Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Pierce County > Article # 127
Media Article # 127
Article submitted by Richard Noll
Tuesday, March 22, 1977
Do NW Trek visitors include a Bigfoot?
By Marlowe Churchill
Tacoma News Tribune
Two separate sightings of one of the Northwest's legendary Bigfoot creatures have been reported within a mile of the wildlife compound at Northwest Trek near Eatonville, The News Tribune has learned.
The eyewitness accounts have been given second-hand because the persons involved fear being ridiculed.
Roger Thacker, Trek director said there is no evidence that a Bigfoot has tried to enter the compound, protected by a 10-foot fence. But Thacker does not discount the recent sighting reports.
"If I could get him in here, though, I'd give him free room and board," Thacker said.
The most recent sighting reportedly occurred last week when a Ft. Lewis enlisted man was hiking in woods near Trek the wildlife park and came encountered "a big hairy thing."
The other sighting was reported last September by a Puyallup man who insisted a Bigfoot creature had stared at him for five minutes as he was parked in his truck on a logging road east of Trek.
A MADIGAN ARMY Medical Center doctor who treated the soldier for shock said the man was still "too unstable" to discuss the incident.
The doctor, who requested that his name be withheld, said he could not divulge the soldier's name because of the doctor-patient relationship.
However, the doctor did say the soldier came to him "extremely upset" and would not discuss the reported sighting of Bigfoot for quite some time.
"He is quite sure he saw Bigfoot," the doctor said.
A Madigan ambulance driver who heard of the soldier's Bigfoot encounter said he has seen "fresh foot-prints" within a mile of Trek and talked to the Puyallup man a short time after the September incident.
Don Durden, a burly former policeman and civilian paramedic, said he was hiking near Trek and came across the footprints which measured about 16 inches long and eight inches wide.
"I'M 6 FOOT 4 and 285 pounds, and my footprint was dwarfed in comparison with his one," Durden said.
While following the footprints, he said, he met the Puyallup man, who said he had seen a Bigfoot minutes before.
"He said the animal was between 8 and 9 feet tall with black fur covering most of the body," Durden said. "The face was definitely not that of a gorilla, but closer to that of a human."
"He said it stared at him for five minutes and even leaned a hand on the truck, but never mad a move toward him," Durden said. He added that the man detected a foul smell from the animal.
TREK'S DIRECTOR said, "it is possible" that there could be a Bigfoot in the area.
He said there have been several entirely new animals discovered by scientists over the years that were thought to be "lost."
"I joke about these sightings," Thacker said, "but anything is possible."