strange, bad-smelling creature that frightened a logger just south of
Cascade Gulch on the lower slopes of Mt. Shasta Friday morning still has
not been identified.
Virgil Larson, 47, from Salmon, ID gave sheriff¹s sergeant Walt Bullington
the best description he could after seeing the ³non-human² creature
near a helicopter logging operation about 8:30 a.m. Larson and his partner
Pat Conway, had hiked down the steep slope to work, from their pickup
they had left on top of the hill.
They were taking a break and had separated. They could not see each other,
but they were still within hearing distance. After two or three minutes,
Larson said he heard someone else coming down the hill.
He was expecting someone from the US Forest Service, looked up and saw
what he thought was the Forest Service man walking down the area about
15 yards east of the rough path the loggers had made.
Larson shouted to what he thought was the man, which stopped, turned its
head toward Larson, but did not speak and started walking again. It went
about five yards further down the hill, then came back behind a bush as
if it were putting the bush between it and Larson.
Larson shouted the second time, then whatever it was put its head over
the bushes. Larson said he had a view of the creature from the bust up,
that was when he realized it was not a man not even human.
Larson told Bullington he could not remember the exact features, but he
thought the hair started at its eyebrows and went straight back over its
head. He did not know th length.
It was black, not combed, dirty, but not unduly so, he said. He could
not remember what its eyes looked like or whether or not it was wearing
It just scared the hell out of him, he told Bullington. It was about 20
yards away, Larson said, and stunk like a half rotten bear hide. Larson
When he and his partner came back some 30 minutes later, they could still
smell it. They fashioned clubs from limbs for self protection, then went
for the log landing. They contacted the sheriff¹s office and the
Forest Service office through CB radio. Larson later had his partner get
behind the same bush and hold his hard hat up on a stick, and then estimated
what he had seen was about 7 to 7-1/2 feet tall.
Sgt. Bullington, along with Bob Gray, Rex Lebow, and Don Wopschal, all
of the Forest Service, went back up to the scene of the sighting with
Larson about noon.Bullington said they found one of the clubs the two
men had made, and they had discarded as too heavy. They could not find
any tracks that were not man-made, but there were tracks all over the
hill, and very indistinct.
They found what some believed to be blood smeared on dead branches of
brush and trees, but it remained quite red, unlike blood, when tends to
turn very dark. Bullington brought several samples of these branches with
the material on them for analysis. Results will not be returned for several
They also picked up samples of fecal droppings they found, but they are
believed to be from either coyotes, bears or possibly a wolf. They were
several days old. Bullington said he is quite sure Larson saw something
or someone, but he would not hazard a guess as to what it might be.
There are almost as many theories as there are people talking about it,
he said. There are several hippie camps on Mt. Shasta, some of which are
within a mile or two of this helicopter logging operation. Many of them
profess to be environmentalists, opposed to all logging, so the theory
came up the creature might be a hoax by one of them.
Larson and Conway
are employees of Columbia Helicopter Company, which is logging the helicopter
sale on Mt. Shasta. The Forest Service calls the "Whirlybird Sale."
Larson was still upset by the sight of the strange creature when he went
back to work Tuesday, according to his wife. who drove out from Salmon,
Idaho after she learned of the incident. "It scared the daylights
out of him,"she said of the incident. "He's been in the woods
for 30 years and has never seen anything like that." Mrs. Larson
also said her husband was not one to imagine things or to make waves.
Copyright Mount Shasta
Herald September 9, 1976 Volume 72, No. 8
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