Two Ontario women say they saw what might have been the legendary sasquatch in northwestern Ontario last week.
Helen Pahpasay and her mother were north of Grassy Narrows, Ont., about 230 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg, to pick blueberries last Tuesday when they spotted a hulking figure from their truck at about 10 a.m. CT.
"It was black, about eight feet long and all black, and the way it walked was upright, human-like, but more — I don't know how to describe it — more of a husky walk, I guess," she told CBC News.
"It didn't look normal."
The creature seemed to spot them, then ran off into the woods, Pahpasay said. She and her mother debated chasing the creature to try to get a closer glimpse, but were so shaken they decided to abandon their berry-picking excursion and return home.
Others returned to the area later and found a large, six-toed footprint, Pahpasay said. "What do I think it was? Right now I'm not even sure what it was. But it really scared both of us," she said.
"There's been talk of Bigfoot, sasquatch. And I'm still not sure what it was, but I've never seen anything like it."
Pahpasay says she and her mother aren't the only people in the area with a sasquatch story. A couple of men from their community said they also saw the creature three years ago, she said, and a similar animal has been mentioned in old lore about the area.
"I've never believed it before, no. I'm not even quite sure what it still is today, even after what I've seen," she said.
Sasquatch, an aboriginal word meaning "hairy giant," refers to a large manlike creature some believe could be roaming woods from California up the West Coast and across Canada.
In April 2005, a ferry operator in Norway house, Man., captured on videotape three minutes of footage of what he said was a sasquatch. However, the video, which was shown on an American television network, was indistinct at best, failing to live up to its billing as "footage of the century."
In 2006, several people in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan reported seeing a sasquatch-like figure in the woods around Flin Flon, Man.
Skeptics say it's preposterous that a large mammal could have evaded detection in North America throughout history. Despite numerous alleged sightings, no one has ever produced concrete evidence such as skulls or bones, they argue, while footprints, film or photos can be manufactured.