PAT NEAL: Stages of a Sasquatch sighting

THE OLYMPIC PENINSULA’S first Sasquatch Symposium, held last November at Studio Bob in Port Angeles, resulted in an outpouring of Sasquatch sighting reports from people all over the place.

They all seemed to have one thing in common — not wanting to be identified.

Some of the stories were simply too farfetched to be believed.

Take this one lady who said she saw a Sasquatch while out haying with two teenage boys.

Can you give me a description? I asked.

She said it was big and hairy.

I said no, not the Sasquatch, that’s no big deal, but what about those teenagers bucking hay bales?

Is there any way you could identify or contact them?

Hay-bucking teenagers must be about the rarest critters on Earth.

Not seen hereabouts since some time in the past century.

As for the Sasquatch, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) Washington state leads the nation with 653 sightings with 39 in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

As a fishing guide who fishes 500 days a year for the mythical steelhead, I figured there was no reason I shouldn’t take people out on the river looking for the mythical Sasquatch in my spare time.

First, I had to adapt some of my fishing guide jokes into Sasquatch jokes, like how can you lose 250 pounds of ugly fat?

Easy, fire your Sasquatch guide.

And, what do you call a Sasquatch guide without a girlfriend? Homeless.

Fishing guide excuses will also work on a guided Sasquatch trip: If it’s raining, it’s too wet. If it’s not raining, it’s too dry.

This is not an exact science.

You cannot find the Sasquatch. They must find you.

If the Sasquatch does not find you, it’s your fault.

Maybe if you engaged in some more interesting primate behavior, such as taking your clothes off.

It puts you on a more equal footing.

The Sasquatch don’t have clothes, so why should you?

If you should encounter legal difficulties while engaged in this field survey technique, simply explain to the arresting officer you’re a Sasquatch researcher.

I’m sure they’ll understand.

Some are willing to go further into the reaches of the scientific stratosphere in an attempt to further man’s knowledge.

I had a guy tell me he’s going to become the Jane Goodall of the Sasquatch researchers.

Getting naked to see a Sasquatch is nothing compared to the financial, medical and social pressures of a man getting a sex change operation to attain this noble goal.

It could be a small price to pay for seeing the Sasquatch which, take it from me, is one of the scariest experiences you can have.

On a scale of one to 10, having high-powered rifle bullets whizzing by you, a tree falling near you or lightning striking nearby is a 10.

The first Sasquatch sighting is like all of these experiences rolled into one but made even weirder by the fact it is not supposed to exist.

The second stage involves you trying to prove they exist by gathering hair samples, dung samples, casting tracks and documenting everything with fuzzy pictures absolutely no one wants to look at.

Then the power goes out and the freezer full of Sasquatch dung samples thaw, leaching this scientific treasure trove into the carpet in the basement and causing less enthusiastic members of the Sasquatch research team to question the validity of collecting DNA samples with this particular methodology.

By then you realize the Sasquatch has ruined your life.

And you’re only part way through the seven steps of a Sasquatch sighting.


Pat Neal is a Hoh River fishing guide and “wilderness gossip columnist” whose column appears here every Wednesday.

He can be reached at 360-683-9867 or by email via patneal