1986 Tollgate

Year 1986
Date Unknown
State OR
County Umatilla
Location Tollgate
Found by Unknown
Documented by Unknown
Length 14.5 in
Width (ball) 6 in
Width (heel) 4.75 in
Step length Unknown


Two fishermen came across a track way consisting of 5 impressions. Most of the impressions were in grass, under which was soft soil. These footprints did not retain much, if any detail, but one footprint was impressed an inch deep into the mud of a nearby stream bank.

The fishermen told the owners of a nearby business about the tracks, and she and her husband went to look at the prints. They photographed one, covered it, and came back later to make a cast.

The couple brought their dog, a dingo-shepherd mix. It acted terrified of something nearby.

In the grass near the casting site, there were signs that a large animal had lain down, but no body impressions were observed in the underlying dirt. A nearby yew tree had been snapped off four feet above the ground. It was 3.5 inches in diameter.

In the above table, the person who cast it is listed as “unknown”, but it probably should read “uncertain.” I believe a woman named Lorreta Nietch cast the print. She is given photographer’s credit for the photograph of the footprint in the ground before being cast, which can be found on page 227 of Meldrum’s excellent book.

I have seen an online article about a couple who owned a restaurant in Tollgate that had an original footprint hanging on the wall of their establishment. I was unable to locate a link to that article, but if/when I run across it again, I’ll update this page accordingly.

Both Grover Krantz and Jeff Meldrum attribute this cast to another individual sasquatch from the data set. Krantz says that this cast was “almost certainly” the same individual as the 1982 Freeman casting event (coming soon to the database). Meldrum suggests that this cast shows the same individual as he himself cast in 1996 outside of Five Points, WA (also coming soon). Both of these other casting events occurred about 20 miles north of Tollgate, OR. If Krantz and Meldrum are correct, this sheds some light on the home range of individual sasquatches.

This individual shows a variant of a human condition called Morton’s Toe, which is when the second digit is longer than the first. The condition occurs in about 10% of the human population.

When the Forest Service was notified of the track find, they flippantly brushed off the event. Soon after the phone call ended, a Forest Service employee called back and inquired about possibly seeing the cast and prints. There were in fact interested individuals in the Forest Service that kept a file on the bigfoot encounters from that area. There are probably a lot more that are interested, but never speak up out of fear of ridicule.


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