A Look at Bigfoot Researcher Rene Dahinden
|Rene Dahinden with track cast. I think this is the cripple foot cast.|
Often times there is not much known about researchers who started researching 40+ years ago and at times they seem to have been forgotten by many.
So the first person I selected to write about is Rene Dahinden. I hope to maybe write about some of the other "old timers" at some point.
Rene Dahinden was born August 22, 1930 and past away on April 18, 2001.
Mr.Dahinden was born in the town of Weggis, Switzerland but moved to Canada in 1953,He lived there for the rest of his life but made many trips all around the world promoting bigfoot.
While living there he worked on a dairy farm in Alberta,Canada.
Dahinden became interested in the mystery of bigfoot not long after moving to Canada and after hearing a CBS news broadcast on the radio about a expedition to search for the creature in the Himalayas.
Rene was talking to his dairy farm boss, Wilbur Willich, about how it would be something to go to the Himalayas and "search for that thing".
Mr. Willich replied "Hell, you don’t have to go that far. They got them things in British Columbia".
It wasn't long after this that Rene got to discovering the local stories about sasquatch and launched his own search for the creature.
Rene Dahinden in his home,surrounded by his bigfoot stuff.
Around 1956 Dahinden met British Columbia researcher John Green and the two of them conducted field research together on several occasions. Dahinden did decades of field research,witness interviews,taking photos of tracks and making plaster cast, all the while promoting the idea of sasquatch being a real creature.
In 1967 when the Roger Patterson- Bob Gimlin bigfoot film came out,many took sides about the film, if it was real or not. Dahinden became a supporter and advocate of the film and wanted to bring the scientific attention to it that he thought it deserved. It is noted that Dahinden and Green showed the Patterson-Gimlin film at several events and to many people around the world, Dahinden even showed it in Russia. Dahinden estimated the weight of "Patty",the creature seen in the Patterson-Gimlin film,to be about 700 pounds.
Dahinden acquired the photographic images of the Patterson–Gimlin footage and it is believed by some that today Dahinden's estate still owns 51% of the rights to the Patterson-Gimlin film.
In 1973 Rene Dahinden's first and only book entitled "Sasquatch" was published.The book was written with the help of Don Hunter. The book covers stories about Beck at Ape Canyon assault, the Ostman Kidnapping, the Baumann attack, Cripplefoot tracks, and Patterson's film.
The book is still available today and has approximately 202 pages with 8 B&W photo pages, including frames from the famous BLUFF CREEK film. I've seen the paperback version of this book for sale used for under $4 and at that price it's well worth the money.
At one point Dahinden worked at a boat rental place and then later at Vancouver Gun Club, where he was a lead miner,he would shovel up dirt and sift it much like a person would for Gold. As the people on the firing range would fire their shot guns small bits/balls of lead would end up in the field, he would recover the lead balls (aka buckshot) and sell it back to the gun club. This was an idea job for Dahinden as he could work when he wanted to or when he needed bill or research money.He would work 4 or 5 months a year and earned about $4000, which was enough for him.
Rene Dahinden working recovering lead.
In 1976 Dahinden told CBC Television "I will keep on searching 'til I find the damn thing". Dahindend was determined and faithful in his quest but the stress of it all began to take a toll on him.
Over time Dahinden became more bitter towards the scientific community for not accepting the evidence and existence of sasqautch. He called them the "100 percent boys" because they wanted a body and Dahinden wanted to kill a sasquatch and prove it to science.
He also wanted to make a lot of money off of killing a sasquatch. He was ask what's your price? he replied "no comment". The reporter ask him "is it 1 million dollars?" he replied "I won't even get out of bed for that".
It was this bitterness that made many call Dahinden "brash and opinionated" but the fact is that he was fed up with nay sayers,exploiters and scientist who refused to accept any evidence.Plus at this point he had about 20+ years of research under his belt and had a right to be opinionated on the subject.
In 1987 the film Harry and the Hendersons came out, the French Canadian bigfoot hunter character in the film was based on Dahinden.The character was played by actor David Suchet. It is unclear,at least to me, if Dahinden made any money from the movie but all signs point to no.
In 1997,Dahinden appeared in a popular television ads for Kokanee beer.The brewers of Kokanee beer, acknowledging Rene’s life long pursuit of Bigfoot, asked him to play himself in a commercial which featured him standing in front of his small mobile home. An off camera narrator asks Rene if he had ever used British Columbian made Kokanee beer to lure the Sasquatch out of hiding. Do you think I’m crazy or something, asks Dahinden, unaware that behind him a Sasquatch is sneaking into his trailer to make off with a case of beer.It turns out the commercial is still pretty funny even today.
Here is the Kokanee Commercial - both version
Rene Dahinden Kokanee Beer commercial
Although some considered Dahinden brash and opinionated, many in the bigfoot world liked and got along really well with him. As the above commercial shows he did have a good sense of humor.
Dahinden's contribution to the search for sasquatch should not be over looked. He once stated he had seen over 3000 sasquatch tracks, but his research continued many years after that statement.
Dahinden was a student of the mystery of sasquatch,logging countless hours reading and studying books,photos and reports. He advanced the field of bigfoot research and dedicated most of his life to researching the mystery of bigfoot. At over 40+ years worth of research his knowledge of sasquatch was vast. Dahinden was one of a handful of ground breaking researchers in the field of bigfoot and regardless of your opinion of him he deserves respect for his service to the bigfoot world.
Rene Dahinden Video Highlights
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