`researchers' say Sasquatches are living in the Kootenays. . .
They're too hairy to be human, too man-like to be animals and too big
to ignore. For centuries people in Alberta and the Pacific Northwest
have been telling tales of mammoth bipeds.
Now, after a series of mysterious encounters in the Kootenays, Nelson,
B.C. resident Terry Delorme intends to show the world what the fuss
Bigfoot tracks inspired the 29-year-old nature photographer and two
of his friends to conduct research on the creature. Mr. Delorme, together
with fellow Sasquatch enthusiasts Brent Hastings and Robert Milner,
were overwhelmed by the response to an ad they placed in a Kootenay
newspaper in December seeking information on Bigfoot
Now the Sasquatch seekers are certain they are closing in on their hairy
prey.Messrs. Hastings and Milner began their quest after they found
a set of 13-inch-long, human-like footprints in the Lasca Creek region
in the fall of 1990. "They just jumped out at me," says Mr.
Hastings. Mr. Delorme saw similar footprints near Lasca Creek last July.
Mr. Hastings, however, is the only one of the three who claims to have
seen a Sasquatch in the flesh. He became a Bigfoot believer during a
1979-hiking trip when he spied an ape-like creature on Kokanee Glacier.
At first he mistook it for a lone hiker but quickly realized that no
human could move so fast on that type of terrain. He says the local
newspaper carried a report of another Sasquatch sighting on the Kaslo
side of the glacier (north of Nelson) two days later. "They're
out there," he says. "They've always been there; it goes back
to the Indian legends."
The first recorded mention of Bigfoot came in 1811, when explorer David
Thompson stumbled upon a set of 14-inch-long footprints near what is
now Jasper. When miners arrived in the Pacific Northwest in the 19th
century, more giant footprints were discovered. In 1924, a miner named
Fred Beck said he shot at a large, ape-like creature and was then followed
by a horde of similar bipeds who left enormous footprints near his cabin
in Washington State's Ape Canyon, about 60 miles northwest of Portland.
Most Sasquatch enthusiasts believe the big creatures, if they do exist,
are simply an as-yet unidentified species of ape. Mr. Milner, 41, has
a more exotic theory. He says the Sasquatch is "a legendary lost
link to another part of the human race." Humans, he believes, are
the result of inbreeding between earlier forms of the Sasquatch and
hairless apes that visited from elsewhere in the galaxy.
Sasquatch expert René Dahinden of Richmond B.C. is taking a wait-and-see
approach to the Nelson researchers' efforts. The Swiss-born 62-year-old
has gathered evidence on thousands of Sasquatch sightings. He also helped
identify what is considered the only
authentic Bigfoot photo record, a half-minute-long film of a 1967 sighting
at Bluff Creek, California. Still, Mr. Dahinden cautions that hoaxes
far outnumber legitimate sightings.
Meanwhile, the neophyte researchers from Nelson are starting to realize
just how big the possibility for error is. Last week Mr. Delorme was
called upon to examine a set of Sasquatch tracks on a snowy hillside
near downtown Nelson. He eventually determined
a bounding deer had left the tracks.
© Barbara Tandory 1993 by United Western Communications Ltd.
Tandory, Barbara, "The Original Apes of the Galaxy, Vol. 20,
The Alberta Report / Western Reports, 02-08-1993, pp 25.