|BFRO Home||Reports Database||New Report Additions||FAQs|
|Media Articles||Hypotheses & Projects||About the BFRO|
COUNTY: Pierce County
LOCATION DETAILS: Hwy 702 is the McKenna Tanwax cutoff road. I was about 1-2 miles west of Hwy 7. There is a pullout on the south side of Hwy 702 right across from a Century 21 for sale sign. The street sign says 34 Av S. You can see an old vehicle path heading south into the woods. I was about a quarter of a mile into the woods. I could just see the front of my truck when I turned around to head back.
NEAREST TOWN: McKenna
NEAREST ROAD: Hwy 702 about 1 mile west of Hwy 7
OBSERVED: I was letting my dogs go for a run in the woods off of the McKenna cut-off road in Pierce County. I was only about a quarter of a mile into the walk when my dog, Einstein (an Akita/Shepard mix), stopped ahead of me on the trail. He was blocking the trail facing towards the bushes on my left (East), he had his hackles up and was growling. My other dog, Bandit (Border Collie/Chow mix), had just stopped and barked once and then ran back behind me continuing to play.
I walked up to Einstein thinking there was a little animal or something in the bushes. When I got up next to him I heard the bushes rattling off to my left and when I looked over in that direction I saw something really big standing next to a tree about 40' away from me, seemed to be shaking the limbs on the tree to make noise. I also got the feeling it was looking at me but it didn't move behind the tree or crouch down to hide. I also didn't feel threatened.
I thought it might be a big bear because of the shape of it's body. It was a dark color, I couldn't make out any facial features or see how long the arms were. The shoulders were quite broad and there didn't seem to be a neck. Because it never got down I thought it a transient person, but if it was a transient they were dressed in a dark parka with the hood pulled up and were wearing alot of bulky clothing with the tempature above 70.
I grabbed Einstein and we turned around to head back to the truck. Bandit was running ahead of me. Every once in a while I would look back and eventually I saw what ever it was walking upright down the road away from me. The trees blocked the upper part of the body but I could see the lower part of the legs, I didn't see any boots or shoes or clothing.
At one point Bandit was running along the highway and I yelled really loud for her to come to me and when I look back down the trail it looked like whatever it was was now headed towards me, going in and out of the bushes on the right side of the old road.
I know it wasn't a bear and it sure didn't look like it was a human walking towards me. I couldn't get the dogs in the truck fast enough, but when I did I looked back down the road and didn't see anything. I've got to say I never really believed in Bigfoot, but I do now.
ALSO NOTICED: I got Bandit at the end of March from the Shelton animal shelter and she seems to have been abused. She doesn't like men. Whenever we meet a strange man I have to hold her back and she won't quit barking at them. She only barked once and then ran off behind me. It should also be noted that I had a bad cold and my nose was all plugged up, I didn't smell anything. I was in the same area three weeks before this around the same time with a friend of mine and we heard a lot of howling while we were walking through the woods that day. It didn't sound like a coyote.
OTHER WITNESSES: Just me and my dogs and they don't talk.
OTHER STORIES: I have a friend who told me about an incident about 7 years ago (1996) off of 304 St E where he bought a german shephard where the person who lived there saw something walk by her trailer. He said something about the University of Washington coming out and taking casting of footprints.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: It was around 1:30 in the afternoon and was really warm and sunny out. The tempature was in the low 70's
ENVIRONMENT: Whatever I saw was standing in a dense part of a pine forest with shrubs covering the floor of the forest.
A & G References: Pg. 47, A5
Follow-up investigation report:
On 4/29/01, I met with Diane, her friend and three dogs near the site of the sighting at noon. We walked into the area without her dogs; past the spot were she saw the animal standing. I then asked them to leave me there and go get their dogs. I made sure to ask if I was running a chance of being attacked and they said I would be fine as long as I didn't jump out of the woods unexpectedly. The dogs reacted to me just as Diane described they would.
I found two small deer tracks, one large elk track, lots of human tracks and garbage, a small Western Toad (Bufo boreas), several black and bright yellow centipedes and three
Caponotus laevigatus (Giant Carpenter Ant) hills.
We found coyote, and deer scat along the road and a short distance into the woods.
No recent human occupation of the site was evident (cig butts, wrappers, cans, bottles, fresh tracks, etc). I do not believe that a homeless person had been in the area. There were very sharp sticker bushes of various types all over the area. They went right through my thick pants.
We noticed two of these anthills on the trip into the area. They were 2' high by 4' in diameter. The whole surface was moving and trails of ants led off into all directions; down the road, into the woods, etc.
These type of ants are black and red, 5/8" long, inhabiting dead woody debris at the base of live trees, felled logs, timber or poles. Inside these nests are brood chambers housing eggs, larvae and pupae inside silken pupal cases. They are not like termites; they eat other insects, honeydew and other plant matter. They are part of the first stages of breaking down organic compounds into humus.
On the trip back out Diane walked ahead of us with the dogs and I noticed at one spot along the road that a fresh trail was visible. At the same time Diane's friend said that he smelled something. There was a wind and a couple of times I too could smell what I would call a weak skunk smell. On the trail heading west off the road there were broken leaves and stems from the Salal bushes, some turned over, standing out easily from the others. The ground was covered in moss but large scuffmarks were visible. There were also fallen branches that had been stepped on and broken. The trail width was about 18" wide. This trail was easy to follow for a short distance into the forest. I found an area where an animal had bedded down for the area was clear of debris and compressed. It was under a tree that had very low hanging branches (maybe 2' off the ground at most).
Walking back to the road, we did not smell anything else. I alone walked the found trail into the woods.
Coming up to the spot where Diane said she first saw the animal standing in the forest next to a tree we stopped and I walked into the woods and with her direction discovered that the animal she saw was at least 1'5" to 2' feet taller than me standing in the same spot. I am 6'1".
Walking back out to the road, I had to go past one of the anthills we found in the area. On the back of this ant hill was what appeared to be either a partial four toed track or knuckle marks and what might be a knee impression. These marks were in the outer area of the anthill but the ants looked like they were repairing the area. I made a shoe imprint the same distance into the hill for Diane and her friend to see how long it took to disappear the next time they came out to the area.
The impression found is described as being of four large toe shapes, evenly spaced, 1.5" wide x 2" long and 1" deep. A ridge ran along these toes and either a palm like surface or foot ball was evident opposite this ridge, 8" wide x 6" long and again 1" deep. The outside of this palm or ball looked as if a possible double ball or thumb may have been present as well. The toes were in a straight line but angled to the length of the impression, possibly 45 degrees. In line with this imprint, was another impression looking much like a knee, dish or scoop shaped, 10" wide x 6-8" long and 3" deep, 12" away.
I took 645cm BW pictures with and without a 25A red filter hoping to lighten up the area. I am not sure how they will turn out since the whole area was covered in moving ants and it was dark enough that I had to use a slow shutter speed. I chose not to use a flash. I took pictures with and without Diane pointing close by the impression giving good scale to the anthill and impression. I marked the area on GPS and as it started to rain we left the area.
I drove to other regions nearby that have had activity reported and noticed large areas of 8' tall scotch broom bushes that had recent trails going through them. These trails were several feet in width.
This area is under a Human influence scale (modified from Bishop et al. 1981) rated as:
Home Range 2
I am 80% certain that the impression found in the ant hill is in fact a track of a foot or of knuckles and I found no discrepancies with Diane's account of the incident. Seeing only the legs while retreating back to the car troubled me until I too looked back to the site area and saw the low height of the understory and realized that I was now at a slightly higher elevation.
Site elevation was 611'.