If you venture out into the wilderness of the Yukon, you’re bound to see some furry creatures. You might notice a fox, a bear, a coyote, a squirrel, a lynx — or maybe a sasquatch.
Those looking to report a bigfoot sighting in the territory usually call Red Grossinger. The retired Canadian Army officer has been investigating sasquatch reports since 1997, after he had his own run-in with an ape-like animal while fly fishing on the Takhini River.
“This thing kept coming out of the bush,” Grossinger told the News.
A friend later expressed to Grossinger that they believed he saw a sasquatch.
“She said, ‘That’s the sasquatch, that’s the wild man that you saw,’” Grossinger recalled.
From then on, he was hooked on researching the big, harry, bipedal forest dwellers. Grossinger joined some sasquatch clubs in Alberta and British Columbia as his interest grew stronger. Before long, people started to tell him about their own experiences.
“I started taking notes,” said Grossinger.
Those notes piled up and culminated in a newly published paperback. Nahganne Tales of the Northern Sasquatch details Grossinger’s findings and presents stories he’s heard. The name comes from the Dene word for sasquatch. There are 70 reports in the book, 34 of which are sightings.
Not just any sasquatch story was printed. Each claim has been investigated by Grossinger.
“I like to talk to people and conduct interviews. I went to the locations and did regular stuff to make sure it was true or not. There’s been a whole bunch of people trying to pull my leg,” he said.
“There was absolutely nothing there”
The pages contain reports of strange sounds and large footprints, but some of the most notable to Grossinger are three incidents of disappearing sasquatches.
“It became invisible in front of a person. There’s got to be something special there,” he said.
“This gentleman was coming home in Crestview, on Azure Road when he makes a right and reaches the Alaska Highway,” Grossinger recounted.
Grossinger said that was when the man spotted a sasquatch in the ditch. According to the report, it walked along the road and vanished.
“It became somewhat transparent,” said Grossinger.
“He could see the outline of the sasquatch and see right through to the foliage and trees on the other side. Then a few seconds later, zap! There was absolutely nothing there,” he continued.
“The human mind plays tricks on us”
Over the years, Grossinger has made some observations about how sasquatch lives. He can’t put an exact number on the population, but he figures there are quite a few living in family groups across the territory.
“What I’ve learned is that we don’t know anything about it,” he said.
“They obviously have to hunt for their food. They’re omnivores,” he continued.
He believes that the humanoids are all over North America and that there are more sightings reported in the United States simply because there are more people to see them.
So, why is sasquatch shrouded in mystery? Why are they considered real by some and myth to others? If you ask Grossinger, it’s partly because sasquatches don’t want to be seen and humans don’t want to admit they’ve seen them.
“[Sasquatches are] very smart. They know when they are being watched,” he said. “The human mind plays tricks on us. If there’s something that we don’t immediately recognize, then our mind will try to cover that with something we know.”
“Very few people will have an open mind to double check things that they see, never mind report it,” he added.
Grossinger hopes his book will encourage more people to come forward with their sasquatch sightings. Reports from all over the Yukon continue to land on Grossinger’s desk. He said a second volume is not out of the question.
Dylan MacNeil is a freelance writer based in Whitehorse.