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COUNTY: Skamania County
LOCATION DETAILS: Road past Lava Canyon where a washed out creek bed crosses the road.
NEAREST TOWN: Randle
NEAREST ROAD: FR 83
OBSERVED: My father and mother were vacationing in the Mt. St. Helens area last summer (June 98) when Dad pulled over at a washed out creek up past the Lava Canyon to video tape the creek where the explosion from the St. Helens blast washed out the creek. He was video taping on a small bridge where the road crosses the creek, narrating what he was seeing. He said, while standing there taping, he could hear beating of stick on wood from the forest to the left and a return pounding from the stand of trees to the right. He progressed further onto the bridge to hear for sure that it was not an echo, which he was very confident it was not.
Further, since it was midday on a weekday, traffic in the area was none existant and no people had been seen for miles around. Nor were there any electrical lines or etc. in the area, nor work crews, nor loggers, nor hikers that would have been making these noises. My father is not easily scared, I mean that, and he was worried a bit about his safety at this point because of his certainty that the two separate noises were being generated in communication with one another, (left then right, then left at random spaces not exceeding moments apart). He had the video camera rolling throughout the experience and when I reviewed it the pounding noises of wood on wood are audible on the tape, if somewhat indiscernable.
I then interviewed my Dad on my camera that evening to document the occaision. I might add that he said the stick being used to pound the trees or whatever was a heavy (thick) stick that made a deeper sound than the crack of a small stick would make, (hinting that the size of whom ever were pounding must be considerable). Dad stopped rolling tape and got back in the idling truck fearing for his further safety. We have a copy of the tape he made and the interview I made. I would like an audiologist to examine his recording to single out this beating noise and record the intervals and strengths of the beats.
ALSO NOTICED: If memory serves, that June we were experiencing many many daily slight tremors around the St. Helens area. Some ranging close to three on the richter. I am of the mind that the Bigfoot is annoyed by the shaking of its habitat (cave environment), and is more suited to notice the low frequency waves that are produced in tremors; as well as the smells of volcanic activity, and were probably driven out of their shelter midday by gases, geothermal heat, or vibrations.
OTHER WITNESSES: Driving slowly along the road sight seeing.Video taping, while the truck idled at a stop.
ENVIRONMENT: Stands of trees around and meadows in the distance.
A & G References: Pg. 33, C8
Follow-up investigation report:
Follow-up Report by BFRO Investigator Mark Hertel:
I managed to contact Daniel Ronyak on the evening of September 13th concerning his submission to the BFRO database on September 9th. My interview focused on the location of the encounter, the encounter itself, the description James Ronyak gave to his son Daniel, James Ronyak's reaction and attitude when recounting his story, and finally the contents of the video being filmed during the encounter. His interview was pretty much a re-hash of what he submitted, but here's what he told me anyway.
The location was unknown by Daniel other than what his father told him. He described it as on a bridge over a washed out creek in or near Lava Canyon. He was personally unfamiliar with the location itself. His father stated that there were no signs of other people within a couple of miles as they approached the area in their truck and there were no trails or hikers in the area. It was the middle of the week and the area was very unpopulated with people. He described the encounter by first stating that his father had always been a very avid outdoorsmen and hunter who was familiar with sounds generally heard in the forest. He was also not one to be intimidated by anything he had encountered while in the wilds. While filming the washed out creek bed he heard what sounded like a very large stick or small branch being hit quite hard against the trunk of a tree in the forest on the left of the creek. A few moments later he heard a similar sound coming from across the creek on the right in what seemed to be a reply. After a few of these exchanges he moved his location slightly in an attempt to verify that what he was hearing wasn't an echo. The intervals varied, as did the pitch and tone of the individual sounds. He was convinced he was hearing some sort of communication. He then became very anxious if not frightened and stated "I'm getting out of here." He then got back in his vehicle and left the area. When Daniel's father was recounting the story to him, Daniel was very impressed with the conviction his father had that what he had heard had to be a couple of bigfoots communicating. He was visibly shaken by the experience. He said his father wasn't about to go around telling people about it, but he was convinced. Daniel himself also stated he had no doubts. The main point I got on this subject was that Daniel had not seen his father quite like this before. Shaken and very convinced of something he had always written off as a myth.
We discussed the video a bit, and I doubt that much can be gathered from it.The striking sounds are pretty difficult to distinguish if really even audible. The interview of his father telling the story may very well be the strong point of the whole video. Daniel brought up his request to have the video examined by an audiologist but then stated himself, " I don't know what you could learn from it." Nevertheless, I made arrangements to view the video within the next few days and if I think anything further can be obtained from it, I'll report more. I think he may even be giving me a copy. If I could add anything to his original submission, it would be that after speaking with him, I'm convinced that his father definitely believes he heard two bigfoot communicating. Neither he nor Daniel had ever heard of this as being an activity associated with bigfoot. From what I know of the area, there are no campsites or other recreational facilities, which would explain the sounds as being typical human or animal activities. I'm sure someone else would know more about the area than I do though. I doubt the video is of any value for research but the encounter is worth noting as far as behavior and location of the event. He seemed rather normal, convinced, and enthusiastic about the subject.
Comments by Richard Noll:
This washout area is the mud flow path that opened up Lava Canyon. Looking up at the mountain, to the right is a small cliff face where echos can be heard to eminate from. This road is the main road going to Lava Canyon.