In 1959, age 22, I was hitchhiking from Biggs, Oregon down U.S. Highway 97 to Klamath Falls. About halfway through the trip I was picked up by a man who asked if I planned to do any camping in the Cascades. I said, “no.” He said, "Good, because there are things up there that will kill you quick." I said, "You mean grizzlies?" which I had seen in Yellowstone. "No," he replied. "Not grizzlies." And he told me this story, which I am paraphrasing. ..
"I used to work for a company that builds logging roads. One day we got a report that one of our roads (he didn't say where) had washed out. I went out in my truck to find out what would be needed to fix it. About three or four miles from the highway I noticed a rocky outcropping, and something glinting in the sun. I was an amateur prospector, always looking for signs of a strike. I stopped my truck, took out my rock hammer, and walked up to the outcropping, which was about 10 feet high. I started chipping away at the rock, trying to get a sample, When I stopped hammering, I heard a clicking sound from the bushes across the road, about 60 feet away. It sounded like someone knocking two stones together. I wasn't afraid, because I had a .45 on my hip. So I resumed chipping. When I stopped, I again heard the clicking sound, which was louder. I yelled toward the bushes, saying 'Come out and show yourself!"
I started chipping again, and suddenly a stone the size of a grapefruit smashed into the rock face about three feet from my head. If it had hit me, it would have killed me. I dropped my hammer, pulled my .45, and picked up the stone, which was rolling toward the road. I tried to throw it back into the bushes, but it was so heavy I could only toss it seven feet. Scared and angry, I crossed the road, shouting curse words and fired a shot in the air. At that point I heard something moving rapidly through the bushes and fading away alongside to the road. I continued watching in that direction and suddenly there it was, a black, hairy two-legged being sort of bent over but moving fast. Then it was gone, just like that. I looked around in the bushes and saw a few broken branches but nothing else. But there was a terrible stink in the air. I got into my truck and drove back to the highway in a hurry. A couple of years later I told a friend what happened and he knew all about these creatures.
He said they don't hurt people, which I didn't believe for a second, and the stone that was thrown in my direction was probably just a warning. He also said the creatures don't usually smell bad, but when they are mad or frightened, they spray some kind a stinky liquid, like a skunk does. That was it.
I had never heard of Bigfoot before that and did not believe the story, thinking he was pulling the leg of a dude from the east. But I pretended to believe him because he was giving me a free ride in his truck. It wasn't until many years later I began hearing reports about Bigfoot and remembered the story I heard in Oregon. I still wonder if it might be a hoax of some kind,
Delaware Cross, New Jersey
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
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