Kidnapped By Sasquatch

Posted by: John Kirk on July 29th, 2006

Sometimes I wonder just how true some of the stories that are introduced into the realm of cryptozoology really are.  Just how much of this stuff is fact and just how much is urban legend, pure myth or deliberate fabrication. Tonight I was sitting around reading Mary Moon’s fine book Ogopogo. Mary was the first author to pen a volume about the denizen of Okanagan Lake and it really is a good read and scientific in its overview.

Although the book is primarily about water cryptids, there are some stories about other strange beings such as the little people who are said to have once lived in the waters of Okanagan Lake. From the descriptions gathered, it would appear that the little people are possibly a pod of manatees that some how entered Okanagan Lake from the Columbia river system before it was all dammed up in the 1920’s. I know manatees are supposed to flourish only in the Florida waterways and not on the west coast of North America, but it is possible that some strayed out to sea and ended up in the lake for a short period of time when they were noticed by the local aboriginal peoples. The other possibility that the little people were a smaller variety of Steller’s sea cow has also been espoused. I don’t know what the little people were, but I do not think they were actual little human beings with an aquatic bent.

My intention is not to digress too far from what I really want to discuss, so let’s get back on track. Another strange Okanagan valley cryptid Moon wrote of was the Stenwyken or sasquatch as it is known in other parts of British Columbia. Moon tells of the story obtained published in 1962 by Okanagan historian Hester White and related by a native called Suswap, about a northern Okanagan First Nations tribe who lost one of their female members for three years under mysterious circumstances. The missing woman suddenly showed up one day and told her people an absolutely incredible tale. She recounted that Stenwyken had kidnapped her, sealed her eyes with pitch and held her in a cave. This lass cohabited with Stenwyken and even bore it a Stenwyken child which died shortly after birth. This sad event precipitated a sort of Stenwyken divorce as the hairy manbeast once again covered her eyes with pitch and left her in a spot near the camp of her people.

While I was reading this, I had an extraordinary sense of déjà vu. Where the heck had I seen this story in another context and location? After a short period of intense brain racking, it the dawned on me that I had seen the same sort of story before in an article written by John W. Burns – the man who brought the word Sasquatch to the attention of the non-native world – in 1929. I actually commented on this occurrence once before right here at

Sasquatch Kidnapping

Click on image for full-size version

Image Credit: Rene’ Dahinden

As readers may recall, Burns recorded the narrative of one Seraphine Long whose story is identical to the story of the girl who was swept away by the Stenwyken. From what I could gather from Moon’s book, the Stenwyken abduction of the girl is a very old story and would appear to predate the Seraphine Long story which took place at the turn of the 20th century. Forgive me for putting on my skepticals here, but I can’t help but think two things:

1) Kidnapping women, covering women’s eyes with pitch and impregnating women is a common trait of British Columbia sasquatches or

2) Seraphine Long’s story may possibly be based on the story of Stenwyken and may never have actually happened to her at all.

I have this unpleasant taste in my mouth right now from looking at the Long story in the light of the older Stenwyken narrative. I always had difficulty with Long’s story, but following my rereading of the Stenwyken tale, I must confess the Long story holds even less credibility for me now than ever before.

You might have noticed that I do not seem to appear to have a problem with the notion of interspecies breeding between sasquatch and humans, but that is a topic I will address at another time in the columns of Cryptomundo.

In regard to John W. Burns, I have nothing but respect for the man and his diligent efforts to bring the sasquatch to the fore in western consciousness. He simply recorded what he had been told and did not appear to judge what his informants had to say, leaving that to his readers like me to decide whether or not to accept these stories. J.W. Burns would have fit in really well with the style of present day contributors to Cryptomundo!!!

Now readers, feel free to discuss among yourselves and kindly post your constructive comments below.

John Kirk About John Kirk
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.

22 Responses to “Kidnapped By Sasquatch”

  1. harleyb responds:

    I believe it is definitely a possible story.I’ve heard similar Native American stories somewhere,can’t recall.

  2. P.S.Anderson responds:

    That’s the only way some guys can get a date.

  3. shovethenos responds:

    My working theory is they ran off with the turn of the century equivalent of the milkman, and then made up a story afterward to get attention and whatever other benefits they could swindle. At least they didn’t lie about an innocent person, knock on wood.

  4. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning John….

    Perhaps our Russian friends could weigh in on this matter?

    Inter-species breeding implies humanlike…rather than apelike…I’m reminded of Khwit…and his mother.

    Mary Green’s book “Fifty Years” cites a story of attempted cross-breeding…not sure how politically correctness applies here….surely I’ve offended someone’s sensitivities.

    A brief comment about lake critters….

    As a skeptic…I have a great deal of trouble with their exisitence…I suppose if they do exist they only represent a possible threat to those on the lake…my skepticism is tempered by the sightings of yourself and other credible folks.

    Let’s hope the next time sasquatch kidnaps a “bride”…it’s one of these hoaxsters…JMHO

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  5. Karrde responds:

    Italian author Renzo Cantagalli mentioned the case of Helen Westring, who claimed being raped by a Sasquatch during a hunting trip to Bemidij, Minnesota. Cantagalli thought the whole story was bull… but he also said that many accounts involving sexual aggressive behavior toward humans originated from Minnesota as well. Thus, in his opinion, the whole thing probably was a cultural projection, and not an accurate depiction of Sasquatch behavior.

  6. shumway10973 responds:

    even still, if these kidnappings really happened, ending with children, wouldn’t that tell us that bigfoot is closer to humans than even most people even here ever wanted to realize or admit? The Germans during WWII tried to cross breed german maidens with wild gorillas, trying for a strong, but kinda dumb minion that would carry out extraordinary orders. The main problem they had was in keeping the maiden from being killed by the gorilla. Although, there was always the story of the wild woman in russia. Her description is that of bigfoot or yeti. The men in charge of her found she loved alcohol and often would get her drunk and take advantage of her. It is said that she had a good handful of children this way. If I remember right most or all the children survived, more human looking and acting than whatever mom was. Has anyone tried a test tube crossing of humans and other primates just to see how close we might actually be?

  7. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    Is it possible to be impregnated by an animal not of the same species? That’s like my dog being impregnated by my father… It’s impossible. Plus, why aren’t the ‘bodies’ found of the hybrid babies?

  8. Karrde responds:

    Hi! You mean Zana, the female Alma that was allegedly captured during the XIX century. Now regarding that, I have to point out that several Russian scientists believe that the Almasti are Neanderthals that survived to the present day. This is important because the scientific community has not yet reached a definitive conclusion about whether the Neanderthals where a sub species of homo sapiens (homo sapiens neanderthaliensis) or a different one. The very definition of the term “species” refers to a group of individuals that are reproductively isolated from others and can only breed successfully among themselves in order to have fertile offspring. Hybrids such as donkeys, being the result of interbreeding between individuals of different species, are not fertile. Now, it is claimed that Zana not only gave birth to several sons, such as Khvit, but also that those kids got married and had children. Thus, if the Zana story turned out to be 100% true, the logical conclusion would be that the Almasti are not merely genetically “close” to humans, but truly human and not a different species.

  9. smylex responds:

    i love this site.

  10. crypto_randz responds:

    First of all OGOPOGO is not a manatee. I have been reading and following the OGOPOGO story for awhile the evidence presented at this time shows it could be a MOSASAURUS or some kind of aquatic dinosaur. Remember these lakes are cold and have many hidden caves at the sides of the lake at the bottom. This story about the kidnapping of the pocohontas from an alleged sasquatch seems like a fantasy tale made to be a childrens book I doubt it ever happened.

  11. Karrde responds:

    I think it is very unlikely that Ogopogo is either a manatee or a mosasaurus. The problem is that both marine mammals and reptiles breathe air, and therefore should be noticed more often. A fish would be a more plausible explanation.

    As for the Sasquatch abductions, I tend to agree with crypto_randz: these stories seem more in the legendary side.

  12. One Eyed Cat responds:

    First crypto_randz go back and read the Ogopogo part of the post, the manatee idea was in regard to another mysterious animal report there for a while.

    Whatever Zana was I have started wondering if Alma or almas in her region had taken on a slighty different meaning over the years then what it origionally meant, For EXAMPLE say almas came to mean a tribe of humans there before the ‘modern’ humans arived.

    Genetics poses some problems even if Sasquatch turn out not ‘quite’ human. Frankly a baby born after woman returns and buried in a known location would be a bit better ending to the stories. Be better for researchers too. It causes a lot of doubt when the hyvbrid offspring always die –and die first before woman’s return

  13. mcd responds:

    What’s not clear- did the BC Indians say that kidnapping is what sasquatches do, or did they say that one of their women went missing for 3 years, and had an amazing story to tell when she returned?

    One Eyed Cat (12): “It causes a lot of doubt when the hybrid offspring always die- and die first before woman’s return”.

    That would actually make some sense. The logic of Suswap’s victim’s story is that women who can’t produce children are returned to the tribe, but “successful” women are kept and aren’t heard from again.

  14. JON E responds:

    In response to Karrde, the donkey is a viable species. It is the mule that can not breed. This brings us the expression “to mule out”.

  15. Tabitca responds:

    It is accepted in evolutionary anthropology circles that on the evolutionary tree when men and apes split that some interbreeding carried on for some time. I always had a theory that sasquatch was a product of this and one day I hope I will have enough time to study in detail and attempt to triangulate back on the evolutionary tree to verify this, scientifically.

    So yes, interbreeding is possible, whether the offspring would survive would depend on how close the genetics of the two species were. Too much interbreeding can produce gentic abnormalities and diseases so that could also account for lack of live offspring.

  16. Moose Pete responds:

    I’ve been happily content to be a consumer of this blog rather than a contributor. Having never been an eye-witness to anything resembling a cryptid I leave the contributing to the so-called experts. I’ll have to break silence on this subject as I have some small bit of related knowledge.

    Ogopogo seems a bit off-topic but as it was mentioned, there is no chance the sightings in Lake Okanagan are manatees. Florida manatees are named so for a reason – they are relegated primarily to Florida’s warmer fresh water springs, rivers and lakes since they have no tolerance for cold temperatures and are specialized feeders. Okanagan is too cold and lacks any suitable food source for manatees or dugongs. In fact during the colder winter months (“colder” being a relative term) in December and January, manatees have been found dead in north Florida when caught by unusually cold weather fronts. Manatees are known to congregate near the plant outflow systems that dump warm water into the rivers. Manatees occasionally get accidentally pulled into the water intake in their attempts to warm up. The only sirenian species known to live in non-tropical waters was Stellar’s sea cow. This animal may be a candidate for Ogopogo but since Florida can scarcely keep the manatee population going, a manatee is right out of the line-up.

    As to the assertion that the Germans attempted to cross-breed gorillas and humans, right out once again. This has never been achieved in the record of any national or private scientific organization to date. There was an attempt made in Soviet Russian in the 20’s which was stopped by the government and the scientist spent the remainder of his life in a gulag. Besides, in that case the attempt was with chimpanzee sperm, not gorilla. No educated scientist (I suppose there are uneducated scientists) would waste time pondering a gorilla-human hybrid due to the vast genetic differences. Theoretically a human could crossbreed with a bonobo or chimpanzee and have a reasonable expectation that fertile offspring would survive but I’ve never read of a Bigfoot eye-witness claiming that what they saw looked like a bonobo or chimpanzee. The closest known animal living or dead to fit the Bigfoot mold would be Gigantopithecus blacki and although nothing remains of G.B. except teeth, it’s fair to reason that even if we had genetic material to test it wouldn’t be compatible to human DNA.

    Sure, everyone likes to kick the nazis but their record is plenty bad without pinning bad pulp novel and 50’s comic book plots on them. Regarding the proclivity of Bigfoot to kidnap and rape, I’ll head back to the dark corners and read the opinions of the experts.

  17. Karrde responds:

    Sorry for the mistake and thanks for the correction JON E. I was talking about the mule, but I used the wrong word. English isn’t my mother tongue.

  18. Sky King responds:

    Tabitca Says:

    “…I always had a theory that sasquatch was a product of this and one day I hope I will have enough time to study in detail and attempt to triangulate back on the evolutionary tree to verify this, scientifically.”


  19. Karrde responds:

    And now I’ll have to eat my words anyway. After reading Tabitca comment I decided to research a bit the point, ’cause she’s obviously an expert. Turns out that now there is evidence of fertile mules and hinnies. Check the link here.

    In addition, female Ligers, which are the result of a cross between a male lion and a female tiger, are also fertile and can be bred to tigers or lions. Male ligers are sterile, though.

  20. khat responds:

    Okay, I like the hybrid stories. But doesn’t it make sense that if and when the babies aren’t carried to term that it in some way insinuates that

    a) the woman and bigfoot were not genetically compatible and

    b) that maybe the bigfoot returns the woman due to her inability to give him kids.

    There are several case studies among chimps, apes and even birds that the fertile spouse will go outside of their relationship to get a child. So, if the theory is that bigfoot is more like humans than we think, then maybe he is doing the same thing.

  21. Mnynames responds:

    My only comment to this whole thing would be about the Liger. How different do lions and tigers LOOK from each other? Sure, they’re both big cats, but morphologically, along with fur colour and patterning, there are some significant differences. Yet they can produce successful hybrids. I think hybridization is not only more possible (in general) than people think, it is also more common.

    Without knowing exactly where Sasquatch fits on the evolutionary tree, it’s hard to say exactly how likely hybridization would be. As for the stories, they do sound like they fulfill a useful social role in native culture, providing a socially-acceptable excuse for runaway girls, allowing them to return to the fold. That shouldn’t necessarily rule them out, but it should make us more suspicious of them. I’d be interested to see what a folklorist would make of them.

  22. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Ok, I’m feeling a little ornery today I suppose, but I wish people would read the articles before commenting.

    Not once did John Kirk say Ogopogo was a manatee.

    What Kirk does say, as an aside, is that there are older native legends of “little people” that appear to be descriptions of some dugong-ish type animal. Others have wondered about the possibility, he notes, of a smaller bodied version of the Steller’s sea cow being responsible for these stories. That is all.

    On the Seraphim Long/Suswap story, they are so old they can never be verified but they are important in that they say a great deal about how a society perceives these beings. Are they more human? More animal? I’d say individual reaction to these stories is very telling in regards to an individual’s (or society’s) perception of BF.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

|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.