Much of Maine is wilderness. The state is capable of sustaining large animal populations, proven by the roughly 75,000 moose and 23,000 black bears that call the place home. Travel the back-roads or paddle along one of the many lakes and ponds and you’ll discover that moose are not shy. They openly look at you when you paddle by, contentedly chewing on greenery unless you get too close. Black bears are more elusive, but enough of them are hunted each year to prove their existence. But what of Sasquatch, or Bigfoot, as he is sometimes called? There are sightings in most parts of Maine, but little physical evidence of their existence. Yet the people who have encountered these creatures insist that they are indeed real.
Sasquatch, Fact or Fiction
Skeptics have long believed that Sasquatch is a myth and that people have mistaken bears or other large animals for the creature. With no clear photographs or anything other than larger-than-human footprints, there was no proof. Then in 2004 Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a scientist specializing in the Sasquatch, was called to investigate a cabin in Snow Grove Lake, Ontario. It was ransacked, but not quite in the same way as done by a bear. They set up a typical bear-deterrent trap, simply a floor mat with screws sticking up, aimed to give the intruder a good poke when stepped on.
A few weeks later they went back to the cabin and found something with an 18 inch foot had stepped on the mat, leaving blood, hair and tissue behind. Dr. Meldrum had the samples shipped off to a lab for DNA testing. The results showed that the samples were almost 100% human, with a minor tweak of one chromosome. Whatever “it” was, that creature was closer to a human than an ape and it was real. So far no other samples have been collected.
Sasquatch at Katahdin Mountain
It’s probably not a surprise that most Sasquatch sightings in Maine are in the more lightly populated and most remote areas of the state. Katahdin Mountain in Baxter State Park is particularly “Sasquatch prone.” In 1982 some bird watchers were making their way up the north side of the mountain and saw what they thought were two gorillas, walking upright and holding hands as they made their way across a field. They weren’t as hairy as gorillas, but still had black hair over their entire bodies. In 1988 some Boy Scouts were on one of the mountain’s trails and saw a hairy red creature digging in the dirt. It smelled a bit like rotten eggs and ran off after it was spotted.
Maine Ridge Monster – Penobscot County
In 1988, what has been dubbed as the Maine Ridge Monster was sighted by a father and son out fishing in the wilds of Penobscot County. They had followed an old logging road to get to a hidden creek and found evidence of a rabbit kill, but didn’t think anything of it. This was, after all, a wild forest. On the way back they found an old cabin. Deciding to rest for a bit they went inside and found a “Ridge Monster” logbook with entries about seeing a large, unusual creature.
After resting a bit they headed back to their truck. On the way back the father saw an eight foot tall creature, hairy and weighing at least 500 pounds leaning against a tree and watching him. The animal got bored and disappeared into the forest. It matched the descriptions in the logbook. American Indians that lived in the area before the Europeans came told stories of a large, gentle creature that lived in Maine’s remote forest for centuries. The witness never revealed the location of the sighting, wanting to protect both his reputation and the animal from being hunted.
Androscoggin County – Leeds Loki
One of the most recent sightings was in 2010, near Leeds in Androscoggin County. This is the same county that gave rise to the Durham Gorilla sighting in 1973 and the Maine Mutant sighting in 2006. This one they have dubbed the Leeds Loki, named after a legend about a hairy man, wild as they come and a trickster as well. This local Loki was seen crossing Line Road that connects Lees with Greene, another tiny town. This area is known for Bigfoot and other large animal sightings, including extra large mountain lions and even a black panther. Other than footprints, no physical evidence has been found.
Sasquatch – Near the City
Sometimes Sasquatch comes closer to civilization. In 1985, on the outskirts of Portland, a couple saw three creatures outside their home at 3 a.m. They were howling and appeared to be charging their house. The next morning they took pictures of giant footprints outside the house. In Brunswick, north of Portland, a family saw a large, black, shaggy haired creature on two consecutive days in 1973. They later found a tree stump pulled apart where the creature had been.
Sasquatch sightings have been part of the local lore in Maine for centuries. Scientists and other interested parties are still looking for this elusive creature, perhaps aiming to repeat DNA tests done years ago in Canada. So far the evidence shows that there is something out there, that there is a possibility that Sasquatch is indeed real. Just what that something is, is still anyone’s guess.