Sasquatch in British Columbia
A Chronology of Incidents and Important Events
Christopher L. Murphy & Thomas Steenburg
In the 1960s, the fascination with the mysterious ‘Sasquatch’ was arguably at its zenith, a height reached with the help of the so-called Patterson-Gimlin film, a grainy-piece of cinematic magic that surfaced in 1967 and depicted a creature, a Bigfoot (or else a fat guy dressed in what appears to be a modified gorilla suit) walking near the Klamath River near Orleans, Calif.
Whether this was a hoax or not, many contemporary Bigfoot-believers insist it is not. And a new book, which amounts to a catalogue of documented sightings, lends further support to that famous clip that took hold of so many imaginations and still does today.
According to Bigfoot chroniclers Christopher L. Murphy and Thomas Steenburg, there were sightings of the famed hairy upright beast that had been documented in multiple ways long before 1799.
In fact, strange footprints locked in time, and in First Nations art, have triggered speculation for centuries and also provided possible evidence of the existence of an actual sasquatch, or sasquatch-like creature, stretching far back into recorded history. Then, shortly after Europeans first came to North America, they began to document strange sightings and strange occurrences involving a tall ‘beast of unknown species’ in the forests of Northwest America.
Then from the beginning of the 19th century onwards, continued sightings and other incidents further intensified the belief that the legendary creature might indeed be real – neither a myth nor a figment of the imagination. Moreover, with greatly improved communications, news reports and the arrival of cars, sightings became ever more frequent moving the sasquatch from mere myth to the edges of science.
It is this history that Murphy and Steenburg document so thoroughly and with plenty of occasionally grainy photos which some readers will regard as incontrovertible evidence that the sasquatch truly exists as other readers, though ever interested, will remain skeptical.
Either way, this is a fascinating read chronicling sighting after sighting and providing the full historical background of this strange creature that has captured the imagination of so many for so long.
The Putin Corporation
The Story of Russia’s Secret Takeover
Yuri Felshtinsky & Vladimir Pribylovky
Gibson Square Books
The recent rumours raising questions about the state of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s health are yet another reminder that the state of the Russian government itself in any era is never what it seems.
Indeed, as Winston Churchill so memorably described it in a radio broadcast in October 1939, just two months after Stalin’s shocking non-aggression pact with Hitler: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”
And part of the Russian enigma invariably revolves around the covert operations of the KGB of which Putin, as an obscure officer formerly stationed in East Berlin, was a member who, like his comrades, has always worn its secretive cloak.
Which means that, as with every powerful government controlled by a very few, the palatable image fashioned for public consumption conceals the real power structure behind the scenes. Which is the one that Felshtinsky and Pribylovsky have worked so hard to uncover.
Meticulously researched, The Putin Corporation exposes the self-serving relationship between Russian oligarchs and Putin who have worked to transform the once mighty power of Soviet communism into a new configuration that today amounts to corporatist communism in which the country is run as a massive business by a small core of shareholders.
Felshinsky should know. After all, it was Felshtinsky who teamed with the ill-fated Alexander Litvinenko, the ex-spy who died of poisoning in November 2006, to write Blowing Up Russia. In that book, Litvinenko and Felshtinsky, an historian, detailed how since 1999 the Russian secret service had been plotting to return to the terror that was the hallmark of the KGB in the USSR.
In The Putin Corporation, however, Felshtinsky and Pribylovsky detail how, after his return to the presidency earlier this year, Putin’s position as head of the ruling elite “Korporatsiya” or “The Corporation” was beginning to appear unassailable.
But is it?
Today, Russia is run by a collective leadership – the Kremlin Corporation's board of directors, so to speak, with Putin as the front man and public face of an elite group of seasoned bureaucrats, most of whom, like Putin, are veterans of the KGB and run Russia and control the crown jewels of its economy while Russian oligarchs living in Britain continue to buy sports clubs, newspapers and high-security mansions as they sue and even surreptitiously kill each other … all suggesting a Russian-style prosperity and stability of sorts.
Yet the swirling rumours that Putin’s carefully cultivated image as an action figure may now be compromised by an undisclosed condition or illness suggests that here, too, nothing is as it seems, and that Churchill’s description is as classically accurate today as it was then.
Regardless, this is a fast-paced, informative and exciting read you won’t be able to put down.
Five Windows on the Season
Originally created for the CBC as a series of lectures on the subject and season of Winter, Montreal-raised writer Adam Gopnik takes us on an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists and thinkers who helped shape a new and modern idea of the snowy period.
Beginning at the dawn of the Romantic era, perhaps the first time in history when mankind was sufficiently protected from the cold that the joy, fear, exhilaration, magnetic appeal and mysterious attractions of winter could be felt as an aesthetic experience rather than a physical discomfort to be combated and subdued.
Indeed, Gopnik’s captivating narrative shows how a love of winter has become, for many, part of the modern condition providing a prism on life itself.
Along the way, Gopnik also shows how a poem by William Cowper heralds the arrival of the middle class; how snow science leads to existential questions of God and our place in the world; how the race to the poles marks the human drive to imprint meaning on a blank space; and how a bet in 1865 between a St.Moritz hotelier and four Englishmen led to the birth of winter sports.
And with every step this kaleidoscopic take on a season dazzles, surprises and entertains. A rich and pleasurable read.