Sasquatch Investigations in the Pacific Northwest
By James A. Hewkin, Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, 1992
Several short trips
were conducted in the Coast Ranges and Cascade Mountains, as well as one
3-day trip to the Blue Mountains of northern Oregon. Three persons were
interviewed concerning sightings, none of which were recent observations.
I've been investigating this area since 1986, when a hunter reported finding huge tracks in 4 inches (10 cm) of snow (on October 4, 1986). It is apparent that the deer and elk population in the area are exceptionally reclusive and difficult to observe, regardless of the season.
On June 29, 1992,
field activities were conducted with John Green and Jack Sullivan at the
Glen Thomas rock pit in the Oregon Cascades, which I discussed some years
ago (James A. Hewkin, "Investigating Sasquatch Evidence in the
Pacific Northwest," 1986).
We weighed the rocks on bathroom scales - with some difficulty due to hazardous footing on loose, irregular shaped rocks. Of the seven rocks that were weighed, the smallest was 35 lb and the largest was 240 lb. The rock measurements were as follows:
Because of footing difficulties, it required two men to handle the rocks. In reflecting back on Glen Thomas' account, it is evident that great force would have been required to both free these rocks from crevasses and fissures and to lift them out. The strength of the animal involved had to be phenomenal. Measurements of a more recently dug pit, about 30 yards (27 m) from the aforementioned pit, indicate a depth of 3 feet (91 cm) and a 3-foot (91 cm) diameter. Of interest is the observation that it was dug after 1973, the year that I first visited the site and noted only a few rocks pulled out. By the visible slight weathering, this pit appears to be 10 to 16 years old.
In regards to Thomas'
observations, one might propose quick success by these animals in locating
hibernating rodents, and that this behavior has been established over
a long period of time. Credence is given to this proposition by information
regarding similar pits located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest,
in the state of Washington.
The witness was in an elk camp with four hunting companions discussing the day's hunting experiences when the incident occurred. The hunters noted what was initially thought to be another hunter walking across the meadow toward their camp, but when about 100 yards (ca. 90 m) away, the apparent Sasquatch veered its course back across the meadow. The animal appeared calm and unconcerned, apparently not recognizing the camp while approaching. Upon reaching the timber, it paused and looked back, then continued into the canyon. It was late in the evening, approaching darkness, and the hunters looked at it through the scopes on their rifles. Not much detail was noted, except that it appeared large, heavy, and dark-colored. There was no investigation or follow-up, and they broke camp the next morning.
An interview with Ernie Fritz, of Ridge Field, Washington, on November 28, 1992, revealed a bizarre incident, which occurred several years before. Fritz has a credible background, including a stint as a merchant marine during World War II, followed by U.S. Government service in the Vista Program and the Peace Corps.
His observation of a purported Sasquatch occurred during late August 1978. At that time, he was operating a small cattle ranch located in extreme northwest Montana, a few miles from the border with Idaho and Canada. He had left the cabin before daylight to hike the 5 miles (8 km) to a fishing area, which contained a series of beaver ponds. At about 4 miles (ca. 6.5 km) out and close to his destination, he paused at the edge of a meadow, a spot where he often had the opportunity to see deer and moose.
Suddenly, a buck deer
raced into the meadow toward him and stopped. He had the impression that
it had seen him. A moment later, a tremendous scream from the forest completely
jolted him, and a huge bipedal animal strode rapidly out of the timber
on long legs. It resembled a "long-legged gorilla." It grabbed
the deer by the antlers, lifting it straight up, apparently breaking its
neck, as there was no struggle. He thought it bit the neck, but he saw
I conducted an interview
with Dee Hayes, who formerly lived in Texas. She recounted an incident
that had occurred early one morning, about 5:30 a.m. in October 1981 while
driving to work, and about 1 mile (1.6 km) from her home in the Sam Houston
National Forest. The closest town was Cleveland, Texas just outside the
southern boundary of the forest. There was a double "S" turn
on the highway. She had just passed the first "S" and was driving
into the second "S" turn when the vehicle headlights showed
an animal about 50 yards (45 m) off the road. It was standing erect facing
the vehicle, with one arm extended a bit. Its color was brownish. The
weather was clear. She stopped the car immediately and looked at it until
it smoothly swung a leg around and disappeared into the forest. That evening,
she took her husband to the site, and had him stand at the spot to compare
the height of tree branches where the animal had stood. Her husband stood
6 feet 2 inches (ca. 1.83 m) tall. The estimated height of the alleged
Sasquatch was 7 to 8 feet (2.1 - 2.4 m).
Only scant evidence
of undetermined origin was obtained in the field during 1992. However,
past sightings by various segments of the public suggest that these unknown
animals are frequently seen, but are not reported to the authorities -
or get any public attention - at the time.
Efforts will continue during 1993 to uncover further evidence of these supposed large, unknown primates in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Field evidence as well as eyewitness testimony will be sought.
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