Saturday, April 16, 2011

CONVERSATIONS WITH BIGFOOT, Update. The Final Word on the Matter from Its Author, JIM DODGE: It's Fiction.


Last year we started hearing whispered rumors through the Bigfooting grapevine that some folks believed that the story told in the short piece published under the title, Conversations with Bigfoot, was a true story. We looked into the matter after reading the tale, feeling that it could not possibly be a depiction of a real event and encounter. What we found, by way of a little Sherlockian investigation, was that the tale had first appeared in a "street-sheet" published in Humboldt County. One bookseller had listed online the booklet reprint published later, under the authorial name of Jim Dodge, not the ostensible author, one "Gordon Langley Ives." We contacted this seller, and found that they knew the publisher who had reprinted the tale at a later date. This publisher confirmed to us that the author was indeed the well-known novelist, essayist and poet, Jim Dodge. The story purports to have taken place in 1975, a time-frame that also corresponds with the time that Jim Dodge was attending Humboldt State University, and was active in the underground poetry and publishing scene in Arcata. These days, after many years down in the Mendocino area, Dodge is back at HSU teaching English. We contacted him, and he confirmed that yes, indeed, he had written the story, and that it was certainly a work of FICTION.

Still, we found, despite what we thought was a thorough debunking of the tale's "non-fiction" status, that some folks persisted in holding that the story was REAL. Too much was "right on" about it, they said. Or even, they said, "too much was revealed" by the story, things about the Bigfoot People that Native elders and others believed should never have been released to the general  public. This implied some kind of secret knowledge, an esoteric realm of not only sightings and knowledge of Bigfoot, but actual interactions, conversations [in English!], and even spiritual teachings received directly from the Bigfoot by humans. Think whatever you like about these possibilities, which may, after all, be true; we thought it an important matter to establish whether this particular story was in any way "real." Despite our debunking of the "true story" assumption, some continued to hold out, now saying that there was perhaps even a "cover-up" to state that it was fiction, when it was in fact real, or even that the author had "received" this true information subconsciously, without knowing it was indeed real and true. This seemed to us to go too far, so we contacted Mr. Dodge again via email. What follows is his eloquent response closing the case for good (we hope), which also stands as a fine defense of individual imaginative freedom and common sense objectivism in a world where, all too often, "anything goes" in the realms of "reality." Read it below....

Read the text of the booklet. You will find many, many indications that the story could not be true, simply from textual analysis. This is covered in our previous blog entires, listed below. Suffice it to say, there IS NO Gordon Langley Ives. We searched everywhere one might think to find mention of a professional, Ph.D.-holding Ornithologist, and found no mention of him nor any published works or teaching positions held by him. He does not exist. The author was a novelist, Jim Dodge, who made the whole thing up with no prior encounters with philosophizing Bigfoot Beings.

See our previous blog entries for the full background information on this, and if you'd like, find the full text of the copyright-free booklet, Conversations with Bigfoot, a fictional work by Jim Dodge.


The above link contains the first information, plus the text of the booklet.
This link contains our follow-up information, with Jim Dodge's reply.

Also, find below our brief words on the latest controversy over the book, ENOCH: A BIGFOOT STORY. We provide links to Autumn Williams' fine clarifications of the differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction, as well as her debunking of the latest gossip-mongering rumors.



JIM DODGE is the author of several books of fiction, some fine poetry, and a book of ecological essays. He teaches Writing and Literature at Humboldt State University, in Arcata, California. He is a long-term resident of Northern California, and an eloquent voice for its land and beauty, and the humorous things humans do to live within it.

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Hello Mr. Dodge, Remember me?
Anyway, I thought you'd be interested in the kind of things people are saying about your little piece about Bigfoot. Now they are implying that you are covering up the true origins of the story, that you MUST have had a Bigfoot contact, as the "information" in the story is "too accurate" to be fiction.

Also, if you care to comment further, I'd really appreciate hearing that perspective from you, however briefly or long-windedly, perhaps for publication on my blog. 

Best, Steve Bigfoot Books 
Dodge, back in the "FUP" days.
JIM DODGE: Dear Steven, As usual, pardon the tardy reply, but this was one of those instances where I had to do some heavy consideration about whether I even wanted to make the attempt to set the record straight given that approach had already failed. When the truth is taken as some sort of cunning dissembling or strategic cover, in my experience you've entered that realm where accuracy has no privilege, integrity seems to subvert honor, and honesty can be easily perceived as mockery, so it really doesn't matter what you say: people will hear what they're disposed to hear and believe what they want or need. However, I feel impelled to reiterate, no doubt as some romantic gesture to those days of yore when truth was an honorable defense, that my booklet "Conversations with Bigfoot" is entirely and wholly and without exception a work of fiction, a pure product of imagination, and that I have never sensed or seen, much less actually conversed with, a Bigfoot/Sasquatch, nor did anyone or anything in any way contribute to the creation of "Conversations with Bigfoot." 

However, because it annoys me that more than a few commentators whose remarks you forwarded indicated (to quote one) "that no one should have released this to the public [because] it had details that should have been kept secret about the 'foots'" I would like to know whose permission is required before I can publish what I know is a work of fiction? Is there some enlightened council of supreme moralists that decides what should be released to those obviously inferior beings who comprise the public, for whom accurate information is dangerous? I'd also be obliged to know how they justify the imposition of such "prior restraint" as something other than the crudest form of censorship, and who gave them the authority to exercise such powers? Also, I'd love to know if those powers are self-assumed/self-appointed, or if they are awarded by some governing body. I trust they appreciate my difficulty in seeking their approval, or even some guidance, before publishing "Conversations with Bigfoot", when I had no idea such a group existed, much less an address or phone number where I might secure it's permission or at least argue my worthiness to publish. 

For the many commentators who found it inconceivable that an old cracker-ass white writer, no doubt severely dain-bramaged from decades of drug-abuse back in his wildly misspent youth, could possibly make-up a conversation with an allegedly mythic creature that contained ". . .way too much accurate information to be made up" or "the information in this article is more than 110%" (of what exactly isn't clear), allow me, who has made up enough stuff to fill four books and a couple of filing cabinets, to offer an explanation. Kenneth Rexroth, one of the more astute literary commentators of the 20th Century, called the imagination "the organ of communion." According to the psychologist Carl Jung, the human psyche is composed of four elements, all in dynamic interaction and constant change: the sensational (the body and all its sensory information); the intellectual (knowledge and learning); the heart (the realm of emotion); and the soul, or personal spirit, which, like the other three, is embodied energy. At the nexus of these four elements, or "centers," as Jung also designated them, when they are properly balanced/focused/directed, a fifth element, the imagination, assumes enough power to become effective. The particular power of the imagination is to empathize and understand, to enfold and become the other, to voluntarily incarnate that which isn't you, and the more you can relinquish of the self, of ego-demands and attachments, the more you can make yourself available to the other, and to the world. It helps immensely if you can draw energy from what Jung called the "collective unconscious," which are psychic energy forms that humans have in common (and some other creatures), since they are based on "the ceremonies of existence," events--whatever our cultures--that we all share, and all pay considerable attention: like birth, rearing the young, coming of age, courtship, sex, marriage, securing food and shelter, making journeys, gathering and passing along knowledge, and eventually aging and death. Why would it be so far-fetch that a well trained imagination could conjure a Bigfoot and capture a bit of his or her social concerns, particularly when they're likely not that different from other bi-pedal mammals. The reverse is also likely: a Bigfoot imagining a human being. Once contact is made, communion can flow in either direction. And given communion, is conversation so farfetched? 

 Truly, Jim
JUST TO BE CLEAR, Here Is the First Exchange, with Our First Questions, and Jim Dodge's First Email to Bigfoot Books on the Subject:

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.

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 
Dodge, more in a STONE JUNCTION mood.
JIM DODGE: 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.

Jim Dodge
BOOKS BY MR. JIM DODGE, along the left hand margin. Click caption for more information on the Amazon site.
Sample Dialogue from the CONVERSATIONS WITH BIGFOOT discussion on Facebook, identity and words of interlocutors removed:

Steven Streufert: I would suggest you first go to my blog and drop the book title into the search box: The book/story is fictional, a literary hoax if you like. I talked with the author and publisher.

  Anonymous: I am very interested when you talked to the author and why he say's it is fictional??? There are some things that are written in that article only someone with knowledge of them would say anything like this. I investigated this article and determined somethings about the author. This article has also been show to some people that know about the "foots' very well and ....well were amazed that people are calling it a hoax. Interested to hear what you found out. All respect intended.

Steven Streufert: I've posted the links. I'd be very curious to hear what you found out about the author and this booklet. I have gotten to the bottom of it, I believe, unless they are now trying to hoax me by claiming it is fake. I'd be very interested in hearing REAL stories like this!


Steven Streufert: I hold no judgment toward anyone claiming these kinds of encounters with and things about the Bigfoot. Rather, I am only saying that this particular case is fiction, and was meant to be so. I am VERY curious about the experiences people have with these beings, and am VERY open-minded about them. I do not think of Sasquatch as a "monster" as in the movies, or just a "mere ape" as in so many common views today. If they are a form of human that would mean they are the most important thing going on for us now currently on the planet. So, that is very interesting, indeed. I'd love to talk to you, A___, P___ or anyone about all of this. It would be great if this page [a private group on Facebook] could be a forum for discussing what all of our experiences are and have been. So many are so private about this stuff that it is often kind of frustrating to not be able to hear the full stories. Hence, knowledge and understanding can thereby suffer.
I am all about seeing the world AS IT IS, and to me that means a world alive, mysterious, strange, beyond our current conceptions.
Best to you, Steve

Steven Streufert: T___, that is fascinating. However, I know of the author well enough, as he lives here in Humboldt, and as I know a lot of folks who know him better than I do, and as I know his other writings to a certain extent... and he is definitely telling the truth. He wrote the book as fiction, made it up completely. Unless, of course, you think he received it via psychic channeling, and wrote it totally unknowing that he was getting it from a Bigfoot. It is fiction, but if it strikes you powerfully that is nothing more than a good book, poem, or movie will do. If it is accurate it is only through the imaginative process thinking what a sentient, intelligent Bigfoot MIGHT be like.

Steven Streufert: What do you mean, "something come to him about it and put it right on the money"? No, I say, he simply made it up, and told me the truth about it when talking to me about it. I do not doubt him for a second when he says he has NEVER had ANY contact with a BF. Not only him, but everyone else involved from that long-ago time when it was first published has said that the thing was fictional, published in a literary journal. It was simply a made up story. Like Dances with Wolves, the film, as an example: It is NOT a true story, but it contains some true stuff about Native American culture. The thing is, the film makers and novelist who wrote the movie could do RESEARCH on the subject. However, Jim Dodge did not do any BF research. He just imagined it, pure and simple.

Steven Streufert: Here is the author's full letter to me... down a bit in this blog post. Read and you will see he has never seen Bigfoot nor heard reports of them. Also, I found zero, zilch, no evidence that Gordon Langley Ives ever existed. The author, Jim Dodge, lives around here, and I have met him personally.

Steven Streufert: However, having proved this a literary hoax with no basis in reality as far as its story, I DO NOT claim that these things are impossible. I have not experienced a Bigfoot speaking to me in English, but I've heard very convincing accounts of "habituation" and had odd experiences myself which incline me to say we should keep very open minds on this subject.

Steven Streufert: Yes, and those who scoff at it simply do not know what they are talking about. They have not experienced it, or faced a Bigfoot anywhere other than on TV, so who are they to speak?

T___, I am a former college Literature major. I do believe that literary works have value, and bear upon "real life" quite strongly, however fictional they are. They're based upon life, so they reflect it and are part of it. Jim Dodge, the author, has never met Bigfoot, and denies ever hearing reports of it. He has lived in rural Northern California for decades, and loves the outdoors, so I find it a little strange that he says he has never even heard of a Bigfoot report from a friend. I hear them ALL the time here in my shop in Willow Creek. The work is, however, wholly fictional, according to him. It may just be that he imagined Bigfoot correctly by figuring what it MIGHT be like were he to meet one.

Steven Streufert: Why would you feel anything "harsh," T___? I am not scoffing at the possibilities, but only pointing out what I know absolutely to be the facts about this story.

Steven Streufert Well, he clearly declares that he is a Bigfoot skeptic, has never seen one or heard reports of them, and that he wrote the book out of his imagination. His imagination of Bigfoot may have been correct, or not; but the book is fictional, made up, a story. That is all there is to it, though of course, just like with poetry, one may take meaning and inspiration from it nonetheless. Literature is an expression of the human response to reality, and so embodies both us and It.

Yes, there is more to reality and the universe than is known or dreamt of in our philosophies.

Steven Streufert I hold no judgment toward anyone claiming these kinds of encounters with and things about the Bigfoot. Rather, I am only saying that this particular case is fiction, and was meant to be so. I am VERY curious about the experiences people have with these beings, and am VERY open-minded about them. I do not think of Sasquatch as a "monster" as in the movies, or just a "mere ape" as in so many common views today. If they are a form of human that would mean they are the most important thing going on for us now currently on the planet. So, that is very interesting, indeed. I'd love to talk to you, A___, P___, or anyone about all of this. It would be great if this page could be a forum for discussing what all of our experiences are and have been. So many are so private about this stuff that it is often kind of frustrating to not be able to hear the full stories. Hence, knowledge and understanding can thereby suffer.

I am all about seeing the world AS IT IS, and to me that means a world alive, mysterious, strange, beyond our current conceptions.
Some other comments we made on the group site:
Steven Streufert
              Steven Streufert12:24pm Mar 17
A poem, say, may be true, in the sense that it depicts to us things we feel are real and right, and beautiful; however, in its origin, it may be wholly fictional, made up in the mind of the author. In this sense, we need to distinguish between what is objectively true and what is subjectively "True." To address what T___ said, I would argue that a "spiritual" or "mystical" experience is an INTERNAL one which nonetheless connects with reality. There is a sense wherein we experience illusion while looking "outward," but true reality when looking inward. It is odd, and contrary to "common sense," but the senses and the mind are only REPRESENTATIONS of reality. In Hindu-Buddhist thought this is the realm of Maya. The true nature of reality is beyond the "represented" realm.

Steven Streufert
              Steven Streufert12:13pm Mar 17
Is there a limit to human potential? The mystics say there really is not. However, what we have to go on is a natural logic based in our evolutionary past. In some ways this is an asset; in other ways it is a detriment to our greater understanding of true reality. There is a need for logic. My "common sense" told me there was something odd about "Conversations with Bigfoot." It appealed to me as an interesting book, a story with ideas; but I questioned its veracity. Investigating the situation, I found the real author, and he confessed to me that it was wholly fictional, and based in his imagination, not on a real experience. Hence, though the poetic and philosophical imagination may penetrate "true reality," this particular instance, and many other instances of it, are wholly imaginary or speculative.

Steven Streufert
              Steven Streufert12:33pm Mar 17
If one opens oneself too far to "possibilities" that is what is called "crazy." There needs to be some basic ground of reality we walk upon, and one that we share. Else all is chaos. Not everything everyone experiences is real or true. There are, indeed, actual states of delusion and misapprehension. Our minds are hard-wired to function within a certain reality, one that in the past enhanced our survival. This in turn influenced our evolution, as we gained new abilities. The ability to live in "abstract" reality, as apprehended by the mind (or "soul"), may indeed be part of the future of our species; in fact, it may be the most necessary next step for us if we are to survive. However, we must be careful as to how we proceed, and what we allow for as being real. The laws of Physics and the findings of Science are a good basis for this, and we should have faith in them as we go forward into the Unknown.

Steven Streufert
               Steven Streufert1:07pm Mar 17
I'd just like to ask: if a Bigfoot is a materially-based, physical creature, if Bigfoot leaves footprints and poops in the woods, leaves hair and other artifacts, then WHERE do all of those atoms go when it dematerializes [this ability was actually proposed, with a photo "showing" it happening]? Does its poop go with it into that other realm, and then come back again? What about the food it eats? Why would it need to eat if it is living in this incorporeal state? It just makes no sense to me at all. Sure, there could be "spirits," but these don't have living biological bodies, as proposed, and as logic would dictate.

Steven Streufert: Yes, C___s--that is why I advocate logic and at least a reference to Science, even as I argue that the world (universe, and all in it) is larger than any given current definition point of it. Even the yogis argue caution when dealing with the manifestations of the spiritual pursuit, as these "siddis," the oddities along the way, and the potential strange abilities of the mind (or body) are also just manifestations of relativity or "Maya." And we are ever prone to false apprehension, errors in judgment, and delusions of grandeur. A humble approach, one conservative with conclusions, is the most useful tool when exploring unknown and mysterious new things, or things deeper and older than our modern sense of reality. There will come a time, and soon, when that which we regard as "real" will be seen as primitive, limited, and silly, even though we now think of ourselves as at the pinnacle of understanding.



Read another example of a Bigfoot story that may be fiction. This one is THE CREATURE, by Jan Klement (click link to read the whole book online). The existence of the author as claimed, or the real author behind the pseudonym, has never been verified. Hence, this story remains a curiosity. Could it be non-fiction? Who knows? But in any case, it is a fascinating read about human-Bigfoot interactions

In somewhat related news, Autumn Williams, on her OREGON BIGFOOT BLOG, clarifies the differences between Fiction and Non-Fiction, and shows how her book, ENOCH: A BIGFOOT STORY, is NOT Fiction. Read more here:
Whether you believe the story told by Mike in the book, or not, that is not the question. The book is about a researcher and a witness, and the process both of them go through to establish trust and to understand not only Bigfoot, but each other. The book is non-fiction, regardless of whether the things told by Mike actually happened.

Also, just so you know, the recent BFRO Blue Forum post claiming that her Mike was the same "homeless bum" telling tall tales to Bigfoot researchers in Florida is spurious and false. Read HERE and HERE to find out that, yes, IT WAS NOT THE SAME MIKE. We're sure there are many fellows living in Florida with that same name. So far, no one on the BFRO Forum has come forth with any corroboration or verification beyond pure and simple rumor.

Loren Coleman has added a corrections/clarifications update to his original post on Cryptomundo. Read the whole fiasco here, with a grain of salt added before you assume any of it is true: BFRO QUESTIONS ENOCH. 

Me pissed, too, hu-man!
Me say case closed. Yep! Me know. It closed because this Dodge hu-man come out in woods and find my writing under rock where I hide it. He take it and publish it for hu-man to read. Me write! It just story to tell how me see hu-man, how hu-man just silly ape, and hu-man not know nothing. We Bigfoot know. You hu-man get every thing good about you from us, but you not have nice hair and big foot. You need house and car and clothes. We not need. We free,  you just live in cage in zoo called city.

This blog is copyright and all that jazz, save for occasional small elements borrowed for "research" and information or satirical purposes only, 2011, Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert. Borrowings for non-commercial purposes will be tolerated without the revenge of Angry Bigfoot, if notification, credit, citation and a kindly web-link are given, preferably after contacting us and saying, Hello, like a normal person would before taking a cup of salt. No serious rip-offs of our material for vulgar commercial gain will be tolerated without major BF stomping action coming down on you, hu-man.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Bigfooter RIP LYTTLE, Interview and Discussion with Bigfoot Books

BIGFOOT'S BLOG Early April, 2011 Edition
A screen capture from "Southern Fried Bigfoot"
An Interview with Long-Time Bigfooter and Cryptozoologist, RICHARD "RIP" LYTTLE

Richard "Rip" Lyttle is a long-time Bigfoot field researcher who has recently moved to Humboldt County. Since moving he has been a frequent visitor at Bigfoot Books in Willow Creek; he's assisted our work on the Bluff Creek Film Site Project; he's gone squatching on the coast with James "Bobo" Fay, Robert Leiterman, and Bart Cutino; and he has also assisted with game camera implementation and investigations of potential Bigfoot activity back in the woods behind our own hillside cabin above Willow Creek. Rip is a funny guy, with a very serious and unique perspective on the mysteries out there in the woods. Since childhood in Maryland, he has had many mysterious encounters of his own. A devoted wildlife investigator and photographer, he has a massive array of experiences and images of the animals he has sought to document and interact with. He once organized and taught a university-level course on Bigfoot/Sasquatch and Cryptozoology, which featured many noted researches such as Jim Hewkin, Peter Byrne and many others. Though he has never published his findings, save for brief write-ups in Ray Crowe's TRACK RECORD, and he isn't prone to intellectualizing and schmoozing at BF conferences, Rip has been a dedicated and intense Bigfoot researcher since long before it became trendy and popular on the internet. Hence, he is an important transitional figure between the first generation guys and the modern, post BFRO/internet age of Bigfooting. The following interview was conducted via email over the last couple of months, and is now finally ready for your enjoyment. SO, enjoy! Take a rip of Rip.

"NorCal Bigfoot Shoe," with Rip Lyttle foot beside it, for
comparison. Apparently used long ago in in the Sierra
Nevada for Bigfoot footprint hoaxing... or worn by one
Big-footed hu-man dude. Photo by Rip Lyttle.
Richard Lyttle Biography, written by Rip Lyttle:

Born and raised in Annapolis, MD next to the Chesapeake Bay during the mid-fifties. Spent a lot of time as a youth on the water with buddies, crabbing, fishing, skiing, sailing. In 1973, on my 18th birthday I registered with the Selective Service for the Vietnam War Draft Lottery but then the draft was canceled a few months later. Mom said we were Canadian-bound but ended up not needing to go.

Graduated Annapolis High School same year. Attended Washington College, University of Maryland and graduated from Oregon State University, 1978, with a B.A. in American Studies. Played lacrosse for Washington College and Oregon State University.

Married and divorced a few times, poor ladies! Spent most of my career in outside sales selling office furniture, advertising, foreign language services, software in Washington DC., Portland, OR, Phoenix, AZ, Long Beach, CA.

In my mid-fifties, now I live now in Humboldt County, California, taking lazy nature photographs and watching out for Ring-tailed Cats, Martins, Fishers, Cougars, weather events, orbs, things of beauty.

You could definitely say I'm bi-coastal and someone told me once I reminded him of Forest Gump, the places I've been and national events I have been around during my life.


BIGFOOT BOOKS: Rip, you've been into this cryptozoology thing for quite a while now. Can you tell us how you got into it, both originally and as a more serious adult pursuit? Besides an interest in Bigfoot, what other "mysterious creatures" have you pursued? Just to get started, do please tell us a bit about yourself, as the readers of this blog may never have heard of you before, even though many of the "big names" in Bigfooting, like Ray Crowe, Peter Byrne, Rene Dahinden, etc. have known you pretty well.

Rip Lyttle, not in his Squatching garb.
Photo taken 2010.
RIP LYTTLE: It didn't start out as cryptozoology, Steven but it eventually got there after much field experience. At this point, at 55 years old, I've camped over 200 nights alone waiting for the bigboys (Bigfeet).

My interest in Bigfoot peaked in the mid '90's  by moving to Portland Oregon, reading The Klamath Knot by David Rains Wallace and becoming Ray Crowe's very first member of the Western Bigfoot Society in 1991. I met Ray Crowe at Datus Perry's sprawling pig ranch in Carson, Washington. in 1991. While at work in Portland, OR, I discovered my boss's sister was the Dean of Curriculum Development for Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus. I pitched the Pacific Northwest Bigfoot studies idea for a class to her and she said turn in a syllabus and we'll make it a night-time college class.

And like many bigfooters my interest waned after years of chasing Bigfoot in the field in the dark to little documentation success when girlfriends leave you and work is hard to come by. Plus over 20 years of looking I got to the point like the Northwest Indians believe, Bigfoot don't need your help, concentrate on your own thing, dude. We don't bother them, they don't bother us. All primates discoverd are on the endangered list and FedGov doesn't want to acknowledge 7' Bigfoots in peoples' backyards--bad for Bidness. Where's the win unless its stone cold, up close daytime video or a body?

A fine book, and a major
influence on Rip Lyttle.
As a kid, we had a lot of diverse nature around our family on the Chesapeake Bay rivers, creeks, and marshes near Annapolis, MD in the '50's / '60's, where I was born and raised on a creek off the Severn River. And I really dug nature, watching wildlife and seeing as a Boy Scout things like orchids, pitcher plants, cicada killer wasps, king snakes, rattlers, water rats, mink, otter, ring-tailed cats, bobcat, coyote, skunks, big deer, great horned owls, huge sturgeon, carp, turtles, toads. Uh, we also saw moving lights a few times in the marshes and reservoirs.

I think I saw either Marten or Fisher in Anne Arundel county, MD pine woods in the '60's, and ring-tailed cats in the swamps. I saw them more than once there before the county really developed. We had amazing watersheds that came down from the mountains of western Maryland. We even seemed to have Bigfeet there in the bay marshes and jungely river watersheds. I think I encountered one or more Bigfoots there while walking through the marshes and had several other night-time interactions on the semi-rural peninsula where we lived off South River later.

John Green's book [Sasquatch: Apes Among Us] has a whole chapter on Maryland sightings over hundreds of years. Several were reported on television, newspapers, involving multiple sighters, police officers, documented events. In 2001, I was interviewed by several Washington / Baltimore television stations about the famous Arundel Mills Mall Bigfoot incident.

On the BFRO website there is a possible Bigfoot encounter listed by Annapolis kids I never met on the same creek I lived, Weems Creek. I met an Annapolis police officer who gave me his incredible 1950's boyhood Bigfoot story of one tearing up their treehouse in the marsh in Eastport two miles from where I lived.

Then the Patterson Gimlin fim came out in '67 when I was 12 and studying "the missing link" in school. But my childhood BF encounters were so overwhelming and freaky I put them out of my mind and only vaguely knew something wasn't all kosher about some of my deep woods adventures. In Junior High school art class I found myself unconsciously drawing silhouettes of a very large, dark, big, no-necked, long-bowed armed hairy man staring at me. My Mom threw all my artwork out while I was away in college, bless her heart.
Rip Lyttle (center) at Louse Camp, with Bluff Creek Film Site Project
members Robert Leiterman and Ian, 2010. Photo by S. Streufert.
My intention with the Bigfoot class was to bring the experts to one place, publicize the creatures' existence, and engage the local Portland area community to come forward with their sightings and tell about their harrowing encounters directly to the class.

I briefly worked, was compensated, by Peter Byrne in 1992 following up two Oregon Bigfoot sightings by real tough woodsmen in the Three Sisters Bend area of the Cascades. That bear hunter badass taught me how to "play the game" the Cultus Lake/Mtn. Bigfeet like to play in the field with knowing humans. It requires too much sacrifice for me to do it, but I'd gladly teach it to others.

Ray Crowe
Ray Crowe was a good friend and a very interesting, engaging Cryptozoology researcher. I met most of the early Bigfoot icons like Bob Titmus, Grover Krantz, John Green, Peter Byrne, Rene Dahinden, Datus Perry, Larry Lund, Henry Franzoni, George Earley, Robert Pyle, Henner Fahrenbach, Steve Williams, Cliff Crook and Jim Hewkin, my favorite Bigfooter. Larry Lund was a big help with my Bigfoot class and he and Henner Fahrenbach took it over after I ducked out and started spending all my time in the Columbia River Gorge windsurfing during the day and bigfooting at night in Prindle Washington. Datus Perry taught me alot and I spent time with him in the volcanic lava flumes in the Dark Divide, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, between Mount St. Helens and Mt. Adams. Datus Perry trekked alone often with his poodles, was 100% fearless, and did not carry a firearm when Bigfooting. A real man.
Datus Perry and Larry Lund

Jim Hewkin is (hopefully still alive) a retired Oregon state wildlife biologist and was the best Bigfooter I ever met by far. The state police had him handle all the Bigfoot sightings, reports in the coast range outside of Portland. Jim is/was a sharer, a big-hearted man who really knew his wildlife.

[Editor: See the end of this interview for a classic quote by Hewkin.]

Henry Franzoni taught me a lot, too, with his insight into Native American legends of Bigfoot. I've Bigfooted with Matt Moneymaker, Bill Dranginis, Bob Chance, Michael Greene, Bart Cutino, Robert Leiterman, many others.

The trouble with researching Bigfoot is the more time you spend in the field you start seeing anomalous moving lights or UFO's more than you see Bigfoot and that has me a little perplexed at this point as to what the correlation is, if any.  My retirement goal is to have a lawn chair at a fire ring so I can watch for UFOs in the night sky while listening for Bigfoot with my audio recording headphones on. Or go get the ivory-billed woodpecker videoed if possible.

See Thanks for asking, Steven.
Rip Lyttle on Television. Real and Chance: The Legend Hunters. Hilarious!
BIGFOOT BOOKS: Rip, that is a good, wide-ranging introduction. Let's start from the beginning. You sound like you were a normal kind of kid, like me, growing up and exploring nature, fascinated with animals, always out looking for adventures. Can you explain how you became fascinated with the cryptozoological aspects? Most kids grow up, stop roaming the woods so much, become concerned with "adult" types of things. Those in whom the wilds still linger often become fishermen, hunters, campers, or perhaps wildlife biologists or foresters. How is it that we and those like us kept this mysterious dimension of things alive, and kept on looking for the odd and unusual things long after we knew that unicorns and elves do not exist. What is it that keeps the Bigfooter going? How does this relate to your pursuit of a scientifically-accepted species like that once-"extinct" but now "living-again" woodpecker you were after? Can you tell us of your own encounters with Bigfoot, those in your younger days, what happened, what made you think they were Bigfoot, and how did this affect your development as a person and as a researcher of "unusual" phenomena?

RIP LYTTLE: Well right off, Steven, when I'm the last kid in a line of small children to walk right by an 8-foot hairy monster standing right in the trail of the neighborhood creek marsh, and all the kids walk by the thing like it wasn't even there or did not see it.... That was the start of Bigfoot weirdness for me and shook my boundaries of standard reality at an early age.

That initial BF incident is one I've rarely talked with others, but vaguely remembered knowing it did happen and would have to think that event is why I drew a large hulking dark, glowing-eyed staring man in art class all the time. And in school I was studying intently "the missing link", the fossil link that would prove humans evolved from apes. At home I was watching Tarzan movies, Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges, Johnny Quest and Star Trek stoking my imagination.

There were several incidents in Annapolis that happened to me, others like yelling, cattails shaking, log and oyster throwing from the marsh, tree throw-downs, the eerily quiet, skanky smell bedroom window look-ins stuff. Later, as a teenager I had two BF-type incidents on Pignut Mountain in central Virginia where my older sister lived as a hippie in the late '70's.

And now down the road after all my experiences and claiming two Bigfoot sightings in the Columbia River Gorge, 1993, 1994, I'm the Forest Gump of U. S. Bigfoot reseachers. I am either pretty knowledgeable or completely deluded, i think, one of the two. I'm hoping for the former. In the early days of my Bigfoot search I was calling it Illusions of Grandeur or Delusions of Grandeur. You know every year, the DC area radio station, reports one or two cougar and Bigfoot sightings in the counties around Washington, DC to this day.
Rip's Amazing Stereo-Ambient Audio
Squatching Set-up, with Dummy Head,
in use in Willow Creek, CA.
Your question of staying interested, not turning to more adult hobbies and society?  "Searcher" seems to be my job title and my personality. I was even an independent patent searcher for 2 years at the USPTO, Arlington, 2000-2001. I search for anomalous phenomena, beautiful wild areas, music that makes me dance, relic species and for the future ex-Mrs. Lyttle!

I definitely think I had a Peter Pan or Feral thing going there quite awhile, always going deepwoods for Bigfoot but it's fading some now. I've gotten older and wish to engage intelligent people more than in the past. It can get old fast having incredible wildlife experiences all by yourself and no one there to share them with. Plus people get bored of video fast. I find I relate to wild creatures pretty well up close through my joy of interacting and photographing them. (

Have your ever heard of the "Wild Woman" myths of South America and BC coastal tribes? So when the young Indian hunter glimpses in the deep forest a literally glowing Wild Woman maiden so beautiful he pursues her through the wilderness forsaking everything for her, his family, wife, tribe to see this alluring Wild Woman again? Sounds similar to Bigfooting to me a little bit. We catch a glimpse of this most powerful undefinable thing and we want to see it again, often forsaking civilization's clutches to be in the wilderness seeking this bigger power to commune with.  At this point I want to see if I can drink a beer or smoke with Bigfoot, otherwise I just don't seem to be into food baiting them.

 Wild Woman of the Woods
Another thing I have never mentioned it but here goes. Chasing Bigfoot or Bigfoot chasing me is paradoxical because my scary, Marine-tough Dad would chase me in the dark through the neighborhood and the look on his puffing face when he burst into the light trying to find me was pretty terrifying, and frankly really similar  to being close to Bigfoot. So am I recreating that familiar familial terror? Or am I proving to dismissive Pop, Hey look, I discovered Bigfoot. Now do I know how to do something worthy in your eyes?

I developed my audio recording skills while chasing Bigfoot, same with my video efforts. The wood knocker I used to attract Bigfoot is the same tree knocker I used to lure in the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (IBWO) during my search for it in South Carolina, 2006-2009. The Ornithologists and bureaucrats finding out about my Bigfoot background did not go well, so I was booted out of the official search and went on my own searching for those three years. And, yes, to complete my personal inanity, I think possibly I might have seen an Ivory-billed woodpecker in my youth but didn't see one clearly while searching in South Carolina.

South Carolina Pileated Woodpecker. Photo Rip Lyttle.
By the way Bigfoot is way easier to find than the Lord God Bird and we did have some BF encounters in Francis Marion Forest, coastal South Carolina, one involving beer. I nicknamed the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, "the flythef*ckawaybird" for its ability to fly the "f" away really fast. The bird is nomadic and moves around to disaster tree-die-off areas chasing large beetle larvae in dying trees. There are very few left and their remaining habitat in all southern states is being plowed at this moment. We may still get the bird documented there--long story.

And IBWO is a Lazarus species not a Phoenix species, technically, meaning IBWO was never officially listed extinct but was presumed extinct by leading IBWO ornitholgists vs. being officially extinct and coming back. Getting IBWO would have changed forestry policy in the U.S. overnight, and I would have accomplished my life's goal--Sticking it to the U.S. Forest Service and southern states!!

Now Mermaid sightings on the Klamath River here in NorCal to me are way more interesting than pedestrian Bigfoot stuff, so that's where I'm concentrating for the next few years; plus photographing bears, cougars, martins, fishers, ring-tailed cats are on my list. Plus hanging with a lady (human) wild woman would very nice if it happens.

Track, Carbaugh Reservoir, South Mountain, PA, circa
late June 2004. Found by and photo by Rip Lyttle.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: Fascinating. On one level you are contrasting Nature with ordinary human civilization, but on the other you are suggesting that Bigfoot represent something more, something mysterious and powerful, something more than a mere animal. In talking about the Wild Woman it is clear there is a mythic element that has led you into the pursuit of both a deeper reality and another form of mind and consciousness. What is it about the Bigfoot, either in our minds or in the woods, that drives this fascination? Surely this is something more than seeing, say, a bear, however powerful and mysterious bears can be. Combining those early drawings with the processing of those early bad experiences with your father indicates that this is a deep process you are going through. What IS Bigfoot, then? How is it that the whole group of kids could walk right past one, but only you saw it? How is it that the Bigfoot has come to embody seemingly the whole mystery of the natural and psychological world, and has seemingly colored your whole approach to nature, life, women, dancing, and all else? What does Bigfoot MEAN to you, then?

RIP LYTTLE: The fascination? Why, its us, human's strongness personified, Steven. I mean, is that my older wild brother out there in the night marsh? I've got three sisters, including a twin sister, could use a tough brother. What's he coming around bending down, looking in my window for at night? Does it need anything, want to play? I'm closing my curtains.

Bigfoot is us as the baddest of the bad, strongest of the strong. What a gang leader. Hmm, thinking about it, I've never belonged to a troop, a group, much ever, mostly a loner. Maybe I'm looking for the Feral Woods Gang. I know how to play in the woods and hide, stay quiet, play predator. Am I looking to join? Maybe Bigboy will protect me from Dad. All it's done to me is stare at me a few times. Yep, I think I wanted into that gang.

Bigboy, look what I call Bigfoot. Bigboy. Like a Woods buddy, a bad bro. He's Pan, God of Small Animals, Guardian of Mountain tops. Scary Night Watchman. He's thrown some stuff at me, shook cattails, yelled some, stinked me up once, made me immobile, but never charged. I'm talking about when I was young here.

Regarding the other kids not seeing Bigfoot that time when we walked through the marsh that clear day, turns out, through Facebook I asked Jay Sie**rt   (one of my Annapolis, MD, childhood neighbors) if he remembered Bigfoot watching us as we hiked through the marsh, and yesterday he responded back to me with this message,
"Yea I think you did see him lurking where he usually stands. I didn't say anything cause I didn't want to alarm anyone or further prove my nuttiness (some folk dont take to that sort a thing). ...Sometimes in the evening when I am out on the water I think I see large hairy figures moving about the swamp and woodlines of the Severn River...."

In an earlier post to me, Jay reminded me of other Bigfoot sightings nearby at the time and the BFRO website has 6 reports from Annapolis and Weems creek area too. John Green's Bigfoot book has a whole chapter on Maryland sightings.

Back to Bigfoot, I am confused about about their light, sound and mindf**k abilities and their ultra-fast speed, seemingly invisible movements. And I've seen all of these more than once. I'm not sure all Bigfeet can do this but I know some can. Makes them kinda hard to study, and that's for someone else with more patience. Ain't my gig no more. FedGov ain't going to bless seven footers in people's backyards. Bad for commerce.

I do want to see a Bigboy moving during the daytime and I would love to watch and record one as it vocalized (from a nice distance and elevation away!). But I want to see Mermaids maybe even more. Klamath Indians talked about seeing them on the rocks in the river during the summer and described them as real creatures, not demons.

Not a Real Mer-man
Bigboys don't seem to need help and if there is a big Polar slip-and-slide coming up [Polar Shift], I'd put my money on them, not us. At this point, I just want to smoke a big spliff in front of Bigfoot with a beer in my hand. I know they like beer from experience. So let's party with the Bigboys-I just want to feed their head not their stomachs.

I wonder if I am a blood relative of Bigfoot, Do I have Bigfoot blood in me? I take it that far. Got my reasons. They certainly interbreed with humans. I wonder if Bobo has Neanderthal or Bigfoot blood in him (and it looks like Charlie Sheen has "tiger blood" in him).  I used to want to hang with Bigfoot, be a feral boy, and got pretty good at it. That time and wish has passed. Now I want to live life and let the Bigboy/Girls live theirs. I'm back to working on my social skills which are between nil and none. Hang with Bigfoot long enough, you get gruff like they are. I need to soften.

Mysterious Print Rear Window, East TN, 2004.
Photo by Rip Lyttle.
BIGFOOT BOOKS: So, it seems you view Bigfoot/Sasquatch as having a number of superhuman abilities. This seems to exceed those of bears and other animals. What ARE Bigfoot, in your experience and opinion? You seem to be saying they are more human than ape, and yet somehow bigger than human not just in size. They are a fully "earthly" creature/being, right? How is it that Bigfoot can take on such a high level of meaning and symbolism for you?

Many of the things you've described above come from when you were young. How have things changed in your experience and research since you've been an adult and pursued it more seriously? What kind of encounters have you had, and can you describe one or two?

Also, do you think we'll ever "catch" one and prove it, or else grow to understand them so well that we can interact and learn from them? What, in other words, is the future of BF research as a field, and what are the prospects for human-Bigfoot interactions?

RIP LYTTLE: What are Bigfeet? I really don't know. I've read and heard several interesting theories. I think maybe they are older than we are, been around longer, maybe a dead-end root human branch or advanced Gibbon Man. The Arnhem Aborigines of northeastern Australia have a creation myth from Dreamtime that humans were taught emotions by half-man, half animal-Manimal. Another aborigine legend is "Jimbra" or "Pankalanka"-- they are huge hairy animal-men who inhabited that area area since the Dreamtime.

I'd ask people more knowledgeable than me like one of my personal heros, David Rains Wallace, author of The Klamath Knot, where he discusses what the Snow Giants of the Klamath Mountain range might be.

He writes on page 75,
"Such wild animals couldn't be too much like humans. If they were, they would betray their presence by competing for the same habitat. Could an animal be enough like us to escape our endless snooping, yet enough unlike us to escape our endless competitiveness? It seems a riddle for the sphinx." 
He then goes on to muse modern humans may be more neotenic in nature than the Snow Giants which appear more comfortable in their environs than we are in ours.

Next I like the Pan legend and how many aspects of Pan's behavior mimic Bigfoot. Pan, "God of fields, groves and wooded glens, god of shepherds and flocks, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music." If you read many of the Pan legends you get the feeling of Bigfoot, goat feet not withstanding. Pan creates Panic in men, plays a pan flute that sound like Bigfoot whistles. The Yurok tribe of Northern California consider them the "Big People or Forest People". If they are Giganto how come they are so interested in boinking human women?

South Mountain, PA, Appalachian Trailhead  "Stick Thing."
Photo by Rip Lyttle.
The guys who recorded the Sierra Sounds in California, Warren Johnson, Ron Moorehead, that group probably knows much better than me what Bigfeet possibly are because of that amazing encounter. That definitely sounded like language going back and forth between male and female creatures. I hear Matt Moneymaker leans to ape lineage for Bigfeet. Who sees more Bigfoot video footage than him and his crew? And they're towards ape, I hear.

Maybe I am looking through too much my personal anthropomorphic lens? Is it a cold-adapted primate? But wandering away from Occam's Razor, I still wonder about Bigfoot being an ape-human hybrid. I guess that doesn't make much sense. More likely a dead-end hominid branch right between ape and human. Manimal is a species, not a cross.

At this point in my study, I would defer to people like Adrian Erickson and his talented crew, who studied Bigfeet at length at a remote household in Kentucky. They likely have a good feel for what Bigfoot might be because of all the sightings, recordings, and DNA they got in that endeavor.

Are Bigfeet fully earthly or do they have more supernatural powers? Well, when you chase them around the woods, they're going for food, they go in and out of caves, grabbing deer, seen swimming in reservoirs. They sure act earthly in that regard. But the moving small glowing lights that have been seen around Bigfoot areas confuses me greatly. The Yakima Indians talk a lot about moving lights coming down mountains on their reservation near Mt. Adams. I do not know what the correlation or relationship between Bigfeet and moving lights is, but I believe there is one. I've seen moving lights/glowing orbs that seem far stranger than Bigfoot. (Again, not Occam's Razor, I understand that, but it's not my nature to be a "groupthinker.") Even David Rains Wallace describes seeing glowing lights in the Kalmiopsis more than once.

"The Scary Night Watchman" concept was delivered to me the first time I went to meet Cliff Crook in Maple Falls, Washington, 1991, at the Bigfoot Daze festival. A man walked up to me in the crowd when I first got there, and had not yet met Cliff Crook, and started talking to me about searching for Bigfoot and how that wasn't such a good idea. He said to be careful, that the Bigfeet/Sasquatch knew your thoughts and motives when you were out in the Washington forest, and if you were up to no good, or had bad intentions the Sasquatch would make you uncomfortable and physically escort you out of their woods to the town or place where you lived so you can work on your problems there!
The full  Bluff Creek Film Site Project, with Leiterman, Lyttle (in back),
Steven Streufert and "Crazy Ian." Louse Camp, Bluff Creek, 2010.
Photo by S. Streufert.
He (this guy) suggested the search would be fruitless, Bigfeet were dangerous, and I should be wary about my intentions looking for Bigfoot. He did say they live on the Lummi Peninsula, and leave stick structures to mark their dens. Anyway, it was a little startling, this guy being the first person I met. I actually believe Cliff Crook directed the guy to me to warn me off Bigfooting for various, sundry reasons.

Funny now after 20 plus years studying Bigfoot, I feel (almost) the exact way as the unknown guy who advised that very first day. Bigfoot don't need no help, concentrate on your on human's personal and environmental boondoggles, leave 'em alone. All discovered primates are on the endangered species list anyhow.

And thinking about it, how is even one Bigfoot body prove a species exist? We all know we likely will need several Bigfoot bodies to prove them a discovered species. And to me there are hundreds of more pressing problems than proving Bigfoot exists. Hey, in good economic, happy times, sure, let's try for Bigfoot. Otherwise, let's figure out where our future food and water is going to come from. FedGov just announced all eastern cougars are actually west coast stragglers, no resident population. I'm sure they're (FedGov) going to embrace Bigfoot's range and population densities!
What's the future of Bigfoot research? Maybe Reality TV (Wink). Again, I have no clue, not up to date on it enough. I'd ask Matt Moneymaker, Adrian Erickson, BoBo Fay, maybe Dr. Jeff Meldrum or even John Green. I wish I could talk to the old Ray Crowe. That guy could make you laugh, get your eyes to crinkle up faster than anyone I knew. Ray is/was a gem and always with a smirk on his face..

I know you would need at least two bodies, maybe more to prove their existence. Getting killer videos of Bigfoot won’t prove they exist. Unhuh. But I do know now after years of chasing the Ivory-billed woodpecker what often doesn’t work... In a word: stealth.

What would Jason Statham do?
What would action-hero Jason Statham do if he had to bring in a Sasquatch in 3 days to save the girl and prevent the city from being blown up? Think of the movies he's done.

Single most important thing I’ve learned with Bigfoot and then Ivory-billed woodpecker searching is this: CAMO KILLS/STEALTH LOSES! Sure, try sneaking up on an Ivory-billed woodpecker or Bigfoot. ‘Pernt near impossible in both cases in my experience.

Now know this. Almost all IBWO sightings I discovered were accidental sightings by locals being loud, unconcerned with wildlife, and wearing regular clothing, fishing, logging or just cruising. Same with Bigfoot. Most sightings are accidental with people going about their normal lives or doing normal things in the woods like fishing, hunting, working, farming, hiking, necking but not stalking.

When I stalked IBWO in the SC swamps wearing camoflauge and carrying a black camera gun in my hand, head swiveling towards the treetops for digital prey, I’m sure I quieted the birds and critters quicker than locals “showing their ass” (a local expression for acting stupid or loud). Birds and animals after their initial freeze up, let their guard down and go about their business when the locals acted loud and unconcerned as opposed to human’s other deadly mode-hunting.

Rip Lyttle, with Larry Lund and Friend, 2010.
Photo by Steven Streufert
Yes, for both IBWO and BF you can do the wood-knocking with some limited success. The wood knocker I used for BF attracting was the same wood knocker I used in South Carolina to hammer snags to lure in IBWO! Never told the scientists that though.

So if I learned anything about searching, do the Zen thing, un-search. Calm the local wood denizens by not being interested in them at all.

Picture this: Jason Staham and his team of good ole boy Bubba take-out team hit the remote forest and lakes in the morning as mushroom hunters or go in as fishermen or weekend partiers. After a while the BF shows itself to the relaxed fisherman, and then, Jason, out of the tacklebox lifts a black Nikon with honkin' 700 millimeter auto-loadah lens and shoots that surprised Bigboy right in the gut with digital ones and zeros or 600 lines of smokin' documentin' resolution. The Bigboy reels back, knows he's been hit by something way more deadly than a weapon, a frickin' videocamera. Enraged the Bigfoot leans to move forward and snatch Jason by the neck but his Bubba team has closed and showing superior firepower to the Bigfoot so he starts-backpedaling, turns, flees, knows he's messed up the neighborhood. Jason calmly zips the Nikon back up in the tacklebox, a Bubba paddles in to pick him up, the team meets back at the RV, and WHOOSH, they're outta there that night, heading to save the girl and city!

BIGFOOT BOOKS:  OK, Rip. That's great, and thanks!

You were there back in the earlier days of Bigfooting, at least before the BFRO and the rise of the internet. Can you talk any further about how things have changed in the world of Bigfoot, and perhaps tell a few stories about all the old-timers (like Ray Crowe, Rene Dahinden, Cliff Crook, Jim Hewkin, or whomever) you knew personally?

Any "last words" you'd like to add to conclude the interview?
Rip out Looking for the Elusive Woodpecker. Courtesy of Rip Lyttle.
RIP LYTTLE: Maybe I could rank my favorite Bigfooters I have gotten to know and who contributed unique aspects to my knowledge.

1 ) Jim Hewkin
2 ) Henry Franzoni
3 ) Datus Perry
4 ) Larry Lund
5 ) Ray Crowe
6 ) Bob Titmus
7 ) Bobo Fay
8 ) John Green
9 ) Matt Moneymaker
10 ) Bob Chance

I've hung with many Bigfooters other than these who have done very interesting work, and, of course, I'm partial to 'Fieldmen' versus Academics. Thinking about it, I didn't get much done in the field with Bigfoot, other than close quarters nighttime encounters with Bigfoot. All I could do was audio record them, failed at getting video.

An Encounter Description:
When I first started looking for Bigfoot in the Northwest it took me two years to "see" one, but just two weeks to get near one, I believe, up in North Cascades National Park, June, 1992. Late one early June afternoon, I backpacked in alone along long Ross Lake with no gun into past dark, and set up my tent on a designated sleep platform 7 miles in, and immediately went to sleep. 

On the long walk in along the lake trail I was confronted with several sets of bobbing glowing yellow eyes directly ahead of me as I made my way to the campsite area in pitch black. It took me several minutes to realize they were deer, and I walked past them. Right after that a huge toad or bullfrog jumped past me. 

Slept fine, no disturbances, and next day I hiked 14 miles on a trail out past the lake to the northwest and got back to Ross lake around 3pm exhausted. So I laid down on top of the picnic bench at the side of the lake in one of its many coves in the sunlight and promptly fell asleep.... To be awoken later by a guy yelling/hollering at me from across the cove in the forest and shaking two large bushes/small trees at the same time. I'm so sleepy from the 14 mile hike I barely understand what's going on, thinking in my fog, that's just some weird guy trying to disturb my sleep by playing a funny prank on me seeing me there konked out, sprawled on the picnic table top comfy. It went on for at least two minutes. Now I just lift my head off the picnic tabletop, and look over at the dark forest across the cove 400' away, and see these big bushes/small trees vigorously shaking vertically, parting and unparting while a guy behind them is yelling loudly at me, "Hey, hey, Hey," no other words. I was so tired from my longest day hike ever I laid my head back down on that sunny table and went back to sleep, not bothered. He'd have to up the ante for sure. 

Only after waking later did I realize there was no trail over on that peninsula at all, and why was a single guy goading me so long, for what? The next day on the way out I hiked an hour to that area and it's not a spot anyone would normally try to get to or could easily have. There were no other campers on the whole lake at that time, no motor boats. I was 7 miles in along the west side of the lake completely alone. I thought, I don't think that was a human hassling me. 

But my most fun (besides Molalla River Campground) was when I camped 30 weekends ('94 - '95) in a Prindle, Washington rock quarry in the granite highlands above the Columbia River across from Multnomah falls and Skamania Island after windsurfing all day farther upstream. I don't see how you can beat the beauty and vistas of that part of the Columbia River Gorge all while being able to visually inspect the land and water for long distances laying before you for Bigfoot. I used to swim out to Skamania Island in my drysuit and found amazing items, tracks. 

I've heard Skamania Island is a magnetic vortex or something. An old story told of a woman who used to live on the island during the turn of the last century and made her living by bundling firewood and selling it to passing ships. My 6' blond girlfriend and I camped on that island early April, 1994, after canoeing over one afternoon. Mid-dusk, we're in the tent tired and she just kind of passes out and I start to fall asleep around 6:30 p.m.; but all of sudden I hear these quick faint sharp jumps or hops as something hops to right above the tent and I'm petrified, speechlees, no body control whatsoever, facing upwards, can't see through the opaque tent but know something large is right there within 3 feet. 

I'm unable to speak, move, say a word to my girl to warn her. It wasn't terror as much as forced immobilization. Shit, it was terror. A minute later a few sounds sounds like it jumped/sneaked away, and the fear washes off of me and I start up the Sony DAT recorder. 

One minute later farther down the beach in the dark comes a human American Indian like yell, "Hey, hey, HEY!, that I audio recorded and still have. I think I found the large athlete I'd been tracking on that island or it found me, more like. The last HEY sounded like he turned my direction and gave it much more emphasis. Hey back, I think now. So, I got all the way out there to have an encounter, and could do nothing to get a photo or video.
Leafy Lean-to; Patapsco State Park, Piney Run Reservoir, Sykesville,
MD 2005. "Likely a hermit homeless lean-to but the long logs to build the
thing were real heavy, took lots of work to create. Rumors BF was living
right there but there was a coke can near entrance." Photo by Rip Lyttle
But I developed a good pair of stones over the years doing this and know Bigboy has to lean on my [Subaru] Forester pretty hard to get my attention these days. C'mon Bigboy, let's play. Make my day, punk! (Just kiddin' BF man, You're the Man, or Wooman!)
Bigfooting makes you thick-skinned and my Bigfoot researcher buddies know I'm direct, chest-poking but fast to have a good laugh, time. Can't worry what people think of me--that's a fool's game. Used to worry quite a bit, but learned to shake it off, and I have been much happier ever since.

I guess over the years I've turned into a caricature like the Coen Brothers, "Dude of Bigfoot Researchers," and that's perfectly okay with me. Just track me down at the local bowling lanes with Walter, or chugging milk late at night in the aisle at Safeway in my robe and Jellies. Or way down a moonlit mountain forest trail handing a joint to a Bigboy. And as Charlie Sheen says, "Winning!" --- Rip Lyttle

BIGFOOT BOOKS: Rip, that is hilarious, man! Great stories, too. I hope we get to hear more of these around the campfire at Bluff Creek/Louse Camp this summer. Thanks for the interview!

A Hewkin Quote, as Promised.
This is a screenshot from the Church of Bigfoot, Scientist web site.
Rip LINKS: Rip Lyttle on Flickr
Rip Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Photos
Rip's Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Site
Rip on Facebook

Rip Lyttle recently appeared on the VH1 TV show, REAL AND CHANCE, THE LEGEND HUNTERS.
Episode Six of the series dealt with Bigfoot, with Rip as the guide for two urban Hip-Hop hipsters, with hilarious results.
Also... View Six BONUS CLIPS:
Big Fish, Small Pond
Pitching a Tent
I Feel Like a Squirrel
Bigfoot and Watermelon
Break It Down

And... A Little Note on What LEROY BLEVINS Said... (LOL!!!)
Leroy Blevins
(Commenting on Facebook, on references to using beer and marijuana in Bigfoot research, as attractants, as seen in one of our Bluff Creek Film Site Project videos on YouTube.)
February 19, 2011 at 7:44pm;
Re: A VIDEO [Blevins spelling and grammar stand uncorrected.]

A Perfect Replica? Not!
You know I like to ask you something. As a matter of fact two things. You keep telling me about Longs book when his book talks about the PG film as a hoax. But you keep talking about his book why? Then as I watch you last video on the film site of the PG film. When you can these guys talking about beer and weed. With that in mind can we really go on what you guys are trying to do or say when that video makes me fell like you guy are in the wood just drinking and getting high. Even that one guy said he likes doing that in the wood. Come on man I never talk about drinking and I have never took a drink in my life and as for weed or any other drug I have never done that as well. Now when you ask me a question I think to myself is this dude drunk or high. My point if you like people to believe in what you do then don't even joke about things like that because when you make claims like that is why people today are not believeing in Bigfoot and it's really hard for real men out there every day trying to prove they are out there. But, when you make comments in your vides like you do make people think of one thing and that is are these guy drunk or high. Think about it. I am trying to help you but, you just look at things your way and that is it. However I did like the videos you guys did on your search for the film site but, now I have to think when you guys point out this location or that location and with you guys talking about beer and weed I sorry but, now I can not believ a word you say.

Steven Streufert, February 19 at 7:27pm:
That's tobacco, friends! Roll-Your-Own.
Yours Truly, Bluff Creek, 2010.
I don't smoke pot, Leroy. And none of us primaries in the project did while up there. Rip is different, and he has a legal permit to smoke it. Robert is law enforcement (ranger) and anti-drug. Ian and I drank a few beers at night in camp, so what? It is harmless if not abused. It is clear we are stone cold sober and justified in our reasoning in those videos. I know things about that place and the history you will never know, and I really could care less what pointless judgments you have. I challenge any one into the world to compete with my knowledge on the ground in Bluff Creek, whether or not I had one beer with lunch. Give me a break you Puritan. Geez. On to better things....

Here are a couple of the BLUFF CREEK FILM SITE PROJECT videos featuring our friend, Mr. Richard "Rip" Lyttle. Have fun. Don't get all uptight and wound like Mr. Blevins.

and a cameo appearance here:


Me feel big one coming. Gettin ready go boom boom! It come at you, hu-man!

*Angry Bigfoot channeled this time by Rip Lyttle

This blog is copyright and all that jazz, save for occasional small elements borrowed for "research" and information or satirical purposes only, 2011, Bigfoot Books and Steven Streufert. Borrowings for non-commercial purposes will be tolerated without the revenge of Angry Bigfoot, if notification, credit, citation and a kindly web-link are given, preferably after contacting us and saying, Hello, like a normal person would before taking a cup of salt. No serious rip-offs of our material for vulgar commercial gain will be tolerated without major BF stomping action coming down on you, hu-man.