Bigfoot Encounters

Following the footsteps of giants

September 23, 2008 11:00 PM -- LOCAL SASQUATCH hunter Larry Sommerfield’s convinced he’s in possession of a cast of a footprint of the often-sought but seldom-seen creature.

He’s reluctant to reveal how he came into possession of the 16-inch
long cast except to say it was made in mid-August from a footprint found in a gravel pit just east of the Kitselas First Nation’s Gitaus subdivision east of Terrace on Hwy16.

“You can see ... it has four toes. More likely a Sasquatch footprint has five toes, but I’ve also seen three in Thornhill Park, at the
fairgrounds,” said Sommerfield last week.

At 16 inches long and 10.5 inches wide, the footprint probably belongs to a creature that weighs around 1,000 pounds and stands at least
10 feet high, he adds.

“I’ve seen footprints as long as 18 inches. The longest was 18 and a half inches. It also had five toes,” Sommerfield continues.

This particular cast was made by pouring expoxy into the depression made the foot. Some of the hard-setting liquid spilled so Sommerfield says he took a grinder to the end product to chew away at the surplus.

Sommerfield has looked for the Sasquatch, also called Bigfoot in other parts of North America, for years, acquiring both stories passed down by others over the years and contacts around the continent.

At one time, he said he had a specimen of Sasquatch droppings recovered from a hillside overlooking the city.

This isn’t the first time Sasquatch footprints have been found in the area.

Some of the earliest and best footprints Sasquatch were found in the Skeena Valley in 1976. The tracks — about a dozen of them 15.5 inches long and 6.5 inches wide — were found by some children near a slough in the Terrace area. According to researchers they had a walking stride of just over seven feet.

A Sasquatch researcher named Bob Titmus lived in the area at the time and made plaster casts from the footprints that were left in the hard clay.

There have also been sightings of the creature in the area. In 2000 a New Aiyansh man, a skeptic by nature, spotted something

At eight o’clock in the morning — in broad daylight — “Mark” was getting ready for work. As he looked out his back window towards a forested area that borders his and his neighbour’s property, he saw a man walking toward his house.

The first thing he recalls is that the man was wearing a shirt the same dark colour as his pants. There happened to be road construction underway just beyond his property and he assumed that it was one of the workers dressed in overalls.

The man was average height, maybe 5’5”, walking upright just like a normal person would. But when the man got closer, 200 feet from the man’s window, he realised that what he saw was neither human or animal. The creature came into the clearing between his house and his neighbour’s and searched out for a branch on one of the trees.

“I just thought it was a person. It’s arm went down to the branch and pulled the branch down and I saw that his arm was hairy,” he said.

“I saw the hair very clearly it was really kind of freaky.”

Sasquatch creatures have different names among different First Nations of the region. The Haida call it Gogit, the Kwakiutl call it Bukwas and Bowis is the name given by Tsimshian.

The Bowis was said to look like small gorilla that lived in the bush. It was known to steal food, throw rocks and whoop or shriek at night.

Published in the Terrace Standard dot com September 24, 2008

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