Sasquatch. Yeti. Big feet.
The elusive beast, shrouded in mystery and dismissed with skepticism, takes on many names – and many divisive perspectives.
Does the antisocial creature really exist, hiding in the dense forests away from the prying eyes of humans, or is it just a one-year-old believer animal born from folklore?
For Ryan Willis, a fourth-year cultural studies student at Trent University, Sasquatch is very real—and he’s ready to prove it.
Willis is the president and founder of the Trent University Sasquatch Society, a group of 136 Trent students and Bigfoot enthusiasts intent on tracking the Yeti forever.
The society, which became an official varsity club in the fall of 2021, consists of five executive members, including Willis, who explore remote areas in and around the Peterborough area, hoping to catch a glimpse of the often fake, Sasquatch In.
Since its launch, the society has gone on about 25 tours. Looking at night-vision binoculars and flashlights, like-minded students explore areas such as Wildlife Sanctuary, Miller Creek Wildlife Area, Harold Town Conservation Area, and Kavartha Highlands Provincial Park.
“I believe there’s something out there,” Willis said, adding that the storied creature may be completely different from pop culture depictions.
So far, he said there has been no encounter or darshan of the society.
On the other hand, “unexplained” noises are common.
Following the advice and guidance of Bigfoot experts – the same Sasquatch hunter Willis grew up watching as a child on television – members of the society often use the “tree-knocking” technique, which, according to Bigfoot believers, is accompanied by Sasquatch. is a method used to communicate.
“We have had wood knocking responses (from knocking back from Sasquatch),” Willis said. “Or we’ll hear how we can’t explain.”
Willis said he has spoken with some people who say he has encountered the Sasquatch in the Peterborough area.
As Willis became involved with the television program “Finding Bigfoot”—which featured Sasquatch enthusiasts, whom he now regularly consults—he’s drawn to the mysterious creature.
“There is a lot of evidence but no one has completely solved the mystery of what it is,” Willis said.
While some may dismiss the existence of the Sasquatch, Willis said the society has embraced it.
“I was surprised at how welcoming people are with society, especially at university. I thought there would be more hesitation, but it has been very well received.”