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COUNTY: Yakima County
LOCATION DETAILS: Cowiche Wilderness - I'd rather not say exactly where - I like this area and want to keep the traffic down during hunting seasons.
NEAREST TOWN: Tampico
NEAREST ROAD: Ahtanum
OBSERVED: Early one morning while scouting for mule deer and elk, I had also been hoping to fill my bear tag at the same time, as bear season was open. This area is not well known for black bear activity - but they are present. I was tipped off by a neighboring camper a few nights earlier, of a watering hole in a clearing a few hundred yards from camp and assure I would see plenty of elk and mulies. I was looking forward to snapping some pics with my new camera as well as having a shot at a black bear.
I woke up well before the sun, gathered all my camera gear, rifle, pistol, and chair and headed out. Just inside the clearing, there is a grove of trees providing perfect cover for an 80 yd shot at the watering hole. Just beyond the watering hole (approx. 30 yds further) is the other side of the opening where the forest begins, and a massive game trail - like grand central station for the critters. I hunkered down and was immediately attacked by mosquitoes - like flies on sh*t. I couldn't let the constant squeeter slapping blow my cover so I cut two holes in my stocking cap, pulled it over my eyes and zipped my coat up over my neck. This helped, and I did not move a muscle for the next 30 minutes. Facing east, I was staring straight at the game trail entrance as the sun had just started coming up beyond the trees.
Then, out of nowhere - just to the left of where I was patiently watching - it moved into view. According to google earth it was 110 yds away and all it did was stand there, full-frontal and facing me. "I'm looking at bigfoot. I'm looking at bigfoot." - must have repeated a thousand times in my head.
As I mentioned earlier, the sun was just coming up, and it glimmered off its fur perfectly in the dark woods. I could see its full outline from the elbows up, as it was standing behind a fallen tree that was still hanging on to its roots a few feet off the ground. There was enough light that I could barely make out the shadow of its jaw line and chin - well below its shoulder line. And the hair - its hair was beaming with light from behind. I could not tell what color it was for sure, with such a contrast of color between dark woods and brilliant sunlight beaming off it, but I will forever remember the outline of its body and long hair.
So many things ran through my head, during the (approx.) 45 second encounter - with a camera on my left, and two firearms on my right - I could not gamble making a move for my camera, and I have NO reason to shoot a squatch. There was no threat, and through all the racing thoughts I came to the conclusion that this may be the last encounter I ever have. I soaked in every second. Though I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what I was looking at, I waited to see if it was just a reflection of trees and shadows moving with the rising sun - but as soon as this thought had come to mind, the creature moved like a ghost behind a large tree and out of view.
I waited a couple hours longer, and two mule deer bucks came running from the north and stopped at the watering hole - between me and the edge of the trees where I had seen the squatch. Still eager to get a photo of the deer, I stood up to get their attention and snapped a few pics of them both looking at me. I got a few nice pictures before they took off towards the area I saw the squatch. Just before before they reached the treeline, they stopped dead in their tracks, sniffed the air, looked at me, stomped their feet, sniffed the air again, and looked back in my direction, before cautiously entering the woods and out of sight.
At this time, I grabbed just my pistol and camera and proceeded across the opening to the area of the sighting to gauge the height of the fallen tree from which behind I saw the squatch. I am 5'10", and when I stood behind the fallen tree, the top of it came to my shoulders. This is the height at which I saw the squatch from its elbows up. With my camera in hand, and my pistol holstered, I did not feel any threat - but I really didn't want to stick around much longer either. I searched briefly for footprints, but there was so much grass, weeds, and pine needles I just assumed it was better to head back to camp and reflect.
I am looking forward to another opportunity to observe.
ALSO NOTICED: No other game didn't show up for a couple hours after the incident.
OTHER WITNESSES: No other witnesses known. Neighboring camper did however place a trail cam in that area and I will be contacting that person via email.
OTHER STORIES: One week earlier my friend and I both heard howl/screams triangulated around our campsite before bed, in the same place. 2 males and 1 female (squatches). I researched even more after the sighting and found the following class b recording witnessed ONE MONTH PRIOR, and withing 30 miles (google earth scale):
TIME AND CONDITIONS: 6:30am
ENVIRONMENT: at around 6,000 ft. wooded area. sighting occurred near a watering hole in a large open area of the forest.
Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Clifton Barnes:
The witness was interviewed several times in person and by phone in the weeks following the alleged incident and an in-person investigation to the sighting location was conducted to document the details and corroborate the witness' story with the actual location several weeks after it occurred. I have also been able to listen to the witness' story of his experience several times as he shared it with others.
Measurements on the distance between the witness and the figure were taken, and the approximate height was determined based on a re-creation from the witness' perspective. The figure's approximate width and body proportions were estimated by comparing my own body measurements to the witness' observation of the subject.
Following a tip from a nearby camper, the witness woke before sunrise and went to a specific area in hopes of harvesting a bear and also to photograph the local deer & elk. After observing the area, he chose to sit down motionless amongst a small grove of trees facing south/southwest on the far side of a watering hole at a clearing to watch for game.
The following photos were sent to the BFRO and were taken by the witness moments after the encounter:
After approximately thirty minutes, the figure appeared silently from the left of the witness' field of vision and stayed in view for what was perceived to be about forty-five seconds. It appeared to be standing behind a fallen tree elevated off the ground at the edge of the clearing with sunlight glaring off of its back-right side. The subject made no noticeable body movements other than to move out of view to the witness' right. The figure's retreat was described as "ghost like" and smooth and it made no sounds or vocalizations during the incident. The witness stated that he felt as though the figure was watching him but he could not confirm this due to lighting conditions and distance.
Please refer to the following photo for the lighting conditions and the fallen tree mentioned above.
The distance between the witness and the figure was measured to be 483 feet (161 yards, 147.2 meters). Based on comparisons to my own height and a tree for reference, the figure's approximate height was measured at seven foot nine inches (2.32 meters) and it had an approximate shoulder width of thirty to thirty three inches (2 foot 6-9 inches, .76-.83 meters). One of the body details that were noticed was that the figure's elbow height was above the tree it was standing behind. Measurements at the scene put the elbows of the figure at about four foot nine inches. To compare that to my own measurements at a standing height of five foot ten inches, my elbow height was measured at three foot eight and 1/2 inches, which is about a foot lower than the figure. Interestingly, with a total height difference of approximately two feet between the figure and the investigator, this means that the figure had disproportionately longer arms than my own. This is known in science as a having a longer intermembral index. In other words, the figure was about two feet taller but its elbows were only about one foot higher off the ground. Furthermore, calculations determined that the top of the figure's head to its elbows came out to approximately 38% of its total standing height compared to my own proportions of 36.5%. A difference of only 1.5%, seemingly similar until you consider that the figure's profile showed a short or almost missing neck, putting the jaw line well below the shoulder line, which the witness also noted. This contrasts sharply with a typical human profile with a pronounced neck, putting the chin & jaw line well above the shoulder line. What this means is that, despite having almost no neck, the body proportions from the figure's elbows to the top of its head was still a larger in proportion to its total height. This "long armed" appearance is a feature consistent with many documented encounters throughout North America over many decades and would be an unlikely detail for the witness to know since it was discovered only after measurements were calculated after the investigation was completed.
Map of the location with placemarks:
The witness has declared that he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol of any type at the time of the incident. I am confident based on testimony, photographs, measurements taken in person and from mathematical calculations that the witness did indeed see a large upright figure as described on the morning of August 21st, 2011 that was clearly beyond human size and not a misidentification of a known animal nor an optical illusion. I submit to the reader to decide for him or herself what this means.
About BFRO Investigator Clifton Barnes:
Clifton Barnes is a long time outdoor enthusiast who regularly enjoys a spectrum of outdoor activities, martial arts and social non-profit volunteer work. He is from eastern Washington and has a background in visual communications, fitness, telecommunications and finance.
His interest in the phenomenon began in 2002 and he later attended a BFRO expedition on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. He has participated in many independent & BFRO expeditions in the US and Canadian pacific northwest dating back to 2004. He has since relocated to north Georgia and continues to pursue research there near the Smoky Mountains.
He believes that the Sasquatch mystery can be legitimized and eventually solved by obtaining compelling video & audio, dna and track evidence and chooses to pursue the scientific verification of this species through various surveillance methods.