Red Lake and Bigfoot

Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 22nd, 2006

With all the interest in the new Ely Sasquatch Video, it seems like a good moment to mention the time-space links to Red Lake, Minnesota. Both locations are in northern Minnesota, just south of the Canadian border. Ely is 200 miles due east of Red Lake.

Yesterday, as the Ely Sasquatch Video was exploding onto the internet via such sites as Cryptomundo, Boing Boing, The Anomalist, and Coast to Coast AM, the day also marked the first anniversary of an infamous school shooting with strange ties to Bigfoot.

On March 21, 2005, Red Lake, Minnesota high school student Jeffrey James Weise (August 8, 1988 – March 21, 2005) killed a total of ten people. First he killed his grandfather and grandfather’s wife, 32-year old Michelle Sigana, who was his grandfather’s police force partner. Later he shot and killed seven people at Red Lake High School, including a teacher and a security guard. As many as 15 others were wounded in the school shooting. After briefly exchanging fire with police officers following the murders, Weise died by his own hand.

The incident began at home in the afternoon when Weise apparently shot his grandfather and Sigana. Weise then drove his grandfather’s patrol vehicle to the high school, propelling it into the building at around 3:00 p.m. CST. Wearing a reservation-police-issued bulletproof vest, likely taken from the stolen reservation police patrol vehicle, Weise killed the third victim (the security guard) immediately upon arriving at the school.

When the police first arrived, Weise briefly opened fire on them before going into the school. Once in there, he was said to be “waving and smiling” as he shot students at random. An attempt to break into an English classroom was thwarted by a quick-thinking teacher who had taken the precaution to lock the door.

Media coverage of Jeff Weise after the shooting was intense. Weise left electronic footprints all across the internet, on websites such as, offering, as Wikipedia noted, “an unusual level of public insight into his thoughts and the hardships in his life that led to his depression and fascination with dark imagery in the months and years prior to the shootings.”

Besides being a neo-Nazi, liking Hitler, seeing white owls, having dreams about shooting, Weise also was interested in Bigfoot.

Needless to say, people interested in Bigfoot are not all killers, and all serial, mass, and rampage killers are not Bigfoot fans. But the overlap between the two in this case are worthy of our sociological attention. Such twilight language and coded messages exist all the more overtly in this World Wide Web age, and there’s no reason to ignore them and not examine what we might discover. (In this vein, I investigate past school shootings and the twilight language in my 2004 book, The Copycat Effect.)

The simple fact is the Red Lake school shooter liked to talk about Bigfoot, and we have the records to explore how Bigfoot worked into his cosmos.

Minnesota Bigfoot

Red Lake’s Jeff Weise

Jeff Weise would post as “Weise” at the Above Top Secret forum.

Here is “Weise” talking about Sasquatch among the Ojibwa, on 6-11-2004 (November 6th?):

Almost everyone I know has a sasqautch story, almost everyone one has a person in their familly who’s probably seem him. At least thats how it is where I live, (on a Reservation in Minnesota).

I’ve asked a few elders about bigfoot, and in my language (Ojibwe) we have a name for him. I forgot it, and barely could pronounce it, but he exists in our neck of the woods, at least I believe he does. I heard a story from my cousin (he works in Tribal Government), he told me that a guy he worked with was out in the forest alone on a fast. He was near a swampy area, and midway through his fast he saw Bigfoot walking through the swamp, reaching down into the water along the way and pulling up a certain type of weed and slinging it over his shoulder.

The weed from the swamp he was pulling out was supposedly some kind of herbal medicine used by Native medicine men.

And to feed some of you peoples interest in the possibility of a sasquatch and alien connection? The lake I live by (Red Lake) is one heck of a big lake, and if you sit out at the beach on a clear summer night you’ll see lights over the lake. Everyone says they’re UFO’s, I believe that too. There was a UFO sighting in broad daylight a few years back, it was over the lake, people said it looked like a metal disc. Anyway, alot of people were reporting power outages and cars stalling on them around the exact same time.

I love living in this lively place…

Later on 11-11-2004 (November 11, 2004), responding to this quote (filled with incorrect info) from Brainiac: “Hi! The Bigfoot idea was recently found out to be made up, by the same guy that supposedly capture the creature on film in 1974. He said on his death bed that he made the whole thing up. The footage was real, but it was footage of a man in a gorilla costume… ”

Weise rather appropriately writes:

Lol, sorry, but that just wont fly in my part of the woods.

We’ve actually seen him, in the “flesh,” not just a video. The stories of bigfoot, as previously stated, have been around for hundreds of years, not just since the Patterson film.

Perhaps not coincidentally, on February 10, 2005, there were reports of tracks of Sasquatch being found on the Red Lake Reservation. Here are examples of two photographs (below) circulated on the web at the time. While initially they might look like bear prints, upon closer examination, more clearly defined Bigfoot-type toe prints are visible.

On March 21, 2005, the focus was on Red Lake, Minnesota and Jeff Weise’s carnage, and the Red Lake Bigfoot track investigations faded into the background. On March 21, 2006, our attention is drawn back to Minnesota, and the new video of the Ely Sasquatch. What does it all mean? It remains to be seen.

Minnesota Bigfoot

Minnesota Bigfoot

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.

11 Responses to “Red Lake and Bigfoot”

  1. DL42 responds:

    Interesting info about Red Lake Loren. Also, your recent post about contactees and how some serial killers claimed a connection with Bigfoot was equally fascinating (and something I was unaware of). As for this latest video, I’m in utter disbelief at how it has taken off. I am 99.9% sure it is a hoax- and not really an impressive one. Yet people are really getting excited about it. As I said yesterday, the owner originally had it up and took it down- when it was first up it had only a few tags (the words people type in to find it) one of which was “Bigfoot” (how I came across it) and the other was “pot” (and I’m pretty certain “pot” was a reference to marijuana). He later pulled the video and put it back up with different tags and the story he now has with it. Also, he had only one video on his YouTube playlist yesterday- not surprisingly (to me at least) it was a popular UFO hoax. I hate to sound like someone from CSICOP but come on people! And now this thing has made Coast to Coast! Oh well, I’ll guess we’ll be hearing from the videographer soon enough. Wonder if he manages to get any money out of one of the tabloid tv shows? If they’re stupid enough to pay for it more power to him.

  2. ToddPartain responds:

    The individual in the video is obviously not the agile hominid we hear about, seems like a cumbersome costume he’s wearing.

  3. shovethenos responds:

    I think you’re really overstating the connection between Bigfoot and serial/spree/etc. killers. Despite the huge amount of media hype and sensationalism, those phenomenon are very rare. Violent crime levels have actually been going down, despite what babbling you hear from several 24hr news channels. Our society should actually be becoming more free, not less. Our civil and Constitutional rights should be as they were decades ago, not being steadily eroded for nonsensical justifications.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Considering that few or no one before has discussed, indepth, the links here – between Bigfoot and Starkweather, Stayner, and Weise – this is more an exercise in discovery of what sociological processes might be occurring versus any grand statements.

    Of course both are rare phenomena, but then rare phenomena are what I study. 🙂

    Overstating a link? Nay, I am merely bringing this to a level of awareness for discussion.

    Perhaps there are others? for example.

    I don’t know unless I ask, unless I look, unless I comment.

  5. shovethenos responds:

    No offense intended, but I see a couple problems with your “link” and observations:

    – You’re mixing spree killers up with serial killers, which traditionally have different profiles and different motivations. This has a lot to do with sensationalism, as the media likes to mix all of them together in one pot. Part of the whole macabre “if it bleeds, it leads” process of modern media journalism.

    – The FBI Behavioral Science Unit and allied experts have gone over the histories and backgrounds of many convicted and incarcerated serial killers with a fine-tooth comb, getting down to fine points like bedwetting. I think if “interest in cryptozoology” was significant it would have been noted at some point.

    – I think more of a common denominator is the areas in which these individuals lived, they just happened to live in areas where a lot of Bigfoot sightings or activity took place. At one point there was a theory that disproportionately high serial murder activity occurred near the coasts for some reason. A lot of this was on the West Coast, specifically the Pacific Northwest. There was a lot of high-profile activity there – Ted Bundy started there, the Green River killer was there, etc. As you know, the Pacific Northwest is also basically Bigfoot central, so its not surprising that many people in the area develop an interest in the phenomenon.

    Serial killers are a highly sensationalized phenomenon, so there are always these attempts by people to draws links where none actually exist. The sensationalism leads to lots of correlation/causation errors and treating coincidences as more significant than they actually are.

  6. DL42 responds:

    Hey Loren,
    this is off topic but I’m not sure where I should put it. Anyway, I just wanted to say that your work concerning “phantom clowns” was extremely interesting. I guess that’s a subject that might be kind of outside what Cryptomundo is about but I found it completely fascinating. Would love to know if you’ve gotten any other reports about them in recent years and what your current thinking on the subject is. Maybe a subject for a future Cryptomundo entry?

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Yes, DL42, that topic won’t be appearing on Cryptomundo, unless there is an attack of Phantom Clowns on Bigfoot.

    They are a Fortean topic, and you will find more on them in Mysterious America, updated to 2001, with new accounts. But the book goes out of print at the end of March, so pick it up soon, before the hardcover price goes through the roof, if you wish.

  8. draconica responds:

    I agree with shovethenos about mixing spree killers with serial killers– and besides the literal checklist of psychological and sociological problems serial killers posses as compared to spree killers, serial killers are much more cold-blooded and calculating in their crimes, while spree killers tend to have a more emotional, and fanatical reasoning.

    The majority of serial killers tend to be sociopathic, while most spree killers lack this extreme form of narcisism and, as aforementioned, tend more toward emotion-provoking disorders such as paranoia and bipolar.

    In any sense, if Loren meant “spree” killers as opposed to “serial” killers, he would be dead on the money, because spree killers prefer more of a fanciful way of thinking– evading their troubles by fully immersing themselves into subjects such as conpiracies, cults, UFOs, magik, and the like…

    Of course, having these characteristics doesn’t neccessarily mean you’re going to be a spree killer one day– their psychological makeup is a lot less definate than that of a serial killer…

    …otherwise most of us on here would probably end up becoming spree killers and, well… that would just be bad publicity for us cryptos. =P

  9. Mnynames responds:

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s all game for comment. As Charles Fort said, “One measures a circle beginning anywhere.”

  10. shovethenos responds:

    Of course, having these characteristics doesn’t neccessarily mean you’re going to be a spree killer one day– their psychological makeup is a lot less definate than that of a serial killer…

    That’s the thing – both spree and serial killers are so rare that trying to generalize about their backgrounds is largely a pointless exercise, except for a small group of law enforcement, clinical, and academic practitioners. And trying to use general criteria to “predict” if a given person will become a spree or serial killer is even more pointless, because 99.999% of the time you will be wrong. The phenomena is so rare, and psychological evaluation so subjective and error-prone, that statistically the odds of making a correct prediction out of the general population would be nearly impossible.

  11. skunkapesmells responds:

    Loren you rock but the guy on youtube deleted the video and now ive been waiting almost a year to see this video,if you find a link please tell me!!!

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