Thursday, July 29, 2010

The OREGON SASQUATCH SYMPOSIUM, 2010, Day Two; BIGFOOT'S BLOG Now on Facebook; BIGFOOT FORUMS Tyrant Dethroned! "Research"?


Belated Oregon Sasquatch Symposium Report, and Some Stray Fallout and Mess from the Bigfoot Wars....
Well, we all know how life can get in the way of the living of it, or one might say, the best-laid plans. So it is that this blog entry has been sitting on the back burner since late June and early July, when all of the crazy started to fly all over the place.

Mr. Mike is gone back to obscure retirement, and we're sure all of us are happy about that... until the next Ghost Hunters episode comes out with yet another absurd theory about disappearing Sasquatches, and how even their scat somehow entered the fifth dimension. No trace was left behind save in the conniving mind of Mr. Lamphere and his UFOolgist co-conspirator. We already had one Mike, and that was good enough for us, Lan.

See our Day One OSS Report HERE.



BIGFOOT'S BLOG now has a Facebook page. 
Yes, that is the biggest news in Bigfooting right now.

Check it out, become a "Fan" as they say, spread the word. This is where we will be posting the odd daily trivium, updates, news and such. We've gotten so long-winded on this here blog that we just needed another outlet. Here you go. Click and Enjoy:

If you need encouragement, just see ANGRY BIGFOOT's warning below.


Our humble BIGFOOT'S BLOG also made it to THE BIGFOOT LUNCH CLUB, a site we recommend to you, just a while back. Read it here: 


Anyway, it looks like VICTORY IS OURS!

Yes, that's right. The usurping tyrant of the BIGFOOT FORUMS has been cast from her throne in Mordor, the Ring melts in the fiery wells of hell, and the nearly-blind, benighted souls of the BFF have been emerging into the glorious light of the realms of free discourse. We advocate now that those considering boycotting the place should hold off, and give founder Brian Brown some slack... and encouragement. Don't hold back in commenting here and there, where you can, ON the Forums. With change afoot and the vicious wolves at bay, NOW is the time to raise your voices and speak out. 


We were visited in our shop in Willow Creek by Brian Brown, a.k.a. BIPTO, and found him to be a congenial and fair-minded, intelligent and humorous person. JUST what the Forums need! The day before we were visited by BFF moderator TUGBOATWA, or Jerry Riedel. He too left us with a favorable impression. His theory of how to Moderate? "Just don't do anything." So, change is coming. We hope. JUST WATCH THE DOGS, and stand up if you so much as see BLACKDOG or REDWOLF or their other associates baring their teeth at a fresh piece of meat. That helpless victim could be the next truly important witness or habituation, nipped in the bud.

Read how former Chief Administrator "TERESA" ran off with her tail between her legs, and then dug her head into the snow announced here, on the JREF FORUMS, of all places!

BFF Leader Resigns - Page 8 - JREF Forum

We quote her JREF (The Randi Forums? Why, "Teresa"?) statement in brief:

"I am retiring from all things bigfoot. I've been around since 2000 and a member of the BFF since February 2003. I've done my time and am looking forward to new horizons. I don't feel a need to explain my decision here or the BFF. I'd just like to be left in peace to return to the obscurity from whence I came... I don't plan to take any active role at all in bigfootery..."


Someone on Facebook just commented that we should stop worrying about the BFF and get out and do some research already. To which we reply, "HUH?"

We LIVE in the forest. Every day is "research," in that narrow sense that so many think is so superior to the intellectual consideration of the ramifications of the Bigfoot Phenomenon that we do while sitting in front of the computer or reading. Yes, folks, "THINKING" is "research," too. Anyone can sit around a campfire and listen to acorns falling in the night. We say this:

BIGFOOT'S BLOG just went on a Research Expedition.We stepped out our front door, looked around, noticed the fine trees and the twilight around us. We sniffed the air, waited stealthfully and quietly for about five minutes. We listened to the deer moving in the woods up the hill. The hoot of an owl. The rustle of a mouse or vole. The stars were coming out, the moon was rising. NO BIGFOOT. Oh well. Time to roll a cigarette, pop a beer, and congratulate ourselves on another night of "research." No, we didn't even have to wear camouflage!!!

So, what IS "research"? Going out camping and banging on trees and hooting and hollering at deer and jumping to conclusions at falling acorns is NOT research. Field research is one form, but this requires a rigorous METHODOLOGY and accounting of facts to really be considered serious study. How many Bigfooters can say they do that? Another form of research is scholarly, or historical. This latter is, beyond our love of living in and being in Nature, and observing all of the time what is out there where we live, our preference. However, one never knows when a Bigfoot could be in one's "back yard" out here! Studying Bigfooting culture, on the internet and elsewhere is also a form of research; and we do that, too. Our methodology? Well, that is a secret. You're just going to have to figure it out, dear Sharon. If we comment on the BFF situation, it is because we find it sociologically amusing, as well as counterproductive for the field within which we are operating.

re·searchPronunciation: \ri-ˈsərch, ˈrē-ˌ\ Function: noun; 
Etymology: Middle French recerche, from recercher to go about seeking, from Old French recerchier, from re- + cerchier, sercher to search — Date: 1577

1 : careful or diligent search
2 : studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
3 : the collecting of information about a particular subject

transitive verb:
1 : to search or investigate exhaustively
2 : to do research for
intransitive verb: to engage in research




Images: Above, promotional poster and, to left, event schedule flier. Click Photos to Enlarge. All OSS images taken by Steven Streufert, save the last two by "C.I." and from the OSS web site.

UPDATES!: We are reviewing the recordings of the Symposium, and have added details to the accounts of the talks, below. Details finished August 8th. Check it out if you read this piece initially before that date.

After a long saga of a drive the day before, and an eventful evening at the OSS Meet-and-Greet, followed by some high times at the karaoke bar and a lively room party at the Red Lion Inn with fellow Squatchers (see our previous report HERE), we weren't exactly in tip-top shape the morning after, after having had only a few brief hours of actual "sleep." A quickly gulped down-breakfast and triple dose of coffee, and we were on the road to Lane Community College for the first of these Eugene, Oregon Sasquatch Symposia. 
When we got there the room was packed with just over 200 attendees, with additional vendors and media folks in the back. AUTUMN WILLIAMS had just begun her talk.

And what a talk it was, despite some grimacing coming from a skeptical Jeff Meldrum from his perch high in the elevated back rows. Bob Gimlin himself sat raptly listening down near the front (visible just to the left of the conifer at the podium, in the image below). If there was a revelation at this symposium it was definitely the news of ENOCH, both the book, and the somewhat sociable Skunk Ape.
This wasn't all news to us, as we'd been talking a bit with Williams in the weeks before this event, but even we were a bit stunned by the moving image of the creature that graced the cover of her book, especially when it was displayed on the big screen behind the speakers' podium. Its penetrating gaze and human-like features produced what has been called by many "an audible gasp" in the room. We just had to say, Go Autumn!

Anyway, something very odd happened to us during this presentation. Was it some kind of strange juju? We don't know. However, our recording device somehow malfunctioned during Williams' talk, despite the fact that it recorded the entire rest of the Symposium just fine. We checked it in progress--it was recording, and we did hit "save" correctly at the end. The file simply disappeared. Then, after the first talks, we noticed that our camera had been taking blurry pictures. The settings were fine. It worked well the rest of the time. What was going on here??? We're tempted now to get superstitious... but anyway.... Because of this lost recording we can't quote the presentation itself, save the memory of it.

The beginning of the talk dealt with the issue of whether the Bigfoot creatures are ape or human-like. She did not come out and say that they are actually human, but just that they are not really like apes, in terms of posture, anatomy, and certain behaviors. She focused upon the foot shapes first, and noted that humans and the Sasquatch do not have their big toe placed on the side of the foot in a semi-opposable grasping set-up as apes do. She showed depictions of the Gigantopithecus and the Bigfoot for comparison. This, though, was just a brief prelude.

She then began to give her account of her interactions with a witness reporting from somewhere in Florida (undisclosed), named Mike (no last name given), who had not only SEEN a Skunk Ape, not only had repeated sightings, not only had habituated them to him and himself to them, but who had actually BEFRIENDED the Creature he called "Enoch." Now, alarm bells go off when Bigfooters hear such things, and many alarms are surely going off even now; but if one listened to Williams' presentation one could clearly see that she approached this scenario with all the rational and skeptical tools a good investigator would apply to any such report. She wasn't just buying into it, and Mike was surely not some hippie out bonding with some idealized noble savage. This accounting had all the hallmarks of real and repeated Bigfoot reports, just that they were all here in one single instance. The only real difference was that these were seen from the OTHER SIDE of the veil of understanding. This was no monster, though he could be a scary beast when he wanted to be. Nor was this the "Psychic Sasquatch" wise man-shaman some others speak of. This was a plausible account of what it is like to actually KNOW something about these beings. If we believe they exist, should we then also not believe these things are possible?

There was a lot of attention paid in the talk to the humorous character of Mike, much of which she read from the book, in Mike's own words. There were some classics, which we'll quote from the Eugene Weekly's account (see link below): “Skunk ape farts are in a class all by itself,” “Big feet, big johnson,” and they smell “like a wet, musky garbage dump.” Man, we wish our recorder hadn't malfunctioned during this one! These are remarks meant for posterity.

Rather than summarize the entire presentation, and since we plan to do a full and lengthy review of the book here soon, let us just quote the shorter review we wrote for the book on 
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Study in Trust and Possibility. A Revealing Psychological Journey into a Great Mystery,July 23, 2010

This review is from: Enoch: A Bigfoot Story (Paperback)
Get it now! It will blow you away if you have an ounce of trust left in you. If you want to analyze scat and hair DNA remnants this may not be the book for you. Nonetheless, this book presents fascinating possibilities, and the author is of unquestionable sincerity. More than anyone at this time, Autumn Williams seems to have catalyzed a major change that is now running through to the core of Bigfooting. I have heard repeatedly expressed the sentiment that "proving" the Bigfoot/Sasquatch to the world would only endanger them and threaten their very survival. On her Oregon Bigfoot site and blog she has clearly delineated the reasons why decades of Bigfoot field research have largely failed to produce conclusive results. Autumn is forging a new attitude both toward the "Creatures" and the witnesses, recommending respect for both. This book offers more than the interesting, often humorous story of Mike, a loner who encounters and bonds with Skunk Apes somewhere in Florida; it will also teach you methodology in how to approach anecdotal accounts and deal with the difficulties witnesses face in relating their experiences. 
Long-term habituation scenarios are often scoffed at by the Bigfoot Community, and the public at large; but this book makes this one seem utterly convincing. Far from some kind of delusional believer or New-Age seeker of the "Forest Brothers," Autumn Williams is cool, collected, and logical in her approach. Her coming to know and trust the witness, Mike, parallels the process of Mike's gradual understanding of and bonding with this mysterious being. It is a trans-species interaction that quite likely will challenge your ideas of humanness, sentience and intelligence. If you have ever struggled with issues of belief and trust, this book may very well be about much, much more than Bigfoot to you. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! The most intriguing Hairy Hominoid book in a very long time. 

BIGFOOT'S BLOG from Willow Creek will be writing a full, lengthy review of this book. We'll post it here when it is finished. Get this book now if you care about Bigfoot.

Enough of that. Let us just say that Autumn Williams' talk really set the tone for this symposium, one wherein new possibilities as to the nature of Bigfoot were considered, and one where new types of research approaches, even serious crypto-linguistic analyses, were brought to the table. From our view, this has produced an agonizing and inspiring re-evaluation across the geography of Bigfooting. There is a "back to Nature" quality to Mike's story and Autumn's advocacy of it; but it is a sensible one, not utopian: what Mike seeks in the swamps and with the Skunk Apes is not to lose himself into a dream, but rather to find a more authentic selfhood without all the silly distractions of modern, socialized human life. We'll just quote the Eugene Weekly again: "In fact, it is actually us, with our alienating cities and glitzy consumer goods and fear of boredom and, as Williams put it, our constructed selves that 'change on a daily basis with fads,' who must learn from the skunk apes. 'We’re so far removed from what we were,' Williams said." OK! We'll agree with that.

There was an undertone of skepticism present in the room, if one felt deeply enough for it. This wasn't just coming from Mr. Meldrum, the Scientist in the room. But generally, most there were rooting for this point of view, this kind of change, anyway. If one was a stone-cold rationalist and methodologically-bound scientist, this talk and event could have been a frustrating one. We didn't feel that way, but we were a bit... entranced.

Next up was another presenter with a tale of a Bigfoot habituation scenario. Coincidence? No. This was Autumn Williams' mother, SALI SHEPPARD-WOLFORD. The habituation of Skookums around the small cluster of rural cabins along the Carbon River at Orting, WA, is the basis for Williams' nearly life-long involvement in the field of Bigfooting. Autumn was just a three-or-so-year-old when she and her mother saw two of these big, hairy whatever-they-ares standing as clear as day before them along the trail from their home. Her mother is the author of the book, VALLEY OF THE SKOOKUM: FOUR YEARS OF ENCOUNTERS WITH BIGFOOT, a fine and engaging read. The book contains many elements that will raise a skeptical eyebrow, or two; but it is not just the story of encounters with Sasquatch, but also of one woman's shamanic and spiritual process. The accounts in the book are verifiable in that many a neighbor, a non-believing father, some Bigfoot researchers, and a young child all saw them, and their footprints and other remains and signs.

Sali's talk was basically readings from the book. She covered the Bigfoot parts, and didn't focus on the Native American spirituality and the dancing lights in the sky. The accounts are plausible, and well told, evoking the mystery of the experience of repeated encounters, and growing habituation. Of course, we cannot "verify" spiritual or subjective experience, so hey, just let it be. The Bigfoot events in the book, as well as the dancing lights, were witnessed by many different people living out there, and so are verifiable to that degree. She later told us that the other stuff happened "in dreams," and hence it was her own private spiritual or shamanic experience, and was parallel to but not necessarily related to the Bigfoot stuff. Her presentation table, beside Autumn, contained horse mane hair (seen below) that was found woven in interesting ways, and may have been done by a Bigfoot.

It should be stressed that, however metaphysical her mother's book is, ENOCH contains none of this. It is similar to VALLEY OF THE SKOOKUM, but heads in different directions. We recommend both, and for different but sometimes parallel reasons. Since her talk contained large chunks of a book we had just read a few weeks earlier, we slipped out the door for a smoke. Sheppard-Wolford seemed to us a practical and down-to-earth lady, and she didn't once hex us with a crystal or anything like that. It was great to see Autumn and her mother together, in action. Who are we, ignorant and limited larval evolving forms that we are, to comment on such things?

After lunch and some groovy Johnny Cash-styled country-folk Bigfoot Songs by LENNY GREEN. Go and listen to these songs for free on his BIGFOOT SONG WEBSITE. Unfortunately, in the mad rush to get some lunch, we missed most of the live versions. Here's some info. on Mr. Green from his website: "Songwriter since 1956. DelFi Recording Artist 1962. Country bandleader and front for 25 yrs. Staff songwriter in Nashville in the 80s. Songs recorded by Floyd Cramer, Wynn Stewart, Don Gibson, The Texas Playboys, The Cascades, Moe Bandy, etc." These are great songs! You've got to hear them. Tom Yamarone, look out--you have a rival for the BIGFOOT BARD title.

Returning from lunch we found BOB GIMLIN already in action, pacing the stage in his cowboy hat and duds, arm still in a sling from a horse-related accident. His movements back and forth embodied the excitement of his story of he and Roger Patterson capturing a Bigfoot on film in Bluff Creek, CA on October 20th, in 1967.

What can we say? All of you have almost certainly heard this story a hundred times over; but nothing can compare to seeing the man in person and hearing it from him. Not an ounce of bull crap comes from this guy, but all the honest good naturedness and humor you'd expect from a Washington cowboy. And then, no one can really imitate old Bob. You've just got to meet him.

The story has been told so often there isn't all that much more he can add to it, though. Here he clarified one issue: whether the creature in the film was squatting or standing when they first saw it. Bob had said standing, whereas Roger had said it was squatting. Gimlin explained that Roger had been ahead of him about 12 feet on the path up the creek, and that therefore the first man saw the creature first, and Gimlin didn't glimpse it until a second later as it was standing erect. We know, this is stuff for only the most avid PGF nerd; but it held the audience's attention captive for his brief but intense talk.

Bob spoke of getting to know Roger, and their early Bigfooting and horse riding expeditions, how they would sit at the campfire and listen to Roger's cassette tapes of witness interviews. If only we had access to those tapes! Does Patricia Patterson still have them? Bob couldn't remember the exact day that he and Roger arrived in the Bluff Creek area, before catching their film of the creature, but he said it was around the first of October that they arrived. That morining of the 20th Roger rode south on the creek and Gimlin road up north about eight or nine miles, and then they met back in camp and decided to load up the pack horse and head up to an area they'd found promising before. They brought gear like sleeping bags for a potential overnight stay up there. The sun was heading toward the western mountain ridge and trees when they got there and saw the Bigfoot. Bob clarified that the horses did not "blow up," like and explosion, but rather "had a fit" when they saw the Bigfoot. We were the only ones there, he insisted, just he and Roger and NO ONE ELSE but the Creature. This brought a round of enthusiastic applause from the crowd who all know damn well that there was no Bob Hieronimus in a gorilla suit there that day.

One final demonstration had Gimlin set up PAUL GRAVES to try to imitate the 42-46 inch smaller step and stride and the longer measured stride (by Roger and Bob) of 68-72 inches the Patty creature took. Pointing out tape strips on the ground, Gimlin suggested he try it. And when he did, the rather tall and lanky Graves stumbled and nearly fell over. If a guy easily over six feet two can't do it, then how could a stubby Bob Heironimus encumbered by a bulky monkey suit? See Bob, and it is easy to believe in Bigfoot, we're tellin' ya.

OK, we're taking up too much of your time here (and ours!) so we will try to do more concise coverage of the next speakers. This was one heck of a full day!!!

DAVID RODRIGUEZ, 52 years old and a hunter, gave a talk recounting his several Bigfoot encounters, of varying degrees. One sighting was 32 years ago when he was working in Yosemite National Park. He was on the way back from Los Angeles when, on the road, late at night, at a distance of about 25 feet, he saw a Creature stop, look at him, and then head down over the bank. His traveling companion was sleeping, but when awakened saw it just as it headed over the bank edge. He said he can still see every detail, as it is "burned in his memory."

Another one was a few years later, in the mid 1980s up in the forested mountains of Oregon, when he saw a head and shoulders up above 7-8 foot tall Rhododendron bushes. He watched it with binoculars as it hid behind a tree, but it never came out from its hiding place. Distracted by a fleeing four-foot garter snake that hurled itself off a 25-foot cliff, Rodriguez took his eyes off the tree, and never saw the Creature despite waiting for another 10 minutes. Later, he did find tracks up there, but could not track them far. A third encounter occured when out hunting, in a regrowing clearcut area, something came crashing through the brush, blocking his way out and forward. He followed up the gully toward it with his dog, .30-.30 rifle in hand, approaching it, talking to it in a calm voice. He slowly walked past it, hoping to escape the area. He noted no foul odor save that of a "wet animal," kind of musky, "saying his prayers" as he went on. The creature let them past. After mustering his courage he later returned to the site, and was howled and whistled at from something out in the woods.

A fourth encounter involved a solo hunt two winters ago in northeast Oregon. Recounting it he said, "I see this shadow off in the--it was twelve o'clock in the moonlight--and I see this shadow in this long grass, and then I take a double take, and then the shadow starts walking." [NOTE: the above is our transcription of what we were able to hear on the recording. However, Mr. Rodriguez has offered us by email the following as more accurate either to what he said, or what was really meant: "I see this shadow in a small grassy area about 125 feet away about 5 AM in the pre-dawn light, and then I do a double take and the shadow starts walking and so I realize it wasn't a shadow."] His reaction then was "cool, there's a Bigfoot," rather than being afraid of it. He finds that as these encounters recur, he is able to remain more calm in the face of them, rather than reacting with fear. He spoke of the reasons why some people have repeat encounters, and speculated that perhaps it is just because the Creatures "feel safer" around certain personality types or some people who are able to not react in fear upon seeing one. These encounters happened despite the fact that Rodriguez was armed with a rifle in most instances.

The last half of his talk dealt with how tree breaks and twists are not necessarily due to Sasquatch activities. They can be caused by weather, snow, even deer. We were glad to have this practical analysis, as we ourselves have seen this phenomenon while living in Mt. Shasta City. Up on that volcanic mountain one sees such wrenched and warped trees up on the tree-snowline all the time. It is due to shifting weight and flow of snow packs in the winter and as they melt in the spring. Interestingly, Rodriguez didn't go into his deeper theories about Bigfoot, which involve possible multi-dimensionality and other cool things. Well, maybe next year?

Next was CLIFF BARACKMAN, who would win our Best Bigfoot Field Researcher and All Around Good Guy Award, if we, uh, had such an award. Anyway, this guy is dedicated! He has been at Squatching for 16 years or so.

He said, "Every time I'm wrong about something, I'm a little bit smarter," to a large bout of applause. A good attitude, and a scientific one, even if one's hoped-for Bigfoot print turns out to be from a bear.

His talk covered his investigation of the so-called Silver Star photos taken by Randy Chase on Silver Star Mountain in Gifford Pinchot National Forest on November 17, 2005. At first Randy just wondered, Why is that big guy sitting ther on that mountaintop, all dressed in black, and such things. Only later when showing the photos to his family did the word "Bigfoot" come up. "Big... what? was Randy's reaction. But he reported it to the BFRO after Googling "Bigfoot," and history was made, despite Randy's unpretentious and retiring nature.

Cliff demonstrated that he truly is a "Bigfoot nerd," and math and science geek (he admits it!)--through complex geometry and equations and other stuff that made us drop out of Trigonometry in high school, he basically proved (with a certain margin of error) that the creature in the photos is larger than a human. It was seven feet, eight inches tall, approximately, he concluded; and it compared very well beside an image of the PG-Film subject. He visited and measured the site and met the witness, as well as analyzing the photos themselves. His work on these photos was influenced by the work of Bill Munns and his MUNNS REPORT, he said. He also presented some very good, higher resolution versions of the photos, which we had never seen before. Comparison photos of the witness/photographer revealed clothing details not seen on the original subject, and the size was considerable smaller than the creature. Very convincing! This is the kind of work that needs to be done if photos of Bigfoot are going to be anything more than "blobsquatches." "It's a Bigfoot," Barackman concluded.
NOTE: The BFRO has a good sighting report page for these SILVER STAR photos. HERE.

After that, in an exhausting afternoon time slot that he had complained of the night before, THOM POWELL gave his great talk before a surprisingly (to him?) still-packed house. Powell is a witty, sometimes sardonic fellow, used to entertaining students at a middle school level, so it translates well into his public speaking. He had a slick graphic slideshow running on his computer, but it didn't feel like he was just rattling it off; until the end, that is, as he accelerated as if aware that some in the audience might be wearing thin with this exhaustingly long schedule. Powell admits that Bigfoot researchers are amateur scientists, even one such as he who is a Science teacher. But that shouldn't discourage us, he says. After all, the Wright brothers were amateurs. From viewing Bigfoot as an example of "junk science" in his classes, at some point he could not deny the possibility that this phenomenon was actually real. This is because he actually LOOKED at the evidence, whereas so many "real" scientists do not.

Much of Powell's talk deals with the subsequent development of his book. One thing he said that we take to heart: if you write a Bigfoot book, don't print over 4,000 copies, as that is most likely all you'll ever sell. Strange to hear from the author of one of the most popular and well-regarded Bigfoot books in recent years, THE LOCALS: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot Phenomenon.
It was Powell who once told us that authors publishing with Hancock House only make about a dollar per book sold. Could this really be true? Egads. Many of the more interesting and "fringe" issues of the Bigfoot issue are dealt with well here, including, as Powell mentioned in his talk, habituation issues and the possibility of the use of infrasound, as well as things that we would normally call "paranormal," but may have down to earth explanations if one "turns over a few rocks" and looks. "All 'paranomal' means to me is that it is not scientifically explained, AT PRESENT," he said. In speaking of writing about Bigfoot Powell suggests using humor: "If you don't use the humor, they're going to use it on you. So might beat them to the joke." This would mean, among other things, Let's not take ourselves too seriously, folks.

Thom is a rational fellow, an adherent of the Occam's Razor approach of Parsimony. Starting out using Sasquatch as a lesson plan aimed at using critical thinking to debunk Bigfoot evidence and belief, and going out on field trips to investigate, Powell found himself slipping to the "believer" side of the issue (where he firmly sits today). For a guy who obviously loves sarcasm, we often wonder if he'd rather be on the skeptics' side, just for the fun of it. But we're glad to have him on our team. Speaking of Bigfoot he said, "While you are out studying them, they are studying you." Speaking of researchers he says, "The only way we're going to get anywhere is by sharing." It is a terrible thing not to share information, though one might want to keep exact locations of sightings and one's field work secret. But beware, "Studying Sasquatch is not good for your personal life." He claimed to have been divorced like 11 times, but that must have been a joke. He offered a bunch of advice how to temper this detrimental effect by using levity and balance. "I don't search for Bigfoot anymore..." he said, and in response to a hypothetical question, "First of all, I don't look for Bigfoot. I let Bigfoot come to me...." In high school, "As soon as I stopped chasing girls, they would come to me!"

He concluded with a wide-ranging discussion of field methodologies (cameras are no good, but thermals are OK), habituation, possible Sasquatch languages, and such. He invited questions, saying, "It's easy to ask me questions because the answer is always, 'I don't know!'" But with a witty and curious mind like Powell's it seems one does not need the answers, just to keep looking and inquiring with an open mind.

NOTE: At this point you will notice BLOGGER is messing with our fonts display again. Sorry about that! We can't seem to fix it without deleting all of the images and links, so we're leaving it as it is. Ah, wonderful technology!

KATHY MOSKOWITZ STRAIN came on next, with her usual Native American Anthropology angle; but she added a bunch of refreshing new stories and points, including a cool recording of a Karok elder, Charlie Thom, singing a Bigfoot song about the headwaters of Blue Creek, in the Bluff Creek area. She is the author of the interesting collection of historical ethnographies that point toward possible Native-Bigfoot contact. It is also a fine photographic collection, though many of the photos are not of anything remotely related to Bigfoot. The book? Giants, Cannibals and Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture published by Hancock House, of course.

Synopsis of Some Points:
Some Natives believe Sasquatch have always been here, or were created here, and did not come across a land bridge. She spoke of wars between the Bigfoot people and the Native tribes. There was trade between the groups (shall we say species?), sometimes in face to face meetings, other times involving items left in the woods which were replaced with a trade item. Salt, woven mats, and such were desired by the Bigfoot people. Sometimes the Bigfoot would try to cheat the humans in face to face trading. There was a ceremonial process that allowed a human to become a Bigfoot clan member, and there are accounts of offsping being produced, though sometimes "mentally slow" individuals were the result. From here she spoke some on Native American culture and told some stories. One account of a Bigfoot cave that was surrounded by bones of his human victims was particularly intriguing. She presented images of archaeological and cultural pieces from Native American "Hairy Man" traditions, and declared that these indicate that the Bigfoot motif was NOT introduced by European invaders. There are no "Christ-like" motifs present in these cultural pieces that were obviously introduced by Europeans, suggesting that these were original, non-introduced aspects.

Unfortunately, we were so tired from the trip up and night before that we and our fellow-traveler decided to head back to the hotel for a bit of rest before heading out to the pub for dinner and a planned post-conference meet-up of Bigfooters. We knew we'd have to have some energy left for that (especially as we figured Autumn would be going), so we made the sacrifice. We're told that ESTHER STUTZMAN gave a good talk on local Native lore and stories. There was a question and answer session, and a plaster cast demonstration was done by JAIME AVALOS, using the actual real-live foot of Dr. JEFF MELDRUM. How could we have missed this? Luckily, the evening at Irish pub was fun and momentous, where we got to share our little table with Cliff Barackman and Autumn Williams.
CLIFF BARACKMAN, on his NORTH AMERICAN BIGFOOT BLOG, did a fine report of this day of the event. Also, find out about the exciting phone call that dragged him away from our table at the pub and off into the night in pursuit of some big, human-like footprints that had just been found up in Washington. The picture to left, taken by our friend, Ian, was at McShane's Bar and Grill, an Irish-style pub-tavern, right before that fateful call came in. 

And here, just because we are a total nerd and dork (and because our cheapo camera couldn't get this good of a closeup at the event), here is another Autumn picture, this one from the OSS website. Be sure to check back for the 2011 2nd Annual event.

NOTE: Our DAY THREE reporting will be coming up soon. We'll get started once we get around to getting back from a Squatching trip up to Oregon this weekend. Hang in there, good reader!



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  1. Might one suggest you post one topic at a time, these last entries are all over the place.

  2. Indeed, you might suggest such, and believe me, I've thought of it, too! One entry at a time would make this more of a news blog; but it is really more like a newsletter or little magazine. That is just what it is. However, we are trying to condense, believe it or not. Really, it seems like a new book could be written every couple of weeks!

  3. A good read =


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