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COUNTY: Chelan County
LOCATION DETAILS: I am not too sure which county Lake Chelan falls in.
NEAREST TOWN: Lake Chelan WA
NEAREST ROAD: Lucern
OBSERVED: When I was 10 yrs old, going on 11, I had a sighting up above Lake Chelan, WA at Holden Village in the summer of 1978.
It was after the 4th of July for sure, but I think it was August. My Parents cannot remember what month it was, but they think August as well. My family & I had been going to Holden Village every summer for several years.
The only way to Holden Village is to take the Ferry from Lake Chelan 10 miles up the lake, get off the Ferry at Lucern & take a bus up a 17 mile logging road up the mountain to an old mining town. Holden village is a Lutheran retreat now but you can go up year round. I have not been back since I sighted what I think was a "sasquatch."
I have NEVER reported this to anyone besides my family & the Rangers/counselors who were there that night....
My family & I had met several other families that weekend trip and a few had kids my age. There was me, my friend (11), another two girls who were 12, & one 13 yr old boy. On the last night the kids were having a round of "hide & go seek " in the dark around the main camp. All the adults were gathered at the main picnic table area & all us kids were running around having a good ole' time in the dark. I was determined to not have any of the kids find me, so I decided to run off a bit further...over behind the maintenance shed, by the stinky garbage cans & over by a very steep drop off. My eyes were already adjusted to the dark, even though there were several outside lights in the main area.
As I ran around the back of the maintenance shed, I stopped & heard a slight movement in the gravel on the hard ground....I stopped, looked over (10 feet away) & saw a HUGE black mass/shadow hunkered over the garbage cans, which were chained down. The huge mass stopped whatever it was doing, turned, & in one SMOOTH MOTION, turned at the waist ,& stood up right to about 8 plus feet tall. No smell, no noise,(except for the sound of crunching gravel on hard pan soil). My first thought was, "OMG! It's a bear!"...but because of the motion & shape I thought..."This is a MAN IN A COAT with his hood up"....I was so shocked & confused that I backed up after about 3 seconds & then turned & ran to get my parents. Whatever it was could have reached out & grabbed me easily but did not. The only way it could have gone was after me (into a well lighted area), around the back of the building (another WELL lighted area), OR straight down a VERY steep shale cliff side down towards a river.
When I found my folks & told them "I saw a bear-man," they freaked out & got a camp ranger & reported that either a weirdo or a bear was behind one of the buildings ....I was told it was a BEAR, so ,of course, I believed it was the biggest bear in the whole world for years!
There is more to the story, but I just wanted to let you guys know that maybe you might want to check out the Lake Chelan area! I have checked to see if there have been any more reports...there have been a few.
I know what I saw & my son has encouraged me to report this after all these years. I would be willing to take a lie detector test & my parents remember this whole thing as well.
Many thanks, Really glad to get this off my chest!
ALSO NOTICED: The creature may have been interested in all the children playing around in the dark in the middle of nowhere or may have been interested in the chained down garbage cans. No smell & no sound from the creature....but very fluid & smooth, thoughtful motions were made.
OTHER WITNESSES: I was the only one who actually SAW the creature, but ran to tell my parents & several kids & park rangers
OTHER STORIES: I did find a couple of reports in the Blewett Pass area & 2 in the Lake Chelan area around 2006/2007.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Around 10:30 PM, very dark, but back lighting from a street light type lamp.
ENVIRONMENT: Eastern WA mountain terrain...dry, shale cliffs ,pine, scrub, creeks & dirt roads. Old mining shafts.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Darrel Verney:
Holden Village is an isolated retreat located on a hillside just up from the valley floor. Its average elevation is around 3300 feet and was formerly the largest copper mine in the U.S. When the young witness ran behind the maintenance shed, she wasn’t sure if the subject was crouched down or squatting by the garbage cans, or of which way it was initially facing. It may have disturbed the gravel as it pivoted around toward her. There were two or three chained garbage cans lined up along the wall of the shed. Firewood is also normally stacked along that wall. As she went behind the building, the subject was to her right.
When her eyes quickly adjusted, she could see what scuffed the gravel, and observed the subject smoothly rise. She noticed that it had long gangly arms with hair hanging from them. She could also see its legs, body, and head, all of which made it look more like a man than a bear, and that it had no ears. It wasn’t stocky, but as it continued to rise, she could see that it was very tall. To keep from hitting its head, it made a smooth serpentine dance like move to get its head out from underneath the eves.
To lessen the traumatic experience, her dad reassured her that it was just a bear. (He grinned and chuckled as he told her that.) The retreat staff also said it was a bear, even though they hadn’t seen it, but after considering her description, they began to think it might have been a “weirdo” out watching the kids.
Growing up, the witness had nightmares of running into a bear that size again. When she saw black bears, she would comment on how small they were, but was told they were a normal size. She had the same reaction and response when she saw grizzly bears in Alaska. They were small in comparison to the “bear” she saw behind the shed.
About BFRO Investigator Darrel Verney:
Originally from Alaska, Darrel now lives in north central Washington. He studied Wildlife Biology and Wildlands Recreation, and has worked for the National Park Service and National Forest Service in the past. He feels fortunate in having had several sightings and numerous encounters during expeditions and informal outings. Darrel has attended the Redwoods ’06, North Cascades ’08, ’09 & '16, Olympic ’09 & ’11, and Morton ’12 & ’13 expeditions.