Bigfoot spotted at Wild River

The event room at Wild River Pizza was bustling with activity when national Bigfoot researching organization Squatch America held a town hall meeting Feb. 17. The goal of this event was to encourage Illinois Valley residents to come forward with stories of their own sightings, and to educate those in attendance about the things that the organization has learned about the Bigfoot legend.
The event, co-hosted by local business Bigfoot Print & Copy, drew enough of a crowd that attendees were still struggling to find seats by the time Scot Violette, the founder of Squatch America, began to speak. Violette explained to the crowd that although his organization has only existed since 2018, he has been fascinated by Bigfoot for over 25 years. He has studied anthropology and Native American cultures, learning all that he could about the various names and interpretations of this mysterious, hairy being that hides in the woods. After his own purported sighting in Haines, Oregon in April 2018, Violette realized that it was time to turn his passion project into something more. He couldn’t forgot the smell- a mixture of “wet dog, skunk, garbage, and onions”-or the growl that he had heard in those woods.

Violette and his wife, Hannah, now travel the country taking reports of alleged Bigfoot sighting from a variety of people, from like-minded enthusiasts, everyday skeptics, and indigenous people, in an attempt to discern fact from fiction and uncover not only the culture surrounding these creatures, but the culture of the creatures themselves. During the presentation, Violette showcased a video of his wife explaining that a large stick had hit her as she was walking down a path in the woods. They believed that this stick had been thrown by a Bigfoot that was just trying to have a bit of fun with them. A similar incident is alleged to have occurred in LaGrande, Oregon, in 2018. Violette displayed photographs of large enclosure-like structures made from a combination of uprooted trees and broken tree limbs, positing that they were something like cribs or playpens for the younger members of the species.
Through Squatch America, Violette has organized a team of researchers and enthusiasts that is working to untangle the science behind the mystery of Bigfoot. Every species has its’ way of life. To Violette, “Sasquatch” is a species that has eluded scientific categorization, and he is at the helm of the effort to remedy that.
After the presentation, the audience was teeming with questions for Violette and his team, which gave them the chance to elaborate on a few things that the presentation had not covered. One curious community member wanted to know about the Bigfoot legend’s impact on Native American spirituality, and whether his belief in the creature had impacted Violette’s own spiritual leanings. In response, Violette explained that indigenous tribes have varying relationships with the creature, with those in the Northern areas of the United States viewing Bigfoot as more of a benevolent figure, while those in the Southern states tend to view the creature as more of a threat. Violette believes that the reason for this may have to do with the species migrating and adapting to its location, much in the way that humans have done.
Though very few community members came forward with any Bigfoot sightings, those in attendance left the meeting much more knowledgeable of Bigfoot lore. Violette’s presentation was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the decades of history behind this legend, though he undoubtedly spurred at least a few curious minds into discovering more for themselves.