Posted by: Rick Noll on October 22nd, 2005
(Church – Why Don’t You Love Me)
Jeff Lemley (another former BFRO Curator from Washington state) called me out of the blue one day and said he was on his way up to Seattle and wanted to know if I would meet with him and a guy he knew who had something to show us. He didn’t know what it was but our guess ranged from a picture to a cast of a Bigfoot. I agreed and made arrangements to meet at a pizza parlor near the UW.
This kind of thing has happened to me before, some exclusive information – always with disappointing results, but you never know… so I went.
Getting there, Jeff was already outside waiting for me. His friend might already be inside, he didn’t know. We walked in and Jeff led me towards him seated in the back when he saw him wave towards us. A rather dark place with 50’s style seating booths along the walls. I noticed a single light hung over the tables while introductions were made. I guess this is a pretty famous restaurant with the UW Husky team visiting regularly.
Small talk ensued concerning the setting up of a ham radio type network instead of the Internet since it doesn’t work too well out in the bush… also some topics on sound recording techniques. Sound was a big topic for Jeff. He was conducting mini expeditions down near Mt. St. Helens of late and was always interested in new methods and improvements.
When the gentleman finally got a feel for both us and our deep interest in the subject he said he wanted to show us something and excused himself to go out to his car. Was he really just leaving but didn’t know how to get away from us kooky people? Nope…
He came back in and placed a manila folder on the table. He told us he had a friend that had a picture and that he had been working on it to bring out more detail in it. He wanted to know what we thought.
He opened it… WOW!!!
This was too good to be true. An 8×10 color picture of the bust of a real Bigfoot in a nighttime forest scene. It was Nat Geo in quality only a few feet away from the camera. Jeff and I looked at each other.
We began firing questions at him concerning the image. He was not too forth coming which set us back a bit. When he once again excused himself to use the restroom, Jeff and I discussed how we could get a copy of the image.
The story he told us was this – Two men were hunting near Enumclaw, Washington and this creature popped out of the forest. They were so frightened that they forgot they had guns and just stood there while the creature turned it’s back and walked away on an abandoned dirt road.
Back at home they decided to go back with cameras instead of guns and the same thing happened, this time getting a picture to prove it. The man didn’t do anything with the picture and just had it pinned to a corkboard on his wall.
He came back and something changed in him, He decided he had to leave and quickly scooped up the picture and was gone.
Did he make a phone call back there? What frightened him?
Jeff and I just sat there for a while thinking. It was an overpowering image. It was burned into my mind and I quickly got out my notebook and tried to sketch what it was that we had just seen.
(Country Teasers – Sandy)
A few weeks went by before I received a phone call from the guy who showed us the picture. He expressed an interest in showing Rene Dahinden, John Green and Grover Krantz the image and wanted to know if I could set it up since they would not respond to him and I knew them all. I thought about it… how much work it would involve and my current schedule.
Of course I jumped at the chance and immediately setup a date that week for Grover to see it. I also called John and Rene… they too were interested but we would have to come to Canada.
I called Jeff and told him what was going on… he said he couldn’t make it but had another picture that I should look at and sent it to me through email. I looked at it as it printed out. Something familiar there… pack it along.
The Elaine picture came from Oregon and it was claimed to have been made by a couple that were partying around a late night campfire. In the throws of the moment, the woman claimed to have grabbed a small disposable camera they had brought with them and began taking pictures of the surrounding dark forest as they sang and danced around the fire ring in the buff, flashing away the darkness. I could visualize the scene in my head. Uggh!
John Freitas had a heck of a time trying to get a copy of it for examination but he finally did. No negative again though. He was the principal BFRO Curator involved. The lady and son who owned the picture were in negotiations about copyrighting it. A Mickey Mouse involvement for sure.
I dug out my sketch of the Nat Geo pic… hmmm. Time to go –
Along the way I looked at the picture and my drawing. Hard to do while driving but that’s what I did. I began seeing patterns.
They contained similar items, in similar spots… they were the same!
(Faith No More – Woodpecker From Mars)
Derek Randles, who was working with Dr. Jeff Meldrum’s NAAP project, invited himself along because he wanted to buy some casts from Grover. I met him at the Hoh Indian Reservation investigation earlier. I thought nothing of it and said sure. Met him after the 30 minute ferry ride from Edmonds to Kingston, at the Hood Canal Bridge. I showed him my drawing of the picture and the Elaine picture. I was excited and he soon too saw the similarities.
What was going on here? Was this guy trying to set up Grover? Me?
We quickly drove out to Grover’s place and brought out my drawing and the Elaine picture. I explained to him that something was wrong here and that he should be very careful with this guy. He looked at it and acted like he didn’t understand what I was talking about.
When the guy finally got there we walked inside and he brought out his picture. Both Grover and Derek were flabbergasted by it and quickly forgot all that we had been discussing. Grover offering anything in his collection of skulls or casts for a copy of it. Derek soon went behind the scene and started offering the man money for a copy to get to Jeff Meldrum. He even set up a plane flight to Idaho to show Jeff the picture later on.
What was wrong with these guys… didn’t they hear a thing I said. I even brought out the Elaine picture to show this guy showing us the picture. I pointed out all the similarities; moss, trees, limbs, knots, facial expression.
The man looked at the Elaine picture and was visibly shocked. He quickly needed to leave and was gone. Soon after Derek and I left as well.
On the way home we stopped for some dinner and Derek confided in me that he offered the man something like $500 for a copy of the picture. That really upset me and I decided right then and there to have nothing more to do with him. Of course that didn’t happen… Matt Moneymaker invited him along on the Skookum expedition.
A few days later, the scenario began playing out…unraveling. Another call, now the owner of the photo was telling him that yes the other guy with him had a camera too and must have gotten a similar picture at the same time. I didn’t buy it.
About a month later the story finally settles on the owner just playing with this guy, not realizing how far the guy was going to carry
it. He didn’t photograph a Bigfoot…
And the Elaine picture…
Checking with all local museums for Bigfoot like displays and finally getting somewhere through a notebook that Ray Crowe had led me to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum in Oregon.
They sent me a brochure when asked for and sure enough… right on the front cover was a Sasquatch.
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.