This has to be one of the most controversial interviews I have ever done. Many times we have discussed Bigfoot on my radio show The Church of Mabus. We have gotten into them from a researcher’s perspective and had many enlightening discussions about them. I have always been a pro advocate against killing them. I have written articles about them being protrayed in horror movies cruelly and wrongfully as murderers. But now the shoe is on the other foot with Justin Smeja. Justin claims to have shot an older and younger Bigfoot while hunting.
He seems to feel remorse at times and wants to make restitution. He has received death threats against his family and negativity from the Sasquatch community. I do not like the idea of someone hurting Sasquatch on any level whatsoever and it infuriates me. It makes me mad and upset but I think Justin is sincere and hopefully telling the truth. I feel like he possibly is but I still have some doubt. He does seem rather upset about it and sad at times. Time will tell with the DNA tests being performed. They are not just mindless animals but very similar to people. I hope he uses this incident to raise awareness about the situation to save Sasquatches from the same fate. It does seem like a bad position to be in and to go through it must not be easy at all. I leave it for the reader to decide. Presenting.
1. What exactly happened and where did this happen regarding the actual shooting of two bigfoot creatures?
Justin Smeja: Wow. Well thats kind of a loaded question. In October of 2010 I was bear hunting near Gold Lake CA. Me and my buddy drove into a clearing shielded by trees, so it was much like a blind corner for any game that would be feeding in the meadow, and we saw a strange looking creature. I shot it and 2 others juveniles came out of the thicket. They all ran off and we went after them on foot and eventually I shot another one. We hid the small one and i couldn’t find the other. We left immediately after. We felt like we just wanted to wake up.
2. Did you feel threatened by them at any time and is it true you shot them in the back?
Justin Smeja: NO I did NOT shoot any animal in the back. Quite honestly I dont think it matters if I was poaching (I wasn’t) or if I shot them in the face, the back, the neck or the ass. The story may seem interesting to some, most others read or listen with the soul intention of hopefully tearing it apart and somehow finding a hole in the story. I pierced both lungs on the adult, the young one I shot square on. It’s hard to put my emotions into a paragraph unless you have been there. We felt all kinds of things. At times threatened yes. (un-warranted in all honesty)
3. Also what made you decide to carve a piece of flesh aka steak off of them instead of bringing the carcasses back?
Justin Smeja: I dont know where in the &^%$ stuff like this comes from. I mean I have been asked this several times I don’t have a computer so I dont spend time online correcting what whoever is saying about me. I’m 100 percent convinced bigfooters read about half of everything and jump to their own conclusions and start injecting their opinion. If this was bigfootevidence by this point in, these people would already be commenting.
I did NOT carve any piece of meat or any part off of any animal ever. After we left we did not return for several weeks. Hard to say why it left me with a weird fear feeling almost like ptsd. Mean while I was so sure it was just like any other animal and would be there when we went back to get it, at least some hair and skull I figured. Some people had said to me ”well after several weeks scavengers would have ate every last bit of meat.” Thats simply not true anyone who has said anything like that hasnt killed enough animals or any to make that statement. Go shoot a cow a deer or elk and leave it lay. Come back in a few weeks. There will be a &**& load of hair hide depending on elevation and time of year fat and yes even a bit of meat on the bones ect. Me and my buddy returned several weeks later with a blood hound, we were greeted by a few feet of snow that came in shortly after the shooting. All we could find was a small scrap of hide. We sent some to Dr. Melba Ketchum.
4. You do realize alot of people are outraged by this story and theres a huge no kill pro kill debate in the bigfoot community and many people are upset about this. How does that make you feel?
Justin Smeja: I was put in a situation where I reacted in a moments notice and made really poor decisions. I wish I could take it back. I’m not a pro kill guy at heart. At the time I didnt know any of this was real. It was just a monster to me. Had I had previous knowledge of the creature I would of reacted different.
5. Also what do you wanna say to all the people that think this is a giant hoax or money making scam and comparing it to the Georgia bigfoot in the ice box hoax?
Justin Smeja: I havent made a dime but I’ve spent many a dollars on fuel, cameras, camping trips, and time off work to try to make peace with what happened. I’ve spent over 3 thousand dollars on fuel alone if this is a hoax I sure is hell wasnt let in on it and its not even a good one, a hoax would be much more believable in my opinion. NOBODY has made any money on this but many people have spent money sense this has happened looking for answers. People act like I’m going around posting everywhere online jumping up and down HEY I SHOT 2 BIGFOOTS. Thats NOT whats been happening. A story was leaked that had a lot of misinformation for awhile I spent many a hours correcting it and answering endless questions. After a while I realized it didnt help so I quit visiting bigfoot sites. That and I no longer have a computer so it makes it hard to keep up with whatever somebodys saying.
6. How does Melba Ketchum fit in? Does she actually have the aka flesh evidence and when does she plan to release the DNA results?
Justin Smeja: She was working with the Olympic project long before I came along. Theres an on going DNA study that I contributed one of the larger samples to, but I really have no inside information on when and where it will be released, I havent even a guess. Your guess is as good as mine. I have talked to her one time for 10 minutes on the phone back in January nothing before or sense. I have much more flesh from the shooting and its going to be sent around to labs all over the US and outside. They can do whatever they do with it.
7. Have you always had an interest in bigfoot or is this something that took you by surprise? Also you do realize these bigfoot creatures run in tribal packs correct? Do you plan to go back to the area or are you worried about them coming after you on any level?
Justin Smeja: I saw Harry and the Hendersons when I was a kid. I think that might have been the only time I heard anybody even say the word bigfoot sense then up until the shooting. I had no interest in it and never thought of it. I’ve returned to the area over 2 dozen times sense this happened looking for answers for myself and others. I’ve spent several weeks up there staying over night with no weapons sleeping out in the open with no tent or protection.
8. If this is true which no disrespect even I have a hard time buying it with all the shenigans in the bigfoot field regarding hoaxes. With no photos and only a piece of flesh and word of mouth its alot to swallow. What are your plans if the DNA tests are positive for bigfoot? How about if they are negative?
Justin Smeja: I’m not really sure something can really test positive for bigfoot. We have gotten many results back already if we were talking about a coyote hide or a hoax we would of all shut up about this a long time ago, we know the results.
9. Are you personally receiving alot of backlash for this story negative and positive or both? Have you been approached by any law enforcement personnel or governmental?
Justin Smeja: Very little positive feedback. On facebook I might get 2 letters a week. some with the typical &^%$ you your going to burn in hell bs. Other times its a little more intense. I had a few people that were saying some pretty wicked crap. Talking about how they were gonna kidnap my daughter (17 months old) and boil her slowly in front of me on camera. Thats some weird ass stuff right there.
Yes the Department of fish and game has been to my house and talked to me about this a few times over the last year. As well as I’ve called them a few times to talk with them about this. I’ve been in constant contact with them for the last 3 months. Its no secret I’m hoping to stop something like this from happening again through education of hunters. I’m hoping to work with dfg to do that.
10. What are your plans for the future someone had mentioned a book? Has anyone else approached you publicity wise for this at all?
Justin Smeja: Michael G the squecy thermal guy is writing a book thats near completion. Every penny I make off the book is going to be out sourced to make restitution for what I did. Thats always been the case. The money will go towards educating the general public that this is a real thing and they will most likely not harm you if you leave them alone. Any other money would simply go towards charity. I’m not trying to profit from what has happened.
Jeffery Pritchett is the host of the Church Of Mabus radio show bringing you shows on Sasquatch and Cryptos and the high strange. Saturday nights at 11pm Eastern. Tune in live or on our archives at your own leisure.