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COUNTY: Grays Harbor County
LOCATION DETAILS: In dense lowland forest, the ravine behind my property, which is semi-wilderness about a mile from the city limits where the real wilderness begins.
NEAREST TOWN: Aberdeen
NEAREST ROAD: 3rd Avenue
OBSERVED: I returned from a two hour drive to Seattle Saturday night, after visiting family for an early Christmas celebration.
I walked onto my back porch and noticed an unrecogizable sound. Since I'm into nature observation and tracking, and had heard audio recordings of alleged Sasquatch vocalizations, this possibility was in the back of my mind.
I walked to the edge of the ravine and listened intently to the patterns of barks and growls. They were more audible than any canine and had an order to them which reminded me of sogbirds, repeating notes over and over. They didn't sound like any coyotes or elks or other fauna. I went into a slight panick at the thought of it being a Sasquatch, which I was sure it was. I ran back to my house as fast as I could and grabbed my tape recorder which I usually use for recording bird songs. I spent the next twenty minutes waving the microphone into the night air. I then went back inside to see if it was working, but found to my dismay that the battery in the microphone was dead! By the time I got it working, the animal had stopped vocalizing. Throughout this twenty minute period, several dogs gradually began barking with greater and more frequent intensity.
It was interesting to contrast the difference in the dogs barking to the complex patterns of the alleged Sasquatch noises. The sounds were more structured, they had a greater range of expression and caried further through the forest.
The next day, I went out on foot to the spot and found the broken and trampled branches, the ripped tarp, the coyote carcass, the dog food bowl and the unknown animal scat. I surmised this was a form of territorial marking. Perhaps the Bigfoot picked up the items from a backyard or killed the coyote. There didn't appear to be any recent human activity there. There were no regular trails, the terrain was steep, and slippery, the nearest house about 800 feet away.
Tommorrow I am planning to return with my camera and a flash, extra film and a ziploc bag or two to collect any samples, and document the site.
ALSO NOTICED: The day after wards, Sunday, I went to the location where I estimated the sounds came from and found the trampled branches, the coyote carcass, the torn up tarp, the dog food dish and the animal scat.
OTHER WITNESSES: None
OTHER STORIES: This geographical region in general is a hot spot for Bigfoot sitings.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 10:30 - 10:50 PM, clear and cold, moonlight, moon half full, about forty degrees F.
ENVIRONMENT: Evergreen forest, near small creek, large stands of alder, hemlock and spruce, salmon berries.
Other evidence possibly linked to the incident found on a small hilltop, trampled branches, a coyote carcass with three criss-crossed branches laid over it, pieces of torn tarp, a stainless steel dog food dish, and an unknown animal scat. composed of hair and bones.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Tracy H.:
Telephone conversations and an in-person interview and investigation provided several more details to this report. The witness stated that the vocals that he had heard that evening were at a pronouncedly higher decibel range than humans or dogs. He is not sure if it could have been a bear. He stated that the vocalizations were "loud," with a "great range of noises, almost like a cacophany, robust toned," and sounded "like they were from a large animal... that would pause and start again." He said that the calls would "repeat, like male birds sing the same notes."
He said that the coyote carcass that he had found in the area of the vocalizations was approximately two weeks old when he first saw it. Due to the cold weather, it had not decomposed yet, but it was "not fresh." He indicated that he has pictures of the carcass, and that it had "no blood, no evidence of injury, and no evidence of broken bones..." The coyote's jaws were open and the tongue was exposed. When I looked at the carcass on May 14th, 2005, I saw that three branches approximately two inches in diameter had been placed over the coyote in an "X" formation. The coyote skeleton, with some hair, was still intact.
The witness indicated that the carcass was no more than 1000 feet from his house, and that the barks and growls were coming from a distance, at his estimate, of 800 - 1000 feet, from the same area as the carcass.
The dogs who were barking were approximately 500 feet away from him, and their barks were monotone. The other animal was "one-hundred times more complicated and two to three times louder," but the witness did state that "sounds carry well in this area."
The witness later returned to the location of the incident, accompanied by his two nephews. He played Ron Morehead's Sierra Sounds recordings and received a single response that sounded like a scream. After this one response, he and his two nephews left the area.
The witness noted that he had found scat that "could have been coyote... there was hair and bone in it..." I was unable to see this scat, as he had not saved it.
The witness said that the next-door neighbor's son used to hear things down in the ravine (where the vocals had emanated from) when he was young and that he had seen something crouching down, but it was not very large, and that he (the neighbor's son) believed that it was perhaps a juvenile sasquatch.
I visited the site on May 14th, 2005, and had an extensive follow-up interview with the witness and his neighbor. The witness noted that the vocals had disturbed some local dogs, who began to bark continuously. Someone then fired a high-powered firearm. The witness believed that the shot was fired in response to the barking, and he noted that dogs are actually shot in this area from time to time, and that two shots were fired. After these two shots, the dogs were briefly silent, and then resumed barking.
When I visited the site, the witness noted that there were numerous log and stick formations surrounding the coyote carcass. The sticks were placed in "V" formations, many of which appeared to be the result of the wind. The witness noted that the coyote carcass was untouched and intact. When I examined the carcass, I noted that all appendages were still attached, and the carcass did not appear to have been disturbed, other than the "X" placed upon it, which could have been due to a number of factors, including human interference or the wind.
The witness' neighbor, who accompanied us on the follow-up investigation, said that in 1979, he saw what looked like a bare footprint in the same area that the vocalizations came from. He was walking through the woods with several friends and saw an animal that was crouched over and rusty red-brown in color. The animal, the neighbor said, had intentionally bedded down and was trying to obscure itself.
I walked with the witness and his neighbor to this site, and the neighbor noted that there had been salmonberry bushes that had been cleared off in an eight to ten foot circle off of the trail. The bushes had been laid over, and nothing was pulled up. In that same area, there was black mud with four to five bare footprints. The neighbor was not sure how large the prints were, as this had occurred more than twenty-five years ago.
He said that when he saw the animal, he was approximately 100 yards away. The animal saw them and was looking at them and crouched down like it was trying to hide. The incident occurred in the early evening/late day. The sun was still shining into the open meadow.
I went back to the area and through a deep swamp, where I walked through mud that hit me mid-shin. Skunk cabbage grew prolifically in the vicinity, and it was very slow going, due to the thick foliage, the incline of the slope leading to and from the swamp, and the depth of the footing. I was able to see where the neighbor had had his 1979 sighting, and the neighbor reenacted the event by standing on a bluff and instructing me to stand "where the animal had been." The distance was, as the neighbor had said, approximately 100 yards.
The witness and his neighbor appeared to be credible and sincere. The witness is a professional photographer and documented the scene well.
For other reports in this area please see Grays Harbor.
About BFRO Investigator Tracy H.:
Tracy has a BA in Social Sciences with a minor in Anthropology. She participated in primate field work in Africa from Jan. - Mar. 2008 and is currently taking primate behavior coursework. She works with young children in the behavioral science field and has participated in numerous BFRO expeditions, including WA, NM, FL, WV, and OR.