Geographical Index > United States > Oregon > Lane County > Report # 673|
Submitted by witness R.L. on Sunday, July 23, 2000.
Hiker encounters large animal at close range in Mount Washington Wilderness
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DATE: Saturday 15th
COUNTY: Lane County
LOCATION DETAILS: Go up the McKenzie Hwy 126 from Springfield past McKenzie Bridge to Boulder Creek Road turn right and go to the top. Hike over the ridge into the Mount Washington Wilderness.
About a half mile in on the left was this upright dark haired creature.
NEAREST TOWN: McKenzie Bridge
NEAREST ROAD: Boulder Creek Road east of HWY 126
OBSERVED: As I was coming down into the lake country as I call it. The wind was blowing from my left to my right. I picked up this bad smell, almost like something had died. I looked to my left and next to the trees 15 or 20 ft. away was this upright dark haired creature standing there looking at me. I said geese what the hell is that. Then this creature turned and went into the trees. To be honest I did not follow it. It scared the devil out of me. I have not returned. I'm not sure I want to.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: About 1PM partly cloudy day. The light was good.
ENVIRONMENT: Douglas fir mixed trees. Short hills, high lake country in the Mount Washington Wilderness.
Follow-up investigation report:
I phoned R.L. who currently works in Springfield. While working for the Willamette Natl Forest a few years ago, he became well acquainted with the upper McKenzie River watershed, Mount Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas. Since I also know the area, it is relatively easy to determine his topographical knowledge of the region. R.L. is early 50's, a woodsman/forester, who enjoys cross-country trekking through wilderness using a compass, and not using established or mapped trails.
After talking with R.L. for some 30 minutes and based on the witness' descriptions, it is my view that his report describes a real sighting. R.L. does not want to involve the press in this incident. He seems to be a cautious person.
Following are highlights from my notes during our conversation this evening: I asked R.L. to describe what he saw of the animal. He had hiked over Boulder Creek ridge from the road and broken into the high lakes country of the Mount Washington Wilderness. The wind was apparently blowing from the east across his path toward the west in the middle of a cloudy day. On this wind he smelled a bad odor that really caught his attention. Stopped and looked around up-wind, and there some 20 feet away stood an eight-foot upright creature in about 4 ft of brush against the edge of a darker fir forest. He said the creature was too close for comfort.
R.L. described the animal as having huge wide shoulders, long arms, covered all over with 4 to 6 inch long reddish-brown dark hair. Emphasized dark almost black coloration with reddish highlights. The face appeared dark, eyes not really seen but appeared dark and covered with the long hair. R.L. referred to drawings he had seen of prehistoric man, saying the creature looked similar only with a bigger chest and shoulders completely covered with the long hair. Again emphasized the idea of long hair covering the entire body, head, limbs not a furry or soft appearance.
As soon as R.L. turned his head and body to look more closely, the animal turned while looking at him and bolted over a small hill covered by lava pumice soil and stone disappearing into forest and understory cover. The entire viewing encounter happened in less than 5 seconds. I asked if he could have taken a photo. He said cameras were not something he carried while trekking. Usually carried only a knife, compass, and water bottle. The encounter was very quick. The creature disappeared in a couple of quick strides. Because of the pungent dead smell and startled viewing, R.L. became frightened. He said, "The animal went east, I went west leaving the area making my way back to my truck."
I asked R.L. if he is interested in returning to the area. He said not alone but agreed to go with me sometime soon to look for sign and possibly see the creature again. He does need coaxing. I explained the value of hard evidence such as photos, recordings, accurate descriptions. Asked him to make a series of simple notes for everything he can remember and do it soon, since it has already been over a week.
I asked if he knew of other recent sightings in the Pacific Northwest. Quizzed him a little, he apparently knew nothing of the Oregon Caves or Hoh Reservation incidents recently reported in the press. Other responses to me indicated that he was not previously aware of the BFRO web site until he looked up bigfoot information on the web following his encounter.
Originally uploaded to the BFRO Database by: Jeff Lemley