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COUNTY: Lewis County
NEAREST TOWN: Winlock, WA.
NEAREST ROAD: King Road
OBSERVED: Due to some computer problems, the witness in this case filed his report telephonically with BFRO investigator Charles Lamica. Below is a synopsis of that interview.
About eight years ago the witness and his wife lived in western Washington, near the town of Winlock. The couple owned several horses and spent a great deal of time riding them on the trails and logging roads near their home. One sunny afternoon in late spring or early summer they were riding on a logging road in a wooded area when the witness saw what he describes as a “chimp-like” animal cross the dirt road in front of them.
According to the witness, the animal was a couple hundred yards in front of him and the sighting lasted only a couple seconds. He described the animal as “Moving fast, using its arms to help it along, exactly like a chimpanzee does.” He said the animal was black in color. Due to the distance and the short duration of the sighting he didn’t get a good look at the animal’s face. He remembered the animal’s arms were “Long and skinny,” and were much longer than its legs. He never saw the animal stand up, but estimated that if it stood erect it would have been about five feet tall. He said the animal moved very fast, “About the speed of a loping horse,” and disappeared into the vegetation on the other side of the road.
The witness said he’s very familiar with bears and is positive the animal he saw wasn’t a bear. He stated, “If this was a bear it was a horribly deformed bear.” He felt that such a bear would not have been able to move as fast as the animal he saw. He further stated that bears seen in profile tend to have a rather horizontal back, while the animal he saw had a steeply slanted back due to the arms being a lot longer than the legs. He related that bears have a noticeable neck, but the animal he saw seemed to have little or no neck.
After the brief sighting the couple rode their horses to the spot where the animal crossed the road. At that point the horses became very frightened and hard to control. The witness says the horses refused to go further and became so unmanageable that they eventually had to turn around and go back the way they had come. The witness said he and his wife had ridden those horses on that same stretch of road “Hundreds of times,” and never before or after the sighting did the horses refuse to move forward. The witness also related that he has ridden his horses in close proximity to bears and the horses never acted as frightened and unmanageable as when they saw the “Chimp-like” animal.
The area where the sighting took place was typical western Washington forest with a lot of salal bushes, large ferns, vine maples, and big fir trees. The area is generally mountainous, although the place where the animal was seen was relatively flat. The witness said that when he lived in that area it was not uncommon to hear very loud and unusual howls at night.
ALSO NOTICED: They often heard unusual howls at night. About one mile from this sighting location the wife once found a strange mound of ferns and sticks. the mound was about ten feet long, four feet wide, and higher in the middle than the sides. It was in an area where it would be unlikely that humans would have gone to the trouble to create such a mound.
OTHER WITNESSES: The witness's wife was present but didn't see the animal because the horse she was riding was becoming a bit hard to handle and her attention was focused on the horse.
OTHER STORIES: Not in this same area, but the witness reported a second sighting which occurred on a summer afternoon about three years ago. While driving a log loader in a recently logged patch of forest near Mt. St. Helens the witness saw a large red-colored bipedal animal walking near the logging site. The animal was about 150 feet away from the witness and was simply walking through the slash and downed timber. The witness said he was so surprised and unable to make sense of what he was actually seeing that he didn’t even slow down his vehicle to take a closer look. He lost sight of the animal after he passed it. The whole sighting lasted about five seconds. The next day he returned to the area to look for tracks or sign, but the ground cover was such that no tracks were visible. He said he had trouble walking through the area and was surprised at how easily the animal seemed to be able to walk through the rough ground.
He described the animal as being at least six feet tall, covered with hair three to four inches in length, having a reddish color similar to an Irish Setter dog. He remembered it having long arms and massive thighs and rear end. He said it wasn’t fat, but it didn’t seem to have much of a waist. He further said the animal never once looked at him or did anything to acknowledge the presence of the witness.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Early afternoon on a sunny day in late spring or early summer.
ENVIRONMENT: typical western Washington forest. Mountainous, with lots of salal bushes, ferns, vine maple, and fir trees.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Charles Lamica:
I spoke with the witness for over an hour via telephone and found his report to be credible. The descriptions of his sightings seem to be in line with what we know of typical sasquatch behavior.
Being a backcountry horseman myself, I was especially interested in the reaction of the horses after the witness saw the "chimp-like" animal cross the trail. His horses had been on that same trail "hundreds of times" before, and since, without refusing to go forward. His statement that his horses don't react this way in the presence of bears is similar to my own knowledge of backcountry riding. I've ridden my horses within 100 feet of a bear and they snort and prance about, but they will still move forward. The fact that the witness' horse absolutely refused to continue up the trail indicates to me they had seen or smelled something that, for them, was far more unusual and frightening than a bear.
About BFRO Investigator Charles Lamica:
Chuck Lamica's interest in sasquatch started at the age of 8, when his family discovered large footprints near their home in rural Oregon. He was an Alaska State Trooper for 22 years and later worked as a Forest Warden for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. He now lives in northeast Washington state.