We Washingtonians love us some bigfoot.
Last month, the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma opened its “Giants in the Mountains: The Search for Sasquatch” exhibit, running through June 27th.
On June 5th, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Discovery Channel expert and professor, and Robert Gimlin, of the infamous Patterson-Gimlin bigfoot film will speak at the Museum.
I saw a mobile version of the exhibit when it was in Olympia several years ago, but will get up to T-Town before to long to check out the exhibit and report back.
Explore the Sasquatch mystery, set in the Pacific Northwest region said to be home to these ape-like creatures. The exhibit examines how scientists attempt to explain and investigate the Sasquatch phenomenon. It also looks at hoaxes and popular cultural interpretations of Bigfoot. A look at tribal legends and masks provide yet another insight into this elusive being.
This exploration of Sasquatch stories looks at the Pacific Northwest environment, which provides a rich setting for the folklore surrounding these unexplained creatures.
Physical evidence collected by anthropologist and famed Bigfoot researcher, Dr. Grover Krantz, and Discovery Channel expert and professor Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, are on display.
Maybe its the new exhibit that has brought a recent rash bigfoot stories out in Washington.
On January 27th, www.thenewstribune.com ran a story titled “Bigfoot believer shows his proof Sasquatch print: Not everyone agrees with Bothell-area man” detailing Bothel resident Cliff Crook’s bigfoot encounter 54 years ago and lifelong obsession with bigfoot.
Crook appeared on the front page of The News Tribune in 1990 when some hikers found what they believed to be Bigfoot footprints near the Nisqually River. He contacted The News Tribune recently to announce more Bigfoot footprint news, what he called the biggest find in 30 years.
Critics have called Crook a hoaxer and an attention grabber. He estimates he’s made more than $100,000 selling Bigfoot memorabilia and talking about the creature at RV shows and elsewhere. He also served as a technical adviser on the 1987 main stream sasquactploitation movie “Harry and the Henderson.”
Next we’ll travel south to Lewis County and an article in the The Chronicle.
From the www.chronline.com
Based on sightings reported by BFRO’s (Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization) Web site, Washington state is effectively Bigfoot central, more specifically the densely covered Cascade foothills of Southwest Washington. The group believes Sasquatches live in complex communities with advanced social norms and complex forms of communication, including their own language.
You remember the BFRO. They were the ones I suspect played part in the set up of Tom Biscardi in August of 2008 (note, that post was written before it was released that the RickMat bigfoot was a hoax).
The Chronicle article also tell the tale of Ray Wallace, former Lewis County resident. It is said Wallace created fake sasquatch tracks that helped coin the term “Bigfoot” in a headline of the Humboldt Times in Eureka, CA in the 1950s. After he died in 2002, it is said giant foot print molds were found among his belongings, but this has never been confirmed to be the cause of the prints from the 1950s.
Also from the article
The following are Bigfoot-related news snippets from The Chronicle’s archives:
April 12, 1982 — A retired Toledo logger said he helped create the legends of a Bigfoot creature around Mount St. Helens. Rant Mullens, 86, said he and his uncle were returning from a fishing trip in 1924 and decided to throw a scare into some miners in the area. They rolled rocks over the edge and hightailed away. Later the three miners from Kelso reported seeing huge, hairy, apelike creatures that hurled boulders down upon their cabin. The miners said they fought off the creatures with rifle fire.
Mullens said he built on the legend four years later, when he whittled giant feet out of green alder wood and a friend stomped around the banks of the Muddy River, leaving tracks for berry pickers to notice.
“I tell you, people will believe just about anything,” the solitary, retired logger said from his home in Toledo.
April 19, 1982 — H. Woodman, Napavine, wrote a letter to the editor saying he saw a Bigfoot creature in 1953.
“Going home one evening on the Rutledge Road in the Littlerock area, I drove around a corner and saw a single animal — I thought it was a bear standing on its hind legs in the road. It was taller than a 6-foot man and was brown in color. It ran across the road, leaped a split rail fence and was gone in four or five seconds.
“Sometime later, I read some literature and remembered this sighting. The animal had hind legs that were of human proportions. A bear’s hind legs are short compared to its body. When it ran away at great speed it did not run on four legs but ran erect as a man would. A bear would run on all fours… I know what I saw and the only proof I need is to remember that it was erect when it ran away.”
Feb. 10, 1997 — Ruth Steele, 73, was convinced that a Bigfoot creature was roaming the hills near her home in Dryad.
“No question about it, I seen it … I’m not hallucinating — I’ve got a good mind.”
She believed she had seen either a Sasquatch or some kind of alien three times in six months. She didn’t carry a camera with her those times, but she had begun to. All the sightings took place near rural Doty and Dryad on the semiforested River Road.
The 7-foot-something tall humanoid was covered with gray, white and sometimes black fur, she said. The animal’s face appeared pink skinned. The furry creature walked upright and wore no clothing. In the most recent sighting, in January, the creature heard her car, turned and looked directly at her. Its eyes shone red.
“It shocked the devil out of me when I seen it,” Steele said. “I thought what in God’s name is that? … He wasn’t no human. He’s never nothing I’d seen in the woods.”
During a recent sighting her daughter, Debra Steele, 41, also saw the creature. “It looked me right in the face — it scared the pants right off of me,” the younger Steele said.
Aug. 5, 2001 — The public had its first chance to see the Skookum Cast, a plaster casting of what might be Bigfoot. Wildlife biologist Dr. LeRoy Fish, Oregon, said the heel had what appeared to be a callus.
The 3½ by 5 foot chunk of plaster held the reverse imprint of what Fish and Kevin Lindley of Mossyrock said was an unknown primate.
The impression had been discovered in Skookum Meadow in Skamania County in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, between Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams.
Bigfoot skeptics say Wallace could have been behind famous tracks found at the Ape Cave near Mount St. Helens.
And what if all this has gotten you all worked up and ready to look for bigfoot? There are plenty of Washington based bigfoot search groups for you to check out.
The Washington State Sasquatch Search Group has several DVDs for sale so you can search for bigfoot from the comfort of your own living room.
If you are more interested in getting out in the woods in your quest for sasquatch, you might check out the Washington Sasquatch Research Team – WASRT. They have an online video archive including
With one of the greatest disclaimers ever “Pardon the lack of video focus for a couple of minutes in the beginning.”
Or you can try North East Washington Bigfoot Researchers Unlimited. N.E.W.B.R.U. has some photos online. Leonard Stigall Sr. is the team leader. He has been interested in Bigfoot since 1967, but it wasn’t until September of 1998 that he found evidence that convinced him of Bigfoot’s existence. While bear hunting in eastern Washington, he found a track that looked like a human footprint, except it measured 16 inches in length.
The other members of N.E.W.B.R.U. include Stigall wife Doris, his sister Laura Lorton and Jean Reedy.
Are there more Washington State bigfoot groups?
Of course there are.
If fact, if you have one, contact us with your info and we’ll post your information online.
And of course, don’t forget Batsquatch…