Saturday, September 22, 2007

Survivorman VS Bigfoot?

In browsing the internet, I noticed that the BFRO had posited that TV's Survivorman may have had a Sasquatch encounter. Of course, being now the official tourist outfitter for Bigfoot vacations, they might have lacked the time or inclination to follow up on this interesting tidbit. This "encounter" comes from the online field journals of Les Stroud, creator and star of Survivorman. In the journal (as in his show), Stroud recounts his personal experiences and feelings as he braves unforgiving environs with few resources aside from his survival skills.

The following excerpt is from the 5th evening of Stroud's Alaska survival mission, which was filmed sometime between 2005 and 2007. Unfortunately, information regarding production schedules is scant and so a more precise date cannot be determined.

Additionaly, it isn't known exactly where in Alaska Stroud was during his encounter, however, there are clues. Earlier on in the journal he tells us that he had set up his base camp along "a cobblestone beach" and behind him is a "four hundred foot waterfall." He then goes on to say that "beyond this active Alaskan scene there is the ocean bay they call Taroka Arm..." The actual encounter occurred later as he moved camp to "a small bay about two miles from my survival location [Taroka?]." The online journal begins on "Day 2" so it is difficult to locate his starting point but an internet search tells me Taroka Arm is a bay in Kenai Peninsula County, Alaska at Latitude: 59.60694 : Longitude: -150.13139

Day 5 Mid day

Still this incredibly great weather continues!! It was pretty cool again last night but heating up rocks and using them like hot water bottles helped a lot. I should make some kind of mattress to lie on though, the rocks are hard! Nothing took my bait last night so this morning I did more beach combing and have found a couple of old fishing nets. I used some old buoys and a bucket with a lid along with some wood as floats. I filled an old barrel and a bucket I found with rocks and used them as anchors. Then I laid everything out on the beach at low tide and waited for the ocean to come in. The salmon are jumping constantly in front of me – so here’s hoping!

Late Evening

Well…no luck with the net yet. But I’ll leave it out and hope for some action during the next high tide. Same goes for fishing with a line and hook. I went out in the kayak fishing for over an hour, but nothing bit. I did get out to ‘bounty bay’ for some more foraging, which keeps my spirits up. Tonight I even managed to make a short grass matt to sleep on and a hammock chair out of an old fishing net to hang on. The strangest thing happened tonight when I was making my grass matt. All of a sudden a deep and very loud grunting noise from about fifty yards away in the bush brought me to my feet and put the hairs up on the back of my neck. It repeated four times and I have to say sounded…wait for it…just like a large gorilla! No, I’m not kidding. Hopefully I’m not losing it! But I swear. That’s what it sounded like. Not like a bear at all. Like a big gorilla. I will assume it was a bear though – a mother warning her cubs about my presence. But still… will be an interesting sleep tonight!

It should be noted that Taroka means "black bear" in the language of the region and Les does indicate the area was populated with plenty of black and brown ("Grizzly") bears. Is more likely he simply had a brush with a bear? Or did Les Stroud indeed hear something like a large primate in Alaska? I doubt Stroud would ever commit to an answer, which is smart. There's simply not enough data. However, I would be curious to know of other historical or recent accounts in the area. [I am researching some of that now and will keep you posted] I do find it curious that Stroud refrains from coming to any Sasquatch conclusion. Either the thought really never occurred to him or he couldn't see what his own words were describing. If the former were true, it's a genuinely unbiased account - pure observation. That's something this field could use more of.

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