A sasquatch tracker from Golden aims to take the provincial government to court to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt (or a guy in a gorilla suit) that the legendary creature roams the B.C. wilderness.
In a civil lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Monday, Todd Standing accused the B.C. Ministry of Environment and B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch of “dereliction of duty pertaining to the interests of an indigenous wildlife species.”
The Bigfoot researcher said he will provide physical evidence, video and eyewitness accounts to prove the hairy primate’s existence and asked the court to require a government biologist to accompany him into “known sasquatch habitat” for three months to further prove his claims.
Reached by phone in Golden, Standing said he has been working on the lawsuit for over a year, but couldn’t find a lawyer to take it on. Frustrated, and tired of having his evidence discounted, he decided to proceed on his own.
“I want the truth to come out,” he said Thursday.
Standing said he has lined up several scientists, including a professor at Idaho State University, to provide evidence, including footprint and genetic analysis of materials found in B.C., Alberta and across the Western U.S. He’s also asking anyone who has encountered a sasquatch to contact him through his website, sylvanic.com, to testify.
“This is our chance,” he said. “We’re only going to get one shot at this and we need to succeed.”
Standing said his ultimate goal is to protect the species, which “likes to be left alone, but will accept a person they trust.”
He said the sasquatch near Golden Ears and Harrison Hot Springs haven’t been receptive to his investigations, but he’s had success filming and interacting with creatures in the Kootenay area. He told a story about a group he was studying near Morley Creek that got “skinny and weak, and eventually disappeared.”
“When I explored the area further, I discovered that there had been extensive logging,” he said.
Standing, who once took Les Stroud, TV’s Survivorman, into the backcountry to search for sasquatch, studied wildlife at the University of Alberta. He said he set out to prove that sasquatch couldn’t exist because there was no space in the ecosystem for them, but soon became convinced of the opposite.
But the sasquatch tracker has also attracted his fair share of controversy, even among Bigfoot believers.
Team Sasquatchin’ USA, a website devoted to Bigfoot, questioned Standing’s credentials in a 2014 blog post asking if he was a “legit Bigfoot researcher or hoaxer?”
The B.C. man’s video footage of a sasquatch has been both dismissed and praised in online Bigfoot communities.
According to his website, Standing runs weeklong expeditions, charging $4,800 US for a “breathtaking adventure” in the Canadian wilderness.
A documentary about Standing’s sasquatch encounters will be released on some pay-per-view channels today. He said the court case wasn’t a publicity stunt tied to the film, but rather part of his quest to prove the primate’s existence.
“I’ve been doing this, fighting for this, for over a decade,” he said. “The film is the proof.”
Benjamin Radford, deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer magazine, said the most compelling argument against Bigfoot’s existence is “the lack of hard evidence.”
“We should see teeth, bones, hair, scat and other forensic evidence of their existence,” he said in an email. “If even one Bigfoot exists, it should be very easy to prove it, because we would have genetic and forensic evidence of an unknown hominid.
“I’d love for Bigfoot to exist and to be the first to see one,” he added, “but I need good evidence.”
None of Standing’s assertions has been proved in court, and the provincial government hasn’t yet responded to the civil claim.
Attorney-General David Eby chuckled when asked about a civil action regarding an alleged Bigfoot coverup.
“It’s top secret, and I can’t talk about it,” he said.