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Sw Washington Field Work 2016


SWWASAS
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In another thread I mentioned wanting to return to an area where I think there might be collapsed lava tube. Something in that area made it an active BF area until it was completely logged all around about 2 years ago now. I parked my vehicle at the location where I have gotten the chest slapping in response to me urinating, and the same location where I was presented a deer carcass placed right by the drivers door of my truck. It is at the edge of what WA DNR signs designate as a Special Management Unit Boundary. I had forgotten the sign wording in another thread. Other boundary signs on this approximately 15 acre patch indicate normal timber sales boundary. The area surrounding this patch of woods has been completely clear cut in the last 4 years, the last cutting being 2 years ago. There is some timber on the West side that runs into the flanks of the mountain which has also been heavily logged in the last 5 years. I got out of my truck came around to the other side, got my digital recorder mounted on my pack, and as I stepped away from the truck was greeted with a raven call. They always seem to announce my visits to the area. Sometimes circling overhead and cawing before flying off. This time it just cawed a few times and flew away. I never heard another thing from it all day.

My objective was to penetrate into the woods patch towards where I heard the chest slapping, and work my way down the hill in a Westerly direction, and locate the North South trail that transits the area, the proceed North towards the location where I got zapped. I had gone in the same direction several times on the trail and had contact when I have done that. The vehicle is far enough away that BF in the area are apparently not aware that you are there and coming. At first the travel was fairly easy with the underbrush all leafless. Just as I got congratulating myself on my timing it suddently got hard. Because South of the area had been clear cut, the trees on the edge of the forested patch had endured a lot of wind damage. About 1 out of 10 trees had blown down. They were large old growth trees with huge root balls. Mostly blown down to the North the direction I wanted to go. My bushwhacking turned into a scramble over and under huge down Douglas Fur trees. Had rained the day before and I kept slipping while walking on down trees and branches. Taking some nasty falls onto trees with jagged stumps of limbs sticking out. I had the grizzly image of falling on one of those jagged limb stumps and impaling myself or ripping an artery open and bleeding to death. After several bad falls I nearly reversed direction to back out. I finally aimed more South towards the clear cut because I did not want to traverse the blow down that I had just been through and finally managed to get out of the timber blow down area. In the clear cut, I quickly located the trail, and headed North into the timber patch. The trees and blown down mostly parallel to the trail, so there were only about 4 or 5 down trees to scramble over or around.

As I examined each down tree, I thought that if BF were out during the blow they very well might be crushed by a tree and not be retrievable by relatives. Natural disasters they are just as susceptible to injury or death as we are. Each down tree was examined with that in mind. And since the down trees tipped and exposed huge root balls, 20 or 30 feet of previously undisturbed forest soil was exposed for examination. Would I see a BF skeleton previously hidden by tree roots and 2 or 3 foot of dirt and rocks? No such luck but certainly worth examining each down tree.

The trail led me to the large down tree that was where I believe the BF that zapped me was hidden. I measured the tree and it was 4 feet in diameter at the base and right next to the trail. Beneath it was a depression between it and another log where something the size of BF could have been hiding when I walked by. It looked very nest like. The tree has been down a very long time and is rotting and being eaten by termites. I noticed a 10 inch diameter hole, with rotten wood in the hole, and about a 3 foot branch had been inserted into the hole as if used as a tool to dig into the rotting wood. Something looking for termites?

Question, do raccoons, which have pretty much have hands, use tools like sticks to go after termites? Any other animal use stick tools? I don't know if raccoons who are very handy with their hands, use stick tools. Anyone else know? Something was using the stick as a tool. I don't think Les Stroud was in the area making a survival film. I will post pictures when I download them.

Within 20 yards off the down log location is what looks like the collapsed lava tube that I have previously mentioned in other threads. It is a 15 to 20 foot wide linear depression. Runs North South, the banks are about 3 to 4 feet high. I wondered if it was an old wagon road but it had good size trees growing in the middle of it in a few places. To have a road rutted that deep would take a very long time. Time it did not have considering the size of the few trees growing in it. Other than those few trees it was typical of a lava tube in that it had entirely different vegetation on the surface than the surrounding ground. It was filled with a low spreading vegetation that had leaves even now that looks like some kind of laural. Lots of it. The linear depression ran North into the clear cut area and South as far as I could see. I tried to follow it along side but the trees and other underbrush ruled that out. So I went down into the depression and just started bush whacking my way South. Very slow going, some more falls, but at least here there were no broken limb stubs to act like spears into me. I briefly thought that there might be some danger of collapse but figured with the vegetation I could always grab that as I fell through. I was looking for openings or something that might be the reason BF seem to hang around this area. I found a couple of small holes in the sides but they were no bigger than small animal borrows. As I went I could see that the depression would likely just continue out into the clear cut area to the South. If so the heavy equipment used for logging would have collapsed it. Then I found something quite remarkable. I heard gurgling water but knew that the creek that runs through the area was much further South. It dries up completely in the summer, and is very muddy and nasty looking even in the wet season. But here was a little pond of clear water. And right in the middle of the collapsed lava tube bottom, where the pond was, was an artesian spring gushing right out of ground in the middle of the pond. I would guess the output is about 2 or 3 gallons a minute. Clear pure water. I do not know if is year round, but with that output I suspect it is. I probed it with my hiking pole and my pole went way down. I think that the collapsed lava tube acts as a conduit, allowing water from the North and a creek there, to run underground, then emerge from the artesian spring. Just that could be the reason for the presence and interest of BF in this area. Year round, pure cold water. While I see many springs emerging from cliffs and the sides of hills and mountains, this is the first time I have seen it erupt from the bottom of a depression like that. Reminded me of the Yellowstone area. It did not occur to me to put my hand in it to test the temperature but the next time I will. It was not steaming so I don't think it was hot.

So I concluded water was the draw to BF to that area. I came out, got on the trail and headed North on the trail across the clear. The North Edge of the timber patch had damage from a big Easterly blow we had. Like the South edge, about 1 in 10 trees had blown down. I examined them for crushed BF and exposed things in the exposed soil under the root balls. Across the clear cut area the trail heads down hill along a creek, down to a regional park about 3 miles away. Some of my footprint finds have been along that trail, on the trail margins, where BF has stepped cross to avoid stepping in the muddy trail. No BF prints but elk and deer prints were fairly common. I reversed direction, came out of the creek area, joined an old blocked off logging road, and returned directly to my truck. As I did, I got buzzed by some unseen bird. Wings flapping, it attacked me from behind, and flew off before I could turn and see what it was. Whatever it is, the thing is pretty large. You could hear the whoosh whoosh of the large wings. The same thing has happened to me on that same road before, I did not see it then either. I really want to see the thing. It is spooky that it can get that close and me not see it.

I am still sore from my scrambling on Friday. Will post the pictures later today when I download them.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT
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Hello SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT,

 

What can I say.....Thank you comes immediately to mind- along with the thought of wishing I was there. Nice work.

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Pictures during Friday Field work.

Timber blow down. Three large trees right next to each other.

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Root balls and exposed dirt in this case about 15 feet in diameter.

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Special Management Sign

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The nest looking area next to the large log

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The stick found inside the hole in the rotting log

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The collapsed lava tube. These pictures do not show the feature very well. But the clue is a linear depression that runs hundreds of yards with mostly different vegetation than the surrounding area. If you look at Ape Cave on Mt St Helens with Google Earth you can see that the vegetation on the tube is different than the surrounding forest. The hollow cavity discourages large root system plants like large trees.

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The artesian spring pond

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Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT
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Hello SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT,

I think you nailed it with the spring. It would be a real benefit for any animal especially with a 15 acre buffer. That said being a Special Management zone makes total sense. Good find.

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Have you contacted State of Washington Department of Natural Resources to ask what is being managed there? 

 

MIB

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Wow. You are a brave person, SWWASP. It sounds like you were at serious risk of getting hurt in a fall. I'm so glad that didn't happen!!!!  

 

I reversed direction, came out of the creek area, joined an old blocked off logging road, and returned directly to my truck. As I did, I got buzzed by some unseen bird. Wings flapping, it attacked me from behind, and flew off before I could turn and see what it was. Whatever it is, the thing is pretty large. You could hear the whoosh whoosh of the large wings. The same thing has happened to me on that same road before, I did not see it then either. I really want to see the thing. It is spooky that it can get that close and me not see it.

Can you elaborate on this a little? Are you saying the bird physically touched you and harmed you in some way?

Edited by LeafTalker
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Birds ... 20 some years ago I used to run 3-8 miles most days before work.   There was one place where i could count on being "buzzed" by some kind of bird.   They weren't that big, they just sounded like it a couple inches from my ears.   I think it was a territorial display, probably a nest nearby.   I was on a bike path in town, not out in the woods.

 

MIB

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Thanks for sharing that Randy, and please be careful out there! Accidents can happen quickly, talking from personal experience.

Raccoons have the dexterity to do that but the stick looked a little long for them to use. Besides the hole looks big enough for a raccoon to get into without needing to do that. Bears would have just ripped the hole bigger. I have seen documentaries of primates and birds using sticks to access termites and ants. One question though. Could the wind have blown it into there considering all the wind storms we've had lately?

That spring was interesting. It sounds like the downed trees almost make a fortress out of the area.

Not saying that's what it was, but owls, barred or great horned owls, will fly at people. I've heard it is a territorial response, especially in winter.

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I will contact the DNR and ask what the sign means. I will just say I ran into one and was curious because I had never seen one like it anywhere else. It might be there because of the artesian spring. Logging would probably destroy that.

The bird flew past me so close that I could hear the individual wing flap strokes. Low in frequency like a larger bird like a raven or owl. Strange that it has happened twice in the same area now and neither time I have seen the bird. It did not touch me but flew past very close. Seems pretty early for nesting and hatching but territorial makes sense. I wear a high pack with a digital recorder mounted on the top. Part of that to discourage a cougar hitting my neck from behind and I guess to fend off birds now.

Yes, a blow from the East could have blown the stick into the hole. The hole was in the exact center of the 48 inch diameter log, putting it about 2 feet off the ground. The stick was full depth into the hole. If not there accidentally, it seemed a little small in diameter to be much of a digging tool, but perhaps it was just inserted, to get termites to cling to it, and pull them out. Rotted material from inside the log was on the ground underneath the 10 inch diameter hole. I have seen what bears do to rotting trees but this was not at all messy like that. Another thought I just had was that the stick was a marker which sort of marked either then nest place or the way to the collapsed lava tube and the spring beyond. At the exact center of the lava tube, where it crossed the human trail, was a 4 sided slate rock, which looked like a spear point, with the point aimed right down towards the spring. The slate had a high content of silica or mica, something that made it shine in spots, and nothing else like that was in the area. The rocks on the ground nearby were all dull basalt. With no silica or mica and none were of a layered nature. I think it takes metamorphic pressures and temperatures to create slate with mica or silica inclusions. The slate seemed totally out of place for the area. The whole area is volcanic. I cannot even think of a slate deposit anywhere near the area, and I have spent a lot of time there. I look for things out of place like that.

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It must have been carried from somewhere else and placed recently or it would have been covered with moss and forest duff.

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Oh, good. I'm glad the bird didn't physically touch you. 

 

I'm wondering why the bird would have been territorial with you when you returned to the truck, but not when you left it. It was still the same territory, no? So maybe flying near you when you were preparing to leave had some other meaning. It's possible he was not attacking you, but communicating with you.

 

As has been discussed before, birds and BF can be closely connected. Birds can act as emissaries, if you will, for the BF. (Also, birds can fly close to you without intending to warn you off.) Once, on my way to visit the BF, I had to pull the car over to the side of the road to have a cell phone conversation. I was very close to the site where I visit them. I was on the phone for about 5 minutes, when suddenly, a huge grey bird buzzed the hood of my car, inches from my windshield and therefore inches from my face. (I took this to be the BF saying, "Get off the phone already and come visit with us.")

 

On another occasion, again as I was traveling in a car, but as a passenger, down a dirt road in this same area, a hawk buzzed the roof of the moving car, moving in the same direction we were, and came to roost in some branches that arched across the road about 30 feet in front of us and directly above our heads, so that we drove under him. Again, it seemed clear to me that the hawk was connected to our mission that day, which was to pay a visit to the BF. The BF knew we were approaching and sent someone to greet us. 

 

So I don't know, Randy. That bird may well have been just passing along a message of some kind -- maybe something like, "We see you are here, and we are glad to see you."

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I do not know but I think there is a link between BF and ravens or crows.   The crows or ravens are there and seem to announce my presence.   It is to the point where I can no longer attribute that to coincidence.    The simple explanation would be that the ravens announce the presence of an intruder or prey in the area and the BF find, kill and the ravens get the leftovers.   That makes the most sense to me of anything.   We cannot discount that because of similar symbiotic associations with other birds and large mammals.  The birds are not likely to be able to differentiate between a human that the BF are likely to accept as not a threat,  or an easy meal for a BF.   They just announce the intruder and hope that they get leftovers. 

 

I hope that you have discovered a difference in what I am reporting.   If you live in SW WA or Oregon I am at the point where I will reveal locations.     This is in the interest of furthering BF research.    I am nearing 70, do not have much to loose if I tick off a BF and loose my life.  Some have warned me that my solo field work is dangerous.   Perhaps it is but it seems to be inordinately successful.     If you are doing research in Washington and Oregon, I research both states,  and want the specific locations that I reveal in my postings, contact me via private mail  and I let you know there to go.  I know about the BFRO.   They have not included my last reports and seem more interested in using them for "Finding Bigfoot" than releasing them to the public.   I know most of you in SW WA and Oregon so if you want to get exact locations contact me via PM.   This secret location crap, and wanting to be famous is what is hindering BF research.  It is time to stop this.     All that I ask is if I give you specific locations that you not disclose them and that you give me some credit for any findings.   If you have association with BFRO I will figure it out.   Hopefully you will realize you are being used too.

Edited by SWWASASQUATCHPROJECT
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Thanks for the report SWWS, always enjoy your updates. Good thinking checking the downed trees, I typically scout the blowdowns for "relics" beneath the root ball, never really thought about checking under the crown for bodies. Interesting find with the lava tube, spring and the slate too.

 

I like to wear one of those Filson tin cloth packer coats when I bushwhack. Not only does it shrug off brush better than most anything it feels like armor against impalement.

 

Not nesting season but Goshawks are mighty defensive of their turf and will think nothing of scalping bipedal intruders. I've hit the dirt on a few occasions dodging a mama Gos with talons forward, 10' and closing on my head. I later realized how egregiously I was trespassing. They are amazing red eyed raptors with a steely blue-grey color. LT, maybe your messenger??

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Yeah, ravens and crows definitely seem connected to BF. 

 

Kiwakwe, that would be terrifying, to have something like that coming at you, with talons out! Yikes. (And that coat sounds amazing. Now I want one.)

 

And it could have been a goshawk that buzzed the car when I was riding with a friend. That guy was big, and definitely some kind of hawk.  

 

The bird I saw when alone -- I don't know. I guess it could have been a catbird or a mourning dove -- something grey all over like that. But it seemed to be very big-bodied (although maybe anything that flies within inches of your face looks big). 

 

SWWASP, your offer is very generous. Hope you get a good response to it. 

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SWWSP has shared some of his research area with my son and I in the past which I appreciate. I think your willingness to share with others to further research is great. Of course any "accidents" that occur out in the field are usually more mundane than bigfoot.

The possible connection between ravens and bigfoot is an interesting thought. But I have some observations that could also account for ravens and crows interest in us. They do pay attention to hunters in the field and are very aware of what is going on in their vicinity. Any predator, and they probably consider us as such is many times a free meal for them. I have scared them off of hunter kills that I have found occasionally. Rather than bigfoot controlling them in some way, ravens probably see them as a free meal ticket just as they do us. Ravens probably know the difference between us and bigfoot, being pretty smart birds, but it doesn't really matter because at times we both give them something they want.

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