Category Archives: Field Research

Mystery Valley

Yesterday, May 8, 2016 myself and Brad Trent took a trip up through Mystery Valley which lies between Harrison Lake and Lake Chehalis.  I had heard, third-hand, about loggers reporting the finding of 18 inch footprints in and around their timber operations a week earlier.  No details or names, and a very vague location was given but we decided to head up for a look around, any way.

Last year, the west side of Harrison Lake was devastated by an enormous forest fire; the area of which we had to travel through to get to Mystery Valley.  This was my first chance to take a look at the damage with the winter snow gone.

On our way up, at the 9 kilometer point, the forest service was fighting another fire with men and helicopters with water filled sling bags. This time they seemed to have gotten control of things before it got too big.

We stopped at the spot of my  own possible sighting of a Sasquatch in 2004 which I thought was very revealing with all the thick under brush now gone due to last years fire? See photo below…

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Site of possible sighting by Steenburg in 2004?

The upright figure I spotted in 2004 crossed this cut line right at the top of the ridge, to disappear in the trees on the right hand side; it was about 5 seconds in duration.

In this May 8, 2016 photo the trees are burnt due to the forest fire of 2015 and all of thick under brush is gone. Yet, already the green is starting to return as nature repairs herself. Every time I past this spot I wonder: what was it I saw in 2004?  Large man or a Sasquatch? It had to be one or the other.

Going through Mystery Valley, I stopped to check out a drainage area where in the past I have found many wildlife tracks, as well as human.  No Sasquatch prints yet but checked it out any way – just in case.  This time still no Sasquatch tracks but did find the pug marks of a large black bear.  See photo below…

Black bear prints
Black bear prints

Near the north end of Chehalis Lake, we followed along a logging road which was recently reopened.  I had been down this road before but it was so overgrown and neglected that only a few kilometers could be explored.  Today, we got about 12 kilometers in before reaching the end of the line due to an old bridge which was washed out.  See below photo…

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Bridge and road gone!

We did meet two loggers who were filling large water tanks from a creek but they  had no knowledge of any strange footprints being found by any of their guys in recent times.   All in all it was a nice trip.

But once again no prize at the end of the line.

Thomas Steenburg

 

Another Day Of Searching

On July 5th, 2015 Brad Trent, Bill Miller and myself decided to do a Recce, up a reopened Forest Service Road (FSR) located on the east side of Harrison Lake, BC.

Having had the hottest and driest spring in many years, we decided to head out early to try and avoid the hottest part of the day, thinking the possibility on seeing wildlife may increase before the + 30 Celsius expected temperature hit with full energy-draining force.

We were right.  We encountered a nice black-tail deer, and either a large Black, or medium Grizzly bear, which dashed into the shadows in about 3 seconds.  Bear scat was all over the place and we encountered more than a few footprints, as well, including this one below:

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This clearly demonstrates how one can be fooled into thinking he is looking at a Sasquatch footprint, when in fact, he is looking at something totally non-Sasquatch related.

This footprint, in my opinion is  overlapping bear tracks as the animal came out of the bush and moved down an embankment onto the FSR.

This area, though, I believe we should return to a number of more times and really check it out.  It was gated and closed over the last few years due to logging equipment being kept there.  Now it seems to open to the public again.

Thomas Steenburg

Steenburg File # 10191

This is one of the more recent investigations. I have been debating whether or not to publish my investigations on this blog or not, since many witnesses have asked that their names remain confidential.  Not the case here; I hope you all find it interesting.

WEAVER LAKE SIGHTING

B.C. FILE# 10191
LOCATION: Weaver Lake, B.C. Near Harrison Lake West FSR
TIME: 10:30 AM
DATE: August 21, 2014
REPORT BY: Thomas Steenburg

I received a phone call in the evening of August 21, 2014, from a woman named Maria Muller (age 49) who reported that she might have seen a sasquatch at Weaver Lake, BC earlier that same day about 10:30 am.  Her boyfriend, Robert Bailey (age 51) was with her at the time of her sighting but did not actually see the subject himself due to the brief time it was in view; and the fact it had stepped out of sight before she brought his attention to it. However, he happened to taking some scenic photos with his cell phone’s camera at the same time and may have caught the subject in a shot with out realizing it.  By coincidence, I was only 5 minutes away when this encounter occurred near Morris Mountain.  But fate being what it is, I did not learn of it until later in the evening when she called my home.  When they checked the images on the cell phone when they got home (Surrey, BC) she spotted the figure and told Robert he had indeed captured an image of the figure they saw.  They emailed the picture to me.

My thoughts on the photo: is possible, but the figure is too distant to identify clearly.  I plan to visit the area tomorrow to see if any stationary object could account for the figure in the photo. To Maria Muller’s credit, she is not saying that it defiantly was a sasquatch.  She admits it might have been a man she saw or even someone dressed up to fool people.
A full interview with her now follows.
Thomas Steenburg

Would you please state your full name?

Maria Muller.

Do you wish to remain anonymous?

No. Why should I, LOL?

I always ask a witness that, as many do not wish it to be known that they have seen a Sasquatch, as I am sure you can understand why?

No, I am fine with it.  I know what I saw.

What is your occupation?

I’m a graphic artist.

Do you wear corrective lenses?

I do use reading glasses now as I am older, but my vision is good.

Were you wearing them at the time?

No.

How old are you?

49.

Where did this incident occur?

Weaver Lake.

This took place today? (Aug 21,2014)

10:30 am.

10:30 am this morning?

Right.

Tell me what happened.

We were at the water, we had gotten off the dock. We were parked right at the boat dock there.  Nobody was around, we had just gotten dressed, my boyfriend had started taking pictures with his cell phone, you know, before we left for memories.  There was nobody around.  No noise, no nothing, and off in the distance I could see somebody coming down the trail.  I saw the feet first, and then I saw the body, and it looked like a gorilla. And then it turned off to the left, and I said to my boyfriend as he was taking pictures, ”did you see it, did you get it with the camera, I just saw a sasquatch!” and he said, “no way”, and I said, “it looked just like a gorilla.”  He didn’t be leave me, and I said, “lets go over there and look,” and he said, “No, no, you’ve got Sasquatch on the brain, we are going home,” and so we went home (Surrey BC).  When we got home I told him to show me the pictures, I want to see if you got it on camera and sure enough, he did.

Describe the area where this took place?

OK, we were at the end of the dock, at the boat launch, not the end of the dock but the beginning of the dock, sorry.  Looking towards the area where the host resides, (site host for Weaver Lake, Mrs Andrea Colwell); the bridge is to the left and the beach area is to the right and the host is right behind that, can’t tell that from the picture though, and to the right of that is the beginning of the lake hiking trail, goes around the lake, we took a hike on the trail yesterday (August 20th); that is where we ended up yesterday, where I saw this thing.

What distance would you estimate you were from this thing when you saw it?

I don’t know.

Do you recall what color it appeared to be?
Yeah, it was all black.

What was your first impression?

I first saw the feet coming down the trail, from where we were, it was the only human-like movement I could see, so immediately it caught my eye.  I saw somebody walk down the trail, but when I saw the body and the head and it looked like a gorilla, I was shocked, and I said to my boy friend, “Did you see it, did you see it!?”.  “Are you getting it!?”  He didn’t know what I was talking about.  Then when I tried to tell him it was a Sasquatch and it looked like a gorilla, he just figured it was someone walking down the trail and I was seeing things.  But later, when we looked at the pictures, he saw that it was all black, and big, and it looked like it had a gorilla chest, and the fur or hair or what ever, there was no neck line, the head and shoulders were all one.  There was no neck.

What was it doing?

It was coming down the trail, I could see it between the two trees, as you can see in the picture, it was coming down the trail and then it just went left.  It was just walking.

Did it appear to be hairy, or could you tell?

I thought it was a gorilla, so I would say hairy.  It looked as though it saw us!

Did it stand and walk upright?

Yeah, it was walking like a man.

Did you ever see it go down on all fours?

No.

How tall would estimate it was?

I have no idea. Because I first saw the feet then I saw the upper body, but by then the feet were behind bushes and stuff.  So, when I saw the chest area and the head, something was in front of it, and when it turned left and walked away it went behind a tree and I couldn’t see it anymore.  So I couldn’t describe the whole length it.  But in the picture it looks like you can see one arm and the chest.

How much do you think it weighed?

I don’t know.  It was over too fast; there was nothing to compare it with, there was nothing beside it that I could of, you compare it to?

How long did you see it for?

I would say 3 seconds. That was it.

Did it stop at all or was it moving the whole time?

It was moving the whole time. But it was facing us, I know it saw us.

That was my next question, do you think it saw you?

Yeah, it saw us.

It’s reaction?

It turned left.  All of a sudden it was behind the trees and that was it.

You never saw it again?

No.

Did you notice any facial features?

It was too far away.  All it looked like to me was a gorilla walking like a man.

Could you tell if it was male or female?

No.

Did you notice anything about the arms or anything?

What I thought, well, what I thought was: sasquatch was suppose to be all furry?  But what I saw today, it looked like it had a bit of a bare patch like a gorilla has (chest area), so that’s weird, because I always thought the sasquatch was all fur?  This one appeared to have a bit of a shine on the chest, like I don’t know, a chest plate?

Did it make any noise?

No.

Did you smell anything during, before or after?

No. But at night we were hearing some strange noises.  We were joking, “maybe it’s the Samssquatch,” LOL.

Like Bubbles from ‘The Trailer Park Boys’?

Yeah, LOL.

Are there any other physical characteristics of the subject which stand out you recall?

It was just walking like a man.  It wasn’t hunched over, no nothing.  All it was, like, was a gorilla.

Did you check for footprints?

No.  I wanted him (Robert) to go over there, but he didn’t even believe I saw anything.  He thought I was seeing things.  But later, when he saw the picture he believed me a little bit more because it was all black and I said, “I know it looked like a gorilla”.

Did you report what you saw?

Yes, you.

Steenburg note: since this interview, Maria has posted about her encounter on a couple of web sites concerning the Sasquatch mystery.

Describe your general outdoor experience, do you guys camp a lot?

No, maybe twice a year. That’s about it.

There was only one other witness and he actually did not see it?

He took the picture but he didn’t see it.

That was your boyfriend, and his name is Robert Bailey?

Right, correct.

What do you think it was?

I think it was a Sasquatch.  Or a gorilla standing up.  Or it could have been someone playing a hoax, who knows?

Do you feel someone could have been playing a hoax?

I don’t know, we were the only ones there, though there was a dog somewhere barking at the time?

Steenburg note: follow-up investigation at the site, by my self and Brad Trent, concluded that there were still a very large number of other occupied sites that morning.   We determined this by checking with the camp host, Andrea Colwell, as the weekend crowd really had not started to arrive yet.  Also, Host Andrea Colwell, has a dog which does bark a lot, so this probably explains the dog barks she heard at the time.

Has any of your friends or family members made a report like this before?

No.

Have you every made a report like this at any other time to anyone else?

No.

As far as you are concerned, you ether saw a Sasquatch or someone pretending to be one?

Yes.

Robert actually did not see it, but he snapped the picture in question?

Correct.  Yes.

Steenburg note: this concluded the interview, other than general back and forth concerning the photo and other things.  I left early the next morning for Weaver Lake with Brad Trent to do some on-site investigation.

UPDATE, AUGUST 22, 2014.

Myself, along with Brad Trent, arrived at Weaver Lake Campground at approximately 10 am this morning.   After introducing ourselves to the camp host, Andria Colwell, it was moments only to locating both the photographer’s location and the location of the subject in question.  Andria has only two beach front campsites and knew what we were asking about right away, along with being fascinated why we were there.  Both camp sites, which were vacant 24 hours before when the sighting occurred, were now occupied and two large tents had been erected . Fortunately for us, their location did not interfere with our re-creation attempts.  Some of the occupants seemed to be amused by the reason for our being there.  Investigating the location of the subject was revealing.  What Maria refers to as the trail she saw the subject on during the short time it was in view, was in fact the main road through the campground, also the object which blocked the view of the subjects lower half, both to her eyes and the photo taken by Robert, was a combination of two large logs and a boulder about waist-high, which the subject in the photo is directly behind. She said that the subject turned to its left and walked out of sight, and she did not see it again. We noticed that at the location to the left, was the beginning of the hiking trail which goes around Weaver Lake, as well as a bear-proof garbage container, and a recycling container for bottles and cans.  Also, the camp host trailer site was only about 60 feet away from the location.  Finding the spot where Robert took the photo from, was easy, too. Brad went to the spot and took a photo of myself standing right behind the boulder and logs, which the subject had been behind.  After, we changed positions and repeated the process. This was all done at approximately 10:30 am, August 22, exactly 24 hours after the encounter. When these photos are examined, both Brad and myself appear to be just as large, if not larger, than the subject.  It seems there is a very good chance that Maria saw a person wearing dark cloths either going to the garbage bins or starting to hike the Lake Side Trail, and this is a case of simple mistaken identity?  Which is what Robert suggested to her when she first told him about it.  The camp host did do some rounds through the camp ground at that time in question.  However, she always wears a high-reflective yellow jacket, the same type flag men wear on the highway, at work sites.  When she stood at the spot, she stood out like a light bulb.  I would be prepared to declare this a case of mistaken identification outright, if it weren’t for the witnesses insistence that the subject she saw was so gorilla-like in appearance, though I must admit the figure in the photo does not cry out gorilla to me.  I can state that no stationary object accounts for the figure in the photograph.  So to conclude: there are two possibilities here; 1 – it was a Sasquatch and she is right in what she saw or 2 – it was a human and she misidentified what she saw? I lean to the latter due to our on site investigation, but a Sasquatch cannot be totally ruled out here.

Thomas Steenburg

Mount Baker, Have a Good Feeling

Last week I took my first trip of the season to Mount Baker and what a wonderful and promising area it is, too.  I have heard about a few sighting reports from there over the past decade or two, but not many.

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Route 542 takes you through some of the most beautiful old growth forest still left in northern Washington State; prime Sasquatch, or Bigfoot as our American friends call them, country.

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Even if you have little or no interest in the on going Sasquatch question, It is a location you will never forget just from the beauty of the place.

I have lost count of the number of deer and other small animals I have seen running across the road.  So far, all of my trips there over the last two years have been during the day.  I plan to run it  in the early hours of the morning, hoping as always, to see a incredible creature in front of me, which so far in the last 37 years has not happened.  But I have a feeling about the place.

I always keep the  in the back of my mind that Baker is classed as an active volcano, often steaming.  Not dormant.  But I will play the odds that nothing will happen during one of my trips there.

 

Thomas Steenburg

Another Outing And Still Hoping

Today,  April 13, 2015, myself along with Brad and Jason, decided to check out an area which was fairly close by on a local FSR where I was told a possible Sasquatch sighting had occurred just a few weeks before.  The gent walked up to me while I was at the Co-op filling station in Hatzic, BC.   He was in a hurry so I gave him one of my cards and he agreed to call to set up a proper interview for a later date.

However, he did give me enough information as to figure out the location.  We felt we could at least check the area out in the meantime, as I knew the bridge in question, having been there a number of times in the past.  My two colleagues had also been there before, as well.  The bridge in question is in the photo below.

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The witness in this case reported that he was traveling  over the bridge and was following the road as it veered left up a slight upgrade when he spotted a large, black, upright figure disappearing into the trees on the drivers side of the road, about 300 hundred feet beyond the bridge.  The witness did slow down as he passed the spot but did not stop.  I hope to get a lot more details soon.

Our searching of the area did uncover what appears to be a game trail about where he claims to have seen the animal (see photo below) but of course there were no footprints or any other evidence in the area to support the sighting.   This was not surprising considering all the rain that has fallen.

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So another possible sighting?  Hopefully more will come to light in the following days.

Thomas Steenburg

 

 

Sometimes It’s Too Crowded

This past Easter weekend, myself and some colleagues again decided to venture into the mountains to search for evidence for the existence of the Sasquatch.

Being a long weekend with the weather nice, and the fact I have encountered this situation more times in the past than I can count, I should have remembered beforehand that every Tom, Dick and Harry from the cities with campers or a tent head out into the accessible areas of our forests, to consume too much beer, scream and howl like morons, and just behave like spoiled idiots.  And let’s not forget going home the last day leaving tons of trash behind.

Such was the case again during this Easter weekend of 2015.   We had planned to return to an area of one of my better-known investigations to relive some of my recollections, and search the area once again for a fish stringer a Sasquatch was purported to have stolen from a campsite in 1986.

However, our plans had to change drastically when the the place was found to be over-flowing with campers so numerous, that every pullout within 5 kilometers seemed to have three or four tents and RVs, packed in like sardines.

We ended up traveling  approximately 10 kilometers into the high-country before we had any room to search without running into the Bundy family, partying with Adams family.  One group of face-panted weirdos, marching down a dirt road, reminded me of a group of hippies in company with a circus freak show; would you believe the head moron was leading the way blowing on a bullhorn which he’d wrapped around his upper torso?

Well, any Sasquatch, or any other wildlife, would have kept well hidden on such an occasion when their normally peaceful wilderness home gets invaded by the, ‘NIGHT OF THE LIVING BRAIN-DEAD’. The ironic thing is: these folks are just the type who, when they learn of our interest in the Sasquatch mystery, have the nerve to call us strange.  Some people never grow up.

Thomas Steenburg

Keep That Camera Handy

The one piece of advice I continually give to all who care to listen is this: Never go anywhere, at any time, for any reason, without your camera. The reason for this is obvious. If you are in the right place at the right time to see one of these creatures, the odds are that you will only have it in view for a few moments before it disappears into the shadow of the trees.

Nothing is, of course a sure thing, even if you have a camera sitting beside you while driving a forest service road – we are all human.  And there is always that few seconds of hesitation as you witness something, which you will reflect on for the rest of your life.

It happened to me only once in 37 years of searching.  It was at an extreme distance in a cut line, and by the time I brought my old British Army Land Rover to a halt, the figure had walked into the trees on the east side of the cut line.  I still wonder if that figure was a Sasquatch or a large man dressed in dark clothing that day?  But I will talk about my only possible sighting (so far) at another time.

Today, Go-Pro and other companies are selling continuous recording devices, dash Cams, some call them, which in my opinion, every researcher should look into.  Having this type of device would perhaps take care of that brief few seconds of hesitation, which is human nature, when confronted with something unbelievable in front of our eyes.

Thomas Steenburg

Sounds In the Night

Strange noises in the woods are simply that, strange noises in the woods – unless you saw what made them.  Too often researchers, and the public in general, assume they are Sasquatch-related for no other reason than they just failed to recognize them.  Or they make their skin crawl.

Now we have a fair number of researchers who spend almost all of their time howling at the moon, or call-blasting over loud speakers; assuming that whatever is out there is calling back, or simply responding to the activities in alarm, must be Sasquatch?  To my thinking, this is wishful thinking gone amok.  Just because you cannot fathom what else may be out there making some strange call, does not mean a Sasquatch is responsible.  You will be surprised by what strange, and even frightening, animal vocalizations turn out to be from the most mundane and common wildlife.

In 2006, I was deeply involved in the investigation which has become known as the Chehalis Sounds; a collection of audio recordings by frightened residents in an area known as the Chehalis Flats.   This area lies just south and outside the Chehalis First Nation Reserve on the Harrison River, in the lower mainland of British Columbia.  These recordings were amazing, to say the least, and were identical to a number of well-known recordings from Washington and northern California, which many – including myself – were sure in the end would turn out to be Sasquatch in origin.

Many hours were spent, by myself and in company with others, trying to find an answer to the cause of these incredible cries.  On April 5th 2006, in the early morning hours, myself and Gerry Mathews were out on the Chehalis Flats again. This time, we personally heard the vocalizations ourselves and witnessed what made them Coyotes.  I was shocked as I thought I knew every sound a coyote made having lived with them all around me most of my life.  This was something different.

But when we publicly announced our findings, I was surprised at the reaction, and at times hostile reaction, from other researchers who simply did not want to admit that these sounds, as well as other famous ones which were the same, could be anything other than Sasquatch in origin.  They just didn’t want to hear it. This revealed a good deal more as to the mentality of many researchers than whether or not a Sasquatch was responsible for these recordings, in my view.  Sounds in the woods are simply that – sounds in the woods – unless you see what is making them; as evidence they are useless, even if it was a Sasquatch.

Thomas Steenburg

Twisted Trees. Shelters and Other Claims

I have noticed, especially since the wide-spread use of the internet, that claims of structures, nests, shelters, twisted trees and many other things have been put forward by many in the Sasquatch field as an established fact.

I, myself, have come across many such strange things out in the bush while searching for evidence.  Their existence I cannot deny, however what I have NOT found is any evidence, whatsoever, that the Sasquatch had anything to do with them.  Personally, I think that when an idea or possibility is repeated often enough, and over a length of time, many start to assume such possibilities as established facts, even though there really has been no evidence to support such assumptions.

The twisted tree theory goes way back to its origin in Northern California during the Pacific Northwest Expedition.  The late Robert Titmus first made the suggestion when he noticed the tops of small trees broken off, and wondered if Bigfoot was the cause; perhaps a marker of some kind?  He was never really convinced of this, he just wondered at the possibility.  And yes, I did know the late Robert Titmus, and had discussed this issue with him on a number of occasions.

However, over the years, the suggestion took on a life of its own.  Over time, due mostly to others finding such damaged trees, it led to documentaries and docudramas on television.  As well, a number of attention seekers breaking and twisting things on their own, while claiming Sasquatch was responsible.  The result is within the research community as a whole, many now think of this as an established fact.  In reality it isn’t.

The same holds true for so-called nests, shelters, stick structures, etc., etc., all of which have came about as just possibilities suggested, but over time have morphed into a reality in the minds of many researchers who have accepted the connection without a thought.  I don’t deny the possibility that perhaps the Sasquatch could be responsible for some type of nest, or damaging trees in ways or for reasons we do not yet understand.

However, in the 37 years I have been involved with this, I have talked and interviewed well over 100 people who claim to have seen a Sasquatch (not even counting obvious hoax attempts); I have talked to many people who have come across twisted or broken off trees.  But I have never heard of one witness (at least reliable) who watched a Sasquatch twist or break a tree.  The same holds true for shelters, nests, stick structures, etc.  That is not to say that such activity does or never happens, I am just saying that so far I have seen no evidence of it.

Thomas Steenburg