by K.J. Lincoln
The thought of what she saw gives her the creeps even today, she says. “I believe in them – Bigfoot.”
This lady is from Bethel. Years ago in the 1990’s, she and her younger sister were traveling by snowmachine to Bethel from one of the tundra villages. The sister was driving the snowmachine and she was riding in the back in the sled.
It was nighttime and the moon was full and bright, illuminating the frozen tundra. Stars shone in the sky and there was not a cloud in sight. One could see a long way on a night like this.
The lady riding in the sled had been wearing glasses but took them off because they kept fogging up so she tucked them away. The two women were about halfway to Bethel when suddenly her sister stopped the snowmachine and said to her, “Look!” Her sister was looking at something.
She looked in the same direction and saw a person, or someone, yaqiurluni, (waving its arms) from a distance away. Thinking it was their brother, the lady in the sled said to her sister that they should go to him. She didn’t say why she thought it was their brother.
But no, never, the sister said. She told her to put on her glasses and take another look. “And I saw a yugpall’er!” (A very large, tall, person-like creature.)
Aakegka, her heart flooded with the pain of fright and shock. She yelled to her sister, “Ayii!” (Go!) And off they went, fast.
The lady in the sled was so creeped out that she got a hold of some of the sled’s rope and wrapped it around her wrist, securing herself just in case. Her spine was crawling from the sight of the Bigfoot-like creature, which began to follow them. “Qungvagyupaillruunga, I had the shivers,” she said.
The creature was much less than half-mile away from them and they could see it clearly in the moonlit night. However, from their story, it seemed much closer than what they say. And even as they went at near or full throttle speed, it ran in pace with the snowmachine with ease.
“It was plain to see that it was a yugpak, very large. It was running at the same speed as our snowmachine, and even when we were going fast, it stayed with us,” she said. It seemed to be twice her height, about 10 feet tall, she added.
“And when we went downhill, it followed us, it was running – maligqurqiikuk yaatemegnegun. When we would go up, it would go up, too. But on the third climb up, it was gone,” she said.
The Bigfoot-like giant had run with them for about 10-15 minutes before disappearing behind a rise in the tundra. At that point, the sister wanted to stop for some reason but no, the sister in the sled urged her on, to keep going.
When the ladies reached Bethel, they went to another sister’s home. The older sister told the younger that they should keep the sighting to themselves. “I told her that we won’t tell anybody – don’t talk about it, (or) people will think we’re crazy,” she said. “They won’t believe us.”
Then out of the blue right after that night, people were saying that there was a sighting of Bigfoot, she said, qan’ngarrluteng. It was even on the radio and everyone was talking about Bigfoot.
“My sister and I looked at each other and we thought no one would believe!” she recalled, laughing.
Looking back to that night, the creature had posed no threat, she said. It was only following them but running parallel to their path. It had run at a pace and distance that was impossible for a human.
“If I had heard it from somebody else, I would doubt it very much,” she said. “But now I believe in them. I am glad that we are not the only ones to have seen it.”