Whether you know the large, fur-covered creature as Bigfoot, yeti, or Sasquatch, one thing is certain, it remains one of the most elusive and biggest mysteries in the world.

Origins Story

Regardless of what you call it, the creature is known to be bipedal, meaning it walks upright on two legs like humans. It also is covered in thick fur and many believe it to be some form of primate. There is some dispute as to where the legend of Sasquatch originated. However, BBC claims to have the true origin of the creature, linking it to an indigenous tribe.

Long before TV shows such as Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot sensationalised the pursuit of the creature, the Sts'ailes passed down songs and stories about sasq'ets, a supernatural slollicum, or shapeshifter, that protects the land and people. In fact, Sasquatch is the anglicised version of sasq'ets (sas-kets), which means "hairy man" in Halq'emeylem, the Sts'ailes upriver dialect.

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Bigfoot in the United States

There are plenty of legends and sightings all over the world. There is even a museum dedicated to Sasquatch located in British Columbia but what about here in the United States? There have been sightings reported all over the country. In the Pacific Northwest, the Washington National Guard shares that early sightings date back to the 1800s.

North American settlers started reporting sightings during the late 1800s and into the 1900s with the occasional finding of footprints, sporadic encounters and even a few grainy photos and videos adding to the mystery. Those who claim to have seen Bigfoot have described everything from a large, upright ape to an actual hairy human, sometimes standing over eight feet tall and described as powerfully built... Entire organizations exist to study and document Bigfoot and prove its existence and groups regularly search the Northwest woods, looking for that ultimate proof.

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Photo by Haley Hamilton on Unsplash
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Sasquatch in Southern Illinois

A bit closer to home, the Bigfoot Research Organization claims 302 reported sightings in the state of Illinois. In June 2021, there was a sighting reported at Shawnee National Forest in Hardin County. The report from the witness reads in part:

All camp sites were occupied there so we drove down this old road. It became to muddy to go any further so we decided to turn around. And as I was dodging big potholes filled with water we came around this bend, and she catches out the corner of her eye, she screams "babe don't hit that" and Im like "what !?" Of course I see nothing there, but she says there was something coming out of the wood line trying to cross the road but rain back in. She says it was black/brownish, upright & extremely large and tall!

In a 2009 report from Shawnee National Forest, this time in Saline County, a camper hiking with their dad describes the sighting:

I looked to where he was looking and saw EYES. Big round eyes. They were shining white-ish green. Then Dad whispers, "Turn your light off", and before I did we saw the head turn, he looked ahead then looked back at us. We both had our lights on him, and we could actually see the outline of his head when he turned. It was rounded like a persons, and I could see how the eyes were positioned on the front of the face. That's when it registered for me that it was in fact a sasquatch.

 

Celebrating Sasquatch in Shawnee

Fans of Sasquatch will be able to take part in a massive celebration in Saline County, Illinois. Join other Sasquatch seekers on October 8, 2022, in Harrisburg, Illinois for the 2nd Annual Shawnee Sasquatch Festival. The day will include live music, carnival rides, a 5K, and a whole lot more. To learn more about this family-friendly event, visit ShawneeSasquatch.com.

Beautiful Nature Photos from Shawnee National Forest Will Make You Want to Visit Southern Illinois

Take a virtual hike through the area between the Ohio and Mississippi rivers known as the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois with these stunning photos featuring Garden of the Gods, Tunnel Hill, Giant City Park, Cave in Rock, and more.

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