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Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Mason County > Report # 23160
 
Report # 23160  (Class A)
Submitted by witness on Wednesday, February 13, 2008.
Daylight encounter with two hunters south of Union (w/ cellphone photos)
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YEAR: 2007

SEASON: Fall

MONTH: November

DATE: 16

STATE: Washington

COUNTY: Mason County

LOCATION DETAILS: A logging road in Mason county.

NEAREST TOWN: [Editor note: East side of the Olympic Mts. on private land south of Union]

NEAREST ROAD: Highway 101

OBSERVED: This incident was originally reported to the BFRO by phone. The witness described a daylight encounter with his son while spotting for deer on private land near the Olympic Mountains. He said he and his son took some photos of the approaching figure with a cellphone. Five BFRO Investigators went to the witness's home to interview him and see the photos. We spoke with the witness for over an hour, then recorded his full account. Here is the transcript of the interview. The blurry cellphone photos are shown below the interview, in the Investigator Comments section. These images do not have enough clarity to show details of the figure, but they do show its approximate size, girth, posture and color.

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BFRO Investigator: What were the events that led up to this incident?

Witness: We came down the road and turned around like usual and we go very slow down the end of the road. As we come down this road, probably at about 150 yards, maybe a little more out in the woods I could see something moving. I didn't know what it was and we went past a few trees and I ask the boy “WHAT IN THE HELL IS THAT?” He couldn't see it, and I drove ahead about another five feet. Stopped the truck and you could see a form coming. I call it a sasquatch. It kept coming. I said “Look at that!” He said “What is that??” “Well I don't know what the hell it is and I don't even have my camera.” Then he said “You do too have a camera – you’ve got your cellphone.” So I took the phone out and handed it to him. By the time he got the phone working that was when picture 1 was taken. It was about that time that it was fifty yards from us. Then the next picture it was probably thirty yards, for picture 2, and then it turned to its left.

BFRO Investigator: Was it aware of you at that point?

Witness: It didn't act like it cared if we were there or not, other than it did turn. It was getting brushier between us and it and it turned, then went into an opening. It came into the opening and then at one point it stopped and turned its head, looking right at us.

Investigator: Did it turn its head or whole body?

Witness: Well, the whole shoulder part - the front portion. It lifted its left shoulder back and twisted and looked at us. Then it just went right back into the angle it was.

Investigator: When it looked at you, what was the expression on its face? Could you see any of that?

Witness: I don't know. It just looked at us. You know – deer-in-the-headlights type of look.

Investigator: Did it look surprised?

Witness: It looked more like the same as we were, “What are you? What the heck are you doing here?” I was just looking at the size of it cause it was ... IT WAS HUGE. I kept asking him, “DID YOU GET A PICTURE???” You know, “Did you get a picture???” (Witness's son).. “I GOT A PICTURE THERE!” Then it just turned back and to the angle it was originally going. Then it picked up its stride. It moved a little faster probably half again as fast as it was going. Then he (the witness’s son) got out of the truck, the boy did. Then it paused, like it was going to turn again and look at us but it didn't. It just turned, I don't know if it went around something or what and he got one more picture. Then it came on the road and he couldn't get one more picture before he left. I don't know how long all that took.

Investigator: So it cut across a logging road?

Witness: The road runs through there.

Investigator: And you lost it once it went across?

Witness: It stepped right on the road and I don't think it made two steps. The first step and then it was standing, stopped right there and it looked right at us. It was standing more upright. The next step it went into heavy brush - just a deer trail or a little path. The brush just closed in around it. I pulled forward and there is another little road that goes down along the way it went and we never did see it again.

Investigator: You said it crossed the road, how many steps did it take to cross the road?

Witness: One, two it was across because it just stepped in the road and stepped off it. It's a narrow road. It's just a regular Ford pickup so it's the width of the pickup, brush rubs both sides of the truck so eight or nine feet. Like when deer will jump, hit the road once when they are running. It had the same stride as a deer would running - you know jumping through the woods.

Investigator: Was there a trail on either side of the road?

Witness: I didn't notice a trail where it came from as much as I noticed a trail from where it went. You know where it came from was bracken fern and salal brush. It's up there above my waist. Back here where it came, turned originally in the opening - there was water even then, probably it's a low spot kinda where it came through probably a foot deep or two feet deep from the rains.

Investigator: So would you estimate about 48 inches tall for the fern and the salal?

Witness: About that tall. Then it goes in stages but your base layer is at least that high.

Investigator: So what we are seeing in these pictures is... ?

Witness: Oh his butt was above the brush, it's chest height on me.
[the witness is 6 feet tall]

Investigator: From that picture it appears the figure is down on all fours.

Witness: Don't think so, I don't think the hands were on the ground.

Investigator: You don’t think it’s walking with its knuckles?

Witness: Everything else moved but the arms didn't. They were just kind of there.

Investigator: So you didn't see any big arm movement, like when a gorilla walks quadrupedally?

Witness: I didn't see the arms moving at all.

Investigator: So it is walking hunched over but not down on all fours?

Witness: I didn't notice it being down on all fours.

Investigator: Just looking at the angle the torso is in, leaning quite far forward - it would be very difficult to walk in that manner without falling over.

Witness: Well I couldn’t do it.. Laugh..

Investigator: Yeah, that is interesting.

Witness: I said it's not like he's crawling over logs or windfalls or anything either. He appears to be more hunched over in certain pictures than when he was walking towards us, but he was still hunched over coming towards us. I noticed as he was coming towards us that he walked from side to side.

Investigator: He waddled?

Witness: Yeah he swayed or something, like every step he would really make a big step,...you know like a little kid being proud or something... but I know, well you just need better pictures, you need to be there..

Investigator: You needed your video camera.

Witness: [Laughing] Yeah - I wouldn't have had these if the kid hadn't remembered the camera on the phone.

Investigator: So did you try to look for any impressions or footprints?

Witness: No actually, I can say no, I didn't. The road is pretty hard. It's all black crushed rock and that's hard as rock. There is nothing there where he came out of. He didn’t leave as much of a trail as I thought he would coming through the bracken ferns and stuff. That's what I thought. It surprised me, because after he came through there I figured you'd see a trail, as even brush pickers and mushroom pickers coming through you can see they're leaving trails. You know breaking them away, and there wasn't one. It was hard to see where he came out on to the road vs where he went in. He went in on a regular old deer trail & where he came out, it was almost undisturbed. That surprised me as a matter of fact. Places I went in there I left more of a trail in the bracken ferns than he did.

Investigator: What time of day was this?

Witness: It had to be around 10:00, 10:30.

Investigator: In the morning?

Witness: Yeah

Investigator: And it's on the 16th of November (2007).

Witness: Yeah a week ago Friday

Investigator: There weren't any other cars around?

Witness: No, there was nobody else there. Not where we were at. Matter of fact, I didn't see anybody out there.


ALSO NOTICED: Two weeks later, the witness and a friend who works for the forest service, returned to the sighting area with a 10 foot long pole marked off in 1 foot segments. They took pictures of the area and found the path the creature used.

The witness initially thought the animal was 8 ft tall, but upon re-examing the pictures with the 10 foot marker, he believes the creature would be between 9 and 10 feet tall, if standing fully erect.

The two men also found 19.5 inch impressions in the mossy areas the animal walked on.

OTHER WITNESSES: The witness and his son. Spotting for deer.

OTHER STORIES: The witness's other two sons and a couple of friends were chased out of a creek drainage by something that was crashing through the brush, running in the creek, throwing things into the creek and growling and "hollering." The boys finally left when an 8 inch alder was pushed over their way.

TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 10am. The weather was a misty / drizzly morning.

ENVIRONMENT: At the time the pictures were taken, the bracken fern was still standing erect, but was brown/orange in color. The salal was 3 to 5 ft tall. Trees in the area are hemlock, doug fir, alder and cottonwood. Vine maples are common shrubs.


Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Kristine W.:

The photos shown below were taken with the witness's Sony Ericcson Z525a quad-band flip phone. (Resolution standards are VGA, QVGA, QQVGA. The resolution {pixels}: small 160 x 120, medium 320 x 240, large 640 x 480. Digital zoom: 2x, 3x & 4x. Image format: JPEG.)

More details about the sighting:

When the father moved his vehicle to a position providing the best view of the approaching figure, he could see it coming straight toward them from a long distance away. Since it was upright, large and dark in color, he immediately thought it might be a sasquatch.

In the first photo the figure was approximately 150 feet from the witnesses. In the second photo it was approximately 90 feet away. In the next two shots it was roughly 40 feet away. In photo 5 it was a little farther away, as the animal had started to angle away from them.

The two witnesses kept pace with the animal in the truck for about 300 feet before the animal stepped into the road and disappeared into the forest.

The witness said he could see the animal walking in a more upright posture when it was walking directly toward them. When the animal spotted the truck and turned, it adopted a stance like it was trying to lower itself in the brush and yet keep making progress away from them. The witness had the impression that it was trying to conceal itself.

In picture 3 the animal looks at the two men. In order to do so, it twisted its torso and raised its shoulder as it looked at them.

After the creature looked at them, its pace picked up slightly, but it did not run at any time.

When the subject reached the road, it took two steps to traverse it. At the first step, it hit mid road, raised itself out of its stooped posture and turned and looked at the men a second time. At this point, the animal was about 30 feet away from them. Then it disappeared from their view, onto the game trail.

Pictures 1 to 4 were taken while in the truck, moving with the animal. Picture 5, the clearest of the five, was taken when the son got out of the truck and stood still, trying to get the best shot.

- The color of the animal was dark brown or blackish brown.
- The hair was heavy-looking and matted. It looked dirty and “thick” and was 3 to 4 inches in length.
- The hair on the forearm was longer and was moving with the movement of the animal.
- Skin could be seen in the elbow area.
- The witness said the face of the animal looked gorilla-like and only slightly human.
- The skin of the face appeared shiny and it stood apart from the hair-covered areas.
- The forehead was sloping.

In the pictures with the witness standing with the 10 foot pole for measurement, he is in the same spot the creature was in in picture 5. The witness is 6 feet tall and the salal is roughly 4.5 to 5 feet tall in that area. You can only see the witness from chest-height, up. Picture 6 was taken with the same cell phone.

Some background on the witness:
He is a lifelong hunter and logger, having harvested all types of game since childhood. In the past, he has guided commercial hunts for bear.

When asked about whether a bear could possibly account for his sighting he smiled and said, "if anyone in Washington knows more about bears in the field than me, I want to talk to them." He and his hunting partners have taken over 200 bears. He knows bears inside and out, literally. He is certain that the animal he and his son photographed is not a bear.

The witnesses never felt threatened during the whole of the encounter and they hoped the pictures would have been clearer.


Picture 1 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg)


Picture 2 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg)


Picture 3 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg)


Picture 4 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg)


Picture 5 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg)


Picture 6 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg) was taken with the same cellphone camera, from the same spot, 2 weeks after the original incident. The witness is standing where the animal was standing in Picture 5. The measurement pole is 10 feet long & shows alternating 1 foot increments (alternating black and white).The pole was made by BFRO Investigator John Calendar (pilot with a major US airline).



Picture 7 (Copyright 2008 R.Ogg), same as picture 6 but taken with a regular camera, showing R. Ogg holding the 10 measuring pole at the spot shown in picture 5.



Rotating frames of the Ogg photos (courtesy of Richard Noll) showing the figure is not a static object, like a stump, as someone
suggested. In the clear photo above, the witness is standing where the "stump" should be. The *two* witnesses watched this "stump" walk toward them from a distance, and turn to veer away from them, and then it eventually crossed the road in front of them. Every person who has interviewed these witnesses has no doubts about their sincerity. Also, the geographic area of the incident is a zone where we would expect an incident like this to occur periodically.

The BFRO Investigators who assisted with this investigation: Kristine Walls, John Calendar, David Ellis, Tracy Herrigstad, Scott Taylor.



About BFRO Investigator Kristine W.:

  • Bachelors of Science Degree in Botany -- University of Washington.
  • BFRO Curator of Report Information for Washington State
  • Attended all of the public BFRO Expeditions in the American Pacific Northwest
  • Organized numerous smaller non-public expeditions in Washington State


 
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