Hundreds of people have now streamed through a home in northern Manitoba to view a 2-minute 49-second video that has folks believing: Bigfoot lives.
Missy Flett, a self-described cynic, said she was stunned by the image of a massive hair-covered creature walking upright calf-deep in water along a shore of the Nelson River, about 500 kilometers north of Winnipeg.
“I was kind of skeptical when I went over,” Ms. Flett, an outreach worker with the Norway House Community Council, explained yesterday after viewing the video. “But after seeing it, I truly believe it’s the real sasquatch [another name for Bigfoot].”
She asked whether she could take a picture of the images on the flat-screen television with her digital camera, but the family screening the video in this remote community of 6,000 nixed her request.
They are talking about copyrights and thinking about turning the Bigfoot video into big bucks if some media outlet were just willing to pay.
And now, the man who shot the video is apparently “too stressed” to deal with the press.
The man behind the camcorder is Bobby Clarke. He’s a ferry operator responsible for bringing people and vehicles over the Nelson River at docks located about 40 kilometers north of his home in Norway House.
While at work 6:30 Saturday morning, he noticed a black figure walking along the opposite river’s edge about 250 metres away.
He grabbed his camera — something he is rarely without — and started shooting.
What he captured, according to his sister, Sharness Henry, is the image of a massive creature that stands eight, nine, maybe 10 feet (three meters) tall, walking along the edge of the water through some bulrushes. Near the end of the video, the creature turns and appears to stare into the camera, but the details of its face are impossible to make out.
“He’s really hairy,” Ms. Henry said.
That’s when her brother appears to drop the camera. The experience has left him shaken and off work for a few days, Ms. Henry said.
Hubert Folster knows the feeling.
He was a ferry operator at the Nelson River crossing about a year ago when he spotted something dark, human-like, but too huge to be human, wandering on the bulrushes locked in the ice along the riverbank.
“It just wasn’t right,” he recalled yesterday.
For six minutes he watched, but in the poor early morning light, from his distance and without a camera, Mr. Folster can’t be sure what he saw and he has never really talked about it.
“You don’t want to mention these things,” he says now, laughing.
North Americans have reported Bigfoot sightings as far back as the 1830s, but interest in the phenomenon really picked up with sightings, photos and footprints during the second half of the 20th century, according to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, a publication dedicated to unexplained occurrences.
The most famous is the 16-mm Patterson film shot in Bluff Creek, Calif., in 1967, which shows a hairy, human-like creature walking across a clearing.
Many Bigfoot hunters maintain the film is not a hoax, but anthropologists have argued that the size and stride of the creature suggest it could be human.
The shooter, Roger Patterson, has stood behind the film as authentic. Interestingly, a known Bigfoot-track hoaxer has said he told Mr. Patterson where to look for Bigfoot and, subsequently, Mr. Patterson raked in quite a bit of money from the film.
As the Skeptical Inquirer pointed out in a recent roundup of Bigfoot-related evidence, until bones or a body is discovered, there’s no real scientific evidence of what Bigfoot enthusiasts purport to study.
Ms. Flett said there’s no mistaking the image in the video for a bear or some other kind of wildlife common to the area. Bears have been known to walk on their hind legs, but for short distances. This creature, she said, is walking “gracefully” kind of like a human, but not.
“It’s awesome,” Ms. Flett said. “. . . It’s real. It’s the real deal.”
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