Jul 1, 2004 | Marmot, Summer 2005

Sasquatch Update

Sasquatch sighting in northern Manitoba in April has renewed interest in the hairy beast’s existence on the West Coast,and specifically, Mount Washington.

While there has never been any hard evidence that Sasquatch is real, there are many believers: including one regular visitor to Mount Washington who declined to be named. Shown is a rare photo of possibly an albino sasquatch or one who possibly has not shed his or her winter coat yet. The jury is still out on this.

The Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, is part of the Coast Salish people’s beliefs, according to a 2004 article in The Martlet. The term is derived from the Salish “se’sxac”, which means “wild men”. To these First Nations people, the Sasquatch was considered an animal, similar to a cougar, bear or wolverine — and not human.

The first sighting of Sasquatch in the Comox Valley area was in April 1905, when the Victoria Colonist newspaper reported that native peoples between Union Bay and Comox shot at what they thought was a bear digging on the beach.

The “bear” straightened up, yelled and ran into the woods — on two feet. The article noted that the “bear” was digging for clams.

According to the Martlet article, many Sasquatch sightings are in and around Strathcona Park, which is densely forested and largely uninhabited. Reports of unexplained nocturnal screams abound, and 15-inch-long tracks were discovered in 1988 that Sasquatch experts say could only be made by Bigfoot.

The latest sighting, in northern Manitoba, comes from a man living in remote Norway House. The man claims a fuzzy video he took earlier in the spring is Bigfoot. The video is just under three minutes long, according to a report by Canadian Press, and people who have watched the video say it shows a large, hairy creature walking upright in the Nelson River.

The Mount Washington visitor, a self-proclaimed Sasquatch groupie, claims Battleship Lake would be ideal habitat for the Bigfoot. And despite the numbers of people who hike into the area in Paradise Meadows every summer, Sasquatches are so adept at camouflage this human presence wouldn’t matter, the visitor said.

And who knows what the migration patterns are with Sasquatch? If his stride is as long as experts claim, it is not inconceivable that he winters over in Manitoba and wanders back to Strathcona Park in the summer.

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