GIANT FOOTPRINTS IN THE GLACIAL SNOWS! FRIGHTENING GLIMPSES OF HAIRY, MANLIKE BEINGS! STRANGE HALF-HUMAN LAUGHTER HEARD IN THE NIGHT!
The following excerpt is from "Sasquatch" by Don Hunter and René Dahinden. You can purchase it here.
For centuries the Indians of British Columbia and the Northwestern United States have made the Sasquatch a part of their legends. For decades reliable witnesses have reported encounters with these eight-to-ten-foot-tall man-apes, which appear suddenly near highways, homes, or camp sites and then vanish again, striding swiftly off into the darkness. Fully documented footprints measuring up to eighteen inches in length and separated by six-foot strides have been found all over the Northwest. Here is the incredible story, presenting us with all the evidence compiled by Rene Dahinden in the twenty years he has spent on the trail of the Sasquatch.
In the recent past, Sasquatch research has been conducted by poorly financed, untrained, dedicated men. A Sasquatch hunt with these people reminds one of a Humphrey Bogart movie... in which a number of individuals having idiosyncratic and conflicting goals cooperate sporadically to bring a mutual goal closer to attainment. The goal however is mutual only in the sense that each man wants to find a Sasquatch, and not in the sense that each man wants somebody to find a Sasquatch..(From "The Sasquatch Phenomenon in Alberta," a paper presented to the Western Association of Sociology and Anthropology, in Banff, Alberta, in December 1969, by jack W. Ondrack of the University of Alberta.)
Though Mr. Ondrack didn't know it, when he made that observation he was reciting the perfect prologue to a series of events that were even then started on their course, more than two hundred miles southwest of Banff in the small Washington community of Bossburg. Before these events were concluded, the nature of the Sasquatch hunter would have been placed on full and fascinating display and a scenario would have evolved which, while falling well short of Bogart quality, certainly would display much of the style and dimension of a Hollywood special. By the time they were over, Rene would have learned a great deal about his colleagues in the hunt—and they about him; one of the dedicated would have produced a film of the Sasquatch, the authenticity of which, to say the least, would remain firmly unconfirmed. And an officer of the United States border patrol would predict a climax of the kind generally associated with the two-reel western movie. Ironically, the melodrama—for such it was, within a framework of farce—would be acted out virtually on top of that particular piece of evidence which, more so than any other, Napier uses to establish his contention that the Sasquatch lives.
Rene continued working at the Big Horn dam site, talking especially with the Indians, recording all he could of what they felt and thought and knew about the Sasquatch. In late November a phone call came from John Green, telling him that down in Bossburg, Ivan Marx, late of the Slick expedition, was hot on the trail of what appeared to be a crippled Sasquatch. By now not one to be exploded into the hunt at every mention of a track, Rene called Marx and discussed what had been found. He took three days to consider the details, then took off for Bossburg.
The tracks had first been found on November 24 by Joe Rhodes, a butcher from nearby Colville. They were in the soft soil near the Bossburg community garbage dump, and one foot appeared to be badly crippled. It was being speculated that the creature was handicapped badly enough to force it to scrounge off man's kitchen scraps for a living—a theory which Rene rejects.
When Rene arrived, it was to find the ground, and most of the prints, badly trampled by the dozens of locals who had been drawn to the scene when the news leaked out. The site was in the area of several Sasquatch sightings reported earlier that year, during one of which a woman had rushed into the sheriff's office, alarmed and frightened by two of the creatures she had seen on the highway, the main road from southeastern B.C. down to Spokane. Two deputies had made a casual check of the area but had spent most of the time ridiculing the woman's story before an officer of the border patrol. That is, they had scoffed, as the border patrol told it, until they noticed it was growing dark, at which stage, showing definite signs of nervousness, they had left.
Rene found one good print which someone had protected by covering it with a cardboard box. It was a right foot and clearly showed signs of malformation. He photographed it and cast a plaster mould. The next few days he spent surveying the area and the people who lived there, talking with all he met, making trips into the bush, and generally getting the feel of the whole situation. Within a few days he was joined by Bob Titmus, the taxidermist, and late leader of the abortive Tom Slick expedition, who had been living in Kitimat, B.C., some seven hundred miles north and west. The actors were gathering, and the performance that would ensue was perhaps foreshadowed by Titmus's behavior immediately following his arrival and which Rene describes:
"He went out and bought an eight-pound slab of beef and hung it in a tree. I believe he was sitting out there at night in his panel truck, watching the meat, and thinking that if this thing was a cripple and was living off the garbage dump, when it came along he would just grab it by the arse and throw it in the truck and run off home with it."
Titmus had provided the Sasquatch's main course. Trotting along with the dessert came one Norm Davis (known to the company as "Dickie"), a radio station owner turned Sasquatch hunter for the time being. He hung a basket of fruit in a neighboring tree, carefully suspending it a measured six feet from the ground, the height which, presumably, would afford the Sasquatch maximum viewing of the selection of goodies. Rene watched the antics, interested to the extent that they demonstrated once more the kind of frivolous approach he had become used to dealing with.
After three days, when the meat was about ready to make its own tracks and the bloom was off the fruit, Titmus gave up in disgust and went home to Kitimat. Rene, intrigued by the one crippled print and anxious to stay, made a deal with Davis: he would live in a trailer owned by the radio man and in lieu of rent would show the Patterson film and talk about the Sasquatch to local service clubs and other interested groups. The crippled print bothered him; he had never seen anything like it, and considered it, the more unlikely it seemed that it could be anything gut genuine. Davis's trailer was moved onto Ivan Marx's property and the hunters took up the pursuit. On the morning of December 13, a Saturday. they found what they were looking for....