15 minutes outside of Kitimaat lies Kitimaat Village, a native community
of about 600 people.
On the night of September 18, 1998, Brent Robinson and three other teenagers
were sitting by the local soccer field talking and passing the time. The
field is framed by a street running in an easterly direction that goes
for about three city blocks and lit by a dim street lamp
The teenagers were alerted to a loud crunching sound in the gravel and
when looking up saw a huge black shadowy figure that appeared to be much
larger than Brent's brother, who is 6'2". When asked how much larger
the boy replied "like the size of the street posts," which I
later found out to be about 8 or 9 feet tall.
Perhaps even more startling
was the speed at which the creature ran, although it appeared to be running
with a limp, it ran approximately 150 meters in an amazing show of speed.
Its arms were straight out in front of its chest and stayed in that position
for the period seen.
The witnesses were astonished to see the creature
appear around the bend the street takes and could clearly see the figure
in the dim light of the village store at the cross street at the end of
the field. The father of the boy told me the local children were not prone
to fabricating stories and were visibly shaken by the experience and that
they refused to go out again that night.
I asked if the children sat out
late at night often and the father assured me there was no need to worry
as the village was very safe and they did not have the same problems that
The father and son were both very sincere sounding; just wondering
what on earth it was they had seen.
I asked if there had been any Sasquatch
reports in the area and he said he knew of a story of a man who had shot
one. He passed on the number of someone who knew the story better. I called
and spoke to an elderly man, Ken, who first asked me why I wanted to know.
I was lucky, for it was this gentleman's grandfather who was reported
to have done the shooting.
The first thing Ken told me was it irritated
him how the story had changed over the years since it happened. In particular,
it disturbed him that people said his grandfather shot a Boqwish(sp?)
and that maybe this was an opportunity to tell it like it happened.
In the spring of 1918,
William Hall was out hunting for the family's needs with his good friend.
In this case he was bear hunting 8 miles west of Kemano in a small area
known as Miskook(sp?) (in native language), a small inlet on the Kemano
His friend and himself were joined by an elder who's job was to
wait in the canoe and watch the supplies. As William and his friend made
their way through the terrain they came upon a split in the valley, it
was here where they separated their ways.
As the custom went, a wooden
stake was pounded into the ground. Upon return, the first hunter would
remove it and lay it on the path to let the other know he had safely arrived
and to meet him down at the river's edge.
William, being the first back,
did so and started his way back to the waiting elder. It was here on a
small trail he came upon a group of four Sasquatch, or as known to the
Kitimaat Indians, the Boqwish. In absolute terror he started to run, but
apparently blacked out. When he came to, he found himself on a large rock.
The four Boqwish were below, reaching out and attempting to grab the startled
hunter. In his own native tongue he spoke to them and said that he was
not there to harm them but only hunting for food for his family. It was
at this time that the aggressors seemed to back off, as if they understood.
He made his way off the rock and began back to the river's edge where
his partner had been waiting in the canoe. Along the way the creatures
continued to follow him to the river and now the waiting elder also said,
in his language, that they were not out to harm them. Again, seeming to
understand, they left.
Upon getting into the canoe William Hall slipped
into a coma that lasted 4 days. It was on the fifth day he awoke. It is
well reported that accompanying the bigfoot is a foul odor that fills
the air whenever the creature is near.
William had the same rancid odor
permeating his body until the day of his death, 8 years later. So bad
was it that he built a hut for himself to sleep in, so as not to offend
his family. Since the day he came out of the coma, Ken said "my grandfather
could foresee the future". He displayed other traits of a psychic
nature as well.
One night around the
fire, William gathered the elders and chief to experience his newly acquired
supernatural powers. He picked a salmonberry branch that was bare of any
leaf or fruit, as it was now the fall, and walked past the chief who was
seated. He displayed the branch and proceeded to walk around the circle
of hot coals and fire.
After the first time around he again stopped in
front of the chief, this time displaying a freshly grown leaf, a second
time around he displayed a large bud that upon the third encompass of
the fire yielded a full rose.
On the final two times around the elders
he displayed an immature salmonberry and finally a large ripe berry that
he placed in the chief's mouth
Perhaps the most stunning
display of William's powers came when he warned his people of a snake
like creature with bugs on it that would destroy their land. Twenty or
so years later the ALCAN Project began.
The "snake-like creature"
was believed to have been the winding black highway put in and the "bugs" the many trucks that ride the road. His grandson also said William Hall
picked the day of his death.
I find this story
amazing in that it came from an offshoot of a hotline call regarding another
matter. Had I not asked of any other reports this story would have remained
in the village to be passed on down over the years.
One wonders how many
other villages and small towns have their share of amazing stories. I
have been told also that the Sasquatch or Boqwish legend continues on
in this part of BC.
In Ursala Channel, just a few miles away, the spring
air is punctuated by the sound of yelping sasquatch. What will it take
to hear another story?
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