the following event happened as I did with the first time I found Sasquatch footprints (when we got to John’s home, American Bandstand was on their television, and Johnny Nash was singing his hit “I can see clearly now”, I was able to find what day that particular show aired, it was Saturday, December 16th 1972). This event occurred in the fall of 1974. One evening in October I believe, just before dark my collie began barking furiously toward the nearest stand of trees to our house.
We kept him tethered to his dog house at night because my parents didn’t want him “visiting” neighboring farms and getting himself into trouble, he was in the habit of herding the neighbor’s farm animals to our farm! My dad had told me that if I saw any raccoon’s or skunks to shoot them as they may have distemper and may infect the dog or my sister’s cats. So I thought that was what he was barking at, they came into our yard often going after the cat’s food. I got one of my .22 rifles and a couple of bullets and let my dog go from his tether.
He ran immediately toward the tree line, when he got to it he came to an abrupt halt. He stood there rigidly for a moment very quietly; suddenly he turned and ran back past me as fast as he could to our house! I was astonished, all the time we had him he never ran from anything! In fact he did things that were dangerous for a dog like chasing coyotes. This time however, he ran to the back porch of our house and sat on the top step shivering. I thought it very odd behavior for him. I continued to the tree line where he had stopped. When I got to the spot where he had stopped, I could hear something moving in the maple leaves on the ground just inside the trees. I walked in after chambering one of the bullets I had brought. When I entered the trees, I came face to face with something much larger than any raccoon! It was between 7 and 8 feet tall, built like a man but covered with dark brown hair that was between 4 and 6 inches long. The hair was matted and had leaf debris and twigs in parts of it. The creature was moving the leaves around with its right foot, and when it saw me stopped and just stood there about 15 feet in front of me. It looked as though it weighed around 700 or 800 pounds, growing up on a farm I could judge weights pretty good. I thought what in the world is this? I hunted bear and deer and elk with my dad and uncle and knew most animals pretty well, but this? Then I thought, “Oh this must be what made those footprints we found in the snow!”
I then wondered what to do next? Of course all this thinking happened in moments, I decided to shoot in the air and see what happened, and my rifle was way too small to do anything to something so large. I shot and then a second creature like the first came out from behind some brush on my right and stood by the first creature, this one was a little shorter than the first. Then fear set in and I took off running as fast as I could toward the house hoping the creatures weren’t following me!
I called John Adams and a couple other friends telling them what had happened, we agreed to track the creatures at first light the next morning. We all met at my house just before first light the nest morning rifles in hand. It had frosted heavily that night and tracking was easy. We followed the footprints in the frost a long distance only losing the trail when the sun came out and melted the frost.
We didn’t talk openly about these events, everyone except John’s father made fun of us. While on the school bus one day the following spring, another of our friends overheard John and me quietly talking about what we had seen. He asked me if he could “interview me”, he was a nice guy and quiet and shy so I thought it couldn’t do any harm as I didn’t think it would come to anything.
My friend Jim who interviewed me gave me three books written by John Green, I had no idea books were written about what we had seen and totally absorbed what was written in them. One day during the summer of 1975, one of my sisters came to my room and told me that “two men were there to see me”, now I wondered what two men were there to see me, I didn’t know any “men” outside family and my parents friends.
I slipped on my boots and went out to the back porch, and there came walking up was Rene’ Dahinden! I immediately recognized him from his picture in Green’s book. He introduced himself and the man with him as Dennis Gates. He said they were there to talk to me about the things I had seen. He said John Green had received a letter from my friend about the things I saw and experienced. So we talked about the tracks and sighting for a while, then they said they had to get back to Puyallup, they were there with John Green investigating sightings and other related events in that area, and asked me if I was interested in coming to their camp? I said I was, and they left. I went later that day to their camp; there I met John Green and Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Pittenger, and some locals who had recorded Sasquatch screams.
I stayed close to Dahinden, we took the night shifts and walked the roads at night looking and listening. It was very exciting, and that was the beginning of a 25 year friendship with Rene’ Dahinden, he said I was pretty good in the bush as he put it! 39 years later, I continue to search for proof that the Sasquatch exists.