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COUNTY: Okanogan County
LOCATION DETAILS: Paysaten Wilderness Area, Chopaka Mountain, 3000 feet elevation, NW corner of Chopaka Lake, 5.5 miles south of Canadian border.
NEAREST TOWN: Loomis, Wa
NEAREST ROAD: Chopaka Creek Jeep trail road
OBSERVED: This event occurred on the Memorial Day weekend in 1996. There were seven people in our party and we went camping and fishing at a very remote lake in the Pasayton Wilderness (part of the Okanogan National Forest, Okanogan County, Washington State). After fishing all day, we returned to the camp for the evening. In all, there were probaly 100 people along the bank of the lake, camping and fishing as we were. Quite a few of these people witnessed what we did.
I was building a fire between our party’s three campers. One of our friends was playing ‘catch’ with her son and dog. I heard her call out so I went around the campers to where they were playing. She told me that she thought she had just seen a Bigfoot and she showed me where, by pointing to a spot on the hillside where they saw this ‘thing.’ While she was describing what she had seen and where it had come from, this creature stood up behind a bush about 75 yards from us. The creature just stared at us for a moment before turning and darting into the woods. At this point, many in the campground had joined us, including my wife, who brought the camcorder out of our camper.
I told my wife to turn the camcorder ‘on’ and scan the woods on the hillside, thinking that it might show itself again. About 2 to 3 minutes later, it appeared another 100 yards up the side of the mountain, which was very steep and rugged terrain. The creature then proceeded to run across the hillside, between openings in the trees, jump a ravine and continued behind a knoll where it started walking. As it approached the tree line, its upper body came back into view. My wife recorded about 22 seconds of footage of the overall sighting.
I spent several more days there, doing additional research and recording, such as attempting to trace its path, compare my stride to the creature’s, and so on. I have some very interesting video footage of this support data, including what I thought were resting beds underneath some of the trees. Also, my tape has a howl on it as the creature had left our sight.
Keep in mind, that I am a novice on this subject of ‘Bigfoot.’ I really did not have any idea originally what to really look for. I did not check for body odors, hairs, or anything like that.
ALSO NOTICED: Three resting bed like areas under the trees up on the hill. A howl can be heard on the video tape just as Owen's wife pans back from the image of the animal dissapearing into the forest edge. It is unknown if this sound is related to the event or from near by campers.
OTHER WITNESSES: Possibly as many as 30. There were two people out in a fishing boat in the lake that pointed up to the animal.
OTHER STORIES: About 3 months later, there were reports around the panhandle of Idaho.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 6:00 PM, clear day
ENVIRONMENT: Lake and mountains (open hillsides) surrounding the lake.
A & G References: Pg. 114, A3
T39N R25E Sec 33
Follow-up investigation report:
Owen came to my house on Sunday, 7-22-01 to show me the video he took and explain the images on it. We viewed it on a 58 inch HDTV, did split screen, freeze frames of the animal and of him trying to duplicate the running/walking path. The animal passed 10 - 15 feet below Owens attempt to duplicate it. I am impressed with the video and Owens story about it.
The lake is located up the Sinlahekin Valley and contains both Cutthroat and Rainbow trout. The animal was seen and video taped crossing the southern end of the Chopaka Mountain ridge at about 4800' in elevation, it was observed down by the lake. The area is about 20 miles east of the Pasayten Wilderness area.
Although there is not good enough resolution or detailed views of the animal on the video at this date to show anything but the gross body shape, it is easily seen as moving differently than a human, bulkier in body size and seems quite a bit quicker in covering the same ground distance that Owen did. I am of the opinion that the video depicts a Sasquatch crossing the hillside.
Further enhancement of the animal depicted in the video shows, as it is walking out from behind the knoll, that it had it's hand up on it's head and returns it to the down and swinging position. The head height above the shoulders is considerably different (taller) than when it first went behind the knoll. The head also appears to have changed to a lighter color. This new object on the head appears to be animate and separate from the main animal.
The running sequence has the animal swinging only one arm and the other appears to be holding something close to the it's body. There are several instances where something long protrudes from the main animal's back.
This other animate object on the main animal could be a juvenile being carried close to the chest with the legs flopping out back and then put on top of the shoulders or head after walking out from behind the knoll.
There are no clothing seams (which could easily be seen on Owen during his re-enactment sequence, down to his socks) and the animal appears in a natural, loping gait. The animal never looks down at where it is running. Owen said he thought that it wasn't running at top speed.
Further investigation and video enhancement - analysis is warranted with this video. It would be of great benefit to find the other people who also witnessed this event.