A big, hairy mystery is unfolding in a remote community off the coast of northern Vancouver Island.
Alert Bay residents have been reporting strange screams and howls coming from a forest that surrounds the town – and some think they could be coming from a sasquatch.
Mackenzie Mountain said he recently recorded the unusual sounds on his cell phone at night on the backside of Cormorant Island.
“We were on the back porch up on the back road and we heard it once, and I didn’t get the recording, and the second time I got the recording,” he said. “That was on the back porch. Very eerie.”
Mountain isn’t the only one who has heard the unsettling howls.
“This summer I’ve heard it three times, I’ve heard it scream three times. But it’s been coming here for years,” said resident Rod Alfred.
Whatever has been making the noise is heard primarily at night, and while some have dismissed it as a dog, others say that’s impossible.
“With that volume, absolutely no dog can make that kind of a noise with that volume,” said Art Dyck, who has heard the sounds coming from right outside his home.
He said it’s unlikely the howls are coming from other wildlife, as Cormorant Island is not home to bears, cougars or deer.
He’s convinced the calls are from a sasquatch and claims to have encountered the legendary beast several years ago, on a remote island further south.
Dyck said he was with fellow clamdiggers when out of nowhere, a tree was hurtled at the group.
“Pulled the tree right out of the ground, the branches were still on it. I don’t know anything that could literally pull a tree with roots and all,” he said. “I mean, you see that little alder growing out there? You try and pull it out, you’re not going to be able to do it.”
Others claim to have physically encountered the creature right in Alert Bay.
“One person that’s seen it, her father lives in Alert Bay, and she came up to visit her father,” said Alfred. “She went up to the graveyard to pay respects to one of her family, and when she went up to the graveyard, she saw it standing there. She turned around and she got out of there right away.”
A more recent sighting occurred when a group of teens were playing soccer near the local First Nation’s “big house,” according to Mountain.
He said a large, upright creature moved quickly along the building in just a few strides.
“Big, tall and it moved really fast. Too big to be a human, they said. [The teens] took off right away, they don’t even stay there anymore after dark,” he said.
The sightings have sparked the interest of renowned sasquatch investigator John Bindernagel, who has been looking for evidence proving the creature’s existence for decades.
B.C. has the highest number of Bigfoot sightings out of any province, with 130 recorded sightings between 1924 and 2013, according to the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization.