OddWA #31 - Slew Foot

 (Click to enlarge)
Washington has always been a hotbed of Bigfoot sightings, even before we legalized cannabis. Records and databases list hundreds of Bigfoot sightings in the Evergreen State over the years, so it’s tricky choosing something suitably epic. In my book, the clear winner is the famed sightings in Bossburg, Washington from 1969 and 1970.

Starting on November 24th, several groups of locals ran across a multitude of tracks crisscrossing the countryside near the Columbia River. One foot appeared to be deformed, so it was dubbed Slew Foot.  The tracks caused a sensation that attracted experts and enthusiasts from near and far, including Roger Patterson – famed cameraman of the controversial Patterson Film that kicked off the modern Bigfoot phenomenon. Patterson, a pair of zoologists, a local tracker, a Himalayan explorer, a wealthy financier and others became embroiled in a story filled with action, intrigue and hanging slabs of meat meant to entice the shy mystery hominid. It didn’t work. The fruit basket didn’t work either.

The visitors bid against each other – literally – to learn the location of a Bigfoot who was trapped, a dead Bigfoot carcass in a cave and a frozen Bigfoot… foot someone claimed they had at home in their freezer. Lines were drawn and various camps spied, tracked and even watched each other from the air. Trucks and snowmobiles were rented so the hunters could mostly keep tabs on each other, with every team suspecting the others knew something they didn’t.

It ends, predictably, with no Bigfoot found, several bank accounts greatly reduced and some very unconvincing, grainy footage. Ironically, this last was presented to a skeptical TV audience in 1972 on the show You Asked For It. I’m sure the trappers and guides who made a fortune back in Bossburg couldn’t agree more.


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