I realize that this story will not carry much weight as it is only third hand. I only come to know of it from a friend who is now deceased. Having read a few other similar accounts, however, I feel that this little story should be recorded for whatever it's worth.
My friend was raised in a small town called Clallam Bay, about as far northwest as you can get in the continental U.S., on the northwestern-most tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. His father was involved in work with the local Native American tribes there. Even today, this area is quite remote and only sparsely populated. There are still vast areas of the Olympic Mountains that rarely see humans. Mark, my friend, was an avid outdoorsman and loved camping and hiking. He grew up roaming the rain forests of the Olympics and was kind enough to take me on numerous camping trips.
I have always been intrigued by the legend of the Sasquatch and could not pass up asking Mark if he had ever had any encounters with one and what his thoughts were on the matter. He told me that he believed that they existed. He had never seen one, but he did recount one occasion when he was a short distance from his home, he heard long drawn-out sort of bellowing call that he could not attribute to any animal he knew of. He said that the sound was so loud that it seemed that the whole forest reverberated with it. It froze him in his tracks. He was familiar with the sounds of all of the known wildlife, including the elk, deer, cougars, etc. But this was something entirely different. He never did see what made the noise.
But, he said, Sasquatch may not be the only strange thing you might encounter in the Olympic forests. When I asked what he meant, he told me this story.
Mark said that his grandfather, a man with virtually no sense of humor, had told him of a strange experience he had had in the woods many years prior. Apparently, his grandfather was on an outing into the rain forest with his young wife and some other friends. The intent was to cut and gather wood for the fireplaces. A picnic lunch was planned as the work would take most of the day. While the women were setting out the food and before the actual wood cutting began, Mark's grandfather had wandered some little distance from the rest of the group when he encountered a group of little people darting around in the ferns. He guessed that there were at least five or six of them and that they were about 12 to 18 inches tall with rather dark skin. No sooner had he seen them though, than they were gone.
His grandfather was dumbfounded. He said that he didn't even tell the rest of the people, including his wife, what he had seen because he knew they would not believe him. He had wondered about it many times since, but there was never anything else to support what he was sure he had seen, so he just kept it to himself. He told Mark that that was the first time he had ever told anyone about it. Now, as I say, I am recounting this story third hand. It is only something that I have heard. But since neither Mark nor his grandfather are around any longer to tell the tale, I am passing it on for them. If nothing else, maybe it will reassure someone else that they are not crazy.