Sasquatch or bear track?

North Thompson Valley Voices From The Past

Tim Meissner, local high school student, may go down in history of being the only local Barriereite to have ever seen a Sasquatch, and he may have been responsible for starting a new industry in this area – the curious tourist.

It was disclosed last Friday [May 4, 1979] that Meissner and friends were at Dunn Lake, some fifteen miles North of Barriere, when they were attracted by an object on the shore of the lake where they were fishing at 6:30 a.m. The object of their attention was a huge furry creature standing upright and waving its arms, it was emitting a high pitched scream which according to Meissner and his companion John Landry lasted for about half a minute.

The boys beached their boat and followed the trail of the animal, which they had identified as a Sasquatch, along the shore and into the bush. About 100 yards from the lake shore they came upon a dead deer which was covered with twigs and leaves and had apparently been killed by a severe blow to the head which had crushed all the neck bones.

Unnerved by the mysterious appearance of the deer carcass they left.

Monday, at 7 p.m., Messier and four friends returned to the area of the deer, and then separated to search.

Messier reported to have come upon a creature he thinks was a Sasquatch, which he described as being nine feet tall, weighing about 400 pounds and covered with long curly dark brown hair. The chest was bare, it had a squarish face more like a human than apelike, and was staring at him with huge shining eyes, he is reported as telling his friends.

The friends had been attracted to the sound of a shot and had returned to find Meissner, in almost a state of shock, who told them he had shot at a Sasquatch and it had fallen to one knee then vanished into the woods.

There are some who suggest it was a bear that he saw, but Meissner denies the possibility of this, he says that he has hunted bears and at one time was even attacked by one and that “This was no bear”.

Rene Dehinden, author of a book on Sasquatches says that Meissner’s description follows other sighting reports exactly in many instances but it varies enough to agree with as yet unpublished reports of sightings in Russia. Other characteristics of the anatomy of the animal described by Meissner could not have been gained by any published material states Dehinden, who has devoted the past ten years of his life tracing down reports of Sasquatch sightings, and is convinced they exist in B.C.

Wayne Lahucik, owner of the property near where the reported Sasquatch sighting took place is concerned that the rash of curious people invading his property since the report of the sighting could result in someone getting injured. He states that hordes of camouflaged high school students, some armed with rifles, from throughout the province, are sneaking around in the rugged bushland and someone could get shot in the excitement.

Lahucik, a skin diver, says he has had to suspend his diving expeditions for fear of being shot by some hunter. He is convinced that what was actually sighted was a large brown bear, who frequently walks upright because it has an injured front paw, that he has often sighted on his property.

Wildlife official Allen Frisby is reported as saying that the photographs of the plaster cast of the footprint made by Kyle Wood of Barriere, look very much like a bear track.

However, others in the area report that early settlers in the area have reported seeing strange animals they could not identify and are inclined to subscribe to the authenticity of the report. In the meantime it is being suggested that with the high interest in the sighting it would be very unwise for anyone to wander around in the woods near Dunn Lake these days in a coon skin coat, especially if they are nine feet tall and weigh about 400 pounds.

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