The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in the UK in 1992 - nearly 20 years ago. Over the past two decades it has expanded to become a truly global organisation. We opened our American office in 2001, our Australian office in 2009, and now - in our 19th year - we are proud to welcome CFZ Canada to the CFZ global family.

Monday 26 December 2011

My name is Matthew, and I blame Minden, Ontario for my fear of Sasquatch.

by Guest Blogger Matthew J. Didier, PSICAN

I'm more known as a "ghost" person from my workand study, but I've often said that (thanks to popular culture,) my first'paranormal' love was Ufology. I was, after all, a child of "Chariots ofthe Gods", "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", and of course,"Star Trek" on television mixed with a whopping dollop of "StarWars" in the theatres. As I related this story recently, I realised thatthis may be, indeed, a wee bit of a fib... because in reality, I was enamouredwith Cryptozoology long before I was wrapped comfortably in life beyond ourplanet... and far beyond my late nights in haunted spots!

...and potentially, Minden and vicinity are to blame.

Oh, I'd love to tell you I had some sort of encounter orepiphany at a very young age (the time frame I'm looking at is sometime between1968... when I was one year old up to or around

1976,) or that I was drawn to the rather"kooky" sign for the still present Ogopogo resort that we'd passon Highway 35 en route to my family's cottage on Beech Lake near to Minden(yes, it was named after the lake creature far away from Ontario in BritishColumbia,) but again, this wouldn't be true...

Minden, ON, photo by Brain St Dennis

I became fascinated with Sasquatch because he smelledbad... and I have always had an odd fear of extremely bad smells... but thatfear is something I haven't worried about or bothered to come to terms with asthe fear really didn't last (more than any normal person's worries aboutstinks, I'd say,) passed my tween years.

This said, I would not have thought about, considered, oreven known about Sasquatch's odour had it not been for a particularly bad(? -well, overly dramatic...) documentary that was once shown at the old BeaverTheatre (now a "centre for the performing arts", but back then,strictly a movie house,) all those years ago. If memory serves, it was either the same day (double-bill) as"Chariots of the Gods" or at least that same Summer... and I wish forthe life of me, I could remember the name of the documentary or even thesituation it was viewed in, but a few decades have obscured that memory.

You see, my parents would often travel to the littleisland we owned on Beech Lake for entire Summers... often leading to extremelybored kids, and a movie "in the big town" was often a cure for whatis most properly called "cabin fever" in these cases. I saw most of my first James Bond films atboth The Beaver in Minden and the Molou in Haliburton Village... but whenremembering, despite Mr. von Däniken's compelling evidence to show my youngeyes that we've been visited by spacemen, it was Bigfoot's stink that held me.

As I said, I had a weird phobia (a tiny bit more thanmost, I think,) of really bad smells... and throughout the documentary, theykept harkening back to the dreadful stench given off by a Sasquatch... and howit was nauseating... and often preceded a sighting. It didn't help that therewas at least one "terrorising" Bigfoot attack dramatised in themovie, complete with the reminder of the wretch-inducing smell.

Now, imagine seeing that... being somewhere between 5 or8 years old... and then going to, at the time, a fairly secluded cottage on anisland in what seemed to my young, city-bred eyes, the back country of themiddle of nowhere... and trying to sleep.

Every tree groan, twig snap, small gust of wind broughtwhat I was certain would be an attack by a foul smelling creature that was sureto be most unpleasant.

I remember bothering my mother and father consistently (Iwould never have trusted information from my horrible and cruel sisters onthese matters,) about sightings and evidence of Sasquatch in and around theMinden - Carnarvon - Haliburton corridor... although their re-assurance waslittle help for my insomnia. My onlyrelief that summer came from the ride back into the Sasquatch-Free land of thebig city, with it's constant noise and lights.

Statue in Minden, ON

It is with some relief, as stated, that this fear lastedall of one Summer... and the family cottage and it's surrounding area became ahaven of swimming, playing, and boating shortly thereafter.

What's odd, however, is that despite Ufology and ghoststaking most of my study-time up, I never lost my interest in the sightings ofSasquatch and the many genus/variations therefound... and I still get a tingleof excitement when I hear of a sighting or potential evidence to say that thosefears... the fear of the "attack" of the "stinky" creature... might have been at least somewhat founded...well, founded in a more "conventional" zoological (or other) sense.

The thing of it is, although from the usual suspects, I'msure this will simply add to the "woo" rating I have for"believing in that stuff", I do believe that people do experienceSasquatch, Bigfoot, Yellow Top, The Yowi, The Yeti, and all of those things...and I do believe the experience is "external" (for those that assume,incorrectly, that I believe it's all hallucinatory in nature,) and that at somepoint, that very young man back on Beech Lake in another time had not so muchsomething to worry about...but was correct in thinking "it could happen tome"... and, apparently, if it does now, I am glad I'm over my fear of thesmell of this creature.

I honestly don't know why I feel that this entry is"worthy" of posting... perhaps to say that there's a myriad of waysand times in one's life that an interest in the paranormal comes to them... andthat not all of us "outgrow" it because we "know better".

Some of us, truly, believe that we don't knoweverything... and may never know it all... and as long as people stillexperience these things, it's worth the look.

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