Not many people take me seriously. I get it. Someone with a traumatic past, like mine, must be nuts, right? But, I know what I’ve seen. I know all too well. You see, I’m a Bigfoot hunter. But, I don’t like calling it that. First, there is more than one of them, but the name implies only one exists. And two, I really hate that name. Bigfoot sounds like some wacky name for a monster in a kids cartoon, and that’s how a lot of people think of them: cheesy made for TV monsters. But, they’re not. They are horrifying and very dangerous. I should know. Anyway, I prefer the term, Sasquatch.
My obsession with Sasquatches began at a young age. I loved hiking and my grandpa would always tell me stories of Sasquatches roaming around in the woods. The first book I checked out with my library card was a big about cryptids of the world, with a Sasquatch on the cover. Unfortunately, my childlike wonder would soon be replaced by absolute fear of the woodland beasts.
My dad took me hiking a lot. Sometimes, my mom and little sister would come too, but normally it was just us two. I always enjoyed those hiking trips, until one day we had an encounter with a Sasquatch that would change my life.
Wayne National Forest is near where I grew up, and my father would often take me hiking there. When I was ten years old, we took our last hike together. It all started out fine. The sun was shining and the temperature was unusually warm for Ohio in November. We journeyed into the woods, without a care in the world, but we saw something that quickly spoiled our carefree moods. Behind some trees, we saw an extremely tall, hairy beast standing on two legs. Its fur was black and it must have been at least seven feet tall. My heart began beating louder and louder.
As if it heard my heartbeat, the thing turned its head and revealed bright red eyes with sharp teeth. I began backing away on wobbly legs. I looked to my dad for some sort of help or reassurance, but when I looked up at him a blur came out of the trees with a loud roar. My father was on the ground with the gigantic beast on top of him. My father was screaming and yelling for help and telling me to run. Before I sprinted away, I managed to catch a glimpse of this hideous beast baring claws from its hands and using them to rip apart the flesh on my father’s face. I ran away as fast as I could with my father’s cries of agony in the backdrop.
I found my way back to the information center by the parking lot and ran inside. I was sweaty, dirty, and was hysterical. I told them my dad got attacked by something. When they asked me what it was, I realized, at last, what that thing was.
“It was Bigfoot.” I said in a sobbing whisper. Everything after is a blur. They called my mom to come get me, and got police and paramedics to search the forest. They didn’t find a trace of my dad. After a week, the search was suspended. To this day, you can still find my father on a list of missing persons. Everyone tried to ask me what happened. I told them, but they wouldn’t believe me. They said it must have been a bear or my imagination or something. I knew it wasn’t a bear; it was standing and walking on two legs. And, how could something I imagined kill my father?
Needless to say, I went to a lot of therapy over the next few years. The psychiatrists and therapists tried reasoning with me and telling me there was no Sasquatch. I imagined it all. I never believed them, but, eventually, I played along and agreed with them. However, the nightmares continued for years after the attack. I still have nightmares about that day sometimes, but I don’t feel as helpless as I did as a child.
I decided I would make people believe that Sasquatches are real and they are dangerous. I conquered my fear of the woods and began searching for signs of Sasquatches, always with a camera around my neck to document anything I found. The only “evidence” I found was odd scratches in trees, dung, footprints, and occasionally a strange howling or growl coming from deep in the forest. I even started a Sasquatch club at my high school. I got bullied a lot for it and not everyone in the club took it seriously, but I was happy that at least some people believed me and helped me.
But, one day, I realized that what I was doing wasn’t enough. Just going out looking for evidence on weekend hikes was insufficient. I decided to become a survival expert. I went to college and studied forestry and zoology. After that, I joined the Army for five years, learning as much as I could about survival, hunting, and outdoorsmanship. By the time I was discharged, I was ready to put my plan in motion.
I built a small cabin in a secluded area, near where my father was killed. I kept lots of guns, knives, and crossbows with me. Later, I even hooked up my house with night vision cameras with motion detection. This was my base of operations, so to speak. From this location, I would scour the forest and try to capture or kill a Sasquatch. I did capture some video of mysterious movement by my house one night with my motion activated cameras, but nothing definitive.
Almost every day, I would comb the woods, searching for evidence. I sometimes went on what I like to call field expeditions too. On a field expedition, I take a tent and some provisions and go on a five-day hike to cover more distance. My latest field expedition would be my most horrifying.
I set off from my cabin at dawn, as usual. I carried with me my tent, sleeping bag, shotgun, ammo, a few knives, some food and water, and tons of other basic wilderness survival material. Anyway, my first day out was pretty typical. No evidence, no sightings, nothing. But, things began getting weird on my first night. I was about to turn in for the night in my tent when I began hearing low bellows from within the forest and human screams. I leapt out of my tent with my shotgun fully loaded and my night vision goggles on. I searched the area around my tent for two hours but couldn’t find anything. Before I went to bed, I set up a camera nearby and put down a trap. I woke up, but nothing was in the trap and there seemed to be nothing of note on the footage that my camera recorded.
My second day out was completely normal except for one thing. In the afternoon, I was walking along when I thought I saw my dad walking through the trees. I ran over to where I saw him but there was no one there. I looked in the surrounding area but there was just a squirrel, not my dad. I shook my head and moved on after that.
On the third day, I was, once again, preparing for bed when I saw a shadow coming from the outside of my tent. There was a low growl. I grabbed my dagger and my lantern and stealthily approached the exit to the tent. Then, I rushed outside but found nothing there. I stayed on high alert for hours, gripping my shotgun, waiting for a Sasquatch to show itself, but it never happened.
I got a late start on my fourth day because of how long I stayed up the previous night. I checked the camera I left set up by my camp. Then I saw it, a shadow with glowing eyes was coming from behind a tree shortly after I set up the camera. But, the thing that the camera caught never came out in the open. When I rushed out of the tent, the eyes were gone.
Once again, at night, this time, a few hours into my slumber, I heard faint growls. I open my eyes and saw what looked like two figures outside my tent. But, I barely was able to keep my eyes open and fell asleep again almost immediately. I cursed myself for this when I woke up, but I thought it could have been a dream or my tired mind playing tricks on me. I would soon find out I was wrong.
I was going to check the camera to be sure, but I needed to take a piss first. But, before I could even begin, I heard an awfully loud growl. I ran out from the tree I was behind and saw them. In front of me were three Sasquatches staring at me with their red eyes and it almost seemed liked their dreadfully sharp teeth were distorted into big grins. I took out my pocket knife to threaten them. Then, one of them did something I didn’t expect. One of the brutes took my camera from its perch on a tree and smashed it. I gasped. I yelled and bolted towards the beasts, but they were too quick for me. Before my knife could pierce their flesh, they were gone again in a dark blur. I saw them running into the woods and chased after them, but I eventually lost them and couldn’t find them again.
I couldn’t believe they destroyed my camera. Did I finally collect enough evidence, but they wanted it destroyed? If that were the case, I shuddered, thinking of how much I may have underestimated the Sasquatches’ intelligence.
It was supposed to be my last day out here today, but I decided I’m not finishing this expedition until I get one of those sorry bastards killed and show its carcass off to everyone, so that they know the truth. I will kill a Sasquatch or die trying.
Credit : Hisashi Kurosawa
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