René Dahinden (August 22, 1930 – April 18, 2001) was a well-known Bigfoot (Sasquatch) researcher.
Dahinden was born in Switzerland but moved to Canada at the end of October 1953, where he would live for the rest of his life.
He became interested in the Bigfoot phenomenon shortly after arriving in Canada, and during the next few decades he conducted many field investigations and interviews throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dahinden was a major advocate for the controversial Patterson–Gimlin film, which was taken in 1967 and supposedly provides photographic evidence of Bigfoot. He also wrote a book, Sasquatch, which was published in 1973.
David Suchet’s French Canadian Bigfoot-hunting character in the 1987 film Harry and the Hendersons is based on Dahinden. For a year, Dahinden acted as spokesman for Kokanee beer, and appeared in commercials in Canada.
Dahinden died of prostate cancer at approximately 8:40 p.m. PDT on April 18, 2001, in British Columbia. In an obituary in the National Post, his friend Christopher Murphy remembered a remark of Dahinden’s. “One day he said to me: ‘You know, I’ve spent over 40 years — and I didn’t find it. I guess that’s got to say something.'”