Bigfoot Encounters

Bigfoot in Minnesota


Moorhead man has been hunting bigfoot for 16 years
By Rona K. Johnson

Grand Forks Herald November 3, 2002

MOORHEAD, MINNESOTA -- If a bigfoot is living in the dense, wooded areas of Minnesota, Mike Quast hopes to be the one who finds it. 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 a bigfoot or sasquatch.

They were driving near Strawberry Lake, on the White Earth Indian Reservation north of Detroit Lakes. "I was kind of stunned and didn't say anything for a while," Quast said. "I told my parents later, and they didn't take it too seriously."

His mission began when he graduated from high school in 1986. Since then, he's collected stories from people who claim to have seen a bigfoot, and he's hunted for the creature. He's collected his observations and reports in a book called "The Sasquatch in Minnesota."

"When I first started looking into it and reading all the books, there were nine reports of sightings in Minnesota, but the official records were really incomplete," he said.

Car attacked
The first story he ever investigated was about a creature that was seen in the Vergas, Minn., area.

"There was an urban legend story going around there about the hairy man that I heard about from my brother-in-law," Quast said. "He said he knew someone who had seen it."

Quast tracked down a mechanic who told him that when he was a teenager in 1968 he and his brother and his brother's girlfriend were driving around in a wooded area near Vergas and that a creature leaped out at them. When they turned the car around to get another look at it, it attacked their car.

They later found a large dent in the trunk lid. 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.

The townspeople built a story around it, saying that it was some crazy hermit who lived in the woods.

"They started to hunt for the thing over the next few months, and they saw it a couple of more times, running at night," he said.

They never saw the creature in the winter, so they figured it was hibernating. Then one spring, they found a shack with a hole dug under it. It smelled like a dead animal so they burned the shack down.

"I heard about other stories, and I started searching the area," Quast said.

Different sizes
Quast spent much time searching the Vergas area. "In August of 1989 I found what I believe were bigfoot tracks."

The tracks were 16 inches long with three toes. He made plaster casts of the tracks. In August 1970 he found a set that was 20 inches long, and, over time, he's found three different sets of tracks, one only 12 inches long.

"I thought it might have been a small family group that passed through the area once in a while," he said.

"I haven't found anything there in recent years because there's been a lot of development out there," he said. "It's still a woods, but it isn't as wild as it used to be."

Then, in the early 1990s, Quast met a trapper who lived near Zerkel, east of Mahnomen in Clearwater County. "He found some tracks on his property that he couldn't explain," Quast said.

The tracks were of a two-legged creature, but they weren't typical bigfoot or human tracks. The tracks were circular with two large toes and, where the three other toes should have been, there was an impression of hair growing under the toes. Tracks were found of slightly different sizes, and Quast speculates the tracks were from a subspecies of bigfoot.

"The DNR suggested he get in touch with me," Quast said. "It became a fascination with him too."

The trapper found the first set of tracks in December 1990 and more tracks in March 1991.

"The tracks turned up again, and there were a lot more of them the second time," Quast said. "He thought he saw close to 2,000 tracks that day."

The trapper put up notices around town and started asking people in the area if they had seen anything.

"Other people had seen tracks, and there were sightings over the years," Quast said.

Scream in the night
The trapper became the best source of information Quast ever had, and Quast spent a lot of time searching on the trapper's property, even after he died more than a year ago.

"During the time I knew him, there were occasional reports, and he found more tracks," Quast said. "After a while, he started finding the more common type of tracks with the more human type of foot. Many of the tracks were smaller, indicating they were from a young bigfoot."

Since then Quast has concentrated his bigfoot hunt in the White Earth State Forest in Clearwater County in a heavily forested area the locals call the Buckboard Hills.

One night when Quast was camping on the trapper's property he heard what he believes was a bigfoot.

"If you study the bigfoot literature, they describe the sound as a scream, and I think that I heard it one night when I was camping there," he said. "At about 10 at night, this noise just came out of nowhere. It was so loud, the woods just shook with it, and I remember feeling very alone and very
vulnerable out there, at that time. I think there were two of them calling back and forth to each other, because I heard it come from two different

Quast said he will keep searching until he has proof that bigfoot exists.

"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," he said. "If it had just been thought of as a newspecies of wildlife, there would have been scientists out there looking for it."

Article posted courtesy Michael Newton"
Copyright The Minneapolis Star-Tribune November 3, 2002

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