Batsquatch: What We Know About Mount Saint Helen’s Winged Dog Man

The 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption goes down in history as the most economically destructive and deadly volcanic event that has ever happened in the U.S. But what it unearthed may quite possibly be one of the most terrifying discoveries known to man.



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Mount Saint Helens Volcanic Eruption

It was like hell on earth in the most traditional sense you could imagine. Sulfuric gases plumed into the air as an ash column over 80,000 feet tall engulfed the sky. Molten rocks mixed with surface water combined and cascaded down, consuming thousands of acres of trees in their fiery path. The previous set of subsequent eruptions had wakened her north face to the point of catastrophic failure, and when she failed, she failed spectacularly. 

On May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens, steaming from the recent string of earthquakes, couldn’t handle the pressure any longer. The eruption, equivalent to 26 megatons of TNT, shrouded the land in a Dante-esque shroud of molten ash, sending mudslides over 50 miles. Oh, and for some perspective. 26 megatons are 500 times more powerful than Little Boy, the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima. And yes, I said 500. 

The blast left 110,000 acres of land destroyed. Ash was found covering car windows across 11 states. The mountain herself was lowered by 1,300 feet, losing the latter across the landscape in the explosion. And 57 people lost their lives. 

The explosion of Mt. Saint Helens was and still is the most deadly and most economically destructive eruption in the history of the united states. I recall hearing my great aunt and uncle recite stories of watching it “rain ash” for days at their Spokane residence. Heck, we still have a bottle of the ash in storage at my parent’s house that they sent us right after it happened. (It was a running joke in the family as my Grandmother’s name is Helen, and her sister, my great aunt, often joked about how Helen finally blew up that day, but I digress.) 

But if the tales are true, the eruption of MT. Saint Helens released more than molten rock and ash into those Washington State mountains. Because not long after, the ash and smoke began to clear, and a new form began to fill the sky with terror. But this form was not made of soot, but rather dark hair, sharp teeth, and large, leathery wings. 

She Released it From its Earthly Prison

Not long after the rupture of Mt. Saint Helens, odd sightings began to fill the evening sky. Talk of a large, thunderbird-like creature with cascading black wings began to trickle in. Murmurs really. Just word of mouth. Nothing anyone was brave enough to report to any papers or news agencies. It seems as if I was unable to trudge up any official documentation from that time. But the locals swear that back then, they saw it. When Saint Helens blew, she released that thing out of its earthly prison. 

Luckily, sightings of this strange, dark, winged beast quickly diminished. No one ever got a close look at it. It was just another crazy event in an earth-bending reality they had all just witnessed and lived to tell about. But just because sightings faded as soon as they went doesn’t mean that peace would last forever.

Close Encounters with the Washington Batsquach

18-year-old Brian Canfield was driving home late that Saturday night – alone on the back highway that teetered through the foothills of Mt. Rainier. But as he made yet another bend on that twisting highway, his dash lights clicked off, and without applying the brakes, his pickup sputtered to a halt. “Is that the smell of gasoline?” Brian thought to himself. He’d been having some minor issues with his carburetor. The engine must be flooding again. 

Brian looked out his window, recognizing the break in the forest to his left and the recently harvested field to his right. He’d done this drive for the last few years. Seen these hills over and over again – but this time, something seemed a bit… off. 

Far in the distance, he noticed something descending into his headlights – still ablaze by the truck battery. It looked like… bird feet. But the claws and sheer size of them. No, that couldn’t be a bird, could it? But as Brian contemplated what he saw, the silhouette flew closer and descended further into his view, and what Brain described next was anything but the ordinary. 

It crashed to the earth directly in front of him, just 30 or so feet away. It landed hard as its wings cascaded down around it, almost as if to absorb the impact. Then, this 9-foot-tall behemoth rose up and locked eyes with Brian as he clutched the wheel, praying his truck would start. 

“It was just standing there, staring at me,” Brian later told C. R Roberts, a journalist for The News Tribune. The creature stood 9 feet tall, hair glowing a feint grayish-blue in the moonlight. Its eyes were like yellow reflectors with pupils like a half-moon, and its head was like that of a wolf, teeth, tufted ears, and all. And those wings. They looked just like the wings of a bat, only much, much larger. Large enough to span the entire roadway from tip to tip. 

It then just stood perfectly still, eyes locked with his as if it was staring right through him. “ I was scared; it raised the hair on me,” Brian recounted. “I didn’t feel threatened; I just felt out of place.” 

After several long minutes, Brian stated how the creature began to twitch its fingers, unfold its wings, shake its head, then turn to look back at him. It was like it was resting, and now, it was time for it to be off. The creature began to flap its wings and rose out of Brian’s headlights, flapping off back toward Mt. Rainier. After just a minute or two, Brian’s engine sprung back to life all on its own, as it had never died at all. 

Brian sped home to tell his parents, but after returning with a firearm and a flashlight, he and his father could find no trace of the monster Brian’s friends would later refer to as Batsquach. But that didn’t change what Brian experienced. 

“I’m not really into this stuff,” Brian told reporters. “It boggled my mind really hardcore. I really can’t explain it. It’s weird. Definitely weird. I don’t like it. Usually, this stiff happens to someone else.”

It seems that all the old stories weren’t just post-tragedy hearsay after all. Because, at least to Brian, those sightings 14 years prior were a lot more plausible than he’d previously cared to believe. 

What is the Washington Batsquach?

The Washington Batsquach is an interesting cryptid to track down. Many of our tales seem to stem from the early days of Yellow Journalism: That period of time before the television where sensationalist articles were often crafted from more normal events to drum up sales. Oh, and just a quick study tip: Yellow Journalism is a term meaning articles written in a hyper-sensationalist way, often bending the truth or fabricating events altogether to garner attention. Actually, that sounds pretty similar to modern news and media, too, but I digress. 

But the Batsquach, well, it has its roots in more modern times. That detailed description we just covered, well, it happened in 1994 – which in the canon of cryptids is relatively recent by comparison. And sightings still extend into the last few years, some of which we are still going to cover in this episode. Heck, even look at the name Brian’s friends coined for the creature, the BATSQUACH. Part Batman, part Sasquatch, all pop culture. By the 1990s, Cryptids were already in people’s minds. So to have an experience like this in our modern world – well, to me at least, I could see how this would snowball into a tale that our current understandings of reality couldn’t contain. 

And if I am being honest, I don’t – nor have a found any decent, natural, possible explanations for what Brain saw. Multiple reports swear Brian was a state-edged kid. Papers went as far as to call out his strict lack of drug and alcohol use, as well as his down-to-earth demeanor. Heck, they even go on record saying Brian has never participated in a DnD session! (That’s Dungeons and Dragons for those who don’t run in fantasy circles) That is to say, I don’t think Brain made it up. 

Sure, it could have been a bear, and his headlights just so happened to round a hill and caught it at an ad on an odd angle to make it look like it descended. It might have been on 2 feet, and some trees could have made it look like it had wings and… Well, obviously, I’m stretching. Or maybe it was an Owl? I mean, isn’t it always an owl? 

The skeptical side of me even wants to draw conclusions to the 1994 movie Wolf starring Jack Nicholson. I mean, the poster does show Nicholson with glowing yellow eyes, similar to what Brian described. Maybe this was a large animal like a bear, and it being late, Brian assimilated that movie to the creature. Couple that with a well-timed engine problem, and there’s your sasquatch. The problem is, that movie wouldn’t have come out for another 2 months. I mean, Brian, being 18 at the time, I am sure, had gone and seen movies with his friends lately, and maybe there was a poster or a preview… but once again, that’s a big stretch. 

But, on the other hand, flying creatures like this Batsquach have been talked of by the natives long before we called the united states – well, the united states. We have even had our own run-ins with other similar cryptids before. Cryptids like the Jersey Devil, Mothman, and notably, the Coney Island Flying Man of 1880 or the Orang Bati of Indonesia. 

So maybe this is all real. Brian seemed to have become an overnight believer despite the mocking jests he received from some of his classmates. But in Brian’s defense, he supposedly wasn’t the first to see this Pacific Northwest phenomenon, and he certainly wasn’t the last. 

Additional Washington Batsquach sightings

Throughout the years, sightings of a large, bat-like creature have been sighted across Washington and into neighboring Northwest states. 

After Brians’s sighting, a local liquor store owner, Butch Whittaker, stepper forward and recounted how around that same time, he witnessed the Batsquach when he was out on a midday flight. He had taken up his private plane for some weekend sightseeing when he witnessed a similar large creature tail him for a handful of minutes before flying off, just a handful of miles from Brian’s sighting location. 

In 2009 heart Mt. Shasta, California, a group of hikers claimed to have witnessed a large, leathery-winged creature take flight out of a hilltop cave. The monster had wings like a bat spanning an estimated 50 or so feet in length and had a head similar to that of a fox bat. 

And again, In June of 2011, a Washington resident was walking his dog around in his yard for his late-night business. After lifting the small dog to head back inside, he noticed something in the sky overhead. “I saw something flying in the sky,” The man who wishes to remain anonymous claimed. ”It had bat wings, blue fur, and a face similar to eyes glowing red. It was about 9 feet tall at the least; after I watched, it just flew away.”

So other than a Washington local brew and a mount saint Helen’s legend, what could the sasquatch be? Could a winged werewolf-like man have been loosed from that cataclysmic eruption back in 1980? Were there ever tales of such a beast, or was it all just exaggeration until that sighting in 1994? And what of these fling monsters dating back to before our modern records? Maybe there really is a blue-haired and yellow-eyed giant resting on roads and roosting in the mountains of Washington State. Or maybe it’s just a big owl. A really, REALLY big owl. Honestly, after hearing Elaine’s tale of the Chickcharney a few episodes back, I think I’d rather take my chances with the Batsquach. 

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Thanks for touring Cryptids Across the Atlas. Until next time, keep your eyes open. You never know what you might see just on the edge of the road. 

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