of Sasquatch Activity in the Blue Mountains of Washington State"
1987 Field Report By Lonnie Somer
On the night of
April 9, 1987, Washington State University anthropologist Grover Krantz
received a telephone call from Paul Freeman, at the time, an active Sasquatch investigator,
concerning new possible Sasquatch findings that he had discovered earlier
that day. He stated that, two days earlier, he had heard a second-hand
account of a family of campers that had been disturbed during the night
by a series of loud screams and the snapping of branches upslope from
where they were parked. They had reportedly become so unnerved that
they had fled the area. This incident occurred in the Blue Mountains
of Washington State, less than an hour's drive from the city of Walla
Upon hearing of
this incident, Freeman stated that he had driven to the site, clambered
up a 12-foot embankment, and discovered a well-worn trail that paralleled
a ridge for several miles in either direction. The elevation of the
trail ranged from 4,000 to 4,200 feet above sea level.
Freeman informed Krantz
that, upon attaining the trail, he had immediately discovered tracks
that he interpreted to have been made by a Sasquatch. The tracks were
evident for nearly three quarters of a mile, and appeared to have been
made by up to four individuals.
Two tracks had a maximum length of 14.5
inches, as measured from the most posterior position on the heel to
the most anterior 65 position of the longest digit. Another track was
approximately 17 inches long (Fig. 1).
A fourth track had a length of about 11 inches. Only the three larger
tracks had been deposited with sufficient detail to be cast, and Freeman
had made one from each of these. More interestingly, he also reported
that he had discovered snapped trees, a possible "bed," and
what he thought might be Sasquatch hairs.
At 12:30 p.m. on April 11, Krantz, accompanied by myself, Mark Mansperger,
John Cardinal (two other graduate students from the Washington State
University Anthropology Department) and Markku Niskanen (an undergraduate),
joined Paul Freeman in Walla Walla. He took us to the site where he
had originally discovered the tracks. While en route, he informed us
that, on the preceding day, he had found more tracks nearly 5 miles
farther along the trail that appeared to have been made by the individual
with the 17-inch-long foot, as well as more broken trees and hair samples.
He had made two more casts.
While at the original site, we were joined by another Sasquatch investigator,
tracks were evident at the original site, most were either partially
or completely obliterated by the time of our arrival. There were three
causes for their disturbance:
1) In order to obtain impressions of the
tracks while they were still fresh, it was necessary for Freeman to
pour plaster into the depressions. The removal of such a cast invariably
destroys the original track
2) it had snowed heavily the previous night,
there had been some melting, and it was commencing to snow again upon
our arrival. This caused a certain amount of fine detail to be lost
3) Freeman was not the only person to have been informed about the plight
of the campers four nights previously. Word had spread, and others had
preceded us to the site, often walking along the trail indiscriminately
and superimposing their footprints upon the original tracks.
were still able to find a few nearly intact prints, mostly just off
of the trail. (Fig. 2). One of these was of scrape marks in the soil
consisting of five digits of equal length; we initially assumed they
were made by a hand. This was cast by Krantz. Subsequent examination
of the resultant plaster impression revealed that it matched the digits
of the 17-inch-long footprint cast very closely, so it was decided that
the dig marks were actually made by that individual's toes.
a very clear handprint was discovered approximately 10 feet downhill
of the trail on a 30 degree slope. This was also cast by Krantz. In
addition, Greg May made casts of three other tracks that were still
intact enough to be recognizable.
Due to the increasingly deteriorating weather, and the time that it
had taken to examine the finds and make the plaster replications, only
about 200 yards of the trail were covered by our group. Within this
limited area, a dozen small pine trees were located along the trail
that had been snapped in half from 2 to 5 feet above the ground. Their
diameters ranged from 3/4 to nearly 2 inches. At least two appeared
to have been twisted off. Some of the broken tops had been left hanging
by their bark to the trunks). Others were lying upon the ground. The
needles of the broken trees were still green, and the sap was still
oozing from the trunks, indicating the freshness of the breaks. On a
few of the trees, what appeared to be hair was found next to the breaks
where it had gotten caught in the sticky resin.
Approximately 150 yards along the trail from where we had initially
arrived, and nearly 10 feet down slope, was a slightly depressed and
level area measuring 3 feet by 6 feet. Small branches containing numerous
needles had been freshly broken off of a nearby pine tree, from a height
of 3 feet to about 7 feet, and had been placed along the downhill edge
of the depression. More presumed hair was also found throughout the
depression; this matched the previously found samples in a superficial
inspection of color and thickness. One could speculate that this spot
was used as a nest, although this is far from certain.
More presumed hair was found about 6 feet above the ground on the trunk
of a very large pine tree. Ranging from 2 to 31/2 feet above this were
numerous scratch marks on the side of the trunk facing the trail. They
appeared to have been made by somewhat ragged fingernails, since each
scratch was of unequal depth and much too wide to have been made by
A log depression was found outlined in the soil a few feet from the
trail. From the appearance of the soil, the log that had formerly lain
there had been recently moved. The log in question was found several
feet down slope. It was 12 feet long and approximately 1 foot in diameter,
with a large root cluster as its base. There were no drag marks along
the ground, although an intervening log did have recent scrape marks
along its surface.
Also found were areas where the earth had been scooped up, possibly
to obtain the roots and bulbs of various small plants, such as blue-eyed
grass and yellow buttercups. Some of these roots and bulbs were found
with their underground sections removed, and only the stems and leaves
lying near the disturbed soil.
inspection of the casts was conducted during the week following our
return. Of the three recognizably different individuals, a cast of the
foot of one clearly matches impressions that had formerly been left
in the same vicinity by an individual that has been dubbed "DermaIs."
Its maximal length is 14.5 inches, and it has a heel width of 4.5 inches.
The base of the digits are sloped, with digit I being the farthest removed
from the heel. Another right foot cast closely resembles another, previously
known individual, who has been ignominiously named "Stud."
This particular cast has an excellent series of dermal ridges across
the midfoot, and some on its heel. Its dimensions almost match that
of "DermaIs," except that the base of its digits form a nearly
The 17-inch-long casts have a heel width of 6 inches,
and appear to represent an individual previously unknown to this area.
A few of the other footprint casts also display dermal ridges, although
to a lesser extent and of poorer quality. The handprint cast possesses
four clear fingertips, including one on which dermal ridges are evident.
The presumed hair samples that were brought back range in color from
light red to grey. They vary from less than two inches to nearly a foot
in length, and are extremely fine. Samples have been sent to various
laboratories for microscopic and biochemical analyses.
I am planning to conduct a comparative microscopic analysis using human
and ape hairs. The one obvious problem with this approach is that one
can demonstrate that a hair was or was not derived from a known species,
but one cannot prove that it came from a Sasquatch, since there are
no undoubted Sasquatch hair samples to use as controls.
As to why such an unprecedented display of possible Sasquatch behavior
(the broken trees, the scratched tree) was exhibited, can only be a
matter of unfounded speculation.
Freeman felt that the new individual
with the 17-inch track may have been following the others, but he was
not certain. Perhaps the broken trees and scratch marks represent the
territorial signs of a visually oriented animal trying to establish
Only additional field research on the Sasquatch question
can shed light on this question.
FUTURE PLANS We intend
to continue searching, as time permits, throughout the Blue Mountains
range for more Sasquatch signs, and to continue to document any new
finds that we may uncover.