CONSPIRACY to Suppress Evidence of Sasquatch?
Over the past few weeks, a few of my subscribers have asked that I look into the strange story of Andrew Dawson, a 35-year-old British Columbian man who appears to have been employed by the Trans Mountain Pipeline Corporation, who published a series of disturbing videos on the video hosting service TikTok throughout April and May 2022 under the handle @andykapt. This series leads the viewer to believe that Dawson stumbled upon a secret in British Columbia’s northern Continental Rockies which some shadowy government agency seems determined to keep hidden from the public. The last of Dawson’s videos are cryptic, indicating that he believed he was being followed by government agents, and that he feared for his life. A month and a half after the publication of his final video, Dawson suddenly and unexpectedly died, leading some to suspect that he was murdered for his prying.
Dawson’s first video, published on April 9th, 2022, appears to have been shot with a smartphone from the passenger seat a truck travelling down BC’s Yellowhead Highway south of the town of Valemount, British Columbia. Dawson, the camera man, aims his phone at southerly Canoe Mountain and zooms in on an anomaly protruding from the mountain’s summit, telling the driver that he believes the anomaly to be “a person standing there”. A line of text added to the video reads “ITS A GIANT” [sic]. Interestingly, Canoe Mountain stands a mere fourteen miles southeast of Mica Mountain, the site of one of the most dramatic Sasquatch encounters reported in Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
Two days later, Dawson posted a follow-up video of Canoe Mountain, apparently shot from the Transmountain camp on Whisky Fill Road just southeast of Valemount. Zooming in on the mountain’s barren summit, he points out that the anomaly is no longer visible, saying, “I’ve spoke to some locals, and it comes and goes, apparently” [sic].
Later that same Day, Dawson published another video, apparently shot inside his residence, in which describes a strange experience he had after the publication of the previous video. On the advice of a local, he headed up a certain mountain path, where he was stopped by what he believed to be some sort of intelligence officer. “He told me to go back, and said I was trespassing,” Dawson explained, claiming that the officer attributed the road’s closure to some unnamed environmental issue.
The following day, on April 13th, Dawson published four videos.
In the first video, allegedly shot at 5:30 in the morning, he explains that he woke up extra early with the intention of returning to the mysterious roadblock. He climbs into his truck and starts the engine.
Dawson’s second video, shot from his stationary truck, shows a mysterious light hovering over the mountains. The video’s audio is overlaid by the theme song from The X-Files, a science fiction TV series about paranormal and extraterrestrial phenomena. The video’s textual description asks, “Did the thing on the mountain go home?” apparently implying that the giant Dawson filmed might have come from another planet or an alternate dimension, to which it returned via some transportation method connected with the mysterious light in the sky.
Dawson’s third April 13th video, shot from the moving truck, shows two helicopters flying over the highway, from one of which depends some sort of package. “So they’re extracting something out of here,” Dawson explains.
In his fourth and final video of the day, Dawson films himself driving up a forest road at night toward a black sedan, in front of which a man can be seen walking. He indicates that the man is the same intelligence operative who stopped him the previous night. Apparently in an effort to conceal his recording operation from the officer, Dawson puts his phone down, obscuring our view. “What’s going on?” he asks. “Road’s closed. Turn around,” a male voice replies. “Yeah man, just turn around, please.” Dawson cooperates and drives away.
Three days later, on April 16th, Dawson published another video shot in his residence, with the words “BEING STALKED” plastered on the thumbnail. After peering out a window through the blinds, Dawson steps outside to see the same vehicle from the previous night parked outside his residence. “Hey!” he yells as the vehicle accelerates away.
Dawson did not post again for 20 days. On May 6th, he released a video in which he affirms that he is not dead, as some of his viewers had apparently feared, and had just been too busy to post. “Sorry to disappoint you guys,” he explains, “but all the videos that I posted were scripted. They were just fake. They were just strictly for entertainment.” While he delivers his update, Dawson appears to be in a state of anxiety, and often looks to the side at what some members of Dawson’s audience suspect is another person watching him off-camera.
Ten days later, on May 16th, Dawson posted a nine-second video with the words “IAM SCARED” [sic] emblazoned on the thumbnail. In the video, Dawson films himself walking briskly through his dimly lit residence. “You might not see me post ever again,” he says. “My videos – they weren’t fake.”
Dawson’s final video was published on May 17th, 2022. In this 19-second clip, shot from his truck, Dawson zooms in on a building built atop a mountain peak. “What is that?” he asks. “That was not there before.”
On July 1st, 2022, nearly a month and a half after the publication of Dawson’s final video, Andrew Ryan Watchorn Dawson’s obituary appeared in the Campbell River Mirror, a newspaper based out of Campbell River, British Columbia – apparently Dawson’s Vancouver Island hometown. The article offered no explanation as to the cause of his death, simply listing the closest mourners he left behind. Many of Dawson’s TikTok followers, recalling the disturbing tenor of the man’s final videos, immediately assumed that the Transmountain employee had been murdered by whatever shadowy agency had allegedly been monitoring his activities, ostensibly to ensure his silence, or to put an end to his investigation into the giant of Canoe Mountain.
As compelling as the saga of Andrew Dawson may seem at first glance, nearly every element of it, in this author’s opinion at least, has a straightforward rational explanation. The summit of Canoe Mountain, on which Dawson first saw his giant, is crowned by a CBC TV tower which can be accessed by the highest mountain road in Canada. This tower, in my opinion, is almost certainly the anomaly which Dawson filmed in his first video. I suspect that, due to the lay of the terrain, this tower is visible from the Yellowhead Highway, from which the first video was shot, but not from the Transmountain camp on Whisky Fill Road, from which the second video was shot. Unfortunately, this suspicion cannot currently be verified through Google Street View, as there is no Street View available from the Transmountain camp, and Canoe Mountain is obscured by smoke or clouds in the Google shot from the Yellowhead Highway. Since I happened to be in the Valemount area for a different purpose some time ago, I decided to visit the site of Dawson’s first sighting myself, but had no better luck getting a clear view of the summit of Canoe Mountain on account of heavy clouds. Until the TV tower theory can be verified beyond question, the true nature of Dawson’s giant will remain as obscure as the mist-shrouded summit of Canoe Mountain.
The mysterious agency operative who features in Dawson’s videos could, of course, be a friend of Dawson’s who agreed to participate in his possible prank. The package-laden helicopters which Dawson filmed from the highway bear striking resemblance to both aerial firefighters bearing helicopter buckets and seismic helicopters laden with cables and geophones, both of these being common sights in the forests of British Columbia. And the mountaintop structure in Dawson’s final video is almost certainly the Jasper SkyTram station at the summit of Whistlers Peak as seen from the streets of Jasper, Alberta, about an hour and twenty minutes’ drive east of Valemount. The only element of Dawson’s videos which this author is at a loss to explain is the mysterious aerial light which appears in the second video on April 13th. If you have an explanation for this phantom light, please let me know in the comments below.
The most conclusive nail in the coffin of the Andrew Dawson saga, in this author’s opinion, is the statement of Dawson’s girlfriend, Salma Awad, who is listed on his obituary as his soulmate. In an October 21st post on her own TikTok account, Awad revealed that her boyfriend had a long history of depression, to which he tragically succumbed. She affirmed, in a credible, matter-of-fact manner, that Dawson’s videos were works of fiction crafted for the purpose of entertainment, and stated that his death had nothing to do with them. Despite Awad’s explanation, there are some who persist in the belief that operatives of some shadowy government agency “suicided” Dawson, or murdered him and then staged the scene of the crime so as to leave the impression that he had taken his own life.
Whatever the case, the idea underpinning the Andrew Dawson story – that some powerful corporation or government agency like the CIA, the FBI, CCIS, Parks Canada, or the U.S. National Parks Service is actively covering up Sasquatch sightings in the North American wilderness – is a popular one among certain circles of Forteana. Some time ago, for example, one of my subscribers and patrons recommended that I watch a particular video published by the YouTuber Bob Gymlan, whose channel frequently treats with the Sasquatch phenomenon. In this video, entitled “The First Photo of Bigfoot and the Origin of the Great Bigfoot Cover Up,” Gymlan analyses a mysterious photo which first appeared in Janet and Colin Bord’s 1982 book The Bigfoot Casebook. This antiquated photograph depicts a hairy figure lying in a snowy clearing in a mountainous area with a snare around one of its limbs. A pair of snowshoes standing upright in the snow beside the figure, apparently having been included in the photo for scale, indicate that the figure probably measured no more than five feet in length or height. A caption beneath the photo reads: “This photograph shows an unidentified animal shot by trappers at Lillooet in British Columbia early in the 20th Century,” offering no explanation as to its source.
The photo surfaced a second time on November 16th, 2006, in a brief article published on the website CryptoMundo.com by the website’s co-founder Craig Woolheater. According to Woolheater, this photo was given to Sasquatch researcher Tom Biscardi by one Lyle Billett of Victoria, British Columbia. “I found the photo on his website,” Woolheater explained, “and wanted to share it, as I have never seen it before…” According to Woolheater, Biscardi published not only the photo itself, but also a picture of the back of the photo, which bears the following handwritten text:
“Yalikom River Around Lilliott B.C.
“Forestry – Hudsonbay Co.
“They took the picture and the Guy that was in the picture went & stole them back from the forestry records. (hudsonbay co.) I believe his last name was Holiday (Don’t know the first name)
“Never took all pictures (only one) and took pictures of the rest.
“(Glass plate photography)”
Lilliott is almost certainly a misspelling of Lillooet, a city on the Fraser River at the southern edge of British Columbia’s Cariboo Country, and Yalikom is almost certainly a misspelling of Yalakom, a river which drains into the Bridge River, which, in turn, enters the Fraser near Lillooet.
Although this author was unable to find Biscardi’s original post on his website SearchingForBigfoot.com, he was able to unearth a recording of Biscardi’s interview with Lyle Billett in Episode 7 of the BigFoot Live Radio Show, which aired on October 27th, 2006. In the interview, Billett explained that the photo was one of several taken in 1894 on the Yalakom River near Lillooet, BC. One of those present at the scene was a man named Holiday. According to Billett, “The Hudson Bay Company that had the forestry contract, they didn’t want nobody to see these pictures. They took and hushed everything up.” Sometime after the photos’ seizures, Holiday broke into the office where the HBC’s Lillooet records were kept and took photographs of the photos. Although Billett made no mention of this in the interview, the writing on the back of the photo indicates that Holiday may have stolen one of the original glass plate photos as well. Holiday gave a copy of one of the photos he took – the photo in question – to a friend of his. This friend bequeathed the photo to his son, John, who, in turn, gave it to Lyle Billett. The writing on the back of the photo is ostensibly John’s scrawl – a summary of all the information about the photo he could recall from conversations with his late father.”
At the end of the interview, Billett told Biscardi that he planned to meet up with John and learn more about the history behind the mysterious photograph. Unfortunately, whatever new information Billett may have gleaned from his associate went with him to the grave. In an article on his website SasquatchDetective.Wordpress.com, Sasquatch researcher Steve Kulls determined that Lyle Billett passed away in January 2014 without having publically come forth with any new information about the 1894 photograph.
There are several potential problems and red flags associated with the story of the Billett-Biscardi photograph, such as the fact that the Hudson’s Bay Company, to the best of this author’s knowledge, was never involved in forestry; that Lyle Biscardi has a history of being duped by hoaxers purporting to be in the possession of a Sasquatch corpse; and that the subject of the photo, in this author’s opinion at least, bears some resemblance to a wildcat. This author, however, is more interested in the implication of Billett’s story that the Hudson’s Bay Company was once actively involved in covering up evidence of Sasquatch in the Canadian wilds.
Bob Gymlan put his own spin on this theory in his video, saying that, although he was unsure of why the Hudson’s Bay Company might want to suppress information supporting the existence of Sasquatch, he did have a few guesses. “My first guess,” he said, “would be that these creatures posed a very real threat to the bottom line, the HBC’s profitability. Because, remember, these trappers were going where no European had gone before, so it would make sense that the population of these cryptids had a different response than they do today. Maybe they followed the trappers around as a means of free food, which is textbook primate behavior by the way. So the HBC, fearing for their profits, led a merciless crusade against them, perhaps killing many… Then perhaps, once the terrible deed was done, and settled on the minds of the higher-ups, they realized that they just basically killed a bunch of people, question mark, and perhaps the executives decided that’s a fact they’d best take to their graves.” Gymlan’s second guess was that the HBC suppressed information about the Sasquatch in an effort to maintain the status quo in Canada, espousing the motto “don’t mess with success.”
Bob Gymlan seems to have confused the nature of the Canadian fur trade, conducted by the Hudson’s Bay Company and its competitors, with that of the American fur trade, negating his first hypothesis. In the United States, fur trading syndicates often hired or purchased pelts from white trappers called mountain men, who set their snares deep in Indian country – an extremely hazardous occupation. In Canada, by contrast, fur companies obtained their pelts almost entirely from natives.
There were three main styles of fur trading which were practiced in the Canadian interior. In the 17th Century, in the wilds of what are now Quebec and Ontario, independent French fur traders called coureur-des-bois, or runners of the woods, brought canoes laden with trade goods into Indian territories and sold them to natives in exchange for furs. In the 18th Century, French soldiers built military fortifications throughout the Canadian frontier in the territories of their native allies, which doubled as trading posts at which local natives could bring their furs to trade. The North West Company, a Scottish fur trading syndicate which took over the old trading grounds of the French following the 1760 British conquest of New France, filling its ranks with seasoned French-Canadian voyageurs, adopted this practice until the company’s absorption by the HBC in 1821. The third style of fur trading conducted in the Canadian interior was that of the early Hudson’s Bay Company, which, in the 17th and 18th Centuries, built a handful of huge stone fur trading fortifications on the shores of Hudson Bay and its major tributaries and encouraged distant natives to come to them with their furs. When the HBC absorbed the North West Company in 1821, it took over the NWC forts deep in the Canadian interior and maintained the Nor’ Westers’ more effective practice of building trading posts in Indian territory.
There were some independent white and Metis trappers, called freemen, who plied their trade in the Canadian wilds during the heyday of the Canadian fur trade. Most of these were French-Canadian or Scottish employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company who, following the termination of their HBC contract, elected to remain in the Canadian wilderness, perhaps on account of a native wife and children, rather than return to civilization. During the Canadian gold rushes of the 1850s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, many prospectors temporarily turned to trapping to raise enough money for grubstakes, sometimes leading to disagreements with local natives. And in the late 1800s, a handful of adventurous souls, eschewing the tedium of civilized life, fled to Northern Canada and lived in a manner similar to the local natives, supporting themselves by hunting, trapping, and prospecting. Despite these anomalies, however, Canadian furs, until the late 1800s, were harvested almost entirely by natives who had learned to live alongside the Sasquatch, if such creatures indeed exist, long before the founding of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
Although Gymlan’s first theory rests on shaky ground, his second hypothesis – that the HBC engaged in Sasquatch cover-ups in an effort to maintain the industrial status quo in Canada – merits some consideration. The Hudson’s Bay Company and its rivals were undoubtedly involved in several conspiracies, which this author intends to make the subject of a future video. Many Nor’ Westers, for example, believed that a conspiracy was at the heart of the British government’s 1821 decision to merge the HBC and NWC together under the banner of the former, noting that the North West Company had been far more active in expanding its enterprise into new fur districts than the Hudson’s Bay Company, the latter, as one disgruntled employee put it, having largely “slept at the edge of the frozen sea” for which it was named. The Nor’ Westers themselves appear to have fabricated a claim that one of their agents, Benjamin Joseph Frobisher, was murdered by HBC employees, apparently in an effort to tarnish the reputation of their formidable rivals. Around the same time, the Nor’ Westers were apparently duped by a party of Beaver Indian guides under their employ, who allegedly stole their trade goods, murdered their agent, Duncan Livingston, and successfully blamed it all on a fictitious Inuit war party, the latter still being the official story. And on June 14th, 1840, arctic explorer Thomas Simpson, the cousin of HBC Governor Sir George Simpson, while travelling with four companions in the Minnesota wilderness, allegedly became deranged and killed one of his companions before turning his gun on himself. Ever since his untimely death, conspiracy theorists have made compelling arguments that Simpson’s travelling companions actually murdered him for important company documents he carried, and concocted the murder- suicide story in order to save themselves from the gallows.
The idea that the HBC was actively engaged in covering up Sasquatch stories, however, is actually challenged by evidence to the contrary. As illustrated in my YouTube series ‘Mysteries of the Canadian Fur Trade’, many Canadian fur traders were not afraid to expound on paranormal subjects like Wendigo possession, Indian magic, and mythical monsters in their journals, letters, and memoirs. Indeed, many seemed to believe in, or were at least at a loss to explain, much of the strange phenomena about which they wrote. Many fur traders, especially those who served in Northern Canada, wrote openly about a widespread native belief in predatory wildmen who haunted the outskirts of their camps. If the Hudson’s Bay Company was really in the business of covering up stories of strange phenomena in the Canadian wilderness, they’ve historically done a poor job of it. Until more concrete evidence comes to light, this author, at least, will continue to view the Canadian Bigfoot Cover-Up Conspiracy Theory with skepticism.
What are your thoughts on this conspiracy theory? Let me know in the comments below.
- “Canoe Mountain is a Truly Outstanding SUV Adventure in Canada,” on DangerousRoads.org
- “History… Revelation… News,” by Steve Kulls in the April 18th, 2014 issue of SasquatchDetective.Wordpress.com
- The Bigfoot Casebook (1982), by Janet and Colin Bord
- “Photo of Dead Bigfoot?” by Craig Woolheater in the November 16th, 2006 issue of CryptoMundo.com
- “The Latest Heartbreak in Our Love Affair With Bigfoot: Despite Rubber-Suit Hoaxes, We Really Want to Believe,” by Todd Babiak in the August 26th, 2008 issue of the Edmonton Journal