- Grizzly bears and q'unsciwas - white
men - were two most mysterious creatures on earth according to Bella Coola's
own Nuxalk nation Indian Clayton Mack. Born in 1910, the latter reign
of "the great wilderness hunters," he guided the rich and the
famous on trophy hunts, captivating everyone from the Bella Coola locals
to jet setters with his hunting prowess and mastery at telling campfire
stories. He was one of a kind.
- Not particularly worldly, Clayton Mack
is portrayed as spirited, confident, one with the wilderness or as I call
it, "he had back-country smarts" and was at home in the elements
among nature's fiercest most unpredictable creatures, the grizzly bear,
the black bear and the boqs. [Sasquatches]
- He loved the British Columbian wilderness
where he was known for 53 long years as the "greatest grizzly bear
guide" in the world, something you have to respect if you know the
Grizzly Bear. Hunters will love Mack's no nonsense-earthy approach to hunting.
He was also a spellbinding storyteller. His best tales are collected
in the Grizzly book in his own words. The stories he told were recorded
in text exactly as he spoke them during tape recorded sessions with the
author Dr. Harvey Thommasen, his family physician, who specialized in Native
Canadian health issues.
- The misuse of language, grammatical blunders
and errors, all a dd enjoyable, smiling color to Mack's remarkable ability
to weave wild but true stories. Before I left for the East Indies, personal
experience taught me the unpredictable, obstinate and menacing grizzly
was the only animal clearly to be feared in the U.S. That hasn't changed,
but I have since added a few more creatures previously unfamiliar to me
from the Indonesian rain forests, but that's another Short story still
being processed. I'll get to that as soon as I learn how to spell where
- Short on Sasquatch stories, Mack's grizzly
accounts are worth the price of the book. I will confine out-takes from
the book to his single chapter on Sasquatch related stories. I got the
biggest bang out of his Grizzly and Sasquatch yarns, seized of course,
from his days in the beauty but rugged and unyielding wilderness region
of Bella Coola, BC. I hope you will enjoy it too.
- The chapter begins with Sasquatch sightings
seemingly routine if not matter-of-fact to the Bella Coola man. He comes
off as rather unflappable throughout, but his adventures, as with the rest
of the book, become more interesting with each passing page. - ---
- © Mack & Thommasen Chapter Seven,
- "I was fishing in Kwatna all my
myself, in August - nobody with me - and I came home on the weekend. I
was getting pretty lonely, low on gas and getting low on grub too. So
I went home for a few days. Then I got a fresh start of grub to go back
again. I told my wife "I'm going back to Kwatna again." Early
in the morning, Sunday, I took off from Bella Coola.
- I was probably in my thirties. I had
a little boat - about a thirty-foot boat with a single cylinder engine.
I got to Jacobson Bay, about fifteen miles from Bella Coola when I saw
something right out on the low tide. I saw something on the edge of the
water. It was kneeling down-like and I could see his back humping up on
the beach. It looked like he was lifting up rocks or maybe digging clams.
But there were no claims there. I turned the boat right in toward him.
I wanted to find out what it was. For a while there I thought it was
a grizzly bear, kind of light colour fur on the back of his neck like a
light brown almost buckskin colour fur. I nosed right in toward him to
almost seventy-five yards to get a good look.
- He stood up on his hind feet, straight
up like a man and I looked at it. He was looking at me. Gee, it don't
look like a bear, it has arms like a human being, it had legs like a human
being and it got a head like us. I keep on going in toward him. He started
to walk away from me walking like a man on two legs. He was about eight
feet high. He got to some drift-logs, stopped and looked back at me. He
looked over his shoulder to see me. Grizzly bear don't do that, I never
see a grizz run on its hind legs like that and I never se a grizzly bear
look over his shoulder like that. I was right close to the beach now.
He stepped up on those drift logs and walked into the timber.
- Stepped on them logs like a man do.
The area had been logged before so the alder trees were short, about eight
to ten feet night. I could see the tops moving as he was spreading them
apart to go through. I watched as he went a little higher up the hill.
The wind blew me in toward the beach, so I backed up the boat and keep
on going to Kwatna Bay.
- One evening a year later, I was talking
to George Olsen who was the manager of Tallio cannery. I told him about
what I had seen, a man-like animal with hair all over his body. George
told me he seen the same animal, the same month and the same year as I
had but only on the other side of the bay. George and his crew watched
from their boat as a man-like creature run across the river.
- For many years after, I told that story
to people. I told Paul Pollard, James Pollard's father and he told me
where they are. Where is the most Sasquatch sign he ever see, Kitlope!
I wanted to get into that country some day to see if that was true. One
June, I took two Americans into Kitlope. They had both got their grizzly
bear and wanted to see if they could see a Sasquatch. One of these Americans,
we called him 'cowboy' was crying all the time and sometimes used bad language.
Mad at something. When we get to Kitlope I said, "What is your problem?"
He said "my wife left me. She cheated me and she wanted lots of money
from me. She wanted thirty thousand dollars fro me and she got it. Then
she took off. A few days later I got a letter saying she wants sixteen
hundred dollars a month for the rest of her life. And she got it."
That's what he was mad about.
- There was an old house at Kitlope. Oil
stove cups, dishes, plates and spoons were all in good shape. I light
up the stove. I called the boys to come in, "it's all ready for us."
The cowboy was still kind of haywire you know, he pulled out a bottle
of Canadian Club Whisky and a carton of cigarettes and put it on the table.
Cowboy started right away drinkin' and smokin.' He got me nervous-like
after a while. I was laying down watching him. He was smoking a log of
cigarettes, he'd just finished one and then light a new one again. He
keep going like that. The he'd get up and go to the kitchen and pour himself
a drink again. I watched him all the time. I decided next time he goes
I would follow him and have a drink and help him forget his problem. Then
he went in and I went and patted him on the shoulder. "I'll drink
with you on this one." He said "Take a big one, you are way behind"
"Damn right," I said. "I'll take a big one so I can go
to sleep." He poured himself a drink and poured myself a drink. I
drink that Canadian Club Whiskey and go back to bed. I had my gun right
there beside my bed and a big flashlight, A six-volt flashlight. I lay
down, Cowboy started in again smoking. I never say nothing, just lay there
watching him. Tony, the other American was laying near the foot of my
bed on the next bed. I was afraid Cowboy was going to burn a blanket,
burn down the whole cabin. Right at once something yelled throught a little
broken window, "Haaaaaaaaaaa Ohhhhhhhhh." He yelled right through
that hole in the window.
- I get up right away and grabbed hold
of my gun. That's the big mistake I made. I should have grabbed hold of
that flashlight and flashed right on his face to see what he looked like.
I grabbed my gun and I tried to go out but I couldn't open the door because
it had been raining too long in that country, I guess, and the door swelled
up sos I couldn't open it. So I went out through the back door and flashed
the light at the broken window. He was gone already. He yelled again
by the river, he how again, "haaaaaaa ha ha ha haaaaaaa" like.
I flashed around, it was gone now. I walked down to the river to see him,
what it was, but I didn't see nothing. So I went back to bed.
- Early in the morning I waked up Tony.
"Let's go look for his tracks," I said. Yeah, it looked like
we saw his tracks all right, but not too good. He stopped too many places.
He destroyed his own footprints. The footprints look like our footprints,
- bigger, that's all.
- The second Sasquatch I saw was in Mud
Bay, in Dean Channel. Mud Bay is about ten miles down from Brynildsen
Bay. It is like a kind of lagoon there, narrow entrance to go in but lots
of room once you are inside. I was looking for bear. I didn't want to
go into the middle of the bay, so I went to shore and walked along the
sand beach. I see a man-head, it looked like, behind a tree. It was looking
at me. The head was sticking out from behind a tree. I kneeled down and
point my gun at him. Gee he took off fast. He was about two hundred feet
away. Not too big, about my size, five foot seven or eight. Had lots of
hair all over his face. Almost look like a person, but not a person. I
didn't want to shoot him. So I walked up to where he was. And where he
went in, I followed him. I saw tree bark had been peeled off. I guess
he was eating the sap of a hemlock tree. I almost caught him eating that.
I saw his tracks, but not too good.
- [note: This is a rare report where we
read about a dead bear being found.]
- The third Sasquatch I saw was in South
Bentinck, right up the head of the South Bentinck. Past Taleomey, right
at the end. Assek River. It was less than twenty year ago. I had a white
hunter with me, an American guy from California. Maybe fifty year old.
We were sitting down on a log talkin' together, he told me his bad luck.
There was a dead black bear near us. We found that dead black bear the
week before and it had been eaten up by a grizzly bear. That American
hunter shot and missed a wolf, then later he shot and missed a grizz that
come to eat that dead black bear!
- He told me, "I'm real bad luck!
I missed that wolf, I missed that grizzly bear, I lost my son in the Vietnam
War." That is what he told me. We were waiting for the grizzly bear
that was eating that dead black bear to come back. We waited 'til it getting'
dark. So I told this guy "It's getting late, let's get out of here.
We'll be back before daylight in the morning." Sometimes when it
gets late, dark, and you shoot and you can't see the sights on the gun
too good, you will just nick the bear. You won't kill him, just wound
him. It is hard to track a wounded grizzly bear at night. So we headed
back to the boat and I walked ahead of him. We came into big open flat,
about quarter of a mile. It looked like there was a black bear eating in
the grass. Looked like it anyways.
- I stopped, told this fellow "Black
bear over there, let's go right close to him, lets walk right up to him."
We were on the dry land about l50 yards from the water. "Black Bear
are stupid," I told him "You can get right close to them. See
how close you can walk up to him." I started walking up to that black
bear. "Just stay right behind me"
- I told the American guy. The black bear
was about a quarter of a mile away when we first saw it. I made a big
circle like toward the bear. When I got closer, not too far now, the hunter
grabbed the collar of my shirt and pulled me back.
- "Clayton, that's not a black bear"
he said, "that's a Sasquatch." He keeps on saying, "It's
a Sasquatch." I didn't say nothing. I started walking again. I said
"Stay right behind me." We was only about 75 yards away. "Clayton,"
he said again, "that's not a black bear, that's a sasquatch!!"
I knelt down on the ground, I turned toward him, "what do you know
about Sasquatches?" He says, "I come from Northern California,
we get them in that country in the big mountains that get snow on them.
Those mountains in Northern California which have glaciers on them. Some
people hunt them" he said. I said "How do they look like?"
- He said, "well you seeing one there
now, that's a what they look like." I started walking again. I get
pretty close now. Then that black bear stands up on both legs and he looks
at me. I keep going closer. Gee, I was pretty close now. He started looking
at me, making no noise or anything. I feel the barrel of a gun against
my cheek. I pushed that hunter's gun away from my face. "Don't shoot
him," I said.
- The hunter whispered in my ear, "Look
through your scope and see how he looks like." I turn the scope to
4X and close - four times closer than a naked eye. I looked through that
scope, I look at his mouth. Little white thing in his mouth, looked like
rice. I look at his lips kind of turning in and turning out, the top and
the bottom too.
- I look at his face and his chest. The
shape of his face is different than a human being face. Hair over face.
Eyes were like us but small. Ears small too. Nose just like us, little
bit flatter that's all. Head kind of looks small compared to body. Looks
friendly doesn't look like he's mad or has anything against us. Didn't
snort or make a sound like a grizzly bear. On the middle of his chest,
looked to me like a line of no hair, hair split apart little bit in the
middle. Skin is black where that hair split apart. It was a male I think.
I can't, no way am I able to shoot him. I had a big gun too. Big gun,
a .308. I aimed, had my finger on the trigger, pointed it right at the
heart. One shot would have killed him dead, just like that. I couldn't
shoot him. Like if a person stand over there, I shoot him, same thing.
No way I can kill him.
- My mother told me don't ever shoot a
Sasquatch. If you shoot them, you gonna lose your wife, your mother or
your dad, or else your brother or sister. It will give you bad luck if
you kill them. Leave them walk away. That's why I don't want to shoot
one. My mother had seen them. She hears them too. A lot of Indian people
saw them in the old days.
- After we see it, we just leave it. That
Sasquatch went in the woods - went in the big timber. He took off fast.
Looked like he used his hands when he took off first, like a hundred-yard
runner, looks like it. Pulling himself up with his arms, with his hands
first, looks like. He never made a sound. Just moved off into the heavy
timber like a fast moving shadow.
- Next day we had a look again around where
that Sasquatch was eating. We wondered to ourselves, "what was he
eating?" He pulled that grass and right at the root of the grass is
a little round seed. Looks like a little grains of rice. That white boy
called it sweet grass. That was what he was eating. That was the last
Sasquatch I actually saw but I hear them and lots of stories about Sasquatches.
I was happy that American hunter from California saw a Sasquatch. He was
happy he saw the Sasquatch too.
- I use to own a bigger boat. One time
I took a basketball team to Ocean Falls, Bella Bella and Klemtu. Took
about 25 boys. They hired me to do this. I have to be careful, don't travel
in bad weather or else you get into trouble, sink and lose that many boys.
I was coming back from Klemtu, it was getting late, we get past Brynildsen
Bay and we hit a strong wind blowing out from South Bentinck. I turned
the boat around and go back to Brynildsen Bay. We're going to wait 'til
it is nice and take off to Bella Coola in the morning. The boys didn't
like that, they wanted to go home that night. "No I'm the boss,"
I said. The wind was strong and there was too many of us in the boat.
I heard Sasquatch live in that bay area. Willie Hans got to the bow of
the boat and tied the boat up good. I decided to cook something to eat.
We plan to leave early in the morning before the wind came up. Art Saunders,
he yelled at Willie Hand, "Sasquatch!!" Willie Hans raised his
head up high and said "Baaaa qaaaa" - are you there?"
- Sasquatch answered right away, "Haii
haii haii." Just like he called his name in our language. We call
the Sasquatch "Boqs." The thing answered right now. The whole
bunch of kids jammed through the door - they can't squeeze through the
door fast enough, - but that was about 14 years ago.
- I also hear Sasquatch in Skowquilz River
Valley. Not too long ago, a hunter and his wife came in. I took him to
South Bentinck. He was a poor shot, he can't hit nothing with his gun.
Good gun too, twelve hundred dollar gun he said. I showed him a black
bear, bang bang, he missed. Show him a grizz, - bang bang, missed all
the time. He can't hit anything. One day we talked about Sasquatch. "Ah
bullshit," he said. "No such a thing as that in the world."
He asked me how it looks like. I told him about the black one I saw in
South Bentinck. Look like human being, body like human being. He said,
"it's all bullshit." His wife get mad at him, "don't call
it bullshit" she said. "You never see one in your life that
is why you don't believe?
- I bet you never see a wolf either."
She was right, he never did see a wolf in the wild. I tried to get him
a bear in South Bentinck, we did see a lot of bears but he can't hit them
- -missed all the time. I told my son-in-law, "let's go to Skowquiltz."
It's easy to hunt there, easy hunting, lot of black bears there."
So we went to Skowquiltz River Valley. Same as always. It was getting
dark in the evening when we got there. Starting to get dark anyways.
I took this guy out and I sat down on a log, waiting for a bear to come
out. I saw one right away quick. A black bear, he wanted to cross the meadow
in front of us. "There should be black bear over there do, do you
- "Yeah, let's take a look-see"
he said. We went to a meadow waiting for the bear but he never did show.
Lots of bear sign, ground all dug up but no bears anywhere. We went back
to the same log and sat down again. Suddenly a sound scared us bad! Real
awful noise. Looks like a bluff up above where the sound came from, "Awwwoooo
Wooo Wooo." That Sasquatch was talking but I couldn't understand
what he was saying. Real deep voice. Then the hunter asked me "what's
going on over there?" "You don't believe in sasquatches?"
I said. "That there is one you a hearin' now!" "You're hearing
one, but you still don't believe it? That's what it is. Maybe theys lost
each other, trying to call its mate maybe, it's his wife he's trying to
- No answer though. Just a big deep voice.
Awful sounding voice this time, scared me. Usually I'm not scared in the
woods. As long as I have my gun I'm not afraid. But that voice sure scared
me! I start thinkin' maybe it's a ghost or spirit or something like that.
Cougar don't sound the same as the Sasquatch. I can tell the difference!
Porcupine sounds like a woman crying sometimes, but that Sasquatch cry
is different than porcupine.
- My brother saw a Sasquatch. (My brother's
name is Samson). Standing face to face about a foot and a half apart!
He was on the tideflats here. He was working the boom there. Early shift
in the morning, 'twas fire season, had to go across to the other side,
the Old Townsite side, at about three o'clock in the morning. Samson met
that old Sasquatch right on the road. Samson stopped, the Sasquatch stopped
and they just looked at each other. And Samson, he wouldn't tell anyone
about it for a long long time.
- Sometimes I wonder what kind of animal
is a Sasquatch? Half man, half-animal I think. Just like a man but can't
make fire, which seems to be all. You know all the Indians up and down
the coast have the same name for Sasquatches, Bookwus, (Bukwas) or Boqs.
Many different languages, but same name for the Sasquatch.
- I think they live in caves in the winter,
hibernate like a bear. I don't think they like fish up here. Sasquatches
got strong smell, smell like a big they say. I never smelled it myself,
never did in my life. But a lot of guys smell them. They see them and
smell them, I saw one in the South Bentinck up close, but I never did smell
nothing on him. Maybe the wind was blowin' the other direction.
- The way a Sasquatch finds out how far
apart each other is, is they pick up a stick and hit a tree with that stick.
Makes a spooky noise. You will hear "bong" on one side of a
valley then "bong" when another Sasquatch answers from the other
side of the valley.
- There are Sasquatch hunters, quite a
bunch of them. They try and get a Sasquatch. Some of the Sasquatch hunters
have come to see me and one guy said to me, "You tell me where I can
get a picture of a Sasquatch. If I can get it, I get 125,000 dollars."
"What are you going to do with that picture?" I asked him. "Make
millions of copies of it and kids they will buy that and put it on their
shirt," he said. That guy stayed with me awhile.
- Look like there is a lot of money in
that Sasquatch hunting business. I want to join them someday. One day that
Sasquatch hunter, he needed money to buy grub to go back in the mountains.
He was hunting back of Salloomt River valley. He wants to buy oranges
for bait. He claims that sasquatches like apples and oranges. He didn't
have any money to buy this stuff he wanted so he said "can I use your
phone?" "Yeah, okay" I said.
- And he phoned a man down in Agassiz,
who was hunting sasquatch too. He get through to the guy okay and I hear
him say he needs over eight hundred dollars, he tells that guy to send
the money to the Credit Union here in Bella Coola. He got it just like
that! Over a thousand bucks by the time he traded in his American money
for Canadian money.
- I think there is still a few Sasquatch
families around. Up the Talchako River, Kitlope River, skowquiltz River
and in South Bentinck. They travel long ways, cover a lot of ground in
a day. I think someday someone will get a Sasquatch. I could have got
one long ago if I wanted to kill one. I just couldn't kill it. I couldn't
kill one for a million dollars, a Sasquatch looks too much like a man.
- About twenty years ago, I met a guy whose
name was Bob Mackie from the United States. He was a young guy about twenty-five
years old. From Washington State. He likes to hunt and guide. I met him
in Bella Coola. He wanted to come with me to learn how to guide. He said
"I don't want pay, just fee me that's all." I told him he would
have to get his assistant guide license and they were only sold at the
head office over in Williams Lake. The young fellow who wanted to learn
how to guide, wanted very much to come, but I just didn't need four guides.
My nephew, son and son-in-law. We flew back to Owikeno Lake with two
hunters. Dusty took one guy to the Inzianan River. They were gone just
short while and I heard an airplane, it sounded like it was going to land.
It circled around and landed in the water then coasted up to our camp.
I put my gumboots on and went out to meet the plane. A guy waves at me
and I pulled the plane by a rope as far as I could to the shore. There
on the plan was the young fellow who had wanted to be a guide, with his
camera and a gun. He told me he had got his guiding license and all I
had to do was sign my name and he would be able to guide for me.
- Dusty and George both got grizzly that
morning for the hunters they took out. Two bears in a morning! "It's
all finished now" I said. "We go home now. Close up and you guys
can go home now on the plan." It was around the end of October. We
were at the Washwash cabin, Owikeno Lake, right up the head near the narrows.
They said "All right." Bob was going to some with me and get
all the stuff and pack it into the cabin and help me close up for the year.
Tents, stoves and stuff were about fifteen miles away. We got to pick
all that up. After that we go home too. Bob like that, he wanted to come
with me. Just the two of us and get all the stuff and pack it into the
main cabin. The plane came in for George, Dusty and Obie. We packed some
stuff in. George and Obie went hoe with them two hunters.
- After the plane was gone I told Bob Mackie
"Okay, let's go. We packed our stuff out of there. " We camped
out over night. He don't want no pay, this guy. He wants a grizzly bear
for his pay. Okay, I say, we will hunt for a bear and I suppose you want
a big one, hey??" "Yeah" he said, "grizzly bear anyway."
- We packed our stuff and grub into the
boat and we took off. I had a big boat, big flat bottom skiff. Build like
a little scow. A big motor on it. We can sleep in this boat if we have
to. I run about another four more miles down the Owikeno Lake to the camp.
I see something swimming in the water. I looked at it, gee it look like
a bear. It was coming toward us. I slow the motor down to a slow idle.
This thing was coming right straight for us. I looked at it. Bob was
a looking too. I reversed that motor then backed up so we just keep still.
That thing still coming toward us. I see his ears, I look at it. Getting
pretty close and is about fifty feet away now. Bob said, "It's a
black bear," "Yeah, - - maybe it's a black bear," I said.
Black head, little white around its nose. Bob Mackie picked up his gun.
"No, don't shoot him" I said. "Too much like work to drag
him up on the beach." We stand together and keep looking at it. That
things still coming toward us. And right at once he humped up and dived
down under the water. "Black bear??" he said. "No, it's
not a black bear" I said. "Something very different than a black
bear. Black bear don't dive like that." "Grizzly bear will stick
his head in the water but not a black bear," I said.
- I have seen grizzly bear dive in with
front part feeling around for fish but black bear just don't do that.
He went right under and never came up again. We got out of there quick.
I don't know what that was. It weren't no bear! It wasn't a seal and it
wasn't a sea-lion. [Note: Owikeno Lake monster?] "Let's go!"
- We go to the Neechanz River. I ran up
the river about a mile in the boat. We landed, packed our grub and stuff.
Got a little bit of wood for a camp fire at night. Cooked something to
eat. The next day Bob Mackie shot his bear. He finally got his bear, a
grizzly all right. Not very big, but he was satisfied with it. A silver-tipped
one. Nice silver-tip. We skinned that bear as fast as we can skin him.
Packed the tent and stuff in the boat and took off. Take this bear skin
with us too. I told Bob, "If we see another grizzly bear, a bigger
one, you take it too. I'll takee the one you got." We didn't see
anymore bears though. We went through the First Narrows, then the Second
Narrows. Just as we passed the Second Narrows is the Third Narrows. There
some pilings there, they look like logs sticking up out of the water.
I saw this thing stick its head out of the water, I looked at it. I point
it out to Mackie. "Seal playing," I said. Bob picked up his
gun right away. That Bob Mackie had a powerful gun, a .338 automatic.
A real big bear gun all right. "If it's a seal, shoot him" I
told him. "I don't like them seals in this country. They eat up all
the fish and bust up the schools of Coho Salmon. Lot of Coho come up in
here. And those seals chase them, then the Coho don't bit for a long time,
sometime don't bite at all anymore. Too many seals in this country."
- There are quite a few seals in that Owikeno
Lake. We looked at it close. It had its head up, way up. Had a long skinny
neck, not fat, kinda bent over. Pretty black and dark. Smallish head too.
I don't notice any ears. I can see its head sideways. Look like it had
eyes, but big eyes. Mouth closed, no teeth. Look like a big snake but
had a different kind of head on it. From the head to shoulder I could
see it. That thing had shoulders like an animal. Body of an animal, neck
to head was quite long, about five feet!! This young fellow aimed, he
was a deadly shot, he can't miss. And he aimed and then he looked at me.
- "Go ahead," I said. I stood
beside him. He had .338 rifle, powerful gun. One shot can kill a grizz
real easy. He aimed for quite a while. We were pretty close now. About
a hundred feet from him. That gun finally went off, BANG! And I kick the
boat ahead toward where that thing went down. I think he hit him all right,
couldn't have missed. He went down when Mackie shot. Head went in the
water. I don't know if he killed it or if that thing just dived in the
water. I think he probably killed it, hit its head.
- That animal went down under the water
and sun, I kicked ahead right where he went down under the water. I looked
for blood, or fat coming to the top of the water. When you shoot seals
or sea-lions in the water there will be blood or fat or bubbles coming
up. But there was no blood. No fat. No bubbles. Maybe we were too close,
bullet go through like a pinhole or go right through that thing's head.
Maybe the bullet hit a big bone inside. That lake water was kind of clear.
I look where the thing went down to the bottom. I see a black thing down
there, a big black thing. Just all black. I couldn't make a shape how
he looked like. Was big, bigger than the biggest grizzly bear. While I
was looking that thing come alive, looked like it. While we were looking
down there it started paddling, kicking ahead like a big board backing
up and churning the water. The water was boiling, coming up at us. Looked
like he was taking off, away from us. Suddenly Bob said "Go on, get
- I put the boat motor in gear and I opened
it up wide open and we got out of there. We still had about six miles to
go. Just past the Third Narrows, the lake opens up again. Bob said, "Run
the boat right up on the beach, I don't want to stay in the water any longer."
- I had it going wide open. I ran the
boat wide open to the cabin and ran it up on the shore by the cabin. We
packed the stove and gear into the cabin. After that I said to Bob, "What
was that you shot out there in the Narrows?"
- "It was a dinosaur, they were around
about a million years ago, but there shouldn't be any more around. You'll
see a picture of it someday, you'll see the name of it - - dinosaur. Maybe
you see it on television," he said.
- "How come I don't see teeth?"
I asked. He said "there are two kinds of dinosaurs. One dinosaur,
a flesh eater, eats meat, he kills animals; this one eats leaves and vegetation
like from trees. That is the kind I shot, that is the kind we seen."
- When we got back to Bella Coola we don't
talk about what happened because we think people will laugh at us, say
we are bullshitting them. I never heard of anyone else seeing that thing
that year. I know the Rivers Inlet Indians from the Owikeno Village don't
want to travel them narrows at night. When they come to our camp, they
always want to take off before dark. Get out of there before it gets too
late in the day. I hear stories that they are scared of them things.
I talked to some relation of David Bernard a Rivers Inlet Indian, after
that. That guy told me David Bernard saw the same animal many years before
we saw it.
- *Memo to the reader: This goes a bit
beyond the Sasquatch chapter but thought it was of interest to the Cryptozoologist
online. I noted while I was typing, the spell corrector on this word processor
nearly had a cardiac arrest. It automatically emends sentence structure
and misspelled words. I tried to disengage the auto-correct system, but
at one point I sat here staring at the screen's page as the colorful Mack
inflections auto-corrected themselves. I apologize. All the linguistic
corrections (though some are quite visible) in Mack's unique delivery takes
away from his whimsical quirks and the mettle of the man he was. He died
- At the end of the stories Mack recounts,
you will wonder what was real and what was imagined. According to the foreword
in the book, Mark Hume reveals, "it's all true. Every word is true."
If Clayton Mack was at all trying to weave an entertaining tale, he certainly
lacked the embellishments of the usually storyteller. I'm not trying to
sell the Clayton Mack stories one way or the other, but rather leave the
conclusion to the reader for whatever they may determine for themselves.
- The other point I found interesting was
his consistency in noting the Sasquatch encounters happened very late in
the day or during the night. That point lends credibility to what has already
been established. He had no way to known that otherwise.
- I was also intrigued at the constant
divulgement that sasquatches in the region of Bella Coola seemingly shared
territory with black bear and grizzlies. This may speak to their like-intake
of food; or perhaps their ability to get along with ill-tempered grizzlies
and black bear. Perhaps they are opportunistic in sharing a kill between
themselves, who knows?
- I wonder if there is some sort of plebeian
thread between bears and Boqs? Field researchers (that I am aware of) don't
usually pass across grizzly territory unless by accident. At least I don't.
I'll wake several miles to avoid known bear ranges. It didn't occur to
me the squatch and bear shared the same territory.
- Mack does mention that black bear tend
to be no where around their usual haunts when they encountered a sasquatch,
in fact in two of his chance encounters, Mack thought he was sneaking up
on black bear only to discover they were sasquatches after the creatures
stood upright. This must have come as quite a shock for the world's greatest
- We should no longer be very surprised
when witnesses confuse bear with sasquatch, for even at close range, the
best in bear hunters could hardly tell the difference until the sasquatch
stood up. Then there seemed to be little doubt in Clayton's mind what the
- An overview might suggest there is little
to learn from Clayton Macks experiences in the wild, but I found many instances
where there was much to learn from the little he said. Thanks to John Kirk's
Crypto Newsletter for putting me in touch with Mack's book. There isn't
that much in them about the Sasquatch, but enough that I will change a
great deal of my thinking in the field to include the using known bear
sanctuaries like he did.
- Can't say as that thought thrills me
much! As Scarlett O'Hara said, "I'll think about that tomorrow."
- There are a great many bigfooters on
this list who do not contribute, and I can't help but wonder if you read
these posts or am I just wasting my time sharing.......?
- Bobbie Short