Intrigued by tales of the Himalayan Yeti, Rene Dahinden heard about sasquatch when he was working on a farm in Alberta, Canada. Finding the North American version became his life's work. He worked alongside John Green do to this, and hunted bigfoot for fifty years, even choosing the pursuit over his wife and family. He also cowrote a book called Sasquatch/Bigfoot: The Search for North America's Incredible Creature in 1973.
Over the years, he collected hundreds of foot-print casts that he took with him on his travels. He also interviewed legions of people who claimed to have encountered bigfoot and had choice words for skeptics who didn't think footprints mattered.
"If anyone finds this kind of evidence immaterial," he said, while holding a heavy plaster casting, "let me strike his head with it."
The pipe-smoking Dahinden wasn't a fan of university-educated scientists.
"Those clodhoppers!" he once told a magazine reporter. "Science is the pursuit of the unknown.
Now maybe the scientists think there is nothing unknown, since they know it all, and therefore they don't have to pursue it. I don't know, it looks like the scientists get up every morning and pray, 'Please God, let me go through another day without a new thought'."
He was equally scornful of people who faked evidence and encounters. Dahinden bought the rights to show the Patterson-Gimlin film, and he created a sensation in Moscow when he showed it to a roomful of scientists, but he never made much money showing it, and he supported himself by gathering the lead out of spent shotgun shells at a gun range, gathering hundreds of pounds of it using his bare hands.
Before he died, he admitted some disappointment and possibly even doubt with his lifelong quest. "You know, I've spent over forty years—and I didn't find it. I guess that's got to say something."