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Media Article # 445

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Bigfoot video makes big dollars in U.S.

By Dawn Walton
The Globe and Mail

CALGARY -- The Canadian sasquatch story -- complete with video of a massive, hairy beast -- will air tomorrow night on A Current Affair, the granddaddy of American tabloid television, the Fox network said.

However, since the program broadcasts only in the United States, Canadians without special cable service or satellite who are interested in catching a glimpse of the video that grabbed headlines around the world will have to be content with watching a snippet of Northern Manitoba's supposed sasquatch on the Internet ( ).

The network said yesterday that its bigfoot segment will be posted on its website for international viewers on Thursday.

Matt Moneymaker, a sasquatch hunter and the director of the U.S.-based Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, has viewed the video, which was shot along the Nelson River about 500 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

"For those of us who have been studying authentic footage and debunking bogus footage for a long time, the full circumstances of this incident point to a credible encounter," Mr. Moneymaker says on his organization's website.

He describes the image as blurry and shot from a distance, but clearly not an illusion caused by light, a bear or fabrication.

"[It is] a dark, upright, primate figure, with arms and legs somewhat like a human, standing on a riverbank," he writes.

"[It is] either a human or a sasquatch, but among those two candidates it is not clearly one or the other, due to the blurriness of the footage."

Bobby Clarke, the videographer who lives in Norway House, Man., has received an undisclosed amount of money for giving the Fox program first crack at airing the video, according to his family.

Mr. Clarke is a ferry operator who was working an early morning shift when he spotted something peculiar on the river bank.

The images, shot with a camcorder that he is rarely without, show about 30 seconds of a huge, hairy creature some viewers have described as perhaps three metres tall.

The video has been viewed by hundreds of people in Mr. Clarke's mother's living room in their remote community.

When interest from media outlets and sasquatch aficionados started flooding in from around the world, Mr. Clarke stopped taking calls and his mother cut off access to the video.

The family began looking for a buyer and experts to view the tape. According to Langford Saunders, who is a town councillor in Norway House and the uncle of Mr. Clarke's wife, the folks at A Current Affair seemed the most interested and were the first to make the trek north.

Mr. Saunders won't talk finances, but the gossip going around bigfoot tracking circles is an amount in the six figures.

"It's a long-term thing for the family and for tourism in the community," Mr. Saunders said.

Mr. Saunders said it was important to the family to have the video assessed by an expert and they were thrilled with Mr. Moneymaker's opinion.

"We weren't too sure what we have. Now we are," Mr. Saunders said.

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