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The Peckatoe Journal
Bluff at Bluff Creek
Mecca. The Mecca of Bigfoot. Yet another different foot emerged from the woods. In August 1958 the tracks began. Huge footprints were found embedded in the logging roads, showing something with huge flat human feet had been walking along the equipment. Finally on October 6, 1958, the local Humboldt Times of Eureka ran the story. Jerry Crew, one of the catskinners, had made a plaster cast of a print and took it to the Times headquarters. Flashbulbs burst, and a moment in history was created. The term Bigfoot was coined to describe them. Indeed it had big feet. But they were not alone. There were two sets of tracks. Bill Chambers, the roving reporter of the Humboldt Times, was shown both. One pair was found by Crew, the other by his boss, Ray Wallace, the contractor in charge of these logging operations. Wallace’s print was radically different. It was a strange hourglass shape, with funny, small stiff toes. Because the photo of Crew holding the huge foot was syndicated, the Vancouver Province picked up on it and ran it under the wistful heading “New Sasquatch Found.” By this time, Canadian newsman John Green had been investigating the reality of the Sasquatch. His commendable research into The Ruby Creek Incident led him to believe that Sasquatch was real. He drove to Bluff Creek. From talking to the people and seeing weathered tracks he began to consider that Bigfoot, too, might be a Sasquatch. The deciding factor soon came. Bob Titmus, a local taxidermist, had promised to keep in touch with Green. He was good to his word in November 1958. He wrote Green that more tracks had shown up on a sandbar. Green was quickly back. Both went out to the sandbar and walked along the tracks. These were the same “hourglass tracks” Bill Chambers had been shown by Ray Wallace. Green believed them authentic. The Humboldt Times was religiously following the stories coming out of Bluff Creek. A multimillionaire was quickly involved. Texas oilman Tom Slick formed a lose group called Northwestern Pacific (then Pacific Northwestern, then Pacific Northwest) Expedition. It comprised the local taxidermists, Bob Titmus, John Green, another Canadian Rene Dahinden, and a couple of Slick’s associates. Their goal was to track the footprints and finally decide where an expedition should be concentrated. During this time the footprints continued at Bluff Creek. However, only one recognizable kind were found— those “hourglass” tracks. The type of flat enlarged human foot as Crew had found didn’t show up again. Those “hourglass” tracks became famous as Bigfoot. They appeared again in August of 1962, exciting more reports in the Humboldt Times and inspiring an entire flap of reports in 1963. By this time, however, something tragic had happened. Tom Slick had been killed in an airplane crash in October 1962. His expedition had crumbled apart and the woodsmen went back to their old routines. But in August 1967 those strange hourglass prints returned on Blue Creek Mountain Road overlooking Bluff Creek. John Green and Rene Dahinden were back. They were unquestionably made by the same foot. Now, however, it had a friend. A smaller though similar print 13 inches long accompanied it. Bigfoot was back in a big way, and now it had a companion. More than any other set of tracks, the Blue Creek Mountain Road’s prints secured Bigfoot eternal remembrance. Inspired by these newsmaking tracks, Roger Patterson journeyed to Bluff Creek with the intent of filming the Bigfoot. He would succeed on October 20, 1967. This footage electrified the world. It created our image of Bigfoot as a cone-headed apeman of the Pacific Northwest forests. The Bigfooters reunited. An entire phenomenon was born, and the media followed it until this day. In the process the Bigfooters have become as intrinsic in the pursuit of Bigfoot as St. George is in the hunt for the dragon. It’s a unique position to hold in popular lore. Bigfoot himself became an icon, and there are those who religiously defend the “Gentle Giant” of 1970s’ creation. There is a major problem. In 2002 Ray Wallace died. In his obit his family posted he had been the Bigfoot of Bluff Creek. There was such a controversy that his nephew Dale Lee Wallace brought out the fake wooden feet and showed them to the world.
The photo in the Province showing Gerry Crew with the Crew Print. The Crew Print is a flat enlarged human print.
Exposure. Ray’s nephew, Dale Lee, shows the Seattle Times one pair of his uncle’s fake feet that Rant Mullins had carved for him. They are the famous “hourglass” prints that vexed the area of Bluff Creek for 10 years.
Above, Green declared this to be “a typical” print at Blue Creek Mountain. The pictures of such prints, including the August 1962 prints seen by Midshipman Clark, can be seen throughout Green’s old books. Indeed, in summing up all the footprints that had been found in the Bluff Creek area since 1958, Green wrote in On the Track of the Sasquatch: “An unusual feature discernible in most tracks, in varying degrees, is a division right in the middle of what appears to be the ball of the foot.”
Green, above, measuring hourglass tracks at Blue Creek Mountain overlooking Bluff Creek, August 1967. In his early On the Track of the Sasquatch, 1968, Green writes: “They were familiar to me— the same 15-inch print with a split in the ball of the foot that I had first seen 9 years before. . .”
Rene Dahinden’s incredible picture of one of the Blue Creek Mountain prints of August 1967. It is regarded as the “best photo” in existence of a Bigfoot print. Left, a 13 inch model, which also turned up along with the 15 inch model above, at Blue Creek Mountain. It is noticeable for the groove in the ball of the foot. The Wallace family confessed that Ray’s brother, Wilbur, helped him on occasions with another pair of feet. Photo at left is called The Dahinden Print.
Examples of how the “hourglass” shape was exclusively associated with “Bigfoot” everywhere in northern California.
The actual Sasquatch foot, as traced at Ruby Creek, 1941
Unfortunately, the Wallace Family did not show all the pairs of carved feet that might have matched the Crew Print. Therefore many Bigfooters remained adamant that Wallace could not have been behind “Bigfoot.” They seem to willfully overlook that two pairs of tracks appeared simultaneously at Bluff Creek and that, more fatal for Bigfoot’s reputation there, only the Wallace “hourglass” print continued on for 10 years. The Crew Print was never found again after that October, 1958. The greatest controversy, of course, is that Roger Patterson went to Bluff Creek to film something that had never been there. Although his famous Patterson Film was already falling into disrepute with many pro-Bigfooters, Wallace’s obit confession removes the entire foundation upon with Bigfoot and hence Patterson’s film is based.
Mark Davis did this great screen caption
There is still greater controversy. Roger Patterson’s Bigfoot footprints underwent an unusual metamorphosis. The first print he found was at Bluff Creek in 1964 on Leard Meadow Road. This was yet another strange human footprint. Then he found a long human foot at Erion Ranch, Washington State. He declared this to be the footprint of the “hairy apes” of Mount St. Helens.” He didn’t seem to realize they had 4 toes and not 5. It was at this time that Patterson had met Ray Wallace, who had moved back to his Toledo, Washington, home. Wallace directed him to Fred Beck, the last survivor of the Ape Canyon Incident in 1924. After Patterson had met Wallace, however, his footprint discoveries underwent that metamorphosis. The Bigfoot he filmed at Bluff Creek had footprints that were more similar to Wallace’s hourglass, yet they were still very different. They were nothing like the human prints he had found before. The Bigfoot in the film certainly doesn’t sport the Sasquatch footprint.
Erion Ranch, Woodland, Washington, 1966.
Leard Meadow Road, 1964.
Left foot of Patterson’s Bigfoot.
Right foot of Roger Patterson’s Bigfoot in the film.
Wallace’s Bluff Creek Hourglass Print.
It is amazing what different feet the Bigfoot had in the film: left and right are radically different in and of themselves let alone how they contrast with every other print. After comparing the prints on this page, not only do the events at Bluff Creek become very dubious; it is clear that even if authentic “Bigfoot” is certainly not the Sasquatch.
The Peckatoe Journal: as investigated and kept by Gian J. Quasar. Content Copyright Bermuda-Triangle.org and PNE&S