Cantankerous, iconoclastic, and one of many so-called “4 Horsemen” of Sasquatch research, Rene Dahinden was a mannequin researcher for some, and an absolute ache within the neck for others.
Born in 1930 in Switzerland, Dahinden emigrated to Canada within the fall of 1953. It wasn’t lengthy after he arrived that he grew to become fascinated by legends about furry giants within the Canadian wilderness that had first been popularized in a 1929 article by J.W. Burns, and as soon as tales about “Bigfoot” started to appear within the fashionable press after 1958, Dahinden grew to become one of many few virtually full-time members of the analysis effort.
Following the looks of Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin’s purported movie of a Sasquatch made at Bluff Creek, California in 1967, Dahinden grew to become one in every of its biggest champions. The movie would journey with Dahinden to viewings earlier than scientists all through Europe, and even additional East to Russia the place he displayed it for researchers there who, upon seeing it, had been satisfied that it proved that wild males existed. But regardless of spending most of his life in pursuit of the creatures, Dahinden by no means discovered arduous proof of the existence of Sasquatch.
“I’ve my doubts on a regular basis about what I’m doing. I’ve all the time had them,” Dahinden as soon as mentioned. “It’s a lonely place to be, on one facet of the fence with the remainder of the world on the opposite facet. However it’s the place I’ve to remain.”
“For all of their arduous work, not one of the Bigfooters who died across the flip of the twenty-first century had the satisfaction of seeing Bigfoot’s existence proved definitively,” wrote unbiased scholar Joshua Blu Buhs in his e-book Bigfoot: The Life and Instances of a Legend. “Markotic, Krantz, Dahinden, and Inexperienced by no means even had the satisfaction of seeing the beast,” he added, noting that “In reality, Dahinden by no means as soon as discovered tracks on his personal.”
“That ought to let you know one thing!” Dahinden as soon as mentioned of his few rewards after having been concerned within the seek for a long time. Nonetheless, there was at the very least one occasion the place Dahinden did play a big position within the discovery of a set of tracks which, to this present day, stay each championed by Sasquatch seekers, and controversial on account of the circumstances surrounding their look.
In November 1969, a sequence of unusual—and really giant—humanlike footprints appeared across the city dump in Bossburg, Washington. Dahinden, accompanied by taxidermist and Sasquatch seeker Bob Titmus, had been among the many first to reach on the scene, and shortly afterward others would be part of the search that included Bossburg resident Ivan Marx. Dahinden looked for practically two weeks for added proof and at last discovered it within the firm of Marx on December 13 after they stumbled on an extended observe line that stomped off within the path of a river close to Lake Roosevelt.
So who, precisely, discovered these tracks? Had Dahinden made a footprint discovery in spite of everything?
“Within the Bossburg case, I requested Rene, ‘did [Marx] lead you to the place the tracks have been?’,” says Thomas Steenburg, a veteran Canadian researcher, and writer who knew Dahinden and labored with him over time. “He mentioned ‘no, I’m the one which mentioned let’s go down and look right here. [Marx] was on the opposite facet of the highway. I’m the one which discovered these tracks going over that fence and crossing the facility strains. And I known as him over to have a look at them’.”
In line with Steenburg, Dahinden did really discover the tracks that turned up in December of that 12 months, regardless of them typically having been related to Ivan Marx who, someday later, would additionally turn into related to a number of hoaxes, together with quite a lot of terribly clownish movies depicting a cone-headed creature ambling round within the forest, and in a single occasion even attacking Marx:
Marx not solely claimed to be essentially the most suspiciously profitable particular person to have ever claimed to seize footage of the creature however the solely one which was allegedly attacked whereas doing so. The hoaxes did little to lend any assist to the footprints that had begun to seem round Bossburg in 1969, depicting a curious disfigurement of one of many alleged creature’s ft which garnered it the nickname “cripplefoot.”
Due to their distinctive bodily traits, the Bossburg prints stay a curiosity. Scientists like anthropologist Grover Krantz, and later Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State College would be aware the anatomical consistency between castings of the footprints from Bossburg, and the way the bone displacement of a big, extraordinarily heavy creature possessing such an damage would doubtless have appeared. But regardless of the compelling nature of the prints found at Bossburg, their affiliation with Marx makes it troublesome to rule out the potential of trickery.
Whether or not or not the famed and controversial Bossburg prints have been genuine, the invention of prints by Dahinden in December 1969 stays the closest that the famed tracker ever got here to recovering stable proof of the creature: a purported furry big whose existence he would each champion at instances, and in addition doubt all through his many a long time in its pursuit.