Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is by far the most well-known and well-sighted cryptid in history, a real rock star of cryptozoology. These enormous hairy hominids have been observed and searched for throughout North America, and there have frequently been some quite bizarre and peculiar reports. One such baffling incident is of Sali Sheppard Wolford, who not only saw a bigfoot once but four times.
What is stranger than sightings of Bigfoot are the odd accounts of persons claiming to have lived in close proximity to these enigmatic animals, making thorough observations and even building friendships and talking with them. It is truly a one-of-a-kind occurrence that is as bit as odd as one might think.
This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “Bigfoot habituation,” and witnesses are frequently referred to as “contactees,” and one can almost see it as analogous to Diane Fossey and her gorillas cohabiting and studying one another. There are numerous such cases, and one fairly significant account of Bigfoot habituation comes from the wildernesses of Washington state in the United States and centers on a witness named Sali Sheppard-Wolford and her family, as well as being an account that perhaps transcends simply hairy hominid encounters to truly catapult into the realms of high strangeness.
Wolford resided in the 1970s near Orting, Washington, with her daughter, Autumn, who appears to be the story’s focal point. They lived here in a rustic, modest, slightly disheveled cabin described as “an 1133 foot wooden box with holes in the floor and a cold water faucet,” surrounded by quaint wilderness and a sea of trees, but almost immediately upon their arrival, strangeness began, and Wolford stated in an interview with Jeffery Pritchett of The Church Of Mabus Radio Show on this day:
When we walked out to view the river I knew we would live there. When we turned to walk back, my ex yelled, “Race ya!”, and disappeared into the woods. I couldn’t recall where we’d come out, so I took the most obvious path. I picked wild flowers as I walked, expecting him to do something to scare me, like jumping out from behind a bush and screaming. That was when I noticed the woods had become dark and completely quiet. When I looked up, the sky was filled with ominous, rolling clouds.
I shivered, and realized I was not alone, and the presence I felt was not that of my husband. I screamed his name and turned to run, then a terrible smell wafted by on the sodden breeze. The woods erupted behind me, and I turned toward the sound of ripping foliage. As I watched, something huge and hairy disappeared into the trees. Charged by waves of fear, I began running again, but tripped over a root and landed in the wet sand. I lay still, catching my breath. When I looked up, I noticed the sky had returned to normal.
Puffy, white clouds stretched peacefully in a pale, blue sky. Birds twittered from hidden perches. The fragrance of Spring in the forest filled the air. The presence was gone. I summoned up my last bit of courage and retraced my steps until I came upon the spot where I had dropped my flowers. Off to the side of the path it looked like a tank had gone through the thick underbrush.
Then the destruction just stopped. I looked for a place where something that large could have gone farther, but there was none. Broken branches hung like dead snakes as I looked up into the overhanging limbs. I spied a tuft of brown hair caught on one. It was too far up for me to reach, but I finally managed with the aid of a stick. When I pulled it down, I winced at the rancid smell I would never forget. That’s when it hit me just how huge that shape had been. The funny thing was, it had run away just like I had. We had scared each other.
For the next four years, the family allegedly received frequent visits by these Bigfoot-like creatures, with several sightings of the beasts prowling about, generally approaching quite closer, and frequently they were seen by friends and neighbors as well. There were also numerous such situations while she was with her daughter. Wolford describes one such strange meeting as follows:
We came around a bend on one of the trails behind our cabin and standing in the dappled shade of the trees were an adult Sasquatch, and his much smaller companion. I couldn’t have moved if I’d wanted to. With my three-year-old daughter by my side, I stood frozen in place until the adult broke eye contact.
He cocked his head and looked down at the fur coat I was wearing as if to say, ” What kind of animal ARE you?” At that point my instincts kicked in. I spoke softly when I told Autumn her to, “turn around and walk, honey, don’t run”. When she was safely out of sight, I turned and followed. The two Sasquatch never moved. When we returned to our cabin, we crawled into bed.
My husband was livid when he came home from work because there was no wood to burn. I told him we were sick because I had no other excuse for being in bed. I did not remember that meeting on the trail for over 20 years. What I remember most is the eyes. Full of intelligence.
They were about twice the size of my own, and no whites were visible. The color was brown, but they had a greenish tint, and were covered with a sort of convex lens like a cat. They were not the eyes of an animal. I had the feeling they looked deep into my soul.
Much of this was intertwined with numerous other strange occurrences, such as myriad light anomalies that appeared in the forest, and Wolford claims that when Sasquatch appeared, they were surrounded by these orbs or wreaths of tiny lights the size of fireflies orbiting their heads and shoulders. She describes one such incident as follows:
One night I was looking out the kitchen window and saw the tall, dark form of a Sasquatch walking down the path toward the river. Surrounding his head and upper torso were tiny, twinkling white lights. When I tapped on the window, the lights went out like someone had flipped a switch, and he was swallowed in darkness.
Aside from mysterious lights and Bigfoot encounters, Wolford claims she was frequently visited by a spectral elderly Native American male she calls the “Dream Walker.” In the past, this stranger led her on adventures into the past, teaching her about Bigfoot’s history in the valley, and about the Native Chinook tribe’s beliefs and way of life. “Excursions,” she says.
These journeys, for the most part, were quite disturbing for they showed me the fate of both the Natives, and the Sasquatch as they were pushed farther into the forest or violently disposed of. I was given hope for the future of Sasquatch in the form of Dream Walker’s last words to me: “Remember all I have shown you and teach your young ones. I will not be here to remind you. Make sure the children believe in what they cannot touch or see. To one of you a girl child has been born. She has the sunbeams in her hair. One day I will come to her as I have come to you. She too will learn the ways of our people and Skookum.”
It did not occur to me at the time that he was describing my daughter, Autumn. As to who Dream Walker is I will answer you thus… In one of our later journeys it was the present time. He led me down the path behind Youdi’s cabin.
I walked around a curve on the path between the huge, rotting logs that had been deposited by some ancient flood and there stood the adult Sasquatch (I now know) I had met on the path. One minute he was there, then the next Dream Walker stood in his place. That answered the question for me, but I leave it to others to decide for themselves.
With so many bizarre happenings around them, one might assume Wolford believes Bigfoot is a spiritual being or maybe an alien, but she appears to believe otherwise, preferring to believe they are an unknown form of prehistoric man, although she entertains alternative ideas. Taking into account all of the other phenomena observed on the land, Wolford was asked her view on whether the Bigfoot she had been seeing was connected to aliens and the UFO phenomenon, to which she responded:
I’ve thought long and hard on this question. I don’t know that there is a connection, but I wouldn’t rule it out. The fact that we experienced both, along with many other anomalies, during our time in the valley could lead one to that conclusion, but the fact that so many strange things happened in one place could be caused by something else entirely. There are so many things that science seems to ignore, or can’t explain. I’ve looked into the possibility of a vortex in that area, or a junction of ley lines. Native Americans have looked at certain areas near Mt. Rainier as sacred for centuries.
She has descriptively written about her experiences and encounters with the bigfoots in the book titled “Valley of the Skookum: Four Years of Encounters with Bigfoot“. It remains to be seen, and for the time being, the case of Sali Sheppard Wolford is one of the most in-depth and weird Bigfoot contactee claims around, regardless of whether any of it is true. Drop your views in the comment section to discuss with us.
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