Laughery worked with Wes Sumerlin (1921-1999), Vance Orchard (1917-2006), Paul Freeman (1943-2003), and Grover Krantz (1931-2002), in the Blue Mountains of Washington. Bigfoot of the Blues’ Vance Orchard mentioned Laughery as one of the people with whom he searched for Bigfoot.
With the passing of Laughery, the senior core Bigfoot researchers of the Blue Mountains and Walla Walla area, have passed away.
“It was 7 to 8 foot tall, buckskin brown, I could see it well enough to see fringe about 1 inch high, a little, on the top of the head,” Laughery said to a reporter at the Los Angeles Times, for a January 21, 1996 article. “We were 87 feet away and we stood and watched that for four or five minutes, and it didn’t move at all. I looked it up and down. I couldn’t see its face. . . . I got a quarter-view. And then the minute I turned to Wes to say something, it took off.”
They heard screams, and found long dark brown and black hairs, which had caught on broken trees. They were sent to Frank Pourier, chairman of the anthropology department, Ohio State University, for DNA testing.
As recently as April 2013, Laughery was helping and speaking to Bigfoot groups.
Jaymi Trimble’s Northwest Bigfoot group had their first meeting on Sunday, April 13th, at the Mid-Columbia Libraries’ branch in Kennewick. Their guest speaker was Bill Laughery, whom Trimble told KOMO News, was her mentor.
“He sent some of (the hair samples) to Idaho State University,” said Bernie Hart, a friend of Laughery’s who had helped care for the Bigfoot hunter’s first wife, Annabel, before she died about 13 years ago. “When they got back to him, they said (the hairs) were unknown.”
Hart described Laughery as a Bigfoot expert.
“He wasn’t a crackpot,” Hart said. “He was a pretty reliable source. He didn’t talk about them a lot because it was kind of like his sanctuary.”
I don’t think it was Idaho State University, but Ohio State University, but never mind. The result coming back “unknown” sounds about right for DNA analysis in 1996.
The legacy of Laughery was also mentioned:
While Laughery’s personal search ended Tuesday, his passion for Bigfoot hunting will continue. Jaymi Trimble of Prosser had just returned from a Bigfoot hunting excursion south of the Canadian border when she learned of Laughery’s death through a Facebook post.
“I just miss him so much,” Trimble said. “He was my mentor, but he was also my special friend.”
Laughery had passed along maps of the Blue Mountains where he believed Bigfoot lived, Trimble said. He’d shown her casts of footprints and taught her how to recognize Bigfoot’s presence in the woods.