It’s one thing to see a Bigfoot. It is, however, quite another thing entirely to claim to have been kidnapped by one, and held "hostage" for several days! That was the controversial claim of a man named Albert Ostman, who was of Scandinavian extraction. Although Ostman claimed the traumatic event occurred in 1924, he did not go public with the story until 1957 – which is, perhaps, understandable, given its wild nature.
At the time in question, Ostman was employed in the field of construction, although his background was as a lumberman. After having worked solidly for a considerable period of time, he decided it was time for a much welcome and deserved break and something different. He decided to do a bit of gold prospecting in the Toba Inlet, situated on the British Columbia coast. It was during the course of the prospecting that Ostman experienced something that made him distinctly troubled and uneasy: someone, or something, had clearly been wandering around his camp while he was on his quest for gold.
Albert Ostman decided he was going to find out the guilty party’s identity and, instead of going to sleep, he stayed wide awake in his sleeping bag, with his rifle right by his side. Unfortunately, a hard day toiling for gold took its toll and Ostman quickly fell asleep. But not for long: he was jolted from his sleep by a sensation of being scooped up and carried away while still in his sleeping bag. In fact, that’s exactly what happened. For roughly three hours or so, Ostman was unceremoniously carried through, up, and down, the dark woods by something large and powerful. According to Ostman, he had heard stories of “the mountain Sasquatch giants” from Native American sources. Finally, the terror-filled trek came to its end. That much was made clear when the mighty creature relaxed its grip on the sleeping bag and let it drop to the forest floor.
Since the woods were still enveloped by the blackness of night, Ostman could not make out his kidnapper. As dawn broke, that situation radically changed. He found himself confronted by what can only be accurately described as a Bigfoot family: a giant male, a smaller female, and two juveniles, one male and one female. In other words: mom, dad, and the kids. As Ostman looked around, he could see he was deep in the heart of a heavily forested valley that was surrounded by huge mountains. Clearly anticipating the likelihood that Ostman would try and escape, the “Old Man” – as Ostman referred to the huge male – kept careful watch on Ostman, making sure at all times that he didn’t try and make a run for it, via the entrance to the valley. That Ostman was held captive for several days ensured he was able to carefully study their habits and appearance. In his own words:
“The young fellow might have been 11-18 years old and about seven feet tall and might weigh about 300 lbs…He had wide jaws, narrow forehead, that slanted upward…the old lady could have been anything between 40-70 years old…she would be about 500-600 pounds. She had very wide hips, and a goose-like walk. She was not built for beauty or speed.”
As for the “old man,” Ostman stated that he “must have been near eight feet tall. Big barrel chest and big hump on his back – powerful shoulders, his biceps on upper arm were enormous.”
Ostman said of their general appearance: “The hair on their heads was about six inches long. The hair on the rest of their body was short and thick in places…The only place they had no hair was inside their hands and the soles of their feet and upper part of the nose and eyelids…They were very agile.” Ostman was also able to deduce that the creatures were vegetarian.
Although Ostman was kept in the lair of the Bigfoot against his will, he wasn’t mistreated. Nevertheless, he had no intention of spending the rest of his life as the equivalent of an animal in the zoo, held captive for something's entertainment; in this case, Bigfoot. Or, a family of them. It transpired that the answer to his freedom came in a decidedly alternative fashion. Each and every morning, Ostman took a pinch of snuff from his snuff box. He noticed that the “old man” eyed him carefully on each and every occasion. Finally, when curiosity got the better of him, the immense giant grabbed the box out of Ostman’s hands and poured the entire contents into his mouth. In seconds, the beast was doubled up on the floor, rolling in agony, and gulping down water. As the rest of the family raced to help, Ostman saw his chance to make a run for it. He grabbed his gear, fired a shot in the air to scare off the creatures, and raced for freedom. Unsurprisingly, he was not followed, nor did he see the beasts again.
The story of Albert Ostman is filled with controversy -primarily because of that mom, dad and the kids angle. Ostman, however, was unmoved by the doubters. He had a stock response for anyone who chose to question his account: “I don’t care a damn what you think.”