; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Sasquatch Evidence Discovered By Boy Scouts Near Mount Hood, Oregon

A group of Boy Scouts follow large tracks in the snow and come across a clearing with mangled birch trees and an old concrete culvert pipe that looked and smelled like it could have been a Sasquatch bed. This occurred near Mount Hood, Oregon. An interesting and detailed account.

The following information was recently forwarded to me:

"I was in Boy Scouts at this time. This location was close to Mount Hood, Oregon. Specifically, it happened at a place called "White River Lodge," not far from the area known as "Government Camp." White River Lodge was definitely the coolest place our troop ever went to. As far as I know, back then it was almost exclusively used for BSA activities, but I could be wrong on that. It almost looked like a miniature ski resort lodge. It was a pretty big structure, 2-3 stories, that had a large communal area with a big fireplace, a large kitchen and sleeping space (lots of wood bunk beds) enough to accommodate 3-4 Scout troops at one time. Everyone loved that place in the winter time for the primary recreational activity there of "snow-tubing." On the bottom floor of the structure there was a pile of rubber inner tubes and an air compressor. You would dig through the tubes, pick one out, fill it up and head out for some truly awesome sledding on a steep hill behind the lodge. Trudging to the top required some time and effort, but the payoff was an exciting ride down the hill. At the bottom, was a ramp made of packed snow that allowed the sledders to catch some serious air. The tube run was extreme enough to cause some injuries; one of which resulted in a gruesome, fatal head injury, but life went on, as per how things were in 1978.

After finally getting bored with the tubing, me and two close friends and another guy who we went to school with, thought to look for some snow shoes we'd heard were stored below the lodge, among the tubing gear. We found just a couple of mismatched ones with broken laces, so we decided to go for a hike in our boots. We headed down some sort of access road, or old logging road that veered away from the lodge for a good distance. It was late afternoon by then. The sky was overcast, it wasn't snowing and the roadway was easily discernible, with a treeline on both sides.

At that age, the three of us had a lot of stamina and we loved hiking, so it's hard to say how far we went before taking a break. We all had waterproof ski pants, so a plush snowdrift along the roadway made for a handy couch to plop down on. We kicked back there for a while, BSing, telling dirty jokes, etc.

My other buddy was the first one to examine a deep mark in the snow very close to where we were sitting. "Check it out, it looks like a giant foot. See? There's four toes.. and that looks like the big toe." At first, me and my old friend laughed. We said it was probably just a pattern from a clump of snow falling from a pine tree branch. The other guy noticed how strange it was that a very similar pattern was a ways off from the first one he'd seen. Intrigued, we got up from the snow couch and quickly saw we'd been sitting among a large grouping of these weird 'holes' in the snow, totally oblivious to them. We saw that they led a bit further down the the slope that paralleled the road and veered off into a gap in the pine trees. It seemed like a fun idea to follow them, see where they went.

Right away we made note of a couple of things: The footprints were very deep, looked like a person walking heel-to-toe and the space between the strides was ridiculous (Taking at least two of ours for each). As we followed the tracks deeper into the trees, the terrain varied between some pretty big snowdrifts we had to plow through and stretches that were easier to manage. Over time and age, it's hard to say how far we actually went, but it's safe to say we were at least a mile from the road when we came across what looked like some very old machinery; maybe construction and/or logging equipment. There wasn't a lot of it, just a few metallic things, the largest of which looked like a rusted out cab from an old truck or something. It wasn't particularly interesting but I remember someone saying it seemed out of place since there was no kind of logging or construction activity going on anywhere near White River Lodge.

I think it wasn't much further past the old equipment when the trees became less pine and more birch-like; thinner trunks with mottled white bark. The ground was flatter there and the snow cover was lighter, which made for even easier walking.

Our trek ended at a small clearing in these trees. I can't recall what we saw first, because it was like taking in several things that weren't 'normal' all at once. Some of those white trees were mangled. I mean mangled, twisted like a rubber band. Others were broken, pulled down from 7-8 feet off the ground. There was also a bunch of mutilated limbs from adjacent trees that were pulled/twisted together. For some reason, one of my most vivid memories of that moment is of those trees and seeing the naked yellowish color of the inner trunk sharply contrasting with the papery outer bark. It was like, "why (and how) the hell would someone want to do that to those trees?"

The next(?) noticeable thing was the cement pipe to our right. It was definitely manmade and I thought it looked like something designed to be used for drainage, like a culvert. Whatever is was made for, it been out there long enough for moss to take hold. It was weathered and dirty looking. The open diameter facing us to our right was about four feet across. It seemed as if the length was relatively short though, maybe six feet(?) Hard to say since we didn't walk around to the other open end. We did walk right up to the open end facing us. I can still feel the sensation of running my insulated glove against the upper edge of the pipe, seeing the clumps of moss curling down. Inside the pipe was the real trip. My first impression was 'nest.' It was packed with dead leaves, pine boughs and craziest of all, one or two cloth bed mattresses! They looked cheap, like something a jail inmate would get, thin with dark, vertical pinstripes. My brain was already going into uncharted places when I noticed the awful smell roiling out of the pipe (I think I was the one who was closest to it, at least close enough to almost stick my head inside). The smell was a deep, complex musky scent that reminded me of the 'monkey area' at the zoo, crossed with human BO, rotten garbage, wet dog and a hint of something like ammonia. The smell was so strong I could imagine seeing it, like heat waves rising above hot asphalt.

I don't recall any words exchanged between me and my friends after that, but I do remember gazing around that area, seeing the twisted trees and noticing the ground in a large diameter was heavily trampled, so much that dirt and leaves were exposed. There were also yellow stains that looked like something had been taking a lot of leaks. That's where everything came together, presumably for all three of us. Not like we had a clear understanding of anything but there was a mutual realization that our adventure wasn't fun anymore. I'll never forget the sense of pants-sh*tting fright that ran through me, knowing we could be in real trouble, like taking a wrong turn in the woods and blundering into the den of a pissed off bear, or some other dangerous animal.

There was a duration of being frozen in fear, taking it all in, none of us saying anything. I have no idea how long that lasted, maybe less than a minute (Both of my friends later vehemently claimed they had a sense of being watched, though I don't recall that myself). At some point we just broke into a full-on, stumbling run in the direction we'd came from. There was no word or signal given. We just collectively bailed. We probably looked like an adolescent version of The Three Stooges, all of us trying to be the first one out of a burning house. Fortunately we'd left a clear path back to the road, but I got whacked in the head by tree limbs and went face down in a snow drift or two. Sometimes I was in the lead, sometimes I was following behind. Funny enough I don't recall hearing any sounds from my friends other than breathless gasps and panting.

By the time we got back to the lodge, it was near full dark. My secondary buddy, considered a tough guy in our neighborhood (karate classes and after-school fights) was crying like a little girl. He had lost one of his fancy ski gloves somewhere along our panicked retreat, but that's not what he was crying about. He was scared out of his mind, as the other two of us were. The three of us babbled to anyone who would listen about what we'd seen but most of the feedback we received was admonishments from a few troop leaders about breaking lodge rules by exploring so far from the 'designated areas,' especially so late in the day. We also caught heavy mocking from lots of other Scouts who were there that weekend. But here's one of the interesting things that unfolded later.

Supposedly, some of the older Eagle Scout guys (averaging age 17-18+) who had some volunteer Search & Rescue experience, bundled up and headed out with flashlights to see what all the ruckus was about. Probably just bored and curious. Later word was that they'd followed that logging road, found the snow bank we'd been resting in and verified seeing some 'very weird' large tracks, but didn't follow them very far. Another item was that the next morning, at a small dining table adjacent to the lodge kitchen, a burly man in a red & black flannel shirt was drinking coffee. He was idly chatting with some other grown up guys, saying he'd arrived late the previous night, having driven from someplace in BFE Oregon, with some Scouts. He'd gone back alone to his truck for some stuff and while walking the trail from the parking area back to the lodge, he noticed a very tall person walking along the ridge above the trail. He looked genuinely puzzled, even a bit concerned. He asked if anyone else was out and about around that time. When told that everyone was present and accounted for, he shrugged and said something along the lines of, "That's funny. I wonder who that was. I couldn't make much out since the moon was really bright behind him, but he sure was one helluva big fellow. I waved at him and he walked on. Looked like he was wearing a dark fur coat. Like a mountain man or Grizzly Adams."

The rabbit hole got even deeper when at some point before the weekend concluded, we heard another anecdote shared between some other grownup guys at the lodge, talking about the new mattresses on the bunk beds and how they were a little nicer than the old striped ones that someone had stolen from the storage barn the previous summer. Some older looking guy (maybe a lodge caretaker) was griping about how 'nowadays, even way up here on the mountain, you have to put a lock on every goddamn thing.'

Not long after those Boy Scout days, my old best friend and I drifted apart, went to different schools. Many years later in our mid 20s, we briefly reconnected. We no longer had much in common but it was cool to drink a beer with him and reminisce, since we'd been best friends throughout grade school. For a while I was uncertain about bringing up the weird Boy Scout experiences. I almost didn't. Part of me was feeling anxious that he'd laugh it off. Eventually I chose to risk it, for the sake of validating (or dispelling) my own memories.

When I got around to asking him if he remembered the White River Lodge incident, he said he'd never forgotten any of that and his recounting of it was identical in every way to my own memory, down to the mangled trees, the pipe, the mattresses, the stench and our other friend losing his ski glove and "crying like a bitch." He also said, "Over the years, I've wondered if we got pranked, maybe at least that time at White River Lodge, but it still doesn't add up, no more than what we saw backside of the lake. Think of all the effort and bullsh*t someone would have had to put out just for that."

I definitely have thought of that. Countless times. I now have a renewed interest in the Sasquatch subject. The stories are interesting and the personal accounts that strike me most are ones that describe/lead to many people who (supposedly) have seen a Sasquatch first-hand and are left with PTSD from the reality-altering experience; to the extent that avid hunters and various nature lovers totally abandon their interests, going so far as to avoiding any forests or wooded areas. If true, that alone says more than any grainy photo or video 'evidence' and leaves me feeling grateful that I never actually saw some creature that can twist trees like paper towel tubes. What little I did see was freaky enough." NP

NOTE: the location is now known as the White River BSA Sno Park. Lon

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