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!”