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COUNTY: Ravalli County
LOCATION DETAILS: Steep mountain side to our left. River to our right.
NEAREST TOWN: Conner
NEAREST ROAD: SR93
OBSERVED: I drive truck for a living with my wife traveling with me. My log books will verify place & time. We saw a big foot sprint across the road on HWY 93 approximately between conner, MT and lost trail pass/Cheif Joseph Pass. I live in MT.... know what a bear looks like and that a bear can not stand upright and run like the creature we saw. He only passed in front of us about 40 feet as we were heading south. Both of us saw it plain as day. No doubts in our mind we saw a sasquatch. The river was next to the road and no place to pull the big rig over.
William Earl Thornton
(e-mail address removed)
ALSO NOTICED: wasn't able to pull the big rig over. No location. narrow 2 lane road.
OTHER WITNESSES: 2. staring ahead at the road in front of us when it ran across the road in front of us.
OTHER STORIES: no
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Will have to go back and look at my log books to report exact date. Time was about 7-8pm.
ENVIRONMENT: Fall. Clear weather.
Follow-up investigation report:
I interviewed both Mr. and Mrs. Thornton by telephone, found that their brief but fascinating sighting has had an enduring effect on them and was able to gather significantly more in detail from them.
Because they are so frequently on the road and home for just a short stay at any given time, I told them that while searching through their logbooks for a precise date could be a helpful addition to their account and I did request it, it was not necessary and has not been provided. It must have been early in the fall season because the trees and brush still had their leaves and daylight remained at approximately 7:00 pm.
Their physical description of the location probably places the location of this sighting between the towns of Conner and Sula.
Mr. Thornton saw the figure immediately, five to seven feet off the roadside to the left (east), as it came off the mountainside slope and out of the tree and brush cover at what he described as a full sprint and added that "a human could not run that fast." He also mentioned a very large swinging motion to its long arms which were bent at the elbow.
Because of the creature's speed, the hair was "sticking straight out," flowing behind it and noticeable from head to heels, but most prominently from behind its arms and elbows and appeared to be eight or nine inches in length in places. The hair color was a uniform reddish-brown or mahogany.
He also described the figure as "obviously much taller than a person, twice the mass of a football player, and probably about nine feet tall." It was "so heavily-muscled that it was as if it had no neck, with the shoulders going right to the head." It also had somewhat of a conical head profile almost like that of a gorilla. He could not tell with any certainty if it was male or female but, because no breasts were apparent and it appeared so very well-built, thought it was probably a male.
One other thing observed and described by Mr. Thornton stands out in particular and struck him as unusual, even in light of the sighting itself. He happened to notice a peculiarity that he referred to as "foot rolling." He described the feet landing at the heel and then rolling forward smoothly like a ball to the toes or front of the feet. It appeared as if the entire foot was flexible and clearly different from human foot structure and action.
The figure crossed the road in just three or four steps and never turned to look at them. They lost sight of it immediately after it crossed to the right, off the road, and dropped down several feet into the brush alongside the Bitterroot River. The duration of the sighting was no more than just several seconds.
Both witnesses emphasized that, as residents of Montana, and that Mr. Thornton had even worked at Glacier National Park where grizzlies are commonplace, they have seen many bears and are certain this was not a bear. Mr. Thornton said, "No doubt in my mind what I saw. I would never have believed if I hadn't seen it." Mrs. Thornton said, "No chance it was a man. No chance it was a bear. It was something I've never seen before."
-4/04/08- I briefly spoke again by phone with Mr. Thornton who, after the reviewing of this posted follow-up report by both he and his wife, confirmed by e-mail that it is a fair and accurate summation of their observations, corrected that the year of this sighting was actually 2005 instead of 2006 as first reported, and offered the following: "Only thing to add is forearms were not in proportion like a human but longer. hair flowing noticeably everywhere...back, shoulders head , arms elbow, buttocks, legs... Hair was all flowing horizontally from speed of creature. Rolling of the foot was described accurately. Thanks."