Sasquatch Sightings on Vancouver Island

By Graham Andrews, Alberni Valley Times


The West Coast rumour mill is abuzz as several people have reported sightings of huge creatures resembling the legendary Sasquatch.

People claim to have seen the creatures on the highway between Port Alberni and Tofino, on Radar Hill and Long Beach, and to have heard them howling in Indian Bay.

Arnold Frank and his nephew Patrick Frank claim to have seen one of the creatures twice. The first sighting for the men allegedly occurred as the two men were out walking in the woods, Arnold said. They heard heavy footsteps crashing through the forest, he said, and then saw a part of the creature.

"We just saw some real big orange eyes, real high off the ground," Arnold said.

A few nights later, the two men were driving along the highway at about 10:30 p.m. when they pulled over at a rest stop.

Arnold said he saw the creature dashing into the woods. But hešs certain that it wasnšt a bear.

"We both figured it was too big to be a bear," Arnold said. "And bears donšt walk on two legs."

Frank estimated that the creature was between seven feet and eight feet tall, walked on two legs and had brilliant orange eyes.

He added that he was scared each time he saw the creature. "To see something that big would scare anybody," he said.

Arnoldšs brother, Alex, also claims to have heard the creatures howling around Indian Bay. "There's a weird howling sound going on around Indian Bay during the day," he said.

Another elderly woman claims to have seen one of the creatures crossing the road in front of her car. The gigantic biped allegedly stopped in front of her car, and looked directly at her before disappearing into the bush.

While tales of Sasquatch-like creatures are an international phenomenon, concrete proof of the beast's existence is rare and usually subject to scrutiny from the disbelieving majority.

But Sasquatch also has a place in the history of Nuu-chah-nulth people. Jessie Hamilton, an elder with the Hupacasath First Nation, recalled a story of one Hupacasath ancestor who went up into the mountains where he encountered the creature.

"One of our ancestors came across one in one of the mountains," she said. "He saw it and didnšt know what it was."

As the story has it, the man attempted to hide from the beast by wrapping himself in a blanket. While wrapped in the blanket, the man was allegedly picked up by the great creature, and twirled around before being set back down.

Hamilton said that sightings of Sasquatch, or cacuuqhsta as his name is in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, are not unheard of, but are usually confined to the west side of the island.

"He was seen by different tribes on the other side of the island," she said. But it surprised her that the creature has been spotted so low in elevation. She speculated that the beast may have been driven into lower elevations by a lack of precipitation in the mountains over the past couple of months.

"It surprises me that he was seen so low," she said. "He may be looking for water."

Local conservation officers said they had received no reports of Sasquatch sightings to date.