Rene Dahinden came to Canada from Switzerland in the 1950’s and went to work in a dairy farm in Alberta. Inspired by the 1953 Daily Mail News Expedition to find the Yeti ( Abominable Snowman) in Nepal, Rene opined that it would, indeed, be something to be part of such an expedition.It was at this point that a co-worker confided ..that he didn't have to go half way around the world to find those creatures. There were lots of them just over the mountains in BC. The rest..as they say..is history.!
Rene Dahinden came to BC in search of the Sasquatch. He was probably Canada's only full-time Sasquatch hunter, back in those days.From the late 50's onward it became his sole goal to seek out the Sasquatch and bring one into the scientific light.
Up and down the PNW he investigated sightings and made casts. Into the 60's and 70's and 80's it was, René Dahinden's accented voice which was the loudest at meeting halls, auditoriums and symposiums. Where ever researchers were seen to gather, Dahinden could be counted upon to turn up and be brash and opinionated. He could not suffer those, that he considered to be, foolish people
From many accounts, the passing years without results weighed heavily upon Rene Dahinden's shoulders. And the elusive ape creature tasked him at every turn. Friendships were fleeting in the wake of his, now souring, disposition.
For all of his time and effort, he owned a share of the world's only Sasquatch film, but never managed to catch a glimpse of the critter. Even so, he never for a moment allowed his faith in the creature to falter. "I will keep on searching 'til I find the damn thing," he told CBC Television in 1976.
Dahinden had taken the mystery of the Sasquatch to a world class level. Touring and knocking on the doors of all who might listen. But through his best efforts, the scientific community remained unmoved.
His foray into the world of Sasquatch had left him a sad and bitter person. Often this is the outcome with obsessions.
With a long broken family and now earning barley enough to keep his hopes for his quest alive... every penny he earned went straight to his search. He carefully followed up every sighting and found witness reports dating back two hundred years..
He died in 2001, after almost half a century of following ridge lines, mountain slopes, and narrow valleys, with nothing to show for his time or effort. Mysteries, whether they are lost mines, treasures, or hidden creatures can take their toll on the unlucky who overstay their alloted time for pursuit of such.
I never met Rene Dahinden, and although I know a number of people who have, it saddens me that I never got the chance to shake his hand. His passing left a huge void in this field of endeavor!