Bigfoot Encounters

"Shouldn't be captured"

By Alex MacGillivray


The Vancouver Sun - Saturday May 25, 1957 -- Sasquatches aren't monsters and shouldn't be captured for the curious to gape at.

So says the man who many people (including himself) say introduced the mysterious hairy giants of British Columbia to the world. He is John W. Burns, one time Chehalis Indian Reserve schoolteacher-Government Indian Agent who now lives in San Francisco.

50 Articles
Mr. Burns, who has written more than 50 articles on the creatures of Indian Legend, told The Vancouver Sun in a letter that he is amazed at the talk of searches for the Sasquatch. He said he "regrets that these harmless people of the wilderness are to be hunted with dogs as if they were criminals and, if captured, exposed to the gaping and gaze of the curious."

"They have been referred to as monsters," Mr. Burns said. "But they have committed no monstrous acts. It appears our veneer civilization does not hesitate to even use monsters for commercial purposes."

Chose name
Mr. Burns "learned" of the giants from the Indians on the Chehalis Reserve. He took notes of the tales and introduced the giants in Maclean's Magazine in 1929.

All the tales of Indians being pursued by the Sasquatch, boulders being thrown at men in canoes and an old Indian named Charlie telling how he shot a Sasquatch boy and escaped the wrath of an angry Sasquatch mother are in the article. The name Sasquatch is also a Burns' product, borrowed from the Chehalis Indian. It means "hairy giant."

Speak Salish
Burns believes the Sasquatch originated in British Columbia and is of Salish descent. Various Indians he has talked to say sasquatches they encountered speak the same language. [A version of the Douglas language]

Burns said he has further data pertaining to their history and why the giants went wild. But he said he wouldn't publish it until he does more research. Burns even tells of receiving a letter from an Ontario lawyer, S. A. Wallace, notary public of Windsor, Ontario Canada told Burns that ten years ago a cave containing skeletons of 40 sasquatches were discovered. [This would have been around 1949]

Giant Race
But if Mr. Wallace said where, Mr. Burns isn't telling. "The skeletons were in a good state of preservation," said Burns. "The mummified remains were those of a giant race of men and women."

"A geologist who examined them," Mr. Burns said, "told Mr. Wallace that they must be thousands of years old."

Does Burns really believe in the giants?

Friends of his still living in the Harrison Lake area, where the Sasquatch legend was revived two months ago when a search was planned, say he did once.

"But I don't think he does anymore," said one man who knew the schoolteacher very well.
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