SasCan: Camper has close encounter in Bow Valley Provincial Park

The following story is courtesy of – Bow Valley Provincial Park, Alberta

In June, 1996, Chief Editor of ANIMALWATCH, Allex Michael wrote of her encounter with sasquatch in volume one, # 10 issue. I thought to copy the article here as I found it one of those more chilling accounts I have read and educational as well.

“LATE AT NIGHT” A True Story by Allex Michael

My family has always been notorious for doing things at odd hours and as you may well know, the strangest things always happen late at night. It was an unusually warm autumn, some years ago and at l6 years of age I had just finished a summer job as an arts and crafts camp counselor. The only thing left to do was pick up a rather large trunk filled with my belongings. Unable to fit such a large trunk inside the VW Beetle, I had purchased just a few weeks before, my mother was volunteered to transport it from the mountains back to the city in the larger of the family cars. Summer camp was a very wild place for me, with staff partying every night until the wee hours of the morning. My room was near the entrance of the staff residence where all these parties took place. By late July, sleep deprived party wimps like myself were weeded out. So I built a single mattress size platform in the woods and then covered it with ‘poly-plastic.’

It was a fifteen-minute walk through dense forest to get there from the residence or the road. Bow Valley Provincial Park, an undisturbed protected forest was only a stone’s throw away. It is there that my mother, a small dog named Willow and myself were going to retrieve my trunk at three o’clock on a Monday morning.

Why three in the morning? I could say it was the heat, but it was mostly because my father had not yet been told that the car would be leaving town. There was also my adolescent fear that knowledge of the platform construction would somehow reflect itself in a summer paycheck I had not yet received. My mother had to be at work by six thirty so we had less than an hour to complete this covert action. As we approached the highway turnoff, a sliver of the moon cast a glowing border around southwestern Alberta’s Mount Yamnuska. Driving several miles along the gravel road the camp looked deserted. Summer staff had cleared out several weeks before and a handful of permanent staff were either taking days off in the city or asleep in cabins several miles from the summer campsite.

Angling off on the side of the road, my other left the headlights on, pointing into the trees. There was some discussion about taking the twenty-pound dog-named Willow for protection. However, Willow’s track record for wandering off severely threatened a successful completion of the mission. Plus very uncharacteristically, the dog named Willow refused to get out of the car and was now partially hidden under the drivers seat. Car headlights were of no value after the first few seconds of meandering through the forest. We had a flashlight, but I was having difficulty remembering the exact location. The fifteen-minute walk turned into a 30 minute skin-scraping bushwhack, but finally we arrived at the isolated platform even though the flashlight batteries were now dead. I assured my mother, all that needed to be done was to take down the poly plastic rain cover and carry back a mattress and the trunk. It should only take two trips. She was noticeably silent as we began working in the darkness. My mother began untying strings securing the poly to the ground and I was kneeling on the top of the four-foot (l.2m) high platform. Stretching up to reach some tangled binder twine knots tied to a tree, a pungent smell suddenly flooded the air. My eyes moved from the knots to the tall length of plastic. There, distorted through the semi-transparent-poly was a huge shadow only about 7 feet (2m) away. With the four-foot platform and me kneeling on top, the creature was easily at eye level. A split second later, there was an incredibly loud screaming roar. Although I know of nothing to describe it, the sound was like a peacock scream, a bear growl and a lion roar all somehow combined. I can’t tell you if I screamed. I can’t tell you much of anything other than my eyes continued to peer through the plastic at this massive shadow. My five foot three inch (l.6m) tall mother had somehow leaped into the air and was now up on the platform beside me. Whatever it was finally turned and walked slowly away on its long hind feet. We continued watching as each heavy step could be heard contracting the ground. There were no visible ears, just a sparse “Mohawk” like fringe sprouting up from the tapering top of the creature’s head. From behind, the upper body appeared massive. It continued to walk upright until disappearing into the trees. We stayed on top of the platform motionless for some time after. Then finally I started ripping down the plastic. I have no idea what my mother did during the next forty or fifty seconds but my next memory was power-walking through the forest! Balancing a single mattress on top of my head with one hand and carrying  the handle of the trunk in the other, I assumed my mother was holding up the other end of the trunk. With Willow still hidden under the driver’s seat, it was a very quiet drive home. Late at night, they say that your mind can play tricks on you but I am so certain….. Brown bears had been in the area that summer, but I have never seen a bear walk upright that smoothly or for that long a time. Or could it have been a very large, long furred man standing over seven feet (2m) in height? I say man because intuition tells me that the creature was a male. Could it have been a sasquatch that night? I will never really know for sure but you can bet that I will keep telling the story as if it were.

© Allex Michael, Editor Animal Watch
Source: Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach, Ph.D., Oregon