Raymond L. Wallace, 84
Bigfoot Story Teller
Ray Wallace, 84, a controversial figure involved in 44 years of
Bigfoot-related events, died November 26, 2002, at a Centralia,
Washington, nursing home. The Washington State construction tycoon
had been ill for some time.
It was at Bluff Creek, California, in 1958, which found Ray
Wallaces company building a new road through the northern
California forest. In August through October, Wallace Construction
Company's employee Jerry Crew found huge humanlike tracks. Thanks to
instructions from taxidermist Bob Titmus, Crew made the first
plaster casts of a footprint from the hairy upright creature his
fellow workers called Bigfoot. Crew took the cast to town, to
quiet local ridicule, and showed it to a Humboldt County newspaper
editor. The photograph of Jerry Crew with the giant plaster of Paris
foot imprint went out over the newswires. It produced a
revolutionary shift from small regional stories of Sasquatch to
todays global awareness of Bigfoot. Soon after the publicized Crew
finds, Wallace and his brother Wilbur claimed other Bigfoot activity
around the construction site; Wallace said he found tracks and
droppings of Bigfoot.
Wallace was to be involved with the local tales of hairy giants for
the rest of his life. Allegedly in the later in the 1950s, for
example, Wallace offered to sell Texas millionaire Tom Slick a
captured Bigfoot. Wallace failed to produce the creature when Slick
came up with an offer. Down through the years, Wallace would carry
on pranks, be tied to carved fake Sasquatch feet, and produce and
try to sell dubious photographs and films. He was a great letter
writer and would pen long passages to magazine editors about this
photographs or telling of how he knew a Bigfoot was nearby guarding
a mine full of gold. After awhile, most Bigfoot hunters and
researchers took Wallace as merely a spinner of fanciful tall tales.
Through his contributions to Strange Magazine, the Track Record, and
indirectly to Fate Magazine, Wallace relished keeping his name in
the limelight of the Bigfoot mystery.
Media reports in 1995 observed Wallace claimed he had evidence the
hairy creature was a big fan of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. In March
1998, Ray Wallace offered a million dollars to the first person who
could bring him a live baby Bigfoot. Saying he had tracked Bigfoot
for forty years, Wallace claimed he wanted to raise a young
Sasquatch to adulthood. Wallace told reporters he planned to raise a
baby Bigfoot with care and respect and would like to train the
creature to ride around with him in his pickup truck and help out
with chores around his ranch. No one came forth with a baby Bigfoot.
Ray Wallace added an intriguing, mostly harmless story-telling
element to the otherwise often serious pursuit of Bigfoot that
various friends of his, such as Ray Crowe, Director of the
International Bigfoot Society, enjoyed.
Public records note that Ray L. Wallace was born April 21, 1918, in
Clarksdale, Missouri, to James and Emma (Huber) Wallace. He moved to
the Toledo, Washington area in 1961, coming from Oregon. He served
in the Army during World War II as an aircraft gunner. He worked as
a logger and also in road construction in Washington, Oregon and
California. He collected rare animals and enjoyed hunting, fishing
and boating. He also enjoyed mining for gold and discovering oil.
He married his wife, Elna, on May 10, 1942. She survives him at
home. Also surviving are three sons, Michael Wallace of Castle Rock,
Larry Wallace of Winlock and Richard Wallace of Toledo; 10
grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and
Preceding him in death were a son, Gary Wallace two sisters, Cora
Blaine and Mary McKinly; and three brothers, Forest Wallace, Lester
Wallace and Wilbur Wallace.
A funeral service was held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Toledo First
Baptist Church with pastor Joe Martin officiating. Interment was at
Lone Hill Cemetery in Toledo, Washington, on November 30, 2002.
©Loren Coleman 2002
© Loren Coleman 2003
Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is the author of
twenty books, including
Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America
(Paraview Pocket, 2003). His website is