Bigfoot Encounters

The work of a prospector involves considerable secrecy, and reliability of his reports is an essential element in his continuing in the occupation. Thus a prospector who works for wages often cannot say where he has been, and he certainly is not going to say he saw a Sasquatch while he was there. For those reasons I am not able to identity either the people or the location in fact I have been given the location only in general terms.

It was during the last week of June, 1965, at about the 4,000 foot level in a valley some where northwest of Pitt Lake in British Columbia, that the two men came upon a set of tracks in the snow. The tracks were recent. The toes showed clearly, and there were only four of them. Each print measured two boot lengths from toe to heel and one boot length across about 24 inches long and 12 inches wide at the base of the toes. The impressions were "as flat as plywood," with no slide in or kick out. The snow in the bottom of the prints had a pink tint.

The two men followed the tracks up a valley until they led to a small lake which was still covered with ice. In the ice a large hole had been broken, with pieces of the broken ice lifted out beside the hole. All along where the tracks went there were marks of something being dragged. Left and right footprints were well separated from side to side and between them the snow had been scraped by something wide but not very heavy. Outside the line of the prints there were deep grooves, as deep as the footprints.

Unable to fathom the meaning of these marks in the snow, the men started on around the little lake. Then they saw across the lake a creature watching them. It was about as far uphill as they were and only "a stone's throw away." It stood upright, like an enormous man, and was auburn in color except for the hands, which looked yellow. The two men stopped and stared at the figure, which stayed immobile. They sat down and had a cigarette and a chocolate bar, and one of the men drew a sketch. The creature had a head resting very close to square-set shoulders and appeared to be very wide. Its legs were together. The features seemed flat, but were not distinct, Arms hung down In front of it, reaching below the knees, and they swayed slowly from side to side, just a little, as if the creature might be shifting its weight from one foot to the other. Fingers were held together and the hands looked the shape and size of canoe paddles. The hair that covered it everywhere seemed longer on the head and perhaps thinner on the arms. It was noon and the sun was shining.

The men discussed estimates of the creature's height, using trees near to it as a means of comparison; one guessing it at 10 to 12 feet, the other 12 to 14. It could even be as much as 15 feet, they decided later. They had a fairly accurate measuring stick in the trees. Conifers put out one set of branches each year, marking a year's growth, and they could compare the trees beside the creature with those on their own side of the lake.

The creature did not move, so they went on their way. Later in the day they returned by the same route. There were more tracks around but the creature was gone. The following day they left the valley, climbing over a ridge, and on a plateau among some small pothole lakes they saw more tracks, but only about three quarters the size of the others. These were old impressions, the compacted snow in the bottom of the tracks had resisted melting and was standing above the level of the snow around them, but they could still tell the front and back of the footprints. The trail led to and from one of the potholes on which it appeared that the snow had been pushed back and a hole more than five feet across made in the ice. Beside the pothole but not out on the ice were much smaller tracks, only about 10 inches long.

A few days later one of the men went back to the scene in a helicopter with a newspaper reporter. They photographed the big tracks in the valley, but by this time they had lost much of their shape. Then on the way out they saw a fresh set of big tracks on a ridge but could not land there to inspect them. Following them they came to a cliff, with the tracks leading right to the edge. There was no snow at the bottom.

The men intended to go back again when conditions at that altitude were the same, but have never been working in that area at that time of year. They have no reason to be puzzled about what makes the tracks, since they saw one of the creatures, but they are at a loss to explain the drag marks or the holes in the ice.

At the time we first heard it that story seemed to promise an easy way to advance the sasquatch investigation, since holes in the ice on mountain lakes would be easy to locate from the air, but the promise has not been realized. Such holes would be easy to see alright, as I have verified for myself, except that we could never find any. The amount of flying done has been limited, as it is very expensive, but it was certainly enough to establish that very few tracks of any sort are made in the high snowfields and there is nothing inhabiting the area that makes a regular practice of opening holes in the ice.

The mountain country around the head of Pitt Lake is extremely rugged and quite a few people have gone in there and never come out. It is supposed to hold a lost gold lode of fabulous wealth, which is why some of the people have gone there, but whether or not the story of the gold is true the story of the missing people certainly is. I have noted the gradual increase in the total during my years in the newspaper business. The terrain itself provides plenty of reasons why lone adventurers might never be seen again, but there are persistent traditions that the sasquatch have something to do with it. I do not know of anything specific to support that tradition, however, and besides the prospectors' story I only have one sighting report from the Pitt Lake area on record. It reached me as a result of publication of the first of my books in 1968.

John Rodgers, a columnist for the Vancouver Sun, reviewed the book and received the following letter, dated December 15, 1968:

Dear John;

Very interested in your article this date on the Susquotch and I will certainly get a copy of John Green's booklet now published.

Here is the story. Thirty-five years ago there was a stock broker office on Dunsmuir operated by Cartwright and Crickmere. Cartie had a cabin cruiser, was a bachelor, hard as nails in business and with a heart of gold for those he liked, and on experienced outdoors man. One weekend he asked my wife and I along on a party of eight to go to the head of Pitt Lake. I was an ardent rock hound, and this was virgin territory for me to possibly add to my collection, and Cartie wanted to run down a clue he had as to some lost mining prospect.

In the morning we left the rest of the party to amuse themselves for the day and Cartie and I climbed some fifteen hundred feet and rested at the edge of a small plateau to eat our lunch. We had our haversacks and small hammers but were otherwise unarmed.

A movement behind a thicket some quarter mile away caught my eye and I said, "Cartie, there is something down there." He looked and then asked for the field glasses. We both thought it was a black bear feeding on berries, then he exclaimed, "Here, look at its face!" Through the glasses it was quite plain a human face on a fur-clad body. "What the hell," I said, "he must be a hermit of some kind, but look at the size of him." Cartie replied, "wait until he leaves and let us go down and look at the tracks."

So we waited. I don't think the creature saw us, though he or she may have sensed us, as presently it went away across the plateau and vanished among the rocks. We went down after a suitable interval and examined the tracks, which were quite distinct. Cartie looked pretty grim and said, "Let's go back. What you have just seen is a Susquotch; don't mention this to anyone, not even to your wife. No one will believe you, you will just be laughed at and you will have a miserable time of if just forget the whole thing and keep quiet."

So I did, and I have, until now.

Out-take from "Encounters with Bigfoot" a paperback book by John Green
Uploaded w/permission to the California Sightings List in November 1996 by Bobbie Short

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