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Old 03-19-2013, 17:38   #68
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 17,068
OK, here is the experience of die-hard skeptic who has some doubt about skepticism.

In the late 1980s I was hunting in on the west side of Oregon's Coast Range. I had been hunting and woods prowling since I was a kid. I driving from one location to another on some old logging rods way up in the hills. I had the window down and was almost stopped by an odd smell. I stopped the truck and got out to investigate. I parted the brush on the side of the logging road to discover another, tangential OLD logging road headed up the side of a hill. The road was covered in a carpet of moss. In the moss was what looked very much like a set of bipedal foot prints, but indistinct due to the moss itself. The moss was definitely freshly crushed some what, and the odor got stronger as I followed. These "prints" were large that my size 9 boots were making by a noticeable amount, they were also so far apart that only with a long stretch could I bridge between them. Now I could very easily dismiss them as some form of wildlife and a bit of my own imagination and something natural causing the musky smell. I was really convincing myself of this until I looked at my own footprints. Every one of mine had torn the moss carpet at either heel or toe as my foot dug in. The "tracks" I was following showed no sign of tearing as I had seen previously with the hooves of elk or the claws of bears going either uphill or down hill.
I convinced myself that it was merely an anomaly created by a known animal. Funny thing was, I did a bit of research later and found that the Indians of the are had called the mountain "Spirit Mountain". Coincidence that proves nothing.

I never mentioned this to anyone and a couple of years later a good friend of mine who was older and has a son my age told me over coffee one Monday morning, very excited, that his son and daughter-in-law had "Seen a Bigfoot" that weekend. They were staying at a vacation rental many miles due west of where I had my "trail adventure". They were in the hot tub at the house on a well known river a couple of miles from the ocean. The said a large, dark creature had come out of the brush across the river and knelt down and drank from the river.
Now I know this man and if his son said it, his son saw it. BUT I think this was probably a hoax to give the vacation renters a thrill and generate business. It was closer to the town than I could excuse or overlook.

It got really interesting to me years later when I moved back to my country homeland on the coast. I was the museum curator and unofficial but de facto County Historian. I had access to all old newspapers and official documents and records. That is when things started to make me go "Hmmm"

I started "snooping into an unsolved death case from the 1880's. Before the Indians in the area had been rounded up some 25+ years earlier they had talked about the 'Wildman" in the area. From newspaper reports I was led to the Deputy/Marshals log. Here is how the story played out.

It was at a gold mining "camp" actually a series of individual one to four man camps along a stretch of river. One of the miners went to the neighbor's camp a mile or so away from his and when he got there he found the camp wrecked and the two occupants dead. He went to the next camp and sounded the alarm. Someone rode to the town about ten miles way to get the law. The town wasn't the county seat but there was Deputy/town Marshal lived there and he came back and brought the town Doctor and a group of volunteers with him (a Posse of sorts). According to the Doctor's report and the Marshal's log/report. The camp was demolished. There were no identifiable prints at all. The Marshal had first assumed that a spooked herd of elk had stampeded the camp. There wasn't one single print or track that supported that conclusion. The Doctor reported that the bodies were intact but most of the large bones had been broken or crushed without many external wounds, not even "Compound" type fractures that would break the skin. No claw marks, hoof marks, bites nothing . Cause of death was listed as "Internal hemorrhage and multiple fractures from unknown cause".

I am not ready to say there couldn't have been an explanation, but it is darned had to kill one man, much less two by crushing them without breaking the skin.

Their gold was pretty much accounted for and there was no one in the area that had a grudge and the men were well liked. In that day a vigilante lynching would hardly have been questioned in a "gold camp" had the men some transgressed severely enough to warrant terminal punishment.

The two graves are still up there somewhere having been lost to the elements.
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