Unraveling the Mystery: Bigfoot Sightings and Encounters in Oregon

by | Jul 11, 2024 | Featured, History, History, Interesting, Weird, Weird Oregon

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You're out hiking a beautiful trail to a waterfall and you start to hear volleys of loud knocking sounds, like something is banging on a tree trunk in the distance with a big stick. Or maybe you're camping out in the wilderness, and in the middle of the night you start to hear loud thuds around your tent, only to find huge rocks littering your campsite in the morning. Perhaps you're out mushroom hunting in the woods and hear a hair raising scream despite that you're miles from civilization. One might think that these types of incidents are isolated and bizarre. Bizarre surely, but strange encounters in the wilderness like this are more common than you might think, and are all signs of bigfoot, along with actual bigfoot sightings. Oregon, along with the rest of the Pacific Northwest is well known sasquatch country, and sightings here are high compared to other areas.

Bigfoot Sightings In Oregon

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

The odds are, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you've heard of bigfoot before. Sasquatch, the hairy man, and even yeti are all names for this elusive creature. Is it a myth? Possibly. Are there actually massive hairy creatures roaming our forests? It's a possibility. Some believe without seeing, but others only start to believe in the legend of Bigfoot after having an encounter of their own.

How Many Bigfoot Sightings Does Oregon Have?

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

It's hard to get accurate numbers, because many people that have bigfoot encounters never tell a soul, afraid that they'll be ostracized or laughed at. For those that do report the encounter, there's a database online that keeps track of sightings, eerie screams and potential sasquatch vocalizations, loud knocking noises in the woods, and other bigfoot signs.

The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, or BFRO, collects reports from across North America and then inputs those reports into a database after they've been investigated for credibility. Volunteers and researchers determine whether or not reports are credible before they're made public.

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

While credible reports that are made to the BFRO in Oregon might be few and far in between (some people make reports to the police, forest service, or other organizations), the numbers add up over the years and tend to be surprising.

Clackamas County comes in with the highest number of credible bigfoot reports at 29, while Josephine County follows close behind with 21 reports of bigfoot activity. Douglas county has 18 reports, Umatilla and Lane counties both have 17 reports, and Deschutes County has 16 reports of sightings and other bigfoot encounters.

A heat map of credible Oregon bigfoot sightings.
Map via the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website.

There are several counties in Oregon that only have 1-4 reports, and several that have 5-13. The BFRO has a total of 258 credible listings of bigfoot sightings, encounters, and activities in the Beaver State, marking Oregon as a hotspot for sasquatch activity over the years.

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

Does anyone have evidence to prove that Bigfoot exists? Wouldn't we have concrete evidence by now with how many people report sightings in the US each year? As far back as 1967 people have been capturing what appear to be large, hairy creatures walking on two legs on film. Some have done so by accident, while others seek to find bigfoot and place trail cams to see if they can capture the beast to prove it's existence to the world. Casting of massive footprints, hair and tissue samples, vocal recordings, and photos are also gathered as evidence. Today, the existence of sasquatch remains hotly debated, and it will likely continue to be called a legend until one is captured. It should be noted that shooting bigfoot in Oregon, if you happen across one, is illegal, (yes, it really is).

Sightings Through History

An ancient petroglyph that appears to show a massive creature standing on two legs.
By Garrick Mallery - Garrick Mallery, Picture-Writing of the American Indian, in the 10th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1888-’89, by J. W. Powell, Director, republished by Dover Publications in 1972. Page 638., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=110647305

Long before people were referring to this legendary creature as bigfoot, and before reports about bigfoot sightings, kidnappings and other encounters were being reported about in newspapers, ancient people have told stories about a massive, hairy, manlike creature that roams the woods.

Indigenous cultures the world over have stories of these creatures living in forests, and have even painted pictures as seen in the petroglyph image above. In the 16th century, settlers and explorers in Mexico spoke of 'los vigilantes oscuros', big creatures that stalked their camp at night. A Jesuit priest in what is now Mississippi reported stories in 1721 about hairy creatures that lived in the forest, stole livestock, and screamed loudly.

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

Bigfoot has many names across the US, across various indigenous tribes, and in different cultures the world over, and has been talked about and documented for centuries.

Today when reports are made, researchers try to go out and capture footage and sound recordings of their own. Efforts like these are widely documented on television shows like Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot, and in various documentaries. Several episodes of Finding Bigfoot have been filmed in Oregon, trying to track down this mysterious creature. If you decide to watch the show yourself, check out Season 1 Episode 4, Season 3 Episode 20, Season 8 Episode 5, and Season 8 Episode 7.

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

You might also be interested in this video on Youtube about a bigfoot encounter at the Oregon Caves. You can see part one here, and part two here.

Weird Squatch Facts

An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.
  • Another name for sasquatch is the North American Great Ape, or wood ape. This refers to the fact that many researchers believe that bigfoot is actually a type of ape that lives in the wilds of North America.
  • Some reports of bigfoot describe the creature as having glowing red eyes.
  • Even the FBI investigated bigfoot at one point!
  • Some people believe that bigfoot can open up portals, or that they can turn themselves invisible for the ultimate camouflage.
An AI generated image of what bigfoot might look like according to reports.

Where can you learn about Bigfoot today? The North American Bigfoot Center in Boring, Oregon is a great place to check out and has all kinds of informational exhibits, as well as experienced field researchers on staff that can answer questions and help you on your journey to learn more about Sasquatch.

Do you believe in bigfoot?

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Written By Jessica Tomlinson

Jessica Tomlinson is a native Oregonian currently living in Southern Oregon. She has been blogging since 2006. She loves nature, photography, hiking, camping, and exploring Oregon's wilds.

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