Posted by: John Kirk on May 17th, 2006
One of the things I find most perplexing about sasquatch stories from British Columbia and particularly about the ones that emanate from the Harrison Hot Springs area is that sasquatch apparently have the faculty of speech. Now, I don’t mean they can simply howl growl or grunt, I mean they can talk in known languages.
Some readers may have heard the Sierra sounds of purported sasquatch vocalizations recorded by Alan Berry and Ron Moorehead about three decades ago. On these recordings one hears what are supposedly sasquatches apparently communicating with each other in some sort of sasquatch language or recognizable (to them) sounds. The conversations are quite animated and even excitable in tone. However, they do not speak any known form of human language.
All of these stories of talking sasquatch in British Columbia come from the aboriginal people in the area of Chehalis. Take for instance Seraphine Long who told her story to John W. Burns, the father of sasquatchery in British Columbia. She claims that she was kidnapped by a male sasquatch who put tree gum over her eyes so that she could not see where he was taking her. The sasquatch communicated in a known language (no one knows which aboriginal dialect) for a year. After a year Long says she told the sasquatch that she missed her family and wanted to return. I find it amazing that anyone would take a year to miss their family especially when one has been kidnapped, but that is not the issue we are discussing presently.
I believe Long is from the Chehalis people and so spoke to the sasquatch in this dialect. It apparently understood her so if it did not speak to her, at least it understood what she was talking about for soon after she intimated she wanted to be released, Long’s eyes were covered with tree gum and she was brought back to the edge of her people’s encampment and set free.
Now if a sasquatch which understand human language isn’t enough to make this story amazing, Long says that shortly after she was released she gave birth to a baby, but it did not survive for long. The inference here is that the baby was part sasquatch. She was with a sasquatch for a year so there is no possibility that she was impregnated by a human, but rather by a sasquatch. If that baby’s remains actually exist, and it is a true human sasquatch hybrid, then one wonders why no one has ever examined them to see if there are any features deviant from those of a normal human being.
There is also the story of Victor Charlie who was out hunting with his dog in the vicinity of Chehalis, when he saw a being in appearance like that of moderately hairy 12 year-old boy. As Charlie approached, the boy hid itself in a tree trunk and the dog set about trying to flush him out. Charlie, for some bizarre reason known only to himself, took a shot at the boy in the tree and managed to inflict a wound.
At this point, according to Charlie, a huge (over seven feet tall) hair covered woman comes out of the bushes and asks Charlie in the Douglas dialect. “Why have you wounded my friend?”
Charlie realizes she is a sasquatch and is absolutely aghast that it can speak. I find this odd as many First Nations people regard the sasquatch tribe as a race of indigenous people like themselves, but taller and hairier. I find it odd that Charlie was bemused that they had the faculty of speech considering they were allegedly also First Nations people.
The female sasquatch did not linger long for she scooped up the wounded boy and carried him off into the bush while Charlie and his dog beat a hasty retreat from the scene. This and the Seraphine Long story date back to the early days of the 20th century. In Charlie’s case, he is able to identify the dialect as the Douglas dialect which was and I believe is still spoken by the inhabitants of Port Douglas at the head of Harrison Lake.
Now, Port Douglas has a story all of its own in regard to sasquatches. In 1941 the white inhabitants at Harrison Hot Springs were surprised to see many canoes streaming down the lake from the north. When these canoes pulled ashore, the whites identified the people aboard as members of the Port Douglas band. When asked why they had all come down to Harrison Hot Springs in such a hurry, the Port Douglas spokesman told the whites that they had fled their village because it had been invaded by a sasquatch. This sasquatch couldn’t or didn’t want to speak the Port Douglas dialect, so not knowing its intentions the aboriginal people hightailed it in their canoes.
In researching sasquatches in British Columbia and Alberta, I have never seen another report of talking sasquatches like the ones that emanate from around Harrison Hot Springs. The only other report that mentions sasquatch speech is that of Albert Ostman, but the sasquatches in his story don’t speak a human language but one apparently of their own.
Some would say what about the sasquatches who communicate telepathically with people? I say give me a break. If you believe that I have a nice rubber room waiting for you along with the latest in straitjacket fashion. It is hard enough resolving the biological sasquatch so I do not believe in clouding the matter over with the notion of a paranormal or “psychic” sasquatch. Others will say what about the sasquatches in Tennessee that allegedly have been habituated by humans and speak to them in some sort of language. All I have to say to that is, these events have allegedly been taking place for 50 years and yet there is not one photo, movie, video or sound recording obtained in all that time? Enough said on that.
I do not know what to do about the talking sasquatches of Harrison Hot Springs. They perplex me. I do not know if either Seraphine Long’s or Victor Charlie’s stories are true. John W. Burns did, and he was not exactly a gullible guy. Burns thought these people to be honest and decent. I did not know them so I am unable to comment on their character and therefore must rely on Burns’ evaluation of them.
In the meantime, the talking sasquatches of British Columbia will remain a mystery until their language code is cracked.
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.