Much like UFO sightings, encounters with Sasquatch (or Bigfoot) are in a little more abundance than many of us might think. And while sightings and public interest in the creatures began in the late-1960s, accounts can be found throughout history.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing occurred almost a hundred years ago in British Columbia in Canada in 1924, when a prospector, Albert Ostman claimed not only an encounter with such a legendary creature (at a time when their existence was not nearly as prevalent in the collective psyche is it is now) but a case of abduction and of being held captive for almost a week. And what’s more, the case didn’t merely involve one such creature, but an entire family of them.
What is particularly interesting about Ostman’s account, despite waiting over 30 years to divulge it to The Province newspaper in 1957, is that his descriptions match perfectly with many similar reports that are still happening today, as well as with the research of cryptozoologists who have studied such creature sightings extensively. While it is certainly an outlandish tale, it is perhaps one that is more credible than many skeptics would have us believe.
Much of the greater detail of the account comes from personal interviews with Ostman by researcher and author, John Green in his book The Apes Among Us.
“There May Not Be Many…But They Still Exist!”
Although the exact dates are uncertain, at some point in the spring or summer of 1924, prospector, Albert Ostman was preparing to venture out into the wilderness of Toba Inlet in search of a supposed lost gold mine in the area. With him, he had a guide from one of the region’s native tribes.
As this guide led him into the forested regions of the area, he would share with him several of the legends of the lost gold. He would also inform him of the legends of the Sasquatch. In fact, according to some of the legends, many prospectors also looking for gold in the area had even been killed by these apparently beastly creatures, some of which were over eight feet tall.
Ostman, however, dismissed such wild tales as pure fantasy, or at the least tales of a beast from “thousands of years ago”. He fully intended on heading deep into the brutal wilderness. His guide, however, would only take him so far. He would state that “there may not be many (left), but they still exist!”
He would arrange to return for Ostman in 18 days. The prospector then set out on his own, eventually setting up a basecamp in a quiet location.
With him, he carried a sleeping bag and cover sheet to pitch a makeshift tent, a 30 caliber rifle and ammunition, and a small holdall of basic food rations. He fully intended on hunting his food during his time in the quiet reaches of the area. As it would turn out, however, it was Ostman who would become the hunted.
Strange Activity In The Night!
Upon waking one morning Ostman noticed that something had seemingly been through his possessions. There was, however, nothing stolen. He had the feeling that whoever it was, this search was seemingly one of curiosity as opposed to intending to steal.
This happened again the following two evenings, alerting Ostman to the fact that someone, or something, was seemingly stalking him. When he fell asleep on this third evening of strange activity (after trying to keep himself awake), things would take a dramatic and life-changing turn.
He would awaken to find himself being scooped up in his sleeping bag by something large and strong. Ostman, despite his dismissing of the guide’s accounts and despite not being able to get a proper look at his abductor, knew it was a sasquatch. And it was almost certain that this creature was responsible for the ransacking of his rations during the evening.
Although he wasn’t certain, he estimated he was carried by this creature for around three hours. Then, in a small clearing, he was suddenly dropped to the ground. He remained inside the sleeping bag until morning, too afraid to move.
The following morning, he would peer out of the sleeping bag to find himself surrounded by cliffs in a small clearing among the trees. He could also see that there were “others” around him. He left the sleeping bag completely to finally inspect where he was.
An Entire Family Of Sasquatch
To his amazement, as well as the sasquatch that had carried him, were three other such creatures. He would recall years later that they “looked like a family – (an) old man, old lady, and two young ones”.
He would further recall that the two young sasquatches “seemed to be scared of me”, while the “old lady did not seem too pleased” by his presence. Even more bizarre, he would claim that the sasquatch who had carried him was “waving his arms and telling them what he had in mind”. According to Ostman, this display caused the other three members of the “family” to move away from him.
Although he was at first scared and startled by the incident, Ostman would observe the strange creatures from the spot where he was left. They were at a safe distance from him, but it was clear that the male was keeping a watch on him.
As he was carried to the location inside his sleeping back, he had several of his possessions with him, including water and some food rations. He also had his water canister, which he managed to refill at a small spring nearby. When he returned to the spot he had been sitting, he noticed one of the young sasquatch looking at his possessions.
He also noticed what was essentially the family’s home in a “shelf in the mountainside with overhanging rock”. He even managed to see inside a little way, noticing there was “dry moss” on the floor of the cave as well as “some kind of blankets woven of narrow strips of cedar bark”.
Dwindling Supplies Forces Escape Action
Several days went by, with little of consequence taking place. He would fill his water canister in the spring and would eat the food he had with him. Ostman noticed that the two younger sasquatches appeared particularly interested in him when he ate, and seemingly what he ate.
He would take an empty can of snuff tobacco from his supplies so that the two young sasquatches could see it. He then tossed it over to where they stood. One of them, who Ostman would recall was male, reached for it straight away and began examining it. He would eventually take it to the older male and eventually managed to open it. Fascinated, they “chatted” between themselves for the rest of the evening.
By the following morning, however, his dwindling food supplies forced him to put in action an escape plan. At first, he simply packed up his possessions and set out to leave. However, the large male sasquatch immediately blocked his path. He would, at one point, push the prospector in the chest. He would further recall that the sasquatch appeared to be “talking” to him or issuing orders of some kind. The word, he would state, sounded like “Soka Soka”.
Whatever the word might have meant, if indeed it was an example of sasquatch language, Ostman understood completely what the creature wanted, and he returned to the area he had spent the last several days.
He contemplated simply shooting at the creature but with limited ammunition (only six shells) he thought better of it. He did, though, begin to put a plan in motion as his thoughts returned to the several cans of snuff he had left.
He would recall years later that a friend of his had “saved himself from a mad bull by blinding him with snuff”. Not convinced he could get close enough to that himself, he decided to use their apparent interest in it to his advantage. When the young sasquatch approached later he tossed over a can of snuff once more. This time, however, it wasn’t empty.
Once more the younger sasquatch took the can to the older male. And once more, they spend considerable time fascinated with it. This time, they tasted the contents of the can and appeared to enjoy them.
During the course of the day, he would present several gifts to the younger sasquatch, who would take them and examine them before returning and appearing to ask for something else. He would eventually point to a can of snuff. Ostman had the impression he was asking for it to give to the older sasquatch. The prospector would recall how he shook his head and attempted to tell the youngster to bring the older male to him.
He wasn’t sure if he understood or not and watched as the young male sasquatch returned to his siblings. Later on, though, the older sasquatch approached Ostman. And his focus of attention was on the can of snuff. Sensing the closeness of his opportunity, Ostman reached for it before the sasquatch could. He did, though, offer the can to the creature who did exactly as Ostman had hoped and tipped the entire contents of the can into its mouth.
Ostman watched, hoping that the substance in such large measures would kill the sasquatch, or at least incapacitate him for long enough to allow him to make a run for it. Several moments later, it was obvious that the latter was taking place.
Return To Civilization
The sasquatch then made his way toward the spring, obviously looking for water. As this was happening, Ostman quickly gathered what he could of his possessions and left the area. He noticed that the female sasquatch was now heading toward him. He fired a shot from his rifle into the air looking to startle it, which it did.
As the female sasquatch ran to take cover, scared of the sound that had just rung out, Ostman turned and ran. The prospector would check behind him periodically, but none of the sasquatches were following.
He would continue on through the wilderness until he came across a logger working nearby. Deciding not to tell them of the encounter with the sasquatch, he instead asked for help, claiming that he as a “prospector who was lost”.
He would remain at a camp in the logging neighborhood for the evening. Then, the following day he would board a Union Boat that left from nearby, taking him back to the city of Vancouver.
He would speak of the incident until 1957. And only then when other Bigfoot reports were beginning to surface in the regional and national press.
A Need To Seriously Study The Strange Creatures Of The Wilderness
It perhaps goes without saying that many remain doubtful of Ostman’s account (who died in 1975). There are, however, an equal number of researchers who find it credible, and potentially important.
We have examined many other Bigfoot and Sasquatch legends before. Are they of the same creature? Is there an unknown creature that lives in the wilderness of such areas? Do they reside in these places permanently, or might they move from place to place? And just what might these creatures be?
For example, there appear to be obvious signs of intelligence and an apparent importance of a basic family unit. And, if we accept Ostman’s account as true for a moment, how much might he have learned from observing and interacting with them if conditions were different?
It is interesting that the descriptions Ostman would give match with contemporary accounts. And sightings still occur in this region today.
Whether we should accept Ostman’s account is obviously open to debate. However, he had little to gain from keeping the incident to himself for over three decades before deciding to speak. We will probably never know if the incident he revealed was the product of his imagination or a genuine ordeal. That some strange creature exists in the forest and mountain terrains of the North American continent is surely something worthy of continued and serious study.
Check out the video below. It features the audio interview of Albert Ostman.
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