Posted by: John Kirk on March 23rd, 2006
My own sasquatch encounter in Skamania County took place in the late 1990’s. I had come down to visit my father for Christmas and brought my son with me. On Christmas Eve morning we made a mad dash for the store in a town several miles away as a winter storm was heading our way and we did not want to be caught out without sufficient supplies. On the way back the snow began to fall in heavy concentrations all along the Columbia River Gorge. We were forced to 4X4 it on Highway 14 as the conditions rapidly deteriorated and it was harrowing ride all the way home.
We settled in for a quiet evening, the highlight of which was going to be a sumptuous Christmas Eve dinner prepared by my father.
He was ensconced in his kitchen for hours as he prepared a roast, my son and I were in the living room watching TV. At about six o’clock in the evening my father walked into the living room and his face was as a white as a sheet. He told me to come into the kitchen as there was something he wanted to show me that I would not believe.
My son and I leapt off the couch and walked to the big sliding glass doors that lead to his backyard. The yard is adjacent to woods that lead back into the Mt. St. Helens hill country. I could not believe my eyes. There in the yard were six very fresh, massive, humanlike footprints that were deeply impressed into the snow. My father asked me if I had done this and I said, no. I asked him if he had done this and he replied he most certainly had not.
The prints were absolutely huge, far bigger than any prints sasquatch or human I had seen before. I summoned up courage, not knowing whether what had made the tracks might still be lurking in the woods on the edge of the property. Tentatively and cautiously I unlocked the sliding door and stepped in to the freezing air outside. I took a tape measure and laid it alongside the tracks. They were all 18 inches long. Then I measured them across the toes and they were just over eight inches. To determine approximately how heavy what had gone through the snow-covered yard was, I measured the depth of my own tracks first and then the mystery prints. They were like giant human footprints but the toes were longer, the same length and it seemed the creature that had made the tracks had a double ball on its foot.
My tracks were depressed just about a quarter of an inch into the snow. The tracks of the mystery visitor were just over an inch deep. I weighed around 190 pounds at the time so whatever had depressed the tracks in the snow that evening was more than four times my own weight and in the region of 800 pounds. On further examination, I noticed that there were many tracks of a smaller quadrupedal animal in front of the tracks of the beast. I deduced that the creature had hugged the area under the eaves of the house and chased this small animal perhaps a ferret through my father’s lot and then was forced into the open snow when the smaller animal made a beeline for the woods.
I asked my father for a camera and all he had was disposable unit without a flash, so we had to find a flashlight and illuminate the tracks as best was we could while we photographed them. After I had taken shots of all of the tracks I was going to pocket the camera and take it with me when I left so that I could have the pictures developed. My father stopped me and said he needed the camera for some business photos he had to take for the city and so he would pass it onto me when he had finished. The upshot of all of this was that my father held onto the camera and then misplaced it thus losing forever terrific evidence that a large bipedal being had been through his backyard.
I thought that I would never see such tracks again until in 2004, I happened to be at the launch party for Meet the Sasquatch, a new book by Chris Murphy, John Green and Thomas Steenburg and incredible events unfolded. I was presented with my own copy by Hancock House, the publishers, and was perusing this very impressive work when my eyes fell to a section on sasquatch tracks and there in all their glory were the tracks I had seen that snowy December night. They had been photographed, over 25 years earlier, by Robert Morgan at Hollow in Skamania County. The measurements Morgan recorded and those I had obtained were identical. I was over the moon that there was record of the creature my father, son and I had narrowly missed seeing by mere minutes and maybe even seconds.
I frequently look at those track photos to remind me of my most exciting Christmas Eve ever. My father on the other hand has tried to rationalize those tracks all these years and simply does not know where to put them. To him they should not exist, but they do exist and so he lives in denial that they could be sasquatch tracks. Whenever I remind him of them and ask what he thinks they were, he says he doesn’t know what they are.
I on the other hand cannot deny what I saw with my own eyes and wish that I had my own camera and plaster of Paris that night as any doubt relating to this watershed event in our lives would be soundly dispelled.
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.