MINNESOTA: Man on quest to find Bigfoot
By Rona K. Johnson
Grand Forks Herald -- Monday October 14, 2002 -- BUCKBOARD HILLS, CLEARWATER COUNTY, Minn. If Bigfoot is living in the dense, wooded areas of Minnesota, Mike Quast hopes to be the one who finds him.
Quast, 34, who lives in Moorhead and works for a custodial company, has his work cut out for him. First of all, most people scoff at the existence of such a creature. And second, most of the people who believe in the existence of a Bigfoot-like creature are searching for it in the Pacific Northwest.
Quast's belief stems from his own sighting. It happened in 1976, when Quast was 8 years old. He was in a car with his parents when he saw what he believes was Bigfoot. They were driving near Strawberry Lake, which is on the White Earth Indian Reservation north of Detroit Lakes, Minn.
"I was kind of stunned and didn't say anything for a while," he said. "I told my parents later, and they didn't take it too seriously."
Quast's mission began when he graduated from Audubon (Minn.) High School in 1986.
Since then, he's collected stories from people who claim to have seen Bigfoot, and he's hunted for the creature. He has taken all of his evidence and written a book called "The Sasquatch in Minnesota" (revised edition).
The first story he ever investigated was about a creature seen in the Vergas, Minn., area.
Quast tracked down a mechanic from the Vergas area who told him that when he was a teenager in 1968, he and his brother and his brother's girlfriend were driving in a wooded area near Vergas when a creature leaped out at them. When they turned the car around to get another look at it, it more or less attacked their car. They later found a large dent in the trunk.
They described the creature as weighing about 300 pounds and standing 7 or 8 feet tall.
"He said it had a face like a gorilla and an upright body like a man, and it was covered with hair, a standard Bigfoot description," Quast said.
Quast spent much of his time searching in the Vergas area. He found what he believes were tracks that were 16 inches long with three toes, and made plaster casts of them. In August of the next year, he found another set that were 20 inches long. Over time, he's found three different sets of tracks, one only 12 inches long.
Then, in the early 1990s, Quast met a trapper who lived near Zerkel, Minn., east of Mahnomen in Clearwater County. "He found some tracks on his property that he couldn't explain," Quast said.
So Quast has most recently concentrated his Bigfoot hunt in the White Earth State Forest in a heavily forested area the locals call the Buckboard Hills.
"I think one
of the main reasons why science doesn't take this animal seriously is
because we have labeled it a monster, and nobody is supposed to believe
in monsters," Quast said. "If it had just been thought of as
a new species of wildlife, there would have been scientists out there
looking for it."