Category Archives: Research

A Special Lady

A very dear lady to me lost her battle with cancer on May 30th, 2017.

I first met Vera after herself and another dear friend of mine, Christina, came to my home to tell me of a strange creature Vera had encountered just outside her home on the afternoon of September 21st,  2011.  She had come outside to see why her next door neighbors’ dogs were barking so much when she caught sight of something strange just behind the tree line which separates her home with the railway tracks.  The details of this encounter I have already published (Steenburg File# 10173).

After the two had stared at each other for about 30 seconds, which seemed much longer to Vera, the subject simply walked away from her down the rail line towards, what was locally known as, Crazy Creek.  She never saw it again.  She then contacted Christina and told her about what she saw, and it was Christina whom told her to talk to me; which we did the following evening.

At first Vera didn’t want any word of her account getting out and, in fact, when I went to investigate at the sight, she told the locals that I was there to look into a Mountain Lion she had seen.   At the time she was a foster mom and was afraid that if word got out that she had seen a possible Sasquatch that might be used against her.

But over the years as we got to know each other she relaxed a bit over the whole affair and took part when I asked in radio and television documentaries on the the subject and had even come along with me on few day expositions.  One such Radio show was titled ”Footsteps’ and aired in 2015.   Some of the TV programs were: ‘BC is Awesome’ which aired in 2016; ‘Finding Bigfoot’ when they filmed up on the Chehalis Reserve in 2015; and ‘Red Earth Uncovered’ which was filmed in the fall of 2016 and is due to air in 2018.  It is a program of First Nation perspective, and Vera being of First Nation birth herself, I felt was a natural choice for their Sasquatch episode.

Vera tells of her encounter at my home Sept 22, 2011
The spot where the Sasquatch was seen by Vera on Sept 21, 2011
Crew for TV program Red Earth Uncovered at the location of Vera’s encounter. Myself second from left, Vera is fourth from the left in the middle.

Vera lost her battle with Cancer on May 30, 2017 passing away at the Mission General Hospital with her family there with her.

I will miss her.

Thomas Steenburg

 

BC Hunting Show

I was  asked by the organizers of this year’s BC Hunting Show at the Trade Ex Complex in Abbotsford to give a public talk on the history and continued investigation into the on-going Sasquatch mystery in British Columbia.   I was asked to give one talk each day of the show which ran from March 2 through to the 5th, 2017.

Poster for the Sasquatch display booth during the show.

It was a good show all around with displays and outdoor gear that any Sasquatch researcher or any active outdoor sportsman would appreciate.  Especially if he or she is a resent lottery winner! Good lord, the prices of most of this stuff!!

I still had to do my night job so this was 4 days straight with little or no sleep but with the help of colleagues it went well, I think.   Many of the public engaged in asking questions and telling stories about themselves or friends and relatives in the past  who had reported encounters with the Sasquatch.  Even the grandson of Albert Ostman stopped by to talk.

Display booth just before doors were opened the first day.

Sasquatch Park Encounter???

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:

Thomas,

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.

JK

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.

Best of the line, March 1st, 2017 T.Steenburg

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.

After casting
J.Kirk and T.Steenburg measure step length. 6 feet, 7 inches

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.

Thomas Steenburg

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

David Winter Now that I’ve read the account on Tom’s website, I’ll have to remind the rest of the fellow experiencers of this situation, about something left out of the account on Tom’s website. Here is what is stated, then I’ll do a recount. “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.” 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.

It appears that David actually did see the subject during the 4 pm encounter.
Thomas Steenburg

Ivan Marks Syndrome

Good old Ivan Marks: yarn spinner extraordinaire.  He was the first example I ever knew of a researcher who made things up in order to be the center of attention.  Which to him was more important than finding evidence that the creature might in fact exist?  There have been many since him but today, when I encounter one of these people, I simply say, “He’s a suffer of ‘Ivan Marks Syndrome’.”

Thomas Steenburg

Jacko

Two posts ago I talked about taking John Kirk, (President of the BCSCC) to the site of the Classic Jacko capture.  Since then, I have taken two other colleagues there, Bill Reid, and another who wishes to remain anonymous, neither of them had ever been to the site.  As far as I know before myself, along with Bill Miller, and the late Barry Blount who made a trip to find it in 2009, no other researcher had ever tried to find it.  Chris Murphy did attempt to find it but went to the wrong location, and it took some time for myself to convince him of that fact.

One of my colleagues pointed out that until now,  no researcher had ever published a video from the the site, either. So we did just that.  I hope you find the story of Jacko from the place he was allegedly captured interesting – it is truly a Sasquatch Classic tale.

Thomas Steenburg

Jacko Site Revisit

Jacko capture site. Photographed in 2009. T. Steenburg
Jacko capture site. Photographed in 2009.
T. Steenburg

John Kirk, president of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, (try saying that 5 times fast), or BCSCC for short, contacted me to ask if I would mind taking him to the site of a Sasquatch Classic. The Jacko capture site is near Tunnel #4 , north of Yale, British Columbia.  For those of you reading this who have never heard of this incident, Jacko was the name given to a creature captured by rail way workers outside of Yale, BC in the year 1884.

John Kirk, along with Ms Winona Rouillard, came by my place at noon on August 4, 2016 and my duties as guide had commenced.  I just hoped I didn’t miss the ‘easy to pass-by if you blink’ turn off which gets you at least within 20 minutes walk from Tunnel Number 4.

Hottest time of the day it was and one has to wonder, thinking back to those times during the gold rush, what it must have been like for those folks wearing heavy wool clothing and long-john underwear , even in the heat of the summer?

 

John and Winona scan the cliff where Jacko was alleged to have been captured
John and Winona scan the cliff where Jacko was alleged to have been captured

I think John enjoyed finally seeing for himself the site of this ‘Sasquatch Classic ‘ tale.

Thomas Steenburg

Clearbrook Library Lecture

The Lecture given at the Clearbrook Library in Abbotsford on March 20th went off with out a problem.  About 30 persons attended. I think all found it interesting. It was suppose to be between 2 and 3 pm, but interest and questions took us nearly 40 minutes over time.  One fellow in the audience told of a possible sighting he had in the mid 1980s while driving just on the Washington side of the border with his father? Others, I think,  were just happy to hear someone talk about this subject with out sounding like a inmate running an asylum. The photo below show the setup just before the doors were opened. More chairs were needed.

Thomas Steenburg

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Sighting Report 10196

I will present this report in two parts as it consists of the full testimonies of both witnesses involved.

Thomas Steenburg

 

map file 10196 A

 

Yuri and Samantha
B.C. FILE # 10196
LOCATION: Highway 97, Just north of McLeese Lake General Store
TIME: Approx 4:00 am
DATE: Friday, January 22, 2016.
REPORT BY: Thomas Steenburg

What follows is a transcript of two interviews with two witnesses whom reported encountering a possible Sasquatch at 4 am, Friday, January 22, 2016. This encounter accrued a few km north McLeese Lake, on Highway 97; at times a lonely stretch of road. The tow truck driver, Yuri Seterengen, and his girlfriend, Samantha Godwin, have not requested confidentiality concerning this case.
Hello, did you phone me around noon today?

Yeah I did. I saw you on TV there, and my girlfriend and myself had a sighting a few nights ago.

Do you have time right now to talk?

Sure you bet.

Could you state your full name please?

Yuri Seterengen.

Where are you residing, Yuri?

I am calling from Williams Lake B.C.

Williams Lake? Is that close to where this happened?

Yes it is. Its about, 45 minutes away.

STEENBURG NOTE : At this point in the interview we talked a bit as I was trying to pin point where on Highway 97, this actually occurred. Both witnesses reside in Williams Lake, British Columbia.

You were driving just north of McLeese Lake when this happened?

We were called out to tow a large truck. Broken down. I was driving one of those big rig tow trucks. I brought my girlfriend with me.

What’s her name?

Samantha Godwin.

You were on a call? You are a tow truck operator?

Yes. We were hooking up the Tow truck, like the driver of the truck had left as the box had been hooked up to another truck so he was long gone.

STEENBURG NOTE: Yuri started to rattle off the whole story at this point but there were a few more details I wanted to hear before getting into it.

Yuri, your present phone number is (withheld from written report)

Yes, it is.

What is your present mailing address?

(withheld from written report)

Where on Highway 97 did this occur?

Just outside of McLeese Lake.

What date did this take place?

On the 22nd, (January 2016).

22nd of this month?

Yes.

STEENBURG NOTE: This interview was done on Friday, January 29th, 2016. One week later.

Was it night or day?

Early morning hours. So night, around 4 am.

It was still dark out?

Oh, yes. It was still dark.

What happened?

Well, I was out. We were both out, we were hooking up the rig that was going to be towed. She told me saw a large, you know, a large human-like creature? I was joking with her; I said, “well, that would be a Sasquatch – ha, ha”.  You know, kinda not taking her seriously. I come up from the truck and I hear the weird sounds? (I hear someone talking to Yuri in the background).  It was walking right along the highway.  I was unfamiliar with the sounds so I jokingly say to her, “ maybe that was your Sasquatch”. (Yuri still had not seen the subject at this point) She actually got scared and went back in the tow truck. So, I finished hitching up the rig, I took about half an hour, and just as I was turning around I looked over my shoulder, I see this, Sasquatch? And, like this was so fast, that it just disappeared back into the shadows. It was kind of like it had an interest in what we were doing? You know the lights on the tow truck. She (Samantha) got back in the tow truck when we started hearing those sounds. I don’t know? She saw it when it was walking on the highway so she can describe it better? I only got to see it for a second but, she heard me yell when I saw it, over my shoulder, I kind of got brain fever, (Hesitated) a couple of seconds, then I thought to see if I could fined a footprint, and I got about 30 feet in front of the tow truck, thought better of it. But what I saw was identical to what she saw. Like what I saw was light brown hair, when it was in the light it appeared shinny? But when it hit the shadows it was gone? The way it moved, it was so fast. (Again I can hear a female voice in the back ground talking into his ear), I can let you speak with Samantha for a second as she saw more of it then I did.
If you don’t mind, I will speak with you first, then I will speck to her?

OK, yep.

Describe the area in which this took place?

High way 97, the lone highway up through the interior of BC. There are railway tracks there. On the other side, (West side), The Fraser river runs parallel to all that. Kind of sparse, not much wooded area, but on the other side of the tracks it is mountainous with lots of trees.

Did this happen on the east or west side of the highway?

This was on the east side of the highway.

The east side is where the trees are?

Yes. But when she saw it it was on the west side of the highway. And when I got a glimpse about a half hour latter, it was on the east. So it would have had to cross the highway. T hats what gets to me, it must have been intrigued by what we were doing? Like the orange truck lights flashing and stuff like that, I mean to be there the whole time like that ? That sounds really odd?

Was there snow on the ground?

Yeah there is snow. I actually went back to go try to find some tracks. Like I said it was raining that night, so I don’t know?

How much snow?

Well its been so warm here. Its been a warm winter, Raining so much there is not much left now. Just batches of snow, and most of what was here that night is now gone.

What distance would you estimate you were from the thing when you saw it?

When I saw it? It must have been about 30m or 40m. It was so brief, but I know what I saw. It just moved so fast.

What was your first impression?

I thought to myself, ‘No I didn’t just see that’, I didn’t know what to think. Then I yelled to her, (Samantha), I am still having a hard time, grasping it, Ha Ha.

What was it doing?

Well it was walking, like non saliently, she, (Samantha) could see how long the hair was, from it’s arms and everything, like when cattle is walking, like there was a structure to it

What was it doing when you saw it?

Pardon?

What was it doing when you saw it?

I just saw it for a fraction. I think what happened, it saw me turn around, and it wanted to get out of sight of me. I just saw the back of it, poof it disappeared right back into the shadows.

Did it stand and walk upright?

Yep it appeared to be upright. You could see it’s arms, you could see everything.

Steenburg Note: At this point I could here Samantha talking in the background saying that the subject was hairy. I told Yuri that I would talk to her about what she saw after I talked to him.

Hairy. She says it was real hairy.

I will talk to her about what she saw. Right now I will talk to you.

OK.

Did it ever go down on all fours?

Pardon?

Did it ever go down on all fours? What you saw, not what she saw?

I didn’t see it go down on all fours, I just saw it for a second. But it didn’t appear to be on all fours, but she was giving it for the shadows.

Did it seem to be hairy?

Yeah, light, light brown, like it was shinny? I couldn’t be leave how shinny the hair was. It was such a light brown color. Nothing like the pictures on line?

What color did you say it was?

Light, light Brown.

STEENBURG NOTE: It was lightly raining at the time of this incident so I wonder if it appeared shinny do to combination of a light brown color, wetness, and the tow truck area flood lights?

How tall would you estimate it was?

Oh I couldn’t even give you a estimation.

If that’s the case, then that’s what I wont to hear. How heavy do you think it was?

I just saw it from the back breafly. But I would guess 4 to 500 pounds.

Did you notice any facial features?

No I didn’t. No.

Any details of the arms?

No.

Could you tell if it was male or female?

No.

How long do you think you saw it for?

I saw it for maybe a second.

I assume it did see you?

That’s why, I think that it ran for shelter, because I was turning around.

That was my next question. What was it’s reaction?

Ha, ha, it bolted.

Did it make any noise?

Well I heard noises before, but I wrote those off.

What noise did you hear before?

It’s hard to describe. Not like a dog, more like an elk? I don’t know.

Did you have the impression that the noise was meant for you?

It must, I believe so now. I believe we had it’s attention, and it was making this noise at us, like it was really curious about what we were doing?

STEENBURG NOTE; The noise was heard by Yuri after Samantha had told him about what she had seen, but before he saw what he saw. In fact when the vocal was first heard he called out to her as she was now sitting in the cab of the tow truck. “I guess that might be your Sasquatch” with a laugh to himself.

Did you smell anything before, during or after?

No. Nothing like what I read about on line, you people describing a pungent Oder or anything like that. This looked at lest to me like, well groomed for lack of a better word.

Are there ay physical characteristics of the subject which stands out in your memory?

What do you mean?

Anything about it’s physical appearance which you remember but we haven’t talked about?

No. I didn’t get to see it for long enough, I just got a glimpse of it.

Did you check for footprints later?

I did. A couple of days later.

On the 23rd or the 24th?

We went back on the 26th.

STEENBURG NOTE: They did find impressions is some of the snow patches which remain on the ground but rain and warm temperatures had reduced them to the point of being useless. Also no photos were taken.

Did you report what you saw?

Well I didn’t know who to report this to?

Not to the R.C.M.P?

No. I didn’t, no.

How old are you Yuri?

36.

Do you ware corrective lenses?

No I don’t. I have 20/20 vision.

I take it your girlfriend, (Samantha) is the only other witness?

Yes.
Looking back, what do you think it was?

I honestly believe it was a Sasquatch.

Do you wish to remain confidential?

No. It does not matter to me. One or two people out there will believe us as they have seen things to. I am not to worried about what people think.

If you two have time I would like to talk with Samantha now?

 

 

PART 2 of this investigation will be posted in a few days.

Thomas Steenburg

Finding Bigfoot Season 8 Episode 1

Last night, I was able to watch this season’s opening episode of Finding Bigfoot (filmed last June 2015) in which I was personally involved behind the scenes.  I was contacted weeks before by the producers of the program and agreed, somewhat reluctantly as I am not a great fan of the show, to provide names from my own files on recent cases which I had investigated; quite a bit of e-mail back and forth then went on. This was the second time the program had contacted myself for assistance, as they had planned to come to Canada a year before but for reasons I am not at liberty to disclose, the earlier planned episode for British Columbia had to be cancelled.

The premise for this episode was a silly affair based on a bet between Cliff Barrackman and Bo Bo, (James Fay) which area was, as they put it: Squatchier, British Columbia or Washington State.  Entertaining for the television audience no doubt, but just silly useless nonsense for those who take this subject seriously and have devoted our lives to finding an answer as to whether a large primate does in fact exist in the forests of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

I have long been critical of the show as I have always felt that it made serious research into this ongoing mystery look foolish in the eye of the public, as well as portray researchers as nothing but a collection of oddballs who only like to go out at night and howl at the moon like idiots.  But, I also realized that the show is exactly that – a television show.  Despite the motives of the cast members, three of which I have known since long before the program first aired.  The main purpose of the programs’ producers is not really to find an answer to the Sasquatch question, but to entertain their viewing audience, achieve the goal of maintaining a loyal following to the point of justifying continuing seasons, and to keep people working.  These goals seem to have succeeded beyond the shows wildest dreams, as I cannot remember any other program of this nature lasting so long.

Also, I know through personal communication with some of the cast members that, even though they do and act out scenarios they normally would not do by themselves, they have had to put their foot down a couple of times in years past as activities from behind the cameras by the staff were out right hoaxing attempts to make a particular episode more interesting than things were turning out to be.  To their credit, the cast has made it clear they are not interested in hoaxing and some people have been let go as a result.  With this in mind, one has to wonder, when the editing process is done, what is the purpose of saying things happen in a certain way when they didn’t?  Example: Matt and Cliff go and interview two witnesses, Maria Muller and Robert Baily, concerning their sighting at Weaver Lake, which occurred at 10:30 am, August 21, 2014 (Steenburg File #10191).

They interview the witnesses at the location and do an on-site investigation, just as myself and Brad Trent did 24 hours after this alleged encounter occurred.  Both Matt and Cliff concluded it was probably a Sasquatch, unlike myself.  I still think it may be a man in a dark hoody that Robert photographed, but I certainly do not rule out the possibility that it could be a Sasquatch.  Matt pointed out that the trail head was there where the figure was seen but for some reason didn’t mention the bear-proof trash containers at the trail head as well.  It is possible that the trash bins have been moved since the day of the sighting, but they were there when it happened.  But what struck me, was the show gave the impression that Matt and Cliff took a scenic route to get there and you see them in a nice speed boat on Harrison Lake, and the viewer is given the impression that they took this boat to the dock at Weaver Lake to meet the two witnesses? I don’t think so.  Weaver Lake and Harrison Lake have about five kilometers of mountain forest between them, so unless Matt and Cliff portaged that speed boat, there is no way they got to the location that way. So why do they edit the program like this?  Who knows…just a way to get footage of the two men in the speed boat into the program, I guess?

A number of times both Matt and Cliff made the statement that this was the first time any researcher had done any investigation on the Chehalis Reserve?  Well I, personally have been there doing research over the last three decades more times than I can remember. Rene Dahinden had also been there many, many times, as well as John Green, not to mention J.W. Burns, who coined the the name Sasquatch to begin with?  They must have known this, so why they state that this is the first time researchers have been on the reserve? I have no answer.  I could pick at little details like this for hours but I will just finish up by saying that I had a long meeting with both Matt and Cliff at the Sasquatch Inn after hours were spent at the town hall meeting (a lot of filming for a few minutes of show).  But that is how these programs are made, so I expected it.

And I expressed my opinions about how certain things were done and of course I realize that, which they both concurred, the main purpose of the show is to entertain, and to perhaps generate some thinking to the general public, most of whom don’t give the Sasquatch mystery 15 minutes of thought a year.  If they did things my way the show most likely wouldn’t last one season for the general public would find it boring.  So, I will end this with this statement: Finding Bigfoot is entertainment. It is not a serious study of the Sasquatch question.  Also, If I was in charge Bo Bo would have lost three points for dressing up in drag – I laughed for five solid minutes watching that bit.

Thomas Steenburg