A Courtenay-based renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher left big feet to fill, and Thomas Sewid is hoping a bigfoot conference is a step in the right direction.
Dr. John Bindernagel was known – infamously – throughout the scientific community for his passionate dedication to researching the mysterious creature and was famously known throughout the bigfoot community.
Bindernagel found tracks in Strathcona Park – one of the reasons why he moved to the Comox Valley as it was an area rich in sasquatch sightings.
While the scientist passed away in 2018, his friend and moderator of the Facebook group Sasquatch Island wanted to honour the memory of Bindernagel with Bindercon 2022 - an annual memorial sasquatch conference.
Originally the conference - now set for Oct. 29 at the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay - was going to be held a few years ago.
Because of the pandemic, Sewid postponed the event until this year.
“I was actually in John’s house when I got the go-ahead to proceed with the conference,” he explained. “He put the Comox Valley on the map in terms of sasquatches.”
Bindernagel’s son Chris told the Record his father was important within the scientific community because he was pushing the boundaries in terms of trying to get acceptability in mainstream science.
“(He had a) really lively curiosity and engagement for what was around him in the natural world. That was really an inspiration to me,” he said.
“(His frustration) was really the focus of his work in the last few years especially. Not trying to convince the scientific community at large necessarily, but trying to get them to consider the evidence in a proper fashion, to seriously look and see what was available, not just dismiss it out of hand.”
Sewid noted Chris will attend the conference and will focus on his father and paying tributes to the researcher. Additionally, presenters include Terrance James, a Valley-based author who recently published a biography on Bindernagel and Andrew Walas Puglas Jr. from the We Wai Kum and Holmalco First Nation who will speak and share the Laichwailtach Dzoonakwa (sasquatch) mask with regalia.
Sewid is also planning a donation at the conclusion of the conference to Chris Bindernagel to support his family.
“Sasquatches are humans of the night … they’re like the white whale, white deer or white raven. You’re going to see them eventually.”
Tickets to the conference are $40 and can be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the conference, visit the Sasquatch Island Facebook group.