Visual Sighting In Canmore (2005)

My wife and I and our oldest son are occasional birders up and around Red Deer, Alberta.

My son and I worked twenty years together in the petrochemical business, we are known here in this province, thus it is my preference to be anonymous if you please, otherwise do not publish this message.

We have a place in the Waskasoo area near the Red Deer River, my other sons work in construction over in Sylvan Lake area. The summer of 2005 the wife packed us up a lunch and the field glasses and sent us off to a place near Kicking Horse Pass, not far from Lake Louise at hiways 1 and 93, there is a fork there to go either direction, we usually picnic there.

But this day had a distraction, I became sidetracked when we stopped in Canmore alongside the Bow River there. I had pulled off to a side area there just a holler from the bridge and was scanning the bush across the water there looking mainly for ruby-crowned Kinglets, orange-crowned Warblers or those dark-eyed juncos. It was then my field glasses fell upon a dark figure there. A weird feeling overcame me, like I was intruding on someone’s private rendezvous, but  I held the glasses on it trying to make a better ident and at the same time yelled at my son to grab his camera; he didn’t hear me. I yelled again and as I did, this time the dark figure moved in my field of vision a bit to its right, I think it must have turned around and looked in my direction.

Half of the dark figure was against the trees and the rest of the figure was outlined by willows of a lighter color than the figure was. At the same time I took note of a dead tree, which was approx a bit shorter than the figure in my glasses. It seems to me in those fleeting seconds that the dark figure was looking at us or at least in our direction and I was looking at it.

It was or appeared to be a very large dark colored man- shaped figure but all black, no line markings for clothing. No clear delineation of features, just a tall dark figure standing there in the trees with arms I presumed to be at its side. I forgot all about the ruby crowns and yelled again to my son who is by now making his way over to my canvas stool. I pointed and handed him my field glasses, but he saw nothing and I could not relocate the dark figure again.  My son suggested that we had  disturbed another birder. We walked in the direction of the figure, calling out to him but got no answer.  We got to the tree I had taken notice of in the field glasses and that dead tree that was shorter in my vision compared to the dark figure was exactly nine feet up!! It was then I told my son the situation and we stood looking at one another, completely puzzled at what would be over 9 feet tall; he thought I had been wrong in what I saw. I was not, I know that tree was shorter than the dark figure. I’m not sure what this was, but it may have been a sasquatch. For sure it wasn’t a bear, this was different; it wasn’t people. It made no sounds I could hear over the river noise and I have no other better description than it was a large dark figure on the other side looking back at us, just standing there. Then it was gone.

There were no other cars parked or on the road when this happened and we noticed nothing else of any significance, like smell or tracks…there was nothing.

Birders that we are, we went on about our day, but that image stays in my head, most unusual; most unusual thing I ever saw that I couldn’t explain and I only saw it for a short time yet I have convinced myself enough to post this to the several websites although it may be insignificant to you.

John D.
late August 2005