• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

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Encounters with the Unknown

How I came to believe in Bigfoot

by: Laura Cyr

First let me say that I have not personally seen or heard a Bigfoot but I AM a true believer! I know several people that have had experiences and I believe every word they said. They are ordinary, credible people who in no way would benefit from telling a “Tall Tale.”

I was born and raised in Southern California and the existence of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, was never talked about. I had heard of the Yeti of the Himalayas but I thought that was a “Tibet Thing” and I wasn’t exactly convinced Yeti were real. I suspected they might be a bear and the pointed skull fragment shown by monks reminded me of a coconut shell.

Moving to Washington state changed the whole picture. Here Bigfoot is part of the fabric of our lives and many-if not most-people except that SOMETHING is out in the woods.

ED WILHIGHT: I met Ed and Effie Wilhight when I was in my late twenties. They were an elderly couple who were friends of my husband. They were already in their seventies and had to have been born in the 1890’s. Ed came to Washington when he was a young man and went to work felling timber. He told me that the forests were very different back then—ALL of the trees were Old Growth and the land was blanketed from eastern Washington to the Pacific Ocean with one continual forest. This was back when trees were felled by hand and oxen hauled the logs on “Skid Roads” to the mill or water. Ed said that NEVER in their wildest imagination did they ever think they could log off the forest.

The original forest was so tall and the trees so thick that there was no undergrowth. Ed told me the forest floor was so bare that it looked very much like a park. He told me that the Sasquatch had certain trees that they roosted in. You could tell which trees were roosting trees because there was a huge dung pile under the preferred perch. For this reason they called Bigfoot the Big Assed Birds. The smell was enough to make you gag. Ed did not see a Bigfoot but he did see the roosting trees.

RON KONA: I met Ron Kona when we came to speak at a UFOCCI (UFO CONTACT CENTER INTERNATIONAL) meeting north of Seattle. His father was Hawaiian and his mother a member of the Tulalip tribe. Ron had been raised by his grandmother who told him that when she was a very small girl the tribe would move to the area around Darrington, Washington to pick huckleberries when they were ripe. The Tulalips had an agreement with the Bigfoot people. The Tulalip only picked huckleberries from one side of the valley and the Bigfoot picked the other side. In the middle the Indian and Bigfoot children would play while their parents worked. My children and I went to visit Ron a couple of times on the reservation. He had been married to a German woman and he said the Bigfoot would call her out into the woods. Ron said that in the night he would hear them call and she would just get up as if she was sleep walking and go out the door. Ron would have to physically restrain her to keep her in the house. In the morning she would not remember a thing about the night before.

I have heard Indian stories that Bigfoot would sometime steal Indian women. Once in a while one would return but they say the women were usually crazy. If the woman had become pregnant during her captivity the baby was killed.

Some tribes believe the Bigfoot was an ancestor which they call The Wild Man of the Woods. Some tribes used the Bigfoot as a sort of “Big Bad Boogey Man” to keep the children from wandering off. The children were told if they strayed they might be stolen and eaten by a Big Hairy monster that carried a basket on her back to keep little boys and girls in.

STAN JOHNSON: In 1983 Stan Johnson had his first encounter with Bigfoot. In 1987 Stan Johnson (with Joshua Shapiro) wrote a book called THE TRUE STORY OF BIG FOOT (Stan Johnson’s Close Encounters) It is a totally fascinating book about the history of Bigfoot and their UFO connections. According to Stan Bigfoot have been here for millions of years and come from a planet. They are dimensional travelers and go to the 5th dimension when it is winter or when there are too many people around. There are several different species of Bigfoot on Earth of varying sizes and temperaments and degrees of intelligence.

I met Stan when he was invited to speak at a UFOCCI event—he shared a cabin with me, my son and a friend. He was a humble, sincere and completely honest elderly gentleman. He had been asked by the Bigfoot people to represent them and let the world know they are not animals and that our pollution of the Earth is hurting them. They have families and believe in God and His Son just as we do. They evade mankind by reading our minds and they have the ability to be near us but be invisible to us.

Aileen Garoutte and Nell Zajac of UFOCCI went down to visit Stan Johnson and his wife where they lived in Oakland, Oregon. Stan took them to the place he had first met the Bigfoot people. While there Aileen said she heard a scream like nothing she had ever heard before. She thought that Stan’s friends were not too happy with their presence and wanted them to leave. Stan also showed them some logs the Bigfoot beat on to communicate with each other.

A couple of years after meeting Stan he was an invited guest on COAST TO COAST when Art Bell ran the show. I thought—NOW Stan is going to be able to get his message out. WRONG. Art Bell could not except that Bigfoot was anything but an animal and the minute Stan mentioned their UFO connection and dimensional travel Art became hostile. At the commercial break Art dismissed him and said that Stan was a “crackpot.” I was so furious that I wanted to write the show and defend Stan. That is one of the few times I heard Art ridicule and dismiss an invited speaker. Stan has passed on now—I wonder if the Bigfoot have chosen another ambassador to champion their cause.

KATHRYN WEST: Kathryn was a member of a medicine wheel study group that I belong to. One day she told me about seeing a juvenile Bigfoot near Yakima, Washington. She was driving east on a winding road at twilight. The freeway here is split with the east bound lanes higher up the rolling hillside and the west bound lanes following the base of the hills. Between is a guard rail and a steep grass covered hillside. As Kathryn rounded a bend in the road she caught in her headlights a young Bigfoot about 5 or 6 feet tall. He froze for an instant with a “deer in the headlights” look followed by an “Oh My God, I AM In Big Trouble Now” look. He quickly stepped over the guard rail and disappeared down the grassy slope. The impression Kathryn received was that he was surprised and frightened by exposing himself to humans.

MARILYN REYNOLDS: Marilyn was another lady from my Medicine Wheel study group. Many years ago she lived in Forks, Washington. YES, the same town of Forks made famous by the TWILIGHT books and movies. Near dusk she was driving across a river and just happened to glance to the side and see a Bigfoot crouched down at the edge of a small stream. She thought he was scooping up water to drink—or perhaps fishing.

LARI VOGEL: When my daughters were teenagers they were friends with a family from our church that lived on the Carbon River just outside of Orting, Washington. This area is still pretty rural but at that time it was primitive with only a handful of houses along the lower part of the river. The Vogels lived in a double wide mobile home that was built on cement blocks. One night the parents were gone and the kids were rough housing inside after dark. The family dog was inside and suddenly started barking angrily and them became frightened and cowered in the corner. The kids stopped running around and felt a jolt that they didn’t think too much about and then an awful smell—much worse than a skunk. The next day the family went out to see what had happened and about 8 feet up on the corner of the trailer a few reddish brown hairs had been caught in the siding on the corner. We are convinced a Bigfoot had an itch he couldn’t scratch.

NELL ZAJAC: A couple of days ago I asked Nell about a trip that she, Aileen Garoutte and Jim Van Avery (all members of UFOCCI) had made in the 1980’s to Elma, Washington. They went to visit a man that had interacted with a mother and daughter Bigfoot. Nell couldn’t remember the man’s name but she said he was a “sweet old man in his 80’s.” He was blind and lived by himself in a very small and very smelly little trailer in a rural area. He had never been married and had lived with his mother until she died. In the 1940’s he and his mother had watched an UFO take water from a pond near them.

In the 1980’s he heard a knock on the side of his trailer. He discovered that his visitors were a mother and daughter Bigfoot. The teenage Bigfoot mentally spoke to him and said she wanted to have sex with him. This old fellow, who had never been with a woman, said he felt quite flattered to be asked and agreed. He couldn’t see her but he could feel she was quite “furry” and also remarked that she had a “very strong smell.” The deed was done and mother and daughter went on their way. A while later they returned once more to let him know the daughter had become pregnant and had a baby.

LINDA COX: I asked Linda to write about what happened and these are her words.

When I was 14 my girlfriend, Sue, and I decided life at home was not very good and we decided to run away from home. Our 2nd night away from home we left the main road and went down a dirt road toward a wooded area. We found a clearing that looked like it was probably a dumping site from the locals because there were large cardboard boxes and appliances laying around. The area was surrounded pretty much by woods. We decided we would use the cardboard to make a shelter and spend the night there. While we were looking around I just got this eerie feeling that something was watching me and when I turned and looked into the woods, which was probably about 100 feet away, and there was this person? watching me. We locked eyes and my mind was trying to accept what I was seeing. It had human face features that were light in color but its height was what really threw me off. I thought “That has to be the tallest person I have ever seen.” I turned to tell Sue to look where I was looking but when I looked back, which was just a few seconds, it was not there. I scanned the woods and about 100 feet down from where I originally saw it there he was again staring at me. Each time I was the one to break eye contact and that time it was to tell Sue we were getting out of there. Funny thing is, I didn't feel like it was going to kill me but I did feel like it wanted me because I was the one he was looking at both times. I call it a he because the features appeared masculine to me. (They spent the night in a gas station bathroom.)

Maureen Browning: Maureen lives in Castle Rock, Washington which is about 50 miles west on Mt St Helens. This is Prime Bigfoot area and the locals sell Bigfoot souvenirs to tourists on their way to or from the visitor’s center at Johnson Ridge. Maureen lives on 10 acres of land most of which is wooded. Just off the deck is a deep wooded ravine. A week ago on Facebook Maureen left this post: Tried to post a recording of owls calling back and forth last night then some weird sounds like a bunch of baboon or other critters out in the ravine of the woods but FB won’t let me. (I sure don’t know what it was) I think I KNOW what she heard. What do you think it was?


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Saturday, November 27, 2021