You’d think that we’d have solved Sasquatch mystery by now

(Conclusion) Grabbing a full box of snuff, the father Sasquatch gulped down its powerful contents. Seconds later, he was rolling on the ground, vomiting.

Although silenced by the derision of his colleagues until the 1950s, it was in 1924 that Albert Ostman of Fort Langley said he was kidnapped by a Sasquatch.

Although his story seems highly improbable, it’s considered by some to be "indestructible." When John W. Green, publisher of the weekly Agassiz-Harrison Advance, interviewed the old woodsman, he was accompanied by Harrison magistrate Lt.-Col. A.M. Naismith. A former criminal lawyer, Naismith used every device of cross-examination he knew to reveal a weakness in Ostman’s account – and found none.

Briefly, here’s Ostman’s amazing experience. Camping alone in the isolated forests of Toba Inlet, 100 miles north of Vancouver, the logger had the uneasy feeling that he was being watched. That night, he slept with his boots on and his rifle beside him in the sleeping bag.

Suddenly, he was lifted up – sleeping bag, rifle and pack – thrown over a massive shoulder, and jolted about for three hours. Unceremoniously dumped onto the ground, the battered logger found himself in a small box canyon – the guest of four obviously intrigued Sasquatch.

Ostman described them in detail: "…The old man [who captured him] must have been nearly eight feet tall, with a big barrel chest and big bump on his back and powerful shoulders. His forearms were longer than common people’s but well proportioned. His hands were wide, the palms long and broad, like a scoop. His fingernails were flat like chisels. If the old man wore a collar, it would be a size 30!"

He estimated the son to be "17 or 18 years, about seven feet tall and might weigh about 300 pounds. His chest would be 50-55 inches, his waist about 36-38 inches. He had wide jaws and a narrow forehead that slanted upward around at the back about four or five inches higher than the forehead…"

The remaining Sasquatch were the other and a daughter – whom Ostman took to be his intended bride! He also mentioned they didn’t eat meat, have fire or cooking utensils, only blankets woven of cedar bark strips. During the week he spent with them, under guard, Ostman ate from his own supplies, a routine that fascinated his hosts, who watched in bewilderment. He still had his rifle but didn’t use it because he wasn’t sure that his little .30.30 would stop the giants.

What really interested the males was Ostman’s habit of chewing snuff. After days of watching his recreation, the father grabbed a full box and gulped down its powerful contents. Seconds later, he was rolling on the ground, vomiting.

Seeing his chance, Ostman snatched up his rifle, fired a shot into the air and ran, finally staggering into a logging camp near Sechelt, days later.

Another well-documented sighting is that of Jeannie Chapman, in late 1941. When a Sasquatch approached her house near Ruby Creek, she fled with her two young children. Upon her husband and other railway workers rushing to the scene, they were amazed to see 16-inchlong footprints, two inches deep in the soft earth. The monster’s stride had been about five feet.

But not Mrs. Chapman. She refused to go near the place again and the rotting shack stood deserted for years.

For all of the sightings, some of them seemingly indisputable, most anthropologists and scientists have carefully ignored Sasquatch. Several expeditions have tracked the Himalayan Yeti but no Canadian or American authority, to my knowledge, has investigated North America’s own Abominable Snowman.

Said provincial anthropologist Wilson Duff in 1953: "I’ve never seen a Sasquatch, and I don’t expect to…" Fifty years ago, Charles O. Handley, Jr. Associate Curator, Division of Mammals, of the Smithsonian Institute summed up the official attitude of the day, an attitude which seems to have changed little: "Commonly the scientific community disregards stories of creatures such as these until some identifiable portion of the beast can be studied. Unless such a specimen is secured, speculation is fruitless. Usually in the past such creatures have declined to a mythical status when parts purported to have come from them have been studied."

The search for Sasquatch, by non-scientists at least, goes on.

www.twpaterson.com

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