Though Jason Hewlett has never seen a Sasquatch, he maintains that believing in it makes the world a more interesting place.
Author and co-founder of the Kamloops-based Canadian Paranormal Foundation and the We Want to Believe paranormal investigative team, Hewlett has long been fascinated by stories about the creature also commonly known as “Bigfoot.” He’s familiar with alleged sightings, and the finding of possible footprints, that continue to be reported from Hope and Harrison Hot Springs to the Thompson and Shuswap regions.
Prior to pandemic-related restrictions, Hewlett and his fellow investigators would spend their weekends visiting homes or businesses in the Southern Interior at the invite of individuals seeking answers about strange happenings. With these investigations on hold, the team took some time to dig into local sightings and occurrences possibly connected to the legendary Bigfoot.
“There’s a reason why you can’t find it and can’t track it. It doesn’t want to be seen,” Nlaka pamux/Secwepemc artist, author and storyteller Chris Bose explains to the We Want to Believe team in a video The Hunt for Bigfoot Part 1, on Youtube.
In the video, Bose shares how he had an encounter with the elusive creature, guessing it to be about eight-feet tall and 800 lbs, with reddish brown fur.
“It shook me to my core because you hear these stories as a kid and the warnings from elders and aunties and uncles. And then to actually see it,” said Bose, stressing such stories are not usually not readily shared.
“It’s hard to get a handle on these kinds of stories… It’s acknowledging there’s something greater than us out here and we are not so in control.”
During their outing, Bose impressed upon Hewlett the connection local Sasquatch legends have to the land and the need to protect it.
“Talking to him it became more than just a monster story,” said Hewlett.
A seasoned news reporter, Hewlett explained how the world of paranormal investigation is not as quick paced, and certainly not as exciting as pop culture might suggest.
Much of it involves collecting data, but every now and then something exciting occurs that cannot be easily explained. Two such incidents occurred at the historic Baillie House in Merritt. At one point during an investigation, a small toy hammer inexplicably flew off a shelf.
In another incident, while projecting a laser grid on a wall, the beams were broken by something that could not be seen. When the lights were turned on and off, the shape became more defined. This was repeated a few times until the shape was no longer there.
“You can’t say that it’s paranormal or anything, but definitely something happened that can’t be easily explained away,” said Hewlett.
Hewlett and his fellow investigators do not charge for what they do. He said they only want to help those who seek them out.
“Most of the time, even if it turns out to be something very natural, it’s affecting them and freaking them out,” said Hewlett. “We’re not thrill seekers, we don’t just treat it as a lark. We do it very seriously and try to give them some answers or some closure.”
While the second video in the Hunt for Bigfoot has yet to screen, Hewlett indicated he did not physically encounter the creature. This left another question unanswered: what do you do when you actually run into Bigfoot?
“Bang a bunch of pots together? Hope it goes away then?” laughed Hewlett. “I don’t know – just as long as we get it on film.”