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COUNTY: Pierce County
LOCATION DETAILS: The paved road was HWY 706 between Elbe and Ashford. We turned right, off of the pavement about a mile before Ashford.There was no road designation that I saw on the gravel road, but I can go back to the exact spot again. I will leave it to you as to post this information or not. However, this road does see some activity from shooters and A.T.V. riders and even those loathsome individuals too cheap to go to a proper dump with their garbage, so if you do not want to possibly increase traffic to this area, it may be wise to not print this description.
NEAREST TOWN: Ashford
NEAREST ROAD: 706
OBSERVED: My friend R-- and his wife and myself and my wife went out toward Mt. Rainier to do some trap shooting. We turned onto a very bumpy, pot-holed gravel road a few miles from the town of Ashford. After getting through a number of trees that had blown down in the wind storms of winter, 2006, we reached a dead-end at a bridge over the Nisqually River that had washed out in the record rains and flooding of November, 2006. We were about a mile...maybe more..from the nearest blacktop road and any human habitation. We had decided to make a day of shooting so we brought an automatic trap machine, several boxes of biodegradable clay pidgions, LOTS of shotgun shells in trap loads, chairs, a folding table, plenty of food and drinks (coffee, water, fruit juices, tea) however...no alcohol because my friend and his wife are diabetic and I take meds that don't mix well with alcohol. Therefore, we just don't drink. Besides, booze and guns NEVER go well together under ANY circumstances.
After several hours of shooting clays, we decided to have a bite to eat and sat down at the table we had set up right behind my open truck canopy. We were eating and talking and listening to some great oldies on an MP3 radio when I noticed my friend R-- looking intently into the forest behind me. I asked him what he was looking at and he said he wasn't sure. He said that he saw what looked like a very large stump about 25-30 yards back in the woods when it appeared to move slightly. When it did so, R-- said that for a few moments he could see daylight under the stump----as if he were looking between someones' legs, which then disappeared after it moved. Of course we all looked and sure enough, through a long, narrow opening in the trees we could see what looked to be a very large, dark stump with a somewhat rounded pointy top. The "stump" looked to be about 7-8 feet tall and at least 3 feet wide. It was hard to gage height because the undergrowth was so thick and dense that it was hard to know how much of the "stump" was hidden from our view from the ground up. Something that we began to notice as we looked around was that we saw a few other stumps but none of them were as large or as tall as the "stump" we were looking at, nor were there any trees that were even close to the diameter of our stump anywhere. Also, the other stumps were obviously cut down with a chain saw leaving a fairly flat--maybe slightly angled or beveled top on them. Our stump angled up from both sides to a slightly rounded point in the middle.
It did not move. We all watched the stump and talked and joked about what it could be. After a half hour or so, the stump was still there, not moving, so we decided to go back to shooting trap. I think by this time we had all come to regard the "stump" as just that, a stump in the woods. The movement my friend saw was attributed to the fact that the wind was blowing and the moving tree branches created moving patterns of shadow and light in the forest.
After about another hour of shooting we decided to start cleaning up and getting ready to leave. I sat on my chair to put my shotgun in its' case and without really thinking, I glanced back into the forest to look at the stump. It was gone! I thought maybe I had moved the chair and was looking in the wrong place. So, I moved the chair around and found that there was only one narrow opening through the trees where the "stump" could have been and there was no getting around the fact that it was not there. I called R-- over and told him that the stump was gone. He too looked and looked and could not locate our stump. Our wives by now were there and they too agreed that the "stump" was gone and that they were more than ready to leave, A.S.A.P. We began to go over any possible explanation for what we had seen. Deer? Nope. Too small and even if a deer had been standing perfectly facing us, we should have seen the narrowing of the chest into the neck and the small head and large ears. Elk? Nope. Same arguement as with a deer. Bear? Well, if it was a bear, it would have had to have been standing on its' hind legs facing directly at us and not moving a muscle for at least a half an hour...probably more. Besides, we should have seen the outline of the bears' body narrowing to a neck and then going to the nearly round profile of a bears' head, and again, we saw no ears. Also, it would have had to have been an absolutely HUGE bear to equal the height and bulk of the "stump". Also, we could not imagine any of the afore-mentioned animals staying around as close as this for so long a time considering we had shot around 300 rounds of 12 and 20 gauge shotgun shells in the time we were there.
As we began to drive back out to the highway we officially went on "sasquatch watch". It was the only thing that fit what we had seen. This area is totally wild and all any creature would have to do is cross the Nisqually River for nearly complete solitude because of the washed-out bridge.
What really began to shake us up was the fact that whatever this was that we saw was not afraid of us or the noise and concussion of our shotguns. It appeared to be observing us at the time we first noticed it and it remained stock-still for 30-45 minutes while we observed it at a distance of 25-30 yards. How long it was in the area watching us before we noticed it or how long it stayed around after we lost sight of it is un-nerving to say the least. Was it watching us out of curiosity or was it being territorial and wanted to see who was on its' turf? It sure makes us wonder. While sasquatch has long been a topic of lite conversation on our various shooting and fishing trips, this incident certainly has us believing that maybe there IS something out there in our forests that we don't know about. We can't prove its' existance beyond our sighting and the multitude of others who have seen something they can't explain. I know from now on, every trip into the forest will hold a whole new sense of wonder and exitement and will have a renewed expectation and hope that we might see something again to further explain what we saw today!
ALSO NOTICED: What seemed unusual was the fact that whatever this was, it appeared that it did not mind the fact that we were shooting shotguns (around 300 rounds) and it still remained within about 25-30 yards of us for at least the 1/2 hour to 45 minutes that we watched it and who knows for how much longer it was there before my friend noticed the odd "stump", or how much longer it lingered in the area after we lost sight of it. No noises were heard during the time we observed it and we were all wearing hearing protectors while shooting was taking place. No unusual odors were noticed but there was a brisk wind blowing at the time.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were four of us...my friend and his wife, myself and my wife. We all saw the "stump" before it left and we all looked to see that it had indeed gone away! We were sitting around a table behind my truck having lunch and talking and listening to music.
OTHER STORIES: I have read of other sightings in this general area on this web-site and others, but cannot remember the listing numbers or times and dates of the sightings or incidents. I do know that one of the photographs of a sasquatch you have on your site was said to have been taken near Mt. Rainier which is just a few miles up the road from Ashford. However, this is a vast wilderness area and a likely place for sasquatch to be if he were going to be anywhere.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 4:00pm-4:30pm. It was a beautiful sunny day with some wind.
ENVIRONMENT: Mixed forest of desiduous trees and various firs. There is a rock barrier across the roadway about 75 yards from the Nisqually river and about 120 yards from a washed-out bridge on the river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator David W Ellis:
I contacted one of the witnesses on September 5th 2007. We made arrangements to meet at the location of the sighting. The witnesses are two couples that get together periodically to shoot clay pigeons. They found a road that came to a dead end which was perfect for their target shooting.
I followed them to the dead end road. While they got their shooting gear ready I had a witness direct me to the location where they saw the dark object they assumed was a funny looking stump. It was about seventy five feet off the road and some what obscured. I had a bright hunters orange baseball cap that I held over eight feet high before I was told that was the proper height of the object. I looked around and there was nothing that could be misplaced as a stump. The forest was possibly third growth forest with trees maybe thirty feet high. The trees in the vicinity were no more than 18 inches in diameter. I determined at the time of the sighting the (creature, stump) would have been back lighted providing little if any ability to see frontal details. I looked at the area for possible foot prints and curiously found the location I was told to stand had been previously mashed down. The debris of the forest floor had been pressed into the ground by something substantial. I also noted a lot of elk sign. They had recently traveled through and had tore up the ground significantly. There was a meadow about a one hundred feet to the North. Numerous trails seemed to intersect and lead into the meadow from where I was standing.
In late August one of the couples had come down to the area to do some Trap shooting. The other couple was not present. They had set up the equipment and had shot a couple of rounds when a large alder tree came crashing down at the end of the road about three hundred feet away. They got extremely nervous and decided to pack up and leave the area.
I did find what could have been the alder tree in question. It showed evidence of buckshot in the tree. It was to far away to have been connected to the trap shooting. There were a lot of shell casings on the road near the fallen tree. I suspect the tree damage had been done by others. Upon inspection the tree was not completely shot through and I suspect was still standing before it was pushed over. I do believe it was pushed over and it had been pulled back from where it fell. As I was surveying this location my eye was drawn to an animal trail that lead from the river to the embankment near the fallen tree. The trail lead into the woods and parallel to the river. I looked up and about six and a half feet off the ground over the trail, limbs of a young fir tree were woven with alder sticks. The top of the tree had been broken off. It was upside down, and curiously woven into the limbs of the fir tree. I looked around finding further evidence. A two foot alder stick had been jammed and woven between three branches of another tree. Then something else caught my eye. Not more that fifteen feet away was a bright orange plastic utility marker in the ground.
The witnesses provided me with two drawings of the Stump that vanished. What I find interesting is that there are two different interpretations showing that there wasn't any collaboration. They drew what they saw. One of the drawings shows what clearly seem to be legs. Questioning the witnesses about that I was able to determine that one witness had a full frontal of a back lighted subject while the other person was looking at an angle. This means that one should have been able to see legs while the other probably couldn't.
I find the witnesses searching for answers and reported what they what they saw. The area is conducive to good habitat with an elk population that is active here. The location is in the foot hills of the cascades at the base of Mt Rainier where numerous reports have originated.
Our witness supplied these two drawings
About BFRO Investigator David W Ellis:
Senior Sales Representative for Lightolier / Philips Currently residing on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound Attended several public and private expeditions in Washington State Assisted with the 2009 expeditions on the Peninsula and the Cascades