Poll: Many Washingtonians believe in Sasquatch, UFOs
June 5, 2011
NEW — 6 a.m. June 5, 2011
Sasquatch exists — at least according to 38 percent of the respondents from the latest PEMCO Insurance Northwest Poll.
Moreover, 13 percent of respondents said they had either seen or know someone who has seen a mythical hominid.
“The Northwest is home to unique folklore, so we decided it would be fun to explore what residents think about subjects that clearly are, well, a little different,” PEMCO spokesman Jon Osterberg said in a news release announcing the poll results. “We’ve had our share of strange sightings and events in Washington, and people here apparently are open to the idea that some of it is real.”
The questions about curiosities did not stop at Sasquatch. The poll also asked Washingtonians: “Do you believe there have been sightings of UFOs — spacecraft — that truly cannot be identified by anyone?”
Though 28 percent of the respondents said no, 55 percent said UFOs exist and 32 percent said they had seen or know someone who had seen a UFO.
Interestingly, the term “flying saucers” originated in 1947 after a pilot reported seeing flying discs near Mount Rainier.
“I guess it’s appropriate that ‘The X-Files’ was shot on location in the Northwest, in Vancouver, B.C.,” Osterberg said.
Washington is home to other colorful folklore.
In November 1971, a man using the name Dan Cooper — subsequently reported as D.B. Cooper — hijacked a Northwest Airlines 727, collected a $200,000 ransom in Seattle and parachuted out of the jetliner at 10,000 feet near Ariel in Southwest Washington. In 1980, a boy found $5,800 of Cooper’s money on a Columbia River sandbar.
Federal agents turned to the former Issaquah Skyport for parachutes, and former Issaquah police investigator Ed Mott delivered the parachutes to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in record time.
PEMCO Insurance commissioned the independent survey to ask Washington drivers several questions about driving habits and attitudes about current Northwest issues. The sample size included 826 respondents.