Posted by: Craig Woolheater on August 25th, 2006
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Volunteer Dave Enge, left, and forest archaeologist Jeff LaLande work on the 32-year-old Bigfoot trap near Applegate Lake, a project for the U.S. Forest Service’s Passport In Time program. (Mail Tribune / Jim Craven)
Located along the Collings Mountain Trail a half mile west of Applegate Lake, the trap was built by the long defunct Eugene-based North American Wildlife Research Team with a special use permit. The group was attracted to the area after a miner named Perry Lovell found 18-inch human-like tracks in his garden near the Applegate River. The creature reportedly had a 6-foot stride.
The trap caught no Bigfoot in its six years of operation before the Forest Service bolted it open in 1980 because of safety concerns.
When the trap was built, the Applegate Dam was yet to be built and the road was on the opposite side of the river, LaLande said.
"They were very serious about it," he said. "It wasn’t a joke to them. It was the real deal. They had the Bigfoot fever and wanted to catch one.
"They hung a rotting deer carcass or something up in the back of the trap," he added. "When Bigfoot grabbed it, the trap door would fall and send an electronic signal down at the cabin."
He was referring to the "watchman’s" cabin several hundred feet back down the trail. The moss-covered wood shelter is now settling into the forest duff.
"It seems a bit too close for comfort if you expected Bigfoot to show up," LaLande quipped.
Although nothing was caught except for a couple of bears, LaLande knows there are still believers out there. Moreover, the trap draws hundreds of curious people each year.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.