My Sasquatch Story – Occurrence at Split Rock
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PREAMBLE This blog is dedicated to the memory of Brent who has since passed since I initially wrote this blog. He was a close childhood to adolescent time friend whom I considered my other older brother. His presence will be missed by many. He was a kind and gentle soul and I am honored to have known him. This took place when I was in grade nine and it involved a school chum of mine. I don’t think names are important at this time. Besides my friend has taken plenty of ribbing over the years after telling of his encounter with “Bigfoot”. As the story goes, my friend, who was about fourteen at the time, had seen the creature while partridge hunting along a trail that lead off behind the local park. However, after his initial encounter he chose to keep the incident to himself. Knowing he would be ridiculed to no end, he succeeded in keeping it to himself for almost two days before he felt compelled to tell someone. That someone turned out to be a local waitress at the coffee shop and soon thereafter, she disclosed the details to my older brother Ernie. Excited with this news, my brother came home and told my parents. I just happened to be there and immediately found myself mesmerized as I listened intently to the disclosure of the details. Also present, I should mention, was my brother’s best friend Brent. I think initially my parents were a bit skeptical, but after some reflection, they began to recount stories that persisted about the mythical creature amongst some of my relatives and other First Nation people of the region they knew. In any event, Sasquatch is the preferred moniker in these parts of Northwestern Ontario a.k.a. Bigfoot. Sasquatch or Bigfoot? Didn’t matter, because after everything had been discussed, the excitement of us younger folk was piqued. Ernie, Brent and I retreated to the bedroom and began to plot and conspire of the prospect of nabbing us a Sasquatch. You see, even prior to this event, my brother and I had always had books or articles regarding Sasquatch and all his kin in North America and beyond likethe Skunk Ape of Florida or the Yeti of Tibet, the Yowie of Australia and the list goes on. So, you can imagine our enthusiasm as we decided what to do about this revelation. I think we surmised that it was our duty to pursue this matter to quell our own curiosity. In addition, we thought, any outcome would ultimately benefit all humankind I might add, should we find evidence? Yes! We were the chosen ones! After a good deal of discussion we hatched a plan unbeknownst to anyone. Given all our infinite wisdom gathered from all our reading, we knew precisely what needed to be done. We were going to wrangle us a Sasquatch! Or, at the very least, maybe get us some plaster casts of its footprints. It was late in the evening by this time. I do recall my brother did call my friend – the one who had the encounter – of our intentions. Though he did warn us and forbade us to carry on, well…read on. [Let’s not forget, this was a mission to benefit all humankind!]
It was early next morning, my brother woke me, we had a quick breakfast and then went to gather up Brent. Time was at hand to put our plan in motion. So, we proceeded as fast as we could, just as soon as the hardware store opened to acquire all the standard and necessary tool to wrangle us a Sasquatch. Upon arrival, we entered Marinos Hardware and stealthy went through the aisles to get us our “supplies”. There we were, three excited adolescents scurrying around the store amidst all them tools and ropes and stuff. Convening at each found item, we’d discuss thing like rope size and stuff like that. I can’t imagine what old man Marino was thinking as he eyeballed us on a couple of occasions. With most items acquired on our Sasquatch Wrangling “shopping list”, we had yet found the most coveted item on the list. Suddenly, there it was. We erupted and rejoiced in a collective whoop, as we had now located the plaster. “PLASTER!” yelped Brent. “Yep.” Ernie nodded in agreement. I just stood in silence and drank the moment in. Vivid in my mind to this day, there it was “Plaster” read the box in large bold red font. We all looked to each other momentarily, then each hastily grabbed a box off the shelf. I could only imagine at this point what the old man thinking as he observed this display. With the “mud” in our hands, we convened, and commented on the details as Brent mumbled the instruction aloud. At that point, knowing we had all that we needed, we rushed to the cash register, paid the old man Marino, and out the door we scooted.
My brother, Ernie had a half ton truck, so we threw the plaster and supplies in the back under a tarp as inconspicuously as we could as other morning shoppers passed on by. Remember this was a covert mission and we couldn’t reveal to anyone what we were up to. Also, under the tarp, I might add, were assorted amounts of baggies and garbage bags we had “borrowed” from the house. You know? To collect hair samples, branches with hair, and stuff of the sort. Basic Sasquatch Wrangling 101 ideals. Can’t say how much we intended on finding, but enough baggies, garbage bags and Ziplock to choke a Yeti, as it were. We were prepared to say the least. We also had an axe, a bucksaw, one handy dandy Swiss army knife and good deal of other sharp stuff! Moreover, we also had a portable cassette machine that recorded. You know? In the event we heard a shrill of the creature in question. What’s more, we were even insightful enough to bring us along one of them Instamatic Kodak cameras, cause as every good Sasquatch wrangler knows, you gotta have pictures! Something tangible. We’d need pictures of the footprints before we plastered them beyond recognition. And besides we’d want to capitalize on those anticipated “photo opps” to show to our kids. Not to sound selfish, besides the photos would be preserved for posterity and for the the benefit of humankind eh?
Anyways, we made our way to “Rotary Park”, which incidentally was at the end of our street. This is where we would venture off into the woods. Our destination was Split Rock. From where we parked the truck we would continued along a well beaten path that went parallel to local lake, Lake Kenogamisis. We knew this path all too well because we would frequent it throughout the year. Only a short 10 minutes we arrived at “ Split Rock”. The place was aptly named by generations before because of its obvious feature. Split Rock was about 5 feet high and 4 feet wide and – you guessed it – it was split right down the middle leaving a gap of about 6 inches. Lightning? Prospector blasting? Important detail as you will see. Anyways, I should mention, Split Rock is actually about 25m to the left where the parallel trail meets the Split Rock trail. To the opposite side of parallel trail is Kenongamisis. This is the junction. If you carry on, on the parallel trail you will reach, what the locals have always called “Shit Creek”. However, that’s another story.
Anyways, it was at this junction our friend encountered the Sasquatch. He heard rustling in the bush southeast toward Shit Creek. Thinking it was a bear, he raced to seek to conceal himself behind “Split Rock”. Thinking to himself, he was only out for partridge and not able to defend himself from a bear, there he sought refuge. Hope against hope, with only his 22 caliber rifle with him, he crouched behind the rock and prayed the supposed bear would not detect him. With the noise now closer and closer, he began to tremble. Suddenly, just through hearing, he knew the “bear” was at the clearing at the junction. At the junction incidentally the path that swathed toward the lake was about 30-50 feet wide. At this point, he’s pondering the thought of the possibility that the bear might be walking toward Split Rock and what were his options. Was it curiosity or instinct that got the best of him? Whatever, it was he decided he would look through the crack that was the “split” in Split Rock.
According to my brother’s first hand account of the telling of our friend’s tale, this is when things got very interesting. Upon peering through the crack, our friend was dumbfounded to say the least. Standing there, was not a bear as he thought, but rather the “mythical” creature Sasquatch. Apparently, at this moment when he peered out the burly beast had just stepped out on to the trail at the junction. A meer 25m away. He related to my brother, that at this point, Sasquatch stopped for what seemed to be an eternity – which in fact may have been a half-minute – to sniff around. Perhaps he smelled the rifle or just to get his bearings, Sasquatch then lumbered off back into the woods – towards town! Now was he to do? Between him and the town was a Sasquatch!
Fast forward to recent times. It wasn’t until later years that my friend would relate to me, he was thinking all the while if the Sasquatch were to come in his direction he thought he would have no choice but to shoot it.“ Right between the eyes”. He also, went on to say ” Clarence. I was shaking SO MUCH! That prospect of shooting him with my 22 would have not even have been possible.”. It was at this point, he further elaborated, that he after Sasquatch had wandered off, he was so paralyzed with fear, he could not bring himself to move for about two hours thereafter. With him knowing Sasquatch was heading toward town, he certainly did not want to risk running into it again should he take a chance and run to toward Rotary Park. With that, he said he just waited it out for what he described as an “eternity” until he could find his legs and to get them to stop wobbling. Once he felt confident he could run, run he did without ever looking back.
Back to the story. For us avid amateur Sasquatch wranglers, we were sure to check out the vantage point from behind Split Rock to the lake. In fact, we were indeed able to see clearly see through the crack without any obstructions to were the Sasquatch was to have allegedly emerged from the bush. So, with that knowledge, we carried on to substantiate other facts to the story. What about the footprints.
Given, the copious amounts of plaster we had purchased, obtaining footprints casts were our biggest hope. Excited, yet cautious, we made our way to were Sasquatch was purported to have been standing. All the while as we approached the site, we scoured the ground – baggies in hand – looking for hairs. Nothing to be had. However, upon reaching the exact location of the alleged Sasquatch crossing, Brent was first to find what appeared to be a couple of indents of substantial size. The indents, however, much to our despair were near filled with water. Consequently, the indents or “footprints?” due to rain could not be distinguished for the edges may have been washed away. It had rained the evening before for a bit. Moreover, I have to mention, that this specific site has a somewhat hard clay surface, but I believe a heavy person or “humanoid” could leave an impression in certain areas not overgrown with grass. Having succumbed to the reality we would not be able to make a convincing plaster casts, we decided to further investigate the wooded area. With our knowledge acquired from books, we knew to look for evidence of the creature’s hair on tree branches, or for telltale signs like broken branches. We did in fact note some red willows branches that were bent at right angles, but not completely broken. For anyone knowing of the bush, willows are hard to break. Much to our chagrin there were no hairs to be found. Having felt defeated on all accounts, we retreated back to our existence of “wannabee” cryptozologists. No hair, no photos, no recording and no plaster casts. However, despite all that, in retrospect we can claim a few glorious moments of adolescent adventure that made us “Sasquatch wranglers” that we can now attribute to as treasured memories.
What happened to our friend? He is in B.C. A strange place to go if you want to avoid Sasquatch if you ask me? Or, you have to ask yourself, is he REALLY trying to avoid another encounter? Hmm? Also, it is important to note, he tells me, he has never went hunting ever again. Upon the couple of times I have seen him, we can’t help but discuss the matter. To him, the evidence is conclusive to say the least. To me? Hell yes! His saying he saw it is evidence enough for me. The better question is, do you believe it?
P.S. Having worked as a journalist and with more that a passing interest of the subject at hand, I have heard other similar stories over the years by other people who have had encounters with the big fellow. In fact I have one account of another friend, who as a boy, came face to face with Sasquatch. Apparently, while with his father at their trapping cabin in the woods in the Winter, he peered out the window one night to see why the dogs were barking. So he opened his curtains, only to find Sasquatches massive head pressed against the glass. He went onto, tell me in detail every contour of the face he had seen. But, we’ll save that story for another time. As for me, though I’d really like to see one, I think I’ll keep my immediate encounters confined to the television for the next time I rent “Harry and the Hendersons”.
Clarence a.k.a. “ Junior Sasquatch Wrangler ”
P.S. If you are interested to learn more of Sasquatch, a.ka. Bigfoot, there is certainly no shortage of it on the internet. However, this is a likely place to start. Above is a still – frame 352 – of the most famous footage known to exist of Bigfoot dubbed the Patterson – Gimlin film. Watch the footage below and you be the judge. Hoax? You tell me!
More at wikipedia here! And just in the event you haven’t already had enough entertainment, then do check out this hilarious song by Stompin’ Tom Connors called The Sasquatch Song. Funny!