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Albert Ostman - Abducted by Bigfoot

Most Bigfoot stories are easily dismissed as misidentification. People often overestimate their first impressions, especially if that impression comes from a momentary glance.

Recently, a study was released containing an interesting graphic. It showed a clear correlation between reports of Sasquatch sightings, and bear populations. The implication here is that people catch a glimpse of a bear, and immediately default to ape-man.

Folklore has a very powerful impact on our perceptions of the world. Bigfoot, being quite a famous legend, tends to become more plausible when you are deep in the woods.

But not all stories are so easily dismissed. Albert Ostman's tale stands head and shoulders above the rabble. He claims not only to have seen a family of four Bigfoots, but to have spent quite some time in their company.

Albert Ostman's Working Holiday

Many people today think of a working holiday as something closer to resort life than a death-defying camping trip in unexplored wilderness. The latter has been the case for most of our current civilization.

Albert Ostman was a lumberjack by trade. He spent most of his life fighting back the woods, which technically means he spent his time in the forest. When he got some time off, he thought the most relaxing thing to do would be to go prospecting for gold in the deep wilderness of British Columbia.

Ostman traveled to the by steamship to the Toba Inlet. He had heard tales of a mysterious, and rich, source of gold at the head of the Toba Inlet. Soon after stepping off the ship, he hired a First Nations man as a guide.

His guide was an older man, and had lived in the area all of his life. They got on quite well, and during their trek, the old man took to telling stories about the area. One story in particular stuck with Albert.

The old man spoke of another white man who had allegedly found the gold of Toba Inlet. He periodically went out to the mine, returning with armfuls of gold that he would spend drinking at the bar.

Had the man been less of a drinker, he would have made a fortune in those hills. One day, the old man said, the prospector failed to return. Everyone assumed that he had fallen to his death in a drunken stupor.

The guide had another theory. He believed that the prospector had fallen afoul of the Sasquatch.

Albert Ostman had never heard of a Sasquatch, and he asked what kind of animal it was. His response sent a chill down Albert's spine:

“They have hair all over their bodies, but they are not animals. They are people. Big people living in the mountains. My uncle saw the tracks of one that were two feet long. One old Indian saw one over eight feet tall.”

This was 1924. Albert's world was between wars, and the wild places were still largely unexplored. Gorillas, who had been a cryptid since their first description by Hanno the Navigator in 500 BCE, had only been described by Western Scientists 80 years before. Most people still did not believe they were real.

Albert did not dismiss the guide's story. He told him that he doubted there were any such giants left. They may have existed thousands of years in the past, but were surely extinct.

The guide left Albert near the head of the Toba Inlet. He promised to return to Ostman in three weeks. After sharing a final dinner, the guide departed at first light. He left Albert with a final warning:

“There may not be many, but they still exist.”

That's when Albert's holiday truly began. He spent the first day exploring his surroundings, searching for trails and deer to hunt. There was a particular area he wanted to check out, but he was unable to find a trail right away.

Albert trekked towards the trail, carrying a pack weighing roughly 80 pounds. He made camp on a flat rock at about 1000 feet above sea level. Reportedly, he was able to see out over the strait, and the islands from his camp.

Ostman kept hiking for another seven days before finding a site he particularly liked for a camp. He set his area up to accommodate him well, constructing a fairly comfortable bed, and going so far as setting up a makeshift stove of flat rocks.

That's No Porcupine

Albert Ostman was a heavy sleeper. He had made his camp too comfortable. The combination of these two factors meant that when he awoke one morning to find his camp ransacked, he didn't question it.

He went through his things, and found that nothing was missing. Something had simply rummaged through his stuff and left. Albert assumed it to be a porcupine. So, the next night, he hid his boots in his sleeping bag, and slept with his rifle close on hand.

Deep sleep took him again, and when he woke the next morning, he found his camp truly overturned. Albert had hung his pack up from a high branch, but found its contents spilled across the ground. Something had tipped the pack over and emptied it.

This time, things were missing. His bag of prunes, and a bag of flour had been pilfered. Strangely, his salt had not been touched. He knew that porcupines loved salt, and were too short to reach the hanging bag. His visitor was no porcupine. Albert thought it wise to remain close to camp for the next few days.

He found a spot overlooking his camp, and waited the next evening for his visitor. Nothing happened, and he decided to sleep the next night. Clearly he wasn't having any porcupine stew any time soon.

That night, he kept his clothes on, his boots in his sleeping bag, and even cuddled up with his rifle. Albert also hid a good deal of his food reserves in the sleeping bag with him. Come whatever may, he would be ready.

Obviously he fell into his usual restful slumber. This time though, he woke up to find himself quite uncomfortable in the sleeping bag. Not only had that damned porcupine returned, it had picked him up in the sleeping bag and was now carrying him away from camp.

The notion of a porcupine was soon replaced by the thought of a human kidnapper riding a horse. Something about the gait of his captor told him it wasn't a horse. That's when it coughed, and he knew it was no horse.

Albert Ostman was being abducted by one of the mountain giants his guide had called a Sasquatch.

Held Captive - Saved by Snuff

Albert Ostman being kidnapped by sasquatch
Could still be a porcupine, you never know

Albert was deposited on the ground after a long hike. He poked his head out of the bag to see that it was still dark. The giant had dropped him on a slope, so Albert was soon rolling downhill, crunching against his supplies.

He came to a halt, and tried to crawl out of the sleeping bag. Both of his legs were numb from being compressed beneath him. He rubbed his legs to try to get the feeling back, but all he awakened was pain.

All the while, he was surrounded by four of the giants. He could not quite see them in the darkness, but he could hear the chattering conversation they were having.

Albert managed to get his boots on, and he stood up amongst his captors. He asked them what they wanted from him, and they responded by continuing their chattering. Clearly they could not speak English.

The rising sun gave him a good look at his captors. He saw an 8-foot tall male arguing with an older female and two younger creatures. One young male, and a young female.

Daylight offered Ostman a better look at his surroundings. Using his compass, he was somewhat able to discern the direction they had travelled, as well as the only exit to the small valley that Daddy-Squatch had carried him to.

Albert had the foresight to pack supplies in his sleeping bag, initially in an effort to keep it out of the hands of the porcupine. Taking stock, he found several cans of meat, vegetables, milk, and one can of coffee.

The Sasquatch family left him alone for the first couple of days. Daddy-Squatch stood guard at the exit to the valley, within sight of Albert. Ostman was granted relative freedom within the valley. He gathered his own water, and prepared his own meals.

The young male Sasquatch, Squatch-Son, showed particular interest in Albert and his belongings. Standing over 6-feet tall, Squatch-Son was an intimidating figure. His sister stood roughly the same height, and both displayed remarkable agility and climbing abilities.

In one interaction, Ostman threw an empty snuff-tin at Squatch-Son. He caught it with startling speed, and figured out how to open the tin. Squatch-Son went around showing his family the tin. They were amused for hours.

One day, Albert Ostman made up his mind to leave the valley. He packed his supplies and loaded a bullet into his rifle. Upon approaching the valley's exit, Daddy-Squatch sprang up and warded him off with a motion as if he would push him back. The Sasquatch also spoke, repeating the same word, "soka-soka," over and over until Ostman relented.

Albert considered shooting the huge creature, but considered that his rifle may not have the stopping power to do more than annoy it. He needed a plan, something as devious as it was simple. The main issue was that the Sasquatches were too human for Albert to kill. He did not want to be guilty of murder.

He decided that his snuff box would be the key to his survival. Snuff, a finely powdered form of tobacco, has a high nicotine content. Anyone who tried cigarettes for the first time will be familiar with the rush of dizziness accompanying your first taste. In high enough quantities, nicotine will knock you out. Feel free to look it up.

Albert used Squatch-Son's interest in his snuff, to his advantage. One day, Mommy-Squatch returned from foraging with an armful of sweet roots. Squatch-Son gave some to Albert. He returned the favor by giving the young male a tin with roughly a teaspoon's amount of snuff.

The youngster tasted the snuff. He ran over to Daddy-Squatch to share the experience. The mountain giant licked the tin clean. He clearly liked the taste and potentially the rush it gave him.

At this point, Albert had begun making dippers from his empty food cans. He would cut a hole at the top of the can, and insert a stick to use as a handle. The younger Sasquatches liked the dippers. Ostman made each of them a dipper, and showed them how to use it.

Albert dipped the can in a nearby stream and drank from it. Squatch-Son, and Squatch-Daughter watched in rapt attention. After his demonstration, Albert put some snuff in his mouth and made a show of smacking his lips in delight.

Squatch-Son pointed at the older male, and indicated that he would like some snuff as well. Ostman tried getting Daddy-Squatch to come over and take the snuff, but failed.

The day of his escape started with Albert brewing his last coffee. He purposely made it much stronger than it needed to be. The smell lured the whole family over to where he sat eating hard tack with butter.

Albert drank half the coffee, and left the other half to cool while he pulled out his snuff. He hadn't intended to tempt Daddy-Squatch this day. Luck, and greed, conspired to save Ostman. Daddy-Squatch grabbed the full tin of snuff, and when Albert resisted, the mountain giant tore the entire tin from his grasp and ate it all in one bite.

The snuff took its toll on the Sasquatch, who started freaking out. He grabbed the coffe pot and drank it all in a vain attempt to undo the snuff's effects. Daddy-Sqautch's eyes bulged and he started to squeal as he rocked back and forth on the ground.

Albert saw his opportunity. Daddy-Squatch was in no condition to pursue him. Ostman hastily packed his things as the old male ran for the spring. The other Sasquatches tried stopping him as he ran for the path leading out of the valley. Albert fired his rifle over the head of Mommy-Squatch, who fled at the sound of the firearm.

The Sasquatch family did not pursue him. Albert made it out of the woods a few days later. He immediately took a steam boat to Vancouver, and never again went prospecting.

He ended his account with a statement that he knew there were at least four Sasquatches living in 1924. What makes this story so compelling is that it is unpretentious, and told from the perspective of a former skeptic.

Whether you believe Albert Ostman or not, it sure is a good yarn.