Jeremy Hainsworth, Canadian Press
Published: Sunday, March 25, 2007
Was it a bear? Or was it a sasquatch, the legendary primate long rumored to inhabit Vancouver Island?
A B.C. man is reporting he may have spotted the mythical ape-like creature in the Enchanted Forest near Tofino, on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island.
â€œMy brother and I had a strange encounter with a large, dark humanoid in the forests of Tofino,â€ the unidentified man says in the introduction to a video posted recently on www.youtube.com.
`Strange Humanoid Encounterâ€™ has been viewed more than 15,000 times.
The pair â€” who say they live five hours from Tofino â€” were on a walk in the forest, using a camera to shoot wildlife.
What they saw caught them off guard.
â€œLook, quick … stay backâ€ says one, as the camera begins to roll.
â€My hypothesis is that this was a bear although my memory deceives me,â€ the man writes in the video introduction. â€œThe animal was about seven feet tall, give or take one foot. It hunched over quite a bit.
â€œWhen it first encountered us, it stared. By the time I got the camera out, it stated fleeing.
â€œIt had no smell that overpowered the wet forest smell, and made no sound, except for rushing through the bush,â€ he writes in online discussions after the video was posted.
After the creature fled, the pair run forward and look for footprints. What they find stamped in the earth seems more human than bearlike.
While the tape is blurry and the camera work shaky, there seems to be something resembling a human shape when it rears up.
When crouched, it looks like a bear.
So far, the video has provoked pages of discussion on YouTube.
Some respond saying itâ€™s a hoax; others believe itâ€™s the real thing.
â€œThis is NOT a hoax. The quality is bad, but my original copy is quite clear,â€ writes the man who claims to have posted the video.
The man, who did not respond to email requests for an interview, says heâ€™s sending the tape to the B.C. Cryptozoology Society â€œfor an expertâ€™s advice.â€
The videotape does receive mention on the cryptozoology.com website. The websiteâ€™s glossary includes such creatures as the Mongolian Death Worm, the Loch Ness Monster, Blobs, Globsters, the Beast of Gevaudan, the Coelacanth and Goatman.
Wildlife biologist Dr. John Bindernagel says postings of sasquatch videos on Youtube are not uncommon, but many appear to be spoofs.
â€œThis video, itâ€™s very good of the fellow to at least entertain the option that it could have been a sasquatch â€” not just an upright bear or not someone in a fur suit,â€ Bindernagel says.
â€But itâ€™s not very good and itâ€™s not something that a scientist would bring to attention of his colleagues as evidence because it isnâ€™t very good.
â€œIt could well have been a sasquatch but itâ€™s neither persuasive or convincing.â€
Bindernagel, who has written extensively about the subject, says the internet videos can both help and hinder efforts to do genuine scientific research into the Big Foot phenomenon.
â€œBecause we have been unable to attract informed scientific comment, the media has proceeded with this very attractive, simplistic hoax hypothesis and thatâ€™s been really quite problematic,â€ he says.
But Bindernagel is convinced sasquatch exist.
He says there have been more than 100 sightings of the legendary creature on Vancouver Island and thousands of sighting throughout North America since the mid-1800s.
Â© Canadian Press 2007