Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | APR 07, 2006 | Yakama Nation: Searching for Bigfoot is Bad Medicine

Mel Skahan is a Native American of the Yakama Nation
"I have talked to a few Elders and some of them believe that [Bigfoot Research] is bad medicine" --Mel Skahan; Forester; Yakama Nation

What is bad medicine? If you are like us, it is anything cherry-flavored, or the only part you sing in a Bon Jovi song.  There is another definition, as most of you know Native American medicine is not necessarily something you ingest to heal you, it is more like a synonym for power. In other words, Native American medicine is more like the Force in Star Wars and bad medicine is more like pursuing the dark side of the force.

Another point of interest to us is this: even though Yakama Nation history predates the white man, it was not until the white man's arrival that the Sasquatch stopped hanging out with humans. As the story goes, they did not like the technology we brought.

Read an article that was published 7 years ago today.

Friday 7 April 2006 -- Hello! We would like to thank all the people from Canada and the States who have emailed us and shared with us some of their great stories.

One of our readers is also a Sasquatch researcher and his name is Mel Skahan, who belongs to the Yakama Nation (located in) Washington State, and we shall be sharing some of his stories and experiences in our column.

Mel how long have you been a Sasquatch researcher and what first sparked your interest in Sasquatches?

I work for the Forestry in the Yakama Nation and this area covers 1.(2) million acres and three-fourths of this is timbered. It was 1995 in the winter and another worker and I were out timber cruising and we had separated to check on different areas when I came across this set of footprints. They were twentytwo inches in length and the when I measured the stride they were at least five and a half to six feet in length. I followed the footprints for about a mile and a half at the same time I followed these tracks to get some kind of behavior of the Sasquatch and it would go from tree to tree and it would stop its feet always pointing in the direction that it was going, but it seemed to be checking to make sure that the area was safe to carry on. I snow-shoed to where the other worker was and shared with him my story. Together we went back up to where I found the prints and his mouth just dropped open because the toes in the tracks could be seen perfectly. These footprints eventually led us to another set which measured about eighteen inches in length and a third set was also found which measured eight to nine inches long. They all came together about a mile and a half and then they walked in one line. We followed the tracks which were pretty fresh for a while but we got this creepy feeling of being watched it made the hair on the back of my head stand up.

What do the Elders of the Yakama Nation think about your researching Sasquatches?

I have talked to a few Elders and some of them believe that it is bad medicine (to continue with my investigations and research, and one elder said that “I know that you are listening to me when I talk to you, but I see that you will still try to find them, but you need to pursue this in a healthier manner, take care of yourself, believe in your medicine, protect your family, sweat and prayer will help you”), (a couple) of them refused to shake my hand (and I believe that me researching this subject may have something to do with it, it’s like they knew something was different with me… I try to respect what they tell me, but this is something that I never went looking for, I came across them and wanted to continue to find the answers that I still have), still others believed that you should go to sweats and to be careful and to treat it with lots of respect.

What is the Yakama’s Nation name for Sasquatch?

The name that I have heard is Qah-limah.

What do you think a Sasquatch is?

There is a legend that says that there were three groups of people living on the Earth and they were the big people, the little people, and the Yakama. They all live together off the land and followed the traditional ways.

Along came the (early settlers) and they started to show the Yakama their tools and the Yakama started to follow them. The big people and the little people saw what was happening and they went up into the mountains they wanted nothing to do with the new ways. The Yakama weren’t allowed to go with them because they were following the white men and using their tools.

How have these experiences changed you?

Each new story and experience brings me greater and greater respect for the Sasquatch! I had at one time thought about some type of capture, but since knowing more about them or this subject has since changed my belief and want them not to be harmed.

What other kinds of experiences have you had?

I have experienced many things: Having items thrown towards me. Having them growl or howling my direction or letting me or the folks that I have been in the forest with, know they are there. Have heard them make different noises, and the one that I never forget was the one that whistled. I have seen many tracks I did see one briefly runaway Just last year, finally was able to have one come close enough for me to smell the tremendous stench that I have heard described in my investigations).

I don’t know how your people believe about shape shifting or the UFO ‘unidentified flying objects’ but lately have been reading and hearing about how Sasquatches can teleport or shape shift into other animals.

But there is something out there that from certain investigations is able to pull a few folks away from a group, how it’s done is unknown, but I keep an open mind about this subject. I don’t necessarily categorize it as something paranormal or relate it to UFO’s but something has happened to a certain folks, but until I educate myself about the subject rather then, say it is a certain thing, then will not label it. I have seen this lately, where folks have labeled it something right away without further studying or collecting more evidence to narrow down the error... per se. This has been upsetting me as of late.

Another thing is the way this subject is perceived. I know that as a witness as I started, I was laughed at. But as I changed from being a witness to a investigator/researcher I see that laughing quickly disappearing, because I present more evidence to those that first laughed and you know what—they were usually hiding something, an experience of some kind that they were afraid to bring forward. But I took it to the next level and have ‘faced the fear’ that was once instilled in me by my first couple of experiences and those folks that laughed at me, they ask me where I was over the weekend.

Whether you believe it is myth, spirit, supernatural, or physical, your responses are welcome here. Please email:

Meegwetch! Ekosi!

© "the DRUM"

The Source for Aboriginal News in Manitoba & Northwest Ontario, Canada 


  1. Native Americans tend to label something that they don't understand, as being bad medicine. Then they encourage others to maintain their ignorance by staying away from them. This attempt to induce fear to contribute to ignorance, is even more unhealthy than what they perceived as unhealthy in the first place. Obviously, Mel broke loose from those mind games (and the BFRO's mind games as well).
    From personal experience, I know that the Yakima Indian Nation, has it exactly wrong despite the centuries occupying their land.



  2. I would say that one of our local group is part of the Mohegan nation, and he finds it rather insulting how Bigfoot groups love to find a "native" who has some traditional story of Bigfoot like animals and a "connection" to them that the White Man can not have.
    The Mohegans have a wonderful research museum and library, where first hand work can be done, and where Natives will not be seen as some sort of "different" type of human beings, but simply like everyone else, and as able to be deluded or have false beliefs as any of the rest of us. Researching is important, but also, first hand research with real Native historians, not just someone that shows up whenever TV cameras are around.

  3. Where is Mel Skahan on the subject today? I'd be curious to know how his thoughts have evolved since.

    Don't underestimate the importance of certain cautious Native views of Sasquatch. There are real elements about Sasquatch that modern science will never grasp. Most researchers who chase tracks & sightings or have never even seen one, will likely never experience these things either, so the so-called 'paranormal' aspects will simply remain an unfathomable concept. Chasing these beings can develop into unusual phenomenon akin to what using a Ouija Board did for many as a youth. There is simply a part of our universe that is out of our reach but exists all around us. Those who have experienced strange things and apply a 'spiritual' value to their experiences may also be kidding themselves. Remember, just because there is a light energy does not make it good. Glowing eyes in the night, mindspeak, feeling their presence? Yah may not be good. And yet, I too try to understand more, but in a reserved vigilant manner.

    1. Cheers Dave and well said! Oral tradition is often overlooked as a valid tenet of methodology, whether it be archaeology or, in this instance, seeking to document an unknown hominin. Many academics reject it out of hand as having no place in a empirical investigative structure, but this is to assume that everything that has occurred in human history only occurred if it was documented in writing or by other means physically substantiated. And yet fraud is as easily committed by pencil or computer as it is by voices, to my eyes at least. That said -- neither is oral tradition infallible, not for nothing has it been so closely linked with folk tales these many millennia. Still, reject it at your risk . . . Cheers!


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