What do you do when you hear a pained, otherworldly growl that sounds like a creature from a western fantasy game? You take out your camera and record it, of course. That's what a family in Ontario, Canada did while out hunting. In the middle of their trip, they were interrupted by an eerie howl that carried throughout the forests and trees and lingered, echoing, as it continued on. The unsettling clip, according to cryptid researchers, could actually point to evidence that the mythical Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, could actually exist.
A cryptid is an animal that's never otherwise been described or thoroughly researched by science. Basically, the term covers everything from "Nessie," the Loch Ness monster, to the mythical Yeti, Bigfoot's closest cousin. And to some, it certainly seems plausible that some sort of cryptid or unknown creature was heard in the footage that surfaced recently. The howl was captured on video by hunter Gino Meekest near Sioux Lookout in Northwestern Ontario. He was out spending time with his wife and grandson as they hunted grouse on October 3, and they were just over 30 miles away from the next town when this piercing howl shook the skies around 7 p.m.
"We walked down a trail to see if we can find a bird, and on our way back to the vehicle, it started," said Meekis. "When it let out the first scream, I thought it was a moose, but my mind changed when it screamed again and again." You can hear the creature's howl in question throughout the entirety of the video, over and over again. It's quite haunting, so if you're easily spooked you may want to skip the video.
Meekis and his wife went dead silent to record the howls, though at one point his young grandson shrieks back into the distance in response. Meekis said that later after filming the video, they decided to head back to their vehicle - the howling was increasing in frequency.
"I've heard many different animals in the wild but nothing like this. I grew up hunting with my grandfather for the first 12 years of my life," Meekis said of the chilling incident. After the video hit the internet, online cryptid enthusiasts and researchers seemed convinced that these howls belonged to Bigfoot, or some other mythical creature. However, Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has stepped forward to debunk that idea.
"Our biologists say it could be a larger mammal–for example a wolf–but because it’s a considerable distance from the recorder there is no way to know for sure," said Jolanta Kowalski, media relations officer at Ontario’s Ministry of Resources and Forestry, in an email to Vice. So, that's fair – it could definitely be a larger mammal, but it could also be Bigfoot, right? Maybe?
Unfortunately, there's no way to tell definitively what Meekis and his family heard that evening. But listening to those howls in the video, it definitely seems like they were very close to having some sort of encounter, whether it was Bigfoot, a wolf, or some other massive creature. Now that this sound has been captured on video, perhaps some visual footage is next?