My chat with Thomas Steenburg
Mission, B.C., Canada
GC: Where did you first hear of Sasquatch, and how did you become involved in
the hunt for this creature?
I first heard of the sasquatch at a very young age, maybe 5 or 6 years old, i do
not recall which, but I also remember being very interested in the Loch Ness
monster as a boy, and reading books on mysteries, looking for information on the
subject and reading chapters in books on other unproven creatures,
Naturally sasquatch was often mentioned. I also realized at a very young age
that I was never going to move to Scotland. And being in a family with rural
roots on both my mother and fathers side the sasquatch naturally took over
the number one spot in this young mind which was already convinced that this
was going to be a lot more than just a casual hobbie.
I still remember hearing my father saying to my mother,"don't worry, he will grow
out of it'. Well that did not happen. The local theater in the
small town of Bancroft Ontario had the movie, ' The Legend Of Boggy Creek", My
cousin and I had a way of sneaking into the pictures threw the vent system.
I must have sneaked into this show 15 or 16 times. My Cousin only did it
twice but I kept going back. I think that really did it for me. Now I look
back at that movie and laugh at just how bad it was, but then, to a young
mind, well i was hooked.
GC: After you became an Alberta investigator, you were also making trips into BC in search of the Sasquatch for a number of years. What was the catalyst which caused you to finally move to BC permanently?
Middle age. I just thought to myself when i turned 41 years of age, if I don't
do this now, I probably never will. I have always wanted to.
As I matter of fact the only real reason I ended up in western Alberta in
the first place was because I was posted there with the 1st Battalion P.P.C.L.I in
1979. I took one look at the Rocky mountains and said to myself theres no
wall there to keep these creatures out, if they have been reported in
eastern B.C. they have to have been seen in western Alberta too.
I placed adds in the local papers for witnesses to come forward, but I was not expecting much of a result. I was wrong. But,in spite of the response, I always believed the answer to this question
was in the west coast rain forest, and no matter how interesting the Alberta
research got, I still wanted to move operations to the lower main land.
GC: There were an assortment of colorful people that you associated with upon
your arrival. People who you had made connections with over the years. Did
they make you feel welcome..this Sasquatch researcher.... from the other
side of the mountains?
Oh yes, many colleagues i have met and worked with over the years were very
happy at my decision to move. Some said "Its About time"! Others wondered
where I had gone to, for at the time I still used snail mail and it took a
while for the word to get out. No body in this field ..from Alberta.. was upset,
since they did not exist.
For years after Vladimir passed away, as far as I knew, I was the
only person in the province that was looking into this stuff. Since my arrival I have renewed contact with many people i would only
see maybe once or twice a year. And new Friends such as yourself and Ken .
Thats the big difference between the lower main land and Alberta... others with
the same interest who are willing to go into the bush to try and find an
answer to this ongoing question. Ironical since the move to B.C I've heard of
other researchers back in Alberta ? Where were they between 1979 and 2002?
GC: What conclusions did you come to about Sasquatch's movements in the
No conclusions what so ever. The more I looked into the matter the more I
new that all of the old theorizes , beliefs , and excepted behavior patterns,
which many researchers clung to, were completely ..nothing more than wishful
thinking and quests work! Every time Vladimir Markotic,( my first real
college in this research ) and myself agreed on some recurring pattern of
behavior, something would be reported which would blow the boat out of the
water, so to speak. But set conclusions ? They are elusive by nature, and the
mystery as a whole is far wider in scope than just the west coast.
GC: What inspired you to publish your reports?
No inspiration at all. I just thought some people would like to hear about
it. My first book, ' The Sasquatch In Alberta' came about for the simple
reason that it would be the first .
Nobody at that time had ever done a book
on this subject concerning reports from the Alberta side of the Rocky
mountains before. The others came about from positive feed back. If Folks
liked them and wanted to read more I would write more. It took awhile for me
to be convinced there was still enough public interest out there to
justified the work. It sure as hell wasn't the money!
GC: You mentioned you wrote ' The Sasquatch in Alberta' From that book comes a report that..
I think.. should be a Sasquatch Classic..."The Crandell Campground Incident'
I've never read a more compelling report. What were your thoughts looking
back to that night when your phone rang and the story began to unfold?
At first I thought, if true .. a report like this would likely go through a royal
commission, or to congress, convincing the powers that be of
the existence of Sasquatch ! How wrong I was. John Green once did a presentation suggesting this very thing.
I myself, learned through time, that no amount of eye witness testimony will convince anybody in a position of power to take action.
The Crandell Campground Incident is by far the most convincing case which I have personally investigated. There were four witnesses who were willing to talk, along with a park warden who made a report. And all four witnesses were still sticking to their stories after 17 years have passed, even though, one couple went their separate ways while the other couple have since
marred and have produced their own platoon of children . At the time of the investigation it
seemedas though, I was the one being put under the spot light! As though they
were making up their minds whether they could trust me with what they had to say.
I try not to reveal if I believe what a witness is saying during an
interview but, in this case it was hard not to. I've only had one
question about this case which has never been answered. Who were the three
people in the other truck?
GC: It has been documented, by way of reports, that there have been any number of sightings of Sasquatch in parks, campgrounds, roads, beaches, garbage dumps, backyards..
on and on..
Now, wolverine and lynx are depicted as shy and retiring creatures,
just like Sasquatch, but how many people have ever actually seen one of
those ? These numbers are probably a' tiny percentage ' of those who claim
to have seen Sasquatch..
So I guess my question is threefold;
Is this creature really such a shy entity, that many would have us believe
.? Is our inability to encounter a Sasquatch and collect evidence because of
its ' shy and retiring ' nature, in many situations, no more then a
convenient excuse for past failures?
And if so...shouldn't that 'shy and retiring' myth be let go?
Nobody questions the existence of the lynx or the wolverine, there fore
anybody who sees one of these animals does not feel the need to report such an
incident. It is just a pleasant memory from that trip. The sasquatch on the other
hand is not suppose to be there. There fore a person who sees this animal
feels all kinds of conflicting thoughts. Did I really see? Should I tell
anybody about it? Who should I tell? And so on...
Then too, not everybody who reports seeing a sasquatch did actually see one.
Visual misinterpreting , common animals, common objects, and the fact
there are people out there who like to make up monster stories to get their
15 minutes of fame! Subtract these from the total number of reports and then
somehow learn of all the unreported sightings of lynx and wolverine and I
bet the numbers would much closer by comparison?
Of course there is no way anyone would ever archive this. The sasquatch does indeed seem to be very elusive by nature, though at times their curiosity seems to get the better
Their elusive nature is indeed one reason for our inability to encounter
them, the other is the fact that research continues to be headed by people
like you and me on our own time and money. We have very limited resources
and a vast area to search in.
The public in many ways seems to think that
there are platoons of scientists out looking for this creature and as we all
well know nothing could be farther from the truth. Elusive nature, huge area
to search, handful of seekers with limited resources. The only other
explanation for failure is that it does not exist. Should that myth be let
go? As long as the evidence, as it stands, tells me that the possibility is
GC: Which to you categorize Sasquatch to be...territorial..or
Probably both. Depending on the creatures age and status in there family
group or pack, or what ever you wish to call it. This of course is all
speculation on my part, we don't even really know for sure if they have
social groups of any kind. How ever there is a history of small communities
in remote areas which ether have had no, or little, history of reports who for
some reason experience a explosion of activity for a period of time, just to
have the reports stop, as suddenly as they started.That could be a clue of a transient nature.
Also, when gender is noticed in
such cases it is usually male. Perhaps young males are driven out of family
groups by dominant males? They go off on their own becoming stronger and
more confident until they are able to drive off the dominate male of some
other group? Or the creatures seen are older males which have been deposed?
In short there are probably periods in the creatures life span in which they
are both territorial and nomadic.
GC: Now your second book;" Sasquatch. Bigfoot/The Continuing Mystery" came out in 1990and revised in 1993.
This one explored the Sasquatch phenomenon in British Columbia. It is a slim
book, of some 125 pages, but it carries a wealth of reports, I would advise
anyone interested in reports from BC to get a copy.
It reads almost like excerpts from a diary. "Have Land Rover; will Travel"
Tracking down people places and events, all initiated by those unexpected
phone calls and chance meetings.
Does that pretty much describe the life of a research/investigator?
Yes. To that, I would add,.. many long cold spooky nights, in remote areas. Many
disappointing dead ends! 90 percent of the population thinking your some kind
of crackpot! And for gods sakes don't take this on if your married!
GC: The 90's were somewhat a time of triumph for you with the publication of two books
and Steenburg was becoming a bit of a house hold word in some circles.
But, it was also a time of sadness as well.
You lost some good friends who worked closely with you down the years!
Could you tell us about Vladimir Markotic and the times in which you two
knew each other?
Vladimir was, when I started in the late 1970s, the only other researcher in
the province of Alberta. So he took this rookie under his wing, so to speak.
He was a professor at the University of Calgary for many years. We would often
sit in his small office, with books stacked to the roof
taking about Sasquatch till the early hours of the morning. Same at his
small cabin near Rocky Mountain House Alberta. Vladimir was interested in
the subject as a whole, and he never really concentrated on local reports.
I think that's what wanted me to do for him. From the time I first met him he
had ill heath and was not able to get into the woods until I took him. I
think he really enjoyed that. He had a real humorous streak in him to, we
would be driving along the 940 forest service road when he would suddenly
yell out, "Look, Twisted tree"! I would bring the truck to a screeching halt
look over and see a 60 foot loge pole pine broken about 25 feet up, and I
would say something like, "Vlad King Kong would have to have done that", he
would be sitting there chuckling the whole time, "Maybe it was King Kong
GC: Bob Titmus passed away in 1997...to most people who knew him, he was a solid and determined individual who sought the truth ...revealed to him by
light, depth, incline, and shadow. He was a tracker. He believed what the
forest and wilderness told him without doubt!
Do we need more of his kind..or less?
Robert Titmus was a researcher of undeniable credibility as far as I was
concerned. I knew him, though I was never really in the field with him. Most
of those years he was pretty layed up with nagging back problems.
time I was contacted by two different people concerning possible footprints
found near a camp site in Sasquatch provincial park. I contacted both John
Green and Bob, and both men were on the scene within a couple of hours. The
full type written report on the tracks from one of the witnesses describing
well defined footprints was received by my self a week later. However both
John and Bob reported that most of the so called prints had been wiped out
by somebody. The witness reported he had left the site before Bob and John
arrived, however some parks people were looking at them while he was packing
to leave. What happened to the prints between the time they were first found
to when John and Bob arrived to look them over?
Could this have been the
first known example of government, (Park personal), destroying evidence
before they could be properly documented? Bob told me it sure looked as if
somebody had wiped them out intentionally We will never know. But I was
grateful Bob was willing to get out of his sick bed to go and check things
out for me fast.
Bob Titmus could be relied on for accurate information but
no researcher should rely on only one source for information. Robert Titmus
would always be one of the first to tell you that.
GC: In '98 Barbara Butler passed on. What are your thoughts on this woman?
Barbara Butler was the only female researcher that I had any experience with in the field.
She came with me to investigate the Mike McDonald sighting report of May 25th, 1997.
Along the Anderson river. Barbara was also not afraid to say what she thought of
the sasquatch mystery and the people involved. Just read her book and you
will see what I'm talking about .
I was very fond of her and had respect for
her opinion because she also did not have any time for fakers, liars, and
frauds. No nonsense kind of researcher. Something we need a lot more of. I
was very sadden by her early death from cancer, she never let on she was
even ill. I know now that the time we were together on this investigation
she knew she had only a little time left, but she sure did not let that slow
GC: Leaving the 90's behind let's talk about the New Millennium. It is a new
century..and a new book. "In search of Giants."
This latest book was fleshed out with more, pictures, maps and drawings.
and also present, , ..were a selection of verbatum interviews with witnesses
How time consuming could a project like this be?
In Search Of Giants was published in 2000, it took about a year to write and
another year to publish, because of delay after delay.( which is always the story in
book publishing ) I put in more; photos, graphs, diagrams, and maps, because I
personally enjoy seeing this when I read a book on the sasquatch. However,
when the book came out it seemed to me that nobody took much notice of it
and I thought maybe I over did it with the illustrations. I put the witness
interviews in the book because I felt people would be more interested in
reading what the witnesses were telling me word for word rather than just
writing what I thought of each case.
However I was criticized for this very
thing in reviews. The critics said I should write more about what I
thought. To them I say "Get Stuffed". This is an investigation of an
ongoing mystery, and the facts are the facts! If you want to read colorful
monster stories theres more than enough garbage to read out there I don't
have to to follow that line and in the future I still won't.
Page Two of Interview !
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