Bigfoot Encounters


The Interaction of Large Bipedal Hominids with American Indians
as reported to Dr. Ed Fusch, Anthropologist, 1992

. S'cwene'y'ti

Dedicated to Pauline Flett, Vince Adolph, and all of the rest of my Native American friends and associates, living both on and off the reservations, whose friendship and invaluable assistance in compiling the material for this book is very much appreciated.

I wish to acknowledge with grateful appreciation the very considerable contributions
of the following persons to my Anthropological career:
Professors of Anthropology Dr. John Ross, Eastern Washington University;
Dr. Grover Krantz, Washington State University;
Ben Abe, North Seattle Community College,
and most especially to Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans and
Prof. Jean-Paul Debenat of France whose friendship
and encouragement has been a true inspiration.

Copyright 1992
All rights reserved © Ed Fusch, Anthropologist
P.O. Box 47
Riverside, Washington 98849
Phone/Fax (509) 826-GOLD
(509) 826-4653


Chapter 1 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Page

Statement Of The Problem - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -1

Method Of Investigation:
Research Methodology, Data, Analysis Of Data,
Presentation Of Data - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4

Chapter 2 - The Spokane

S'cwene'y'ti And The Spokane Indians:
Setting And Ethnography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - 5

Traditional & Religious Concept Of S'cwene'y'ti - - - - - - - - - - -6

Chapter 3 - S'cwene'y'ti

Reports Of Incidents Involving S'cwene'y'ti - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 8

Chapter 4 - The Colville's

Setting And Ethnography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -16

The Stick Indians Of The Colvilles:
Skanicum or Sc'wanay'tax - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -18

Incidents Involving Skanicum - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 19

Choanito - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -23
Postlude - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -25

Bibliography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 28


Site Photo - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9
Map of Spokane Indian Reservation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 15
Map Of Colville Indian Reservation - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 26
Colville Indian Reservation Location Map - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -27


Chapter 1

This research study is centered on the Spokane and Colville Indian Reservations located in the north-central and northeast sectors of Washington State, from approximately 55 miles northwest of Spokane westward to the Okanogan River north of Wenatchee in north-central Washington State.

At these sites the primary and most of the secondary research was conducted. The primary research consisted of direct personal interviews with tribal members. The secondary research involved archival studies of newspaper documents and historical literature of the tribe. Due to the time element and cost factor, tools such as questionnaires and interview schedules could not be used at this time, although I feel that such tools would provide a wealth of information if used in follow-up research at a future date.

In recent years much excitement has been generated by reports of sightings and stories of "Hominid Monsters" throughout the Northwest. Considerable research has been done to document accounts concerning the existence of these creatures as passed down through the legends and folklore of various tribes. The purpose of this research study is to:

1. Document and preserve information on the existence of, and the Indians interaction with, large bipedal hominids as related through tribal legends, folklore, and reports passed on by elders and other members of the tribes, ere much of this information be forever lost to posterity due-to the advanced age of many of the elderly members of the tribe£

2. Add to the growing body of information concerning the "Sasquatch Phenomenon."

For many years reports have surfaced and much literature has been written including "Bigfoot" by John Green; "Sasquatch" by Don Hunter and René Dahinden: and "On The Track Of Bigfoot" by Marian T. Place, concerning large "Hominid Monsters", referred to by many names including "Sasquatch" and "Bigfoot", roaming the mountains and forests of the Pacific Northwest. In other parts of the world these creatures are known also as Yeti and Abominable Snowman. In May of 1978 a symposium on "Hominid Monsters" was held at the University Of British Columbia at Vancouver, B.C., at which time a great deal of evidence was presented by researchers investigating this phenomenon and many research papers were presented covering studies conducted by anthropologists among many tribes of North American Indians. It was concluded at that time that most tribes of North American Indians have accounts, legends, and folklore in their traditions concerning such "Hominid Monsters". The scientific community has generated much skepticism on the existence of such creatures and ridiculed reports of their sightings causing many persons who may have evidence or testimony concerning the subject to remain silent for fear of ridicule. Yet there is a growing preponderance of evidence supporting the existence of such creatures, as evidenced in papers published by the International Society Of Cryptozoology and Northwest Anthropological Research Notes, Vol. 6, No.1, 1972 entitled "Anatomy Of The Sasquatch Foot" by Dr. Grover Krantz, Professor of Anthropology at Washington State University. From this report, in view of the overwhelming mass of scientifically investigated evidence discovered thus far, Dr. Krantz concludes that "Even if none of the hundreds of sightings had ever occurred, we would still be forced to conclude that a giant bipedal primate does indeed inhabit the forests of the Pacific Northwest".

In China these hominid monsters are known as "Ye Ren" (The Wild Man). The Chinese Wild Man Research Institute has been established in Wuhan (the capital of Hubei) to study and investigate this phenomenon. In the Soviet Union, where these creatures have been studied for many years, they are regarded as descendants of the Neanderthal population.

Despite intensive investigation for many years, hard-core scientifically acceptable proof of the existence of these creatures still eludes man. In this study we shall investigate the concepts concerning the existence of these creatures in relation to the following questions:

1. Are Hominid Monsters known to the Spokane and Colville Indians?

2. What place did these monsters have in the lives and legends of tribal members, past and present?

3. Are the creatures still present today and if not, when did their presence cease to be noticed?

4. What are the thoughts of living members of the tribes today regarding the Sasquatch Phenomenon?

The primary limitation to this study evolves from the reluctance of individuals, through fear of ridicule and distrust of the Anglo purpose, intent, and actions, to disclose information on this subject. Hopefully, this can be overcome with their understanding of the benefits of this study to the tribes; it's confidentiality, professionalism, and intent.

Method of Investigation

A. Research Methodology

A diachronic method of research will be used in this ethno-
historical study, in which we will go back as far as memories and
records will reach, and bring the study through to the present

B. Data

The data for this research study will be collected in the following manner:

a. Through personal interviews with tribal members. b. By researching tribal archives, books and records. c. By researching back issues of Tribal newspapers.

C. Analysis Of Data

The data obtained will be subjected to a comparative study with the research material obtained by others who have made similar studies with other tribes of North American Indians to determine any existing similarities in the following areas:

a. Physical descriptions.
b. Patterns of habit and behavior.
c. Similarities in legend, tradition, and religious beliefs.
d. Reports of sightings and interactions with Sasquatches.

The final research paper will present the material obtained as noted herein, after which continued follow-up research will be conducted and, when findings and the final paper are complete, will be submitted to the Spokane and Colville Indian Tribes for archival or whatever use they may deem appropriate. The final paper will be published and made available to the public, Anthropological, and Cryptozoological Societies.

D. Presentation Of Data

The final research paper will present the material obtained as noted herein, after which continued follow-up research will be conducted and when findings and the final paper are complete, will be submitted to the Spokane and Colville Indian Tribes for Archival or whatever use they may deem appropriate. The final paper will be published and made available to the public, anthropological, and cryptozoological societies.
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Chapter 2

The Spokanes
S'cwene'y'ti And The Spokane Indians

Setting And Ethnography

The Spokane Indian Tribe now numbers approximately 1950 members, some living on the reservation and many having moved to surrounding towns and cities, such as Spokane, seeking employment, education, etc., where they have become acculturated into the mainstream of Anglo-U.S. lifestyle and culture. The native language was Salish, which is spoken today only by elderly and a few younger members of the tribe. As written language and records were never kept, intensive efforts are now underway to record and translate the native language, culture, and traditions. The main sources of income on the reservation are derived from mining and timber. A very minimal amount of farming and ranching is still conducted. The Spokane Indian Reservation was established on January 18, 1881, at which time settlement of the Indian population on the reservation began. Prior to that time the Indians sustenance resulted from a hunting-gathering and fishing lifestyle. The reservation is bordered on the south by the Spokane River, and by the Columbia River on the west. Fish was a major part of their diet, along with plentiful game and edible plant life including roots, berries and herbs. The reservation and surrounding area is mountainous terrain, well covered with evergreen trees, but containing very little good farmland. The encroachment of civilization has now destroyed the fish runs and game supply.

Of the S'cwene'y'ti

Among the Spokane Indians, Sasquatch was known as Scweneyti or S'cwene'y'ti (pronounced Chwah-knee-tee), which translates to "Tall, hairy, smells like burnt hair". The following account was extracted from the Rawhide Press (1982.11):

The Spokane Indians described S'cwene'y'ti as being about nine feet tall and possessing a very strong stench, described by many as smelling like wet, burnt hair. He was never known to harm human beings, was never seen or caught, and was known to play pranks on people, especially pranks involving horses and dogs. To the Indians he was known only as S'cwene'y'ti.

The "Old Timers" among the Spokane Indians had some very strong and unshakable beliefs about him:

Belief number 1-- and strongest of these beliefs was that S'cwene'y'ti was NOT an animal. This belief stemmed from their traditional religious convictions concerning biblical creation and the beginning of man. In the beginning, two sons were born to Adam and Eve. Cain (ten in the native tongue, pronounced Chert) the first born and rightful heir to all of his father's possessions was a tiller of the soil. His brother Abel, a keeper-of-sheep, was the favored by God because of his faith-inspired blood offerings, which was the custom in those days. Cain became very jealous of Abel and slew him. For this action God judged Cain and found him wanting and cursed him. "A fugitive and vagabond shalt thou be on earth". He was sentenced by God to forever wander and roam about the world until dooms day, that he could be heard but never seen, and was never again to commit murder.

Belief number 2 is that this S'cwene'y'ti we hear is actually Cain!

It was the custom of the Indians of long ago, to set up a hunting camp in the fall of the year, as a base of operations from which the men would hunt and bring home deer which the women would cut, smoke, dry, and store for winter provisions. One autumn day, Mattie, Felix, Cecile Warner, and John Peters (who was still a very young man), embarked on such a hunting expedition, taking John's two dogs with them. One night they heard strange indistinguishable sounds coming from a draw far up in the mountains. The sounds, as of a man crying, drew nearer, echoed, and resounded throughout the mountains until they were very close to camp. John's dogs set up an awful commotion with their barking. Suddenly, the dogs were hurled through the flap of the tepee and landed directly in the fire, singeing their fur. It was decided that Mattie, being smart and brave, should be the one to do something about the situation, so she went outside a little way from the tepee, stood tall and spoke:

"Why are you terrifying us this way? We're already afraid! We know who you are. We know that you are Gen. That this is your punishment for the sin you committed, that here on this earth there will be no end to your wandering, roaming about. Then here you are, here terrifying us, scaring us. It is God's will that you be this way. Go! Turn yourself around and walk away! Get away! Back away from us! You are ten!"

Suddenly, all was quiet. Mattie stood and prayed. After a little while they heard Cen's voice again, the sound of his crying gradually fading farther and farther away until he sounded as the first time they had heard him. He had left them, no longer bothering and terrifying them.

Mattie had proven herself a very brave woman. She knew, as did everyone else, that Cen, S'cwene'y'ti, would do them no physical harm, but he might have stayed there all night, scaring them with his crying.

Chapter 3
Reports Of Incidents Involving S'cwene'y'ti by the Spokane Indians

The west end of the Spokane Indian Reservation (area A° Map p. l5) was believed to have been the habitat of a family of S'cwene'y'ti, at least during the summer or fishing months, as their presence was known over a period of many years. This area, from the present highway to the Columbia River, was a favorite fishing camp of the Indians and was heavily covered with brush until recent years. The Indians customarily gathered here each summer, established camp, fished, and hung the fish to dry on tall multi-poled racks. Fish was known to be a favorite food in S'cwene'y'ti diet also, especially when cooked. With their racks full, the Indians would cook the heads and parts they did not want and leave them out for S'cwene'y'ti, who would not disturb their fish or camp, nor torment the horses and dogs.

S'cwene'y'ti was accepted by the Indians as part of their environment, like the dear and bear. He was not considered an animal, but people. First sightings were often frightful and he was always given a wide berth. No one ever tried to catch or shoot him. After establishment of the reservation, families settled permanently in this area. The following incident occurred about 1910 and concerned the informant's father, grandmother and grandfather who were then living in area A (map p. 15).

A permanent log house had been constructed on the site along with a wooden barn with an attached lean-to and a large double door consisting of an upper and lower section. The area was well fenced in with a fence around the inner perimeter containing the buildings, and an outer fence considered much too high for a horse to leap over, around the pasture area. The informant's father, born in 1899, was believed to be about 10 to 12 years old at the time this incident occurred. The informants Grandfather worked as a police officer at Fort Spokane. Among the few commodities given to the Indians by the Government in those days, were large tins of salmon. When empty, the family stored the tins in the barn. Upon returning home from Fort Spokane one evening, Mother staked her horse about 200 feet south of the house, on a small side hill ("X" in picture). The family dog always stayed with the horse. During the night the family heard the horse stampeding around it's stake, running around and around in circles snorting, wheezing, and blowing and whistling through it's nose. They opened the door and could smell S'cwene'y'ti, and were afraid to go outside to look around so they closed the door and remained inside.

The horse suddenly broke loose and they heard him clippety-clopping past the house The next morning they searched all over for him, through the trees and brush, but to no avail. It could not be determined where or how he had gotten through the fence. In a little while Mother went to the barn and threw open the upper and lower doors at the same time. The wild and terrified horse came stampeding through the door, nearly trampling her. It was snorting and wheezing, it's eyes white and rolled back. As it charged by they could hear the clattering of tin cans. It charged wildly through the inner fence and down over a little hill, then suddenly hurtled over the outer fence as though it had been thrown, and landed dead on the other side. The dead horse smelled so strongly of S'cwene'y'ti that it was difficult for them to approach it. Upon examining the area nearby they discovered a fresh gopher mound with a very large human-like footprint imbedded in the soft soil, which measured from the palm of Father's hand to the back of his elbow. The horse had empty salmon tins on all four of its hooves. The smell of S'cwene'y'ti was so strong in the barn that they were hardly able to enter it for several days.

Many years later the original log house burned to the ground and a mobile home has since been erected on the site, placed on a foundation approximately three feet high (see picture p. 9). The ground on the south side of the home slopes away from the structure. The windows are near the top, elevating them about nine or ten feet from the ground. A young Indian woman inhabited the residence while her husband was in Europe in the military. She reports that on several occasions at night she would hear a knocking at the windows, first at one end of the home, then the other. The next morning she would examine the ground there, searching for imprints such as a ladder might make, but to no avail. There were no trees or objects on that side of the house that could make the knocking sounds. She is convinced that the sounds were made by S'cwene'y'ti, but was not frightened as she had always been told that S'cwene'y'ti would do her no harm.

S'cwene'y'ti is Captured And Bound

While camped at Keller, Washington, during the salmon harvesting season, Grandmother Cecile (Edward Whalawhitsa; Samuel's mother) and two of her sisters, Jim James first wife and Hasel, found S'cwene'y'ti sleeping along a creek. These three sisters and two or three other women, knowing that when S'cwene'y'ti sleeps, he sleeps very soundly (he sleeps during the day), drove stakes into the ground all around him, then laced their braided Indian ropes over and over him, tying him very securely to the stakes. As he began to awaken they all sat on him, hoping to keep him down. He appeared to pay no attention to them and rose effortlessly, breaking the ropes. The women fell off as he arose and walked away. They had to destroy their clothes because of the stench from their contact with S'cwene'y'ti.

S'cwene'y'ti Stones The Ed Samuels Place

In the days before the building of Grand Coulee Dam, S'cwene'y'ti was known to visit the Ed Samuels place for at least two nights during the fall salmon run when the salmon were hung outdoors to dry. The drying racks were built so high off the ground that the women had to stand on a high stool to hang the fish on the top racks. S'cwene'y'ti would help himself to the fish only on the top racks, would never damage the racks, nor take the lower hung salmon. The main living quarters contained a combined kitchen and eating area with the children's beds lining one side of the wall, and a combined living room and bedroom. Grandmother and the older boys slept in a separate "bunk house". The roof of the main house, instead of being the popular gable, was slightly domed. After S'cwene'y'ti took salmon off the rack outside he would go up the hill and toss stones onto the roof of the house, which awakened the parents but not the children. They could hear the stones roll down the roof and bounce to the ground. The next morning they would go outside and see the stones lying about. The owner of the property had a horse that he kept staked near a creek flowing past the house. One morning they found that the horse had been moved and staked quite a ways further up the creek. He did not appear frightened nor did anything appear out of ordinary except that it retained the S'cwene'y'ti stench for about a week. They surmised that S'cwene'y'ti probably hypnotizes horses and people.

An Indian male, age 50, truck driver and owner of his own rig, reports an incident which occurred in 1968 in the early morning while he was taking on a load of water, filling a large tank on his truck from a stream. A pump was set up in the stream and while the tank was filling, he relaxed behind the steering wheel in the cab of the truck. There was suddenly a knock on the passenger side window and a huge S'cwene'y'ti face was pressed against the glass. Its nose was flattened against the window, it's hair appeared white. Considering the height from ground to window it would have had to have been about 8 feet tall, or more if stooping or bent over. The driver immediately started the engine and accelerated at the highest rate of speed possible, breaking the attached water hoses as he departed the area. This same informant reports that on another occasion he saw a S'cwene'y'ti on a side hill quite a distance away. He is certain that it was not a bear or other animal because of its bi-pedal locomotion and upright posture.

S'cwene'y'ti Sighted Near Inchelium

In June of 1974, an Anglo male, age 29, his Indian wife and two adult male companions, were waiting for the Inchelium-Gifford ferry, on the Inchelium side of the Columbia River. It was 6:15 am and completely daylight although the sun had not yet risen. From the water line of the river, gravel extended for about twenty yards to a bank approximately four feet high, then became a grass-covered series of three terraces grading into the tree line and forest. When first sighted, S'cwene'y'ti was about 150 yards upriver from their position and appeared to be standing and watching them. He was first sighted by one of the informant's companions, and appeared as a huge upright standing bear. From that distance he appeared black, completely covered with hair, and about eight or nine feet tall. When first observed S'cwene'y'ti turned, walked directly to the river, knelt on his knees with his hands in the water, put his face into the water for a moment, then stood upright. The husband and wife moved up onto the bank for better viewing. S'cwene'y'ti watched them for about one minute, then turned and walked westward from the river. He walked in a completely bi-pedal fashion, stooped slightly forward as if he had a stiff back, with arms swinging. He had no neck, his head setting directly on his shoulders. From the top of his forehead his head sloped back into a dome. Two of the men whistled whereupon he stopped, turned his body without moving his feet and stared at them for a few seconds. Then, covering about twenty yards in four or five strides, he stepped up onto the bank and moved rapidly into the trees.

Woman Kidnapped

S'cwene'y'ti was known by the Spokane Indians to interact also with human females. One girl was kidnapped by the S'cwene'y'ti people and not returned until she was a grown woman. When returned she was found asleep along the banks of a stream and upon being awakened could not remember where she had been during the long period of time that she had been missing.

In another case a young virgin of marriageable age (between 14 and 18) suddenly disappeared. S'cwene'y'ti was reported to "like the smell" of virgins. An intensive search was conducted but to no avail. After being gone for a considerable period of time, reported as two or three years, she was returned but smelled so strongly of S'cwene'y'ti that the people could hardly get near her. She was fed and cared for but had to be kept outside. Because of the smell no one (men) wanted her. When returned she was not wearing the same clothes as when she left, was never in her "right mind" again, being completely mentally disoriented, and appeared to be more animal than human. She was not viscous, was able to give some account of where she had been, and had not been molested.

An informant reports having ascended a hill in the early hours of the morning as it was just beginning to become daylight. He was immediately aware of a strong S'cwene'y'ti odor and saw a shadow, as of a huge man, a short distance away. He remembers absolutely nothing that occurred the rest of the day. When awareness returned, it was late afternoon and he found himself walking back down the same trail and route that he had gone up that morning. He believes that he had been under a sort of hypnosis.
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Chapter 4
Setting And Ethnography

This research study is centered on the Colville Reservation, an area comprising 1.37 million acres (2100 miles) located in north-central Washington State, 24 miles south of the U.S.-Canadian border, bounded by the Columbia River on the east and south and the Okanogan River on the west. Most of the primary and secondary research for this report was conducted on the reservation at Nespelem, Camp Disautel, and the Indian Agency (see A, B, G respectively on map p26). The primary and secondary research was similar to that in the previous report on the Spokane Indians, consisting mainly of personal interviews and archival research.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation are composed of the following eleven bands: Wenatchee, Moses/Columbia, Okanogan, Entiat-Ghelan, Methow, Palus, Nez Perce, Nespelem, Colville, San Poil, and Lake. This reservation is one of the largest in Washington State. The total population of the Colville Indian Reservation as of April 1985 was 7,440 of which 6,697 were Colville tribal members. The present reservation was established in 1872 by executive order and includes parts of Okanogan and Ferry counties. Many of the Indians have now moved to surrounding towns and cities such as Spokane, Wenatchee, and Seattle, seeking employment, education, etc., where they have become acculturated into the mainstream Anglo-U.S., culture and lifestyle. The main native language was Salish which is spoken today only by elderly and a few younger members of the tribe. As written language and records were never kept, intensive efforts are now underway to record, translate and preserve the native language, culture, and traditions.

The reservation area is mountainous topography with elevation ranging from 790 feet at the mouth of the Okanogan River to 6,774 feet at the summit of Moses Mountain. The average elevation of the reservation is above 3,000 feet. The climate is semi-arid. Fish and game is relatively plentiful and constitute an important food source to tribal members.

The main sources of income on the reservation are derived from employment by tribal, local and Federal governments, mining and timber. The timber industry presently provides the greatest number of jobs. The largest industrial area on the reservation is the Mount Tolman Mining Project near Keller, consisting of over 10,000 acres of land with a proven mineral deposit of nine hundred million tons of molybdenum and copper. A minimal amount of farming and ranching is conducted. Prior to establishment of the reservation the Indians sustenance resulted from a hunting-gathering and fishing lifestyle. Fish was a major part of their diet, along with plentiful game and edible plant life including roots, berries and herbs. The reservation and surrounding area is fairly well covered with evergreen trees but contains some good ranch and farmland. The encroachment of civilization and dam construction on the rivers has seriously restricted or destroyed the salmon runs. However, fishing is still enjoyed on numerous lakes and streams on the reservation.

Choanito, Sc'wanay'tex and Skanicum

Among the various tribes comprising the Colville Confederation, Sasquatch was referred to by several different names but a common conceptual thread permeates all of their beliefs. He was always considered a human being, members of their own species. Prior to the arrival of the white man, the only people known to the Indians were other Indians and Sasquatch.

The Lake Band of Indians called him "Skanicum" which translates to "Stick Indian". Some Indians referred to him as "Scwe-ney-tum", derived from the original sc'wanay'tex meaning "stick (= woods) Indian".

To the Wenatchee Indians he was known as "Choanito" or "Night People."
Many Indians believed that Skanicum could turn into a tree. This belief derived from their interaction with him.

It is reported that a group of Indians followed Skanicum to a ravine through the bottom of which flowed a creek with the usual heavy growth of trees, brush, willows, etc. They sat down on the hillside where they could see the entire area including the hillsides. After a little while when Skanicum did not leave the ravine, some of the Indians went down into the ravine while others maintained vigilance from their vantage point. A complete and thorough search of the ravine yielded no sign of Skanicum, only trees, and they were certain that he could not have left the ravine without being seen. No Indian would dare to start chopping into the trees with an ax. Today, the Indians know all too well that Skanicum's color and natural camouflage enables him to stand motionless against a tree and be nearly imperceptible.

Incidents involving Skanicum and Choanito

Informants: Francis, an Indian woman, age 60 and niece to Patrick, described later, and her mother, Laura, age 85, are members of the Lake Band. Francis pronounces "Skanicum" as if clearing her throat with a mouth full of saliva. This interview with Francis on September 17, 1985, was followed by another with her mother, Laura, at her separate residence at Nespelem. Laura (deceased in 1987) verified everything as reported by Francis, adding many details. Laura relates that as a child she had a much greater interest in things, especially Skanicum, than other Indian women whom she knew. She would ask questions of her Grandfather and Grandmother who explained things to her and passed on many stories. As a child, from about the age of six, she would sleep outside and spend considerable time in the mountains alone, could identify and understood the many sounds that she heard, like the "iiieee" cry of Skanicum.

Back around the turn of the century (1885-1900) the Indians set up a fishing camp near Keller on the San Poll River ("D" on map, p26). In the evening the men would return, tired and hungry, to camp with their days catch. The women would work all evening processing the fish and putting it on drying racks to dry. While cooking dinner one of the women, a recent bride through bride-purchase, took a kettle and went off after water. Minutes later she was heard screaming. The men rushed to the scene but could only stand and watch as Skanicum carried her off. They knew that Skanicum was very vengeful and if harmed the captive may be injured and the mountains would not be safe for any Indian. As she was carried away, the captive tore off and dropped pieces of her white slip leaving a trail for the men to follow. She was with Skanicum all summer, or at least a couple of months, when the men searching for her on horseback saw her gathering wild potato roots.

Skanicum was asleep nearby. Upon seeing the men she emptied her lap of the potatoes, crept quietly to them, leaped on one of the horses behind it's rider, and thus escaped. Upon return to camp all of the Indians immediately broke camp and hastily departed the area. During her stay with Skanicum the woman had gathered roots, etc., which they shared. Skanicum eats anything that other people eat but lives primarily on roots such as that of the thule (tooly) or cattail plant, which they gather, dry, and store in caves. They build fires with flint stone and steal hides from Indians, which they use for bedding and to cover the entrance to their cave.

During her stay with Skanicum the woman became pregnant and bore a son named Patrick, who grew up on the reservation. Patrick's body structure was very different from that of other Indians as his arms were very long, reaching about to his knees. He was very short, about 5'4" tall (his mother was described as "tiny"), possessed a sloping forehead, very large lower jaw, a very large wide mouth with straight upper and lower lips, and straight protruding teeth. He was kind of stooped, or hump-backed. His ears were elongated upwards (peaked) and bent outward at the top. He had very large hands and long fingers, is described as very ugly although extremely intelligent. He attended school on the reservation, was "very smart", operated a ranch in the area, died at about the age of 30, and is buried on the reservation. Patrick is described as a "gentle" man, never beat or mistreated his wife. He married easily as he had a good ranch and was considered "affluent". From this marriage to Laura's cousin was born three daughters and two sons. Both sons died at an early age. The three daughters were named, in order from oldest to youngest, Mary Louise, now about 65 years old, Madeline, and Stella. Stella died at a young age. Mary Louise lives near Omak. A couple of summers ago Mary Louise spent several weeks with Laura. Mary had heard several times over the years that her paternal grandfather was a Skanicum and sought verification from Laura. Laura revealed all to her, confirming that her father was indeed half Skanicum. Mary Louise' physical appearance is relatively "normal". However, both girls have wide mouths (look like split from ear to ear), protruding teeth, and squint eyes. But Madeline, who lives on the Washington coast, has other very distinct Skanicum features such as sloping forehead, long peaked ears, etc. She is considered ugly by Indian standards, is an alcoholic spending much time in taverns. Patrick's wife, mother of these girls, is Laura's first cousin.

Francis met Patrick when she was a young girl about eight years old. She reports another incident in about 1982 when she and her niece were returning to Nespelem from Omak just after dark. About two miles from Omak near a gravel pit they passed a Skanicum standing alongside the road.

About a year later Francis and Laura were returning home when they stopped up on Keller Butte to eat chicken that they had brought back with them. They heard Skanicum scream only a short distance away. So close in fact that they quickly left the area. There is a cave near Kartar on the reservation where Skanicum is known to live.

Laura reports that some years ago she shot a deer not far from Nespelem. Being alone at the time and unable to load it into her car, she returned the next morning with her grandson. Several Skanicum were on the scene. One, a female, was standing just alongside the road and never moved as Laura drove by her, getting a good look at her. She looked human, was about six feet tall, her body covered with long brown hair, had a sloping forehead with ears that appeared to be pulled upward. Arriving at the deer carcass they found that the liver had been removed, as had the tender parts of both rear flanks. The skin had been carefully rolled from the hindquarters; the meat was very clean (she reiterates and emphasizes how clean the meat was). She and her grandson left the carcass as they found it and left the area. Laura states that there are areas just south of Nespelem and about two miles north of the Columbia River where she can call Skanicum (in his language, she knows how) and he will answer. She believes that they live in the area. At one time she encountered a large male Skanicum on the highway near Nespelem. It tried to converse with her, making organized sounds, leaving her to believe that they have a language. She left quickly.

Louie, a 79 year old male member of the Columbia-Moses Band, knew Patrick all of his life and remembers him and his family well. He worked for Patrick on his ranch around 1925-1930, describes him as a "pinhead" about 5' 4" tall, with larger than normal ears, mouth, teeth, and with large hands he was a very good card player who seemed to instinctively know what everyone else was holding.


Among the Wenatchee Tribe, Sasquatch was known as Choanito, which in their language, means "NIGHT PEOPLE" and is pronounced Cho-a-ni-to.

Isabel, a 100-year-old Indian woman, member of the Wenatchee Tribe, gave the following report of an event, which occurred during her Great Grandfather's generation:

In the fall of the year, October, a group of male members of the Wenatchee Tribe were on a hunting trip near Wenatchee Lake. One of the men became separated from the rest of the party and was captured by Choanito. He was taken to a cave far up in the Rocky Mountains and held captive by a family of Choanitos through the winter until spring. The odor in the cave was terrible. They would not take him out hunting with them but made him remain in camp near the cave with the women. They were like a different tribe of Indians. In the spring they returned him to where they had captured him. Upon returning to his camp he was immediately recognized by the children who couldn't believe that he was back as he had been gone for so long. They thought that he had been killed. He had been well treated by Choanito.

Other Reports

Margie, an Anglo woman married and living on the reservation since 1984, reports that recently she and her mother-in-law had dug camas-roots, which they placed on the roof of their trailer near Nespelem Creek, where animals could not get at them.

During the night her mother-in-law heard Choanito on the roof. In the morning the camas-roots were gone and Choanito had put her puppy up on the roof. Choanito is still very active in the area.

At night lights can be seen moving along the base of a nearby mountain as a pack of them travel along, and many have been reported on Keller Butte. People are always warned to be out of the mountains before dark.

Other Reports

Nancy, a 90-year-old Indian woman, reports that some years ago loads of Indians were taken to Yakima to pick hops. A woman living in her tepee at the rodeo grounds at the Indian Agency stayed home to tend her garden. She was captured from her tepee by Skanicum. The Skanicum was known to often steal dried salmon from the Indians in this area. Skanicum is known to live only in caves. He places willows over the door.

Vince, a 30-year-old member of the Lake Band and a friend of this author, reports that as a small boy his grandfather, who was a Blue Jay, took him far up on Moses Mountain to see Skanicum. He was told to be very quiet and he would see them. He did see Skanicum close up and reports "he was Huge" He knows of a cave going deep into the mountain that is reported to be a home of Skanicum. He has been inside the opening which he states is squared and smooth, appears to have been worked on with tools, and was covered with tree branches. Inside is a strong Skanicum stench. He was afraid to go further into the cave.


With the realization that this study only begins to dent the surface of this subject, and having been able to interview only a very few tribal members, I welcome and am extremely grateful for any and all information, comments, and suggestions that I may receive. If you have any information or comments, please feel free to contact me at anytime,

Ed Fusch - Anthropologist
P. O, Box 47
Riverside, Washington 98849
Phone/Fax (509) 826-GOLD 828-46S3
* * * * * * * * * * * *


Colville Confederated Tribes, Colville Indian Reservation: brochure.

Flett, Pauline P., 1982, Spokane Indian Language Lesson.: Rawhide Press, p 11.

Green, John, 1973, Bigfoot Ballantlne Books, New York.

Hunter, Don and Rene Dahinden, 1975, Sasquatch The New American Library, N.Y.

Krantz, Grover Dr., 1972, Anatomy Of The Sasquatch Foot Northwest Anthropological Research Notes, Vol. 6, No. 1.

Place, Marian T., 1979, On The Track Of Bigfoot: Pocket Books, New York.

Wynecoop, David C., 1969, Children Of The Sun: Wellpinit, Washington: by author.

About the Author

Enrolling as a Pre-Med student at the University Of Washington in 1951, Ed Fusch's education was soon interrupted by the Korean War. For the next 35 years after the war he operated small businesses in the Seattle area and raised a family. However, his love for the outdoors, concern for the environment, and desire for knowledge concerning the natural world and mans place in the scheme of things, led him to enrolling in college classes in Anthropology/Archeology, Geology, and Philosophy whenever his time and schedule permitted. These educational activities Zed to his participation in studies around the world, such as a volcanology study in Hawaii, a Geological and Archeological study at Koobi-Fora in East Africa, and work at many Archeological sites such as Cape Alava on the Washington coast, the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky, and Stonehenge in England. While attending a symposium on "Hominid Monsters" at the University Of British Columbia in 1978, his interest in the interaction of Native Americans with Sasquatch was especially aroused.

The 1970's and 80's found him lecturing widely around the Pacific Northwest and teaching many classes at schools and colleges on such subjects as Sasquatch, Man's Origins, geology, mineral prospecting, gold panning, etc.. At the age of 50 he abandoned city life to "tie up loose ends" and pursue scientific, cultural, intellectual and philosophical interests. Enrolling at Wenatchee Valley College and Eastern Washington University, he simultaneously received four degrees in Arts and Science, Anthropology, Geology, and Philosophy. In 1990 he addressed the International Society Of Cryptozoology at Surrey, England, on the subject matter of this book. Currently much of his time is devoted to writing, teaching, lecturing, scientific research, and working as a Consulting Geologist.
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Word processed with permission, Bobbie Short, May 13, 2000 - © Dr. Ed Fusch, Ph.D.

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