When the matter of Bigfoot surfaces, we almost always think of large, lumbering creatures roaming deep in the heart of ancient forests. There are, however, a number of cases on record in which the Bigfoot creatures have been seen swimming in the waters of lakes and rivers. And, it seems, they may very well be quite skilled swimmers, too. The North American Wood Ape Conservancy say: “Swimming must be examined alongside the terrestrial gait of the wood ape since it appears to be an important means of locomotion throughout the range of this species in North America, especially on the west coast. Circumstantial evidence, such as reports of the presence of wood apes on small islands off the coast of British Columbia, has suggested they swim. Observations of wood apes actually swimming have confirmed this.”
Lisa Shiel, who has had personal interactions with Bigfoot, has uncovered an example of Bigfoot in the water from the 19th century. She outlines the story: “In the 1830s, reports emerged from the area around Fish Lake, Indiana, of a four-foot-tall ‘wild child’ loitering in the vicinity – and swimming in the lake.” Shiel continues: “In another incident that took place in September 1967, a fisherman casting his net on the delta of the Nooksack River in Washington State felt something tug on his net. A moment later something began dragging his net upstream. When he shined his flashlight at the thief, he saw a hairy hominid in the river hauling in the net.”
A third case comes from the people who run the website, Today in Bigfoot History! They state: “William Drexler’s campsite overlooked Phantom Ship Island. He had just finished his sausage and egg breakfast and was smoking his morning pipe, just looking out over Crater Lake. That is when he noticed something moving on Phantom Ship Island.” For those who may be wondering, Phantom Ship Island is a small, craggy island on Crater Lake that takes its name from its “ghost-ship”-like appearance, which is particularly noticeable when the mist hovers low and thick. The story continues: “Drexler got out his binoculars. It took him a minute or two before he was able to get a good bead on the moving figure. What Drexler saw was a brownish grey Bigfoot, obviously soaking wet, stretching out on some rocks near the water’s edge. The creature was luxuriated. Drexler watched the creature for awhile lounge in the sun. Then after a bit the Bigfoot climbed to the other side of the island and Drexler lost sight of it.”
One of the most fascinating examples originated near Ketchikan, Alaska, at some point around the turn of the 1960s. It was a story provided to the investigator, John Green. The story had a bit of a “friend of a friend” aspect to it, but that makes it no less fascinating. It revolved around a young boy named Errol, who, on one particular night, was out fishing with his father, when his flashlight illuminated something terrifying standing in the water: a large, humanoid creature, but one which was clearly not human, staring intently at him. Not surprisingly, the boy screamed at the top of his lungs and fled for his life. A posse of men came running, just in time to illuminate the dark waters with their flashlights, and who saw to their astonishment the huge beast dive into the water and start swimming “like a frog,” before vanishing from view, as it plunged ever deeper into the depths. In moments, it was gone – demonstrating its skills as a powerful, fast swimmer.
There have been sightings of swimming Bigfoot in Texas, too. Rob Riggs, who deeply studied reports of the creatures in and around the Big Thicket are of the Lone Star State, told of one particularly notable case of a watery Sasquatch: “John’s family home is on the edge of the Trinity River swamps near Dayton. One night he heard a disturbance on the porch where he kept a pen of rabbits. He investigated just in time to see a large, dark form make off with rabbit in hand. John impulsively followed in hot pursuit, staying close enough to hear the rabbit squeal continuously.” John was able to close in on the creature, and to a point where he witnessed something amazing occur, as Riggs reveals: “Standing on the high bank in the moonlight he watched dumb-struck as what looked like a huge ape-like animal swam to the other side of the river, easily negotiating the strong current, and never letting go of the rabbit.”
In March 2007, the “Goldie E.” family told of swimming Bigfoot around Trinidad, California. Rather bizarrely, the creatures were reportedly seen swimming alongside sea-lions, as they negotiated the waters from Trinidad Head Rock to Flat Iron Rock! The biting, cold waters apparently affected the Bigfoot not a bit.