A Brief History
On Sunday February 12, 2012, Max Roy of Eugene, OR took his dog for a walk at Cottage Grove Reservoir in Oregon. While walking, Max ran into another dog-walker who told him about some bigfoot footprints a bit further up the paved logging road that paralleled the lake shore. When Max arrived at the location, it was easy enough to find three footprints in the mud on a berm above the lake bed near the tree line. He examined the prints in the ground, and soon became a bit spooked by the situation, and returned to his car to drive home. That night, Max was haunted by what he had seen that day, so he returned to take a photographs of the prints on Tuesday, after his dentist encouraged him to photograph what he had seen.
He thought that there was a chance that whatever he found might be interesting or important to someone else, so he decided to share this information. Max remembered seeing a car adorned with a bunch of bigfoot stickers in his neighborhood, so on Wednesday, February 15th he dropped by the house where this car was usually parked and knocked on the door. The car was recently owned by Toby Johnson, and the stickers were put on it to promote his event, the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium. By this time, however, the car had been given to his ex-wife, and all the bigfoot stickers had been removed but one. Still, Max knew the car well (he is retired from the auto industry and spends his retirement restoring cars) and recognized it with no problem, even without most of the stickers. Max shared his print find with Toby’s ex-wife, who passed the information onto Toby himself. On Wednesday afternoon, Toby received text messages containing photographs of the prints in the ground, as well as directions to the location itself.
On Wednesday evening, Toby followed Max’s directions to the track site with a friend who wishes to remain anonymous (he will be referred to as “Tracker”). They found the location of the three footprints and soon discovered another fourth footprint nearby. Toby then called me for some advice on casting footprints and excitedly told me what had transpired so far. I was definitely interested in the find, especially after seeing one of Max’s photographs of the prints in the ground, but figure that there’s nothing I can do but help Toby from a distance via phone. I instructed him what to document, and how to cast all four prints.
On Thursday, February 16th, I had a work obligation. I was to give a presentation at a K-8 charter school in Clackamas, OR to kick off their science fair (my presentation was entitled, “How I apply the scientific method in my job”). After my presentation, I checked my voice mail messages to find there was one from Toby. The message excitedly told me there were over 100 footprints discovered in the nearby lake bed that they had not noticed the night before because it was dark. I immediately left from the school and headed straight to the track location which was a bit more than two hours away. While en route, I phoned my friend and fellow bigfooter, Chris Minniear. I asked him to purchase 200 pounds of Hydrocal White for which I would later reimburse him.
I arrived at Cottage Grove Reservoir sometime after 4 pm. I found Toby and Tracker at the site, along with another man. Toby caught me up on the details, and I proceeded to quickly film the trackway with my Cannon XA10 camcorder. At about this time, I received a call from Chris Minniear telling me that his car broke down on the way to the site . He was 45 minutes away, stranded on the side of Interstate 5 near Lane Community College. After quickly filming the trackway, I hopped back in my vehicle and went to meet Chris at the car dealership in Eugene, OR to where his car was being towed
Not only do I believe that Murphy’s Law is real, but I also believe that Murphy is a bigfoot. Strangely bad luck often surrounds bigfoot events and encounters, and apparently this footprint find was no exception.
After dealing with the car issues, Chris and I returned to the trackway location. By this time, Toby and the others had gone home for some well-deserved sleep, and night had fallen. The weather forecast was indicating that rain was likely to start sometime that night, so Chris and I got to work quickly.
Measurements were taken of each print’s length, ball width, and heel width for the first dozen or so prints. Step length was also measured for these prints. After repeatedly obtaining very similar numbers, Chris and I opted to skip the measurements and film each print in the ground using my Canon Xa10 HD camcorder. We briefly examined each footprint and then got to work casting the prints themselves.
I initially chose to cast some very clean looking impressions early in the trackway. I cast five in a row, and labeled them 1A – 1E. Then I wanted to preserve the double print next to the slippage (initially labeled “B”), and did so. I also cast the print immediately before the slippage and labeled it, “A”).
Tracker was on the site earlier in the day and cast four consecutive right footprints, so I chose to start at the next footprint after Tracker’s casts and made as many consecutive casts as I could before running out of casting material. In total, Chris and I cast 64 footprints in a row, plus eight others earlier in the trackway for a total of 72 footrprints cast in all (I am counting the double print as two footprints cast, even though they are both contained in one large casting).
After casting the prints, I took photographs (with a scale item) of the tracks that we were not able to cast. Some of these were later cast by other visitors to the site, including Toby Johnson, Beth Heikkinen, Thom Powell, Guy Edwards, and Autumn Williams. Some of these casts will be included in this report, and they will be noted as having been cast by the various individuals.
For a more detailed timeline, you can look at the following links: