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Old 13 February 2014, 01:17
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Icon5 2d BN: South Rainier Training Area and Bigfoot

Well, I suppose that having Sasquatch jumping Rangers as they lay out on a LPOP on a 3' up a cat's ass-dark foggy and rainy night in the South Rainier Training Area of Ft. Lewis is a part of Ranger lore... it gets repeated often enough to have taken on its own life.

My only experience was in 79, during a big exercise we were participating in... the 7th ID and some California NG unit(s) had come up to Lewis to play. Alpha Co, IIRC, was out in Yakima for their part of the exercise, and I've no idea who they were up against.

We were staggering around post, in both Eastern and Southern Lewis, under the yoke of rucks that were absolutely bursting with ammo. I've never had a heavier load than that exercise. So when we stopped for PB ops, mostly everybody opted for a change of socks, quick C rat or LRRP, and then balling up inside their poncho / poncho liner for some Z's.

I was doing my best bit of security, being all steely-eyed and alert from the inside of my old-style rubber 'cho&liner, when suddenly from about a hundred meters I heard sustained screaming, grunting, and hollering, for maybe 10 seconds. Then crashing as someone ran through the woods, making no attempt at being tactical at all.

I never knew who it was, but word was some guy had been jumped by bigfoot while on LPOP, and was refusing to go back out to his position.

That's all I know about it.

This story has been oft-repeated, in various incarnations.

Is is real, or is it simply the machinations of a Ranger's droned-out mind?
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Old 13 February 2014, 02:04
Jimmur275 Jimmur275 is offline
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I know that Pat Mooney was as good a Ranger as any of the rest of us and so were the guys in his squad and they came nose to nose with something that they said was at least four feet taller than they were and smelled so bad that some of them started pukeing. That was down by Cat Lake in the South Rainier Tng Area in 79 IIRC. On the same night the BN Docs Buralli and Hansen were taken to the same area for a HOOAH that had been so scared that he balled up on the ground and stayed that way until he arrived at Madigan, IIRC he was from C co can't remember his name but he was one of the guys that ran around with Copper and that bunch. Last but not least Terry Gilden wrecked my 69 Road Runner out by the C-5 Mockup dodging what he told the MP's was a huge guy in an Ape suit, and from what I heard back then, that was the only shadow cast on his Delta entrance and that didn't slow him down much.
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Old 13 February 2014, 04:36
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*gets his popcorn, settles in for an excellent thread/read*

thank you!

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Old 13 February 2014, 11:48
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"How can I help you, sir?"

"I would like a large popcorn, large Coke, and nachos, please. Oh, can you hurry up... an excellent thread has already started."
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Old 13 February 2014, 13:00
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Here is the story by Pat Mooney that was on the old "Ranger Stories From Hell".


Quote:
This was back in the days of old when Knights were bold .... sorry thats another story. In late 79 we were on patrol down in the dark, damp, dank bowels of Ranier Training area. Moving through the underbrush with a full moon is not too bad, but on those overcast misty Pacific Northwest normal nights itis near impossible. This was one such night, visibility in open areas was down to 25 meters and in the thick stuff near zero. Our squad was hot stuff with some real good men who were at home in any environment. We had been togather for over a year for the most part with many expeditions to South Ranier under our belts. For those who have never ventured into the vicinage of Ft Lewis, it is as thick as anything I ever encountered in the jungles of Panama.

The legion was on a recon this momentous night, moving with utmost stealth through the deadfall and underbrush. Trousers sucked tight to your legs soaked from water shrouded ferns and grass. Mold spores and decaying deciduous leaves filled our nostrels with the sweet smell of the deep woods. Tension was high as we departed the objective, could we return home without being compromised now the dirty deed was done. Movement was slow at best, I was with the main element when Ranger Walker sent word up through the patrol we were being followed. I halted the patrol and moved back to talk with Walker and access the situation. Walker was older than most Buck Sgts, he had been through NOLS and other outdoor courses in addition many years of hiking, not the type to cry wolf. Upon reaching him he said there had been someone following us for about 45 minutes, out about some 50-60 yards. He could not tell how many were in the patrol but they were not the most surreptitious bunch, crunching a branch now and again or letting a branch crack as they moved it out of their way.

Quick plans were made to ambush these would-be mercenaries. We would move up about 250 meters and dog-leg back setting up some 35-40 feet from our present track. All went smoothly, men were camoufladged flank security was posted, NVGs deployed and our group of dauntless dogfaces waited fingers resting lightly on our triggers. Tension settled in like a heavy ruck into your shoulders, who would dare attempt to compromise us. Who felt they could move up on us from the rear and take us down like some gaggel of neophytes. Movement was detected off to the right of the ambush site by flank security about 50 yards out from their position. Ears strained to pick up any noise that drifted through the midnight mist. Saftey selectors slowly rotated to the fire position, eyes swept the forest attempting to exude any visible movement or unnatural shapes. As one we heard the patrol come to a halt after comming to within 20 yards of flank security. All was in ready for a successful ambush of these bold bozos, but they held fast. Nothing moved for what seemed like an eturnity. Then they truned away from our ambush! Not one of us had so mush as passed gas, let alone make any noise they could have heard. No lights had been used, not even the IR source lights on the NVGs.

Their movement was slow and delebrate, but as we listened more closly it was not a patrol but a single man. He moved out from the ambush site some 20 yards and stopped, then turned and walked parallel to our front. This guy was good whoever he was. I thought it might be the PSG an old Nam vet with four tours who never ceased to amaze us with his tactial poweress. It could be another patrol from Bn, hell whoever it was he had us dead nuts. He moved slowly down the line keeping out the same distance, never closer, never further, just methodical movement. Not wanting to totaly compromise the mission we held our fire. He passed left flank security and kept moving for about the same 20 yards, then sotpped, turned and proceeded to move to our rear. This guy was going to box the patrol perfectly! In the dark without a trace of light or any noise from us he was keeping the same distance from us to him.

Walking back towards the concealed patrol a strange aroma drifted on zeffers of the heavy night air. Hair stood streight out on the back of my neck as this repugnant, macabe, odiferous scent filled my entire being. Never in all my life had I smelled such a stench. Wet dog hair, cheap beer barf, the crotch of a cheap hooker and a field latrine on a Range in Georgia mixed togather couldn't begin to match what we smelled that night. IT stopped directly behind the patrol just about 60 feet and stood for an eternity. One of the men could not take the pressure of remaining motionless while he felt we were being stalked by something from another time and world. He started to crawl away from whatever it was that stood behind us. Hearing this noise IT moved quickly away, leaving us there to sort out what had just happened.

I can not say just what followed my patrol that night. I can not tell you why none of us never turned on a flashlight to see what IT was. I can only tell you what I and most of the other guys could assertain. We beleived we had just had a Bigfoot encounter. On many a night while stationed at Ft Lewis (75-82) I, or people I knew heard sounds like none other. Things crashing through underbrush unpassable by even the hardest Ranger, that unmistakable stench, or a scream that is something between a Peacock cry and a woman in extream fear all were experanced by some.

Pat Mooney
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Old 13 February 2014, 15:23
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So were there other elements of 2nd Bat that had encounters during this time frame 75-82?

I don't recall hearing any stories in Bat during 86-89 time frame.
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Old 13 February 2014, 20:30
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It was probably Mick Dodge.
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Old 13 February 2014, 20:37
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I didn't know Pat had put the story to pen. The last time I talked to him he had left for Alaska. I'm glad you had it.

I do know that if you wanted the wrath of SMG Barajas to come from right heaven just mention that you heard something go bump in the night and it out ran, jumped, fought or out foxed you.

I think more stories would have surfaced if it didn't mean getting DXed. We had a guy I think his name was Doc Michaels from the old Bco days prior to 74 that said it was forbidden to talk about any encounters of this nature. He got out and started selling Insurance around Ft Lewis IIRC...
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Old 13 February 2014, 21:03
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Bigfoot stories, gotta love them. Now if anyone wants to see the real deal bigfoot that I captured alive and have him locked up, send me $100.00 dollars. Yeah,for real. I have him. People that aren't on SOCNET that come over to see him get charged double. Now's your chance so don't delay.
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Old 13 February 2014, 23:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmur275 View Post
I didn't know Pat had put the story to pen. The last time I talked to him he had left for Alaska. I'm glad you had it.

I do know that if you wanted the wrath of SMG Barajas to come from right heaven just mention that you heard something go bump in the night and it out ran, jumped, fought or out foxed you.

I think more stories would have surfaced if it didn't mean getting DXed. We had a guy I think his name was Doc Michaels from the old Bco days prior to 74 that said it was forbidden to talk about any encounters of this nature. He got out and started selling Insurance around Ft Lewis IIRC...
That would be Ric Michaels, he was selling insurance when I was in Bn late 80's. He actually went back in the Army in the early 90's, I ran into him at Bragg around 91/92 but lost track of him.
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Old 14 February 2014, 01:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger5280 View Post
It was probably Mick Dodge.
Or Moss Hopper
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Old 14 February 2014, 01:21
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Pat Mooney was the NCOIC of the 10th Mtn Div Light Fighter School when I and some others chose to leave 2/75 in the early 90's I heard the story straight from his mouth and never doubted a bit of it.
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Old 14 February 2014, 05:14
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Pat Mooney put me through RIP. He is not a pussy.

South Ranier Training Area could be in an alternate universe. Lots of strange stuff happened out there.
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Old 7 August 2014, 00:15
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This might explain it.
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Old 7 August 2014, 05:44
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I'm going with the video of the bi-pedal Black Bear.
(Cross to 'Do not feed the bears'.)

Edit:
WHOA... just realized what sub-forum I'm in.
(slinks away)
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Old 19 August 2015, 13:42
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I hiked Rainer many times and heard the stories from the batt guys and some cav scouts as well. Its a Jurassic Park feeling place for sure. One of the local guys I worked with said the cave system hidden there is massive and could hide a lot. Glad I now know I'm not the only one who saw it.
With the coin that would be placed on the table for hard proof of these, its a testament to the integrity of Rangers, SOF to not capture video or more as much time as they spend out in the training ranges, but it just shows the quiet professional tag filters over into many areas of those on here.
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Old 20 August 2015, 09:28
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First, one of things I love about this forum is you guys bring up names I have not had thought about in a long time. Mooney was a great an NCO and I am sure most who served or were trained in a a school run by him were better for it. I think he is still up by Ft. Drum.

I grew up out in that area and the deep, remote forest in the northwest can be as creepy and strange as the jungle. I'd say my nights in the forest in Washington were as unsettling as those at Ft. Sherman. My first squad leader who grew up in 2nd Batt (Steve Knight - Panama timeframe) told some stories about that training area. I can't recall specifics now (too many years), but I remember he had several stories about being watched or followed.
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Old 20 August 2015, 11:40
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South Rainer was an interesting place that's for sure. Never saw anything truly unusual there but most of the funk smell we came across was from a guy in my platoon nicknamed 'Goat' because he would pass gas that smelled like a goat's ass and you didn't want to be behind him on patrol or PT runs.
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Old 26 January 2020, 14:07
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In the late 80’s I was assigned to Fort Lewis Washington. Every so often we would conduct dismounted patrols in the “South Ranier” training area, it had a reputation of “being strange”. Because it was federally controlled it was heavily forested and totally uninhabited by humans

Like most units there were various stories and legends passed to new-comers. I was not the average new comer, I was an infantry squad leader with a few previous that included the jungles of Hawaii. South Rainier had a spooky reputation and I had heard various tales.

It is hard to convey how dark it was in South Rainier and this was before the era of everyone having effective night vision equipment. We did night patrols almost blind, often relying on minimal sounds, faint glimpses, and tactile input during night patrol training. During one such patrol I had a “experience” that never quite settled in my brain and 30+ years later it is as vivid an unexplainable as it was the day after it happened.

I was the point man for my squad as we were patrolling in “dinosaur land”. I heard a rushing/roaring sound. If you are familiar with the sound of a gravity fed heating stove (Yukon stove) the sound was the same only louder and it was if it surrounded me. I looked off to my left and I saw a small rustic forest hut, maybe something similar to what you would think when reading Hansel and Gretel or something like that. It had an odd ethereal quality and I was seeing it but I also wasn’t. The strangest thing was it was glowing a sick green glow (associated with bioluminescence).

It may have been a hallucination but I was neither tired nor worn out. I felt a weak compulsion to call out or even walk to it but I knew I had to keep the unit on azimuth. So I stayed true until we got to our patrol base for the night. I’ve never told this story publicly before.

In my mind it could have easily been someone cooking meth and using chem lights for illumination. But it seemed that I was the only one who saw it and nobody mentioned it...
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Old 26 January 2020, 14:21
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Nice story silverback.
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