Whether it is seeing the animals on the shore, finding footprints or hearing noises in the night, Tom Sewid figures everyone who has lived off the northeast coast of the Island for long enough has had an encounter with a sasquatch.
“To me the sasquatch is like a ‘white black bear,’ you spend enough time in the bush you are going to see a white black bear, especially if you go up to Klemto area,” he said using the white black as an example.
He said that this is the best time of year for a sighting because the extra low tides and the cooler weather mean more abundant and more edible seafood can be harvested on the beach. Sewid and a crew of researchers left Campbell River on Sunday morning in hopes of finding concrete proof of sasquatch in the area. They have high tech gear in hopes of recording vocalizations and seeing the animals in the dark.
Sewid, a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw, brings First Nations lore to the expedition. He grew up with the story of Tzoonakwa, the wild woman. He said the continuation of the story and the recreation of the animals in carvings and art is proof that there must be some truth to the stories.
He had an encounter himself in the early ‘90s. He was anchored in the Archipelago and he and his crew saw two sasquatch on the beach, using their spotlight.
“We heard them, we saw them,” Sewid said.
He hopes to repeat this experience again on the current expedition.Todd Neiss, president and co-founder of the American Primate Conservancy, is leading the excursion. The Conservancy’s goal is to find irrefutable evidence of sasquatch. Neiss is an eyewitness turned researcher with over 23 years of research experience.
Ron Morehead is also a part of the journey. He is best known for his recording of supposedly big foot vocalizations in the Sierra Mountains in the ‘70s.
Western Canadian researcher and author or several sasquatch and bigfoot books, Thomas Steenburg is also part of the team currently on the water.
Also on board is Gunnar Monson, co-founder of the Tillamook Forest Research Group. The group, based in Oregon, is dedicated to collecting and processing evidence and data related to the the primates.
Along for the ride is videographer Darren O’Brien who will be recording the adventure and hopefully the evidence the team encounters. Sewid said they were planning on anchoring at night and watching and listening.
“Our plan is to go out into the islands just north of Quadra and just work our way up the coast,” he said. “We are just going to see if we can record vocalizations.”
There is a gofundme page encouraging people to donate to the expedition. On Tuesday morning they had raised $5,100 of their $6,000 goal. According to the site the money is being used to cover the equipment and boat rental expenses and the team is hoping to get other gear and food expenses covered as well. For every $25 someone donates they get their name in a hat for the chance to win one of Sewid’s paintings.
Donations can be made to Operation Sea Monkey until the end of the expedition on Oct. 2.