Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Harper's History: Alaska Sasquatch

By Scott Harper - Unlike the previous article in this series of historical Sasquatch sightings and encounters—which focused on the state of Alabama—this one draws from a far greater wealth of information. Though Alaska is a young state, having only officially adopted that status in 1959, it has a very rich history of nature and wildlife. The state is about twice the size of Texas, encompassing roughly 663, 268 square miles. Yet, it ranks as the third least populous state, and stands alone as the least densely populated. This means that huge swaths of the state remain ruggedly natural, and home to a wide variety of wildlife—including Sasquatch.

Not all reports of encounters with Sasquatch in Alaska are of the typical, peaceful variety. A report from 1899, coming from the area of the Valdez Glacier, tells of a young man who was strangled to death by a creature described as being small, and heavily-built. The young man's father witnessed the attack, and attempted to save his son. However, the creature proved too strong for him to overcome. Could this attack have been the work of a juvenile Sasquatch?

In 1900 a man exploring the area of Thomas Bay, Alaska, in the state's panhandle, had a very frightening experience. While hunting, he shot and killed three grouse. One of the dead birds fell down an embankment, slipping between pieces of rock placed too tightly together for the man to retrieve it. The hunter used his rifle to break apart the stone, damaging his weapon in the process. Very shortly thereafter, a group—we don't know how many—of upright, bad-smelling, screaming creatures rushed at the man. He attempted to use his damaged weapon on the lead creature. When the gun failed to fire, he threw the useless rifle at the Sasquatch, turned, and ran. It seems that he blacked out, and his next conscious memory was of finding himself lying on his back in his canoe. He claimed to have retained no memories of how he actually escaped his pursuers. Later, upon telling his story, he claimed that the creatures which chased him were not men, or monkeys, but something between the two.

In March of 1909 an odd encounter was reported, having probably taken place the prior year. The event happened in Yakutat Bay, in the Alaskan panhandle. A man climbing on a glacier, seeking mineral deposits, fell through a crevice in the ice. Luckily, he remained unharmed, and managed to climb the rest of the way through, to the ground below the glacier. While attempting to make his way free of the ice, and back into open air, he crossed paths with a large, upright creature "in the shape of a man". Fortunately for the prospector, the Sasquatch merely stared at him for a few moments before walking around the man, and vanishing deeper into the tunnels beneath the ice, with only a parting glance back.

In 1918, in the area of Wrangell, Alaska, a gold prospector fell asleep in a field after a makeshift meal of berries, and a few edible plant sprouts he had found. He later woke to the sound of someone talking. Not far from where he had fallen asleep, he discovered a female Sasquatch, with what seemed to be a baby. The mother was feeding berries by hand to the smaller creature. He claimed that the female spoke in "Indian language" to her little one. Not wishing to disturb them, the man watched them only briefly before quietly slipping away.

Sometime in the 1920s a man claimed to have been attacked by a Sasquatch in Nulato, Alaska. Nulato is about midway up the state, but closer to the west coast. The man's dogs drove away the attacking creature. The man lived long enough to reach help, and tell his tale. He succumbed to his injuries not long after.

At some point during the 1930's three young men were hunting on Nunivak Island. The island is split from the Alaskan mainland by the Etolin Straight, and is not quite midway north along the state's western coast. The men spent a night in a sod shelter, which had been part of an old fishing camp. A Sasquatch approached the shelter after they had gone to bed. According to the reports the men later gave, the creature tried to force its way inside, acting in a very aggressive manner. However, the doorway of the small sod shelter proved too small for the large being to fit through. Ultimately, it gave up, and simply walked away. The men saw the Sasquatch clearly in the moonlight as it left the scene.

In 1943, and a short way east of Nulato, another man was attacked by a Sasquatch while camping. As had happened in the 1920's attack, this victim had dogs with him. The animals chased away the attacking creature. The man made it to help, told his story, and later passed away from injuries received during the attack.

Why does there seem to be so much violence in the state of Alaska attributed to Sasquatch? Sasquatch aren't typically noted for their aggression toward humans. There are few cases in more recent times of them acting violently. Aside from accounts in which humans have harmed—or attempted to harm—a Sasquatch, though, most such incidents that I'm aware of along these lines are contained in the hot, muggy, southern states. There is, however, ample evidence to support the hypothesis that what we're dealing with in that region of the Unites States may actually be a separate breed, or a sub-species, rather than what the word "Sasquatch" usually brings to mind.

However, there still seems to be a higher-than-normal level of aggression from Sasquatch in Alaska to this day. There are recent reports on file of people claiming to have heard, and found evidence of, what they say are clashes, or feuds, between Sasquatch families, or clans in Alaska. Trees are also found that have seemingly been yanked out of the ground—roots and all—then flipped upside down, and jammed back into the earth, leaving the roots protruding in the air. This phenomena had been reported in other places as well, but seems to be more common in Alaska for some reason. It's generally thought that these upside-down trees are a warning to others—"Hey, I'm strong enough to uproot a tree, and do this to it! Do you really want to enter my territory, and risk what I could do to you?"

Alaska is a rugged state. For the majority of each year, everyone, and everything, living there is faced with cold, harsh conditions. Could this be the reason for aggressive Sasquatch there? Are they simply habituated by life in such an environment to see any competition—be it in the form of humans, or otherwise—as something to be chased away, or killed? Could they feel that their survival depends upon such tactics? If that is the case, it could explain the seeming hostility of Sasquatch in that region.

Obviously, as evidenced by a few of the encounters talked about above, not every Sasquatch in Alaska proves to be of such temperament. However, there appears to be a much higher level of agitation, and opposition in Alaskan Sasquatch in general than is typically seen in other states.

About the Author:

Scott Harper is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 30 published short stories, and several novels. Harper grew up in Ohio, and graduated from Marysville High School in 1993, and began screenwriting in 2007, after the publication of several short stories and novels. He has worked on projects for James Tucker Productions, and 11th Dimension Films. He is currently involved with several projects, covering literature, film, and comic books. He was also a contributing writer for "Nuclear Winter Entertainment" for several months before that site shut down. Scott is very happily married to bestselling paranormal author Desirée Lee. Together, they have a wonderful little girl, and are working jointly on several projects. Those projects include multiple books, as well as the hit webcomic "MoonWraith."

More information about his work can be found on his website:

The Legend of Bigfoot: History, Mythos and Reality

Raincoast Sasquatch: The Bigfoot / Sasquatch Records of Southeast Alaska, Coastal British Columbia & Northwest Washington from Puget Sound to Yakutat

Strange Stories of Alaska and the Yukon

Rusty Wilson's Alaskan Bigfoot Campfire Stories

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