Crazy Critter illustration by Tim Morris

unclassifiedYet another extraordinary encounter that seems to have been ripped from a drive-in movie screen and thrust into local headlines comes to us in the form of the aptly named “Crazy Critter of Bald Mountain” — a organism that’s so unrelentingly weird that there is no parallel to it in the annals of either cryptozoology or ufology.

Nestled in the picturesque south-western corner of Washington State, about 20-miles east of Chehalis in Lewis County, is one of fifteen peaks in the state referred to by locals as “Bald Mountain.” What sets this summit apart, however, is not its formidable heights or pastoral beauty, but a series of encounters with one of the most bizarre cryptids on record.

meteor_flyingThe events in question ostensibly began on the evening of November 14, 1974, when numerous eyewitnesses claimed to see a “fiery object” plummet to Earth approximately 5-miles away from Bald Mountain.

This extraordinary astronomical phenomenon was noted, but it wasn’t until three days later that nearby residents would begin to grasp its potential significance.

On November 17, 1974, a grocer by the name of Ernest Smith was deer hunting near Bald Mountain when he stumbled across an immense animal so utterly unique that he justifiably hypothesized that it must hail from OUT OF THIS WORLD. In his 1978 volume on high strangeness cases within the U.S., “Weird America,” Jim Brandon cited Smith’s description of the creature in question:

“It was horse-sized, covered with scales and standing on four rubbery legs with suckers like octopus tentacles. Its head was football-shaped with an antenna sticking up…”

As if the above description weren’t already weird enough, Brandon went on to state that this superficially HYBRID-BEAST — which seemed to incorporate elements of insects, reptiles and cephalopods — was also, according to Smith, bioluminescent:

“The thing gave off this green, iridescent light.”

It is unknown what the merchant’s immediate reaction was upon being confronted by this astonishing apparition — or what reaction (if any) the animal had to the hunter — but, at least in terms of Smith’s emotional response, one can reasonably assume that words like “shock” and “panic” would barely traverse the tip of the iceberg.

Luckily, for the sake of his reputation (if not his sanity) Smith’s story was soon after corroborated by a Tacoma couple — one Roger Ramsbaugh and his unnamed wife — who were driving through the Bald Mountain region past dusk on a fog shrouded evening not long after the hunter’s sighting.

washington_roadAccording to Brandon’s report, the pair were driving along State Route 7 — a nearly 60-mile stretch of road between Morton and Tacoma — when they suddenly noticed “…a dull glow near the side of the road.” The confused couple slowed down for a better look at what they assumed to be: “…a neon sign in the fog.” It was then that the Ramsbaughs got the shock of their lives when the spied the same large, self-illuminated, tentacle-bearing monstrosity that Smith had seen just days before.

Following this second incident, the regional press apparently got wind of these surreal encounters and christen the thing the “Crazy Critter of Bald Mountain.” Soon after Smith began to publicly speculate as to whether or not the luminous beast he’d encountered had something to do with the “fiery object” seen falling in the area just days before. While there’s no direct connection between these events, it’s not difficult to assume that whatever this still UNCLASSIFIED creature may have been, it’s not of this Earth.

William H. Wiester
Sheriff William H. Wiester

After reports of the creature hit the local papers, the Sheriff of Lewis County, one William H. Wiester — often misspelled as “Wister” — began an investigation into the sightings, but in a twist that will come as no shock to UFO enthusiasts his inquiry was allegedly halted by individuals claiming to represent both NASA and the United States Air Force.

These officials were alleged to have been “heavily armed” and clad in military uniforms that bore no insignia. That having been stated it is reasonable to assume that the unit presumably hailed from — and was likely headquartered at — nearby McChord Air Force Base. Needless to say, as soon as this special investigative team swooped in all information regarding the Crazy Critter seems to have dried up.

Many questions remain regarding this peculiar cryptid. The most obvious one being: “Where the hell did it come from?” Tentacles were simply not designed for terrestrial locomotion and vary few land animals are bioluminescent, but if this was a sea dwelling creature then what was it doing so far from home?

The second most pressing query is: “What became of the creature?” Did this evidently crack government unit of soldiers and scientists manage to capture the thing and secret it off to a clandestine government lab for an endless battery of tests? If it was extraterrestrial in origin did it manage to escape back to its home world? Or, if the ocean is from where it hailed, did this odd varmint manage to slither back into the depths?

Perhaps there is just the smallest chance that somewhere on the tree lined slopes Bald Mount there still lurks a creature — or its very CURIOUS CARCASS — that is quite unlike any other on Earth.

rob_morphy© Copyright Rob Morphy 2002 — 2016

Rob Morphy is an artist / journalist / filmmaker / designer / crypto historian / podcaster / co-founder of American Monsters and Cryptopia

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