Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic September 06, 2013 - 9:44 am

Nunavik woman follows Cree man’s bigfoot sighting with interest

"His eyes are not lying to him. He is going to have to be strong.”

JUSTIN NOBEL
Here you can see how small the foot of Melvin Georgekish looks in comparison with the foot of a creature he says he saw not far from his home community of Wemindji in northern Quebec. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MELVIN GEORGEKISH)
Here you can see how small the foot of Melvin Georgekish looks in comparison with the foot of a creature he says he saw not far from his home community of Wemindji in northern Quebec. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MELVIN GEORGEKISH)
This photo shows a large footprint nearby the place near Wemindji where Melvin Georgekish saw
This photo shows a large footprint nearby the place near Wemindji where Melvin Georgekish saw "two sets of red-eyes" peering at him. (PHOTO COURTESY OF MELVIN GEORGEKISH)
This photo that Maggie Cruikshank posted on Facebook last year shows what she believed to be the footprint of the creature she saw near Akulivik. (FILE PHOTO)
This photo that Maggie Cruikshank posted on Facebook last year shows what she believed to be the footprint of the creature she saw near Akulivik. (FILE PHOTO)

On a recent night in Wemindji, a Cree community on James Bay, Melvin Georgekish spotted bigfoot.

“I was heading out for a little cruise and at Kilometre 6 of the Wemindji road I looked to the left and saw two sets of red eyes,” said 36-year-old Georgekish, who works with the Cree Nation of Wemindji.

“The following day I went back there to check up on what I saw,” continued Georgekish. “That’s when I saw the footprints…I think it was a mother and her baby.”

The length of the mother’s footprint was about 14 inches (35 centimetres), he said.

Later, in a different spot, Georgekish found a footprint that was 19 inches long (48 cm) — the father, he suspected.

Georgekish posted photos of the footprints to his Facebook page; they show an area of stamped-down moss in the shape of a gigantic foot.

Comments from friends and family members poured in. Some reported possible sightings of their own. Others remarked on just what the sighting might mean for Georgekish.

“You will be on TV Melvin,” wrote Bradley Georgekish. “U will be famous!”

One of the people who got wind of Melvin Georgekish’s story was Maggie Cruikshank in the Nunavik community of Akulivik, which lies about 800 km north of Wemindji on Hudson Bay.

It was just about a year ago that Cruikshank saw her own bigfoot, on a rainy afternoon while picking berries with her cousin.

She described the creature as a very large black, hairy animal without any clothes.

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

Even though almost a year has passed since her sighting, Cruikshank has been unable to stop thinking about the event. The same is true for other people in Akulivik.

“Bigfoot has been sighted a few more times since we saw it,” said Cruikshank. “There was a grandfather and grandson going to their camp, and they saw bigfoot there.”

“I think they are living here,” she added.

As for the million-dollar question, whether or not there was a connection between the recent sighting in Wemindji and the sightings in Akulivik, Cruikshank had a theory.

“There have been forest fires in Ontario,” she said. “That is what I blame. I think they are running from the fire.”

Georgekish agreed.

“We had a huge forest fire just south of Wemindji this year,” he pointed out.

In fact, this fire season in Quebec was the most active since recording began back in the 1940s, said Dr.Martin Girardin, a researcher with the Canadian Forest Service. Fires exploded across the province, including the 600,000-hectare Eastmain fire, which was one of the top five largest fires in Canadian history. The community was evacuated, and the one road into town was shut down because of the fire, leading to food shortages.

Birds and insects are indeed affected by fire, said Girardin, who pointed out that it’s very difficult to study exactly how different species are affected by fire.

“But for very large animals like moose, I don’t recall any research,” he said.

Girardin seemed taken aback by the question of whether or not there was a chance the fires could have flushed out bigfoot.

“I don’t know anything,” he said.

One of this past summer’s fires was caused by a lightning strike that occurred near Kilometre 18 on the Wemindji access road, according to a CBC story on the sighting from early July. That location is just 12 km from where Georgekish initially saw the bigfoot.

Can there really be a connection between bigfoots and forest fires?

According to the blog “Bigfoot Evidence,” which bills itself as the “World’s Only 24/7 Bigfoot News Blog”, on Aug. 6, 1999 a massive forest fire occurred at Battle Mountain, Nevada. Apparently, a bigfoot was injured in the blaze.

“I observed an animal wounded by fire moving on all fours not like a bear, more like an ape,” reads a statement on the blog, from an “anonymous government employee.”

The animal was approximately 7.5 feet tall (2.2 m), with human-like arms and hair covering most of its body, except the chest and palms. Approximately 45 per cent of the creature’s body was covered with burns.

“During the treatment of his wounds,” the blog post continues, “the patient communicated with moans, groans and grumbling.”

Back in Wemindji, Georgekish said that unlike what earlier news stories reported, he is not scared of the bigfoot and has been able to sleep alright at night. When asked what he would do if he saw the beast again, he replied: “I would just leave it alone.”

But there is something Georgekish is concerned about — naysayers.

“Even my best friend didn’t believe me at first,” said Georgekish. And some people on social media sites still don’t believe him. “I don’t care to look at Facebook anymore,” he said.

Dealing with the non-believers is something Cruikshank is familiar with. She drew a great deal of criticism from people who were mad that she didn’t post a video of her bigfoot.

“People say mean things online,” said Cruikshank. “But face-to-face they don’t say those things.”

As for the video, she said it is still with her friend. “Some reporters have asked me to beg her for it,” said Cruikshank. “But I don’t want to beg for it, she will be ready when she is ready.”

Cruikshank did have some advice for Georgekish, ‘though.

“People will try to say it was just a rock, or it was just a polar bear or it was just a moose,” she said. “But his eyes are not lying to him. He is going to have to be strong.”

“His story will be like a fire,” she added. “It is going to go all the way.”

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