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DATE: May 1966
PROVINCE: British Columbia
LOCATION DETAILS: Please see above info.
NEAREST TOWN: Spillimacheen, BC
NEAREST ROAD: dirt road west from town
OBSERVED: I have a BS Geology degree from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1961.
In 1965 I was plant Manager for a remote plant owned by NL Industries, Inc., located about 7 miles northwest of Spillamacheen, BC on a public road. The plant is on the west face of Spillamacheen Mountain. Since I was a young (31) man at the time and having only worked for the firm for little more than a year, I was reluctant to make my finding public. Now that I am retired I no longer have such feelings.
On an early May, 1965 morning, I drove up the road from the mill site on a Grizzly hunt. About a half mile above the mill site, there is a small clearing of about an acred on the east bank of the Spillamacheen river. Just north of this clearing, the road makes a dogleg left and there is a road cut on the right side of the road.about 4' high.
ALSO NOTICED: First occassion, a line of footprints came from the direction of the Columbia River bridge in a northeast direction. Second I came to the clearing from the north on foot and came upon three creatures I thought were grizzly bears, but they were upright and were scuffling. Two began mating in the normal human fashion instead of from the rear. I was about 100 yards from them and took a shot at one with a rifle, but missed and the three ran into the woods to the east.
OTHER WITNESSES: None
OTHER STORIES: None, except for reports on A&E, History Channel,
and Discovery channel.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Clear, early morning, 4"fresh snow,
ENVIRONMENT: clearing, see above.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kevin Withers:
The footprints were seen in 1965 and were barefoot humanoid prints, bigger than a size ten shoe, with a stride length of three to four feet. The witness had to jump from one print to the next when attempting to duplicate the stride. The prints were pointed straight ahead and were in a straight path, suggesting that the animal making these prints knew exactly where it was going. They came from the direction of the town of Spillamacheen (approximate population 50) and headed off into the wilderness. It was in this same place that the witness' sighting of three bigfoot took place a year later, in 1966.
The witness was hunting grizzly bear. He had parked his vehicle on the side of the road and was walking up the road when, in a clearing off to the side he glimpsed, for just a few seconds, three gaunt looking, brown, hair covered animals, at a distance of about thirty-five to forty feet. The animals appeared to be wrestling with each other as they moved in a direction away from the witness.
Believing the animals to be bears, and afraid of being spotted by them, the witness immediately ran across the road and climbed a steep four foot embankment, where he found a log that he could drop down behind and hide.
By this time the animals had moved to a distance of approximately 150 feet, and as the witness watched them continue to scuffle as they moved farther away, he could tell that one animal appeared to be asserting authority over the other two. After they had moved away to the edge of the clearing at a distance of about 300 feet, the assertive animal began copulating with one of them, with the third standing and moving around them about ten feet away. The animal on the ground laid on its back with its legs flat on the ground; the other was on top in a face to face position.
At this point, the witness still believed the animals to be bears. After the two had been copulating on the ground for about one minute, the one standing stopped moving around and so the witness took a shot at it. He missed his shot, and the animals ran into the tree line, each of them running on two legs.
The witness did not believe that these animals were anything but bears until a year later, when he actually killed a grizzly bear, and then realized that what he had seen a year earlier were definitely not bears.
A note regarding the witness' rifle and his failure to hit the target when he fired at the standing animal: The witness was shooting a Marlin 30-06 rifle with a four power scope, using 180 grain bullets. Normally, with 150 grain, the witness could shoot a two inch group at 100 yards with this rifle. However, going after grizzly bear that day, he decided to use 180 grain bullets, even though he hadn't used 180 grain in this rifle before. He had previously hunted with this rifle using 150 grain, and he mistakenly thought that there wouldn't be that much of a difference in accuracy with the more powerful ammunition. However, 180 grain bullets created different harmonics in the rifle barrel, causing a whipping action, and a spread of between one and two feet at 100 yards. He sent the rifle back to Marlin and they replaced the barrel with a heavier one, but he never used the rifle again and ended up trading it to a friend.
So, if these were bigfoot, how could the witness think they were bears, especially since he saw them from only thirty-five to forty feet away?
I believe that this can be explained by considering three factors:
First, at no time during this sighting did the witness view the front of any of the animals. And the initial sighting, from thirty-five to forty feet away, was very brief, with the animals constantly in motion, wrestling and scuffling.
Second, as the witness states, "I was looking for bears, so that's what I saw." The witness stated that the three animals, all six to seven feet in height, looked "gaunt." Earlier he had heard someone describe a bear seen in the area as "gaunt," so this reinforced his assumption that the animals were bears.
And third, in the mid 1960s, not many people had heard of bigfoot yet. It was only later, after Patterson's famous 1967 film, that this animal started getting publicity. While the witness had heard of bigfoot and yeti footprints being found, he was not familiar with what a bigfoot or yeti looked like.
A person who knew something about bears but nothing about bigfoot could be expected to assume that a trio of large hairy animals were bears. When confronted with the unfamiliar, the mind tends to force what is seen into a known category. People pick labels that most closely match their preconceptions of the world.
Because of the nature of this report, in the end it must rise or fall on the credibility of the witness. I interviewed the witness extensively several times, and each time I found him to be credible and consistent in his story, and therefore I consider this report to be a legitimate one of a bigfoot sighting.