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DATE: August 15 & 16
COUNTY: Whatcom County
LOCATION DETAILS: Follow the Mt. Baker Highway East from Bellingham. Go through Maple Falls and drive for 37 miles. Turn left into Snoqualmie Snow Park and follow gravel road. Turn left at the fork and follow until you come to the banks of the Nooksack River. Campsite is on the right (Silver Fir Campground).
NEAREST TOWN: Maple Falls
NEAREST ROAD: Mount Baker Highway
OBSERVED: I have been an amateur sasquatch researcher for 10 years. I recently had an experience that I would like to share with you.
My friends and I were camping on the Nooksack River. Our campsite is a 'freebie' meaning it is on the Federal Land in the Mount Baker National Forest. Our site was protected underneath the forest canopy, with the river bank approximately 20 feet away. We were having a 'bachelorette camping party' for our friend. Three of us arrived at the campsite at about 11:00 am on Friday, August 15th and set up the camp without incident. To tell you the truth, I was looking forward to a weekend with the girls. Two more girls arrived and set up their tents. The entire area was on a fire ban so we had to cook our dinner using the propane stove. We had a few drinks, but nothing substantial and we stayed up talking until about 11:00pm. We secured the site for animals and we each climbed into our tents to get a good night sleep as we were hiking Hannigan Pass the next morning.
Around the 2:00am - 3:00am point (not sure) I could hear something in the site. We are all seasoned hikers and have become accustomed to hearing 'critters' in the campsite. I know for a fact that the other girls usually wore earplugs so these sounds didn't drive them crazy. I was lying awake (a little bout of insomnia) and just assumed it was a racoon or something. Although, in my mind sounded a little bigger than a racoon. I kept quiet and tried not to move while my heart was beating rather fast. The sound came closer to my tent and then something brushed up against my tent (enough to crinkle the tarp I was using as a fly). My tent was a 5 foot high dome tent and whatever it was crinkled the tarp near the top. The sound went away shortly after that. As a researcher, I should have stuck my head out of the tent to see what it was, but that is the closest I have ever come to an actual sighting and it was a little too close for comfort. To make a long story short... I was scared out of my wits.
The next morning, the girls were up and making coffee. They were preparing for their hike. I made a conscious decision not to tell them about the encounter as most of them are skeptical about this animal. I made an excuse not to go on the hike. I had a badly cracked callus on my heel so it wasn't difficult to beg out. Just before the girls left, one of the girls (Allyson) came over to me and asked if I had heard anything strange during the night. I told her what I heard and she told me that something had 'walked' around her truck and gave it a nudge. Allyson sleeps in her truck bed (which has a canopy). She said she looked out the window and saw a shadow... then it was gone. I asked her to keep this to herself and the girls left on their hike.
I began to 'audit' the campsite for tracks or other evidence. Since the girls were up and around before me, I had no idea if there would be anything visible or not. I started with my tent. My tent was pitched between two old growth trees with approximately 4 feet of space on either side. On the left side of the tent (facing the door) between the tree and the tent were 2 footprints - one print was sunk at least an inch into the pine mulch. The other print was more to the rear of the tent, but not castable. I tool my tool and boxed both prints. I stood beside the good print and attempted to make a footprint in the pine mulch to see if I could get it an inch deep. I wasn't even close. I barely disturbed the mulch enough to get an outline. I went in the direction the prints were sort of headed and about 5 feet off the deer trail I found one more track. Half the track was in a little puddle of dried mud and the other half was in the mulch. Unfortunately, the mud side wasn't enough to cast. I boxed that track and moved on to the other tents. There was nothing visible around the other tents so I moved on to the vehicles. I discovered 5 tracks around Allyson's truck. Her truck was parked more on the hard dirt so only the outlines were visible, but they were not deep enough to cast. Two of the tracks had sandal prints over top of them. I am assuming they belong to Allyson. After I boxed the prints, I checked for any prints or hair on the sides of the vehicle. There was a smudge in the dirt on the passenger side door, but nothing I could consider as tangible evidence. I walked over to the Explorer and found another 4 tracks. Some of the tracks had been tromped on by the girls getting their packs out and such, but there was nothing castable. I boxed them and and continued to look around the campsite to no avail. It didn't surprise me that there was nothing around the firepit or perimeter as the girls were up a good hour before I was so they probably destroyed anything that might have been there. I got out my kit and cast the one good track beside my tent. It measured 12 1/4" in Length and 7 1/4' in width (width was measured between the two points of the 'ball') and 7/8' deep. My guess is that it was an adolescent as it was not as big as I have seen in the past. It was definitely larger than any man's foot I have ever seen.
As I waited for the cast to dry, I thought I would make myself a cup of coffee and read my book for awhile. I was sitting in my camp chair and I heard some 'clicking' sounds about 100 feet back into the forest. It almost sounded like two rocks being hit together, or perhaps the sound of someone pounding in a tent peg. I went back reading and almost a half an hour later, the clicking was still going on. I decided to venture back into the woods (with bear spray in hand) to see where it was coming from. As soon as I reached the beginning of the deer trail, it stopped. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I really understand now what people are saying when they feel like they are being watched. The hairs on my arms and neck were standing on end and it was about this time I was really wishing I had not stayed behind. I went back over to my chair and sat down. I thought if I put the radio on, it would get my mind off of this stuff for awhile. I checked the cast and it was still tacky. Although my research tells me that these animals try to avoid humans as much as possible (as do bears), I was really starting to get scared. I got my book and I sat in my car for awhile and blasted the heat. Once in a while, I would get out of the car and check the cast. The clicking was still there. The atmosphere was really erie. It was a little overcast it seemed as if the temperature dropped 5 or 10 degrees. Finally I said to myself "you've been waiting ten years for this - stop being a baby" and I got out of the car. By this time the cast was dry and I lifted it up. Because this was cast in pine mulch, I had to get as much of the mulch off as possible. When doing that, I noticed some black hairs embedded in the cast around the ouside of the print. The hairs are about an inch and a half in length. By this time the clicking had stopped but I still felt like someone was watching me. I made the decision to put the cast in my trunk and not mention any of this to girls as I did not want to scare them (and I didn't want to be subjected to the ridicule of non-believers). I saved the one print that I had cast, but I went around and destroyed all the other prints. I decided to make myself something to eat and wait for the girls to return.
When the girls got back, I walked towards them and they said "You look like you've seen a ghost". I told them that it was really eerie here by myself and that I was glad they were back. The girls went into their tents to change into their bathing suits so they could go down to the river to wash. Allyson came over to me and asked me what happened. I told her everything, but asked her not to say anything to the other girls. Allyson mentioned that her friends live in Maple Falls and they have problems with sasquatch all the time. They hear screams, their gardens are raided and there are commotions at night. She said that her friends have dealt with them for years and it has just become a part of life.
I eventually told the girls and they were a little scared/excited going to sleep that evening. I explained that whatever it was, was curious and probably wouldn't come back. To my knowledge... it didn't.
ALSO NOTICED: Found 12 tracks (one was cast). Heard clicking noises.
OTHER WITNESSES: Only myself and another camper (who was sleeping in the back of her truck) actually heard/saw something. The other girls were dead asleep in their tents. This didn't surprise me as we are all seasoned hikers and are used to 'critters' being in the camp at night. We usually wear earplugs so we don't drive ourselves crazy wondering what's out there.
OTHER STORIES: Maple Falls, WA - Allyson told me that sasquatch is a common occurrence and has been for years.
TIME AND CONDITIONS: Incident occured in the early morning hours between 2:00am - 3:00am on August 16, 2003. It was pitch black out. Although there was approximately a 'half' moon out, we were underneath the forest canopy. Sounds could be heard off the deer trail again in the afternoon of August 16, 2003. It was overcast, about 70 degrees.
ENVIRONMENT: We were camped underneath the temperate forest canopy approximately 20 feet from the bank of the Nooksack River. It is a popular 'freebie' campsite for fisherman. There is an obvious animal trail through the site to the bank of the river.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Dr. Wolf H. Fahrenbach:
The witness gives an admirably accurate accounting of the events at this site, a region that has had activity over many decades past. The moon rose at 10:30 in the evening, about 80% illuminated. The campground constitutes one of the approaches to the North Cascades National Park by way of the Chilliwak River (beyond Hannegan Pass), the entire region covered with dense forest and in places impenetrable brush. The Nooksak River enters Puget Sound without intervening dams and would be expected to have good salmon runs.