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MPR’s Bob Reha interviews Mike Quast of Moorhead who is convinced that Bigfoot is living in Minnesota. He's been researching reported sightings of the apelike creatures for years.

Mike Quast grew up on a dairy farm north of Detroit Lakes. His interest in Bigfoot or Sasquatch ignited when he was eight years old while his family was out for a Sunday drive near Strawberry Lake in northwest Minnesota.


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BOB RIHA: Mike Quast grew up on a dairy farm, north of Detroit Lakes. His interest in Bigfoot or Sasquatch ignited when he was eight years old. His family was out for a Sunday drive near Strawberry Lake, in Northwest Minnesota.

MIKE QUAST: Just for a few seconds, I saw something standing beside the road. At first, I thought it was a burned tree trunk because it was solid black and totally vertical. But all of a sudden, it stepped away from the road and walked into the woods on two legs. It never went down on all fours, so I knew it wasn't a bear.

BOB RIHA: He was sure it was a Sasquatch, but few people believed him. Those doubters spurred him to prove Bigfoot is real. Over the years, he's networked with other investigators across the country, but focuses his work to Minnesota. Quast says Bigfoots have been seen in every state, except Hawaii and Rhode Island. They've been spotted in deserts, bogs, and woods. When Quast first seriously began researching the issue in 1987, there had only been nine sightings in Minnesota. The current tally is 196.

MIKE QUAST: I would consider it one of the great apes, I think, in my way of thinking. And I don't think there's even anything that's spectacular about a primate species living in North America. Because Africa has them, South America has them, Asia. It's just the primate that happens to be native to North America.

BOB RIHA: Quast marks Bigfoot evidence on a Minnesota map using stick pins. The color-coded pins differentiate between sightings and footprints. For the past few years, Quast has been spending his time in Clearwater County in the Buckboard Hills area, near Itasca State Park. One night, two years ago, he encountered what he believes may have been two of the mysterious creatures. He didn't see them though, he heard them.

MIKE QUAST: It was a sound that, at the time, I compared it to, the pitch of it was like a police siren. But the way it sounded was almost like some kind of Indian War cry from one of those old, cheesy Western movies. And I heard it twice, a couple of minutes apart from two slightly different locations. So I don't know if it was one that moved or if it was two calling to each other.

BOB RIHA: Quast says it was an eerie experience, just sitting in the woods, listening to the shrieking. It was dark, so he decided against trying to follow whatever was making the sounds. It was too dark to take pictures. He says he remembers feeling awfully alone. Quast has written and published four books. His latest work is Big Footage, A History of Claims For The Sasquatch on Film. It expands his research beyond Minnesota's borders. Quast says increasing numbers of mainstream scientists are starting to believe in Bigfoot. He admits he's still driven by what he saw when he was eight and by the fact that no one would believe he'd seen a Bigfoot.

MIKE QUAST: I'd like to make a discovery that can stand as proof, which I guess would be a really good photograph.

BOB RIHA: Quast says until he gets indisputable proof, he'll continue searching for Sasquatch in Minnesota's woods. Bob Riha, Minnesota Public Radio, Moorhead.

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