Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 22nd, 2006
Exactly a year ago, on April 22, 2005, the story of Bobby Clarke’s Manitoba Sasquatch video broke in the news.
The beginning of the story had begun earlier, of course. At dawn on Saturday, April 16, 2005, Bobby Clarke, a Manitoba ferryboat driver and Native of the Norway House Cree First Nation, was doing his job when he noticed something, a "big, black figure," "a massive creature" on the opposite bank of the Nelson River, about 300 meters (over 900 feet) away. Clarke had an old camcorder on board to record any wildlife he saw, so he picked it up and took two minutes and 49 seconds of videotape of what many say is a Sasquatch. He showed it to hundreds of locals at his friend, Georgina Henry’s house in Norway House, Manitoba, before he sold the first rights to screen it to the program, A Current Affair.
Bigfoot researchers were dismayed to hear the Native Canadian had sold the footage to television, but then Clarke merely said that he wanted to make a little money off all the interest in his footage, just as much as the next guy. He made no outrageous claims for it, and was curious about what the creature might be.
Clarke told the Globe and Mail that he "has been nervous ever since seeing the creature, especially when he takes the ferry to the side of the river the creature was on."
Despite a well-publicized A Current Affair expedition to Manitoba to search for the Sasquatch, and keep the story alive, no results were forthcoming. As fate would have it, the entire news magazine was cancelled by Fox Television a few weeks after the Clarke Bigfoot affair was no longer current.
How has the Bobby Clarke video fared in the last year?
After the footage aired on A Current Affair, it got mixed reviews.
At the time, the Edmonton Sun quoted Franklin Ruehl, a Glendale, California-based alleged Sasquatch researcher who watched it, as saying: "It was an exciting moment. I saw an intriguing entity that certainly appeared to be an ape-like human hybrid….I’m most impressed with this tape. It’s one more piece of evidence that these entities exist. It’s not absolute proof but it should be enough of a motivating factor to encourage an expedition into northern Manitoba."
Many of us, including me, thought that it was too fuzzy and distorted to prove much, one way or the other.
Others came out to debunk it firmly. Bill Borody, founder of the Manitoba Sasquatch Research Centre, said it was "bogus."
Borody told the media the creature in the video is not moving, but the background is. He also said Sasquatch are supposed to be large, barrel-chested creatures, but the one in Clarke’s footage is narrow at the top and fans out at the bottom, "like a tent." (Okay. That’s his opinion.)
Interestingly, Borody noted that Clarke’s claim that he shot the video at 6:30 am in the morning is also puzzling because Borody said it’s light outside in the footage. But Norway House — which is in northern Manitoba — is still dark at that hour at that time of year, Borody exclaimed.
Alright, Cryptomundo investigators, here is your chance, for we are nearly at the same time of year again…what is the light like up in Norway House, Manitoba, at 6:30 am on April 16th?
Borody does sound like he had a sense of humor during his debunking, because he said he hoped Clarke made a lot of money from the video because he wouldn’t give Clarke 10 bucks for it, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.
What do you think of the Clarke Sasquatch footage now, a year later? And why?
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.