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1938 report: Sasquatch fights a bear


1938 report: Sasquatch fights a bear, from The Chiliwack Progress, via Sasysquatch Girl.

HARRISON MILLS, Feb. 23 A terrific battle, a fight for life of prodigious strength matched against savage ferocity between a hairy giant of the Sasquatch and a huge bear, which after ten minutes of wild struggle, fury and rage, ended in the strangling of bruin when the wild man of the Chehalis hinterlands crushed the life out of him. The story of this unusual drama of the wilderness was told by three Harrison River Indians who were spectators of the singular incident one evening last week as they were walking along the Chehalis river close to the canyon.

. “It was a skookum (strong) fight, ugh’, ugh’,” said Jimmy Craneback, one of the. trio of spectators, “and as no one of our little party had ever seen a hairy giant of the Sasquatch in a fight before, I’m telling you we got the biggest kick of our life. It was a hair – raising fight between savage and brute.” Asked how they came to witness the unusual battle, Jimmy said, “We were on our way home after an all – day unsuccessful hunt in the Chehalis mountains. We had just crossed the government road at the Chehalis river a mile or so north of the Indian village, when all at once we heard a roar in the forest ahead of us that shook the firs and cedars around and startled the crows and bluejays from their roost. We stopped to listen. Down the old trail ahead of us we could hear groans, growls, thuds and the snap and crack of rotten branches as If old Nick himself had gone off his noodle and was running amuck through the dark forest,” The hunter said that they were not afraid for their own safety as each of them carried a rifle. “But we were worried,” went on Jimmy, “that some old woman of the Chehalis might be in the forest digging roots for baskets and was being mauled by a bear, for bear at this time of the year are lean, vicious and hungry. “In silence we loaded our rifles hurriedly. “Fifty yards or so down the wooded trail we came upon a sight that made our eyes pop. In awe we stopped dead in our tracks. In the fading twilight and shadowy forest we first thought we were looking on two bears fighting each other to the death.

As we stood beside a log twenty yards away we could see the great struggle of strength. There was a crunching of bones as the monsters in their rage came to grips with each other – and tumbled and tossed about in their fury on the forest floor within a few feet of the Chehalis. But there was something about one of the monsters that puzzled us.” The hunters were now so excited with this hitherto unwitnessed drama of the wilderness that they wished to see the victor of the contest before they raised their rifles. “We wouldn’t have raised our rifles when we did,” explained Jimmy, “but it looked as if they were about to roll over the bank into the river any moment and we didn’t want to lose such big game. But then we never shot, for as we raised our rifles we were startled by a yell it had in it something human and came from one of. the combatants, which to our astonished ears sounded like “poo – woo – uoo.’ ” ‘Good, gosh,’ said Ike Joe as we lowered our rifles, ‘boys its a Sasquatch and a bear we’ll take the side of the giant, its well to be on their side. He’s put up a great fight let’s step in and help him.’ ” The boys were In a sweat, but happy the Sasquatch gave a “pooh – woo,” which timely utterance had no doubt saved his life.

“Finally,” said Jimmy, “the giant got his powerful hairy arms around the bear’s neck. It must have been a hu’m – dinger of a hold for the bear began to gasp for breath, and gasping pawed the air as his tongue was hanging out. The wild man had won the fight. With a grunt he flung the carcass of the bear into the river.” Asked was the Sasquatch a big fellow, Jimmy looked surprised. “You should know,” he grinned, “that it takes more than an infant to choke the daylights out of a big bear.” It does.

Note: This report was most likely written by John Burns who sponsored the first Sasquatch Days that year (1938) in Harrison Hot Springs, next to Chehalis. The account might have been slightly dramatized or embellished for the newspaper article…

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