Prologue

Naysayers will argue that with the numerous hikers and hunters in the woods of the northwest there should be more credible sightings and photos of the creature known as sasquatch if it truly exists. The best argument against that theory is one that I agree with: A pilot of a white Cessna airplane with red lettering files a flight plan in Yakima en route to Boeing Field in Seattle. Somewhere over the Cascade Mountains the plane goes down. Search parties over the next several weeks fail to find the plane that is large, white and stationary. Here is my story of why I believe in sasquatch.

 

In 1977, my husband, Don McCune, wrote and narrated an episode for his Exploration Northwest TV series entitled Sasquatch Syndrome. “A syndrome,” he explained “is a group of symptoms for which there is no explanation.” He was the writer and narrator for over 400 outdoor adventures filmed in the northwest and produced by KOMO TV from 1960-1981, with re-runs in prime time through 1987.

 

Don was an excellent researcher and writer and I read the many books he used for facts for his sasquatch script. It was captivating reading. As was typical, he watched each episode at our home in rural Woodinville when it was broadcast to critique it, away from the studio lights and cameras. After the sasquatch broadcast ended he said, “That turned out okay…too bad there is no such thing.”

 

“What?” I responded. “Did you not believe the Washington State Trooper who saw one near Eatonville late at night while parked in his patrol car who explained, “I forgot I had a side arm and shot gun. All I could do was put more light on it to confirm what I was seeing as it walked down the sloped embankment, took three steps to cross the road and walked up the other steep side. At no time did it drop to all fours.”

 

“And you didn’t believe,” I continued, “the hunter who made a cast of a footprint after an encounter at the base of Mt. Baker that you filmed as he retrieved the cast?”

 

“Honey,” he replied, “I’ve been in the woods all my life and I would have seen one by now.”

 

“Yes,” I agreed, “but you are with a film crew of four loud men. How many times have you seen a cougar?” I asked.

 

“Well, actually never,” he replied. I told him that a cougar and a sasquatch know you are there long before you get near. That was the end of our conversation about sasquatch.

 

Eleven years later one night in late August 1988 as we were going to bed Don said, “I heard a screech owl in the barn last night.” I gave a typical wifely reply, “That’s nice.”

 

That night I awoke at 2:00am to the most god-awful sound I have ever heard. I shook Don awake and said “listen to that!” It was an ape-like screaming, high pitched and warbling.

 

“It’s that screech owl again,” Don replied.

 

“If it’s a screech owl, it’s eight feet tall!” I gasped.  “Listen to the reverberation in the chest.” I went on to point out that it was the same sound he had used on his sasquatch episode, given to him by researchers who said it was authentic.

 

The most interesting fact as we lay there listening was that our dogs, who slept in our room and never let anything come onto our acreage, had their noses pushed as far under our bed as possible while making an odd whining sound I had never heard them do before.

 

I wish I had been brave enough to go outside that night. Instead, the next morning I walked down by the barn to find one of our six trash cans (no garbage service then) lifted out of the three-foot-high enclosure and lying 25 feet away with garbage strewn all around. “Those darn dogs,” Don shouted across the yard as he left for work, “Better get that cleaned up, honey.”

right rear garbage can was lifted up 3 feet and out of the enclosure.

“Dogs?” I shouted back. “No dog can lift a 50-pound garbage can three feet high.”  I put the empty can back in its place and picked up the trash.  Then I picked up the bungee cord that kept the lid on the can on windy days.  The hooks were straight!! I got two pliers to fix it but couldn’t make it bend with all my strength. I had to put it in a vice and use a small sledgehammer to re-bend the hooks.

Where garbage can was found

I believe it was a sasquatch who grabbed the bungee cord to lift the can up and out, and it snapped and hurt it, causing it to scream. The ground was hard and dry as I looked for footprints. None. I checked the barbed wire perimeter fence but only found our horses’ hairs in the barbs. I went back to the garbage cans and spread some dirt around, eager to get a footprint the next night.

 

I also put a tape recorder on the bedroom windowsill and slept with the window open. The next five nights I recorded the screams that were not on our property but close enough to wake me and be recorded on tape. I called neighbors with dogs to ask if their animals were acting oddly but Don suggested I stop before the whole neighborhood thought I was crazy! Nonetheless our three children and I checked for footprints and hair daily.

 

Most would argue that it probably was a bear. As a biologist, I certainly know the sound of bears’ grunts and growls and this wasn’t even close.

 

I used the audio tape for years whenever company was coming and I needed to put the dogs in the bedroom. I simply played the cassette in the living room stereo and the dogs would hightail it to the bedroom and put their noses under the bed, making the same odd whine.

 

I had had the audio tape for years before it disappeared, probably when one of our kids brought it to a high school party to tell the story. I remain, to this day, convinced that a sasquatch visited the McCune ranch in 1988 and I hope to live long enough to be proved right.

 

Epilogue

When Don McCune died in 1993, I formed The Don McCune Library through which to sell his works from his broadcast career of 1943 to 1993. I released the Sasquatch episode on VHS in 1996 and on DVD in 2006. In the past 15 years, I have heard over 50 personal accounts of sightings of the creature we call sasquatch. I told one woman that I hoped to see one some day. She replied, “No you don’t, Linda…it was the most frightening experience of my life.”

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