Goodbye to Bigfoot, demons, and the portal to another dimension
As dawn broke over the forest, the glowing mist, fiery portal, and the red-eyed demons (or aliens, if you prefer) faded and eventually disappeared. With the morning light, the chatter and movement of the Bigfoot or Forest People ceased as well. Adam and I were left exhausted, both physically and emotionally. We climbed into our cots, zipped up our sleeping bags, and immediately passed into a deep sleep.
A couple of hours later, we were roused by Dr. Johnson. It was time to begin packing up our gear to make our way north to Dr. J’s residence in the suburban Seattle area. Our rental car was parked in the driveway of the home he shared with his fiancée Cynthia. From there, we would leave to visit a friend of Adam’s, Bigfoot researcher Dr. Rhettman Mullis. Rhett had kindly offered to have us stay at his apartment in Seattle, and we were to spend our final night together there.
On Saturday, June 14th, I would fly home to New Jersey after nine days away from my wife and two sons. Adam would fly to California to spend several more days on an expedition to the Sierra Mountains with researchers Nadia Moore and Bart Cutino.
Guardians of the Portal, not monsters, aliens, or demons
That morning as we began to pack, Adam and I were exhausted and sullen. In contrast, Dr. Johnson was cheerful and well-rested, having slept contentedly with no concern for his safety or that of his son’s. He explained to us why he was convinced that the creatures from the portal meant no harm. He told us that he had been contacted in a dream by one of the younger, juvenile Forest People who had conveyed a message. This juvenile Forest Person, he told us, had communicated with him before while in a dream state. The young Sasquatch, Dr. Johnson said, had been instructed to inform him that the squat, black, red-eyed entities which emerged from the luminous mist were Guardians of the Portal, and they were merely trying to prevent us from entering the fiery gateway to another world, where we would surely perish.
The juvenile Bigfoot-Forest-Person further explained that Adam and I had been inadvertently and repeatedly setting off the portal mechanism because we were so often standing close to it as we smoked our cigars. How it was that we were setting off the portal was not made clear, as it was 80 to 100 feet down the road from where Adam and I would stand while we smoked. We stood inside the perimeter of the camp at the end of the road. We did not wander down the path in the direction of the portal/mist at any point in time before the appearance of the anomaly.
We asked Dr. Johnson about his thoughts on why they angrily ran at us on the first night, a decidedly unfriendly act. It was a “bluff charge,” he was told, to prevent us from getting any closer to the portal. It seems that I instigated this “bluff charge” because I had walked toward the portal as I shouted at the creatures. Their aggressive charge was only meant for our own welfare, to keep us away from the portal. This also sounded untrue and contrived to us. Dr. Johnson might have believed this story, but Adam and I were convinced that those horrible creatures which emerged from that red-orange landscape were malevolent and, without question, up to no good. We felt that way then, and we feel the same to this day.
Return to Washington – the end of our strange trip
We were quickly packed and soon making the long, slow drive down the mountain ridge. After stopping for breakfast, Dr. J met up with Grady’s mother and said farewell to his son. With Matt’s son gone, we were finally free to talk openly about the events of the past four nights as we made our way north to Dr. Johnson’s home in Puyallup, WA.
Despite not having a definitive sighting or communication with the Forest People or Bigfoot, we felt that the trip was a success. We had enough interactions to convince us that unquestionably something was happening at the Southern Oregon Habituation Area. We were also looking forward to getting the DNA results from hair samples.
Concerning the luminous mist that seemingly contained a portal to another dimension, we resigned ourselves to contemplating those events independently. We agreed not to speak of it publicly or of those entities without consulting one another. It was simply too outlandish and would likely put people off from Dr. J’s already-controversial research and detract from Adam’s reputation as a serious, scientific researcher. As an unknown with no reputation to protect, I cared less about whether the subject was discussed publicly. However, I understood and respected the feelings of Dr. Johnson and my friend Adam Davies.
I remember little of the drive to Puyallup, as both Adam and I slept off and on for much of the way after being awake for two consecutive days. I am afraid that we were probably not much company for Dr. Johnson on the eight-hour drive north. However, I distinctly recall Dr. J talking to his fiancée Cynthia, his cell phone on speaker mode. As they spoke, he told her that he had seen The Guardians again last night. Apparently, he had earlier filled in Cynthia about these creatures’ appearance and on his dream-state communique regarding their nature.
I heard Dr. Johnson’s fiancée laugh at the mention of these supposedly benevolent “guardians,” saying something to the effect of “Oh, The Guardians! How are they? Tell them I said hello!” I am paraphrasing, of course, but not by very much, and that was her general tone. Dr. J responded in a similar lighthearted manner concerning these monsters from my childhood nightmares.
I found myself becoming annoyed at this conversation. I got along very well with Dr. J, and I appreciated being allowed to join him and Adam at SOHA, but this was getting under my skin. Up until two nights ago, neither of them had ever seen or heard of these creatures, and now they were laughing and joking about them as if they were talking about old friends who they had run into by chance.
These remarks were especially galling after having stayed up all night long for two consecutive, distressing nights keeping these unknown creatures at bay and out of our camp. “Guardians, my ass,” I thought. Adam and I had taken to referring to them as “those little bastards” or “the portal bastards.” We were not fond of them.
This sudden acceptance of these bizarre portal monsters was more than mildly irksome; I thought it somewhat puzzling and strange. Perhaps, I thought, Dr. Johnson’s trust in his Forest People was so strong that he took them at their word when they told him that the beings which emerged from that fiery gateway were benign.
Adam and I lacked this long history with whatever inhabited the forests around SOHA. Without having established that level of trust with them, we were far less inclined to believe the “Guardians” story – if we were even inclined to accept that the Guardians narrative actually came from these “Forest People” at all, which was debatable.
Regardless of our shared opinion about those strange beings, Adam and I felt that Dr. J honestly believed that the Forest People explained to him their true nature and purpose and that these entities from the portal were benign. It was his prerogative to accept this, so we did not argue against his views or try to convince him of ours. Adam and I were not buying into the “benevolent guardians” narrative, however. In our estimation, those entities were entirely malevolent and meant us harm.
Our differences of opinion regarding the nature and purpose of those portal-creatures led me to contemplate some possibilities:
- Did Dr. J indeed receive a direct mental communique from the Forest People, or was it nothing more than an actual dream that he misinterpreted as a message?
- If Dr. J actually was in telepathic communication with the Forest People and given information about those creatures from the portal, was the data he received valid?
- If the message Dr. Johnson received from the Forest People were correct, then it would seem that Adam and I were wrong, and we misinterpreted the nature and intentions of those entities. In the interest of objectivity, this was something that we had to consider, as unlikely as we thought it to be.
- Lastly, if the message Dr. J received was real and not simply a dream, but it was untrue, then whatever he is communicating with up on that mountain ridge gave him false information.
The last prospect is most concerning because of its implications. Were the beings that inhabit SOHA intentionally misleading Dr. J and/or the people he brings there? If so, we are left to wonder what would motivate them to be deceptive. I find this possibility worrisome, and I sincerely hope this is not the case. I like Dr. J and his family, and I do not wish harm to come to them or anyone else who enters this area, either in his company or independently.
I say this not to disparage Dr. Johnson or to be contentious, but only because I hope that people who plan to visit SOHA (or areas like it) understand the perspective of someone who has been there. I think harm can be done in ways that are non-physical but very real. Anyone who plans to investigate the unknown – cryptids, Bigfoot, E.T.s, ghosts, demons, the “paranormal” – should be aware of this and proceed with extreme caution. Seek, and ye shall find, as the Bible says. Sometimes doors, once opened, are difficult to close. I will discuss this subject in greater depth at a later time.
[Note: Dr. Johnson has since abandoned the SOHA research site and has moved on to a new location which he calls SOIA – Southern Oregon Interaction Area. However, I am aware that there are individuals who still visit SOHA independently and have reported strange phenomena there.]
On to Seattle for our final night
After returning to the Johnson home in Puyallup, WA, we unpacked our gear from Dr. J’s SUV and loaded it into our rental car. We then said our goodbyes, thanking Dr. Johnson for his time and hospitality. We said the same to Cynthia, and we were soon on our way to Seattle to meet Adam’s friend Dr. Rhettman Mullis, a fellow Bigfoot researcher.
A brief aside regarding Dr. Johnson, his research, and our experience at the SOHA site
I will interrupt the narrative here for a moment. I have heard many disparaging comments regarding Dr. Matthew Johnson, his research, and his conclusions. This series of articles is not a commentary on any of those subjects. I have only reported on my experience (and Adam’s, as we are in complete agreement) and not on Dr. Johnson’s beliefs or subsequent claims regarding the nature and origin of the Forest People, which I believe he now calls the “Xanue.” The only difference in opinion that I have had with Dr. Johnson is about the entities’ intentions that emerged from the portal. I have no comment on anything else he has reported concerning the Forest People or Xanue.
For those who are apt to immediately dismiss any claim that involves Dr. Johnson or his research, I would suggest that you reconsider that view. Matt Johnson is involved with something real. I do not know what that “something” is, and I think it would be unfair for me to speculate about it. I was with him at the SOHA site for five days and four nights, hardly enough time to draw any broad conclusions about his research. But I will tell you this: I honestly believe that he is interacting and communicating with something extremely unusual that is likely a non-human intelligence.
Lastly, the creatures we encountered were not Bigfoot and may or may not have anything to do with Bigfoot, Forest People, or the Xanue. I do not know what those things were, only that they appeared identical to the beings that I repeatedly saw for many years in my childhood. Whatever those creatures were, both Adam and I are sure that they were real and that we were not victims of some elaborate, high-tech hoax or that we were drugged or hypnotized into having identical experiences over several hours and two consecutive nights – a ludicrous proposal. We were in full control of our faculties and remained relatively composed, given the situation’s fantastic quality. The only time that Adam and I felt any fright was when the creatures charged at us.
Back to our story and its conclusion
As we made the forty-five-minute ride north to Seattle, It was good to have some time with Adam to talk about the southern Oregon events. We agreed on every aspect of the experience, and that gave me a sense of relief. I have often said that if I had been alone during this experience, I would probably have convinced myself that it did not happen, that it had been some waking nightmare or hallucination. It is only because we both witnessed these various phenomena and described them identically, that I have accepted the reality of those events.
We found our way to Rhett’s apartment complex with only minor difficulty and were soon at his door. He greeted us warmly, and it was plain to see that he quickly perceived our weariness and frazzled emotional states. He invited us in, and we were grateful for a hot shower and a cold drink. Once we had partaken, we told him of all that had happened in southern Oregon.
Rhett listened quietly as Adam related to him everything that had occurred in that eerie place in the forest at the end of that abandoned road. “It was like a battle, both nights,” he told Rhett. “Like we were battling these creatures, keeping them away from us with the flashlights and the prayer, but each time they would return and come after us again.”
I have heard Adam say this many times since then: “It was like a battle,” and it indeed seemed so, as strange, silly, or overly dramatic as that might sound. Not a battle in the military sense, of course. My father and two uncles are World War II veterans, my grandfather a WWI veteran, and I would not denigrate service members who have experienced actual military combat by comparing our experiences with theirs. But this certainly felt like a conflict that, had we lost or submitted, the consequences we suffered would have been dire. People disappear in our country’s forests regularly and are never found. Had we yielded to those creatures, I sometimes wonder if we would have been taken into that red portal, never to be seen again.
After Adam finished telling our tale, Rhett suggested that we pray to God in thanks for delivering us unharmed. The three of us joined hands and stood in his living room. Rhett, an ordained minister, led us in the prayer, to which we responded in unison, “Amen.” We had another drink, talked a bit more, and my next memory was waking on Rhett’s living room floor. On the couch beside me, Adam was sleeping deeply. I had laid down on the rug and passed out, with no memory of doing so. When I awoke, I saw that Rhett was sitting at his desk, reading. Seeing that I had stirred, he looked at me and smiled kindly. “I think you needed that,” he said. “Yes, no question. Adam and me both. It was a trying week.”
I spoke with Rhett quietly for a while as Adam slept. Like Dr. Johnson, Rhett held a doctoral degree in psychology, and I wanted to share my concern for Adam’s welfare. This experience was a lot to process, and Adam’s area of expertise and focus had always been on gathering scientific evidence of unknown species. Floating orbs, strange lights, glowing mists, gateways to another dimension, strange, metaphysical humanoids – these were far from his playing field. Paranormal phenomena were only a mild, passing interest of Adam’s, and this confrontation with high strangeness was entirely unexpected and, therefore, more jarring.
I explained to Rhett that I had a long history of unexplained events (though none so strange as this) and that my interests lay more toward the paranormal than the cryptozoological. That being so, I was perhaps a bit more “prepared” for this experience than was Adam. He and I both handled the confrontation with those creatures as well as anyone could expect, but I worried about how this would affect us in the long term. Nothing I had gone through fully prepared me for anything like this, and Adam, lacking any real experience or interest in the preternatural, would likely suffer that much more.
At the time of the SOHA events, my original blog had been in existence for several years. Through it, I have received thousands of comments and emails from people who have had encounters with the unknown; Because of the correspondence that I have had with my readers, I understand how unnerving these experiences often are to those who have had to endure them. There are almost always lasting effects after encountering something that shatters a person’s world view. I learned this lesson long ago, through my own confrontations with the unknown They leave a mark on you.
The end of our adventure
After Adam awakened, we readied ourselves and left Rhettman’s apartment. We planned to go to downtown Seattle for dinner at a restaurant by the waterfront, where we were to meet Bigfoot researcher Lori Simmons. We soon met up with Lori, and the four of us had a good meal and pleasant conversation. I felt a sense of relief to be so far removed from that strange place in the forest. I had little doubt that my friend Adam felt the same.
I would have liked to have seen more of Seattle. When we arrived eight days earlier, it was dark by the time I had collected my luggage. Afterward, we found a hotel, crashed for the night, and left for Port Angeles and the Olympic Project early the following morning. As a result, there was no time to see the sights in and around Seattle. Tonight was the same. After dinner, Rhettman, Adam, and I returned directly to Rhett’s apartment and went to sleep shortly thereafter. Sightseeing would have to wait until my next visit to Seattle.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
We awoke the next day, said our farewells to Rhett, thanking him for his kindness and hospitality, and went on our way. The rental car company was on the premises of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. We dropped off the small SUV that we had rented and proceeded to the airport. For a short while, Adam and I had to go our separate ways to check our baggage and find our respective flights’ waiting areas. An hour or so later, we briefly reconvened and said goodbye.
Although I was looking forward to returning home to my family, I felt reluctant and sad to leave my friend. If God ordained that I was to face these terrifying creatures from my past, I was grateful for having Adam at my side while it happened. “Our special bond,” I sometimes joke with him. Doing battle with interdimensional demonic monsters in a forest on a mountainside is not an experience that most people can say they have shared with a friend.
Adam left for his flight to California and further adventure in the Sierra Mountains. I boarded my flight to Newark, NJ, and then home to Bergen County, where my wife and our sons awaited my return. Several hours later, I walked through the front door of our little blue Cape Cod home on Hoover Avenue. I was never so happy to see my family.
A sad update: Professor Rhettman Mullis passed away on January 25, 2023 after suffering for many years from a variety of illnesses. I will always appreciate his kindness in welcoming us into his home, and the comfort and prayers that he gave to Adam and me, after what was a terribly upsetting and exhausting experience. God bless you, Rhett. I’m sure you are now in perfect health and sit at the feet of Our Lord in paradise.
Part Six of Bigfoot, Interdimensional Portals, and Childhood Monsters is coming soon! In this final chapter, I will draw my conclusions on the events at SOHA and address some frequently asked questions.