Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic October 25, 2013 - 10:12 am

Nunavik hunters run into rock-throwing bigfoot creature

“Maybe the creature was trying to communicate with us. But I don’t know how to talk to the bigfoot.”

This photo that Maggie Cruikshank posted on Facebook shows what she believes to be the footprint of the creature she saw near Akulivik in September 2012. (FILE PHOTO)
This photo that Maggie Cruikshank posted on Facebook shows what she believes to be the footprint of the creature she saw near Akulivik in September 2012. (FILE PHOTO)


Akulivik hunter Harry Cruikshank and his friends say they are the third northern Quebec group within the last two years to spot a bigfoot creature.

There was the night-time sighting last month of a red-eyed bigfoot mama and cub by Cree hunters near Wemindji, and there was the sighting in Aulivik last September, by Harry Cruikshank’s sister, Maggie Cruikshank, who was picking berries when she spotted a tall hairy beast without any clothes.

But unlike previous sightings, Harry Cruikshank’s bigfoot actually may have tried to convey a message to him and his friends.

The message was, “stay away!”

The group of four men and one woman say they saw the creature Oct. 19. The weather was nice and everyone was hungry for country food so they decided to go seal hunting.

The group traveled by motorized canoe to an area 45 minutes south of Akulivik on Nunavik’s Hudson Bay coast. After a short coffee break they continued to a remote bay known to be a good spot for seal.

“We all saw the unexpected something on a small hill, it was dark and we started staring at it,” Cruikshank said. “We knew there was nobody up there because there were no other canoes and you can only reach that hunting area by canoe.”

The group decided to go after the creature. They approached the area and climbed the small hill, but they found nothing. Then they spotted a caribou trail.

“We heard a strange noise up in the land,” said Cruiskshank, “like the sound of something throwing rocks.”

“Maybe the creature was trying to communicate with us,” added Cruikshank. “But I don’t know how to talk to the bigfoot.”

Still, the hunting party tried to interpret the creature’s movements.

Speaking amongst themselves, they determined the animal was indeed a bigfoot, and that it was throwing rocks at them because it was angry.

The bigfoot had been hunting the caribou, Cruikshank speculated, and his hunting party had interrupted the beast on its quest for food.

Cruikshank and his friends were hungry, too. But they weren’t about to try and shoot the bigfoot. They were also craving caribou meat.

“The bigfoot is not food for us because it walks like a human, with long, long arms,” said Cruikshank. “We forgot about that beast because we really needed to have the country food.”

And so the bigfoot escaped into the wilderness, and Cruikshank and his friends bagged the two caribou that they suspected the beast had been out hunting.

This is actually not the first time Cruikshank has seen a bigfoot. He first sighted the creature back in July of 1997. Cruikshank and his wife were travelling by canoe when she spotted something on the land.

“Harry, what is that!” his wife cried, pointing to a dark hairy creature.

“He stood up and started running,” said Cruikshank, “very fast running.”

But when he told his story, the people of Akulivik didn’t believe him. “I become quiet after that,” said Cruikshank.

For more than 15 years no one in Akulivik saw bigfoot, or at least no one in Akulivik spoke very loudly about seeing a bigfoot.

Then, late in the afternoon on a rainy, windy Saturday in September 2012, Harry Cruikshank’s sister, Maggie Cruikshank, spotted a bigfoot while out picking berries with her cousin.

The creature was “taller and larger than a man,” Maggie Cruikshank said at the time. “It walks like us but not standing straight like us, it can jump and crawl.”

And its footprint measured some 40 centimetres.

Maggie Cruikshank posted photos of the footprints on her Facebook page, which instantly drew numerous comments. But she still has not released a video she claims to have of the creature, which has drawn her some criticism.

Unfortunately her brother was not able to gather any hard evidence of the bigfoot that he saw.

“All of us forgot our cameras,” said Cruikshank.

Clear and compelling documentation of bigfoot has long been a goal of bigfoot enthusiasts and researchers in the western United States, where stories of the creature abound, from the forests of Oregon and Washington to the canyons of Utah.

In the U.S., people have set up motion sensor cameras and trekked deep into the woods searching for bigfoot, but one Utah-based group called the Falcon Project has an ambitious new plan: construct a remote-controlled helium-filled airship, complete with high tech cameras and thermal imaging equipment, and take the search for bigfoot to the skies.

“We spent 40 years on the ground trying to film this creature,” said project manager William Barnes. “I decided the only way we can actually study these creatures is from the air.”

Barnes, who had a life-altering bigfoot sighting while prospecting for gold in California in the late 1990s — the creature came within just three feet of his tent — says the craft will cost approximately $310,000.

“We’re still raising money,” said Barnes, “But once we get our money we’re going to be out there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The group, which includes an Idaho State University anthropologist, world-renown tropical biologist and conservationist Ian Redmond and an experienced wolf and mountain lion tracker named Jim Halfpenny plans to search in Idaho, Texas, West Virginia and British Columbia.

But as of now the Falcon Project has no plans to come to Nunavik.

Back in Aulivik, Harry Cruikshank believes the creatures are here to stay, though he doesn’t plan to go out looking for one again anytime soon.

“I am just going to leave it alone,” said Cruikshank, “and only hunt for the real animals, and not that kind of beast.”

“There have been sightings before,” added Akulivik Mayor Henry Alayco, and he seemed to think there would be sightings again. “It is some sort of mystery,” said Alayco.

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