Did Sasquatch once roam the forest near Bonney Lake, Lake Tapps and Sumner?
According to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, the answer is “yes.”
The organization reported on its Web site that sightings of Sasquatch – commonly known as “Bigfoot” – have been documented since 1967 in Pierce County.
BFRO, based in Southern California, was founded in 1995 and is the oldest and largest organization of its kind – a virtual community of scientists, journalists and specialists from diverse backgrounds.
BFRO is widely considered as the most credible and respected investigative network involved in the study of Bigfoot.
According to BFRO, members seek to resolve the mystery surrounding the “Bigfoot phenomenon.” BFRO said the large ape-like creatures are most often spotted in forested regions with abundant protein sources like deer and fish.
Bonney Lake Councilman David Bowen said he recalled many people discussing “Bigfoot” and some claimed to have heard something or perhaps caught a glimpse.
“I owned an auto-wrecking yard and I remember hearing several people discuss or expound on the subject of Bigfoot,” he said.
Bowen said his sister, Wilma Bennett, remembered a girl claiming she had seen the creature.
Bowen said his older brother lived in Kapowsin at the time and borrowed a rifle to protect him and his wife if attacked by Bigfoot.
There have been several documents sightings and reports, including Bonney Lake and Sumner, according to BFRO.
In October 1975, two boys reported they saw two white creatures that smelled like skunks standing at the edge of the woods near Lakeridge Drive near Sumner. They estimated the creatures were 7-feet tall.
A couple reported to Bonney Lake police that someone was sneaking around close to their home in the south end of Lake Tapps. The officer reported he found a 14-inch human-like track (left foot) close to the front porch.
Richard Noll, a BFRO investigator, contacted the couple and they told Noll strange activity began in the summer of 1975.
The couple told Noll they their daughter was driving home from work about 11 p.m. when she saw a pair of reddish-looking eyes – 7 or 8 feet high – in the middle of the road. When she got closer, the daughter reported a shadow going in front of her headlights.
She stated it went into the woods opposite her home and drove into her parent’s driveway honking her horn and ran to the front door yelling in a frightened voice.
Late that night, the couple was awakened by a loud noise and large footprints were found at the north end of the couple’s property. The daughter moved out a few days later.
A few days later, the couples’ sons were sleeping in their backyard in a tent when they heard their dog barking frantically.
Days later, the dog was found beaten to death in the driveway and was bloodied across the nose and chest.
On Oct. 12, 1975, a woman reported she heard something heavy running across the roof where she was babysitting.
The next day, the couple found two ducks dead.
Two days later, another of the couples’ daughters heard footsteps and animals screams. Police found a footprint that was 16 inches long and 7 inches wide with five toes 2 inches long.
The BFRO Web site shows Washington with the most sightings at 465, followed by California (411) and Oregon (211), along with British Columbia with 112 reported. The most recent report in the state was March on Camano Island.
One of the earliest reported encounters reported in the state with Bigfoot was in 1924, when a five miners reported they were attacked by several “apemen” near Mount St. Helens.
The most famous evidence of Bigfoot is a 58-second film by Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin in 1967 in Bluff Creek, Calif.
Since the first visual evidence of Bigfoot, there have been books, movies, comic books and documentaries produced.