Harbor Man

Harry spends his days in a blue ‘98 Ford Ranger that is so filled with empty Brisk tea bottles and Camel cartons that the rattling of trash almost hides the rattling of the engine as it putters down the road. He listens to thrash-metal bands that exist on the fringes of even their own genres, and I admire this about him—because despite the looks of disapproval from his community, he continues to listen to what he enjoys. Harry is my uncle, and I’ve always thought of him as the last man remaining in a dying generation of my family.

For nearly 100 years, my mother’s folk have lived in Grays Harbor. However, starting in the late 1990s, they began to scatter. It started with Harry’s brother, then it was my cousins, then my grandparents, and then it was my parents, who took me and my brother in the early 2000s and left. The only ones who remained were Harry and a few offbeat aunts and uncles.

At 45 years old, Harry has lived his entire life in Grays Harbor and, over the past 20 years, has grown to become a recognizable face whose name and infamy stretch across the county: he is the man who knows Bigfoot.

His first encounter happened in 2000 when he discovered a set of human-like footprints while scoping out a valley for hunting season. An obsession quickly formed and he began frequenting the valley, exploring deeper into the forest while searching for prints to cast in plaster.

He collected brown, red, and black hair caught on the trunks of evergreens and sent in 36 of these samples to the Sasquatch Genome Project, setting the record for having collected the most specimens in North America. Some of the samples were determined to be from different members of the same nuclear unit of unidentified great apes, meaning the valley Harry discovered is home to a family of Bigfoot.

Due to his contributions, he has been cited in numerous books and articles about the genetics of Bigfoot and has been described by authors as a “professional hunter.” However, Harry has never thought of himself as a hunter. His goal has never been to kill a Bigfoot, it was always to gather enough evidence to prove their existence. He got into contact with larger research groups such as the Bigfoot Field Researcher’s Organization and the Olympic Project and took field biologists sent by each organization back into “squatchy” valleys.