Tuesday, June 29, 2010



In the vast overwhelm that is a sea dear to behold but daunting to endeavor to swim through, we prevailed in actually making it up to Oregon to attend the first annual OREGON SASQUATCH SYMPOSIUM. Also in this blog entry you'll find our response from novelist, essayist and poet, JIM DODGE, concerning our investigation of the origins of the cryptic booklet, CONVERSATIONS WITH BIGFOOT. Though it may be an eloquent evocation of what an intelligent, sentient Sasquatch creature might be like, we've found conclusively that this book is in no way based on fact, and was specifically written as a literary lark. Read our previous post HERE for the background.

See below for that and the story of our voyage into Friday, June 18th, which did not end until around 3:30 a.m. in a fairly jovial and drunken state in a room party surrounded by Bigfooters, with Cliff Barackman camping out on the hotel balcony waiting for his early morning Bob Gimlin alarm clock. We'll have some kind of synopsis and report on the actual conference, with lots of groovy pictures, coming up soon!

This is the most controversial issue to arise out of the OSS, so let us deal with it up front here, for now, and talk about ENOCH.... We love Bigfooting conferences, and try to attend at least one a year just to keep ourselves in touch and off the internet; but we must admit that beyond geographical proximity, it was the call of this fascinating curiosity, the mind of one Autumn Williams, which really drew us to this one. Controversy is breaking out all over the internet about her new book and new stance in regard to Bigfoot "Research." We'd been talking with her via email after she made her video blog statements regarding her change in research direction, and then over the phone for a number of quite lengthy phone conversations, and were quite happy for the occasion to actually meet her in person. (Sorry all you other guys, we love you, too.)

Images: The podium and wall displays from the OSS. Photos by Steven Streufert. 
NOTE: All Colored Text Parts Are Live Hyper-Links. Go for it.

Little did we know that we'd be having a few beers and a good long conversation with her Saturday night at McShane's Irish Pub. Despite our nerdiness that adimitedly fawns a bit before such a lady, we believe we can be objective in this matter. Call us a geek, a dweeb, whatever--it's probably true. Say what you will, this Autumn W. is one sincere person, a very intelligent one, someone who isn't trying (to the best of our ability to ascertain) to pull the wool over anyone's eyes to make a buck or get famous. She's emphasized this to us repeatedly. How much cash can one really obtain from a self-published book on Bigfoot, especially considering the six months to a year it takes to write one? Researcher Thom Powell said that the most one should print of any Bigfoot book should be around 4,000; you just won't really be able to sell any more than that, as the real core of Bigfoot readers is actually quite small. Not only that, Autumn tells us she wants to avoid fame and just do her own thing out in the woods. We believe her. So there.

Look to our upcoming book review of ENOCH for more on this: she is not a gullible person who will believe any story, nor any kind of new-ager out to prove some lofty nuttiness, nor is she new to taking reports of Bigfoot encounters. Look closely, beyond the veneer of looks and ostensible TV fame, and you'll find a very down-to-earth, sensible, and humorous person, one with a sharp and critically discerning mind. If she is falling for a con-job from this fellow Mike (the source for her new book), then this Mike is a consummate master of The Con, an incomparable liar. We doubt it, though, as the story is a bit far-out, but very convincing in is verisimilitude and correspondence with other Bigfoot reports. We doubt, too, that Autumn would fall for it if it weren't real. She may never have met the guy in person, but has spent enough intense time conversing with him via phone and email that she considers him a real friend as well as a witness. This goes way beyond being some goofy hoaxed Bigfoot report that all of us researchers are all too familiar with.

Enough of that, though. We'll get to it later once the nutty furor has settled down on the BIGFOOT FORUMS (click to read the insane discussion thread--there are ten large pages of it so far) and elsewhere. Let us say this for now: it is more than a matter of trust; it also has to do with how we approach the natural world and the unfamiliar dimensions of the unknown. Do we proceed with respect, or do we enter as vainglorious and destructive conquerors?
A more sane discussion thread, though one not nearly as long and convoluted, may be viewed on the SEARCH FOR BIGFOOT FORUM (again, click link to view that particular thread).
Read Loren Coleman's CRYPTOMUNDO post backgrounding this issue: BIGFOOT CONTACTEES (just be forewarned: don't let the horrendous audio WalMart ad give you a heart attack like it nearly did to us--turn down the audio first!).
While you're at it, check out old "Walking Squatchopedia" Henry May's YouTube REVIEW of Autumn Williams' book ENOCH.
Go here. It is the only place right now that one may buy this fascinating book:

See below for more on the epic journey and evening at the OSS. For now, read onward, valiant reader....


A HOAX? Yes, Indeed, It Was!

If you're unaware of the contents and background of this little booklet that passes itself off as the "true story" of a Bigfoot Being conversing philosophically with a Human Ornithologist, then read our PREVIOUS POST HERE on the topic. It's fun. It's illuminating. It may even inspire you. But is is NOT a true story. Unlike the somewhat far out but believable account of Human-Skunk Ape interaction told in Williams' book, above, this one just struck us as obviously fictional and utterly unbelievable. We'd written to Humboldt County writer and HSU professor, JIM DODGE, and just now got a response. We quote the entirety of Dodge's email to us, of June 26, 2010:

Dear Steven,
Pardon my hideously tardy response but two things conspired against my usual alacrity: your message came to my HSU machine after the semester ended, and at a time when I was having some odd medical issues. . .odd enough, anyway, that they commanded my attention.

I'm stunned, flabbergasted, and incredulous that anyone--in any world, much less the "Bigfoot world"--would claim this piece I wrote on Bigfoot years ago (originally for a free street-sheet I was doing at the time, along with Jerry Martien, Mort McDonald, and other co-conspirators, called UNJUSTIFIED MARGINS) could take it as a "real and true" account. They are, at best, poor scholars, as even rudimentary research into the various claims made by the purported author couldn't survive minimal fact-checking; at worst, they are guilty of a willfully deliberate ignorance, as dangerous to good faith as it is damaging to those, like me, who enjoy using the imagination to illuminate reality.

"Conversations with Bigfoot," as you accurately discerned, was a literary lark, a bit of an elegy for nature, and a little tweak directed at media and American culture. As to your passed-along question: In my 50 years of roaming the Northern California back country I have never seen a Bigfoot creature, no sign of one (scat, footprints, hair), nor met anyone who has--granted you don't meet many folks out in the wilds. That doesn't mean I dismiss the possibility that a Bigfoot might exist, but just that I'm one of those flinty old-school realists who only believes half of what I see and nothing of what I hear without reliable verification from a few trusted informants.
I hope this unequivocally clears up all questions of fact regarding "Conversations with Bigfoot" for your readers. Again, my apologies for the tardy response.

Truly, Jim Dodge

Well, that about SETTLES it, doesn't it folks? But will NABS relent and admit it? Only Enoch knows.

BIGFOOT BOOKS in Willow Creek has one copy of this little booklet for sale, and we will be making a wholesale order for some of the remaining copies that the publisher has in the near future. You might also be able to obtain it from the bookseller/publisher, Michael Sykes at:
Floating Island Books
P.O. Box 276
Cedarville, CA 96104

The OREGON SASQUATCH SYMPOSIUM, Journey to the Meet-and-Greet, Friday Night.

Photos and Travel by Steven Streufert, with assistance from "Crazy Ian," who did most of the laborious driving, and tolerated our Squatchkitsch-documentation.

Here we collect our photos and a few travel observations on our trip up to the OSS. Higher quality, larger format versions of these photos are available upon request, to the right people. Click to enlarge, or else right-click and open in new window to view larger images.

It seemed that we, along with our traveling partner and sometime interview and research partner, C.I., were about an hour late for just about everything we did this entire weekend. We departed about an hour and half later than we'd thought would be adequate for the trip. Ah well. The ramifications for this, later, would  prove a bit tragic; but let us tarry onward. Our first decision was to travel the Squatchy Way to the conference. We took Highway 96 out of Willow Creek, through Hoopa and the Bluff Creek area, to Happy Camp, and then over Indian Creek Road into Oregon, landing at Cave Junction from the over-5,000 foot mountain ridge.
No Bigfoot activity was observed in the Bluff Creek zone (see our previous blog entries for plenty of photos of this area! HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE for starters), though we did notice that Bluff Creek Road on the southern end is open, and Fish Lake is accessible (customers at our shop confirmed this). Word is that upper Bluff Creek backcountry roads near the P-G Film site are still closed. Also, the old Bluff Creek Company building, where Roger Patterson is said to have bought supplies for his filming expedition, is still standing, despite threats from the owner last year to tear it down.
Happy Camp is a small town that is trying to rival Willow Creek as the "Gateway to Bigfoot Country." In actual fact, there is room for two of them, as they are at the extreme upper end and we at the lower end of the officially titled "BIGFOOT BYWAY." They don't have a top-notch Bigfoot Museum like Willow Creek, nor do they have Al Hodgson; but they are doing a very good job of adding Bigfoot kitsch to their townscape.
The first thing that stands out is a massive metal Bigfoot statue looming on the north side of town. Its "fur" is made out of clipped pieces of that galvanized steel fencing material one sees in metal fences.The barrel-like metal beneath is brownish with rust. The thing looks somewhat menacing for such a small town, and for a "welcome" mascot, but it is pretty impressive.

Even the post office and the grocery store have Bigfoot statuary or signs. Is this post office statue meant to convey "Official Government Support" for the existence of Bigfoot? Who knows?
Right across the street one finds an RV park, outlet store, kitchenettes business, and a towing company, all featuring Bigfoot, within a short two block length of street.
Bigfoot Towing is especially impressive, with a fine cartoonish map of the area featuring "Bigfoot Country."

Across the street there is an unexpectedly good little diner, called Our Place. They make hot sandwiches on homemade bread. Tasty! The kitchen is actually in a metal truck trailer to the side of the building, reminding us of a shack we once lived in in the mountains above Blue Lake, CA. Bigfoot greets visitors as they enter.
Heading out of Happy Camp on Indian Creek Road one follows the creek up into a fine forested mountainous setting, with a gradual prominence of cedar trees among the firs, and a dramatic view from the summit down to the southeast into the Klamath Wilderness and the Marble Mountains still peaked in snow.
At a vista point on the top one may view an interesting display featuring the landscape as well as the concept of JEFFERSON STATE. This is not Bigfoot-related, but it could be if one places the emphasis on "wild and free." Here one finds out that one is on the unofficial "State of Jefferson Scenic Byway."

Cave Junction, on the Oregon side of the border and mountains is an interesting little place. We saw eight hitchhikers within a two or three mile distance at the edge of town. We also saw a gigantic caveman (Bigfoot-related?) statue at the north end. The highlight of the place is definitely a little tavern called the BIGFOOT CAVERN. The owner of this place is, according to the displays on the walls, a real Sasquatch aficionado. Outside there is great signage and door etchings, while inside there is a gigantic wooden Bigfoot statue bearing an American flag, carved by Terry Tessmer of Medford, OR. There are even big foot-shaped rest room door signs. By all appearances this is a great place to stop for a beer and hang with the locals. We, however, had to get on down that road.

The Red Lion Hotel was expecting us Squatchers, and the karaoke party went OFF. Up the spiral staircase in the lobby, in a surprisingly small meeting room, we found a densely packed crowd of Bigfooting Illuminati, notables and field researchers.
There he was, the grooviest cowboy and world's most famous Bigfoot witness, BOB GIMLIN. Bob signed our copy of Roger Patterson's book. Tres cool!
Despite only knowing each other on the phone and by email, the wonderful AUTUMN WILLIAMS recognized us and gave us a sweet hug. Her mom, SALI SHEPPARD-WOLFORD, and her both signed our copy of VALLEY OF THE SKOOKUM for us.
There was JEFF MELDRUM, as always, holding down the scientific basis of the Inquiry. It seemed our conversation continued right from where it left off last we saw him at the Yakima Bigfoot Round-Up. He signed our copy of SASQUATCH: LEGEND MEETS SCIENCE.
Author of THE LOCALS, THOM POWELL, was there, as ever, expressing wry wit and humor, looking a bit scruffy. He signed our copy of his book, and hammed it up for the camera.
It was great to find ourselves known and remembered in the Bigfoot world, and have folks recognize the work we've done on our blog. Among these friends were independent field researcher, CLIFF BARACKMAN, who was hanging out with crypto-linguist SCOTT NELSON.
Also present was the ever-present CRAIG WOOLHEATER of the Texas Bigfoot Research Conservancy and owner of the fine Cryptomundo web site. He, in fact, offered us a guest blogger position on that web site. What an honor!

Bay Area researcher JERRY HEIN was there, as always, with his cool collection of Bigfoot knick-knacks, crafts, signed photos, and cool Bob Gimlin and Autumn Williams button pins. SHARON LEE, The Bigfoot Field Reporter, was there (background) doing a live broadcast for her BlogTalk Radio show.
Also, we were pleased to meet more at length than last year hard-rocking Squatcher, PAUL GRAVES, who was one of the Yakima Three organizers, with Tom Yamaron and Bobo Fay.
Last but certainly not least, we got to meet in person the tireless organizer of the OSS, TOBY JOHNSON. It's always great to put a real face to all the folks we may know through the internet or only over the phone. Toby did an amazing job--here's to to him, and to NEXT YEAR!
And after that the night the party went off with a wild karaoke night featuring many of the Bigfooting crew, including a singing battle between Sharon Lee and Autumn Williams. It went on late into the night, and really, way too many beers were consumed for people who had to get up around 7:00 to get to the horrendously early 9:00 a.m. keynote presentation by Ms. Williams.
A good time was had by all, BELIEVE ME!
(Sorry, we just had to post this last photo again.)
After the bar closed Paul Grave's room at the Red Lion was chock full of partying Bigfooters. Thom Powell, Cliff Barackman, Jerry Hein, Beth Heikkinen, we and others, and another fellow on guitar whose name we never caught, plus others, talked it through into the wee hours--and we paid for it the next day!

 OK, then, that's it for now. We'll have our stuff on the actual conference coming up soon!

Images, above: By Steven Streufert, or taken with his camera, save the last one, shot on video by Henry May, and lifted from YouTube before the stunning and hilarious vampy version of "Do Me, Baby" was taken down from the site.


One More Thing: Mystery of Mysteries... Right on the heels of their first show in over a year, THE BIGFOOT SHOW has suddendly appeared with yet another show, #13. Two in one week? What is going on? Check it out via iTunes, or download the MP3 HERE.



All of you all argue all the time about me being ape or maybe hu-man. What insult! Me NOT ape. Me NOT hu-man. Me MY OWN MAN, um, me mean APE, no, I mean, I ME OWN BIGFOOT! I no follow rule. I am ashame to even be on same family tree as you, hu-mans. Me SHAKE tree, me snap trunk, me toss it and all of you into lake! Then we see who related to who, hu-man!

This blog is copyright 2010 by Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert, save for a few photos here and there borrowed for "research purposes only." The views herein are solely those of the mysterious source of these writings, and have no actual connection with any group, like the BFRO, that we are in any way affiliated with, and should not at all be considered as representative of those groups and their founders or members. We are our own voice, howling in the wilderness of free speech, and want to keep it that way, and want you to know it. Images and text may be quoted and borrowed with citation, acknowledgment, and a link to this blog, along with gifts of beer and fine tobacco. Thanks in advance!