Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Quotes of the Day: RENE DAHINDEN. Plus a Plug for SASQUATCH ODYSSEY Documentary

The Swiss-Canadian Rene Dahinden (1930-April 18, 2001) was one of the first, and surely the most dedicated researchers of Sasquatch on the North American continent. He was also a great wit. One of his last appearances is in the fine documentary, SASQUATCH ODYSSEY, from which these quotes are pulled. Dahinden's critical wise-cracks and built-in bullshit detector balanced the staid, safari-outfit-clad uppercrustianism of Peter Byrne, and the far-out suppositions of others, helping establish Bigfoot research firmly on the ground of common sense. He was also a great opponent of those who would see the creature as "para-physical inter-dimensional nature people." In the film he is even seen ridiculing the sensible scientism of Grover Krantz.

"Some people say that the Sasquatch to them is just a mythological creature. Nothing to do... it's not a real creature, flesh and blood. If the creature is a mythological creature, the mythology has to COME FROM SOMEPLACE. It doesn't just pop out of a Kellogg's Corn Flakes box!"

"If I would be out there and see a Sasquatch, even if I would photograph him, I wouldn't believe my eyes. I wouldn't trust my own brain. Seven, eight foot, hair-covered, manlike creature out there wandering around in our own backyard. Mind-boggling!!!"

"We know all about Lapseritis. And oh, he had 235 or 500 by now Sasquatch encounters... in HIS MIND! I'm not interested in Sasquatch in his god-damned mind. I'm interested in Sasquatch on the ground, in the bush. How many Sasquatch encounters he's had in his mind--look, I don't want to hear about it! Well, he heard footsteps out the tent, or whatever. Well, that's just like saying you had 235 sexual encounters, but NEVER GOT LAID!"

"I'm not interested in where it comes from. I'm not interested in what it is. Because I'm still wondering IF it IS. I'm still wondering if it EXISTS. So, let's find the damn thing FIRST, before we start asking questions WAY OUT THERE. I don't care because I'm still wondering if it exists."

"Footprints are physical evidence. Someone said, they're not physical evidence! I said, how would you feel if I hit you over the head with one of them footprints' plaster casts??? Don't you think that would be physical?"

Rene's humor and clever wit are sorely missed in this field (no one can take his place, though Daniel Perez does try), especially when some take things just a little bit too seriously. Sasquatch will go its own way, and hopefully Bigfooters will be able someday to prove it. Rene wrote one book with Don Hunter, available in two editions, which is, ridiculously, out of print:

The documentary, SASQUATCH ODYSSEY, may be found on the website of GRYPHON PRODUCTIONS, a Canadian company: http://www.sasquatchodyssey.com/
Their information on Dahinden may be found here: http://www.sasquatchodyssey.com/hrene.html
It may also be found on Amazon, and is out on VHS or a DVD with some apparantly good extra features (we haven't seen this version). Get it!: http://www.amazon.com/Sasquatch-Odyssey-Bigfoot-Rene-Dahinden/dp/B0006H659C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1246409328&sr=1-1

It is mainly the work of Peter von Puttkamer. In the opinion of this blog it is one of the best, most interesting works on film about the Bigfoot phenomenon. It is a study not only of the cryptid hominid/hominoid, but also of the people who follow the beast, and the cultural aspects of the pursuit. Captured in time and animosity around 1999 are the old-school "Four Horsemen" of Sasquatchery: Peter Byrne, John Green, Rene Dahinden, and Grover Krantz. The documentary is special, too, in that it was filmed just before the deaths of two of the "horsemen," Rene and Krantz. It catches Byrne just before his more-or-less retirement from the pursuit. Green is still alive and squatching, though he unfortunately could not make it to this spring's "Bigfoot Round-Up" in Yakima, WA. Also present in the film are some of the newer researchers such as Robert Michael Pyle, Matt Dunlap, and others, and has bits with long-timers such as Lillian and Datus Perry, Ray Crowe, etc. Without being mocking, this film also bears a lot of humor about the subject, which will be a relief for those overdosed on MonsterQuest episodes.
From the VHS box: "The Hunt for Bigfoot: Four men and their strange quest for the Big Hairy Legend. A journey into the bizarre world of veteran Bigfoot hunters: facts, fallacies and fiction."

Rene Dahinden, always prepared with pipe and camera, poses beside the Jim McClarin statue of Oh-Mah-Bigfoot found even today in Willow Creek. Currently it sits right at the junction of Highway 299 and Highway 96, beside the Gonzalez Mexican Restaurant.

Note: Rene was a pretty diminutive guy, but that statue IS pretty massive.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Duane Flatmo Nears Completion on the Willow Creek Ace Hardware Building Bigfoot Mural

Work proceeds on the Ace Hardware Bigfoot Mural here on the main drag of Willow Creek, CA. Artist Duane Flatmo has been working busily on the final touch-up and detailing, and one can see him out there on his ladder beside Highway 299 on most weekdays. In fact, he's been so busy he hasn't had a chance to respond to our emailed interview questions. For now, here are some unfinished examples of the mural. The final product will look even better. Watch for our upcoming post for a full artist profile and links, plus his views on what "Bigfoot in the Community" actually might mean. The teasers below depict Bigfoot helping out Willow Creek area Native Americans, pioneers, builders and others. Here the cryptid creature is a contractor, gardener, farmer, lumberjack and miner.

Click the long, horizontal image below to see an enlarged montage of all the panels pieced together. It took eight photos with my Sony CyberShot camera to encompass it all. Justice is not done to the image here, but hey, at least you get to see it in some hint of its narrative glory.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cryptid Giant Salamander in NorCal, Bluff Creek Company Store for Sale?, Yakima Round-Up Writer's Block, and a Tenacious D Sasquatch Diversion

Bigfoot's bLog has had a nasty case of writer's block over the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up issue. After very lengthy interviews with Tom Yamarone, James Bobo Fay, Scott Herriott, Roger Knights, "Crazy Ian," and M. K. Davis, not to mention some email with David Paulides on the subject, we are frankly exhausted. It is impossible to discuss this topic without stepping on someone's toes, but we shall try, eventually. The subject has evolved into a book concept: Sasquatch Theory, Bigfoot Wars. Ready for a Bluff Creek vacation, perhaps.?

NOTE: Image--Bluff Creek Company store, where Patterson and Gimlin bought supplies in 1967. According to owner, Phil Smith Sr., the old store building and adjacent Bluff Creek Resort with mountain and river acres are going up for sale. Someone in the Bigfoot community should buy this place before the decrepit yet historical Bluff Creek Company Store is demolished! He warns the building is slated for destruction soon. Back behind the store Mr. Smith showed this writer the slab where The Greasy Spoon Restaurant once stood. As you might recall, this is one of the issues that greatly confused Greg Long in his hack-job book, THE MAKING OF BIGFOOT.

NEWS: Recently a cryptid Giant Salamander was spotted in a semi-secret spot (I've been asked not to divulge it at this point) up in the Bluff Creek area. Details will be forthcoming after the expedition. The capture nets are already here at Bigfoot Books!

These creatures are not the smaller, known Pacific Giant Salamander, which grows to little over a foot long. The one seen recently is said to have been about three feet, and they grow over five feet long in Asia. Could this giant species, known to exist in China and Japan, have a variant branch here in Northern California? If Gigantopithecus, Ursus Arctos and Homo Sapiens could make it across the land bridge there is no reason a salamander couldn't have. Check out CRYPTOMUNDO.COM's fine little article on Andrias japonicus and Cryptobranchidae, from which this image is borrowed:

Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot hunter, Tom Slick, searched for these during the time of the Pacific Northwest Expedition up on Bluff Creek, based out of Willow Creek. Loren Coleman's book, CRYPTOZOOLOGY A-Z, has a good entry on the Giant Salamander, too. Personally, I have heard of this animal from local Native Americans, though many have said they thought it once lived up there, but is now extinct. Perhaps not!

Recently a certain friend, Carlos, of Seattle made a funny comment on FaceBook regarding the giant salamander:
"I met one in the [Arcata] community forest we shared some cyanescens and he gave me a ride on his back all the way home as soon as it got dark cool guy not much of a talker though."

This reminded us of a trip we once took with the heavy metal folk group, Tenacious D:
Sasquatch Mushroom TRIP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKOucA27K-g
(From "The Pick of Destiny")
Also, watch this earlier episode:
(From the original HBO series.)

Here are the LYRICS to perhaps the greatest Bigfoot anthem ever, the Tenacious-D Sasquatch Song:
"There were some scientists
Tryin' to figure out the sasquatch riddle
Then they figured out it was a missing link
In Search of Sasquatch, that was a kick ass In Search Of..
With Leonard Nimoy kicking out the jams Hauwww
He captured imaginations of people all around the globe
His name was sasquatch so I am told
His legend's ancient in the ancient scribe
Of the Indian tribe
Scientists have proven that the sasquatch he is real
Take a look at the plaster cast of his foot now you know he's real
Listen real close to the audio tape not human now you know he's real
Couldn't be a man in gorilla suit no fuckin' way now you know he's real
Real real real-real real real really-real real
Sasquatch (Sasquatch)We know your legend's real
Sasquatch (Sasquatch)We know your love is real
Sasq-oh-uh-eww-ahh-atch (Sasquatch)
You and Tenacious D... are... reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal.

We know this stuff is old, but it still ROCKS!

COMING SOON TO THIS BLOG: The massive new Duane Flatmo "Bigfoot Helps the Community" mural on the new Ace Hardware building here in Willow Creek!

Preliminary sketch of the mural's concept, courtesy of Duane Flatmo.

Even my Subway sandwich is a CRYPTID. Imagine my shock when I went to take a bite and found this face staring back at me! This was at the franchise owned by the "Bigfoot Mecca" Patriot Gas station folks, where one may find a fine Bigfoot mural and statue. It's a crazy world!