Rene Dahinden was born on August 23, 1930 in the town of Weggis, Switzerland but would later move to British Columbia, Canada in 1953. Rene went to work on a dairy farm were he heard a radio report about an upcoming 1954 Daily Mail expedition to the Himalayas to search for the Yeti. As Rene Dahinden recalls, after listening to the CBS news broadcast he turned to his boss, Wilbur Willich and said, “Now wouldn’t that be something to be on the hunt for that thing?” Mr. Willich’s response would change Rene’s life for ever; he said “Hell, you don’t have to go that far. They got them things in British Columbia.”
Rene Dahinden soon discovered the lengthy local lore of the creature known in that area as Sasquatch and within three years was conducting serious research on North America’s mystery hominid. During his lifetime, Dahinden conducted numerous field investigations throughout the Pacific Northwest, interviewed many witnesses and examined apparent physical evidence of the legendary creature. He devoted the majority of his finances to his work and always lived modestly; the search for Bigfoot/Sasquatch became his life’s passion.
Rene was the first researcher to show the Patterson-Gimlin Film in the former Soviet Union and worked hard to see that the film got the scientific attention he felt it deserved. He wrote one book during the course of his research entitled Sasquatch which was published in 1973. In the 1987 Hollywood movie, Hairy and the Hendersons, the Sasquatch hunter was loosely modeled after Rene Dahinden. A decade later, in 1997, Dahinden appeared in a popular television ad 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 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.
In the award winning 1999 documentary, Sasquatch Odyssey, Dahinden was established as one of the Four Horsemen of Sasquatchery, along with Grover Krantz, Peter Bryne and John Green, a British Columbian researcher who joined Rene on many of his field exercises. In the years before Rene passed away he acquired the photographic images of the Patterson–Gimlin footage, which occupied much of his time in legal and copyright affairs, today his estate still owns 51% of the rights to that film.
Rene Dahinden is still considered to be one of the greatest hominologists, those who study Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti and other unknown hominids, of the modern era. His light heartedness and passionate pursuit of what he believed in is still missed and admired by researchers currently in the field. Those who had the privilege to met Rene count themselves lucky and believe the best way to honor his memory is to continue the search for Sasquatch. Rene Dahinden passed away at 8:40 pm Pacific Daylight Time, on April 18, 2001 in Richmond, British Columbia, sadly with out ever having seen the creature he spent more than 50 years searching for.
Quick Info: (where applicable)
Date of Birth: August 23, 1930
Birthplace: Weggis, Switzerland
Current Location: NA
• Sasquatch (1973)
Schooling and/or Degrees: NA