About an hour north of the California/Oregon border along the westernmost Interstate 5, sits nestled on the banks of Oregon’s legendary Rogue River. On a beautiful afternoon on the 1st day July, 2000, the day turned out such an extremely mild day, that Matthew Johnson decided to take family for a hike up to Grant’s Pass to enjoy the summer. Little did he know, that his life would change forever when he began his walk. Shortly after beginning his trek, the nearly 7 foot, 300 pound Johnson, was dwarfed by what stood only a short distance in front of he and his family, blocking their path, Bigfoot.

He explained that the Bigfoot, or Sasquatch as some prefer to call the elusive and legendary creature, stood at least two feet taller he. Johnson got emotional while talking about his encounter when he began to explain, “There it was. I had no clue what could happen,” said Johnson, tearing up. “I knew it was watching my family. Everything I knew about the great outdoors came crashing down.”

Johnson explained that he had left his wife and three children briefly on the Big Tree Loop Trail at the Oregon Caves National Monument, to answer nature’s call (relieve himself in the woods). That’s when he heard odd sounds coming from the woods nearby, like a low base, “whoah, whoah, whoah” and smelled very much like the stench of skunk when they’re surprised.

Turning his head to the forest, he got the scare of his life, as he was occupied just off the trail, when he explained, “I saw movement, turned and saw Bigfoot leap from the pages of mythology and legend and into reality.” He immediately rounded up his family and high-tailed it back toward the Oregon Caves.

As a psychologist in Grants Pass psychologist, here was a professional man saying incredible things. Yet his creditability in his community gave him the strength and audacity to go on television, in front of journalists from all over the country (with international presence) to tell his story.

He had become a believer, so much so, shortly after his encounter he went on to form the Southern Oregon Bigfoot Society, where people could unite to investigate if the beast. Although the Pacific Northwest is considered one of the area’s in the United States where the mythical creature has been seen most, the sightings are few and far between and there a lot of places, some dangerous, where this primate-appearing biped could be.