Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is one of my favorite places to go bigfooting. Its thick rain forests, steep terrain, and abundant food supply make it one of, if not the best bigfoot habitat in the lower 48 states. Few people live on the peninsula, especially its north and west sides, but yet many bigfoot reports continue to come out of the area year after year.
I have been to the Peninsula on many occasions, and have had some interesting things occur on these trips. However, unlike Bobo and Matt, I cannot claim to have had bigfoot action on nearly every expedition. I have spent many dark cold nights alone in this vast rainforest listening to the sounds of silence. That’s bigfooting for you.
It was a recording obtained by Tyler Bounds along the Humptulips River while on a lengthy expedition that brought us to the Olympic Peninsula. This recording may not sound as dramatic as our description might lead you to believe, but any seasoned bigfooter knows that recordings always far fall short of hearing those sounds live in person. Despite this, Tyler has been kind enough to allow me to share his audio recordings in this report. Below is the unedited, uncleaned version of his recording. For more recordings by Tyler, including more from this expedition, click here.
We were a few miles away from the actual site where Tyler obtained his recording, but there was a reason for it. We were granted access to a large parcel of private land on the west side of Highway 101 through which the Humptulips River runs. This property is not developed, and is hunted by the property owner and his friends. It was back in August of 2008 when a man named Terry was bow hunting this property and stumbled across some footprints that troubled him deeply.
The photograph shows two footprints with very little straddle. Using the arrow as a scale item (it is 32 inches long, not including the arrowhead), the length of the close footprint can be approximated as being 14.27 inches long. Since the footprint is not depicted perfectly perpendicularly to the camera, it is actually slightly longer than this, but not much.
Using the arrow for a scale item again, the creature’s step length can be approximated as well. A rough calculation shows that the step length as measured from heel to heel is somewhere around 33.47 inches. Since the angle of the photo is not perpendicular to the film plane, this measurement is once again off. Also, this length is much greater, so I expect that this length of about 33.5 inches is too short by a couple inches. It’s hard to say for sure, but I think these numbers are somewhere in the ballpark and can serve as a lower end to the range of possibilities.
Also of interest in Terry’s photograph is the subtly inhuman proportions of the footprint. In the middle of the foot, a slight pressure ridge can be seen. When compared to another excellent footprint from the same area, the 1982 Grays Harbor print cast by Sheriff Dennis Heryford, this ridge aligns very nicely to the place in the foot where the hypothesized midtarsal joint should be located, behind the metatarsals and directly under the cuneiform and cuboid bones. When examining the heel shapes of both footprints, there is a strong similarity in that both heels seem elongated and somewhat uniform in width for most of their lengths.
It was the same piece of property where Terry found his footprints on which we did our first night investigation. The big news of the night was that I saw a warm patch on a tree and didn’t know what it was. I still don’t know what it was, but I don’t think it was a bigfoot, nor any other living mammal. Since the airing of the episode, I have received several dozen emails from fans telling me they know exactly what that was. So far, I have been told that what I saw was moss, lichen, a bigfoot, fresh urine from any number of suggested animals (including bigfoots) marking their territory, heat left on a tree from an elk rubbing on it, and a ghost. I still do not know what it was that made that heat signature, but it sounds like many people know precisely what it was that I saw that night.
Terry’s footprints were not the only ones to come to my attention on this expedition. A man named Rick and his wife discovered another trackway made by two different individuals on a gated forest service road west of Wynoochee Lake in May of 2012. Rick was kind enough to supply the photographs of the footprints that he took that day, and luckily he had the foresight to include a scale item, a writing pen. I met Rick at our town hall meeting, and he let me borrow this same pen to take a photograph of it against a scale item. Using this pen, the footprints’ sizes can now be accurately determined.
Three different footprints were shown in the same frame as the pen in various photographs. I used these photos to determine the footprints’ lengths, widths at the ball, and widths at the heel where possible. The third picture was only a half cast, so no overall length could be determined, nor could the heel width (though it’s possible that the heel made a slight impression in the ground right behind the ball of the foot). I do not know in what order the footprints were laid down, so arbitrarily assigned them the designations of Print 1, Print 2, and Print 3.
Print 1 measures a bit more than 11 inches, and has a ball width of 3.68 inches. Its heel is about 2.86 inches wide. Print 2 has an overall length of 13.09 inches, and has a ball and heel width of 4.25 inches and 3.33 inches respectively. Lastly, the half cast, Print 3, has a ball width of 3.31 inches.
Our last night investigation was a pretty amazing experience. We use FLIR handheld thermal imaging units on the show, and they were interested in giving us access to some of their higher end technology for use in trying to film a bigfoot. They have a mobile training unit equipped with some FLIR units that are literally just under military-grade. These imagers can discern man-sized objects with pretty good detail from literally nine miles away. We parked the FLIR RV in the center of a very long valley and used it to monitor several saddles, choke points, and clear cuts. The farthest area we monitored that night was only six miles away at the far end of the valley, but that would serve to enhance any images we might obtain rather than pushing the limits of the technology we were using. The FLIR technician that came out to help us set up the equipment so that each periscopic camera would look at one area for a number of seconds and then switch to another area automatically.
Through an unlucky decision, I was chosen to accompany Matt out in the cold on the electric vehicle while Bobo and Ranae got to stay in the heated RV and play with the cool gear. I guess this was fine if we caught a glimpse of something and I could attempt to get close to it. However, we didn’t see any bigfoots that night, and I was forced to freeze my butt off while whizzing around a very cold valley til the wee hours of the morning.
While our Olympic Peninsula expedition didn’t yield any bigfoot sightings, some interesting data emerged, some of which was quite recent. Any trip that comes up with two sets of footprints that have never been seen before should be considered very successful. We also learned more about the habits of the local bigfoots in the Wynoochee area. Since our time in the area, I have been in contact with some of the families in the area that report bigfoot activity on or near their properties in the Wynoochee Valley. Perhaps one of these contacts will come up with more evidence that can be analyzed and shared in the future. I’ll keep my ears open for just such an opportunity.
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