Meeting Bigfoot

Thomas Steenburg. In Search of Giants: Bigfoot Sasquatch Encounters. Hancock House, 2000.

Detailed first hand accounts of encounters with Bigfoot in the wilds of British Columbia and Alberta. The Bigfoot which emerges from these pages is a creature at the edge of perception, seen in the car headlights at night, glimpsed out of the corner of the eye by the road, or among the trees across a river. Though Steenburg is convinced that it is a real paws-and-pelts animal, no paws, pelts, bodies or even clear videos are forthcoming. He accepts that only a body is likely to convince the scientific community of the creature's existence, and that maybe someone should shoot one. That would, I suspect by unwise, for if the beast does exist, such a shooter would face all sorts of legal problems, to say nothing of death threats, lynch mobs etc.

Actually, sceptics might argue, if Bigfoot were a real creature why hasn't it taken to wandering into town along with the moose and bears for easy pickings, as it would be perfectly safe there. Like many people in this field Steenburg is able to marshal evidence to support his case, by dismissing stories which don't fit. Thus tales of spooky bigfoot, six-toed and three-toed tracks and so on are dismissed as lunatic fringe. Even so there are odd tales here: a Bigfoot apparently invulnerable to bullets; the strange silence before one appears; the waking up to see sasquatch over the other side of the stream. Hints that this is a creature of the imagination, built out of half seen bears, mists and trees, along with hallucinatory figures like the apparitional figures that hypnogogic motorists see jump in front of their cars. -- Peter Rogerson

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