The article profiles an anthropologist on his way to study the wilds of mysterious Vancouver Island. No, seriously. And just maybe hunt the elusive Sasquatch. From the article:
Armed with his gun and camera, he is on his way to Seattle to organize an expedition to explore the forbidden forest of Vancouver island, where archeologists believe they may find clues to the origin of man on this coast. No white man has set foot in the interior of this land of taboos as far as known
Indian Tribes Afraid
The Indians hold it in horror. Why? ”We hope to find out.” Matier explained.
Old Legend Recalled
“What do we expect to find? Something. There must be some reason the Indians shun this lost land.” Matier warily replied. ”There are lots of legends. The Sasquatch, for instance…”
The Sasquatch, it seems, were a hairy crew, a race of wild men that would make the ape of Mt. St. Helens look like a Caspar Milquetoast. Indian legends tell of mighty men 8 feet 6 1/2 inches who prowled the deep forest, shaking the trees in their wrath and eating the flesh of living men.
About fifty years ago the whole race of the Puntlisch Indians, about 700 of them, last to dwell near the forest, were found with their heads bashed in on their native hearths. Not a man survived to tell of the terror that struck them. But their Indian neighbors say it was the Sasquatch.
Within the memory of living Indians along the coast the legend of the Sasquatch was kept alive by the hamatsa or wild men of each tribe, who ate parts of the bodies of the brave men of the tribe who were killed in battle. Then at an annual feast he leaped through the roof into the fire in the tribal house and ran amuck, biting each warrior to pass along the spirit of the men he had eaten.
This rite is still practiced, but in mimicry only.
“Anyhow, if there was a Sasquatch we will bring one back for the mantelpiece.”, Matier jocularly concluded.
The black forest that clothes the area is like a dense jungle, almost impenetrable. In preliminary explorations two years ago Matier found the men could only chop their way through the tangle of sturdy cedars and brush at the rate of 100 yards a day, and the job was given up. The vegetation was so thick the men had to use flashlights at high noon.
It is a dark corner of the continent and may hide almost anything.