Investigator: Pat Barker
Report Submission Method: Submitted via AIBR 800 number
Date of Incident: April 14, 2006
Time of day: 9:15 p.m., dusk, getting dark
Length of Observation: 10 to 15 seconds, saw animal crossing road
Weather conditions: Overcast, cooler, snow gone, brown, dull
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT: (Investigator’s notes from witness description)
I contacted the witness on Thursday, June 29, 2006 and conducted a telephone interview. We corresponded again via email on July 14, 2006. The witness phoned me on Thursday, August 03, 2006 to update me on his subsequent camping trips to the sighting location.
The witness is a 29 year old man who lives in Edmonton, Alberta. He works as a pilot for a small airline. He has a cottage on Lesser Slave Lake which he visits about 20 times a year, an approximate 4 ½ hour drive north of Edmonton. He always takes the same route along Hwy 33, a logging road that traverses rolling hills with spruce and pine forests. This is a mountainous region, with the highest point in Alberta located nearby. Where the sighting took place, Hwy 33 runs in a northwesterly direction, and is about halfway between Fort Assinaboine (to the south) and the town of Swan Hills (to the north).
The witness left the city around 7 pm that day, and was driving alone, going to meet his fiancé, who was already at the cottage.
At approximately 9:15 pm, as it was starting to get dark, he noticed a figure standing on the right side of the road. It was about 10 feet from the tree line, and about 100 feet from him when he first noticed it. (Witness stated on another internet forum that he was 150 to 200 ft away when he first saw the animal. But later, upon reflection and after revisiting the location, he concluded that the distance was closer to 100 ft.) He described his speed at the time as over 100 km/hr (over 65 mi/hr).
At first, he thought it was a black bear. (He mentioned that he had seen a couple of deer earlier in the trip.) He said the creature was “as black as black gets”. He also said it was covered in hair which was completely black and it was dark-skinned, gangly and skinny.
He tapped the brakes to slow down a bit. He thinks it saw him, because at that point it started walking toward the road, crossed it and went into the opposite side of the road. He was slowing down the car, and thinking “What the hell is this thing?”
It was not running, but was walking fast, and was maybe 6 feet in height or a little taller. (One week later, he took a friend who is 6 feet tall, back to the spot and positioned him where he saw this creature, to try to calculate its height. That’s how he came to the conclusion that it was just over 6 ft tall.)
As the animal reached the far lane, it turned its head slightly to look briefly in the opposite direction down the road as it continued walking. It never looked at the witness at any point while it was crossing the road. At one point as it was crossing the road, it looked as if it was thinking of running on all fours because it hunched over as if it were trying to get down on its knees. But then it brought itself up again and stayed on two feet. It walked very fast, faster than a person could walk.
He compared its posture to a person with a hunchback problem. And its arms were really long. The words he used were “chimp arms” which hung down below the knees. The arms swung as it walked, swaying back behind its body and forward in an exaggerated sway. He could see that it had hands which were clenched, not open. As it swung its arms, both hands were closed.
The hands were black like an ape’s hands. He could tell where the fingers were even though the hands were clenched. He could see no hair on the fingers, only black skin. There was black hair on the back of the hand but that hair appeared to stop at the first knuckles.
He could see the shape of the muscles of the leg, on both the calf and the thigh, through the hair, in the same way that you would be able to see the definition of muscles on a skinny person.
The legs never went into a fully locked position when it walked, but to him it seemed like that was how it was meant to walk. It seemed natural and the creature didn’t have any problems walking in this manner. He mentioned a similarity between the way this animal walked and the subject in the Patterson film, with the same bend in the knees.
The feet were not overly large, but were in proportion to the size of the animal. Hair covered the tops of the feet. The bottoms of the feet had no hair on them and were darker skinned but were sort of worn.
The feet moved very smoothly. The bottoms of the feet seemed to have a flex in them. He described the creature as really being able to move its feet, meaning that they were flexible. The foot shape was similar to a person’s feet.
After it crossed the road, it went into the ditch on the far side of the road, then across to the tree line. At the point it entered the tree line, the witness was roughly 50+ feet away from it. The witness could see the trees moving where it disappeared into them.
The whole incident lasted from 10 to 15 seconds.
The witness had a brief, but close view of the creature as it walked past him, and was able to relate many details about it.
He described it as not that big, just over 6 feet. Its hair was very black. The skin on its face was dark, but he would not go so far as to say it was black skin because he only got the impression of a dark face. He wasn’t able to get a good look at its face, because he only saw it briefly in profile from the side, but described the profile of the face as flat-faced. He could not see facial features that he could describe, nor could he tell whether it had a brow ridge or not. He described the creature as gangly-looking and covered in black hair that was smoothly coated and clean-looking. The body hair was not matted. The hair around the top of the head was messy and pointed. He said it looked like it had a case of bedhead. He further described the head hair as looking like a small Mohawk on what appeared to be a rounded head. The hair on top of the head was 3 to 4” long.
The head seemed to be plopped on its shoulders with no definite neck to it. When it turned its head to look briefly down the opposite side of the road, there was movement to its neck. It didn’t turn its shoulders much to look sideways, but the motion of the head was small and brief.
Approximate height: Maybe 6 feet or a little taller
Approximate weight: 170 to 200 lbs.
Torso: Gangly looking, like a skinny person, slim, really like a scrawny kid, upper back broader than ours.
Shoulder width: Wider than ours
Limbs: Could tell where the muscles in the leg were, could see shape of muscles in calf and thigh. Defined muscles in arms and legs, but not bulky.
Hair/Fur color: Black – as black as black gets.
Hair/Fur length & Texture: smoothly coated, clean looking, full coat of hair, tight to body, hair on back of arms was longer and coarser, but not hanging down. Hair on back had more length, hair on shoulders was different texture and length, not as clean on arms or upper body.
Was hair neat or matted? not matted
Was hair/fur more like an animal’s or human hair? covered with hair. It was coarse, more like a bear’s than a human’s hair
Did witness collect hair samples? N/A
Did witness see facial features? No, just a flat face in profile
Eye color: N/A
Nose details: N/A
Was there a muzzle? Didn’t get a good look at face, was from side view and very brief. Only noticed that it was pretty flat-faced in profile.
Skin color: Dark
Brow ridge: Didn’t notice
Facial hair: Didn’t notice
Head shape: Round
Hair on top of head: Looked like a small Mohawk, messy, pointed hair on rounded head, looked like it had bedhead
Length of hair on top of head: 3 to 4 “ range
Did witness see ears? No
Was the neck visualized? No definite neck – rounded head plopped on shoulders, no defined neck.
Arm length and apposition: Really long arms, chimp arms, hung down below the knees (witness stated that the creature’s posture was “like a person with a hunchback problem”, which could account for the appearance of the arms hanging to below the knees)
Arms swung, arms swayed back behind its body and forward, exaggerated sway (as it walked). Also, arms seemed abnormally long, to below the knees when it was leaning over (hunched over).
Hands or paws?: hands with fingers
Hand position: Hands were clenched not open, both hands closed
Appearance of hands: Could see the skin on the hands was black, like an ape, hair completely black and dark skinned. Could tell where the fingers were. No hair actually on fingers. Looked like skin on fingers. Hair on backs of hands down to the first set of knuckles, but not on the fingers.
Leg length, shape and details: Like a skinny person, could tell where muscles in the leg were, in the calf and thigh through hair. Legs never went into a fully locked position when it was walking, but that seemed like that was how it was meant to walk, and it didn’t have any problems doing it.
Proportion of legs to arms and torso: Couldn’t give this estimate, but said it was in a hunched posture, slightly bent walk
Feet or paws?: Feet
Appearance of Feet: Feet were not overly large. They were in proportion to the size of the animal. The bottoms of the feet had no hair on them. They moved really smoothly. They were flexible. The bottoms of the feet seemed like they had flex in them. It could definitely move its feet. Shape looked similar to a person’s feet. Hair covered the top of the feet. The bottom was darker skinned, but sort of worn.
Number of toes? Didn’t notice
Was odor associated with animal? Didn’t notice
Description of odor: N/A
Standing, walking, sitting, squatting, lying down? First it was standing, then walking across the road.
Direction of travel: It walked from witness’s right to left as he was traveling northwest, so from northeast to southwest across the road.
Where was the animal going? It was going across the road to the opposite tree line.
What was the animal doing? It was standing on the right side of the road about 10 feet from the tree line, then it walked across the road and went into the opposite side of the road, into the ditch, and into the opposite tree line.
Description of Gait: It was not running, but was walking fast, swinging its arms with an exaggerated sway. The legs never went into a fully locked position when it was walking, but that seemed like that was how it was meant to walk, and it didn’t have any problems doing it. There was a similarity to the creature in the Patterson film – the bend in the knees when walking. It moved pretty quickly, faster than a person could at a walk.
How far is the tree line from the hwy on each side? 50 feet with wild grass pockets
How many steps did it take to cross the hwy? 6 – 8
Terrain: The terrain is hilly - up and down a lot. “It is best described as “untouched” with thick pine, spruce, poplar, etc. It’s heavily forested, thick bush, solid poplar, willows, solid pine, solid spruce and mixed. It’s dark, not a lot of sun.” There are many streams in the area which feed into the Freeman and Athabasca River systems, and the animal population consists of deer, moose, black bear and grizzly bear.
Description of area: There are not many roads in the area. It was on a logging road, Hwy 33, between Fort Assinaboine and Swan Hills. If you look over to one side from the road, there’s a big valley off to that side full of pine and spruce forest. That’s all you can see for miles and miles. There is a creek in the nearby area as well. There are some small logging operations in the area and oil exploration but aside from that the area is extremely quiet in terms of people. On another note, the area is very hilly and many of the roads are only recommended for 4x4 vehicles.
Longitude: None provided
Latitude: None provided
How many miles/kilometers is this location from Ft. Assinaboine? Closer to Swan Hills – 60 -70 km from Ft. Assinaboine.
Available water sources: Witness went back a week later to look for tracks and inspect the terrain. He did not find any tracks. He discovered there was a creek nearby to the sighting location. He also mentioned there were swamps and ponds in the area.
Available food sources: Blue berries, saskatoons, deer, moose, coyotes, rabbits
Bedding areas, if any, describe: Don’t know
Any cave systems in the area? Don’t know
Where in relation to sighting/vocal/tracks: In this same location, there have been possible vocalizations heard that sounded like screams, as if a woman was being raped. These screams came from deep in the bush, described as answering calls that came from one side and then the other.
Notes: The witness had never heard of any sightings before in this area, and indeed never really gave the subject much thought until he had this experience. But he went back into that area recently, and was examining the area, looking for tracks or other evidence, when a First Nations native Indian came out of the bush, driving a quad. They struck up a conversation during which the witness tentatively asked if anything strange had ever occurred in this area. The Indian fellow immediately said, “You’re talking about sasquatch.” The witness hesitantly admitted that he was. The native man then told him that the loggers who worked around there have seen them as well as people who live in the town of Swan Hills.
Were tracks found? No
Notes: One week after the sighting, the witness went back to the location and looked for tracks but couldn’t find any. At that time, he also brought his friend along, who is 6 ft tall, and placed him in the exact location the animal was in when crossing the road. He was able to determine that the creature was slightly taller than his 6 ft friend, but only slightly. This was not a large creature and the possibility exists that it was a juvenile.
The witness has made two subsequent camping trips into the location of the sighting.
During the first overnight trip which he made with some friends on the long weekend of July 1st, 2006, he noted the presence of some so-called tree twists and breaks. At about 2 am that night, he and his companions heard what sounded like two animals whooping back and forth to each other, one near their spot and another further to their west. The calls were made in close sequence followed by what sounded like something being thrown in their direction. However they couldn’t see what was being thrown. Something could be heard moving in the tree line about 50 ft from their campsite as well, but they were unable to see what it was. He believes that something chased him and his fellow campers out of the area. The feeling was strong that something wanted them out, or chased them out by throwing an object in their direction. He described the whoops as the same as many of the Washington calls that have been recorded by others and are available to listen to on various websites. One call was made within 50 to 100 ft of them, and was very clear and crisp.
His second camping trip to the area was the following weekend with his fiancé and another couple, starting on Friday, July 7, 2006. A single very distant whoop was heard at about 1:30 am to the west. The second day, about 3 kilometers from camp, he discovered a series of tracks within 10 ft of a tree formation. The tracks were pressed into the dirt and one was defined very well. It appeared to display four toes. The tracks looked a few days old and measured 15” long and 6 ¼” wide. He took photos of the tracks and plans to forward them. That evening, at 11:30 pm, the group heard 3 whoops which he describes as not that far away again. The area was dead silent for several minutes and following this, the campers could hear something walking through the trees about 100 to 200 ft from them. The witness and friend approached the edge of the tree line to listen, and when they did this, the sound of it walking stopped. The men remained quiet, and after about 5 minutes the “animal” continued walking away from them in a northward direction. The witness at this point attempted to make a series of 4 whooping sounds and then turned his recorder on. There were no answering calls, but within 10 minutes, he heard what may have been the same animal that had returned to same area as before, and it continued to walk, then stop periodically. Both men decided at that time that they were being watched. The men got a flashlight and attempted to see into the area the sound was coming from, but heard it moving off away from them again. He then reported that they heard a sudden slam. He felt it wasn’t like a tree knock but that it sounded like a tree had been whacked by something. He was able to record the sound which was made in the distance. These recordings have also been forwarded to the researcher mentioned above.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION NOT COVERED ABOVE
The witness was an articulate man who seemed sincere and honest. He described an encounter that shocked and scared him. His initial reaction was the fight or flight response. The thought of stopping and getting out of the car crossed his mind, but he decided not to. He couldn’t stop thinking about it all night, was edgy and surprised. Later, when he could reflect upon it more rationally, he was excited. In the several months since his sighting, he has become fascinated with the topic, wanting to learn more about this creature. He has visited many websites and submitted reports to several without getting a response. He also joined BFF in order to speak to others who had a similar experience and to learn more about it.
He continues to drive this route, and is constantly on watch now, particularly in the region of his sighting.
The witness has agreed to photograph sighting location on his next trip to the cottage and will submit these to the investigator.
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND UPDATES:
The witness initially contacted another research group about his report. The other group stated that the area of the sighting was not appropriate for sasquatch habitation, because of the logging and oil drilling operations in the vicinity. I later asked the witness about this. His reply was that there is oil well drilling in the area, but only in winter. He said there was also some logging south of Swan Hills.
I did locate a website where I was able to view photos of the stretch of highway between Swan Hills and Ft. Assinaboine. Pictures of the local geography are consistent with the witness’s description.
The witness has not forwarded any photographic evidence to me to date (as of Jan. 2008).
It is my feeling that the witness is credible. As an airline pilot, he holds a position of trust in the community. I spoke with him many times, and also exchanged several emails with him. In all conversations, he struck me as sincere and didn’t contradict himself during multiple interviews. Unfortunately, Alberta is thousands of miles away from my home territory of Ontario. I am not familiar with the local terrain where the alleged sighting occurred. Therefore, I cannot verify whether the location fits the witness’s description or not. Lacking a corroborating opinion, it’s impossible to say whether this was a real sighting or not. But the witness did become involved in his own investigation in which he revisited the sighting location and camped there several times. In the investigator’s opinion, a hoaxer doesn’t usually continue to return to the incident location in hopes of having another experience. The witness also described the creature in some detail. However, there is always the possibility that he could have found this information on the internet.
It’s my opinion that, while this witness seems credible, until I can personally meet him, and visit the sighting location, it’s impossible to say whether this is a credible sighting or not. I would have to list it as inconclusive, unless corroborated by a local investigator, or until I can see the location for myself.