watching, good night! this is "nightline." >> tonight, the new underground railroad. immigrants fleeing the united states for canada. risking it all. >> some people have lost their fingers and limbs to frostbite. >> seeking compassion and asylum from our northern neighbors. could they be wearing out their welcome? >> they're getting more than i do as a canadian who's contributed to this country for 40 years. plus, in the florida swamp lands, two men on an elusive mission. >> hey, are you hearing something this way? >> to track down the legendary skunk ape. we're on the hunt in some unforgiving terrain. >> we go out in the green swamp and we put our lives on the line. >> dodging deadly predators along the way. and feud. the hit series re-enacting the battle between legendary
actresses bette davis and joan crawford. susan sarandon and jessica lange on why these two arch enemies were born to be friends. but first the "nightline 5." my cold medicine's wearing off. >> that lances a few hours. >> our mucinex, one pill fights congestion for 12 hours. >> guess i won't be seeing you for a while. >> why take medicines that only last four hours when one mucinex lasts 12 hours? let's end this. need fast heartburn relief? try cool mint zantac. it releases a cooling sensation in your mouth and throat. zantac works in as little as 30 minutes. nexium can take 24 hours. no pill relieves heartburn faster. >> number one in jus
thanks for join us. tonight we take you on a treacherous journey across america's icy northern border. an exodus of sorts. immigrants in fear of the next executive order fleeing to canada. facilitated by an underground railroad-style network. crossing over illegally, often at their own peril. here's eva pilgrim. >> reporter: it's a harrowing sight playing out again and again. immigrants risking it all to illegally cross the border on foot. but we're far from the epicenter of the political debate. >> we're going to build the wall and mexico's going to pay for the wall. >> reporter: this is the border with canada. a an over 5,000 mile, largely unsecured boundary, icy and treacherous. where people once desperate to get into the united states are doing everything in their power to get out. this man found tired and freezing by a cbc reporter. >> do you know where you are? >> i don't know where i am now. >> do you want to know?
you're in canada. >> reporter: in the first two months of this year, more than 2,000 have crossed. many spurred by the recent immigration orders and perceived risk of deportation. they leave behind lives in america sometimes decades in the making. and travel on a system of informal paths dubbed underground railroads to the great white north. but the road is difficult and conditions are harsh. this somali refugee made the trek. >> it was so cold, it was dangerous. some of us, they cut the blood in their legs. because they're walking like eight hours or nine hours. it was crazy. >> reporter: his journey on this so-called underground railroad started here in the twin cities all the colors of mogadishu tucked away into the markets and cafes that make up this vibrant somali communities. >> minneapolis is one of the biggest cities in north america where you have the most somali
residents, close to 80,000. >> reporter: under the hum of everyday life, a burst of fear. >> they fear they will capture them to back home, take them to somalia. >> reporter: at this cafe we meet mohammad mahmoud, for many the first stop on this railroad. >> i told him, you already risk your life. you just come see in the usa. >> reporter: mahmoud offers what he can. food, money, a warning. >> just dream. this is the dream. this is the free land. don't leave. >> reporter: three blocks from mahmoud's cafe, omar walks through a market, the next meeting point. >> if some of them want to go to canada, this is where they usually come looking for rides. >> reporter: rides to the border with canada, he says which come with steep prices. >> a person costs a few weeks ago $600 per person. but as the number went up, i think so did the price. i know i heard $1 thousand per
person. >> reporter: jamal says he has received hundreds of calls from somalis considering fleeing to canada. which for many is an extension of a voyage that begins with escaping a civil war in somalia, extends to south africa, south america, then continues on to the u.s. >> some people have lost their fingers and limbs due to frostbite. and they're taking children with them. so basically they're putting their life at risk. >> i've never seen the numbers like this. >> reporter: mark prokosh, immigration attorney, says many of his clients go north against his counsel. >> there's, in my view, no imminent threat to these individuals. and so it's pretty dangerous for them to try to make the journey up to canada in the middle of winter. >> reporter: due to a stipulation, many immigrants must cross illegally to apply for asylum. >> if they were to arrive at the border and present themselves to canadian immigration, they would not be able to apply for asylum because they had already applied for asylum in the united states.
>> reporter: this 400-mile path just one of many frigid routes. 1,500 miles east, a steady flow of crossers leaving new york for quebec. for many families, this is the beginning of the end of their journey to canada. they take a bus ride north, then a taxi to rocksham road, the border. >> you're leaving? you know if you're crossing here you will be arrested, you know that? you crossed already. you're under arrest for illegal entry to canada. where are you from? sudan? >> reporter: there have been so many people coming to cross into canada this way, they've actually carved out a path right here in the snow. >> this time of year it's frostbite, hypothermia. >> reporter: for u.s. customs and border control in north dakota, dropping temperatures mean potential for life-saving operations on the american side of the border. >> you're at windchills of 35 to 50 below zero.
your exposure time is measured in minutes. >> reporter: agent in charge eric kuhn shows us areas where his team has noticed illegal crossings. >> you can see that dark line right there, kind of where the land under ewe lates, that's the border. stick to the fat path. waist-deep snow. >> reporter: this shuttered port of entry has become the main artery for foot traffic. >> that's where it parallels the border, spans across here. >> reporter: as nightfalls in canada, so do temperatures. in emerson, manitoba, a watchful eye on the border. >> wearing their winter jackets, boots. they were cold. >> reporter: the emerson inn, the first refuge for many crossers. >> i give them food, coffee, and then i shelter them. >> reporter: in quiet moments of introspection, growing concern over canada's acceptance of refugees. >> do we need it? no. do we want it? no. are we going to do it? probably yes. >> i'm at an age where i'm
getting close to retirement. and unfortunately, when they come here and apply for refugee status, they're getting more than i do as a canadian who's contributed to this country for 40 years. >> reporter: on this night, the royal canadian mounted police telling us five people illegally crossed into canada under the cover of darkness. this year so far, 183 people have been intercepted in manitoba alone welfare agencies overwhelmed. >> we have to go and pick up families, we have to pick up people. >> reporter: rita runs welcome place in winnipeg, manitoba. >> this is the salvation army, a temporary shelter. we have some arrangements with them. hi, guys. hi. have you finished all your papers? >> yeah, we doctoring to take today. >> reporter: it is here we meet that refugee who completed the trip. >> u.s. is a good country, but now the worst country in the world. because i didn't do nothing, i just fear my country. i just seek asylum.
>> what happened when you got to canada? >> canada, they was welcoming. they gave to me good food, they gave to me a good house, they allow me to apply in asylum. >> we are a country that is built on -- the values are compassion and caring and acceptance and love. and i think that's what you're seeing among canadians and those who are reaching out. >> we'll have to make sure we're not disturbing. >> reporter: jahal shows us to one of the rooms the refugees stay in. >> very basic. it's not a fancy place by any means. >> reporter: a room, a bed, and for now, at least, a pause from a seemingly interminable journey. >> while it might be the end of one journey, it's also the beginning of another one. >> i feel happy. i feel i am in a safe country. i'm in good country. >> reporter: for "nightline," anita pilgrim in champlain, new york. up next, are these two swamp sweepers the world's best hope
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>> reporter: it's 10:00 p.m. in florida's green swamp. >> hear it, mark? >> yeah, i hear that. i thought that was one of your guys. >> no, that was something running towards us. >> reporter: the 63-year-old mark barton and 51-year-old chris connor. for the past three years, they've been on a wild mission to prove that florida's very own version of bigfoot, the skunk ape, a hairy, 7 foot tall, half man, half ape creature, with very bad body odor -- >> there's that odor again, guys. >> reporter: is for real. they swear they've seen one. >> it looked apish. round cheeks, thin lips. the broad nose. deep eye sockets. and what you can make out to be a thick brow. >> reporter: legend has it the creature lives somewhere in here, 110,000 acres of the overgrown, water logged, snake-infested june bell known as florida's green swamp. >> geez, like jurassic park in here. >> reporter: he first spotted it
when they were children. >> taking three large steps to get back into the swamp, blended into the swamp and that was it. >> i'm beginning to be more and more convinced this area has what we're looking for. the only problem is do you got the guts to look for isn't it. >> why here? why this swamp that happens to be in your backyard? >> thick vegetation, running water, wildlife for food. why couldn't they be here? >> reporter: the duo spent most weekends trekking through palmetto trees. >> mosquitos are getting thick. >> reporter: trying their best to avoid the creatures they do know exist here. >> how big was he? >> i think 7 foot. >> he didn't like me getting camera close. >> reporter: adventure and fun drive them. >> the two lonely souls. >> we're die-hards here. >> reporter: it started as a kind of therapy. >> it all goes back to his wife was terminally ill. and we knew she was dying. and the day was eventually going to come. so i said, when the day comes, you know, you need to stay busy. and at the time, there was a
"fining bigfoot" show that was beginning to be more popular. and i said, you know what? i've always wanted to go do an expedition. >> and i said, hell, why not? i have to do something. fy sif i sit here, i'm not goin to make it. >> reporter: now they're hooked. they document their adventures on their youtube channel "the trail to bigfoot." this video is they say their jackpot proof. the day they nearly came face-to-face to it. that black speck right there? they say that's the skunk ape. >> there's the eye opening up. >> i do see something. >> right there. looks like blinking possibly going on. there's the other eye. >> it does look like something big and dark and hairy. not a hog? >> no, that's not a hog. >> when people say you're crazy, your answer is? >> we're going to do our part to be able to show what's really out there. >> reporter: now i'm interested in what's out there. >> we don't know how they're going to interpret the cameras. we don't know. whether they'll see them as weapons. >> we're about to head in.
this is probably the moment where you're thinking, this is crazy. it is thick jungle in there. i'm going to treat this as seriously as you do. >> reporter: remember, this is what we're looking for. >> this is where we're going? >> right in here. >> reporter: a half mile in -- >> look at this, this was fresh. >> reporter: mark and chris start finding what they say is evidence. >> are you looking at a footprint? >> yes. not enough -- it looks like there's characteristics there. large toe, another digit, another digit -- >> very small, though. a hog won't do that, a deer won't do that. >> looks like the toes are splayed a little bit. it's not good enough but it's of interest to pay attention to. >> i'm saying i don't hear birds. we passed an area right up there. to me the atmosphere changed in the woods, for me. they're in the area. the wildfire life just shuts up because they're the alpha male. >> reporter: but still no sighting. and then -- >> what the hell was that? >> i did hear something. i also heard something over there.
i heard a knock. i don't know what it was. but i heard something. >> reporter: it sounds like a clap, something the guys refer to as a knock. >> hey. >> what? >> are you hearing something this way? >> no. i heard stuff this way. chris is following back this way. but up in this direction -- well -- i thought it was a knock. but it just -- something was going on. i can't hardly explain it. >> now even i'm like, wait a minute. is there something out there? your brain starts playing tricks on you and you start thinking you're seeing what you want to see. and i kind of want to see a bigfoot. but instead of bigfoot, i see something else. >> oh, snake, big one. >> where? >> big black. it's okay, it's just a black one. >> it's an indigo. >> there he goes, isn't that beautiful? >> reporter: except when we examine it. >> holy lord jesus, that's a freaking moccasin. dirty looking, very territorial. >> that will bite you? >> yes. >> you were how far away from
it? >> too close. >> i was completely wrong, water mock sip what is it looks like. very deadly, territorial snake. it will end your career. >> maybe we should go that way. >> it's okay. >> just a suggestion. >> he's not coming after us. >> reporter: after a total of five hours, no sign of the apparently shy skunk ape today. what is real, their brotherhood, based on believing. >> this is an aspect that goes beyond bigfoot. we go out in the green swamp and we put our lives on the line. so i have to rely on that chris is going to not leave me. he'll drag me out of there. and i will do the same with him. >> it's a bonding thing. >> a bonding thin. >> how long do you guys think you'll be at this? >> i'm 63. can i go out when i'm 68? i hope. i plan to. i plan to. >> reporter: for "nightline," gloria riviera in florida's green swamp. up next, when stars collide.
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finally tonight, two oscar-winning actresses playing two hollywood actresses whose real-life feud is legendary. >> are you threatening me? you'll kill me? >> worse, i'm going to steal this picture right out from under your nose and you know i can do it. >> it's one of the most epic rivalries between two hollywood stars, joan crawford versus bette davis, the reigning queens of film's golden age. >> we told you before. we're getting on like a house on fire. >> it's a natural. a natural animosity and competition between the two. and there were a lot of men in common. >> how dare you mention pepsi? >> reporter: their rivalry perfect fodder for ryan murphy's show "feud." jessica lange portrays crawford. susan sarandon the eccentric,
brilliant bette davis. >> i don't like you, you don't like me. but we need this picture to work, both of us. all i ask is that you do your best work. try. >> each of them held a piece the other one wanted. they were jealous of that. >> 911, what is your emergency? >> i have o.j. in the car! >> reporter: just as he brought contemporary race issues in "the people versus o.j. simpson," murphy makes women's issues in the '60s tinseltown relatable now. >> issues that are relevant today, even though it's set in the early '60s. ageism, sexism, misogyny. all that kind of exploded within the time that he decided to do this and tell this moment right now. >> reporter: "feud" examines the making of "what ever happened to baby jane?" a camp horror classic that paired the actresses at a an age when hollywood had discarded them. >> you wouldn't be able to do these awful things to me if i weren't still in this chair. >> but you are, blanch, you are
in that chair! >> they both needed this picture to work and the studios definitely took advantage of that. >> all this time we could have been friends. >> but they should have been friends, you know? they had a lot in common. they were power players in hollywood at a time you would think they could have found some way to be friends. but they didn't. >> reporter: art imitating life, imitating art. now that's life. thanks for watching abc news. and as always, we're online at and as always, we're online at abcnews.com and our hershey's miniatures. we pour 'em! we pass 'em! we pick 'em! delicious fun for everyone. hershey's miniatures are mine, yours, our chocolate.