Posted by: Rick Noll on January 20th, 2006
January 30, 1976 – Puyallup, WA.
(Depeche Mode – I Feel You [Swamp Mix])
Word passed once again to Dave and I about some 16” x 7” Bigfoot tracks and an actual sighting of the animal that made them in the town of Twisp, a small western styled spot on the map in north central Washington State. Apparently a Sasquatch had come to visit a trail pack guide at his home on the outskirts of the sleepy little snow-covered homestead, really it was about 12 miles up the Twisp River Rd., 1/2 a mile beyond the west fork of Butter Milk Creek Rd. The tracks were in deep snow and the homeowners attempted casting one of them but were afraid of destroying it trying to get it out. They first talked with their son Mike Duffy in Everett, WA. about it and he then called Peter Byrne for help. All didn’t go well on their attempt, Mike informed Peter, so Peter passed it off to us to see if we could make it up there, check things out and get back to him with what we found. We jumped at the chance.
I am going to preface this account with the fact that both Dave and I were quite poor at the time. We were students at Green River Community College and we had very little extra money to go off and investigate stuff like this. We did get a bright idea of starting a research type club at the school thereby receiving some funding to do this kind of stuff but the check wasn’t in the mail yet.
With all the pertinent information in hand we called Cliff and Betty Libby, the witnesses and went over the recent events happening to them. It was an involved story and quite exciting. The husband had a very close encounter indeed with Bigfoot! Less than a foot away. It had shown behavior and dexterity far beyond that of a bear. During our phone conversation with Peter, he had warned us to look for claw marks past the ends of the toes in the tracks when we got up there, but this guy was very experienced, having seen many bear tracks in his line of work. Peter said that it would not be impossible for a Grizzly bear to come down from Canada and that they could leave tracks that might look like what was being described here. Well I wasn’t going to buy into that after talking with Mr. Libby. He knew what he was talking about.
Large bare foot, human looking tracks were found in these woods, just to the side of Cliff and Betty Libby’s main house. The tracks stove-piped to the ground, compressing the snow underneath. Cliff protected a few of the tracks with cardboard boxes, then called his son for help after having trouble attempting to cast one of them.
We went over the proper way of casting in snow with them and finally hung up when they said they thought they could do it now. They were going to try another casting. We began getting ready for the long journey. Once again we were going to be using Dave’s Rambler station wagon. The school couldn’t provide a car yet for us. At least it had a lot of room in the back.
We packed up our gear but I noticed that I was missing some things and had to run over to my parents place to get a few indispensable items, including some money I hoped. I called my cousin to see if I could get a ride over to my parents place. He gave me a lift in his sweet little Mustang convertible.
(Cirque du Soleil – Wind)
Sleeping bag, tent, stove, candles, stick matches, shovel… got it all from where they were stored in my parents basement. Under the arms and in pants pockets the gear went. Even though there was sub zero temperatures and snow on the ground in Eastern Washington, Western Washington was bright and sunny enough to have the top down… at least that is what my cousin Marvin thought and explained to me.
I threw the equipment in the back seat of the car and jumped the passenger side door to get in as Steppenwolf came blaring out of the 8-track dash deck (believe it was Pusherman)… hmmm – just like in the movies. I was feeling quite excited and was kind of showing off here when I started to feel heat, an intense burning on my leg, under my jeans, like liquid battery acid. I heard a strange scratchy kind of cccchick, and then a small boom and a hole blew out the side of my jean pant leg, right at the left front pocket. My cousin’s eyes went wide as lit stick matches began raining down on him and the leather interior seats of his car.
Quickly he began trying to put them all out, patting them with his hands as I jumped out of the car and started patting my pants leg and then pulling them down to see what happened. Other cars drove by looking at the commotion but I had no time to be embarrassed about showing myself in underwear in front of my parent’s home.
I ran inside the house to dowse the burning pain on my leg with cold water, it was already blistering… what a way to start a road trip.
Rick Noll has been actively searching for the Sasquatch since 1969 and continues his pursuit with extended field trips into the Pacific Northwest's most remote regions. Rick has worked with Peter Byrne, René Dahinden, Grover Krantz, John Green, Jeff Meldrum and the BFRO during all this. He helped with many documentaries on the subject including Animal X: The Skookum Expedition and Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science.