The Sasquatch is myth for some, fantasy perhaps, or a well-contrived hoax.
For others, the creatures exist, and for author Shannon Gilmour the existence is very real and very personal.
So real Gilmour had written a book about the Sasquatch - 'Non Existent Entities'.
"It is a personal story of my encounters with the phenomenon known as Sasquatch, or Bigfoot," said Gilmour who has lived near Norquay since 2007. "It wasn't something that I planned on writing. I was encouraged by other people to document my story in book form, and I hadn't given it much thought since I kept a blog on the subject. I didn't think others would take me seriously, but when the encounters began to take on a life of their own, I realized that there was something worth value that needed to be spoken about that wasn't being spoken about."
Gilmour said the story is one which flowed easily for her once the decision to write it had been made.
"My computer wasn't working properly at the time, and I was forced to put pen to paper. When I began to write about my story last February, I immediately knew how the story would flow, and I couldn't write fast enough," she said. "I wrote every spare minute I had and I wrote when my family was asleep. It took me two weeks to write 50 pages! I'd rewrite and try to give as much detail as I could in hopes to share something of value to those who even wanted to believe. Within a month of starting, I had a finished product and posted it online to see what kind of response I'd get."
The response was strong, said Gilmour, who grew up in Calgary.
"I posted my story online for free, and immediately I received feedback. Most of the people who emailed me detailed their own similar encounters and this is what spurned me on to consider putting this story out in conventional print," she said.
For Gilmour the book details a deeply personal tale.
"Since my sighting in 2008, encounters on my property continue to persist and grow," she said, adding she is not alone in such experiences. "More and more people are witnessing signs of these creatures' existence and are willing to tell of their encounters to all who will listen.
"However, there is a small but growing populous within this community that are experiencing things that are not of the normal everyday run-of-the-mill documentation and because they don't know what to make of it, they continue their search in silence. Those who have unusual encounters and document a new finding are often dismissed and because of this, I believe that the public is not getting all the information about this creature they deserve.
"My story is to help draw out those hidden encounters by sharing with the public mine. It's a story that describes in detail a side to this creature that most do not want to consider."
Gilmour said most people have an idea about the Sasquatch from the stories which do exist but those are wrong.
"Most people only hear of the evidence that proves this creature to be a live, air breathing, meat eating animal, and in most respects it is," she said.
"However my story details this creature differently and because of that, many people will not want to believe what I say as being truth. The Native American communities have a history of dealing with this creature and they never used science to explain what they knew to be true. They accepted this creature as what it is, and my story does the same."
Gilmour said she also recognizes many will question the validity of her story.
"I am not here to tarnish what others want to believe without first having all the facts," she said.
"Many people have called me a maverick and I guess I am. I tried denying my experience by throwing out what I didn't understand and I document how seeing this creature caused me to question my own faith. I tried to convince myself through following the physical and scientific evidence that this is an unknown animal and that it deserves recognition. In doing this, I was denying who I am and what this creature truly is. I have to stay true to my experience and what I know and in some respects the scientific proof cannot prove any further beyond what we already know; that these creatures do exist.
"My quest is trying to figure out where we go from here and how can we get past the evidence collecting that causes us to become stagnant in our research."
Gilmour said as a writer she plans to delve more into the meaning of a sighting than the actual evidence of Sasquatch existence.
"This is what the second book to this ongoing saga will try to figure out," she said. "It will step beyond the field of research that is considered mainstream science within the bigfoot phenomenon.
"People are putting their lives at risk going out in the woods to search for these creatures in hopes to have an encounter. People are wanting to put lock, stock and barrel into the physical evidence and forgo the rest. In the continuing story I want to help draw understanding into what else this creature is so that people are not putting their lives at risk because this creature is dangerous. People fear what they don't know, and we like to challenge our fears up close and personal in hopes to overcome them. Just because Sasquatch isn't proving to be dangerous now, doesn't mean it can't or won't ever be."
Gilmour said she has experienced the duality of the creature's nature.
"I've been growled at, I've had rocks thrown at me, and why do I continue to live here on this acreage? Because there is a reason why I don't feel threatened by them," she offered. "There is a reason why Sasquatch reveals itself to people in different ways and this next book will address that in a way that makes sense without taking away or negating anyone else's belief or experience."
Non Existent Entities is available at Amazon.com or on the author's website,
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