North Cascades


Lori Simmons


A Night to Remember
Thom Cantrall
Lori Simmons

View into the North Cascades up the Cascade River

It was early August of 2012 and, as usual, it was HOT in the desert of southeastern Washington… the state, not the city.  When the phone rang, it was welcome as it signaled a respite from the task I had assigned myself of completing my next book in the time frame with which I had emburdened myself.

“Hi Thom,” the voice on the other end began, “this is Lori.” As if she had to tell me with a voice as distinctively pleasant as hers… even if I couldn’t read the caller ID message…  “I have something to ask of you, would you be able to come over to my area to help me next month?

“I don’t think that’d be a problem,” I responded, thinking that being retired does carry with it certain perks when it comes to having time to chase sasquatch with friends.  “Just let me know when and for how long, and I will clear my calendar for you.”

Large Douglas Fir trees in our area

It should be noted that I had worked prior with Lori Simmons in this area of the North Cascades Mountains when I traveled there with her on multiple occasions to investigate a most intriguing enigma involving an entity who communicates with we humans from under ground beneath two very large fir trees by the use of sounds seemingly created by rapping on the roots of those giants in response to questions posed… Yes, I know how crazy that sounds but I have been privy to it on several occasions and it is phenomenal to witness.  I have wanted to hire the use of ground penetrating radar to map the substrata there, but have been unable to attain one short of an outright purchase.  I have subsequently found entrance to subterranean voids from the surface, one of which is very near the pair of large firs the individual uses as his drum.

“Great,” she continued, “here is what is happening.  I have a research team coming here from England to look into my father’s area in Sasquatch Country (Which is her name for her research area).  Adam Davies is bringing Sandy Sanderson and four others of their ‘Extreme Expeditions’ team.  They are arriving the Friday prior to Labor Day, which is the last day of August and will be here during the following week.”


My explorations found that I had a very special appointment scheduled for Wednesday the fifth of September which I could not break, but offered to make the nearly seven hundred mile round trip to get the outing set up and under way.   I decided to bring my dear friend and surrogate daughter, Ronda DeRushe’, with me since she had the long weekend off work and it would make a nice outing for us.

Early the morning of that Friday in question, Ronda and I left our Kennewick, Washington homes and drove north through Wenatchee and over the North Cascades Highway, US Highway 20, to our destination, arriving at our agreed upon rendezvous ahead of Lori and the team from England by some twenty to thirty minutes.  I took advantage of this time to show Ronda around the area some, including the area of our underground drummer.  In our perambulations around the area, I found something very unique and exclusive to us.

I had just recently begun what would turn out to be a five year study of the sasquatch made glyphs.  I will be the first to admit that I was just beginning to learn some meanings to some glyphs, but what greeted us from our chosen camp was most clear to me!  In their “written language” of the glyph, the X has always been a sign of welcome and a sign of friendship and now, here, looking directly back at me in an insignificant corner of our camp, leaning against an alder tree, stood an eight foot tall example of exactly that!

This particular example was different from the usual in that it had an extra piece of wood placed horizontally across the bottom of the structure in much the same orientation as what would be called a rocker if this had been a brand for cattle.  As I have mentioned, I was very new to the world of glyphs and structures, so did not fully understand the significance of all the elements contained so, while I recognized the structure for what it was, I did not understand the importance of the rocker to the glyph.  I immediately called Ronda over show her what  I had discovered on an elevated bank above the Cascade River.

Cascade River next to camp

While it was true Ronda was impressed with the structure, she had no true understanding of it nor of it’s elements.  In her inspection of the artifact, she picked up the rocker to look closer at it.  When she had completed her perusal, she dropped it without replacing it to its prior position.  It simply fell where gravity took it.  I must admit I was no brighter about it myself for I did nothing to correct it.  As a matter of course, I did note its final resting place down the steep bank, precariously perched very near the flowing river.  It was not until the next morning, Saturday that it’s full importance struck me… when I returned to the site of the X to find the rocker had been replaced to its former position as the base of the structure!  It was at this point I understood that rocker modified the meaning to include the entire group coming here this week.  It not only included Lori and I, but all, Ronda, Adam, Sandy, Jackie, Dave, Simon and Tim included!!

14″ cast footprint… from a nominal 7’7″ individual

The weekend was all it could be hoped to be.  The company was harmonious and gratifying.  As the time passed, I found myself making new and dear friends… I heard of other adventures they had shared while I, in turn, shared experiences of my own with the sasquatch people.  Dave Archer told me of seeing Orang Pendak in southeast Asia and how, looking into its eyes, he knew it was another from of man and I told him of watching the sasquatch people fish in the beaver ponds of a small creek on the far west end of the Olympic Peninsula.  Jackie Tonks told me of her trip to the Mountain Gorillas of the Congo and I told her of spending the night in a hollow tree in far northern California with three of the sasquatch people around me, trying to communicate with me.  Simon Melchor told me of their trip to Russia in a quest for the Almasti… a quest that went unfulfilled on that occasion as I told him of coming face to face with a forest giant on the upper North Fork of Washington’s Dickey River.  It was a most convivial and pleasant weekend!  While no face to face sightings had occurred, much evidence was being collected and a wonderful experience was being shared by good friends.

Standard Bell Curve… applicable to statistical analyses

Several tracks had been found in the team’s perambulations, including some that were of sufficient quality to cast in plaster.  While it is common to find visible prints, locating those of a quality to cast and in a physical position to so do is extremely rare.  The track shown in the adjacent photograph is remarkable in its clarity and definition and was found in the riverbank immediately adjacent to our camp.  It measured fourteen inches in length by a nominal  five and one half inches in width.  Applying the applicable anatomical constants, we have person seven feet seven inches in height and weighing just under six hundred pounds!  He should stand out in any crowd, I would think.  Remember, these figures are nominal which means they are the center of the statistical Bell Curve and in any population, there will be variations from the norm.

Cast prints, including that of a juvenile

Others were found and cast, including one juvenile print found remote from the camp itself.  This team was adept at collecting and cataloging evidence and I was amazed by their diligence and dedication to their task.

On the afternoon of Monday, September third, Ronda and I said our goodbyes and with heavy hearts at leaving our newly found friends, set out on our approximately three hundred and fifty mile drive home.  Although I dreaded the traffic on the “going home day” at the end of a three day holiday, the fact that, once leaving Seattle, we would be traveling against the prevailing flow on a multi-lane Interstate Highway, a fact that proved very fortuitous for us, greatly facilitated our trip.  Near the summit of the Cascade Mountains there was a major accident that had turned the westbound lanes into an Interstate Parking Lot for over fifty miles!  In our eastbound direction, traffic, while a bit heavier than normal weekend traffic was not burdensome and moved smoothly and steadily, allowing us to arrive home in good time as well as safely.

Fir trees across from camp

It was early in the morning when the phone call came in.  I had intended to sleep in this morning after that long drive but the jangling of my phone put a quick and certain end to that notion.  I quickly checked the number and it was no one I knew, a factor that would normally have had me merely turning off the ringer and returning to sleep, but something told me I wanted to take this one.  The wee, early hour seemed to deny the use by telemarketers as they are not allowed to call before eight am in my state so I struggled to get my eyes open and my limbs functioning, at least enough to hold the phone close enough to my ear to make sense of what was to come.

“Hello,” I groaned in anguish into the device while hoping I was making enough noise to be heard.

“Hello Thom,” the excited voice on the line shouted, shaking the last vestiges of sleep from my system.  “You’ve got to get back over here right now!  We’ve something terrifically exciting!

“Adam,” I asked a bit more alertly, my vaunted reputation for wit and wile not yet maturing to its potential in the pre-sunrise light.

“Yes,” the voice responded, “and we have made a fantastic discovery in camp!  We need you back here!”

“What has happened,” I asked with a bit more excitement in my own voice.  After all, if it was exciting enough to unfetter an Englishman, known for being stoically calm under fire, it had to be something of importance.

“I can’t talk about it here, I’ve had to drive into town to find a phone to use to call you and it’s certainly not a secure line.”

Trail camera hung on Alder tree

“Okay, my friend,” I responded, I will see to my appointment and be back up there as soon as I can after that.  That’s the best I can do.  I’ve waited months for this chance and I cannot blow it.  But seriously, can’t you at least give me a clue of what I will be voiding my oil change mileage for on short notice”

“I’m sorry that I cannot say more,” Adam responded, “but, be prepared to have your knickers knotted!”

On Friday morning, before the owls had finished their night’s work and while the coming sun was still nothing more than a distant hope, I picked up Ronda from her home and we set out to the west again.

Five hours passing found us sitting in camp enjoying a breakfast with these blokes and two blokettes.  As we enjoyed our repast, they explained… first Lori then Adam and back to Lori again with interjections from Sandy and, occasionally, Dave.

Lori started:  “You remember how cold the nights were over the weekend, don’t you?”

Simon, Dave, Ronda and Jackie

“I sure do,” I responded.  “On Sunday night it got so cold my sleeping bag simply wouldn’t do the job so I retreated to my car to warm up enough to sleep!”

Sandy interjected, “We had been hanging a trail camera in camp at night just on the off chance that something might show up…”

“Well”, Lori continued, “Monday night was even worse and I could not sleep at all so I asked Adam to move us to that area beside the fire and put our mattresses and sleeping bags there, hoping I could get some sleep.”

“We got some pictures!” Adam exclaimed.  “There are only two, which we do not understand, since when Lori had to use the facilities and asked me to walk her over to them, the camera tracked us from the time we began to arise, through our trek out of the area and then the return.  It took its pictures at its programmed rate all the way out and all the way in again.  However. with the figure on the disk, there are only two frames exposed!”

I swung my eyes to Sandy and shot him a questioning look, to which he merely nodded…  To say they had my attention now would be excessive understatement akin to asking a Seahawks fan if he was happy with Superbowl XLVIII (Seahawks 43 Denver 8)… It just went without saying!  Suddenly that all-night drive was suddenly worthwhile… and I hadn’t even seen the pictures yet!  Somehow, I just KNEW…

Sandy brought his laptop computer to the table and set it up for me.  He took a few moments to adjust  the display and stepped back to let me see  what was in view…  What I saw was astonishing!  There, kneeling on the ground next to the table… the very same table I was now sitting at, was a large, apparently white individual leaning over the sleeping pair of Lori and Adam!  It was surmised that he was not as white as he would appear in the image as this taken with the night vision capability of the trail camera.  Our consensus was that he was darker but the effects of the camera made him darker.

When my mind had absorbed all it could of this image, I asked of the second image and was shown another, only a few seconds after this one that showed him in the same basic position but with his head a bit more vertical… enough to show a bit more of the outline of his head as well as showing the wisps of his breath as he exhaled in the frigid cold mountain air.  Unfortunately, I was never offered a copy of that image, so cannot share it here.  This much I will ask the reader to take on faith, it does exist and it does show that which I have described!

Dave Archer kneeling in approximately the same spot and position as the fellow in the photo

From here, I undertook to determine an approximate erect standing height for the individual.  To effect this, I measured the height of the table to determine that it is the standard height of US Forest Service camp tables of twenty-nine inches.  Using a pair of dividers I then extrapolated an estimated height, on his knees, allowing a bit for his forward lean, of sixty-five inches.  I then applied the applicable ratio, after determining the length of his upper leg from the same comparison to the height of the adjacent table top, to determine the length of the lower leg still on the ground and again added an estimated height for his foot and ankle to determine that standing erect he would reach a height eighty-five to eighty-seven inches… Over SEVEN feet tall at least!

The adjacent photo shows Dave Archer, the largest person in camp at over six feet four inches

Dave, Ronda, Jackie and Sandy

in approximately the same position taken with the same camera from the same spot.  As can be readily seen, there is no comparison between a person and the individual in that photo!

I think our guests may have been a bit naive and expected their release of this data to be met with nearly universal acceptance, if not excitement.  What I expected was more nearly in line with what actually happened if for no other reason tha that Paul Freeman was a friend of mine as is Bob Gimlin.  I know how cruel and unthinking the public is.

The release was met with a response that ranged from acceptance by those who understood the nature of sasquatch through doubt by the normally disbelieving to outright derision and vitriol by the extreme non-believers.  I must admit that even I had my eyes opened by events to come out of this scene as it played out.

Author pointing out the spot…

  Somewhere along the line of rhetoric that was being passed off as “constructive criticism” but which was actually a vicious attack on the character of the principals involved, someone coined the phrase of a “person with a sleeping bag over their shoulders” and the unwashed masses of resident idiots picked up the mantra and it became the catch phrase for the  “Coalition for Reason” people in the foray.  Here were people all across the net demonstrating a marked lack of originality in their parroting of someone else’s diatribe with absolutely zero knowledge of their on which to base any opinion whatsoever!  I could not believe that even ONE person could look at that photo and see a sleeping bag in it… One can see muscle definition in it, especially the trough that is formed along the spine when the shoulders are rolled.  To achieve that effect, it would be necessary to glue the “sleeping bag” to the actor’s back!

That ordeal taught me something about foolish people and I had been developing an expertise with hat type for decades!  What I learned is that people who fear will not attempt to learn, but will attack in any manner that will help to belittle the source of those fears.  Add to that that there is a class of people to whom the existence of these beings scares them spitless… be wary of stupid people in large numbers… add to that now, “Be wary of scared people in any numbers!”

If one has reservations about a published item, investigate it… go to the source and see what the entire story is.  Investigate those involved to see what their character truly is… and asking a facebook friend his opinion does not constitute intense investigation!  Finally, understand it is okay to be unsure, and it is even more okay to admit you don’t know… always be respectful… to disagree is perfectly  acceptable… I have never learned anything worth knowing from someone who agreed with me totally… I learn from those who have a different opinion which I then examine for merit… please do the same.

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