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COUNTY: Wallowa County
LOCATION DETAILS: I set up camp at Skyline Campground (formerly Squaw Springs Campground)It is along Kendall Skyline Road. Take Mill Creek Road to Tiger Creek Rd and it is 2 or 3 miles south of where Tiger Creek Rd intersects Kendall Skyline Rd. I hiked approximately 2 miles into the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. I also brought along a Garmin GPS and kept a log of my hike if someone wants to investigate the area further.
NEAREST TOWN: Walla Walla, WA
NEAREST ROAD: Kendall Skyline Road
OBSERVED: I drove up Mill Creek Road to Tiger Creek Road (also called Tiger Canyon Road) and stopped at Skyline Campground (formerly squaw springs campground). I live in western Washington but grew up in Walla Walla and love the Blue Mountains. Iím an avid hiker and love to enjoy the outdoors. When I get the time I like to make a hiking trip. I hadnít been to this particular site before but I had heard some of the Sasquatch stories coming out of the Tiger Canyon area. I had driven up Tiger Canyon a couple times before, including a few weeks prior in late June when the road was still blocked by snow. I thought this campground would be the perfect place to stay the night and hike the area. A friend of mine had been with on the trip when the road was blocked, but he too was busy this week so I went alone to scout out the area alone, stay the night and drive back to western Washington the next day.
I had first been intrigued by the idea of Sasquatch when I found some info online while searching for hiking sites. As a kid some local friends had told me stories, but Iíd never been sure what to make of it. I also had read a book about Blue Mountain Bigfoot that Vance Orchard had wrote. I wasnít totally convinced that these creatures existed and did not think I would find anything about them because I figured that if there were encounters, they were very rare.
I arrived at the campground at about one oíclock. An older couple was there reading, enjoying the campground. I picked an area and began set up my tent. As I was pounding the stakes in I felt something hit the ground behind me. I turned around and I didnít see anything. I looked over at the couple and they were still sitting at their campsite. Whatever it was had caused a very strong vibration in the ground behind me and it couldnít have been anyone at the camp.
A little bit later I started to hear a weird noise. At first I thought it was the antifreeze bubbling in my car because it was a hot day and my car was steaming a little. My car overheats a lot. The sounds were like a low rumbling growl. It was a sustained sound that lasted for just a couple seconds. However I seemed to hear it in regular intervals. The sound also seemed to kind of echo like the sound of something hollow or the sound of water down a drain which is why at the time I thought it was my car.
I decided to explore the area; I walked by the two other campers and said hi. They had a poodle that barked at me little. I wanted to see if I could look over Tiger Canyon at the valley from where we were so I crossed over to the other side if Kendall Skyline Road. I couldnít see much through all the trees so I decided to head the other way. I brought a GPS device with me that had topography maps loaded on it. It showed a trail into the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness that I wanted to follow. As I started in that direction I noticed a very large track just to the right of a pool of water in some soft mud. It didnít really look to me as something authentically Bigfoot because the foot seemed thin. I told myself it couldnít be a footprint of a Sasquatch because I had read some stories a few weeks earlier and thought I could just be imagining it.
I came back and looked around the area behind the camp where I had felt the thump. I had heard something knocking on a tree so I tried to make noise like I had done when I was hammering the tent posts. I had a little pattern of sorts that I thumped onto the ground with a rock. It seemed like at one point whatever it was mimicked the pattern of my thumps. I explored the area I thought it was coming from, but only saw a deer, so I figured maybe it was just my imagination getting the best of me. The noises stopped and I felt relieved. ďIt was all just in my headĒ I thought.
It was now somewhere between 1:30 pm and 2 pm, and I started down towards Squaw Spring. I noticed some more prints as I walked but I still didnít believe what I was seeing. I found some that seemed to continue on further but I did not follow them since I had planned to go a few miles into the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness and didnít want to waste time. It also looked like there was a foot impression on a log that had fallen across the spring. This all seemed too surreal to me because there were lots of prints everywhere even some that appeared smaller, possibly a juvenile animal, but they were just thin outlines. I had never seen prints like these in person so I was unsure what I was even looking at.
I kept walking and came to a clearing on the side of a grade where I found a print that was about 3 inches deep and well defined. I could see the big flat foot, the toes and heel. Suddenly I thought wow these prints are for real. I now had a feeling one of these creatures could be around any corner. I got to the top of one of the mountains to get a nice view of the wilderness area and then made my way back to camp.
When I got back I was pretty tired from hiking. The two other people at the campground left in their pickup shortly after I got there and I went to relax in my tent. I was the only one at the campground now. About an hour later I heard the same low rumbling growl sound from earlier. I realized that my car had now been off for 3 or 4 hours, and there was really no way it could be the car. I was hearing more knocking and like I had earlier. It sounded like someone was smacking a branch against a tree. I realized whatever creature this was; it must be the same one that came by before because the knocking and the low growl started at the same time after being silent for so long. It sounded like it was in the same area behind my campsite where I had heard the thump earlier. It was now about 7 pm, about 2 hours until dark. Being there by myself made me very nervous, especially with the growling noise and tree knocking apparently being directed toward me and my campsite. I got out of there as fast as I could.
I got back to town and felt very paranoid. I spent time walking downtown Walla Walla calming myself down and recounting the events. I had never been so scared of the outdoors. People noticed I looked visibly shaken though I had not mentioned the incident. It was hard to even tell anyone in fear of them thinking I was crazy.
ALSO NOTICED: I had always imagined a Sasquatch might be a friendly creature that would not bother me unless provoked. I read stories with intrigue and fascination but after hearing the noises and seeing the tracks with my own eyes I became unusually frightened.
If any BFRO investigator would like to further search the area I can provide them with a GPS map of exactly where I went and can import it to google maps. I have a waypoint of one of the well defined tracks and a picture of the track I found near the campsite.
OTHER WITNESSES: The only other people there were two other campers I'm sure they must of heard the growl, but I think we all really didn't know what to make of it initially.
OTHER STORIES: Yes I've read reports on Kendall Skyline Road, and near Deduct Pond and Table Rock which are not far from here.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: The whole incident lasted from about 1pm to 7:30pm. It was hot about 80 or 90 degrees most of the day. It was somewhat overcast.
ENVIRONMENT: A wilderness area in the Umatilla forest with lots of evergeens, and a couple of springs that are close by.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
This report was received in early August 2008, but due to the Georgia Bigfoot debacle; the report was put aside, because of how this witness felt about how people might view him and his story; which had just taken place up in the Blue Mountains of the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness area of Oregon.
On the 10 of February of 2009 J.S. e-mailed me stating that he has decided that he would like to go ahead and tell his story which has caused him much concern after his short camping and field trip.
I called J.S. as he requested. This young man, who is working in the computer world, seemed very credible in the retelling of his encounter last summer up in the Blue Mountains of Oregon; which is located just below the Washington and Oregon border. I never asked this witness for his GPS coordinates, because we will be giving the readers a small enough GPS location box that has all of the above-mentioned named places included.
As of this date, this was the first and last possible encounter that this witness has had; which at first, he refused to accept as it was happening to him during his outing. After viewing all of those footprints that were close to where he had set up his camp; which by the way he didn't think were real at first. Not until he was on his short field trip into on the wilderness trail, about 3 miles out of camp, when he came up on what was an indisputable fresh print. He remembered that he had left his camera's memory card back in his car and was unable to take a photo.
After rethinking his encounter, J.S. now believes that the sounds he was hearing and feeling were being made in the back of a throat of something that had to be very large, but as he looked around, he could never locate anything that was making those on and off growling sounds. After the two other campers left the area, and adding up all that was taking place, like the rhythm knocks and the throwing of small rocks that had landed just behind him, and the footprints that were seen; he finally made the decision to leave that camping spot and head for town to try and shake those fearful feelings that were still with him.
This writer believes that this witness was in the presence of several of those Sasquatch creatures, and at first J.S. refused to believe that it was happening to him. First, the one that was throwing rocks behind him, and second when it was making those knocking sounds mocking the rhythmic thumps like J.S. was making when he was pounding in those tent stakes; I believe those were more than likely being accomplished by juvenile Sasquatch's that were probably playing with him. Note he had viewed many different sizes of tracks around his camping area, but they didn't look too fresh or real at the time.
The Paul Freeman footage was filmed in this Blue Mountains region near the Washington/Oregon border. The area of this report was one of Mr. Freeman's favorite places, and is real close to where he got his short film. I now believe this footage to be of a real Sasquatch, after I had the chance to view his complete film. Mr. Freeman died in 2003.
I am familiar with the area, back in 2000 I had the chance to camp at Deduct Springs, which is located on Tiger Canyon Road, a short distance down from Squaw Springs.
We are enclosing two photos that were taken by this witness around his camping area, but this writer cannot say for sure that it is a Sasquatch track, but has some possibilities of being one. Let's face it photos of tracks are difficult to discern.
Hey Richard, just wanted to send you these for the report. I attached to this email the pictures I took on the day of the encounter shortly after I got back to camp. Its somewhat easier to see if you rotate the picture to where the toes are pointing up. I wish I had gotten some casts and a picture of that print that was a lot more clear! (left my memory card in the car!) This track looked a little older (less fresh) and was closer to camp.
P.S. The pictures are all of one print with and without flash and I put my foot up for size comparison - I wear a size 11 shoe.
About BFRO Investigator Richard Hucklebridge:
- Four years in the United States Navy, 1955-1959 (Combat Air Crewman on P4M Mercator Patrol Aircraft)
- 37 years in the aerospace industry: 33 years with General Electric at Edwards AFB; More than 5 years with the Northrop Grumman Corp. at Edwards AFB (Flight Line Mechanic on the B-2 Bomber).
- During 20 of those years at Edwards he was a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for the County of Los Angeles.