Sasquatch or Bigfoot is a giant ape-like creature that some people believe inhabits North America.
It is a cryptid species (an animal such as the Loch Ness Monster that has been claimed to exist but never proven to not exist contrary to popular belief). There is no shortage of alleged sightings from those trying to prove the “truth is out there,” including here in Northern Ontario.
The television series, Finding Bigfoot started in 2011 and now has more than 89 episodes.
Matt Moneymaker, founder of the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization and a team of investigators travel North America and the world to search for the mysterious creature. The series finale and the 100th episode were released on May 27, 2018.
Most likely the movie Pottersville released in 2017 (Netflix) will become a cult classic. The plot centres on Maynard (Shannon), a beloved local businessman who is mistaken for the legendary Bigfoot during an inebriated romp through town in a makeshift gorilla costume.
But still, it really is one of the great truly unexplained mysteries of the world and in our area? There are a number of perspectives and resources to consider for the debate.
Indigenous Traditional Teachings
Dr. Jonathan Pitt is an Indigenous knowledge keeper and is of Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee heritage. Cultural transmission is part of his research and the courses he teaches at Nipissing University through Aki or land-as-teacher. He also works as an Independent Consultant for post-secondary organizations as an Indigenization Advisor.
In our traditional teachings of the Seven Grandfathers: Gwekwaadziwin (Honesty) is often connected with Sabe, as all of the teachings are, however, the other six are connected with such other animals such as Mukwa (bear) or Migizi (eagle), in my mind having Honesty not connected with a something not present in the world does not make sense.
My understanding is that Sabe could be an inter-dimensional being and able to move within spaces. For many years, people did not think little people existed, when remains were found of Homo floresiensis on the small island of Flores, Indonesia, modern science caught up in some ways with knowing and Indigenous Spirituality.
Just because we do not see something does not mean it does not exist. You can’t see the person you speak to on a cell phone, but they are there nonetheless. Often our understanding of history is incomplete and based heavily on the dominant narrative that would unsettle many if new findings challenge that. As the saying goes, the facts often get in the way of the truth, as facts can be a thing that is known, but not necessarily true.
'Trust the stats' (or similar statement) some people might say, however, statistics can often be easily manipulated as my research methods professor told me long ago. Facts, stats, these can in the wrong hands, get in the way of truth.
Some pre-first contact pictographs in North America are thought to represent the Sabe (Sa'be) pronounced ‘Bagwajiwininiwag’ (meaning wild or wilderness men), Sasquatch or Bigfoot.
The oral history in some communities would indicate that the Sabe is viewed as a protector or guardian of Mother Earth and thought of as a peaceful creature when left alone by some first peoples. Often Sabe is interconnected with water (nibi in Nishaabemwin), as a water protector. Not the werewolf-beast like creature of contemporary lore and Hollywood movies.
One Indigenous Elder once said that there are areas where the Sabe live and we do not go there, we live here and they live there and he used to walk among us. It is a common understanding amongst Native peoples that if we don't bother Sabe in his habitat he won't bother us in suburbia; best left that way in my mind if researchers think they could grow to over seven and a half feet.
One of my friends, who I trust with my life, has told me they have seen a bi-ped creature northeast of North Bay swim and come out of a lake and walk out on two legs, although I have never seen Sabe, I have been face-to-face with several large Mukwa (bear) standing on two legs. Biologists say a 135 lb bear is equivalent to a thousand-pound man in strength so I would imagine an adult Sabe would be of equivalent strength using that formula.
I am of the bear clan and I view Mukwa as a protector and strength. I think if I did see a Sasquatch, I would avoid making eye contact (this advice I have been given by my Elders). It's my sense that Sabe perhaps chooses to be anti-social and stay away from humans because of how we treat each other and Mother Earth. Maybe one day if we are ready, Sabe may come out of hiding?
Note to Bill don’t make eye contact!
Thunderstryker Films was established in 2009 by producer, director and writer Dee McCullay and has produced for television and multiple web series in both Canada and the USA.
His early background: while contemplating between the funeral director and film production, he went to a film festival in 2010, and after leaving the festival he decided on film production.
I was looking for sasquatch stories in our area, having to reduce down to four occurrences including my encounter with the mythical being which to me by my 2012 experience was no longer a mythical being.
Some stories that followed became the narration in the documentary, as well as native beliefs as relayed to me following the call for stories on CBC radio.
I have always found Sasquatch to be something that could exist, as a possible relative of Gigantopithecus (an extinct genus of apes).
If sturgeon and alligators could survive over millions of years, why not forms of these great apes? So with this in mind, I find it plausible then and fascinating Sasquatch could be hiding out here.
The motivation behind the documentaries is to tell the story from a cultural point of view as Natives have been here far longer than the settlers, and they already knew they were not alone. Telling it in this way reinforces the stories that are highlighted within the productions.
One of Dee’s stories is relevant to me having been on the Kopka River.
As the story goes, there is a place on the Armstrong highway called the Kopka River, situated between Kopka Lake and Pishidgi Lake, which is over two hours up Highway 527.
The highway crosses the river, where I am told historically many people have seen and heard Sa'be.
One of the old Native legends I am told is that if you go there at night, and whistle to the Kopka Mountain, a large, flat mountain (which I am sure is a sacred Native place) where Lake Nipigon Natives fasted for centuries. If one whistles at the mountain at night, be advised from old Native legend: If one does this, he will be gutted and left on the spot by the creature. So never go alone.
Sage advice to follow when on the back roads.
The first documentary currently sits in fourth place in the YouTube rankings when searching "Sasquatch documentary". Take a look on YouTube for these documentaries, ”Dee McCullay - Dark History - Thunderstryker Films, Sasquatch On Lake Superior II and Sasquatch On Lake Superior: A Documentary.
Peter Smith is one of the proponents of Ontario Sasquatch (OS), he is an investigator and has been receiving reports and sightings and evidence since 2008.
As a private forum, (to protect witness identification and locations), Smith says there are a number of conditions placed on membership in the group.
Vetting of members is very strict, and we have only 37 investigators.
Our FB group, also private, consists of investigators, witnesses, and others, interested in the subject. This group has grown to more than 800 members.
Reports were received through the website "Submit a Report" link.
Members are found throughout Ontario, and we have many Canadian, American and international members. A few members have travelled from Europe, to join our field trips.
An investigator, closest to a report, is assigned for investigation and reporting purposes.
The induction to Ontario Sasquatch includes a number of questions.
We ask each new member, how you found us, and why did you register.
Have you seen a rarely seen animal, or heard something that you could not explain?
Please share your story with us. If you do not wish to share it publicly, you can tell us by email.
We investigate sightings but protect the identity of those that wish to remain anonymous.
Have a look you may wish to join.
He describes one of the gifting locations where items are left for interactions.
We continue to have activity at our research location.
We moved the Gifting Spot much closer to where we park, after experiencing interaction at that location. So we are leaving food more often, and it is being consumed.
We will continue doing this. The gifting spot is below a hill. In spring, we will start observing from the hill, from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., the most active times of the night.
We have another location, one of two, that have deer stands, and deer feeders. These locations are active all year, except during hunt season.
Both these locations have proved very productive, with respect to sasquatch activity, and interaction with us. We have an audio recording of loud ‘whoops’ from three directions, urging us to leave.
We held our ground, and as usual, the sasquatch moved away after perhaps 20 minutes of continual ‘whoops’. They do not mind being heard, but they certainly avoid being seen.
He explains “knocking.”
Sasquatch are mostly nocturnal and possibly only because they wish to avoid being seen by humans.
A family group will sleep during the day but will post ‘day watchers’, (our term for them).
I will describe one occurrence, typical of what happens. Four of us were scouting sasquatch north of Blind River, on the gas-line track between Blind River and Elliot Lake. It was a warm, sunny late April day.
The snow had only melted the week before. This is the best time for tracking, mainly due to the soft damp ground.
The river valley that we were walking through was perhaps 200 metres wide. The hills on each side had a 30° slope and were about 120 m to 150 m high.
We heard a single knock, coming from a hill to our left, about halfway up, maybe 60m away. A few seconds later, another single knock, 75m further along the trail, in front of us.
We waited for a third knock. Nothing.
We tried a single knock. No response.
So we have two Day Watchers, 75 m apart, with a sleeping group in the middle. They have the trail covered from either direction.
The one that first saw us, alerted the second.
When Sabé wants to chat with us, we have knocking conversations, as we call them. This is generally between 3 a.m. and sunrise. We enter an area, anywhere, and give one solid ‘knock’ with our maple stick.
If we get a reply, we give two knocks. If Sabe wishes to ‘chat’, we will get two knocks in reply.
The conversation has started. We will vary the number of knocks between two and five, and we receive the same reply. This only happens in one location, so far, where the sasquatch family recognizes us.
On one occasion, we even had a reply to the "Shave and a haircut — two bits", rhythm pattern, at the same tempo. We were impressed with that one.
A few years later, they received a report from a witness that was knocking to a Sasquatch across a narrow valley.
He scanned the hill in the direction of the knocks. He saw the sasquatch cupping his hands over his mouth, and making the ‘knocking’ sound.
So that is how they are able to respond to our knocks so quickly. They are not quickly looking for a stick, they are able to vocalize a knocking sound.
Perhaps clucking their tongue against the roof of their mouth? That was quite a revelation, and certainly explained their rapid reply to our knocks.
Ontario Sasquatch continues to receive reports from all over Ontario and is still amazed at just how close sasquatch activity is to human habitation.
“To think years ago, we would drive to very remote locations, looking for signs of sasquatch activity. Now we know it is not a matter of where, but when.”
Peter said there are some reports of Sasquatch disappearing suddenly and unexplainably, this relates back to what Dr. Pitt said.
My understanding is that Sabe could be an interdimensional being and able to move within spaces.
Perhaps my first wake-up moment was when we received reports of snow tracks abruptly ending; they just stopped. We have three personal occurrences when we were following snow tracks, and they ended abruptly. No trees close enough to have traversed to.
As I said, I filed all these reports as 'inconclusive'. I cannot reject a report, just because we cannot explain it with our limited understanding of science and nature. Then there is the disappearing Sasquatch.
A very credible investigator, told Christine Byrnes, featured last week, about the time she was watching a sasquatch, on a wide trail, and it just vanished.
I have hiked across the desert in Qatar and have seen a mirage and I have a knocking stick.
Investigator – Sasquatch Ontario
Mike Patterson is a long-time believer and investigator and has documentary proof.
"This is my fourteenth year involved in this highly enigmatic journey," Patterson said. "My first close Sasquatch vocal encounter was Oct. 25, 2008, the day my life changed and put me on this path I'm on today."
He went into this with an open mind, to a realization, “that there's something beyond our understanding and our current paradigm that resides throughout the forests of North America."
By his own volition, he has had countless encounters.
Incidents that show Sasquatch are not an animal, but rather an ancient human-type with abilities that change our understanding of reality.
My understanding of the Sasquatch has been shaped by a magnitude of experience that others in the field are also verifying through their own personal encounter experiences. There's a consistent pattern of behaviour that I've come to witness throughout many folks and their stories that I've dealt with over the years. Audio recording has been my best tool for learning certain behavioural traits that are common throughout the Sasquatch people.
I've been documenting a family of Sasquatch since late 2012 when I was first invited into a private property in 'cottage country' to investigate. There were 80 visits in the first two and one-half years, many more since. Activity has been present on 100 per cent of those visits.
I've documented the footprints from numerous family members, some handprints which show the oily residue left from their skin on my vehicle.
I've recorded their voices from both young and mature, male and female, all the same family.
Written communication has been developed since the start that has evolved into bearing witness to their understanding of English in full context, gaining answers to questions that are both incredible and some highly controversial.
Their intelligence is highly underestimated by most involved in this subject. I'm far outside the 'norm' involved in this fieldwork due to the ongoing manner in which my personal situation has developed over the past dozen-plus years.
Many will ridicule and mock, many will have an open mind.
We're on the precipice of this truth coming to the forefront of mainstream science and when it does, humans will never see reality as we've come to know it through this current paradigm.
I was thrilled to see a recent video post from another YouTube channel that speaks openly about the experiences of others. A video showing some campers who recorded a real-time vocal encounter that brought me right back to my own experiences.
If you listen closely and objectively, you can hear the similarities in the resonance of the voices between that video and my own.
My most recent post is a 'Medley of Sasquatch Vocals and Activity', a collection over the years of some of the audio captures I've gathered over the years doing this work. See this and a compilation of sounds and encounters from Sasquatch Ontario (not to equated with Ontario Sasquatch).
Back Roads Bill has knocking sticks and will continue to try and make contact, and I have had a number of inexplicable occurrences, trust me?
After Part One, last week, I was inundated, seriously, with a number of well-described encounters and would like to hear more from Village Media readers.
Is it a socio-cultural phenomenon with people seeing all manner of different things? Could it be the combining of natural visions while interpreting them as encounters with a human-like biped?
When asked by Markus Schwabe on the CBC’s Morning North show about sasquatch, I said my views are similar to the esteemed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall: “Well, I'm a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist.”
My extension is coupled with my own musing, “Rather than being inside within the surrealness of the Internet I prefer being outside with nature, it brings me closer to the reality of believing.”
My advice when on the trail keep your eyes peeled for tracks and every once in a while take a look over your shoulder, I do. See some sasquatch photos on the A.S.S. tab (Another Sasquatch Sighting) of www.steerto.com