Seeking The Sasquatch

If ever you should find yourself alone in the vast woodlands of the North and you happen upon large, humanoid footprints in the mud or snow, take comfort.

Once you have made your way back to civilization, you can reach out to Red Grossinger, of Whitehorse, who just so happens to be an expert on such things. In fact, Grossinger has just released a new book called Nahganne: Tales of the Northern Sasquatch, which contains 70 reports comprising 30 stories and accounts from First Nations and various hunters and trappers, as well as from outdoor enthusiasts from all over the Yukon and Northern B.C. who have experienced, in one way or another, a chance encounter with the legendary sasquatch.

Grossinger himself is no stranger to this experience. On a fateful day back in the summer of 1997, he was fly fishing along the banks of the Takhini River when he heard noises from the nearby bushes. Grossinger was able to briefly witness “a sort of two-legged creature, yet I could not determine what it was other than being the source of these strange activities,” he says in his book. After broaching the subject with a friend and member of the Teslin Tlingit First Nation, Grossinger was informed he had crossed paths with a “bushman” better known as sasquatch or, in the Dene language, Nahganne.

From that chance encounter, Grossinger began a 25-year quest to research, visit sites and to collect and share stories of people all over the Yukon—about their experiences with Nahganne—and to inspire those who have not come forward with their own stories and experiences, to do so.

Grossinger has spent a long time in the Yukon and has travelled extensively around the territory to follow-up on sightings.

“It occupied most of my time,” Grossinger said. “That kept me very busy.”

The book is 279 pages, is full of incredible and mysterious tales of the Northern Sasquatch and has been a labour of love for Grossinger. Over the past four years he began to compile his stories and research into publishable material.

Grossinger said most depictions of the sasquatch are similar, with the creature having a hairless face around the eyes, nose and mouth, and also having hairless palms. The rest of the creature is described as large and covered in hair.

“It’s a tall creature, between seven and eight feet. Heavy. Probably around 770 pounds, totally covered in hair—long hair and it has very large muscles [in its] arms and legs and torso, as well,” Grossinger said.

He added that scientists often classify the sasquatch as Gigantopithecus, which is from a genus of ape that lived around two-million years ago to up to 350,000 years ago.

As for some more-recent sightings, Grossinger said he has visited sites (in 2006) after receiving a call from a teacher in Pelly Crossing who said one of her students had discovered large footprints or tracks.

“I was there the following day.”

Grossinger travelled along a trapline and discovered six footprints that all measured between 16-and-a-half inches to 16-and-three-quarter inches. The step measurement was also estimated to be at around five feet, based on how far apart the footprints were.

“It would have to be a fairly tall creature,” he said.

Grossinger discovered more tracks farther along the trail, after further investigation, and figures that it was a lone individual. After speaking with an Elder from the Selkirk First Nation, Grossinger was advised that Nahganne was likely migrating back and forth between the coast and inland and between the fall and spring seasons, respectively.

A story that touches even closer to home happened in Crestview in July of 2011, Grossinger said. As the story goes, a City of Whitehorse employee who worked in maintenance called Grossinger about a sasquatch sighting. The employee was travelling out of Crestview towards a water pumping station when he spotted a black shape in the ditch to his right. He slowed his car down and saw what he claimed was a sasquatch. He told Grossinger the creature was at least two metres tall and that as he drove the car right beside the creature, though, it paid the employee no mind. The most spectacular detail of the story was that as they approached a street lamp, the creature became translucent before disappearing completely.

At one point he said he could see the outline—“see right through the sasquatch—then all of a sudden there was nothing there.”

Grossinger said he wonders if the Nahganne used its powers and played with the employee’s mind or perhaps did just disappear. Either way it raises the level of intrigue, Grossinger agreed.

The more stories that emerge, the more question marks remain, he added. Grossinger said that there seems to be a growing interest in the stories of the sasquatch.

With a recent book launch and trip to the Dr. John Bindernagel Memorial Sasquatch Conference in B.C., where he was a keynote speaker, Grossinger is still right in the thick of things when it comes to understanding the mystery of the Nahganne. In the end, he hopes that older generations (who have some history with the sasquatch) and younger generations (who may encounter something for the first time) will all keep in mind that the experience can be very special and is not one to be worried about.

“I don’t think it’s bad at all,” he said with a smile.

So for those of you who find yourselves in the Yukon wilderness, whether it be hunting, fishing, hiking or biking—keep your eyes and ears open and your wits about you, because you may just be lucky enough to see a sasquatch in person. 

Grossinger was born and raised in Québec and, as a young man, began a 30-year military career with the Canadian Armed Forces, which included working with both NATO and the U.N. After retiring as a decorated officer, he came to the Yukon.

In addition to some planned podcasts and written columns, Grossinger said that Volume 2 is also in the works.

The book is currently available at Mac’s Fireweed Books and at Cole’s Bookstore in Whitehorse.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top