All photos in this story courtesy of Scott Weissbeck
When an unknown thief cut through Scott Weissbeck’s chain link fence and stole his metal Bigfoot statue from his front lawn in Boise, Idaho, he was angry. “What’s wrong with people?” he thought. “How can someone just steal things like that, right out of your yard?” The incident left Weissbeck feeling dejected, with his faith in his fellow humans shaken. Little did he know that the theft would bring him nothing but blessings in the end.
It all began when Weissbeck vented about the theft via a post on a local social media site. One person responded, then another. “We love that statue,” one said. “We always see it when we drive by and it makes us smile,” said another. “You should let local news know about what happened,” urged a third. Local media did become interested in the story—a reporter wrote a story about the theft of Weissbeck's lawn art, which brought even more attention to the situation.
“Why don’t you set up a funding page to raise money to replace the statue?” a neighbor suggested. Weissbeck thought about it and decided to see if anyone wanted to contribute. It turned that they did. Within just a couple weeks, dozens of people had contributed small amounts that totaled about $300, more than enough to replace the statue.
Weissbeck went to the same store where he had purchased the first statue and bought an even bigger one, a six-foot-tall one this time. A new friend, a neighbor Weissbeck had met through his original social media post, offered to come over and help install the statue.
Anchoring the new statue in the ground
The neighbor, a former military and law enforcement officer with his own metal shop, wasn’t messing around. He dug a three foot hole in Weissbeck’s hard, rocky front lawn, built a rebar cage, mixed "about a thousand" pounds of concrete, welded L-beams onto the back of the statue to reinforce it and finally installed it on Weissbeck’s lawn.
New Bigfoot statue
“That thing isn’t going to budge,” laughs Weissbeck about his new lawn statue. “I really appreciate what my neighbor did and the help from everyone. I was really impressed and shocked by how many people loved Sasquatch,” he continues.
According to Weissbeck, more than 500 people commented on his original social media post about the theft and comments are still continuing to roll in about the installation of the new Bigfoot statue. “People say they look forward to seeing it and they point it out to their kids and it brings a smile to their face,” says Weissbeck.
It turns out that the Bigfoot statue meant more to the community than Weissbeck realized. It meant a lot to him, too. When Weissbeck first picked out the statue for his front lawn, it wasn’t just because he thought it was a cute or funny piece of art. It was because he has personally encountered the being known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
Oregon forest scene
At age 13, while hunting with his stepfather, Weissbeck came face to face with Bigfoot. The two hunters were in Oregon’s Coast Range, near Monmouth, in remote, thick forest. They had risen in the dark and driven into the area well before sunrise. Weissbeck remembers seeing massive bare footprints in the dust near where they parked their truck, but when he pointed it out to his stepdad, he was told that it must have been a bear.
Just before dawn, Weissbeck and his stepfather took up positions near the edge of a canyon and after the sun rose, his stepfather shot a deer across the canyon. The two hunters then had to wait for the deer to come to rest before they could gut it and pack it out.
As they were packing the deer out of the canyon, Weissbeck looked up and spotted what appeared to be a large, black stump standing near the Scout ATV (all-terrain vehicle.) When they reached the Scout, Weissbeck looked around for the black stump he had previously spotted, but didn't see it.
As they were loading the deer into their Scout, Weissbeck heard something walking in the woods nearby making occasional crunching sounds and he smelled a highly rank odor.
Actual photo of the Scout ATV, on right in driveway
Weissbeck and his stepfather loaded the deer onto the ATV, but before leaving the forest, Weissbeck’s stepfather wanted to collect a few loads of firewood. The two left the deer in the back of the ATV and walked about half a mile away, where they used a loud chainsaw to cut a downed log into sections and split the sections into firewood. After half an hour or so, Weissbeck’s stepdad asked him to take the chainsaw back to the ATV and put it in its case.
Scott Weissbeck at age 13
Alone now, Weissbeck hastened down the old logging road toward the ATV. As he came around a corner, right there, standing on the bank of the road about 60 feet away stood a Sasquatch. “It was completely black…it had fur all over except for its cheeks and nose. It had black leathery skin. It was looking right at me, making eye contact,” recalls Weissbeck. “It wasn’t hiding behind a bush or anything—it was right there! I didn’t know what to do. I froze…I felt like all the blood drained from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I was paralyzed. I just stood there, we were just staring at each other and I didn’t know what to do. The only thing I could think to do was to pray so I shut my eyes and prayed,” he remembers.
“Dear God, I know it’s there, and you know it’s there, please turn it around and make it go away from us and leave us alone,” Weissbeck pleaded. He took a deep breath, collected his wits and decided to stop looking at the Bigfoot. Weissbeck opened the door and put the chainsaw inside its case and walked away really slowly. When he looked back, the Bigfoot was gone. “I think it wanted our deer. It was just hanging around the Scout, probably hoping to take the deer out of it,” Weissbeck explains.
Bent-over fir in forest
At the time, he had a strange thought in his head, that he shouldn’t tell his stepfather about what he had witnessed because he might become agitated and come back to attack the Bigfoot and that the Bigfoot might then kill him. Weissbeck returned to his stepfather and kept quiet.
“Scott, you look as white as a ghost. What happened to you? What’s wrong with you?” his stepfather asked, but Weissbeck wouldn’t say a word. Only when the firewood was finally loaded into the truck and the two were 45 minutes away, on the road home, would Weissbeck finally tell his stepfather what he had seen. His stepfather wanted to go back to look for the Bigfoot, but Weissbeck absolutely refused, so the two continued home. Afterward Weissbeck had nightmares for a long time. “I remember seeing Bigfoot in my nightmares, just the muscle on muscle…I couldn’t believe how muscular he was,” he recalls.
Vintage photo of firewood Weissbeck and his stepfather harvested from the forest
This wasn’t the only encounter Weissbeck experienced with Bigfoot. Another time, Weissbeck and his stepfather were camping in Oregon near Mt. Jefferson when Weissbeck was ‘glassing’ or using binoculars to scan a ridgeline. He saw a huge black thing walking on two legs, high along the ridgeline up the mountain. He feels in his gut that this was also a Bigfoot sighting.
Weissbeck has also experienced moments of strange, eerie silence in the woods of the Cascades and found tracks, or Bigfoot footprints, multiple times, in places such as in the foothills of Mt. St. Helens.
And on a particularly memorable day, while camping with his cousin near the Little North Fork of the Santiam River in Oregon, Weissbeck went on a solo bike ride along a steep gravel road. At one point he stopped and looked up at the hill, through the dense forest and thought to himself, “There’s a Sasquatch in there, looking back at me. I just knew, in every fiber of my being that there was something there,” he says. Just then, a rock came flying through the trees from the hillside, landing about five feet away from him. A few minutes later, another rock came flying through the trees, landing about a foot away from him this time. “I said, ok, Sasquatch, I get the drift! I’m leaving now. Goodbye! I actually said goodbye to him and then raced down the hill,” remembers Weissbeck.
Giant X in forest
In an incident that took place two years ago, Weissbeck was driving from Boise to Warm Lake, Idaho. “The road goes up a mountain pass that’s really high, about six or seven thousand feet, and there was a truck going really slowly and I couldn’t pass it, and it was frustrating, so I pulled over by the side of the road to kill some time,” recalls Weissbeck. “I looked into the forest by the side of the road and saw a giant X there, made out of tree branches. It was obviously engineered…the symmetry was unbelievable,” he says.
“I was afraid to go down there by myself so I told my co-worker about it and we went down there the next week. We saw stick structures, a lean-to, little sticks all lined up like something had been playing there…I thought maybe it was a mom and some little ones that had made the structures,” Weissbeck explains. “Then we heard a big crunch in the woods. My coworker asked, ‘Did you hear that?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ ‘That sounded big,’ he said. ‘Yes, it did. I think it’s time to go,’ I said,” laughs Weissbeck.
How have all of these odd encounters and experiences affected Weissbeck? “I know that life is mysterious and special,” he muses. “There’s a lot of mysteries out there. I do believe in God and I think it’s all part of God’s creation,” Weissbeck concludes.
He also has some advice for others who may have seen or had encounters with Bigfoot. “I know there are other people out there who have seen these things too. I think they should talk about it because you can’t worry about what other people think of you. Be comfortable with yourself and have confidence, because it’s the truth,” Weissbeck advises. "And just know that since I started talking about it, lots of people have come up to me and said that they also think there's something out there in the woods."
Weissbeck can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/scott.weissbeck
More of Weissbeck’s photos of tracks and tree structures can be found on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/scottweissbeck/sets/72157670709898603/
By Christina Hebert