SPOKANE VALLEY – The stories of Bigfoot are innumerable.
There are legends in books and stories handed down verbally from generations.
There are TV shows, and while some are laughed at by skeptics, the longest running has aired since 2011 – which means there is a dedicated following of believers and those who want to be believers.
There are websites, the most popular of which allows visitors to report sighting.
One recent sighting was reported in Yakima County near Rimrock Lake when a camper “heard at least four howls in the morning between 4-5 a.m.”
(“The sounds were about a mile away, but could [hear] clearly in the morning,” wrote the anonymous witness. “Thought was wildlife or maybe a person. Then looked up a video on YouTube of people using parabolic sound dish recording Sasquatch vocalizing sounds when I arrived back home…”)
Then there are tribes.
“I traveled for years. I’ve traveled all over the United States. I’ve been to every state but Hawaii, and to three provinces in Canada doing art shows and going to schools, [kindergarten] through college, speaking,” said Colville tribal member Ken Edwards, a storyteller and artist. “I’ve been to over 100 different reservations across U.S. and Canada, and I’m still alive. I have stories from all different tribes. There are a lot of things out there that I wasn’t aware of, but one thing we do have in common is we all have Bigfoots.”
Edwards presented stories from across Indian Country at the Second Annual Spokane Valley Bigfoot Roundup, Aug. 31, speaking to approximately 50 Bigfoot researchers and enthusiasts from around the country.
“They have different powers across the United States, like our medicine people,” Edwards told the modest group from a stage installed in the Spokane Valley Convention Center. “It was interesting. In Alaska with the Eskimos and with the Seminoles in Florida, those are the only two Bigfoots I know that can fly. The others have powers as well, like ours, they can read your mind. Most Bigfoots can shape shift. They can look like you, that tree, that bird. That’s why they’re so hard to find.”
Extreme Expeditions Northwest LLC, billed as “your premiere bigfoot research investigation company,” hosted the event.
Along with Edwards, presenters included Larry “Beans” Baxter of the Kenai Alaska Bigfoot Research Group, Amy Bue, Co-Founder of Project Zoobook and Investigator for the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization in Ohio and Pennsylvania, Adam Davies, author and Cryptozoologist from San Diego and Cindy Bueno-Goodbrake, a Sasquatch Investigator from Spirit Lake, Idaho.
Following the presentations, Edwards sat on a panel with the other experts, and audience members were invited to ask questions or share stories of their own experiences.
During his presentation Edwards shared stories from all over Indian Country. He shared the different names and translations for Bigfoot that he knew. (The Oneida name for Bigfoot translates to “Care takers of the forest,” Edwards said. “I like that one.”)
He shared several stories from the Colville Reservation, including a story of a woman who was taken by a Bigfoot to a cave in the Cascades. In the cave were five other women from her village who had been missing, Edwards said. Those women each made a pair of moccasins, and they gave their moccasins all to her to wear during the long escape back to her village.
By contrast, Baxter presented on Port Chatham, Alaska, a coastal town that has sat abandoned since the 1950s when, as legend has it, the residents fled due to fear of a legendary creature.
Baxter, along with Stephen Majors of Extreme Expeditions Northwest, traveled to Port Chatham to during production of the documentary, “In Search of The Port Chatham Hairy Man,” which was released in early 2019.
“Culturally, we have lived with Bigfoot for thousands of years so we know what they are,” said Edwards after the round up. “They’re here. They’re all around us. We are part of them and they are part of us.”