Paranormal Creatures: Sasquatch
For millennium, people across the globe have been interacting with forces that can’t be explained. Things science has yet to fully acknowledge. Creatures that are not just part of our present, but our past. You will never read their tales in an academic history book. However, they have always been part of our cultures.
This is what I call Paranormal History.
You are walking through the forest, heading to your favorite hunting spot when you start to get the uneasy feeling of being watched. You think you are being paranoid so you try to shake the feeling, but there is a movement from the brush. You grab a nearby rock and throw it in an attempt to flush the animal out. Less than a second later an even bigger rock strikes the tree behind your head.
Full of terror, you take aim with you rifle, demanding for whatever it is to show itself. Suddenly, a blood curdling scream erupts from the brush, causing you to drop your rifle as you run for your life. This isn’t a scene from the newest SyFy original movie, this is what was recounted to me by a Kentucky resident in 2009.
The fear in their eyes as they recounted their tale, led me to be assured that he honestly believed he had an encounter with the seven to nine foot tall hairy creature we know as the Bigfoot or Sasquatch. This is one of the thousands of reported experiences involving this legendary creature, and if history is any indication many more will be recorded for years to come.
The Sasquatch isn’t a modern invention of the media or juvenile pranksters, it has been part of Native American lore for generations. The Cheyenne reference hairy beings that were created along side man by The Great Spirit. These hairy men wore no clothes and made their home in caves of the hills, because they were afraid of their human brothers.
On the Tule River Reservation in California inside a cave that the tribesmen consider sacred, there is a painting that the elders says depicts a family of four beings that they call the Hairy Man. Scientist who have visited the cave date the art to approximately 500 A.D.
In 1840, Rev. Elkanah Walker wrote of stories the Spokane Tribe passed on about a race of hairy giants who possibly lived on Mt. Rainier. These giants would sneak into their village at night and steal the fish villagers had caught that day then throw stones at the houses. When the tribesmen woke in the morning they would find tracks one and a half feet long. The indigenous people seemingly have seen something long before Caucasians would come to this land.
The European settlers of North American, set off into unknown wilderness in their quest to explore this New World. As they reached never before seen regions they began to see things the couldn’t explain.
David Thompson, an English born surveyor who explored along the Canadian-American border, wrote in his journal what many believe is the first reordered Sasquatch footprint. “January 7th continuing our journey in the afternoon we came on the track of a large animal, the snow about six inches deep on the ice; I measured it; four large toes each of four inches in length, to each a short claw; the ball of the foot sunk three inches lower than the toes. The hinder part of the foot did not mark well, the length fourteen inches, by eight inches in breadth, walking from north to south, and having passed about six hours. We were in no humor to follow him.”
The oldest written record that has been discovered is the 1864 story of Alexander Caulfield Anderson during his exploration of the Harrison Lake area in Canada. Anderson is said to have seem several “wild giants” during his time in the area. In one account from him, he and his party had to retreat from the area because stones were being thrown at them from a nearby hillside.
The August 1,1883 edition of the Newark Daily Advocate printed the story of two men who traveled to Prettis Island, one hundred miles north of Ottawa in search of Sasquatch. What they reportedly encountered was an eight foot tall near human covered with fur. The creature carried a stone tomahawk and a bludgeon. It chased the men back into their canoe and reportedly fractured one of the men in the arm with its tomahawk. Sightings like these continued well into the twentieth century.
During the twentieth century, many of our forests were cleared out to further develop this nation. This is said to be the cause of the increase of sightings during this era. Prospector Albert Osman was camping at Tobla Inlet near Lund, British Columbia when he said he had one of the most extraordinary experiences ever reordered. His camp site was ransacked three times in his sleep by an unknown assailant. On the fourth day there, he was woken by something picking him up, while he was still in his sleeping bag. It carried him for approximately three hours to where it apparently made camp with its mate and two children. He was their “guest” for six days before he escaped and made his way to Vancouver.
In October hunter William Roe spotted what he at first thought was a bear but ended up being a six foot tall, three hundred pound, dark brown fur covered, apparently female creature. He was able to witness it eating leaves from a nearby bush until it took off when it spotted him. After searching the area he concluded that it was most likely strictly vegetarian and may have been incapable of using even simple tools.
In July 1992 an off duty law enforcement officer was driving down Highway 101 in California near Eel River with his wife and two children. The family reported seeing a seven foot tall reddish brown creature they identified as a Bigfoot. They witnessed the creature for fifteen seconds as it left the river and headed into the woods. Even though they are still seen today, such reports are not considered good enough evidence for such an elusive creature to exist.
Thanks to the advances in technology, reports of sightings seem to have risen and new forms of evidence have become available. The November 7, 2007 episode of History Channel’s Monster Quest entitled “Sasquatch Attack”, DNA evidence was collected in the form of skin and hair from a board with screws used to discourage animal intruders at a Canadian cabin that was said to have been ransacked by Sasquatch.
After tests the samples were said to to belong to a nonhuman primate.
On May 8, 2012 Stacy Brown Jr. captured what is considered some of the best Sasquatch footage ever captured with a FLIR camera. The FLIR, a camera that uses infrared to sense the heat of the object, picked up an over eight foot tall living creature move behind the trees. Several attempts to reproduce the footage with a man in a suit, dressed in winter clothes, and even with a nude person have failed.
In November 2012, veterinarian Kelba S. Ketchum concluded a five year study of one hundred samples of hair, saliva, blood, and urine said to come from Sasquatch. Her team of independent researchers including geneticists, forensic scientists, and pathologists concluded that it is a relative to the human species that developed fifteen thousand years ago. These results are currently being debated in the scientific community.
This is just a small glimpse of the long history of the elusive Sasquatch. While some experiences can be explained by hoaxes or miss-identification, there are enough incidences that can’t be explained yet. This is what fuels more people than ever to take up the hunt for this legend, and to try to make a name for themselves in Paranormal History.
David Dunaway is an independent paranormal researcher and historian of the unexplained based in central Illinois. He has ten years of experience investigating ghosts and cryptids in the states of Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Alabama.