Monday, June 14, 2010

CONVERSATIONS WITH BIGFOOT: A Hoax? Plus BIGFOOT MEGA-MISCELLANY, Including a Discussion with ONIL DAS GUPTA, News, Links and... Bigfoot POOP


"We do have some unique powers and abilities--but what living lacks its own uniqueness? ...We do not pull rabbits from a hat. But we can become rabbits."

--Shadarue, Bigfoot, Priorian, Ladantian, or whatever, from "Conversations with Bigfoot"

Sometimes Bigfoot just gets to be too much, or else life conspires against one's plans for other things. It didn't help these last few weeks to have to be trying to plan a friend's bachelor party, complete with an abduction by Sasquatch from his workplace. Try as we might to sit down and write what we would have liked to write, other things seemed to prevail. It doesn't help when a brief call to plan a trip to the Oregon Sasquatch Symposium turns into a six and a half hour talk about just about anything one can imagine being related to Bigfoot.

Summer approaches, with it's inevitable trips up into the Bluff Creek basin, but so do plans of starting a publishing company, an online radio show, and so many other things we can't even begin to talk about them here. At one point we thought we were just out merrily Bigfoot hunting, but instead we found TROLLS... on the Bigfoot Forums. Boy, what fun! Meanwhile, the inbox grows ever more full of unanswered mail, and the piles of books threaten to give up defying gravity and to fall into utter chaos. Here in this issue you will find a crazy collection of just some of the ways in which Bigfoot has once again stalked and treed us.

Look down below for our recent discovery that the book, "Conversations with Bigfoot," is basically most assuredly a hoax. An email to Matt Moneymaker about the aforementioned "Conversations" has led to an interesting discussion with someone on the BFRO mailing list concerning the mysterious intelligence of the Bigfoot, and its possible "human" or supra-human characteristics. We also include a bunch of interesting links and news topics. For now, in lieu of our "What Constitutes a Bigfoot/Sasquatch Encounter" project, we'll give you instead a couple of interesting quotes from two prominent Bigfoot researchers.

“Unfortunately for the proponents, this apparent stand-off is resolved in favor of the skeptics. The truth of that required one item of evidence must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the skeptics. If they are not convinced, the issue cannot be resolved favorably. The skeptics are under no obligation to disprove all or, for that matter, any of the evidence. The burden of proof rests with those who think that the animals are real. The skeptics are not obligated even to look at the evidence. If that seems unfair, consider what happens when someone insists that you pay attention to the arguments for his/her religion. Are you under any obligation to defend your position, or even to listen to them?” (Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence, page 7)


"It’s one of the origins for why we have some folklore. It’s a psychological process in which a person takes a noise in the dark or a misidentified bear and elaborates on this or that and makes up stories in their mind. It’s a form of rationalization. ... It’s a psychological process to make everything explainable, and to have Bigfoot as one of the explanations is a way for humans to be comfortable ... On one end of the continuum, Bigfoot exists. On the other end of the continuum, Bigfoot exists because humans need to explain things. ... If we’re talking about statistics, 80% of Bigfoot sightings and reports are misidentifications of known animals, 1% are hoaxes, and then 19% to 20% are the unknown--quality stories that are worth looking into."


Read the cool TrueSlant interview with Loren, from whence this quote comes, here:
PART ONE ... and... PART TWO



A little bit of Sherlocking has led us to the discovery that the booklet CONVERSATIONS WITH BIGFOOT is actually almost certainly nothing more than a literary lark. Beyond that, is was apparently written by noted poet and novelist, JIM DODGE.

What is in this booklet? Supposedly, in 1975, a scientist out doing field research in Northern California finds a wounded Bigfoot named Shadarue who is near death due to a fall and being covered by a rockslide. He speaks with this being, and it is eloquent and refined in perfect English. It claims to be of the "Priorian" (as in "prior," or "before," we assume) race of beings. It also claims to be of the "moon families." The being then goes on to explain a fairly complex philosophy and culture centered upon balance and the interconnection with nature. Far from being all about survival, a scrappy relic of a bygone epoch, this creature is a full blown, natural born Thoreau, a John Muir without hiking boots, a wise man without the need of civilization, temples or schools.

Some in the Bigfoot world have been talking about this book as if it were a true story, and as if it supported the idea that Sasquatch is not only intelligent, but capable of learning and fluently speaking English whilst discoursing upon abstruse Philosophy. Now, we will grant that Bigfoot does indeed have capabilities which elude our understanding (like the rabbit and the hat quote, above), but this one just seemed to be WAY too big a stretch. The tale seems really far-flung: too  human, too similar to us, with too many human cultural devices to come from another species. But who knows? The world is full of Mystery! We wanted to find out where this book came from, and how it came into existence, and so we dug a bit more deeply.

The booklet appeared recently in its full text on a site called BIGFOOT HUB. You can read it there, or at the very bottom of this very blog (the work is copyright-free, so we are posting it here). Judge for yourself. Some have told us that the book gets a lot of things about Bigfoot "right," and that it conforms to their experience or certain witnesses' reports of non-apelike Bigfoot behaviors. It very well might; but that might be due to the poetic imagination of its creator.

David Paulides' NABS site started selling the booklet for twice what we acquired our copy for, and about four times what we later found out the publisher is still suggesting as the retail price for the thing. Despite the opinion of some, there are still new copies available from the publisher (see below for more information). The booklet isn't truly rare, just obscure; but it is a nice "fine press" production, hand sewn and everything. What is truly rare is the ostensible tape recording it was supposedly transcribed from, which features the dialogue between a human ornithologist out in the field and the dying Bigfoot he encounters. In its last words, this Bigfoot demonstrates an eloquent use of human language with no apparent trans-species glitches, and also shows that the Bigfoot are--yes, despite its humility in saying they are "not a superior people"--smarter than we are, more spiritual, more earnest, and more ethical. Not to diminish the possibilities, we find this situation rather unconvincing. Bigfoot may have an awareness that exceeds our own, whether in the area of perception or the epistemological, but it surely would not have the same culture as we. That is, unless it is in fact "human." It is clear that this latter point is why the NABS crowd would jump all over this thing.

Images: The cover of the booklet, as published by Floating Island Press. Below, Jim Dodge.

Here's what old NABS Dave has to say about this book:
"This is a very difficult and expensive book to find. One of our researchers found and read it, he recommended that our team review it. An ornithologist happened to find a bigfoot that was seriously injured. The story is about a conversation he had with the biped. The conversation was tape recorded and that tape was submitted to experts who stated that a human could not have stated the words. It's an interesting book. 16 Pages Floating Island Publications Cedarville, CA 1998 Author- Gordon Langley **Nabs recently was able to find a group of these books for sale and purchased the lot. They are new and can be immediately shipped."
The NABS product page is HERE.

We find this presentation quite ingenuous. After all, who is the author? Shouldn't we be able to find out some information about a professional, Ph. D.-holding orinithologist? If he is an academic or scholar shouldn't he have published something, somewhere, other than this dubiously-substantiated tall tale? Well, we looked into it, and were not surprised at what we found: there IS NO such author. Dr. Gordon Langley Ives just did not turn up in any other way on Google, book searches, the Amazon book catalog, nor any other place were one would expect him to. We can only conclude the the guy never did exist, and was the product of an author's imagination. Beyond this, the booklet mentions that he taught at "Portland University." There is no such school. There is University of Oregon, which has an extension in Portland, or Portland State University. One would not expect a professor to get the name of his own employer wrongly. Even further, the authorial voice states that he is studying the Pileated Woodpecker because they are "near extinction." In fact, according to the IUCN, the"Pileated Woodpecker populations declined greatly with the clearing of the eastern forests. The species rebounded in the middle 20th century, and has been increasing slowly but steadily in most of its range. Only in Arkansas do numbers seem to be going down." Even more damning, he MIS-SPELLS "Pileated" as "piliated"! No "Professor of Zoology" specializing in the study of birds would make such an error. It is obvious, even this far in our examination, that this "author" was NOT what is claimed. Adding the questionable nature of the supposed maker of the tape of a Bigfoot, the cryptic nature of the supposed "author" himself, to the somewhat dubious contents of the book itself, we knew we would have to get to the bottom of this thing.

Looking for the book and the author online, we found a copy listed from a bookseller on ABE. She, interestingly, identified a different author than this fellow, Ives. Instead, she listed the book under a "Jim Dodge." This hit us like a stone, as we know of Jim Dodge from our days at HSU--he is a professor there. In fact, we have met him a couple of times, and know plenty of people who know the fellow pretty well. He is deeply sincere, but also a playful, humorous, jokester of a guy. He writes novels of an essentially comic nature, naturalistic poetry, and essays on ecological themes such as "Bioregionalism." (Use this LINK to view the listing of the book under Dodge's name on Amazon.) Whammo. Yes, that made sense to us right away. There are all of the elements of the booklet, "Conversations," in his other works. He is a kind of post-beatnik, zen-ish postmodernist. Writing a tongue-in-cheek Bigfoot-Wisdom story would be right up his alley. Here is a guy who personally knows Thomas Pynchon, one of the most cryptic authors in the history of American Literature, and here it seems he is writing a literary forgery of an encounter with a cryptid hominoid! We were intrigued, and the game was afoot. Here is the description as listed on the bookselling site, from Sara Armstrong - Books:

"Author: Jim Dodge, Title: Conversations with Bigfoot.
Book Description: 1st edition. 16pp, illustrated. Fine in self-wraps (soft cover). Small hand sewn booklet. A dying Bigfoot discusses life and death (his and ours) with the narrator. The most recent publication from this small California press. According to the publisher, Michael Sykes, this book was actually written by Jim Dodge (of "Fup" fame), though you won't find the famous author's name anywhere in the slim volume."

We quote, for your information, from Wikipedia: "Jim Dodge (born 1945) is an American novelist and poet whose works combine themes of folklore and fantasy, set in a timeless present." Considering the style, range and themes of his works as a whole, he becomes an even more likely candidate for the authorship of this somewhat spiritual and environmental tale about a talking and philosophizing Bigfoot. But we wanted to be sure. We contacted the bookseller, publisher, and even sent email to Mr. Dodge himself. Only the last hasn't responded yet. School is out for the summer, so he's probably off in the woods somewhere. We have our agents down in Northtown Books in Arcata, a store Dodge still frequents, on the case. We hope to have a final answer soon.

Here is some of the dialogue between us and the bookseller and publisher. We have edited out a few bits of irrelevant data.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Could you tell me please what your source is for saying this was written by Jim Dodge? A publication? The introduction? Thanks! Steve, Bigfoot Books.

BOOKSELLER: Hello, You asked about the author of the book, since it is not listed on the book itself. The book is published by Floating Island Press. The publisher, Michael Sykes, lives here in Cedarville. He is the source of my copy, and the one who told me who the author is. He started the press in Point Reyes back in the day, published a number of interesting authors from the Bay Area and elsewhere, and still maintains friendships with many of them. Very interesting man, a writer and photographer as well.  Sara, Sara Armstrong - Bookseller

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hi, My interest is both literary and Bigfoot-related. I have met Dodge. He lives here in Humboldt County now. But also, I write a blog on Bigfoot. There are a number of people in the BF world who think this book is non-fiction. Knowing of Dodge and his work, I think it must be a fictional lark, a parody containing interesting ideas. Before your listing no one has been able to find anything on the ostensible "author" behind this work, no reference to this scientist, "Ives." Hence, your bibliographic information has come in very handy for me, especially if it is verifiable.

Can you confirm it, or provide any contact info on the publisher? It seems he ran a literary press, right? I'd like to know if this was intended to be a "hoax," or a joke, or if it was clearly a literary piece. Were there people who believed it to be "real" at the time? Now, there are some who do, and will not accept that it is fictional, or humorous. Any further info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your help, and for the helpful attention you paid in doing the bibliography for this listing. Please let me know if you can find out more on this! Best regards, Steve, Bigfoot Books

BOOKSELLER: Hi Steve, This little book is clearly a literary piece. I have read it and it's very touching, does not feel humorous to me. The dying Bigfoot shares his thoughts about life and death, environmental changes, etc. Almost feels like a poem, but you leave it feeling as though you have been listening to a real person. As I assume you are, since I suppose the voice and opinions are the author's. What I took away from it is that he is a dying breed (a stand-in maybe for all the creatures who are dying out in this difficult world) and wants to connect with someone before he is gone.

You can write to Michael Sykes to ask him more questions.... He is a friendly chatty guy. You could probably call him too, but I think I'll let you follow up on that if you are interested.  Thanks for the information about your interest in the book and the subject. I have sold several Bigfoot items, including a big fold out chart with a silhouette and some text/copy - and odd item. Seems always to be an interest. ... Quote me if you want to, but he really is THE source, the horse's mouth. I hope you get to talk to him about it. I told him you were going to contact him and he seemed pleased. Probably just busy at the moment. You might prefer to give Michael's information to potential buyers. Since he is the one who printed them and who sews them together, he can give you a better price than I can. ...You should definitely discuss it with him. Sara Armstrong - Bookseller 

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hello, Is this Michael Sykes' email? I hope so. I am Steven Streufert, bookseller at Bigfoot Books in Willow Creek, CA. I have just been speaking with Sara Armstrong, a bookseller in your area. She is selling me a copy of a book, "Conversations with Bigfoot," that you published. She says that you have told her that the author of this book is in fact Jim Dodge. Can you confirm this? I am interested in Literature, and I know of Dodge from HSU, where I got my MA degree. It is fascinating to me that he may have written this. Also, I am a blogger on Bigfoot topics. Many in the "Bigfoot Community" believe this book to be a factual accounting. I suspected that it was a satire, or literary lark, and that there was in fact no Dr. Ives. Can you confirm this, too? I will be trying to contact Jim about this. It would be great to have some word from you as to the status of this interesting narrative. I hope you will come forth and speak about this.

Was it a "hoax"?
Was it meant as a literary work?
Was it meant to be serious philosophy, or more a joke or satire?
What is Dodge's background in regard to Bigfoot--did he ever claim a Bigfoot encounter that you know of?

Thanks for your attention. A few memorable quotes from you would be very helpful in my doing a feature on this book, and I'd be happy to provide links to your web site and book publications, if you are still doing it. Best to you! Steve, Bigfoot Books

PUBLISHER: Dear Steve, I believe Jim Dodge is the author of "Conversations With Bigfoot." When I was publishing my first book, Floating Island I, in 1976, I was looking for one more piece to round out the first anthology (there are 4). A friend of mine gave me a copy of "Unjustified Margins," a free street sheet that was handed out in Arcata by Northtown Books, when it was in its old location further up the hill. The entire issue consisted of the Bigfoot piece, and it was perfect for what I needed. So that was its second publication, in 1976, and then, when I finished my 22 years of publishing in 1998, I decided that my last book, my 53rd title under the Floating Island imprint, should be a hand-sewn, hand-gathered chapbook that reprinted "Conversations With Bigfoot" and was published here in Cedarville 4 years after I began what was then called Great Basin Books and is now called Floating Island Books.

I have no idea whether the "Conversations" was based on a real or imagined experience, and never wanted to ask Jim that question (we've never met, but have talked a couple of times on the phone). When I published it, I didn't use Jim's name, of course, as that would negate the feeling of authenticity, again real or imagined, of the piece, which made no difference to me. I liked it for what it was, what it said about man and the environment, and the overall message that it conveyed, a message that directed our attention to the perils facing our species if we continued on the path we were on then, and even more so now. As a true being of the forest, the bigfoot, or priorian, as he referred to himself, conveyed a message of the utmost urgency, a message, if understood and acted upon, would be of great benefit to us. As you can plainly see, just with the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we are proceeding as a species completely ignorant of our impact on the earth, a living being that can only take so much but will endure far beyond our presence as a species here.
Thanks for your interest. Sincerely, Michael Sykes.
Floating Island Books
P.O. Box 276
Cedarville, CA 96104
(530) 279-2790

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hello, and thanks for your reply! I'm really wondering, how do you know, or what makes you suspect, that Dodge is the author? From what I know of him, his sense of humor but also his leanings toward Nature, it is plausible. But do you have any statements or evidence of his authorship? I've never seen this work acknowledged in his bibliography, nor heard that he had claimed it as his own. As you spoke with him about things on the phone, was this particular work ever mentioned? Did Dodge ever acknowledge his involvement with it in any way, or was he perhaps paid any royalties for it?

I know he had some connections back in the day to Arcata and the Northtown Books folks. [Humboldt State University is his alma mater for some degree or other.] Unfortunately, Jack Hitt [Founder/Owner of Northtown Books, a counter-cultural tradition up here] is no longer with us, and Jim does not seem to be answering his HSU faculty email.

Were there not any issues of acquiring the permission to reprint this from the street sheet original? Of note here, you might want to know, is that there is an internet site that has put the entire text and cover of the book up on the WWW. Did you give them permission to do so?

I'm assuming the introductory part of this booklet was also part of the original publication, right? It makes claims to the existence of this Ives fellow, but I could not find any reference to him anywhere. Therefore, I assume it is not only a pseudonym, but tend to assume as well that there never was such a taped recording of an actual animal, nor any scientific analysis of its speech by a professional (this so-called Dr.Spenser Grissom fellow). The last line seems to indicate that you had a hand in the story: "From the editors of Unjustified Margins and Floating Island Publications." The history of the thing in the introduction implies that you had a hand in having the ostensible tape tested. Was there ever a tape? Was it really tested? Also, is this line a total confabulation?: "Publication of this book was made possible, in part, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C., a federal agency."

In any case, I think it is an interesting literary creation, and a good environmental statement. I hope you understand my motives: there are people out there believing this to be a true account. If it isn't, it is kind of counterproductive to allow it to remain an ostensible real story. Don't you think? Of course, it is amusing as a literary lark, if that is what it is. And it is a fine and poetic statement, regardless. Any further information you could provide would be very helpful. Thanks for your attention and time! Best, Steven Streufert, Bookseller, Bigfoot Books.

PUBLISHER: Hi Steve, I have no statements or evidence of Jim Dodge being the author of "Coversations With Bigfoot," but that was my understanding at the time I first published it, in 1976, in my first publication, Floating Island I, and anthology of poetry, fiction, photography, and graphic arts. I don't recall asking him over the phone if he really wrote the "Conversations" or not. That was many years ago.

It stated in the issue of "Unjustified Margins," of which I have the original copy somewhere, that the piece could be reprinted anywhere, anytime, without permission, so the site you mention can do whatever they like with it. The introductory part was also part of the original. I reprinted it word for word. I never saw or heard a tape recording, only the original issue of "Unjustified Margins." The notation about the National Endowment for the Arts is not related directly to this specific work. I received 3 grants from the National Endowment in the late 1970s and early 1980s for my publishing work, of which this was eventually a part.

As far I'm concerned, this is a literary work, just as the tales of Don Juan by Carlos Casteneda are literary works, and have no way of verifying the authenticity. If it's a total fabrication, it just makes for an enjoyable read; if it's real account, so much the better. I personally think it's a fabrication based on various accounts over the years, but to me it doesn't matter, just as the aforementioned work by Casteneda is enjoyable to read, whether it's true or not. All of this can be attributed to literary license. I understand how important it may be for some people to want to know if it's true or not; I can also understand that for others, it makes no difference. I can't find any statement in the 1976 or 1998 publications that says, "From the editors of Unjustified Margins and Floating Island Publications," so I don't know where that comes from. Hope this helps. Michael Sykes

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Thanks so much for your helpful reply. One thing remains unclear to me: HOW did you come to the understanding that Dodge was the author? Who told you, or where did you get the idea? To what extent are you aware of Dodge being part of the Arcata printing/poetry/publishing scene and "Unjustified Margins"? That was all before my time here in Humboldt; but having worked in antiquarian and used books here since 1992, I've sure seen a lot of examples of fine press, broadsheet, chapbook and street sheet publishing floating around the community. It seems to have died out now, though, sadly.

We haven't heard back from Mr. Sykes yet. We are assuming that he wants to leave certain things slightly mysterious. This could help sell copies of his booklet, surely; but we think he is doing it out of respect for the author, and to retain the mystery of the text as a literary work. We think the above discussions, combined with our own points about errors in the text and the "author's" non-existence, prove right up to a shadow of a doubt that this work is a literary tall tale, a folk legend for the modern day, something quite in like with the kind of work you can read in "FUP," by Jim Dodge. We'll keep you posted when we know the final and utterly conclusive word on the subject.

Here are some links for information on Floating Island Press and their bookshop in Cedarville, CA:

BOOKS BY JIM DODGE, above and below, to left (buy them here and support Bigfoot's bLog with a very welcome pittance of pennies from our Amazonian friends!).

Here is the letter we wrote to Mr. Jim Dodge. He's on summer break. We hope we get a reply!

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hello Mr. Dodge, I hope you are receiving email at this address. I am Steven Streufert, former HSU student and current owner of Bigfoot Books in Willow Creek. I'm also a blogger on Bigfoot topics. I met you once long ago at a wedding, and remember seeing you around campus when I was getting my Literature MA. I am friends with Jay Herzog, Mark Shikuma, Bob Doran, and others you may know around Humboldt.

Anyway, that's a brief introduction. What I really would like to ask you is: Are you the author of the booklet, "Conversations with Bigfoot"? I would sincerely like to know, not only as a Bigfooter, but also as someone who has appreciated your writings in the past, and who still plans to finally get around to reading "Stone Junction."

I spoke with a bookseller who knows Michael Sykes, Floating Island publisher, and he has said that you in fact wrote this book. There are some in the Bigfoot world who are claiming this is a real and true account of an actual meeting with "Bigfoot." They are using this to advance their theories that these creatures are not only human-like (or in fact human), but also capable of language use and higher forms of civilization.

My impression of the work is that it is a literary work, part lark, part philosophical allegory, part elegy to Nature, and part a satire of the whole "hoax" idiom concerning Bigfoot in the media and popular culture.

Could you clear this issue up, both for my readers and your own? Also, there is someone who wants me to ask, Have you ever witnessed these Bigfoot creatures, or does this story come from an actual account you may have heard from someone you knew in the area? Your attention to this ASAP would be greatly appreciated! I'm working on a blog entry on this publication right now.

I'd love to ask you, too, some questions about Thomas Pynchon; but I understand you're probably keeping mum on that issue. I've been thinking of writing a blog entry on Pynchon as "Cryptid Author." That would be fun, not only because of his elusiveness, but also due to his current Bigfoot Bjornsen character and other Yeti/Sasquatch references in his works (not to mention the Humboldt County connection!).

Thanks! Best regards to you, Steve, Bigfoot Books


Going Hunting for Bigfoot, Finding TROLLS Instead!

God (or Devil) bless 'em. The old BIGFOOT FORUMS has got to be the best all-around site for Bigfoot-related topics and discussion. BUT, it can be maddening at times, as we recently found, to get involved. Many years ago we were warned of this, and have therefore normally kept to ourselves, not wanting to get involved in the many bizarre flame wars on the site. We've been posting links to our blog post on there of late, however, and things have caught up with us.

Just wanting to share the information and ideas we are obsessed with, instead we found ourselves being accused of trying to profit from Bigfoot. Accused of hiding from the glorious truth of Bob Hieronimus. Accused of bad-mouthing administrators when we were only trying logically to address issues raised by others. Off topic issues were raised, and for no reason aside from apparent malice, aimed at us. We tried reason, but for some, apparently, logic and rational explanations are not enough. They would rather attack straw men and prove their own incapacity in the literacy department. There is no winning with those who would rather seize even the most remote chance for a snarky remark and stupid mocking joke picture, rather than enter into sincere discussion. What fun! Oh well. Read the utterly ridiculous and superfun topic thread here:



A New Jack Link's MESSIN' WITH SASQUATCH Commercial,
"Camp Fire," has recently appeared. This is one of the best--or worst--yet!

and see Bigfoot prove that methane gas is indeed flammable. Don't try this at home!


Autumn Williams of the Oregon Bigfoot Blog posted this interesting account of a man working on logging projects in the Bluff Creek and Blue Creek basins. It gives a very interesting description of the area at the time, not to mention... BIGFOOT.
Eyewitness Encounter – Northern California, 1978.

Did you know that the G-O Road was commonly used as a way to get to the Bluff Creek area from the coast, even before legislation closed down in its middle section, leaving a big gap near sacred Native American cultural spots past Elk Valley? See that, and much more of interest in this great account.



If you are staying at the Red Lion on Coburg Rd. in Eugene, Oregon, you may already know that there will be a relaxed get together and meet and greet around 7pm on the 18th of June. If you don't know, well now I suppose you do!! Bob Gimlin, Jeff Meldrum, Autumn Williams and many many more will be on the 2nd floor in a reception room. Just follow the spiral staircase and signs posted. This would be a great time to bring all your opening questions, cast, books and more to be autographed, buy a terrific OSS t-shirt or additional ticket, get OSS questions taken care of and share a beer and song downstairs.
If you are a Premium ticket holder and want to assure your spot, you can show up on the 18th as well and mark your territory. I will have someone there from about 8-5. Just show up and we will get you taken care of."


BigfootBustersRadio, Special Guest Bill Munns

Click the linked text above to listen on your computer to archived streaming audio of a great show with Patterson-Gimlin Film expert, Mr. Munns. We somehow forgot to include this in our last blog entry. He casually slaughters the "Massacre Theory" and announces new data that will be used in a revision of his groundbreaking MUNNS REPORT. Dig it! One of the best BlogTalk shows we've heard in a while.



 Recently Cryptomundo published some information we provided regarding black mountain lions reportedly seen at our own kid's school, Trinity Valley Elementary, in Willow Creek. Read it here, if you haven't: School Fears Black Panther Attacks. Here is an update we got from our local source, Dave Short, on the history of these sightings in the eastern Humboldt-Trinity County area:

"JJ’s is in the panther road area. the first settlements as one drives into Willow Creek after topping the hill. On the left. I can’t remember who I spoke to at the time, but she stated that she’d seen a small one. big cub sized I took it, on a number of occasions and that it had been reported to the Fish and Game. (those would be the folks to talk to, not the FS). Also a good and trusted friend of mine. Native/Injun told me he was climbing a bluff one day near Tish Tang and came face to face with a full grown black panther and almost fell down the bluff.

In addition ANOTHER friend of mine… big hunter back in the day said he’d seen one out in the woods, up near Board Camp I think it was… this is going back quite a ways and my memory doesn’t serve me well on it. But that’s three independent sightings. All 3 were convinced of what they saw, and one saw the cub on a number of occasions and reported it as a hazard. I assume it’s a cougar, just a black one, and there may be more than one. Panther and Cougar get used together. I also remember my kids seeing cougar on the bottom of Enchanted Springs road, where we used to live, and near Panther Road.

There is a possibility that the 'Cub' is actually a fisher, which look a lot like a big cat/otter and are blackish. Those are also prevalent. I saw one last year and thought it was a black panther at first as it ran away from me. I’ve skinned one, so I’m well acquainted with their looks. Even so, it ran and moved like a cougar, except the tail was held lower and legs shorter.”

Adults and kids have seen these creatures at the school. These are people who live in the mountains and woods, who would not be likely to mis-identify animals. Mountain lions are seen all of the time. What is so unusual about a black one, and why are they considered to be within the realms of Cryptozoology?



This single issue is now available free online in PGF format on Daniel Perez' posting on the BIGFOOT FORUMS. Get it HERE. Subscribe if you want to really be in the know and on the cutting edge of Bigfooting Journalism.
This is the issue with David Paulides on the cover, with an asterisk behind his name (think, as in Barry Bonds). Our name got thrown into the mix, too. Hey Daniel, I thought we were supposed to be anonymous?! Check it out. The Bigfoot Times is always cool, and incisive. Don't let its yellow color fool you--this is NOT just "Yellow Journalism."



National Geographic has an interesting little photo gallery of these bizarre Australian-area fish, recently declared a new species, that use their pectoral and pelvic fins as "hands" to "walk" along the sea floor. Could these be the kind of adaptation that enabled our early ancestors to climb up onto the land? Check it out HERE. We just had to find a way to post this!


A NABS STATEMENT, found prominently featured throughout their website:

"Beliefs are not an excuse for critical thinking..."

We humbly ask: Just WHAT in the world does this MEAN, anyway??? Grammatically, this troubled us. We asked our college English teacher friend about it, and she said, in a brief email:

"I'm trying to figure this one out....
'Huh' is my general response, too...
'Band aids are not an excuse for bleeding.'"
--Christa Harrison, MA-TW, HSU and CR Lecturer in English

Think it through. The statement does not make sense AT ALL. What are NABS trying to say? That critical thinking is somehow bad, and that having beliefs is no excuse for doing it? A true puzzle piece, that does indeed fit the larger NABS picture. We're assuming NABS means to say, "Having beliefs does not excuse one from having to think critically." Or, um, something like that.

Also: we're glad to see that Paulides is now bending over backwards trying to give credit to JOHN GREEN. It's about time! Check the NABS BIGFOOT BLOG, #95.


This just in to our shop: YETI BEER!

Well, the beer is long gone. We drank it. It was good. (Thanks, "V"!) Kind of tasted like a high-alcohol (7%) ice-fermented lager. It is brewed in Sikkim, India, the northern part of the country, so the Yeti moniker is apt.

Though it did not exactly make us howl like a Yeti for its flavor, we are quite happy to have the bottle on display in our shop. See our previous blog entry, "Beer and Bigfoot." Apparently this beverage is available at Beverages and More, so keep an eye out for this cryptid.

Here's a good tip. Try the beers from Dogfish Head Brewery, of Delaware. Now their IPA was a truly fabulous creation!


Find out how properly to prounounce the word, "CRYPTOZOOLOGY."
Click the audio example (speaker icon) here, on this site:



From the above Dictionary site, we quote:
we /wi/ [wee] –plural pronoun ...

5. Also called the royal we. (used by a sovereign, or by other high officials and dignitaries, in place of I in formal speech): We do not wear this crown without humility.

6. Also called the editorial we. (used by editors, writers, etc., to avoid the too personal or specific I or to represent a collective viewpoint): As for this column, we will have nothing to do with shady politicians.

Yes, OK, we admit it: We DID start using this tone and voice as a tacit parody of NABS' David Paulides and his constant use of "we" to describe his supposedly large Bigfoot group, his supposed "experts" team, and his mega-rich Silicon Valley financial backers. We are of the opinion that NABS is really just Paulides and Harvey Pratt, with a few hangers-on, and is essentially just a marketing device designed to compete with the vastly superior groups like the BFRO. IMHO, as they say.

We hope it is obvious that this blog is just "me," Steven Streufert, speaking, unless a guest blogger is noted. Not to imply royalty, we shall default to definition #6, above. Sorry, but we took Journalism class in junior high.



Check out this funny and very stupid video.

Warning: this is not only really moronic, but also not quite appropriate for the kids to view. You can guess the topic from the last word in the above link. It is a great parody of MonsterQuest, however low-brow.

From a guy named Andrew Cash, on the Funny or Die web site.



Here's the kind of nutty report we have to deal with on a regular basis. Is it TRUE? Was it BIGFOOT? You decide. We quote, from a comment left on one of this blog's earlier postings:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Bigfoot Sighting Investigation: ODEN FLAT; AL HODG...":
"I live in prospect or. I was out mushroom hunting 2 days ago and I found something really strange. a large pile of pooh I mean a really large pile a foot in a half long by about 8 inhes high it was a the foot of a large pipe tree it looked human and it was a well use potty spot months of potty. and a very strong odor but noty from the poop. I would like to know what I found. is there anyone out there that could test it or something, sandy at (email excised) I am going to take some pic's."

OK, folks, we just don't know what to say. This is one of the reasons we shy away from the title, Professional Bigfoot Investigator.


A Discussion with ONIL DAS GUPTA, of the BFRO, in Canada

(Expressing HIS OWN VIEWS, not necessarily those of the BFRO or its other members or founders--but quite intriguing nonetheless!)

ONIL DAS GUPTA: Steven, You wrote: "I think this book only feeds into the nuttier side of those who think BF is "human." It seems absurd that these creatures would speak in English and propound upon Philosophy. Go figure."

I think we should refrain from statements such as this. Why? Because we don't have a clue what "Sasquatch" are. Everyone has an opinion and theories, from the average person to the deemed experts in this field. But, the fact remains that we have no clue what they really are. Are they animals, wildmen, humans, spirits or extraterrestrial?? As a matter of fact my opinion differs from Matt's opinion and probably yours.

Fact remains Steven, you don't know what they are and I don't either. The only conclusion I have come to is that Sasquatches are unlike anything we currently know about in the animal kingdom. It makes you wonder.... Regards, Onil Das Gupta, BFRO Investigator - Ontario, Canada

[Ed. NOTE. We are asked to add this by Mr. Das Gupta: "In NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM do my opinions or views speak for or represent the BFRO."]

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hello, And yes, a very good point that is! Far be it for me to differ. In fact, I am writing a blog entry on this now.

My own views of Sasquatch/Bigfoot are along the Mysterian line of things. However, I do think it is a flesh and blood animal. We, too, are animals. We are apes. That is what I would say; but that is NOT to exclude mystery and the unknown. The majority of the world is not perceived by our senses nor known by our minds. Our Science goes a long way, though, toward getting it. So, I do recommend starting from parsimony: that the thing is an animal, and it can be found in the woods, and it is not exactly "human," though obviously a lot like us.

What I meant in that quote you included was that the book in question appeals to or presents what I would call the nuttier side of the "BF is human" belief; that is, not to say it is nutty to think of BF as "human" or human-like, but to say that this is the extreme form of that view. I don't believe that BF would be a Philosopher who could converse with Schopenhauer, or enter Harvard. They must be radically different from us in that regard, however intelligent they are.

Look at human variation. I mean on the cultural level. The world of the Eskimo is radically different from that of the Amazonian tribesman. The Sasquatch has all the signs of being a different species, so I would assume their reality and their minds would be radical degrees away from ours.

Have you read "Conversations with Bigfoot"? If not, try it out. I think you will agree with me.

SAY, may I quote your email in my blog? I can do it anonymously if you'd like. But I feel it would make a good presentation of your viewpoint within the discussion of the issue I am endeavoring upon in my current writing. I'd really appreciate it. Check out my blog here:

ONIL DAS GUPTA: Hi Steven, Well said. It's nice to get into a discussion without people becoming offended because of different points of views. Very refreshing.

Steven, I wrote that to you because I too started out with your view of what exactly the "Sasquatch" are. I started out thinking they are just a huge, intelligent ape-like creature living in remote wooded areas. However, after attending my first expedition in Ohio I was shocked how the Sasquatches "operated". They seemed to have a "language", they crept and belly crawled to avoid detection, their eyes glowed at night, they foot stomped to intimidate, they had sentry's on duty, they caused distractions when another was spotted, they threw objects around and at us without causing injury, they travelled single file when walking on a path as a group, they had and used wood knock stations for signaling and communication, they could walk without making a sound when they wanted to, they pretend to be stumps and logs when in plain view to avoid detection, they appear to omit some sort of vibration or "infra sound" to immobilize or disable prey or adversaries, and much more.

After learning the above....I must say I was confused. I knew then that we were dealing with something that was entirely different. This was a species unlike anything else we know. Was this a hairy aboriginal type people with highly specialized skills much like the "ultimate commando" that was so specialized that they have avoided humans all this time? Or were they a "spirit" being like the natives believe they are? Or are they not of this earth or dimension? I would never have believed the last two, as a matter of fact I laughed at people who brought that up. But now I just don't know. I simply know that they are a very intelligent beings with highly specialized traits/skills that makes them masters of their domain. They know us far, far better than we know them. They cannot be "bought" like us and they have the uncanny ability to avoid traps. They are either the ultimate, ultimate survivors or from a place that is of a higher intelligence than ours. They may not be able to attend our "Harvard" or "Yale", but they seem to have it all figured out and I think they know our weakness of power, greed and vanity. I think the Sasquatch is MORE intelligent than us. We are on a course to destroy ourselves with war, disease and crime and they are not. Their only demise is us finally proving their existence. Once proved and accepted worldwide then they too will be doomed. Perhaps they know this too. I could go on Steven, but that kind of it in a nutshell. I just may be one of the "nuttier" BF people. I don't know. I am just amazed and in awe of them. Absolutely. Use my last e-mail for your blog. Keep my name and title. I have nothing to hide. That book sounds interesting, I'm going to read it. Thanks. Feel free to contact me anytime. Onil

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Good! You are saving me, in a way--I WAS just going to slaughter the booklet as a hoax, nut now I can present both sides and the Bigger Picture. I'll reply later--I somehow fell asleep early last night, and missed a whole night of writing for the blog.

ONIL DAS GUPTA: Steven, I read your blog website. I enjoyed reading it. You seem to touch on areas that very few researchers and authors talk about: the psychology of the witnesses and researchers and the psychology of Sasquatches themselves. I think this is an area that is more important than we even realize. It's not "National Geographic" or "Wild Kingdom". We are not dealing with rhinos or lions, as spectacular as they are. The psychological connection between us and Sasquatches will the most amazing and earth shattering revelation, in my opinion. Ask me why, I don't know, but I am being pulled in that direction more and more. As I get older I seem to rely on my instinct more than just intellect because the brain is "prejudiced" as a result of our upbringing and what our schools and the media has taught (brainwashed) us, while our instinct is pure, uncluttered and unmolested. Our instinct seems to be our very own "crystal ball" if we all learn to tap into it properly.

I also read "Conversation with Bigfoot". What is your take on the authenticity? I would love to hear the tapes. Any chance of that? Once again I must say that right off the bat I was surprised, but not shocked other than the fact that the Sasquatch spoke "English". This seems strange, but I can accept this. I think this is indeed what we are dealing with. I think we are afraid to admit and face it. You have to listen to what is being said. The Sasquatch speaks of "balance" constantly. Balance is something universal and is understood more by Eastern cultures than Western cultures. I am half East Indian and half German and lived in Canada my whole life so I can compare cultures and attitudes. My Indian counterparts are much more in tune with nature and spirits that my Western (Germany and Canada) counterparts. It was always my belief that these beings must be extremely in tune with nature and the spirit world and reading the story of the conversation it seems to support that theory. I cannot say if that story is true or not because all I have been given is a written copy. An intelligent person can possibly make this up, but my instincts tell me that this "may be true" based on the content of the dialogue. This may not convince anyone else, but it's myself that I have to convince and deal with. This is how I see the Sasquatches and so this story merely backs up something that I seem to be leaning towards more and more as times goes on. I would like to know more about this printed conversation and tapes. Very interesting so say the least. Best regards, Onil

BIGFOOT BOOKS: First, in regard to "Conversations with Bigfoot": I don't think there ever was a tape. I don't think this is based on a real encounter, but rather is a literary creation. I have leads suggesting that this book was written by poet and novelist, Jim Dodge. I am trying to confirm his authorship by email, but have not received a reply yet. I have spoken with a bookseller who knows the publisher who put this booklet out originally. She confirms that the publisher specifically told her the book was written by Dodge, who lived in the area then, as well as having connections up here in Arcata. The booklet says it was originally released in a "streetsheet," in Arcata, which would indicate further that it was part of a collection of poems and other literary works. This is the kind of funny thing that Dodge would do, as he has been connected to the poetic and back-to-the-land, kind of Zen-like subculture. He writes along the lines of Thomas Pynchon, which is to say, he is a bit of a humorist and also a literary post-modernist. I tried searching for this ostensible author, Dr. Gordon Langley Ives, and found no mention of nor any publications by him anywhere. For a professional scientist with a Ph.D. this is highly unusual. At this stage of my investigation, then, I am definitely concluding that the book is a hoax.

I may be wrong. I can't yet rule out the possibilities; and I wouldn't want to. A few Bigfooters have suggested to me that the booklet gets much "right" about Bigfoot, in their view. So, it was suggested, maybe this booklet was based upon an actual encounter, or the tale of one who had one. Maybe! But I doubt it. The way the creature speaks is just too human, in tone and cultural reference. It sounds like a cross between Kahlil Gibran's "Prophet" and a wise Native American. I just don't think that these creatures, however intelligent, would have the SAME kind of intelligence as we do, nor the same basic cultural referents. Perhaps they have a language, but it is THEIR language. If they have a culture beyond survival it would be THEIR culture, radically different from our own.

The behaviors you mention, as well as their general ability to avoid human detection and contact, ARE quite stunning; but does that mean they are "supernatural"? I would argue that the universe itself, and the creatures and things in it, are MUCH more mysterious than we currently know. Human knowledge is limited, and through Science progresses by increments rather than grand leaps. There are, too, many things we just do not "get" as they are so different from us. Do we really understand the consciousness of whales, for instance, or gorillas? There are cases where chimpanzees have been observed hunting and acting in social groups, cooperatively, for common and intelligent ends. That the Sasquatch, so much more like us apparently, does so is then not so surprising. That intelligence that has been observed is not, though, necessarily like our own. Our kind of intelligence is our kind, particular to our species and its civilization and evolution, but not necessarily one "superior" to that of all creatures. As we cannot really know what a whale thinks and knows, our limitations are revealed. We may understand its behavior and biology, but we cannot fully and necessarily know the thing itself. It is arrogance of us to think of ourselves as "above" the other creatures; and especially so if the Sasquatch or some kind of alien race were to prove itself as having capacities quite beyond our own. Also, our current capacity and knowledge will not necessarily be the end of it--we are still an evolving species, and we may come to some kind of epiphany of something quite larger than our current world.

I am a lifelong aficionado of the so-called paranormal or supernatural and occult things. I have more or less practiced Hindu-Buddhist philosophy for decades. However, when it comes to the "unknown" I believe we need to proceed cautiously, given the self-deluding nature of the human mind. We tend to fool ourselves that we know something, but really, we only know our biases, culture, and preconceptions, save in the cases of true revelation. The Sasquatch presents a deep and intriguing enigma--what is it? where is it? or even, IS it? But there are so many encounters and sightings that it is quite difficult to disbelieve once one really looks into the phenomenon.

All of the things you mention are possible for a flesh-and-blood creature, so I would tend to rule out the "spirit being" theory. But then, are WE not, too, such beings? Our deeper nature is as much a mystery to ourselves as the nature of the Bigfoot is. Native Americans held those spiritual types of beliefs about the Bigfoot, but then, they held every animal in the same regard, as beings with spirit, living in mysterious ways, having powers different from humans, and often quite strange and unusual ones at that. A Sasquatch may not be able to operate in Harvard or NASA, but it is clear that they are much more highly adapted to the natural world, their particular habitat, than we are. This intelligence is different from human forms of intelligence. Perhaps human civilization is inherently and deeply flawed, as you have indicated, and we are doomed to destroy ourselves. This would prove our intelligence to be inferior to even the mouse. It may be that, like whales, Sasquatch are so perfectly adapted that they do not need our tools and toys and silly culture. Perhaps their intelligence, free of stupid distractions, is able to encompass more of the universe than ours is? It is perfectly likely. The sooner we recognize these other forms of intelligence, the better for us. Perhaps Sasquatch is the messenger for this goal? Clearly, we still have much to learn.

ONIL DAS GUPTA: Hello Steven, Thanks for your reply. When I wrote you the first time I had no knowledge that there was a discrepancy with regards to the author. I didn't know that Jim Dodge, poet/author, might have written this book.

However, it makes no difference. What this book, real or not, signifies for me is that there is much more to Sasquatches than we think or know about. The fact that this Sasquatch spoke in English and knew much about our culture will immediately affect the credibility of the validity of this encounter with many people, investigators and general public alike. But, this is what I am talking about. Something tells me that we totally underestimate these beings and as a result we are having a difficult time of coming in contact with them. It appears simple enough: they are large, hairy, bipedal apes that live in our forests for thousands of years. Then why have we had almost no contact with them outside of chance encounters? We don't have this kind of trouble with any outer creatures?

My point is this, I think they are as intelligent as the book "Conversation with Bigfoot" suggests. Whether this is book is true or not, I believe that it is this kind of self-awareness and intellect that has kept the Sasquatch in the shadows. They are a "balanced" being that is at one with nature. I like the references to the fact that we are obsessed with metal, oil and sex. There is also reference to the fact that they focus on being "centred" while we live on the "edge" with precision on extremes. That is exactly right. This is the down fall of our race and species. You said you have practised Hinduism and Buddhism for many years. Hindus and Buddhists have no problem grasping the concept of and believing spirits or unearthly beings. It is Western people who have the hang ups. We feel we are the centre of the universe for some unknown reason. We are not nor have we ever been. Once we figure that out then and only then will we have some sort of peace.

You said:
"Now, we will grant that Bigfoot does indeed have capabilities which elude our understanding (like the rabbit and the hat quote, above), but this one just seemed to be WAY too big a stretch. The tale seems really far-flung: too human, too similar to us, with too many human cultural devices to come from another species."

Perhaps that is our problem. We repel evidence such as this because it doesn't fit in the "box" that we made for Sasquatches. In other words, we think we have figured out what they are even though we don't have a clue what they are. Does this make sense??? So, since we have our "Wikipedia "description of the Sasquatch we are now incapable of accepting any other profile. How absurd is this? We have known the whale and dolphin for how long now?, and still we do not understand or accept just how intelligent and "self aware" they really are!! Scientists are just now in 2010 realizing that they just might be the first creatures on earth, next to us, that are self aware. What does mean? They are a "conscious being". This is more important than just saying they are "intelligent". A rat is intelligent. But our race is petrified in admitting that anything in the world or universe is as smart or smarter than ourselves. We "tread lightly" when admitting this about whales, dolphins or Sasquatches for that matter because we are frightened at that possibility and frightened about being ridiculed by others of our species if we do admit it.

My position is this Steven, if anything, this booklet brings to surface the fact that we are perhaps dealing with a being that is as intelligent or more intelligent than us. We are dealing with a being that is one with nature, has their own language, culture and beliefs, and lack the phobias and obsessions of our race. Yes, they are "primitive" in the sense that they live in the woods and are hair covered, but when one is in harmony with nature and balanced with the universe.....what else would you look and act like?

Well, what do you think so far? I think you will find my view very different from others in the BFRO. But, that is ok because at least we all agree that they exist. It just comes down to what we each of us think the Sasquatch exactly are. Hope our discussion helps your blog site. Onil
 [Ed. NOTE. This discussion may continue on into our next blog post.]

HERE IT IS! The absolutely fabulous text of

[Ed. note: the numbers at some parts of the text are footnotes, so see below for their explication. The breaks where the numbered footnotes appear indicate page breaks. We make no personal claims as to the veracity of the following text, but rather present it as a literary curiosity. As per the above about it, we think it is a poetic hoax and modern-day folk tale.]

STATEMENT: My name is Gordon Langley Ives. I was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1936 and came to America in 1959 to study for a Doctorate in Ornithology at the University of California, Davis. I obtained my Ph.D. in 1965, specializing in bird communication (movement, plumage, song, etc.). From 1966 through 1973, I was a Professor of Zoology at Portland University. In 1973, I received a four-year grant from the Ford Foundation to do further research on bird communications. I chose to center my research on the Piliated Woodpecker because they are near extinction and I hoped aside from my central research to gather ancillary data on their existence towards a program of preservation.

In March of 1975 I came to Northern California (I refuse to be more specific) to do field work. After locating an adequate study population, I set up a base camp and began daily field excursions. For the purpose of my work, I was equipped with a 16mm movie camera and a portable tape recorder. On May 1st, at approximately 7:30 a.m., in the field and equipped with only the tape recorder, I encountered a human-like creature who identified himself, using the English language, as a Priorian a species known to us as Bigfoot. He had, by visual evidence, been standing on a rock out-cropping above a stream when it gave way; he had fallen approximately 45 feet and, except for his head and left arm, was buried under stone and debris from the resultant slide. I surmised the accident had occurred sometime in the night, although this was not confirmed. Consequent direct observation revealed that the creature-persons ribcage, pelvis, and both legs were severely injured. I attempted to render what aid I could under the conditions (refer to transcription and notes), and to abide by the creature-persons instructions for the disposition of his body and the accompanying rites. Throughout the verbal encounter with the creature-person, I left my tape recorder running without his stated permission but I believe, not without his knowledge.

I hereby attest to the veracity of this statement, the tape recording, the transcription of the recording, and those notes of mine appended to the transcription.

The tape starts with a long whistling scream. 1

1 This sound had a rather strange property of both attracting and repelling the listener.

IVES: What is it?
BF: Approach. (long pause)
IVES: What happened? Who are you? 2
BF: Please move the stones from me. (sound of stones being moved; labored breathing)
IVES: I can't budge this's huge.
BF: Think of the stone.
IVES: (panting) What?
BF: Think of the stone. (labored breathing)
IVES: Got it, got it...there! (panting) Heavy. (long pause) 3
BF: I recognize my death. Would you bring me water?
IVES: Yes, yes...but I have nothing to hold it in. 4
BF: Bring it to me in your cupped hands. (footsteps, sounds of running water, footsteps again)
IVES: Here. (sound of drinking)
BF: Thank you. Your kindness is the pride of bone.
IVES: What happened? Who are you?
BF: My name is Shadarue. It indicates that I am of the moon families and it signifies the pale green color in the moon's ring.
IVES: What happened? 5
BF: We cannot speak where vision is sufficient. I'm sorry.
IVES: I'll go for help. My car is back on the skid road, I'll get a doctor, it won't...
BF: No.
IVES: It won't take long. Doctors can do amazing things.
BF: Death is more amazing.
IVES: You don't understand-they can save you. It is serious but they can save you. But I must go now.
BF: No. Stay to ease my spirit forth.
IVES: There's still hope. Hang on, I'll... 6

2 My confusion under the circumstances is, I believe, understandable.
3 I can't explain my ability to move this rather large stone; it weighed perhaps 400 lbs.
4 In my confusion I neglected the obvious solution.
5 And in this instance I unfortunately belabored the obvious.
6 Although I am not a medical doctor, I have had professional training in vertebrate anatomy and physiology, and in my immediate judgement the injuries appeared fatal. I don't know why I lied.

BF: I am broken inside. I am very old. Consider those things. Consider: I could not go with you anyway.
IVES: No, no. I dont know who or what you are exactly, but you are human, you speak English...something could be done. 7
BF: Nothing in the flesh, nothing in the stone.
IVES: I want to help you. I must get help.
BF: If you wish to help then grace my words with attention. There are no accidents. You answered that you might hear and remember. You know what I am in your world.
IVES: A Bigfoot, I guess...but that doesn't matter. You would be a curiosity, but...
BF: Please hear me. As you shall understand-if my face is too pain conscious to convey it-what I have to speak is of importance to me. 8 Among my people I am a "doctor", only much different than your kind. We Ladantias, as we are known, seek the balance of things, and through the maintenance and restoration of that balance, we keep our integrities and fulfill our obligation to integrities larger than our own being. A Ladantia, therefore, must know deeply of himself and the others. As part of this learning every seventy moons, he makes The Walk. Each Walk leads to a place where life is given. This renews the energy of balance in the pilgrim. I am on The Walk, to be my last. Among Ladantias, the last Walk is considered most powerful, for knowledge has no definition until its edges are revealed. Decisions carry the weight of a life, and strike deeply. I have decided to tell you of the Priorians, as we are known. Many other humans have been told, but joined to secrecy lest there be discord. You understand that our existence is known among you; we have talked to many of your people. Joining is a power we have. It can be used for silence as well as song. And of course our mad ones reveal themselves, and occasionally we are seen. To use a joke popular with us: There is ample predication for our existence. The Priorians are not a superior people. We do not, for instance, have your minds for the beauties of metal and oil. We lack obsession. Nor do our languages have nearly the grace as some of your Indian tongues. We do have some unique powers and abilities-but what living lacks its own uniqueness? Some of our abilities would perhaps astonish you, but not for long. One of them is the ability to join things in marvelous orders and complexities and in that way create new connections to refresh the old. This, if anything constitutes an equivalent to your arts-we do not make the distinction. Because we live through those connections as we are able, our lives are magical-but we have the magicians respect for "reality", as you call it, for reality is a limit of magic, and thus a point of balance. We do not pull rabbits from a hat. But we can become rabbits. I hope my example is not too clumsy- in our languages there are no comparative structures, while in yours they are a necessity of the imagination. Our language, you understand, does not admit of metaphor and is not a metaphor itself. Sometimes it bores me.
IVES: No, I understand, really. Really it is quite astonishing. But why are you telling me this? 9
BF: It is given me to do so; I have decided to comply. Birds sing. Always in my life Ive had a weakness for speech, a foolishness that often afflicts us of the moon families. Foolishness, age, pain-many possibilities. Because my voice rises to your face. Because my voice soon finds its stillness. (pause) But also because things are bad with my people. For too long now we have lived like trout under the frozen crust of a winter lake, sluggish, suspended in ourselves. Despite our powers and small magic there is a sickness amongst us, a sadness, a grief very deep. No one knows the exact origin of this sadness. My own feeling is that it is of astonishing complexity, beyond even dream music. No doubt it breeds in our isolation, no doubt it finds fecund [meaning fertile, or highly imaginative...ed] our enforced disconnection from old springs and spirit grounds that your people now occupy. Nescomela, one of our most gifted, feels your people have maddened the earth beyond anything we might balance. Perhaps. But on this Walk there was feeling in me of a more serious sort, that our sadness is the first tremble of extinction, a blood premonition of species-death. I must explain that it is Ladantia practice to read "emotion" in the blood-I did so by opening a vein in my arm. In the bloom I saw a fish with corroded fins and the trunk of an oak tree split. And I saw most clearly a bird creature feeding on itself, its beak tearing at its own breast. Birds are the densest energy-they are like song. And among us, always, only with singing has sadness dissolved. Long ago, when your people lost respect, we learned to sing silently against our discovery. I now realize, to swallow one's songs, for they grow mad in the heart and the blood. That is what the bird creature told me in its being. There are other signs of discordance; the quality of dreaming-to which we pay careful attention-has deteriorated. And there are more mad ones. They are the ones who leave footprints and cross highways. So great is their torment they wish to flirt their existence. Two have been shot this year.

7. An unpardonable display of chauvinism on my part.
8. His face was very composed, but not relaxed; he was obviously maintaining composure with great effort.
9. My first intelligent question. I am disappointed in myself for not having more presence of mind to ask deeper questions, but I was totally confounded by the situation.

IVES: How many of you are there?
BF: Yes, many questions. But my voice is losing its gather as death comes on. May I appeal to kindness again?
IVES: More water? Yes, of course.
BF: No. I would ask you to care for my corpse. I would ask you to fire my flesh and break and scatter my bones. I ask, simply, that nothing remain that might identify me.
IVES: Yes, I will. I take it I am joined to secrecy.
BF: You may report our conversation.
IVES: Without substantiation I will be laughed at.
BF: Perhaps. But it is our way and I am bound to it.
IVES: Do you want me to be believed?
BF: Balance is always complex. Excess sometimes tips; sometimes it rectifies. I do not know, very simply. Usually I proceed with recklessness but in this instance considerations exist much beyond myself.
IVES: I will care for your corpse.
BF: Also, with us it is customary to place a flower in the mouth of the dead and a feather in each hand.
IVES: I will do that, too. I found some strangely-colored raven feathers this morning. I'm an ornithologist; I study birds.
BF: My other hearts would laugh knowing I rose on raven wings. The ravens and I have not been close since one of them stole my joining stone when I was young and would not return it.
IVES: A joining stone?
BF: Of value only to the individual. We hold them in our hands when we wish to be beyond ourselves-the shapes and volumes are helpful. But I am old and digress. Satisfy your curiosity quickly.
IVES: How many of you are there?
BF: I cannot tell you directly. Enough that it requires much energy to remain unknown.
IVES: Where do you live...your territory, your home?
BF: I can only repeat Nescomales excellent reply: "Just over your shoulder."
IVES: Geographically, I mean.
BF: There are no boundaries.
IVES: How long have your people been here?
BF: Our histories are water.
IVES: Are my questions inappropriate? You don't seem to answer them.
BF: Perhaps my answers baffle themselves. It has been said, "The excellence of the song is limited by the listeners ears in the same way the song limits the ears." No blame. I always found the saying clumsy, though.
IVES: Well, what can you tell me of your lives? Do you have houses, what do you eat, how do you mate-that kind of thing? 10
BF: Those are good questions, questions worthy of a man who follows birds. We do not have houses. Only in the winter do we require shelter, and then we go to caves. For us, winter is a ceremonial season, and much of it is given to foodlessness and towsinga-towsinga is much like your meditation practices, only rather than emptying the mind, the object is to fill it, to pursue images. As for food, we eat other beings-plants, animals, insects...there is no scarcity of things. We dry a few herbs for ceremonial use, and some roots for the snow season, but other than that we preserve nothing. As for mating, we are as you...though we lack your deep fascination with the subject. We mate at all times but we only conceive in early Spring, for our gestation period is exactly a year and Spring is best for birthing. It is part of our power, we think, that the dates of our conception and birth often coincide.

10. It was my feeling that he was dismayed either at my questions or his allowance of them. It is also possible that he could not, or did not wish to, tell me. My change to the direct approach seemed to please him.

IVES: You say you conceive only in the Spring. How do you control conception? Are the females only fertile in the Spring?
BF: We pay attention to balances. Fertility partakes of balance.
IVES: You use that word often. It must have special significance for you.
BF: It is our knowledge, just as the play between the real and imaginary has become yours.
IVES: I must ask you this-how do you know English?
BF: Nescomale was my teacher.
IVES: But how did he learn it?
BF: From his teacher, Fuscus. That's as far as I know, though I think your language has been with us always. And it is very pretty in its own way, though not like the fox's, so roughly eloquent, or like the wild pigs, earnest and preoccupied. 11
IVES: How can...
BF: Excuse me, but may I ask you a question?
IVES: Certainly. Anything.
BF: Do you have any cashew nuts? 12
IVES? Cashew nuts?, I dont.
BF: No matter. The last one of your people I talked with gave me some. I liked them very much. Some would be good now.
IVES: You confound me. I mean, how can you ask me that. You must have twenty broken bones-doesnt it hurt?
BF: The pain is very bad.
IVES: But you don't show it.
BF: I will, later. It is not necessary now.
IVES: You mean you can control it?
BF: I can manipulate the necessity of its time, but not its inevitability. To do so would torture balance.
IVES: Is balance like a religion with you?
BF: No. While we do have many ceremonies celebrating our being, and respect all that lies beyond our knowledge, we have no necessity for religion. I assure you, we know no more of "God" or gods than you. It is one of our powers. (long pause) You see, because our knowledge is involved with balance we live very near the center of things. Your knowledge being the way it is-the precision of extremes-you live on the edge. For us it takes little energy to maintain our existence; for you, the amount is huge. It would deform our being to join you, it would leave the center unmediated-such a journey! Understand, please, you are exhausting us. We cannot mediate you much longer. You must return to the point of balance.

11. I felt a playful mockery here.
12. I still find his asking for cashew nuts astonishing. Perhaps he wished to demonstrate that he had previous contact with humans or that he needed salt.

IVES: Where? How? Tell me how.
BF: I don't know. I can offer no instructions or dictums, no methods or messages. We have a word-geneasa-to describe a certain state of transparent receptivity, but it does not fit your language well. Love, that particular condition of love that approaches blessedness, is your closest equivalent, yet it is wholly inadequate. But I have said too much. It is one of my lifelong failings...though it pleases me in a simple way to die true to my character. Could I have more water please? The garrulous are always with thirst.
IVES: Hang on.
BF: (calling) Look closely: Do you see an image in the water other than your own reflection?
IVES: No, I don't. I see nothing.
BF: As it is.
IVES: (returning) Here, quickly, before it all spills. 13
BF: I do have a suggestion.
IVES: Yes?
BF: Break all your mirrors.
IVES: I don't understand. 14
BF: You know, when I was very young I used to plague my teachers with questions about death. Why we died, and what it felt like. They all had different answers, some plain, some very beautiful. One day I asked Nescomale-he was very old then. For a long time he said nothing. Then he looked into my face a long time sadly, and handed me his joining stone. "Not in the flesh, not in the stone," he said. He knew I would have difficulty with death. He was right: I am very frightened. (long pause) And now I must ask you to leave me. Please, do not return until the sun has topped that fir tree. I will be dead. As a mouth-flower it would please me to have that blue iris by the stream side. Before you came I was admiring it. And then, by your kindness, burn my flesh and break and scatter the bone.
IVES: You wish me to leave now?
BF: Yes. And one more thing: I think to say this, a teaching from my early years, a lesson: The grass is foolish. It says to the wind: "Look how I dance!" The seaweed is foolish. It says to the wave: "See how I dance!" We are foolish. We say to ourselves: "See how I dance!"

13. He ignored the water and it all ran from my hands.
14. Like much of what he said, this injunction is open to the wildest speculation.

[Ed. NOTE: No copyright was claimed for this piece. It was stated as "free to distribute" in its original form, and the current publisher has confirmed this. Hence, we print it here and encourage you to save it to your hard drive.]



Pursuant to our previous "Letter to a Young Squatcher" blog post, the I-Search school project on Bigfoot by one Andrei Galic, 8th grader, Los Angeles. This is a lengthy piece, so we will be giving it "guest blogger status and its own post. This will make up for the time we will be spending in Oregon, away from blogging, but definitely SQUATCHING. We may be able to squeeze in something from the Sasquatch Symposium, but we suspect we will be needing sleep very badly when we return.


Me Shadarue. Me Priorian. Me Ladantian. Me Lemurian. Me Big Hairy Dude. Me abide. Hear me roar and scream. How many times I have to tell you hu-mans? What the point of conversations with Bigfoot if you never listen? You destroy tree, you make flat on road my friend squirrel. You hopeless. But read my book, stupid. I hear you hu-man say before, Get a Clue, Man. That right, you big, dumb ape. It been said, "No Man Knows My History."


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