Thursday, January 27, 2011

Footprints on the Elwha

As you may already suspect, I'm a fan of footprint data.  I joke that it's a form of foot fetish, but in reality I just dig science.  Also, I've been doing the bigfoot thing for long enough that stories are not enough to satisfy me anymore.  When there are photos, videos, casts, or anything else that can be shared, well...  that gets my attention.

As it turns out, some hikers on the Olympic Peninsula ran across some probable sasquatch footprints just a week or two ago.  On Januray 16, 2011, a line of 13 inch barefoot footprints was found on the Elwha River Trail a few miles west of Port Angeles, WA.  The hikers took a photograph of one of the footprints, but unfortunately, only one.  Still, this is way better than nothing.

The footprint next to the hiker's boot.

The photograph was taken on a cell phone camera, which explains its marginal quality.  At first glance, it appears that the print is huge, but this is not the case.  You are probably not looking at the print itself, but rather a larger impression that happens to be there.  Take a look at the following photograph for a clarification of what you're looking for.

The print has been outlined.  Please forgive me for not
using the customary red outline, but this is not a blobsquatch!

As is often the case, only the witness' boot was used for scale.  (I have also made this mistake in my early days of bigfooting, so I don't get too critical about it.  However, for all of you who consider yourself to be bigfooters, please carry around a scale item for just such an occurrence!)  The witness' boot was measured while I was on the phone with him.  The boot's length is 12 inches, which puts the print at about 13 inches or so.  The prints continued in a line for a while on the trail.  The witness said that in person, the toes were clearly visible., and you can just make them out in the photo (or at least it appears that they are there).

You can read the full report on the BFRO website by clicking this link.  The narrative follows here: 

My three friends and fellow soldiers recently spent a three day camping trip into Olympic National Forest Elwha River Trail. We had to return to cell coverage, so myself and my buddy headed out of the forest and north on the main trailhead.

The night before was a heavy thunder storm so the trail was very muddy. I was a leading us out and stumbled upon a very clear muddy print of a left foot. I wear a size 11 mens boot and to me this was clearly a size 14-15. The print seemed recent and had clearly defined toes and arch. We only had a cellphone to take the picture with and regrettably only took the one. The tracks, that seemed to be from the same source (none as clearly defined), went on heading north on the trail an additional 25-30 feet. 

And here's my follow up report:

Follow-up investigation report by BFRO Investigator Cliff Barackman:
The witness was contacted on 1/23/11. He was very cooperative, and was happy to send me the photograph of the footprint.

The witness noted that at this time, the road that led to the Elwha River Trail was closed, making the journey from the ranger station to the trailhead a four or five mile walk. The prints were found another one and a half miles down the trail.

Taking into consideration the location and the weather conditions, it is unlikely that a person was going barefoot on that trail. The witness told me that the only people he saw on the entire trip were walking in as he was walking out on the road after the weather had cleared a bit.

The quality of the footprint photograph isn't great, but it isn't bad either. To avoid confusion with the larger impression, I have outlined the footprint. Click the link above to see the print.

Using the witness' 12 inch boot as scale (the witness measured it for me while we were on the phone), the footprint is approximately 13 inches long.

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