Geographical Index > United States > Washington > Grays Harbor County > Article # 129
Media Article # 129
Article submitted by Richard Noll
Sunday, August 17, 1969
SASQUATCH WATCH! Deputy Sights One; Other Reports From O/S, Tahola, Malone
The Ocean Observer
When a Grays Harbor deputy sheriff, driving up a deserted back road in the middle of the night, spotted an eight-foot-tall, hairy, muscular "something" in his headlights, he set off the great Ocean Shores "Sasquatch Watch".
The legendary Sasquatch, which is a west coast cousin of the Abominable Snowman, is deep in Indian and woods lore all the way from northern California up beyond British Columbia.
DOES IT exist? If it doesn't, it might well as well, for last week all the rumors and reported sightings and "hearings" for several years back all focused at Ocean Shores.
It was 2:30 a.m. Sunday, July 27, when Deputy Verlin Herrington, an officer noted for his serious approach to his job, was driving up DeKay Road, about 10 miles northwest of Ocean Shores.
HIS LIGHTS picked out a hairy female, seven and one half to eight feet tall, with a head, torso, fingered "hands" and 18-inch long feet covered with hair.
Was it a bear? Herrington doesn't think so, "Black bears don't get that tall, Besides," says Herrington, "I never saw a sow bear with breasts that high up on her chest."
Herrington reported his Sasquatch sighting the Sheriff Pat Gallagher, and probably regretted it later, after the country became acrawl with newsmen.
Gallagher himself leaned toward the bear theory, but that didn't cool the story down much.
THE Seattle Post-Intelligencer sent down a two-man crew, and described the story as "more fantastic than an Ocean Shores press release..." (Well, come, now!)
Ocean Shores young people had been talking about Sasquatch about three weeks PRIOR to Herrington's sighting. Teenager Ruth Foss, at an evening party near Duck Lake, looked out the window and saw "something big and hairy" under a street light.
Other guests at the party affirmed they saw "something" loping off in the darkness. They searched for tracks but found none. It has been a very dry July and August.
It was recalled that last summer, in roughly the same area, two teenage boys camping out heard "something large" prowling around the tent, and in the morning found a well defined track, though with no toe marks, in wet sand at the edge of the lake.
THEN, A WEEK after Deputy Herrington had his encounter, two women driving at night on a side road out of Malone, east of Elma, passed a Sasquatch standing beside the road, went on to an intersection, and turned around.
When they came back to the scene, the animal was still there, but moved off into the darkness.
LAST THURSDAY a five-man work crew near the headworks of the Taholah water system on the Quinault Reservation, was subjected to a barrage of large rocks - a fairly common Sasquatch activity, according to back country lore.
Sasquatches have been blamed for crushing ridgepoles of isolated cabins with watermelon-sized boulders, and tumbling rocks down on pickups in isolated roads.
THE TAHOLAH work crew said those rocks came uphill, and one of them was weighed later at more than four pounds.
The crew declined to work until a gun-carrying guard was brought in. Even then, said the foreman, there was a lot of "standing around looking at the woods". The crew moved its activities closer to town.
ABOUT THIS time into the area came Rene Dahinden, a Canadian who has spent "15 years and $100,000" he says, in a frustrating research trying to get hard physical proof of the existence of the large gorilla like creature.
Dahinden, a construction worker from Vancouver, B.C., is familiar with the wilds. He has interviewed scores of persons who say flatly they have seen Sasquatches, and more who tend to be tightlipped about their own experiences.
SADLY, Dahinden, says he has never seen a Sasquatch himself. But he has measured, photographed and otherwise recorded hundreds of their tracks, from the Fraser Valley down to Mount Shasta.
"Something makes the tracks," Dahinden points out. "And we can tell from the area and compaction tests that whatever it is weighs from 600 to 800 pounds. If we can prove the existence of these creatures it will be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the age... all the books will have to be rewritten."
Dahinden brought with him, primarily to show Herrington and others involved, part of a film shot in 1958, in northern California by Roger Patterson of Yakima.
The film has been the basis for articles in Argosy and Reader's Digest, and Patterson has written a book, called "Bigfoot."
The movie in color, purports to show an actual sighting of a Sasquatch in a wilderness area west of Mount Shasta.
THE FILM surely indeedy does show something big and hairy, moving in bright sunlight along a creek bed, through fallen timber, and then off into the woods.
The pelt is shaggy, like a gorilla, but the creature has the leg length of a very tall man. Its features are more refined than a gorilla's. The arms are long and hairy. The feet are big and hairy.
DAHINDEN explained the film was a female, probably weighing about 690 to 730 pounds. Measurements of its tracks, equated to the size of the feet in the film, indicated a shoulder width of 34 inches, he said. It's tracks were more than 14 inches long.
Some 150 open-mouthed Ocean Shores residents got a chance to see the film in a special showing at the Beach Club.
WAS IT A Sasquatch? Well, friends, it was SOMETHING... and it didn't walk like a man in a funny bear suit. It walked just like something that could pick up a watermelon-sized rock and fling it against your ridgepole.
And when the creature turned and looked over its shoulder, at the camera, the hair rose right up on the 300 forearms in the club.
How is it now at Ocean Shores, which is still wild enough for a continual sightings of deers, racoon, beaver and an occasional bear? Just about the same as DeKay Road, is how it is.
Awful lot of going home before dark, these days.
Vol.6 No. 9