When Bigfoot Attacks

Astonishing Tales of Threats, Assaults and Abductions

Trapper Muchalat Harry was captured in his sleep by a Sasquatch
Illustration: Miriam Schottland

The existence of Bigfoot (or Sasquatch or many of the other names assigned to this unknown primate) is not yet a proved fact, simply because one has not been captured—dead or alive. There is, however, a lot of good circumstantial evidence in the form of hundreds of eyewitness accounts, footprints, hair samples and, less convincing, a few fuzzy or contested photos.

You may have heard or read about many of the sightings of the elusive "hairy biped," but less known are the "close encounters of the third kind" (contact) or even the fourth kind (abduction) with Sasquatch. Yes, people have reportedly been physically attacked by Bigfoot—and even abducted by the creature. Why are these stories less known? Probably because they are so fantastic that most of these accounts are not taken very seriously; even those who think Sasquatch exists look upon these cases with a highly skeptical eye.

That's not to say they are not true, only that they have very little or no evidence to back them up. That said, here are some first-hand accounts of Bigfoot attacks.

1902—Chesterfield, Idaho

A group of people enjoying a winter's day skating were suddenly terrorized by a hairy monster brandishing a wooden club. The witnesses said the creature stood about eight feet tall. Later, four-toed footprints were found that measured 22 inches long and 7 inches wide. Bigfoot indeed! No one was injured in the attack.

1912—New South Wales, Australia

A surveyor named Charles Harper was camping with several colleagues on Currockbilly Mountain. One evening, as the men sat sound their campfire, they became increasingly unnerved by the strange sounds they heard coming from the woods. To help allay their ​fears, they piled more wood on their fire. The increased light revealed that something unexpected had invaded their camp.

"A huge man-like animal stood erect not twenty yards from the fire, growling," Harper later told a newspaper, "and thumping his breast with his huge hand-like paws." Harper estimated that the creature stood about 5'8" to 5'10" tall and was "covered with long, brownish-red hair, which shook with every quivering movement of his body."

To say the least, the men were terrified. One even fainted. For several minutes, the creature continued to growl and make threatening gestures at the men, then turned and disappeared into the forest dark.

1924— Ape Canyon, Mount St. Helens, Washington

Fred Beck and several other prospectors were puzzled by very large footprints they found in the canyon - until they encountered the beast that made them. They saw a large, ape-like creature peering from behind a tree, watching them. One of the miners leveled his rifle at the creature, shot and possibly grazed it in the head. It ran off out of sight. Later, another creature was seen by Beck. As it stood on the edge of a canyon wall, Beck shot it in the back. It fell, irretrievably, into the canyon. These acts of violence by the humans was not to go unavenged by the Sasquatch.

That night, the miners' cabin was attacked by at least two of the primates. For five hours, they pounded on the door and walls and hurled rocks onto the roof in an attempt to break in. Fortunately, the windowless cabin, built to withstand harsh winters, kept the Sasquatch from entering. As dawn approached, the creatures abandoned their assault. When the miners finally ventured outside, they found numerous Bigfoot prints all around the cabin, and a strip of wood gouged out from between two logs. (There is some evidence that this "attack" may have been a hoax, while others contend that it is true.)

1924— Vancouver, British Columbia

Albert Ostman is one of the few people who claim to have been abducted by Sasquatch. It happened while he was searching for a lost gold mine that he heard existed somewhere near Toba Inlet. He had heard from an Indian guide about the legendary Sasquatch but didn't take them seriously until he discovered that something was stealing food from his campsite at night. Then one night he was awakened by something picking him up in his sleeping bag. "I was half asleep and at first did not remember where I was," Ostman said. "My first thought was—it must be a snow slide... Then it felt like I was tossed on horseback, but I could feel whoever it was, was walking."

After hours of being carried, Ostman was finally dropped to the ground where he heard a strange-sounding chatter. It wasn't until dawn, however, that Ostman made his way out of his sleeping bag. He was astonished to find himself in the company of four Sasquatch—what appeared to Ostman to be a family: adult male and female, and a young male and female. He was able to provide detailed descriptions of the creatures, all of which, except for the young female, was enormous. Ostman claimed to have spent six days in the company of the Sasquatch family. When he decided he had had enough, he fired his rifle into the air and made a run for it.

1928—Vancouver, British Columbia

A trapper named Muchalat Harry also claimed to have been kidnapped by Bigfoot. The powerfully built Indian of the Nootka tribe was plying his trade in one of his favorite hunting grounds around the Conuma River that autumn. Like Ostman, Harry was picked up in his sleep, bedding and all, and carried for about three miles by a large Sasquatch. When set down, he found himself surrounded by about 20 of the creatures, both male and female, which he at first thought planned to eat him, as their campsite was littered with large bones. The creatures poked and prodded Harry, seemingly puzzled by his clothing. After a while, they appeared to grow tired of the human curiosity, and many left the camp. Seeing his chance, Harry made a run for it—running right past his own camp to his canoe on the river. He never went trapping in the woods again.

1957—Zhejiang, China

On a May afternoon in the sparsely populated Chinese province, Xu Fudi heard her young daughter screaming. The girl had been tending the family's cattle, and Xu Fudi hurried to see what had happened. She was startled to see her daughter struggling futilely in the powerful arms of a young Yeti— the Asian version of Bigfoot. Xu Fudi rushed at the Yeti with a stick of wood and began to beat the creature. It tried to escape through a paddy field but was slowed by the thick mud. More women from the village joined Xu Fudi in beating the creature to death. So terrified were they of this strange creature that they cut its carcass into pieces. Eerie cries of mourning were heard from the hills the next day.

1977—Wantage, New Jersey

New Jersey isn't the first place one thinks of when Sasquatch is mentioned, but this reported attack comes from a rural area of that state in the month of May. The Sites family was disturbed by something that had broken into their barn and crushed several of their rabbits to death. The predator returned that night, and the Sites saw it clearly standing in their well-lit yard. "It was big and hairy," Mrs. Sites reported. "It was brown. It looked like a human with a beard and mustache. It had no neck; it looked like its head was just sitting on its shoulders. It had big red glowing eyes." When the Sites' dog attacked it, the creature effortlessly swatted it away—sending it flying about 20 feet. On subsequent nights, the creature was seen several more times by the Sites.

So there you have them—only a few of the more well-known cases of close encounters with Sasquatch. Are they true stories...or just tall tales?