During the morning of January 28, 2017, I stopped by Rocko’s, a cafe in Mission BC, to meet and talk with a group of researchers who were heading out to Harrison Lake to do some looking around with a couple of visiting researchers from the USA.
John Kirk, president of the BCSCC, his wife Winona, a First Nation woman from Alberta, who has a good deal of tracking knowledge under her belt, Kennith Joholske , a visiting researcher from the state of Maryland, US and researcher David Winter from Washington State, US.
The group was planning to head up the Harrison Lake east shore Forest service road, waiting by the entrance gates of Sasquatch Provincial Park for researcher, Jason Zakrission, to catch up with them before proceeding. But for now over Rocko’s bad coffee and breakfast we spent a couple of hours comparing notes and theory concerning my favoured subject, the Sasquatch. I did think about joining the group but they already seemed to have a full car load. I wish I had.
Later the following night, I was contacted by John Kirk via email concerning something strange the group had encountered while waiting for Jason Zakrission at the Park gates:
Yesterday, at four p.m. the four of us were waiting for Jason at the locked gates of Sasquatch Provincial park. Winona and Kenny both commented on how they felt something was watching us.
I scanned the woods to the south and saw a pretty big figure standing between two trees about 100 or so feet away. it was swaying from side to side and had no neck with the head being set on the shoulders. As I got everyone’s attention to get them to look at it, Winona saw it move from left to right.
I got a pretty good look at this thing from the thighs up and it was very broad. I did not know but Winona was saving at it, but in response to this, the creature raised it’s arm to chest height. It did not save, just raised it’s left arm.
It continue to rock from side to side as all four of us looked at it. After a while it stepped back and was gone. Two minutes later Jason arrived and was stunned by what we told him we had seen. Because he had good boots, he was able to climb up to just below the are where the figure had stood, but could go no further.
We kept observing the hillside for a further period and then made whooping sounds. In response we got two high pitched whoops back from just to the right and to the west of where the thing has been standing.
A few minutes later Jason made a loud roaring sound and there was a reply to the northeast of us. It was very different from the first two vocalizations and was very loud even though distant. We made more vocalizations, but there were no further responses.
With the onset of darkness we decided to go up the east side of Harrison Lake. After a few hours using a Flir we saw nothing further and Jason suggested returning to where we earlier by the gates.
We brought a bunch of thermal images and after a few minutes we got a hit where we had seen the figure earlier. It was very hot and we knew it was a living organism and appeared to have a pointed head. One of our people moved toward the slope and the hot spot stood up and ran up hill from right to left and we could see it was a Sasquatch. It was tall, but height estimates are impossible. It had two legs and it’s arms swung pretty far. It moved very fast, but you could see it bobbing up and down as it tanto the left and then uphill to the right. It went behind tree and was lost.
Not long after we got a hit of something moving low to the ground. Again we could see the pointed head and have video of this segment. The earlier running segment was not captured as Graz’s camera experienced battery failure. Very disappointing.
We also saw another strong heat signal and recorded it, but we believe this to have been a big rodent.
Nothing further was seen and we left the gates about 9.30 p.m.
We hope to return there next Saturday. I am getting some decent hiking boots so that I can climb up the hill to look at the are where it stood and height comparisons. If you want to join us that would be great. If not Winona would like to pop by you r place afterwards to visit and talk. Let me know if you’ll be available and interested.
I did interview John, Winona, and Kennith the following evening. David Winter had left for home in Washington and I would contact him a few days later. I did also talk with Jason Zakrisson, the 5th member of the group who was to meet with them at the park gates. And I have to say there were a few discrepancies in some the the accounts of what happened, and what was seen, and what was seen by whom and when? However nothing serious enough to make me believe that any of these witnesses, some of which have been colleagues and friends for years, were trying to pull off some sort of hoax of any kind. Far from it.
As you have read in John Kirk’s e-mail, at approx 4 pm two of the group, Kennith and Winona had expressed to John that they felt like they were being watched. Not uncommon. In fact, I think it is safe to say that anytime in the British Columbia wilderness you are always being watched by something. John then started scanning the hillside beside the road to the south east. It was then he spotted a figure which seemed about 150 to 200 hundred feet away, standing still, shifting a bit from side to side. John points this out to the others, both Winona and Kennith state they saw the figure, too. David Winter, who was getting a camera and a Flir device from his vehicle, was the last to look but, according to what I was told, did not see it.
Jason arrived at this time and was taken aback a bit by this excited group pointing up the hill and saying they may just have seen a Sasquatch? Now, according to the group, Jason just missed this encounter by a couple of minutes, arriving just as they lost site of the figure. But Jason told me he did indeed see a figure up there, that looked to him like the head and shoulders of something or someone? No fine detail visible to his eye but a figure of some kind moving up there. After a few minutes, Jason went up the hillside a bit to look around while the others watched from below, keeping there eyes pealed. But, according to what they told me, they did not see it again at this time.
Then, for reasons which really puzzle me, the group decided to leave the area and proceed with their original plan to proceed up the lake for a bit to look around. Perhaps this was done for the visiting American researchers who had never been here before? But I have to say, if I had been with them I would have waved and said,” pick me up on the way back because there is no way in hell I am going to leave this area now!!”
After some time up the lake, Jason suggested they return to the Park gates location in order to use the Flir device, as it was now dark. Once back, they employed the Flir device and did indeed pick up movement on the hillside. David Winter did try to use the Flir with his video camera but battery problems caused the video camera to die after only a few minutes. Though during this time, I was told he did pick up an image of something moving up the hill. David did send me a copy of the footage and there is indeed something moving through the tress but in my opinion, it could really be anything.
Here below is what David wrote when he sent me the footage:
Sorry I missed the call, Tom. We’ll have to do this by email for now, as I don’t have international calling on my phone plan. Give me a list of questions, and I’ll go from there. For now, I’ll attach a copy of the “squatch” I caught on thermal. It’s at a distance, after it ran away up the hill, when my recording camera died. The battery was replaced as quick as possible, but we didn’t see this tiny catch until I got home and went over the video with John, Winona and Kenny on Skype. It’s not much, but we believe it to be what made the tracks Winona found. Get back to me.
Graz aka David Winter.
I have since been told that there was a second Flir image taken that night which at the time of writing this article, I have still not seen.
The footage I have seen is open to interpretation, in my opinion. It could be anything; in fact, I think it is much closer to the road than whatever or whoever was seen earlier at 4 pm.
I went out with three of the witnesses to the location four days later, February 1st 2017, a Wednesday. We did some extensive searching of the area. John and I viewing from the witness vantage point with Winona standing where the subject was. She had to wave her arms in the air before I spotted her at all. I was amazed that any of the group saw anything. But I did notice at 4pm that at this time of year, the sunlight makes the right side of the tress illuminate to the eye while the left side of those same trees cast a dark shadow.
If the subject was caught in this light while moving from side to side, in my opinion, it would stand out to any person watching from the roadside below.
After we made these vantage point comparisons, myself and John Kirk went uphill to join Winona and Kennith on the spot the subject had been. Winona now put her hunting and tracking skills to work, and not far from the spot were the subject had been, she noticed the trail where something had walked away from the spot in question.
We watched as she tracked the the subject and pointed out what she thought were tracks. She was right, as far as i could tell, but they were nothing distinct, as far as i could see. I then asked her to explain her history and knowledge of tracking for the camera, which she did. After I asked to point out which direction she thought the subject was heading, she pointed downhill and it was there I came across the first cast-able print.
In my opinion, there was now evidence that at least something or someone was up on the hillside. However, did it mean that these possible prints were created on the day and time in question? No. Then again, it is possible that they were. The print in the above photo as well as the one before it were cast. The step between the two was 6 feet 7 inches; the length of the track was 15 inches. Not the best conditions to cast footprints but we decided to do so any way.
Casts recovered. T.Steenburg Photo
A few days after this onsite investigation, the worst snow fall of the winter occurred and a return trip later with other researchers found that the tracks did not survive the snowfall.
After having interviewed the witnesses and done follow up investigation at the site, I have come to the following conclusions:
1. This was not a hoax, therefore the witnesses are NOT lying.
2. There were discrepancies in some of the witness testimony when compared with each other. However, this is more due to each individual circumstances at the moment rather than any attempt at deception.
3. What was encountered at 4 pm is the crunch of this case rather than what happened later, at 9 pm (this could change after I see the second piece of footage).
It has been suggested that perhaps a bear standing up was seen? Based on the description, I can see how this can be possible, but we found no bear tracks afterwards.
In my opinion, the five witnesses either encountered a Sasquatch on January 28th, 2017 or they saw a man up on the hillside. It was definitely one or the other.
UPDATE: March 15th, 2017.
The following was posted by researcher David Winter on his face book page, after he had read this post concerning the incident of Jan 28th, 2017
I scanned the woods to the south and saw a pretty big figure standing between two trees about 100 or so feet away. it was swaying from side to side and had no neck with the head being set on the shoulders. As I got everyone’s attention to get them to look at it, Winona saw it move from left to right.” Now, there is something left out. We were milling around next to the gate, waiting for Jason. We heard a couple of growls, and got perked. I went to my Jeep and got out my “blobsquatch eliminator” infrared camera, and started playing with it. As I scanned from the gate, to my right, I saw a black blob between the trees. I yelled “BLACK BLOB” and got everyone’s attention, as I attemped to focus my infrared camera on it. Because of the very low light, and less sun for the infrared, I just couldn’t focus on the blob in the distance. The trees between me and the blob, caused even more problems as the camera wouldn’t let them go in the auto focus mode. I fought with that, going into manual mode, and the blob still wouldn’t focus. As I’m concentrating on this battle, John, Winona and Kenny are watching the blob as stated above. This is my account.