Sunday, 8 July 2012

Naches Ranger District worker has heard it all, including his own Sasquatch experience - via Chad Arment


When it comes to Sasquatch tales in the Cascade foothills northwest of Yakima, Doug Jenkins has pretty much heard it all at the front desk or on the phone at the Naches Ranger Station.
“You can pretty much tell the ones that are believable,” Jenkins says. “I’ve had people who saw bear and say they saw Sasquatch.”
Some callers, though, have a tale worth listening to.
Several years ago, Jenkins — the district spokesman — took a call from the wife of a man who, while hunting on National Forest land off State Route 410, “saw what he described as a large, ape-like creature going through the woods,” Jenkins says. “He said it looked like an upright, hairy monster, basically.
“He got in his rig and apparently told (his wife), ‘Don’t call anybody because they’ll think I’m crazy.’”
Two hours after that woman’s call, Jenkins said, “I had another woman calling and saying her husband had seen the same thing. This was about a mile away. Huge, hairy upright animal. And it was the wives who called. The men wouldn’t talk about it.”
Two years ago, Jenkins took a call from a Seattle man who said he and his teenage daughter and her boyfriend were hunting south of Bumping Lake when “they’d heard this really bizarre noise (the caller) knew was not elk.”
“He kept saying ‘You probably think I’m crazy but I’m not the kind of guy who reports this kind of stuff,’” Jenkins recalls.
The man’s daughter and boyfriend were on their way back to the truck when she stopped behind some bushes to urinate. “Apparently, behind this girl, the bushes started shaking violently and she heard this funny noise again.”
The two teens hurried to the truck to wait for the girl’s father. After a while, Jenkins says, the girl left the truck and went over to the side of the dirt road where, in the gully below, a large, hairy creature rose from its crouching position to full height in front of her.
“So they’re basically eye to eye,” Jenkins says. “She said it had a massive forehead, big, brown eyes, massive biceps and a massive chest. She said she screamed, it let out this scream, she ran back to the rig as (the creature) came up on the road and ran down the road. The boyfriend saw it, too.”
Jenkins has listened to numerous calls about incidents like that. Some he dismisses. Others he does not. But he always listens, because Jenkins has a personal reason to take them seriously: He’s had his own encounter.
In the early 1970s, Jenkins was snowmobiling at night with two friends at Darland Mountain. When Jenkins’ sled broke down, he began “monkeying around with it” while his buddies went on ahead. And he heard the crunching sound of what sounded like something walking slowly in the snow toward him.
“I’m thinking, no, not elk, not bear,” Jenkins says. “Nobody else is up here, and they wouldn’t be walking in the snow anyway.”
The snow-crunching sounds stopped and Jenkins went back to adjusting his carburetor — until he picked up an awful stench — “It smelled really horrible in the breeze,” he says — and began hearing the crunching noise again.
“I’m sitting there working frantically, because I’m scared by this time,” he says. “And then I hear this heavy breathing. And I can smell it.”
Nothing happened. Jenkins got his snowmobile going again and motored away. He caught up with his friends and didn’t say a thing to them about it.
“I’m sure there are a lot more people out there that have had experiences but don’t want to say anything,” he says, “because people will think they’re fricking crazy.”

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