Bigfoot Encounters

By B.J. McFarland © Oregon Journal staff writer

July 10 1976 United Press International --- An expedition from Oregon is off to the remote wilderness of Northwest British Columbia looking for a Sasquatch or a groups of them if possible. A Sasquatch is also known as Bigfoot.

Bigfoot is reputed to be horribly ugly, hairy with great black eyes and monumental footprints -most measuring from 16 to 20 inches.

There may be more Bigfoot footprints cast in concrete by those in pursuit of the hairy humanoid type animal than there are appendage prints of famous movie stars at Graumann's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

There may have been more human sightings of these creatures in recent years from Northern California to British Columbia than sightings of UFO's in this neck of the woods. No one has ever caught one.

But Bigfoot already has been the start of at least one movie and is the subject of at least one book and many many news stories. There is a great deal of secrecy surrounding this latest expedition. "We don't want the news media to go charging up there and ruin everything," said Ron Olson of Eugene Oregon, director of North American Wildlife research, a private organization with an aim of finding and marking a real Sasquatch.

Olson said that Roy Lack of Astoria is leading the new expedition, which was triggered by a report from an Indian fisherman who said he had seen foot tracks almost 17 inches long.

Olson declined to name the fisherman and exact area where the tracks were sighted. He did say however, that it was in the Kaone Peak area which is about 40 to 50 miles north of Bella Coola British Columbia, Canada near a 15,000 acre wilderness where the search be being conducted.

"The fisherman told Lack he was fishing in a stream when he heard some grunting noises in the trees and brush popping," Olson said. "The fisherman said the noises followed him for about 12 miles and then he found the big footprints.

"Lack and half dozen others in his party are there because it is a high frequency area where sasquatch patterns have occurred. The creatures usually are sighted alone -male or female. We want to find out if they exist in larger numbers and even gather in groups. "

"There have been a lot of rumors, but this particular area has been the most concrete thus far. The expedition will attempt to back track to study creature movement. They may be up there for a couple of years, depending on the financial situation in maintaining the study."

British Columbia Indians are not a novelty in reporting Bigfoot traces. The Salish tribe of B.C., left legends about "giants" wandering the B.C., wilderness and the descriptions in those legends generally fit the Bigfoot identification.

Olsen said the area was selected for the search operation not only because the fisherman's sighting of the Bigfoot prin6ts but also because a computer study made in 1970 indicated the area is a most likely habitat for the Sasquatch.

Lack's job is to photograph any existing Bigfoot evidence, make plaster casts of the tracks and set up watch stations, Olson said. "If possible our group wants t6o try to tranquilize a Sasquatch and plant a radio transmitter in the animal so we can trace its movements."

The Sasquatch has attracted man's fancy in recent years, especially in the Pacific Northwest. No one has caught one and neither has anyone photographed one with any degree of accuracy.

Back in January, New York attorney Michael Miller told newsmen he thought he had purchased the only Sasquatch in captivity, buying it for $8.000.00 from an animal act. Photographers took a picture of the apelike creature but studies indicated it was not Bigfoot. Miller's animal was named "Oliver", was apelike but walked upright and never on all fours and was bald. Oliver also enjoyed sitting down with people sitting in conversation, but never talked, only "warbled."

In late May, a young woman in Northern California was reported abducted by a Sasquatch and hauled off into the wilderness. Her abductor was described as a hairy apelike creature. The report started a serious search by sheriff's deputies out of Eureka, California. She showed up screaming outside a rural record, unhurt, minus one of two tennis shoes she was wearing with a few minor bumps and scratches on her arms.

When the sheriff questioned her, he said she screamed in anger to the question of whether she had been abducted by Bigfoot. She also did not answer the question and the sheriff became suspicious of a hoax saying she was too clean and smelled of perfume to have been hauled into the woods by a 9 foot 350 pound animal. It also was rumored she was one of five members of an independent film crew trying to photograph Bigfoot.

The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers said in a book by Peter Byrne, who founded the Bigfoot Information Center and Exhibition in a mobile home in The Dalles, Oregon in 1972:

"If Sasquatch is purely legendary, the legend is likely to be a long time dying. On the other hand, if Sasquatch does exist, then with the Sasquatch hunts being mounted and the increasing human population it seems likely that some hard evidence may soon be in hand."

© The Oregon Journal "Northwest Today" column.
Article is courtesy Jerry Riedel, Vancouver, WA


Portions of this website are reprinted under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law as educational material without benefit of financial gain.
This proviso is applicable throughout the entire website.