Bigfoot Encounters

The Spokane Indians, 1975


Indians had a Sasquatch too. . .

Those who think the stories about a huge hairy mystery giant called a Sasquatch are of a recent origin, should talk with Wenatchee Valley College Historian, John Brown.

Brown has found evidence that the search for such a legendary creature was underway in the Northwest by the time the earliest white men arrived in the region. While researching material for a book he co-authored with Dr. Robert Ruby - - "The Spokane Indians, Children of the Sun" - - he came across a passage that must relate to what is now called a Sasquatch.

The reference was in a letter written by the Rev. Elkanah Walker from Fort Colville in 1840. With his wife, Mary, Elkanah Walker was a missionary to the Spokanes. In a letter to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, he wrote:

"... I suppose you will beat with me [sic] if I trouble you with a little of their (the Spokane Indians) superstition, which has recently come to my knowledge."

"They believe in the existence of a race of giants which inhabit a certain mountain off to the west of us. This mountain is covered with perpetual snow. They inhabit its top. They may be classed with Goldsmith's nocturnal class, as they cannot see in the daytime. They hunt and do all their work: in the night."

"They are men stealers. They come to the people's lodges in the night, when the people are asleep, and put them under their skins and take them to their place of abode without their even walking. When they awake in the morning they are wholly lost, not knowing in what direction their home is. The account the Indians give of these giants will in some measure correspond with the Bible account of such a race of beings. They say their track is about a foot and a half long. They will carry two or three beams upon their back at once."

"They frequently come in the night, steal their salmon from the nets, and eat them raw. If the people are away they always know when they are coming very near by their strong smell, which most intolerable. It is not uncommon for them to come in the night and give three whistles. Then the stones will begin to hit the houses. The people are troubled with their nocturnal visits."

Brown says he has known about many Spokane Indian legends about monster but they have been of the Paul Bunyan type that carves out valleys, etc. The ogre referred to in the letter is not really a monster, just a little bigger than man and he had no idea what "mountain to the west is referred to... the one that always is snow topped. Perhaps it was Mt. Rainier.

The Spokanes also believed in a race of little people, Brown says. Even if the stories about the little people and the giants aren't true, the Indians believed they were, he says.

Many people today believe just as fervently in the existence of a hairy, manlike object that sometimes is glimpsed but never really seen. Plaster casts of prints supposedly from the feet of such a creature have been exhibited.

One Sasquatch hunter has what he believes to be a picture of the man-animal. This area's involvement with the legend goes back some 25 or 30 years to the "Wild Man of Lichtenwasser," supposedly seen on that mountain by fishermen.

Myth or fact -- no one knows. But at any rate, John Brown's research indicates that reports of such a Big Foot are nothing new.
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September 22, 1975
Wenatchee, Washington © Wenatchee Daily World
Article courtesy of The Bay Area Group and Warren Thompson.
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Note: The 1945 legend of the wild man of Lichtenwasser may possibly refer to Lichenwasser Lake in Chelan County, Washington State.

The lake is extremely remote not far from Valhalla. To get to this lake go over Stevens pass to Smithbrooks Road. About 2 miles you will see a sharp bend in road. If you look up you will see where cars are parked for the hike to Valhalla. Park at the bend in road. Walking west about 50 yards you will see where you need to cross the creek. Follow the fisherman's trail up the hill. Take care, as the trail is very steep. As you keep climbing the trail starts going to the right- stay left and go straight up about 30 yards and presto your there. Follow the left side of lake to other end where the creek enters. It takes about 1 hour-30 minutes going up and 45 minutes down. If you are going to fish as well as hunt sasquatches, red salmon eggs work well here, as do flies. Watch for the mountain goats on the rocks, they sometimes get a rock slide going which one might mistake for Sasquatch rock throwing! The fishing is always excellent, better than the Sasquatch hunting and the area is always secluded, pristine and very quiet.

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