A listener writes “Hello, My name is Kenny and I am writing from the Black Hills of western South Dakota. If I have any faults or on-going pre-occupations it is that I am plagued with an overly inquisitive demeanor.
I got my first degree (BS Chem/Biol) at age 50 and my second degree (BS RN) at age 60. I am now age 70 and retired from my working career. I also spent over 37 years in the Army and Army National Guard. My first military experience was in the regular Army in 1969. My first MOS was as a combat engineer/ demolition specialist. My grandfather came to the Black Hills as a pioneer doctor in 1892. We inherited his collection of National Geographics (From first issue!) and my reading of these magazines caused me to adopt my questioning, inquisitive nature.
Anyway, I remember the vast interest in the Sasquatch phenomenon with the Patterson/Gimlin film. My Dad and I used to discuss the existence of this creature. The Army sent me to Alaska where I was stationed at a semi-secret biological and chemical testing area. I spent all my spare time hiking, prospecting and ‘camping out’ where I had some unexplained experiences. I also had some strange experiences in the wilds of the Georgia woods. Prior to all this were some unexplained experiences while growing up in the Black Hills. There were sightings of this creature in the Black Hills periodically,
When I graduated from university in 1996 I accepted a position with the Bureau of Land Management on the Oregon Coast. I accepted this position as a Natural Resource specialist even though I had already been chosen by the National Park Service to work for them in western SD. My job in Oregon took me into the Oregon forest every day. Out of all the employees working in this office, I believe I was the only person to work in the forest every day and I was certainly the only person to venture into the woods alone. I worked alone every day in different resource areas which is what the BLM calls their forests. One of my jobs in the forest was to mark trees. I used to work my way back and forth across timber sale areas until everything was recorded. On one timber sale I used to cross a small creek. One day before crossing this creek I looked down into the bottom of the creek and in the hard silt/clay of the creek there were bare foot prints 14 inches long. This particular sale area had a sizable area of vine maple. Vine maple is a poplar-related tree that grows parallel to the ground. One day I was late heading to my vehicle and I began to cross over this top of this sizable area of vine maple. Crossing over the top of vine maples is a good way to suffer a broken leg. So, as I pondered my dilemma, I noticed that these vine maples had a passage through them. It appeared that the vine maples had been trained so that a tunnel was formed through the vine maples. This tunnel was about 4-5 feet tall and as I stooped the go through this passage, which was 50-60 feet long, I hurried but I noticed that there appeared to be several ‘rooms’ on either side of the main passage.
The underbrush in the Oregon forests is very dense and in some areas, depending on the soil and moisture, visibility through the underbrush may be limited to as little as 4 feet. As I worked my way across my timber sales, the poplar trees behind me would sometimes be shaken very vigorously. The creatures shaking the trees were smart enough to know that they would not be seen. If I bent down to try to see a creature I could only see some indistinguishable darkness. The Sasquatch would know the pathways I would travel criss-crossing the timber sales and they would get in front of me and leave huge piles of feces. One pile of feces I took time to examine was colored dark pink/ light red and it was composed of nothing but residue from black berries, salmon berries, and raspberries. This particular feces pile was so fresh it was literally steaming! I was never afraid or concerned during my days in the forests. I ALWAYS carried my .41 magnum pistol with me. Depending on the density and visibility of a particular forest area I was working in, I would carry my pistol on my side or in my knapsack. I never had any concern with my safety but sometimes, when arriving in the early morning in the forest, I would fire my weapon to ensure its reliability.
These resource areas had hills and outcroppings of limestone and other sedimentary rock and they afforded many caves and rock shelters. One day, while working on a resource area near the Umpqua River, I came upon a large pile of clam shells out there in the forest. This was miles from the river and 13 miles from the ocean. One day I was driving down a logging road to go back to my base. I was coming to some S curves and as I looked ahead, maybe 50-60 feet, a juvenile Sasquatch ran across the road. He appeared to be male. When I got to the spot where he crossed the logging road, I noticed a tunnel or passageway, through the dense trees at the edge of the road, about 6-7 feet tall. This apparent juvenile Sasquatch was about 4+ feet tall. He was covered with vey wispy hair and the creature appeared to be about the same color as light brown cocoa. I think his color was mostly related to his skin tone as he didn’t have much hair on his body. I was close enough to the creature to see that he appeared to watch me from the corners of his eyes and he had a determined expression on his face. Overall, he presented as performing some daring stunt. Just as a young person would do. He had his arms bent at the elbows and raised to chest height. His lower jaw had a short chin. His mouth was tightly closed. Black or brown eyes. He had a pug nose and no hair on his face or forehead. A few years ago, when I was in Oregon, I attempted to gain access into this resource area. The main gate was locked and when I walked past the gate and on up the road I discovered that a sizable landslide had destroyed and completely blocked the road.
There have been several sightings of the Sasquatch in the Black Hills and western South Dakota. One prominent sighting I recall in the northern Hills was a sighting by a Forest Service employee who observed a male and female Sasquatch close to a dirt road eating sweet corn. A few years ago a Sasquatch was sighted standing next to a road sign not far from Mr. Rushmore. Soon after the sighting I was climbing up a hiking trail near Mt. Rushmore and leading to Harney Peak. In the frozen slush on the trail I noticed apparent bare foot prints about 6-7 inches long. I saw no prints of any adult creatures. The only snow was the snow and frozen slush on the hiking trail. I must make note that I ALWAYS carry a large caliber side arm when I am out in the forest.
I have a semi-secluded place out in the middle of the National Forest here in the Black Hills. I have many projects out there and I spend 6-7 days there then come back into the city to ‘rest up’. I have an outdoors fire pit and I really like to sit by the fire and enjoy the stars and whatever night sounds might be apparent. A couple months ago, while sitting by the fire, I could hear my neighbors horses snorting and whinnying just as they do when presented by something unfamiliar to them. Whatever was causing the horses to be concerned, I could follow the progress of the unknown entity as it came down the gravel forest road toward my place. As this unseen ‘thing’ approached parallel to my place on the gravel road, it started to make a strange sound. It could be described as a ‘questioning moan’. I would mimic the sound of this unseen creature and it would respond with a similar sound. Whatever was making the sound, it stopped on the road to respond to my similar sound. This went on for several minutes and the creature apparently left the road and climbed the mountain west of me, all the time making the strange sounds until they could no longer be heard.
So, there you have some of my facts as I have recorded them!! I have another incident that happened to me but that is another story!”
Thanks for sharing your encounters Kenny. I love hearing the accounts of those who have worked for governmental agencies and have spent a lot of time in the field. The diversity of these anecdotes would make for a great show.
And I am always amazed at the amount of professional witnesses that come on and share their stories here. It is incredibly irresponsible for the powers that be to ignore/hide this topic when so many people are reporting them on a regular basis.
It was interesting reading your accounts Kenny. I live in western south dakota and have camped in the Black Elk Wilderness in years past. I never saw or heard anything out of the ordinary though but I’ve always wondered if there were sasquatch in the Black Hills because there seems to be plenty of deer for them to feed on.
An old friend of mine and his family had a unit on the reservation near Bullhead or Little Eagle I think and there were bigfoots seen on their unit. I think Wes interviewed a couple of people that told their account of what they saw there. I don’t recall which episode though.
That was cool!!
Seriously, a river called Umpqua? Just a joke, thanks Kenny I really appreciate you sharing your accounters and look forward to hearing more.
Yeah it’s a real river…lol
Umpqua river, so. Oregon is renowned world wide for its salmon fishing, beauty, sasquatch sightings and remoteness, near Roseburg OR off I-5 .
Named for the native American tribe, it is just one of the most likely spots to find evidence of the creature.
Was there any talk of the subject within your department?
Would love to hear his other experiences Wes! Any chance of getting Kenny on the show? Thanks Kenny!
Pretty cool encounters he has had. Interesting. I’m a native from MN, and live pretty close to a reservation and I could tell u a lot of things I’ve seen and heard and also heard from others. Especially this last year and a half. I also have a friend who is originally from the black hills area and we have swapped some interesting things. Would be awesome to hear this gentleman’s accounts. I’m especially interested in the trails he talks about then using for transport. And photos. It sounds like trails I’ve seen. Love the blogs Wes, thanks for 2017 cant wait for the new year. Everyone be safe.
New member here. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I spent a lot of time in the Black Hills, most of it hiking around Black Elk, Lake Pactola, Spring Creek and around Mt. Rushmore. I have noticed strange tree structures on many of my hikes. Neighbors have said they know of howls recorded just south of Rapid City and a few sightings not far from Lake Pactola and up towards Lead. I noticed on my first hike up Black Elk that there is a carving of what appears to be a Bigfoot face on a huge massive rock just on the right side of the trail not far from the summit. Once you see it, you cannot unsee it. On my third hike up, I noticed an unusual small structure on the right side of the main trail. It looks aged and constructed with weaved sticks and brush. Not really big enough for a person to “comfortably” use, certainly not big enough for a large Bigfoot, but maybe a good hiding place for little ones. The area around it has thick brush and an animal trail.. Man made? Perhaps. There is no hunting allowed in this area and I just can’t imagine someone choosing to camp right there. It is an odd location. You can’t see it unless you look closely. My brother’s family has hiked this trail hundreds of times and never noticed it. It appears to be an animal trail opening but closer inspection shows otherwise. Conditions on the backside of Black Elk (via Devil’s Tower) appear optimal for harboring a Bigfoot family. Plenty of game, water and densely covered by very tall spruces trees, challenging steep topography and virtually no human traffic.