Posted by: Rick Noll on February 7th, 2006
(Blur – Jets)
The tracks appeared very early on a Saturday morning, January 31, 1976… Dave and I arrived 7 days later. It all began at about 9:00PM the night before though when Betty smelled a terrible odor coming from outside the cabin. Cliff had fallen asleep in front of the TV earlier watching the Olympic games. Betty paid little attention to the smell and finally went to bed alone, she left Cliff out in his easy chair.
She was awakened around 3:00AM by a loud metallic bang on the back porch and then some heavy crunching footsteps sounding like they were going towards the drive way. She got up and tried to wake Cliff, still asleep in front of the TV.
Cliff slolwly woke up and she started right in telling him about what she heard and smelled, describing the odor like that of a bear just come out from hibernation. While she was telling him all this she was loading up her 12 gauge shotgun so he knew she was deadly serious.
I only had a 110 camera, Dave had a 35mm and took these pictures. This is the only copy I have, taken from the college newspaper. I am not sure if Dave still has the negatives or not… seems Bigfoot took a backseat in his interests when he entered politics.
Cliff, fully awake now, grabbed a flashlight and the rifle and went out on the back porch to check things out. The odor was quite strong out there and he saw that the washtub had been moved, lifted up, resting against the cabin wall; some of the food there seemed to be missing. Their refrigerator had been raided. He looked down to see if there were any tracks and found large human shaped bare footprints in the snow that had blown in under the overhanging roof. He went back in immediately with wide eyes, scaring his wife with his looks alone.
The next day they took several 126-color pictures of the tracks, went to town and got some plaster and tried their hand at casting one of the tracks. They mixed the plaster a little too watery and it ran right straight through the track to the frozen ground at the bottom… the water was a bit warm as well. They mixed some thicker plaster and poured again, in the same track and left it since they didn’t know exactly what to do next with it. They told local friends about the tracks and the attempt in casting one of them. They said that they were going to wait till spring thaw to remove the cast for fear of it not being hard.
At this point things quite down for Cliff and Betty. They get back into their winter routine. Little did they know that the news was traveling through their community and would eventually find its way to a news desk. Three days later their son calls, renewing everyone’s interest once again in the tracks.
Slowly buy surely most people in and around Twisp found out about the tracks, some even coming over to visit and see them for themselves. The Wenatchee Daily World newspaper heard some rum ors and directed questions about the find towards the Libbys. They wouldn’t answer them so no story emerged about the find. Cliff was a little worried about this hurting his business come spring.
Outside now, Dave and I looked at the trackway. There was one track on the porch edge facing west, two just off the porch edge facing east, as if walking up to the porch and then there was one near a small spring about 35 feet north of the porch. The spring track was the one they tried to cast. There were about six other stovepipe impressions in line with these tracks, destroyed by visitors that came by to look at them.
We couldn’t really tell what kind of a stride or step the thing had but Cliff said that he had to take three steps to get between two of the tracks. There wasn’t any consecutive tracks anymore.
The Libbys put cardboard boxes over this track inorder to try and preserve it from the elements and vistors to their home. Since this event I have learned quite a bit about snow tracks… these still pass muster in my book.
We checked the roadsides leading in both directions from their cabin for two miles then donned snowshoes and circled their property. We could only find rabbit, dog and deer tracks.
They invited us back for lunch and during it we contacted Peter and told him what we found. He asked about the Libby’s own theories on the tracks so we asked… Betty thought it might have been a side tracked Polar Bear (there were no claw marks evident in any of the tracks by the way)… Cliff thought it was an oversized Indian from BC. (the original image of Sasquatch was that of an oversized, loin clothed Indian). It was really their son who thought it might be tracks of a Bigfoot and called Peter about them even though he hadn’t even seen them.
With Peter’s insistance we asked about Grizzly. Cliff told us a grizzly had visited the area about 20 years earlier but he didn’t know of any since… and who would know better then a local trail packer? There were a lot of black bear though, usually not until the early fall.
The factory sealed “poor-boy” sandwich that was under the tub was found next to the creek track, Cliff told us. Still in it’s wrappered box (the bacon and beef were missing though) but the wrapper, gingerly torn opened at one end, as would a human do indicated that something wanted to check it out. Did who ever made the tracks eat the meat? Weren’t they frozen solid and hard as a rock? Cliff told us that there were no teeth marks on the sandwich box or the wrapper. The frozen vegetables were also left alone, still on the table near the upturned tub.
(Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child)
Originally I thought the “poor-boy” had been eaten by whatever made those tracks. Cliff looked at us sheepishly and smiled, explaining… “No, maybe it didn’t like the pickles and mustard… it seemed ok even though the wrapper had been opened… so I ate it.”
This is probably related to that male thing called the 10 second rule…
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.