Bigfoot Encounters

Field Report:

1993 Sasquatch Field Report Updates
By James A. Hewkin, Retired Oregon Dept of Fish and Wildlife, 1993

Jim Hewkin has had a continuing interest in Sasquatch reports for about 30 years. As a wildlife biologist, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in many parts of the Pacific Northwest, and, since 1973, has actively sought evidence of the Sasquatch. A summary of these activities was published previously in the ISC Journal in 1986 titled "Investigating Sasquatch Evidence in the Pacific Northwest."

The 1993 investigations given in this report update my previous findings concerning attempts to find additional evidence of the Sasquatch (Bigfoot, a reported large unknown primate.

Several non-productive excursions were conducted in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and a two-day trip to the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Four interviews were transacted with people concerning possible sightings of Sasquatch.

The period of July 15-16, 1993, was spent with Jack Sullivan in the Blue Mountains, where we have consistently found possible sign of Sasquatch evidence in the form of torn up logs and stumps. We did succeed in locating four places where logs and stumps had been torn up, but no conclusive evidence was present in the form of track or nail marks to reach any determination of the animal involved.

Of particular interest was an examination of a pine stump located on the edge of a logged area. The stump, about 30 inches (76 cm) in diameter, had the bark pulled from it, with the pieces lying on the ground in a circular arrangement around the stump, with the exception of five pieces piled on top of the stump. A human could have done this, possibly gathering wood for a camp fire, but there was no evidence of a camp site in the immediate area. We considered the possibility that a Sasquatch could have placed some pieces on the stump while tearing off bark and examining it for food items, such as mice, insects, and reptiles. We once found slabs of fresh torn up wood placed on logs in the Cascades in 1975.

On October 23, I visited a deer hunting area with Dave Davis and his family, who had camped and hunted in the area during the first and second weeks of October. The camp, consisting of eight people living in a tent, van, and motor-home, was set up on Squaw Creek, near Sister, Oregon, on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. They also kept two dogs, a poodle and a monstrous Rottweiler.

The Davis family members are avid hunters, who look forward each season to hunt both deer and elk, but they were not prepared for the strange events that occurred on this occasion.

It appeared that something was hanging around the camp each night. Muffled sounds, possibly footsteps, could be heard. Mumbled noises were also heard, although nothing was seen and no tracks were noted. Both dogs were uneasy; one would bark, and the other would growl.

On October 4, Davis and his 11-year-old daughter, Angela, were preparing a lunch following a morning hunt. Davis was getting the Coleman stove ready to heat some water, when his daughter called him to look at something. He was reluctant at first, but then she told him to hurry. Thinking maybe she had seen a deer, he grabbed his rifle, but she merely pointed to a strange track on the ground. Further investigation revealed three human-like footprints with 5 toes on each; all three tracks were of a different size, one large, one medium, and one small.

The next day, they returned to the site with plaster Davis had bought, and attempted to make a cast of one of the footprints. While working with the plaster, Davis thought that he saw a dark-colored animal moving behind some ceanothus brush about 120 feet (36 m) away. Then his daughter saw, by a tree, a dark, hairy head with two black round eyes looking at them. The body could not be seen, but the head was bare in the forehead region, and sloped somewhat to a dome. Details of the nose and mouth area were not clearly seen. Davis leveled his rifle to get a clear view through its telescopic sight, but the animal was never in the same spot long enough to be seen clearly. His daughter was alarmed at first, because she thought it was a hunter and that her father should not be pointing his rifle in that direction.

In retrospect, they thought the experience lasted from 3 to 5 minutes, and probably less. Davis believed the creature must have stood about 5 feet (1.5 m) tall; Angela thought it was more like 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. They left in a hurry, and drove to camp very alarmed about the incident. Both witnesses agreed that the relatively short creature was very dark, with a reddish tinge. The footprint cast did not turn out to be worthwhile.

A few days later, Davis was hunting on a spur road winding up a steep slope where timber was quite dense. He found tracks spaced about four feet (1.2 m) apart across a cut bank in soft soil. The tracks led to a rotted log, which had been recently torn up and was lying across the bank. There was no toe detail in the soft soil, but above the bank and back a few yards, under the timber, he noted a widespread toe print with no heel. He later returned ~ with plaster and succeeded in getting a fairly good impression of the toes.

On October 23, when I investigated the area, there was a faintly noticeable footprint alongside the road at the site where Davis had seen the creature. This print measured 11 inches (28 cm) long, 5 inches (13 cm) across the ball, and 3 inches (7.5 cm) across the heel. These measurements are slightly larger than my own bare footprint.

Much of this area is park-like, with open stands of yellow pine, and an under-story of scattered bitter brush and ceanothus brush. There is a noticeable population of rodents, including chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels, and chickarees. Davis stated that deer were scarce in 1993. He saw only five deer during the whole season. In 1992, in the same area, he had seen that many deer every day. Squaw Creek originates in the Three Sisters Wilderness, within the Willamette National Forest. The area has a history of Sasquatch reports.

An interesting unsolicited report was also related to me by Clayton Horn, of Pendleton, Oregon. He stated that his two brothers, now deceased, observed and followed huge human-like tracks while elk hunting on the north fork of the Umatilla River. He believed the year was either 1969 or 1970. He said his brothers were suspicious of fakery, and thought maybe someone on stilts or in a helicopter was responsible. They changed their minds when they followed the tracks up a long slope and into a dense stand of lodge pole pine. They then left the scene, rather frightened. Horn said he used to tease his brothers about those big footprints. This was before Bigfoot was talked about in the Blue Mountains area. (This is another report that can be related to the Walla Walla situation. The Umatilla drainage is south of the Walla Walla drainage, and not many miles from the 1983 Blue Mountains activity (Grover S. Krantz, 1983, Anatomy and Dermatoglyphics of Three Sasquatch Footprints. Cryptozoology, Vol. 2:53-81).

On October 3, 1993, I visited a site in the Western Cascades with Chris Johnson, of Stayton, Oregon, who, in 1988, reported seeing a family of three Sasquatches while bow hunting for elk. The location was near Snow Mountain, not far from Stayton. There are extensive private timber holdings in this area, along with a mix of public National Forest timber at higher elevations. The topography is very rugged, consisting of steep-sided canyons and ridges. Vast stands of timber exist in various stages of reproductive growth, including a few patches of old growth fir.

Johnson was sitting beside a beaver pond, looking around, when he became aware of three Sasquatches across the pond, at a distance of over 300 feet (90 m). What appeared to be a male was sitting with its back against a large tree. What appeared to be a female was stretched out a few feet away, and, facing him, a juvenile was sitting against the belly of the mother. The two adults were looking at him, but the juvenile did not seem to be aware of him. Johnson left immediately. According to the witness, this site has changed significantly since 1988. The pond is no longer active with beaver, and has almost dried up and changed into a lush meadow; elk use it heavily, and bed down in it. The witness also showed me four rock pits a short distance from the meadow. He had found these a year or so before. The largest pit was about 3 feet (91 cm) deep. The pits were old, and had caved-in considerably. It is not an extensive outcrop, and is surrounded by brush.

On December 15, Francis Williams and I interviewed an elk hunter who told of a strange experience during the 1993 elk bow-hunting season. The hunter, Spencer Farrell, shot a spike elk on September 29, just before dark. He was not successful in finding it, so his partner and he returned the next morning at first light, and found the elk about 75 yards (68 m) from where it had been shot. However, it was in an unusual position. The animal lay on its back, with its feet up in the air, with a tear in the lower abdomen running to the vent. The intestines had been pulled out and were dangling over a tree limb about five feet (1.5 m) above the carcass. The heart, liver, and paunch were still intact in the body cavity. Surprisingly, Spencer finished dressing out the carcass, claiming that the meat was good. Normally, an elk carcass will spoil and be unfit to eat if left undressed for a short time.

Francis, who is a retired government predator trapper, was of the opinion that a Sasquatch may have found the carcass, and then abandoned it because of the return of the hunters. The position of the carcass and the presence of the entrails dangling from a limb five feet (1.5 m) above is not the normal manner known predators handle an elk kill. This site is located in the Cascades, near Lebanon, Oregon, in the Crab Creek drainage. The area holds good populations of elk, deer, and rabbit.

There appears to be increasing evidence, though still scanty, that Sasquatch is both very illusive and widespread in its rugged habitat, but not abundant. Also, increasing evidence seems to show that it is an efficient predator and/ or scavenger. Ongoing fieldwork will be conducted in an attempt to uncover additional evidence of the presence and behavior of this supposed unknown, giant forest primate.

© Jim Hewkin 1993

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