Sasquatch is not often linked to the province’s culture but an Alberta Culture Days event in Grande Prairie will be devoted to the hairy hominoid and its alleged sightings.
The Grande Prairie Museum is hosting a Sasquatch Symposium on Saturday afternoon. For Keenan Geiger, one of event’s speakers, it’s perfectly appropriate to link Alberta’s culture to the shaggy, upright being between six and 10 feet tall.
“The history of sightings go back as far as 1811 here in Alberta,” he told CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM Friday.
“The ultimate goal is to get that undeniable proof. But for me, I just I see myself as a storyteller or maybe a biographer of these different stories. I’m more interested in hearing people’s experiences and their encounters.”
Geiger said his interest in oddities — UFOs, ghosts and the like — stretches back to the books he read in elementary school.
His interest in Sasquatch in particular, however, goes back to an encounter he had while camping near in a remote part of Rockies southwest of Calgary.
“I ended up having some kind of creature or some kind of being come into my campsite in the middle of the night and it grabbed me through the material of my tent with a hand the size of a frying pan or a catcher’s mitt,” he said.
“And it had fingers, not claws, and it was able to grab onto my head and it scared the heck out of me.”
That was part of the incentive behind the Alberta Sasquatch website, which Geiger has run for the last two years, publishing similar tales of sightings, encounters and unexplained noises in the Canadian Rockies.
He said he hears between 12 and 15 new stories each year.
“One of the things that’s come up for me over the last couple of years of talking to alleged eyewitnesses … is that until … they found our Facebook group or our website, they didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it,” he said.
“There’s people that I’ve spoken with who’ve kept this secret for 10, 20, 30 years — and it’s just something that when it does happen, people feel like they can’t talk about it.”
The Grande Prairie Sasquatch Symposium, which is a ticketed event, takes place on Saturday at the Grande Prairie Museum, and is being held in conjunction with the exhibit “In the Shadow of the Rockies: Alberta’s Sasquatch Stories.”