Tag Archives: Reader’s Digest

HOW IT ALL BEGAN FOR ME

I have often been asked, “What was it that got me interested in the Sasquatch mystery in the first place?” Well, it was in early childhood (mid 1960s), I think I was about 6 years old. My folks bought a hard cover education book put out by Readers Digest; it was a large thick text book which had chapters on all aspects of our natural world in it.  Wonderful color photographs and diagrams on everything from tornadoes and hurricanes to Volcano’s, wildlife from elephants down to soldier ants and about 300 pages thick.

As a impressionable young lad, I had spent many an hour just skimming through it and asking questions.  Well, one of the chapters in the back of the book was on the age of the Dinosaurs; lovely drawings of T-rex standing straight up, dragging its tail of the ground as was thought back then. Most sauropods up to their belly’s in swamp water as it was claimed they were too heavy to spend much time on dry land, etc, etc.  Well, right in the middle of this beautiful, full color chapter suddenly there were two pages with three black and white photos of something in some kind of body of water.  The title of these two pages were ‘The Mystery Of Loch Ness’.  The three photos being the Surgeon’s photo, the castle photo, and the 3 humps photo of something called the Loch Ness Monster.   I must have read those two pages over again about twenty times.  Cryptozoology was implanted in this boys young mind and I drove my parents nuts with questions.   I still can remember my father telling my mother, “Don’t worry, he will grow out of it.”

Searching for other books in stores and the school and the public library, I realized very early on that I was never going to move to Scotland, so my attention for the most part started to concentrate on this other monster in Canada, called ‘The Sasquatch’. Finding books on lake monsters often included chapters on other mysteries as well.  But what really did it was, not too much time after getting that Readers Digest book, I for some unknown reason woke up in the middle of night and I could hear my folks down stairs watching the late movie on our old black and white television set.

Walking into the living room my folks were watching a movie with the lights out, only the glow of the TV screen providing any light at all.   I remember hearing my father saying something like, “Lets let the lad watch, he is interested in this stuff.”  My mother protested, “No he will have nightmares, blah, blah…”  Well, fortunately for me, and I am sure much to my folks’ later regrets, I was allowed to stay up and watch this movie with them.  It must have been a weekend for this would never have been allowed on a school night.

What they were watching was the old Hammer Film staring Peter Cushing ‘The Abominable Snowman Of The Himalayas’.  From this day on, Sasquatch dominated my thoughts.  Books by John Green, Ivan T Sanderson, were read over, and over again. And I still would read Tim Dinsdales book on the Loch Ness monster.  I do not remember any of the public attention concerning the P/G film in 1967, as in Canada, Expo 67 dominated the media and ,of course, that was the last time the Leafs won the Stanly cup.  Readers Digest did do an article on the film and I still possess that issue.

A couple of years later, in 1972 the movie, ‘The Legend of Boggy Creek’ played in our local town theater.  I snuck in to watch it about 5 times; myself and another boy knew a way in through the vent system and fortunately, we never got caught.  I did pay the first time. but I wasn’t about to let the lack of money keep me from seeing it again and again.

Growing up, I did several school presentations on the Sasquatch, and other crypto subjects.  One high school presentation on the Loch Ness Monster so impressed my teacher that she gave me a mark of 110 out of 100 and had me redo it for the other classes. Something that annoyed me at the time, as I recall.  Later, as a young man doing my military service, when our time was our own and my buddies all went out to chase women and alcohol, I would head into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta to look for evidence of the Sasquatch, and I have never looked back.  My serious research commencing in September of 1978, this in a nut shell was how I got started – I never grew out of it!

Thomas Steenburg

P.S.  I find it interesting that one of Thomas’ earliest triggers for his interest in sasquatch was a Reader’s Digest when many years later, he himself is featured in a Reader’s Digest article!  The article can be found here:

http://www.readersdigest.ca/magazine/searching-sasquatch-curious-lives-cryptozoologists?page=0,0

The original article can be found here:

http://maisonneuve.org/article/2014/02/20/trail-ignored-beasts/

Happy reading,

Webgirl