Posted by: John Kirk on March 26th, 2007
The Canadian Press carried the following article today and I have some comments to make about it:
VANCOUVER — Was it a bear? Or was it a sasquatch, the legendary primate long rumoured 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.
“My brother and I had a strange encounter with a large, dark humanoid in the forests of Tofino,” the unidentified man says in the introduction to a video posted recently on www.youtube.com. `Strange Humanoid Encounter’ has been viewed more than 15,000 times.
The pair — who say they live five hours from Tofino — were on a walk in the forest, using a camera to shoot wildlife.
What they saw caught them off guard.
“Look, quick … stay back” says one, as the camera begins to roll.
”My hypothesis is that this was a bear although my memory deceives me,” the man writes in the video introduction. “The animal was about seven feet tall, give or take one foot. It hunched over quite a bit.
“When it first encountered us, it stared. By the time I got the camera out, it stated fleeing.
“It had no smell that overpowered the wet forest smell, and made no sound, except for rushing through the bush,” 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 it’s a hoax; others believe it’s the real thing.
“This is NOT a hoax. The quality is bad, but my original copy is quite clear,” writes the man who claims to have posted the video.
The man, who did not respond to email requests for an interview, says he’s sending the tape to the B.C. Cryptozoology Society “for an expert’s advice.”
The videotape does receive mention on the cryptozoology.com website. The website’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.
“This video, it’s very good of the fellow to at least entertain the option that it could have been a sasquatch — not just an upright bear or not someone in a fur suit,” Bindernagel says.
”But it’s not very good and it’s not something that a scientist would bring to attention of his colleagues as evidence because it isn’t very good.
“It could well have been a sasquatch but it’s neither persuasive or convincing.”
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.
“Because we have been unable to attract informed scientific comment, the media has proceeded with this very attractive, simplistic hoax hypothesis and that’s been really quite problematic,” 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.
The videographer has refused a media request for an interview and claims that he is sending the video to the BC Cryptozoology Society for scrutiny. That is really interesting as there is no B.C. Cryptozoology Society.
I am the president of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club and we are the de facto cryptozoology organization in this province. I can confirm that no one has asked us to examine this videotape yet. As we are sometimes referred to as the BC Cryptozoology Society by the media – who frequently get our name wrong – I wrote to the videographer to ask if he meant he would be sending the video to us to examine. Hours have passed and I have not heard a thing from the videographer.
How he plans to send the video to us – if that is indeed what he is planning to do – is a bit of a mystery as we do not advertise our address and we would have to be contacted so that we would provide it. We also do not entertain any anonymous requests for assistance and it is our policy to call people offering evidence so we can assess by their voices whether there is any possibility of a hoax or if it might just be mischief.
Right now I’m not holding too much optimism that this video is genuine. I would very much like to be proved wrong, but the silence to my email requesting more info about the video has been nothing less than deafening.
I am also baffled by this man that the media keep referring to. All I hear in the video are the voices of two boys – possibly teenagers. Who’s the man?
Here is the video. It is entitled “Strange Humanoid Encounter.”
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.