Gitksan village, Kispiox 1909. Source: Native American Encyclopedia, Pinterest
Kispiox, Anspayaxw (People of the Hiding Place)
Kispiox is one of six ancient Gitksan villages. It is estimated to be about 3,000 years old. Archaeological and oral history evidence indicate that the Gitksan occupied the valley following the last ice age about 10,000 years ago. Villages have been found and abandoned throughout Gitksan history. The last two villages to relocate were Kuldo’o and Gisga’g’as; they moved to Kispiox and Gitanmaax. Today there are 7 First Nation communities within Gitksan territory. Source: Adapted in part, from Kispiox Band website.
Gitksan woman, Kispiox 1909. Source: Native American Encyclopedia, Pinterest.
Kuldo indian, 1912. Source: BC Archives, Royal BC Museum. Ref. E-08363.
Kuldo totem, 1912. Source: BC Archives, Royal BC Museum. Ref. E-08355.
Kuldo, 1912 Source: BC Archives, Royal BC Museum. Ref. E-08359.
Painting of men working on the Collins Overland Telegraph line, by John Clayton White.
Kuldo is located in upper Kispiox.
P. McD. Collins` proposed overland telegraph : via Behrings Strait and asiatic Russia to Europe, under Russian & British grants.
Collins Overland Telegraph (1865-1867)
Also known as the Western Union Telegraph Expedition. The project would lay an electric telegraph line from San Francisco, California to Moscow, Russia. 150 men were hired to clear trail, build cabins and lay out telegraph line, at a rate of ten miles per day. By early 1866, exploration of the proposed route had covered all but the last three hundred miles between the Kispiox and Telegraph Creek. The Western Union Extension Company hired Stephen Doyle, land surveyor to find and map out a possible route that would complete the telegraph line. By winter, the line was built 25 miles northwest of Fort Stager. Work was expected to resume the following spring but the project was abandoned in 1867. A rival had successfully laid cable across the Atlantic.
In 1898, the Klondike Gold rush was on and Hazelton became a very busy town. It was the following year, 1899, that the Dominion government decided to complete a telegraph line to Dawson City since there had been no northern overland communication before. The old Collins Overland Telegraph route was resurrected and used to route the line. The telegraph line was completed in 1901 and was 1100 miles in length. Source: BC Heritage, The Yukon Telegraph Trail.
Pack train on the Yukon Telegraph Trail near Hazelton. 1909. Source: BC Archives i-33279.
In the village of Kuldo, Stephen Doyle befriended an English speaking native by the name of Kwabellem. He learned of their customs and was told of Bukwas. The natives did not like to speak of those creatures. Women and children went missing. It was believed anyone who came across a Bukwas would not come out of the forest alive. The creatures were also to blame for the theft of fish from nets and caribou from their hanging poles. Bukwas tore the heads off the ancient ones in a village near Damsumlo Lake many years ago. Kwabellem warned Stephen never to go to that lake on the east side of the Skeena. Headless people now wander the forest around the lake and it wasn`t unusual to see a large sailing ship floating silently when moonbeams reflected off the water.
Doyle later came across the gruesome remains of two prospectors. One man, Frank Duprey from Oregon Territory. Their fate was sealed when one of the prospectors shot and killed a Bukwas. It`s mate sought revenge. Stephen later happened upon a Bukwas himself when he followed the sounds of screaming. The creature had an injured leg trapped in a log jam. He chose to help the creature and a friendship developed that would later save his life. In his journal, Stephen described the Bukwas.
“Awwwoooo wooo wooo”
Hollow high pitch scream, strange howling, wailing sounds, whinny, sharp whistles, deep throaty grunts, screaming like a woman ending softly like a baby`s cry, meowing sound, cackling sounds, powerful huffs and guttural growls.
Leaned back, titling its head upwards to make several wailing sounds which ended as it leaned forward again.
Description of a Bukwas:
Smell – strong, overpowering, pungent, like rotting flesh. Worse than a grizzly sow`s breath.
Skin – dark colored flesh beneath the hair.
Hands – 2 to 3 times larger than man. Dark skin. Bare palms.
Arms – nearly 6 feet in length. Almost as long as the legs. Upper arms nearly a foot in diameter. End of fingers hung just below the knees.
Body – covered mostly with hair, not over an inch, not as thick as a grizzly.
Face – nearly barren of hair, large flat nose, narrow lips, forehead sloped back toward top of head, scalp hair nearly reached thick wide eyebrows and sides of head covered with thick sparse hair.
Eyes – small, dark, deep-set and piercing.
Height – towered over surveyor who was 6.1, massive upper body, chest half as thick as it was wide. Known to be anywhere from 7 to 9 feet tall.
Head – cone shaped sloping back to a higher point on top. Ears hidden beneath longer hair.
Teeth – big, human-like, flat tops (no fangs).
Hair – grey or light brown to black and glossy reddish-brown. Almost black with silver tips.
Legs – massive. Stride twice the length of an average person.
Feet – toes squared at the front.
Size of tracks found in snow – 18 inches. Heel was a good half-foot wide.
Source: The Last 300 Miles, G. Stewart Nash, Caitlin Press, Heritage, 165 Pages, ISBN: 978-0-920576-90-8.
Encounters in the Hazeltons & Kispiox
* 1950`s Kispiox - Creature walks off with a bale under each arm. Source: Barb Campbell, NCI BC Bigfoot.
* Late 80`s Kispiox - Lowbed driver observes creature 200 yards away. Source: Barb Campbell, NCI BC Bigfoot.
* 1949 New Hazelton - A Highway foreman observes an 8 foot Bigfoot run into the bush. He was driving at the time of his sighting. Source: Vancouver Sun, June 21, 1957. On the Track of Sasquatch, page 142.
* 1958 near New Hazelton - Two women were out driving when a Bigfoot crossed the road in front of them. Source: The Sasquatch File. By John Willison Green. Page 18.
* Late 1950`s near New Hazelton - A man was out driving when a Bigfoot crossed the road in front of him. Source: The Sasquatch File. By John Willison Green. Page 18.
* 1979 Suskwa/Bulkley River - A man and wife are in their trailer when they heard a Bigfoot on the porch. It then runs and jumps the fence. Pulling staples out of the post. Later, holds trailer door closed. Source: John Green, Sasquatch Database.
* Fall 1979 Hazelton - A hunter spotted a black haired Bigfoot watching him from the treeline. When he made a move for his rifle, the creature quickly retreated back into the forest. He said that he could hear the creature making garbled sounds as it moved away from his location. Source: John Green, Sasquatch Database.
I believe more encounters have occurred. I am just not hearing from those individuals.
Project is currently on hold.
Field Researcher, Trace Unknown,
Houston, B.C., Canada