Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 31st, 2009

There’s a Bigfoot known from and seen around Port Chatham, Alaska.

Over a “long period of time,” a nantiinaq (Nan-te-nuk) – or big hairy creature – was reportedly terrorizing villagers. And Malania also told of the spirit of a woman dressed in draping black clothes that would come out of the cliffs.
“Her dress was so long she would drag it,” Malania said. “She had a very white face and would disappear back into the cliffs.”
The goose-bumped terror felt when people encountered these spirits was nothing compared to what happened to Malania’s godfather, Andrew Kamluck. He was logging in 1931, when someone or something hit him over the head with a piece of log-moving equipment. The blow reportedly killed him instantly.
Malania isn’t the only one to tell of strange events at Port Chatham. Port Graham Elder, Simeon Kvasnikoff, said he remembers when nantiinaq was blamed for the disappearance of a gold miner.
“This one guy over there had a little place where he was digging for gold,” Kvasnikoff said. “He went up there one time and never came back. No one found any sign of him.”
Another story recounted the experience of a sawmill owner named Tom Larsen, who had a job cutting wood for the old fish traps. He told of spotting nantiinaq on the beach once. After going back to his house to get his gun, he returned to the beach and “the thing looked at him,” Kvasnikoff said. For some reason, Larsen decided against firing a shot.
In an April 15, 1973 issue of the Anchorage Daily News, a feature article told of the abandoned cannery town of Portlock near Port Chatham. The writer had learned the story during an evening spent with the school teacher and his wife at English Bay (Nanwalek) while on a boat trip.
The story is told:
“Portlock began its existence sometime after the turn of the century as a cannery town. In 1921, a post office was established there, and for a time the residents, mostly natives of Russian-Aleut mix, lived in peace with their picturesque mountain-and-sea setting.”
According to the ADN story, sometime in the beginning years of World War II, rumors began to seep along the Kenai Peninsula that things were not right in Portlock. Men from the cannery town would reportedly go up into the hills to hunt Dall sheep and bear, and never return. Worse yet, sometimes stories would circulate about mutilated bodies that were swept down into the lagoon, torn and dismembered in a way that bears could not, or would not, do.
“Tales were told of villagers tracking moose over soft ground. They would find giant, man-like tracks over 18 inches in length closing upon those of the moose, the signs of a short struggle where the grass had been matted down, then only the deep tracks of the manlike animal departing toward the high, fog-shrouded mountains …”
The article goes on to tell how the fed-up townfolk decided to move en masse, and by 1950, the U.S. Post office had closed there.
Even into more recent times, nantiinaq reports haven’t stopped entirely. A man who prefers to remain anonymous tells his story online.
“In 1990, while I was working as a paramedic in Anchorage, we got called out on an alarm for a man having a heart attack at the state jail in Eagle River. He was a Native man in his 70s, and after I got him stabilized with IVs, O2 and cardiac drugs, my partner and I began to transport him to the Native Hospital in Anchorage.”
En route to the hospital, the paramedic and the Native man, an “Aleut” from Port Graham, talked about hunting. The paramedic had been to Dog Fish Bay and was once weathered in there.
“This old man sat up on the gurney and grabbed me by the front of my shirt. He got right up to my face and said, ‘Did it bother you?’ Well, with that question, the hair just stood up on the back of my head. I said, ‘Yes.’ “Did you see it?” was his next question. I said “No. ..Did you see it?” He said “No, but my brother seen it. It chased him.”
In August of 1973, Ed and two others were bowhunting for goats and black bear when a storm forced them to take shelter in Dogfish Bay Lagoon.
“We beached our skiff and let the tide run her dry. After a dinner of broiled salmon we turned in to our tent. Back in those days, the best tent I had was a dark green canvas job with a center pole and no windows or floor. We left the fire burning and cleaned the pots and pans so as not to attract bears during the night and turned in,” Ed wrote.
The sky was clear, but the wind was howling through the old growth timber that lined the shore. Sometime around 2 a.m., Dennis woke Ed after hearing what sounded like footsteps outside the tent. It wasn’t a bear. Ed said the walking – or rather creeping – continued until it half circled the tent.
“In August, there is still some light in the sky until about 10 or 11. I recall that we all were embarrassed about being afraid about the coming night. We had a flashlight and the rifle in the tent between us, locked and loaded. I finally dosed off but woke right up when Dennis squeezed my leg. The illuminated hands of my watch showed it was 2:30. Joe was already sitting up and had the rifle in hand. I heard the first step, not more than about 10 feet from the back of the tent. Slowly. Then another and another. Whatever this was, it sounded like it was walking on two feet. It made the same semi-circle around the tent. When we finally got enough courage to crawl out of the tent and turn the flashlight on, we saw nothing. No tracks, nothing. The third night we decided if it bothered us again, we would come out of the tent shooting. We were actually scared. It never came back the third night and the following day we had a break in the weather and got the heck out of there.”
Though Sasquatches became something of a popular phenomenon in the 1960s and ‘70s in the Lower 48, the nantiinaq in Sugt’stun culture has been around for a long time. According to the culture, he might be a different kind of creature, a tragic half-man, half-beast who wasn’t always in this condition. He perhaps used to be fully human.
Elder Nick Tanape said he doesn’t discredit the stories about nantiinaq, but says he’s never seen one.
“I think there’s something to them,” he said.
Malania said that, once her family moved to Nanwalek, the nantiinaq stayed far away and left them in peace. It didn’t follow them, and for that they were grateful. She grew up, raised 13 children and remains one of the few regional elders who can pass on the old traditions.
Malania – a favorite among the young people of Nanwalek, especially when she tells stories – learned many things from her grandmother, who was a traditional healer.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “Nantiinaq”

  1. John A. Lutz responds:

    Wonder if NANTIINAQ has any reference to the creatures inhabiting a valley known in the late 1800s & early 1900s to contain hot springs & lush vegetation, which was called the HEADLESS VALLEY.
    We met a gold miner in the 1960s, who told us at least a dozen gold miners or prospectors where found dead with their heads missing in what has become known as the Nahanni River Headless Valley in the western end of the Northwest Territories.
    For whatever reason, a “Roy Rogers Comic Book” in the early 1950s featured a story where Roy Rogers was forced to jump from a cargo plane which developed engine trouble & needed to reduce it weight, that carried him & his horse Trigger.
    NOT wanting to part from Trigger, Roy put parachutes on him & Trigger, and landed in the Headless Valley. Coming upon what Roy thought was a “sleeping miner”, he kept calling out, & finally walked over to awaken the man, only to discover his head was missing.
    I wish to this day, I had kept that 1 ‘comic book’, for that is where we 1st learned of of the HEADLESS VALLEY. On a 4-week vacation to Yellowstone & the Bitterroot Mountains in 1967, my friend Jake & I met a gold miner named Roger Willcock in Red Lodge, Montana, who told us stories of his involvement with the Headless Valley, which he claimed was 100% true, as did a retired RCMP Officer we met in Glacier National Park.
    NWT Officials today, in order NOT to scare away tourists with the almighty dollar, refers to the valley legends as all rumors and NO facts….but we question officialdom’s new found data….
    Does anyone else has legendary information on the Headless Valley from the early to mid-1950s?????

  2. dogu4 responds:

    One of my favorite places and one of the most compelling mysteries. When I first read the story in the Homer AK newspaper I made a comment online saying that, considering the location and its relatively unusual degree of isolation even by AK standards, it was certainly intriguing and wondered about the possible connection between the creature there on the forested refugia at the southern end of the Kenai penninsula and what the Tlingket, whose culture continues south along the forested areas of the coastal areas of southeast Alaska as the Alutiiq (Eskimo) culture’s extension ends around Kayak Island, and their descriptions of a creature they call the “kushtaka” or giant land otter.
    The author, Naomi Klouda, responded with an email. While she didn’t add anything regarding the possible connection with the Kushtaka, she did make a connection to the old stories of a creature known to the Alutiiq people of Kodiak:
    “On Kodiak, I wrote of the Hoolaq, very similar to the Nintiinaq. Their stories (also Alutiiq people) deal with needing to keep Hoolaq happy enough with gifts of tobacco and such left behind that he won’t harm them. Didn’t hear the appeasement stories from the Nanwalek side though.”

  3. SOCALcryptid responds:

    Good stuff Loren. Thanks for these reports.
    John A. Luts and Dogu4, Great comments. Thanks for the information.

  4. cryptidsrus responds:

    Great story. Alaska is an underreported trove of Cryptid delights. 🙂
    I also wonder with John A. Lutz wether this is in any way connected to the”Headless Valley” stories.

  5. korollocke responds:

    Reminds me the Marvel comics Wendigo, a curse afflicted upon those who consume human flesh, they become large man like beast with an unending hunger and immortality. Marvel used to have quite s few monsters in the great white north. Wendigo even battled the Hulk and introduced the world to Wolverine in issue 181 of the Hulk, Wendigo made his comics debute I beleive in the previous issue but was actually seen in Monsters Unleashed magazine prior. The Hulk even fought the Lochness Monster once in The lurker in the loch!

  6. flightsuit responds:

    The footprints were eighteen inches long? I know that’s nothing new when it comes to bigfoot, but it just struck me how truly huge that is! Assuming a bigfoot had similar proportions to a human, what type of size and weight would we extrapolate from an eighteen inch foot?

  7. MrInspector responds:

    He gone missin’ -native saying in the Great White North.

Leave your comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

|Top | Content|

Connect with Cryptomundo

Cryptomundo FaceBook Cryptomundo Twitter Cryptomundo Instagram Cryptomundo Pinterest


Creatureplica Fouke Monster Sybilla Irwin


|Top | FarBar|

Attention: This is the end of the usable page!
The images below are preloaded standbys only.
This is helpful to those with slower Internet connections.