The Alberta side of Bigfoot: An exhibit recounting Sasquatch sightings – Alberta Daily Herald Tribune

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The cover for Sasquatch expert Thomas Steenburg’s new book, a revised version of his out-of-print first book.

Photo and art work by Tim Heimdal

Have you ever spotted Sasquatch?

The Heritage Discovery Centre is sharing classic Sasquatch stories from Alberta with its upcoming exhibit, “In the Shadow of the Rockies: Alberta’s Sasquatch Stories.”

The exhibit opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday in Centre 2000.

“As far as we can tell, we’re the first museum to ever do an exhibit on Sasquatch from the Alberta side and there’s kind of five classic, Alberta Sasquatch stories and that’s what we’re trying to capture in the exhibits,” said curator Charles Taws.

Sasquatch researcher Thomas Steenburg will then give a free talk “Sasquatch in Alberta” at 7 p.m. opening day and another free talk “Sasquatch in B.C.” at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

“He is the first Sasquatch researcher to investigate from the Alberta side and he’s been investigating since 1980,” Taws said.

The exhibit will feature static displays of reported encounters detailing back to 1811. Other displays include casts of footprints and a large mural of Sasquatch where people can take selfies.

“We’ll also have two computer setups where people can search the Alberta Sasquatch and Canada Sasquatch websites,” Taws said. “You’d be surprised at the number of sightings that are on these websites.”

People are invited to write down their own Sasquatch stories and leave them up on a bulletin board. They will also be able to stick their heads through a window where they will see a brief glimpse of a Sasquatch, draw what they see afterwards and compare their sketches to those who had eyewitness accounts.

“We’re just trying to get the point across that most sightings take place when people are unprepared and they happen very quickly,” Taws said.

As well, the exhibit deals with Sasquatch in pop culture, the advent of cryptozoology and how stories of similar creatures can be found around the globe.

“Even in Europe, they have legends of tall, hairy, manlike beings and in Europe actually, it kind of sways between that and Neanderthal-type caveman that people think that they see,” Taws said.

The exhibit will be showing until September 2019.

“Whether you believe in the Sasquatch or not, you have to admit that there’s something there,” Taws said. “There is obviously a phenomenon that’s been going on since the pioneer era here and even before with the Indigenous legends of similar-type beings.”

Taws added that a number of credible sightings are reported by individuals who are known for their truthfulness.

“What is it? Is it a mass hallucination? Are people lying? Is there some sort of genetic-thing in our brains that makes us want to see those hairy-like, manlike beings because hundreds of thousands of years ago, we shared the world with Neanderthals and other things like that?” he asked. “When you start looking at what the explanations are, it almost seems like the fact that it exists is probably the most probable.”

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