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COUNTY: Cowlitz County
LOCATION DETAILS: Trail head - Co-ordinates: 46.1725, -121.9305
NEAREST TOWN: Cougar
NEAREST ROAD: I think it was NFD road 830
OBSERVED: I was elk hunting this past week in the Mt. Adams and Mt Saint Helens areas. I headed up on a hike on Wed. the 23rd of September at a place called Spencer Butte. It's located Outside of Cougar and is a steep hike of 1800 elevation gain (it sits about 4300 ft). My friends and I headed up the hill in the morning at about 8:30 am. The weather was very rainy.
We were trying to be very observant of any sounds or tracks. About half way up the mountain my friend turns to me and says 'did you hear that? it sounds like people yelling' I listened for a moment and heard what I would describe as a distant yowl...far up the trail. It was faint but distinct.
We continued up the trail and eventually reached the top. My guess is it was about 10 am. Once we had reached the geological marker at the top, my friend and I began a search splitting directions. I continued through the trees and brush for about 75 yards from the geological marker and came to a clearing. I sat for a few moments and noticed that beyond the clearing...roughly another 35 yards or so was an alder that was shaking. I could just see the top of it, but there wasn't wind at the time and it was shaking intermittently. It happened several times. I thought I had an animal...possibly an elk pushing against the tree. I approached it and paused as I could hear something begin to move away. I then backtracked...grabbed my friend and he followed me over to the area.
We proceeded to move around the area on either side hoping to see what it was. It was gone...Once I got to the tree I was surprised by how big the trunk was. Something big must of moved it. We split up again and I went back the way I came.
As I was walking I came across a bit of mud and gravel. I noticed something very distinct. A Print. It was a left foot. I could see all of the toe outlines and it was much much bigger than my foot. I took a picture with my phone.
We didn't have any other incidents but that sound, tree shaking and print are very compelling evidence. The location was also very compelling. The print was well away from the initial trail and geological marker.
I have always been a believer, My grandfather researched and searched for bigfoot and before he died gave me his plaster cast from California.
On another note, A few months ago had a very strange early morning (2:30 am) whistling experience, with eye shine earlier, movement and a dog that was very wary (but fearful) of something in the back woods near my house. I live in the Jim Creek area in Arlington, Wa. I can share more on that at a later date if interested.
OTHER WITNESSES: There were 4 of us - I was the only one to witness the print and the shaking, but one other heard the sound.
OTHER STORIES: Eye shine and heavy footsteps on his property
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Morning - Misty and rainy. Light was good but a very gray day.
ENVIRONMENT: Top of a ridge area...lots of trees (pine/evergreen) with some open meadows.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Jeff Sidebottom:
The witness called me to fill me in on the details. He explained it was the 2nd week of elk season. Rainy, cool but decent light. He estimates being within 30 feet or so of this creature. He said the Alder tree it was shaking was huge. The witness is 6'4 250lbs and couldn't shake the tree. He described the track he found as being about 3/4 of an inch or so deep. He wears a size 12 and this was a 16 or 17 and inch 1/2 wider at the ball compared to his foot. The ground was a well compacted gravel with dirt and some grass. He described the "yowls" they heard as being a higher pitch and definitely not human although at a distance it sounded like people talking. He noted that they did not see much of anything in the way of other wildlife or hear any.
I checked and the moon phase for that day was First Quarter 49.4%
I believe the witness to be credible and honest. The photo he sent of the track are quite clear. The instep is visible as are the toes which slope off on an angle and not more flat across like a bear. Also, no claw marks or distorted area within the track from a double step.
About BFRO Investigator Jeff Sidebottom:
25 years as a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker/Machinist. Went back to school, earned Associates Degree in Computer Electronics Engineering, then Bachelor's Degree in Information Systems Security. Worked in the Telecommunications field for more than a decade. Currently manages a company phone system serving 43 sites in 2 states.
Originally from Kentucky. Grew up hunting and hiking. Spent much time in the woods and forests. Moved to Washington state in 2013. Loves the Pacific Northwest. Firm believer in Bigfoot since childhood. Has FLIR thermal imager and nightvision scope.