Bigfoot Encounters

Bigfoot Reports in Kitsap County, Washington

© The Sun, Bremerton, Washington
After a forestry manager reported seeing a creature in June, Suquamish police told him there had been several reports lately. As a forestry manager with the Suquamish Tribe, David Mills knows his way around the woods. So he's positive that what he saw there one day in June was a Sasquatch. He was checking out some young trees northeast of Indianola and kept hearing a noise in the woods. But when he'd turn, he wouldn't see anything. Then the hair on the back of his neck stood up.

"I watched this hairy thing on two legs," he said. "It used its left arm to lift up a branch and walked about 50 feet. He turned in my direction and saw I was watching him, and ducked behind a tree."

Mills snuck into the tree line and moved closer to the creature. It started screeching and pounding on the back of a tree with what sounded like a rock, he said. He kept trying to get closer, but the Sasquatch would make a ruckus every time he took a few steps. Then he heard the woofing and jaw smacking he recognized as a bear to his left. As he moved, he realized he'd come within 20 feet of its cub. The mother bear came out of the brush, but she ignored Mills an odd move for a bear with a stranger between her and her cub.

"Her anger wasn't directed at me, it was coming to the right, at the noise it was making behind the tree," he said.

With two bears and a Sasquatch nearby, Mills decided it was time to call it a day.

"I flew down that hill," he said. "Then I just hopped in my truck and locked up the gate and left the area."

The creature he says was a Sasquatch was about 9 feet tall and had black, shiny hair all over its body, Mills said. The screeching sounds it made matched those he's heard of a Sasquatch recorded years ago on the Lummi Indian reservation near Bellingham, he said. The Sasquatch also looked just like the other one he says he saw while working in the Olympics for the National Forest Service in 1995. It was kneeling by a creek when he and another worker came upon it, and it took one look at them and disappeared in two steps, he said.

"All you saw was a blur of its legs," he said.

His partner saw exactly the same thing, Mills said. When he reported his June sighting to the Suquamish Police Department, an officer told him he wasn't the only person to see a Sasquatch in the area lately, he said. He declined to give out the names of others that have seen it, but offered to pass a message along. The other reported Sasquatch-seers did not respond to the request for an interview.

When Patrick Julian heard Mills' story, he headed straight to Indianola to see for himself. Julian, who lives in Port Orchard, is a volunteer field investigator with a Bothell group called Bigfoot Central.

Many Bigfoot reports turn out to be bears, stumps or humans, he said. But he could tell Mills' experience had the ring of truth. "David was very credible," Julian said. "He sees bears back in the woods, he knows the difference between bears and Bigfoot." Plus, there was a footprint. The Sasquatch didn't leave much trace in the dry soil, but he happened to step in a muddy patch on his way uphill and leave one partial track, Julian said. The track was 7 inches wide, which would make the foot 15 or 16 inches long, he said.

"Another Bigfoot track from Kitsap County is on display at the Bigfoot Central museum. It was taken 3 miles from Lider Lake in the summer of 1984," he said.

Julian said he doesn't get many reports of sightings in the immediate area. He's heard about Sasquatch screams near Long Lake, and gotten one report of a Sasquatch near Gig Harbor. Most recently, a sighting Bigfoot Central classified as "possible" was reported near Discovery Bay this March, Clifford Crook said. Julian is hoping other people will contact him with reports of Kitsap County sightings.

"What I'm looking for is people who are afraid of ridicule and persecution by other people," he said. "They're usually afraid to say something. I want to find out if there are people out around here who don't know who to contact or are afraid to come forward."

Lately, Julian has been spending weekends in Eatonville, where there's been a lot of Bigfoot activity, he said. He also drove to the Lower Hoh Indian Reservation on the Olympic Peninsula where a man reported finding Bigfoot tracks recently.

Investigators there found three sets of tracks, from an alleged Sasquatch with 11-15 -or 17-inch feet. They were able to follow one set to a patch of matted grass where they believe one Bigfoot slept, Julian said. He still came up short of his ultimate goal, seeing his first Sasquatch.

That's the downside of a well-publicized investigation like the Hoh tracks, where Seattle television station camera crews came in and ruined the peace and quiet a Sasquatch seeks, Julian said.

"That's usually what happens when all of a sudden a bunch of people walk in," he said. For that reason, he's respecting the Suquamish Tribe's wishes and leaving the Indianola site alone. Otherwise, he'd be camping there, searching for hair and droppings and hoping to attract a Sasquatch to his campfire. But the last thing he wants is to bag a Sasquatch trophy.

"We are on a peaceful pursuit," he said. "We are not out to harm anything."

Rolf Johnson, the deer and elk manager with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said the department occasionally gets reports of Bigfoot, although it has never had one from Kitsap. The most recent one came in two years ago. A man brought in some alleged Bigfoot dung he found near Mount Rainier, Johnson said. He passed it along to a veterinarian, who analyzed the sample and found it inconclusive. When people report a Sasquatch to the department, they usually want to see it protected, he said.

"I just tell them the Department of Fish and Wildlife has no jurisdiction," Johnson said. "It's not classified as wildlife in this state."

© The SUN newspaper of Bremerton, Washington

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