The Alaskan Bigfoot
by: Zephan O
Bigfoot/Sasquatch are extremely famous phenomena all over North America especially in Canada and Washington, but few people are aware of how much evidence there is to support the existence of the alleged large, bipedal, ape-like creatures in Alaska. Such evidence includes strange encounters, conflicts with Alaskan villages, and even physical evidence including nesting sites, unidentified hair samples, and sightings of possible Sasquatch skeletons. The physical evidence for the existence of the Alaskan Bigfoot/Sasquatch is sparse and bulk of the evidence comes from the many encounters people have had with the creature.
The coastal rain forests of Southeast Alaska are dense, remote, and teeming with wildlife. They provide an excellent habitat for a creature that is known as Sasquatch, Bigfoot, and Hairy Man.
In his book Raincoast Sasquatch Sasquatch expert J. Robert Alley includes many sightings and additional evidence for the existence of Bigfoot in Alaska. J. Robert Ally is well known in the Sasquatch finding community and his book has been praised as a credible source of information on Sasquatch.
Raincoast Sasquatch is probably the best source of information about the Alaskan Bigfoot and is a must-read for anyone interested in the subject. The following are summaries of some of the most fascinating encounters from Raincoast Sasquatch.
Retired Washington law enforcement officer Fred Bradshaw wrote a series of interesting Sasquatch reports that he had been informed of while living in Yaukatat, Alaska in the late 1970's . Among those encounters was one that told of a group of berry picking Alaskan natives who were stalked by a Sasquatch. Alaskan Native Steve Johnson and others told officer Fred Bradshaw about their encounters that occurred around 1979. A group of Alaskan natives would go berry picking and a Sasquatch would spy on them. They found the presence of the creature disturbing so they left. Later another group of people came to the area, found the Sasquatch, and fired at it with shotguns. Fred Bradshaw last heard that, "the creature is still there” and, “[i]t has scars on it's back from the shotgun blasts, but it doesn't bother anyone”(page 46).
Another encounter also suggests that Sasquatch may have a curiosity about humans. The encounter took place near the town of Klawock in southeast Alaska in the summer of 1951. The story was recounted by native Ketchikan woman Miss M. in the year 1999. Her relatives were out at their cabin when they heard scratching on the roof. Later that year one man and a few others saw a black, hairy seven foot tall ape-like creature. They chased it into a nearby lake and the creature simply dove in and started swimming away in a fashion similar to that of a frog, using only its legs. Reddish-brown hair along with scratch marks were found on the roof of the cabin. Because the first creature seen was black, and red hair was found on the roof there may have been two Sasquatch, a reddish-brown colored one and a black one. Bear traps were set to capture the creature, but when the traps were investigated the by relatives of Miss M they were found to have been activated by sticks. The ability of the Sasquatch to activate the traps with sticks shows remarkable intelligence.
The previous encounter is not the only one that mentions a swimming Sasquatch. In fact, Sasquatch’s ability to swim is evident in multiple encounters in the book Raincoast Sasquatch. One notable encounter took place in the 1960's near Ketchikan Alaska. The encounter was described by a woman who had heard of the encounter from her cousin and her cousin's husband, Errol. Errol had a terrifying encounter with Sasquatch in the summer of 1960 when he was 14 or 15 years old.
Errol spent a lot of time as a fisherman on boats with his father during his early years. In the area near Ketchikan where Errol, his father, and other fisherman had been fishing, nets of fish were found torn open with the fish stolen. One night around eleven o'clock Errol was sent down to haul a skiff that had been left in the water. Errol had his flashlight with him and he saw a tall creature standing in the seawater up to it’s waist. Errol stood for a while and the creature stared back. He soon realized the creature was not human and bolted toward a shack, where other fishermen were playing poker, all the while screaming in terror. Other fishermen saw the creature dive into the water and swim away kicking it's legs like a frog. This encounter along with the previous ones are hard to dispute as a hoax or misidentification. It is highly unlikely if not improbable that men in fur suits are roaming the wilderness scratching cabins, diving into freezing water, leaving hair behind, stealing from fishing nets, activating bear traps, and causing people to scream in terror. Bears are often considered the most likely candidate for misidentification but the brown and black bears of the area prefer to avoid swimming and do not swim in a frog-like motion. The following sightings Are even more difficult to dispute as hoaxes or misidentification.
In a series of interviews in 1999 an amateur taxidermist and hunter told of a sighting that happened in October 1992 . The sighting took place in an area between Ketchikan and Wrangell island. The hunter was on a skiff when he saw a creature through on the shore through the scope of his rifle. At first he thought it was a bear until he saw it was sitting on it's heels. As with most Sasquatch encounters, the creature was large and human-like in appearance. He could see it was female and pregnant when it turned its upper body. The hunter claims he was able to get a really good look at the creature, he said its eyes were, "brown like a doe's with large, dark pupils"(page 72). She got up in a few minutes, after having been bent down doing something on the shore, and disappeared into the brush. Perhaps she had been feeding on seashore organisms.
This sighting along with sightings of juvenile Sasquatch suggest that Sasquatch have been breeding in the wild.
Al Jackson recounted an encounter his cousin Will had on Revilla Island, Alaska in the year 1955 on a sunny summer day around noon. Will was thirteen the day he was walking along a road with four other kids when they saw a deer bolt across the road and into the forest on the other side. A large, black, bipedal creature came down from the bluff on the side of the road where a deer had come down. The creature saw the kids, stopped for a second, and took off after the deer. Will estimated the creature to be about 10 feet tall.
The many of the encounters J. Robert Ally includes in Raincoast Sasquatch are extremely difficult to dismiss as cases of hoaxes because a lot of them describe Sasquatch doing things no human could do, such as making extremely loud noises, keeping up with a car going 55 miles per hour for ten seconds, throwing heavy objects, causing a bear to run for it's life, and so on. Aside from accepting that there is a real bipedal primate in the rainforests of Alaska, the only other probable consideration is that all the sightings were simply lies, but this is also highly unlikely because it would be unusual for people who never knew each other to tell lies that involve the same creature. The people who reported these encounters were very hesitant to tell their stories. This rules out the possibility that these encounters were told to gain popularity.
Encounters Elsewhere in Alaska
The following encounters are more recent and show that the alleged Bigfoot of Alaska inhabits other places besides the rainforests.
Bosco Wilson was four wheeling along Hooper Bay(see location below) looking for driftwood on July 4th, 2014, around 8:030a.m when he saw something black feeding on a walrus carcass that had been rotting for five days. At first he thought he was seeing a raven, but when it stood up he realized he was looking at the head of a much larger creature . Bosco though it was a person until he realized it was much larger and taller than an ordinary person. Bosco and the creature looked at each other for a while. Then the creature walked away, picked up a heavy piece of driftwood with ease, and proceeded to carry it toward the dead walrus. It was at that time that Bosco managed to take a photo of the creature. The creature tried to turn over the dead walrus using the piece of driftwood as a lever and soon became frustrated. Bosco returned the next day and found a steak knife imbedded in the decaying walrus. Bosco supposed the creature had found the knife and learned to use it. The photo Bosco Olson took of the creature was and used to get an approximation on the creature's height. Based the fact that Bosco estimated the dead walrus to be three feet above the ground the creature in the photo was estimated to be about nine feet tall. The piece of driftwood in the photo seemed too large for a human to carry with ease (summarized story from http://www.deltadiscovery.com).
In 2011 near Bethel AK two fishermen: Dana Kopanuk and his nephew went out to prepare fishing nets when they saw a very tall man-like creature in the brush. The brush itself was very tall and the creature towered over it. The two fisherman observed it for about 10 minutes until it left. Both assumed it must have been Hairy Man. (http://www.phantomsandmonsters.com).
In the 1990's a woman and her sister were out snow-machining and were halfway to Bethel when they saw what they thought was a person. As they drove closer they realized it was too tall and too big to be a person and they drove away. The creature was remarkably fast and kept up with the vehicle for a while before they lost sight of it (www.deltadiscovery.com).
There have been many other recent encounters in Bethel and elsewhere in Alaska. Numerous Bigfoot encounters in Bethel caught the attention of 2 KTUU news site in 2014. Multiple encounters were mentioned by 2 KTUU many of which are quite interesting.
(For more information go to: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/locals-in-bethel-report-hairy-man-sightings/25523238)
Conflicts Between Bigfoot and Native Villages
Entire villages in Alaska have moved in order to avoid contact with Sasquatch. Such reports seem to contradict the idea that Sasquatch is a peaceful creature that prefer to avoid humans.
Malania Helen Kehl the eldest Resident of an Alaskan village called Narwelk recounted a time when her village moved for fear of a large hairy creature. Malania was born in January, 25th 1934 at Port Chatham. Port Chatham was a small village located on the lower Kenai peninsula. Malania was very young, only a toddler or an infant, when her entire village moved to escape a creature that terrorized the village residents. Maliana’s godfather was out logging once when something threw a heavy piece of logging equipment at him.The object hit him and killed him instantly. Malania’s story also involves a supernatural being. This brings question the the credibility of the story, but that fact remains that the entire village evacuated.
The Alaskan Village of Portlock was terrorized, by something no one could explain, until the village was completely abandoned by 1950. Moose tracks intermingled with large man-like footprints. Signs of struggle between the two animals were found. Hunters went missing in the woods and their bodies were found mutilated in ways no bear could have done. Such reports began in the 1940’s and escalated to the point at which nobody wanted to live in portlock. Some people may question whether or not Sasquatch was responsible for the reports, but something caused people to leave their homes.
Although the bulk of the evidence of Sasquatch’s existence are the encounters people have had with the creature, there is a small body of physical evidence that supports the creature's existence.
Among many other encounters in Barrow that were covered by 2KTUU news site in 2014 on includes Margeret Nagasiak’s finding of a footprint. Margeret saw large human-like footprints in and tundra accompanied by an awful smell and a feeling like she was being watched. Below is a picture of the footprint. For the full story go to: http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/locals-in-bethel-report-hairy-man-sightings/25523238.
J. Robert Alley’s novel Raincoast Sasquatch includes a noteworthy report of a possible Sasquatch nest sighted near Klawock lake on Prince of Wales Island Alaska on January 26th, 1998. The report came from Ketchikan timber cruiser and logging engineer Eric Muench. Eric was on a hillside above Klawock Lake, doing reconnaissance as part of a plan for logging, when he saw a strange mass of woven bushes. Upon further investigation he found that branches were broken in ways that would require two arms to achieve, this rules out the possibility of a bear building the nest. Eric also noticed scratch marks on trees nearby , but the most astonishing thing he found was some strange hair, one of which had a louse egg on it. The hair samples were studied but no one could find out what they were so they were thrown away. The louse egg was identified and found to be a species of louse which is only found in Asia. (Page: 240-243)
Another notable encounter included in Raincoast Sasquatch is that of Mr. John Milne who saw a very strange skeleton while hunting in southeast Alaska. Prior to preparing to leave the area where he was hunting, something had given Mr. Milne a very peculiar feeling. He went to investigate and found a large skeleton laid down in a rough arrangement of logs. The skeleton was over eight feet long. Mr. Milne left the area and probably never went back.
The previous examples of physical evidence speak for themselves and are hard to dispute, and they are not the only examples. There have been countless cases of unexplained manlike tracks. Some casts have been made of alleged Sasquatch footprint and experts have been unable to identify what made them. Some Sasquatch footprint casts show a remarkable amount of detail including distinct ridgelines and scars, with this considered it is unlikely such tracks were hoaxed.
Does Sasquatch Exist
With so many encounters describing Sasquatch doing things no human or bear could do it is hard to deny that something strange is out there in the woods of Alaska. Even if all the encounters are just myths the physical evidence is undeniable. Skeptics often ask, “why have we not found a Sasquatch carcass and why don’t we see their hair?” The truth is that Sasquatch possible hair and bones have been found and labeled as unidentified.
Most skeptics are narrow minded and know little about the body of evidence surrounding Sasquatch, but those who use scientific thinking have pointed out several problems with the existence of Sasquatch. Many scientists have pointed out that in order for Sasquatch to have survived for as long as the sightings have occurred there would need to be a population of at least a few hundred to a few thousand Sasquatch. It seems unlikely that so many huge creatures could remain undetected for so long. Biologists have pointed out that a population that large would have a clear impact on the food chain. The Alaskan wilderness is vast, untamed, and parts of it are unexplored, so maybe something unknown is out there.
Although the scientific arguments against the existence of Sasquatch are valid, one cannot deny the body of evidence that supports that something is out there. Some scientists have accepted the existence of Sasquatch while others remain skeptical. At this point it is clear that something is out there that is worth investigating, and people have been asking the wrong questions. People often ask “do you believe in Sasquatch?” People should be asking “what on Earth is Sasquatch?” We would love to know your thoughts so comment below, but please keep your comments appropriate and friendly.
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