SEATTLE, Wash. — The Pacific Northwest has plenty of great mystery stories — the first reported Sasquatch sighting on Mount St. Helens in 1847, the 600-pound Giant Pacific Octopus that allegedly lives under the Narrows Bridge in Tacoma, the rancher who claims Jim Morrison is alive and living as a cowboy between Washington and Oregon.
But when a foot still inside a tennis shoe washed ashore on Seattle’s Pier 86 this week, the Northwest found itself a mystery that has a much more factual basis.
Why? Because it’s one of 15 severed feet that have washed ashore along the Pacific Northwest coast — from Canada down to Tacoma — in the last seven years.
“Who knows where they originated?” resident Albert Hulsen told FOX31 sister station Q13 FOX in Seattle. “Maybe it’s not from this area at all but from one of the surrounding islands.”
A local expert on tides told Q13 FOX the feet could be local or they could be winding up in the Northwest by way of the Strait of Georgia in Canada or the Strait of Juan de Fuca that connects the Puget Sound near Seattle to the Pacific Ocean.
Forensic anthropologist Kathy Taylor, who works for the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, where the most recently discovered foot is being examined, said Wednesday that this particular foot likely was not severed but detached from a body as it decomposed at sea.
“The bones fall apart,” Taylor said. “They (feet in shoes that have washed ashore) are not being severed. They’re not being purposely cut off.”
Taylor’s office has released a photo of the shoe found with the most recently discovered foot (seen above) hoping someone might recognize it and possibly link it to a missing person.
There is no word on whether authorities have made any effort to link this foot to the other 14 that have washed ashore since 2007.
One thing, however, is sure: This has definitely gotten residents in the Pacific Northwest talking again.
“Maybe its part of the debris from the airplane that had crashed into the water,” resident Karen Klett told Q13FOX. “At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised.”