Monday, July 1, 2013

31 Days of Monsters: Sasquatch

I live in the pacific northwest, where camping, hiking, and nature walks are commonplace and can be found within a half-hour trip from even such a major city as Seattle. So it makes sense to start with the most local "monster" on the list.

Name: Sasquatch, Bigfoot

Height: 6-10 feet tall

Appearance: Humanoid/ape, walking upright, coarse black or brown hair covering the entire body.

Threat: Low. Reports of sleeping campers being carried off and held captive have been made, but are rare and never include violence.

Sightings are most common on the West coast, stretching from California up to British Columbia and Alaska, with the majority of sightings being in Washington state. They mostly include quick glances through the brush or along streams and rivers, with the rare dash through semi-open terrain. More common and more famously, are the footprints found in mud other soft terrain. Stretching anywhere from 10 - 16 inches, most commonly with five toes, though more or less have been seen.

The nature of sasquatch being so human-like, leads it to be an easy target for hoaxes and pranks, and a lot of sightings and prints are easily debunked as such. Shoes which leave prints the size and shape of Sasquatch are easy to make, and there is no shortage of gorilla costumes available on the internet. In 2012, a man attempting to create a Sasquatch hoax, died in the attempt. Wearing a ghillie suit, he attempted to dash across a busy highway, was hit by one car (undoubtedly seriously traumatizing the 15-year-old girl driving), and ran over by a second (this one being a 17-year-old boy). Apparently, nobody thought he was bigfoot either.

Despite the ease with which it can be done and how common hoaxes are, there are still a lot of people that believe in Sasquatch. While the scientific community claims there just isn't enough evidence to prove the existence of such a creature, there are enough credible sightings, unexplained photographs, and footprints to enforce the idea that there may still be something out there which is not recognized. One of the biggest helpers to proving the idea that it may exist, is the fact that almost all native american tribes in the areas where bigfoot sightings have occurred have stories and legends of large, humanoid creatures living in the forests and mountains. The word Sasquatch actually originates from the Halkomelem language word sásq’ets. A language common to native tribes in northwestern Washington and southwest British Columbia. Conflict between tribes was common, but I doubt they'd be going around leaving fake giant footprints around each other's campsites.

The figure of Sasquatch has been used fairly commonly in books and movies. Sometimes he is the monster, shredding tents and people alike with fangs, other times he is an intelligent, misunderstood animal, caught up in people's greed for fame and fortune. Most recently, he's been seen in a series of comedic commercials where he is the butt of practical jokes and warns of the dangers of provoking people who shouldn't be provoked.

So if you're going out camping for the 4th of July or for your summer vacation. Keep your camera on you and keep your eyes and ears open. That large dark form moving through the brush off to your left on the trail might just be a large deer. It also might be a bear. Or, it may be something else entirely...

~ Shaun


  1. When my family went to Nashville they discovered some tv show about people who have "seen" or "heard" a sasquatch... apparently a fairly "hick" show, and "Squatchin" has become my family's newest favorite thing to chuckle over. Apparently in the show they talk to people who say things like, "Wawl... I was out huntin' fer coon, and all o' a sudden the sky got real dark and somethin' started rustlin in the bushes like a hugenormous beastie... and I couldn't see nothin, but Ol' Blue my best coon dog who ain't a-feerd o' nothin' hightailed it outta there like he'd been bit by a hornet... so the only thing I can think of is that it musta been a Sasquatch."

    I have not seen this show, but apparently it is hilarious.

    Really enjoyed your post. :) Particularly the line: "Conflict between tribes was common, but I doubt they'd be going around leaving fake giant footprints around each other's campsites."

    Awesome :)

  2. There is a lot of real evidence which points towards Bigfoot being a real creature, sightings, footprints, and even hair samples. The problem is that it is so easy and such a common target for hoaxes that it all has to be questioned.