Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Pierce County > Article # 114
Media Article # 114
Article submitted by Richard Noll
Thursday, September 13, 1990
Bigfoot hid and watched us pick mushrooms
By Joe Mooney
Nobody actually saw a sasquatch. The evidence consisted of some vile-smelling droppings and footprints that measured 14
inches by 7-1/2 inches. Cliff Crook, who has searched the Northwest for Bigfoot for 33 years, examined the footprints and said they were "highly credible." But when he examined the droppings he pronounced them "horse manure." The question yesterday was whether Crook meant that literally or figuratively.
On Saturday, Sept. 1,  Karen Ferguson, her husband Grant, and her father, Joseph Ried, were gathering mushrooms about seven miles west of the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, near the town of Ashford. Looking back, what Karen Ferguson remembers most about the outing was the smell. Even before her husband found the
droppings, on a main logging road, the party was aware of a terrible odor.
"It was unlike anything I've ever smelled before in the woods," she said yesterday. "I've smelled bear, and it wasn't like that. I don't know how to describe it. It was a musky, skunky type of smell."
Because of the odor and the fact that the usually noisy birds were deathly quiet, Karen believes the creature was watching them pick mushrooms for about 20 minutes. In a statement she wrote for Crook, Ferguson gave the following description of the incident:
"My husband headed back down to the truck to empty two mushroom buckets. He was supposed to meet my father and myself back on the hill. By the time (he) got back on the hill, my father and I were deep in the woods, and couldn't be found...
"So my husband went back to the truck and drove it part way up the old logging road in the woods. He then started calling for us and honking the truck's loud horn. When he honked the horn, he saw the brush moving quite a lot and he could smell the awful smell very strongly.
"My husband then drove the truck down the main logging road, and he found fresh, strange droppings."
For the sake of science, the mushroom hunters bravely put the droppings into a container and suffered with the sample through the Labor Day holiday before they could ship it off to Crook.
Crook operates a clearing house for sasquatch reports called "Bigfoot Central." It's in a most unlikely place for sasquatches, residential Bothell, in a back bedroom of the one-story brown house he shares with his wife, Carol, and their three sons, Cary, Clint and Cabe.
After examining the droppings, Crook sent them to a laboratory. The report has not come back. In his own report, Crook wrote, "I find these samples ... appear to be the sign left by a horse."
Karen Ferguson strongly disagrees. "I've raised two horses. And my husband has raised horses in the past. We know what horse droppings look like," she said. "These were not horse droppings."
Ried, Ferguson's father, also disputes Crook's opinion. Ried describes himself as an expert (without portfolio) on animal
droppings, and said yesterday, "That was not horse manure. I've seen all kinds of poop in my life in the woods, and I tell you, it was not horse manure."
While the parties disagree on the droppings, they're in complete agreement on the footprints.
"I find this highly credible," Crook said, "in that no other track I've ever seen came out with so much detail. There is so much track down there that I don't think anyone could find the means of faking such a unique print and the number that are there."
As a result of the incident, Karen Ferguson now believes two things: She believes that Bigfoot exists -- "I've always been skeptical, but I'm a believer now" -- and she believes Bigfoot "needs a bath real bad."
"There are a lot of doubters out there," Ferguson said, "but the next time I'm out picking mushrooms in the bushes and I smell that smell, I'm getting the hell out of there fast."
Original file name: .CNI - Misc. Bigfoot fr 1990
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