Cannibal Bigfoot

That’s the rumor, you know. It’s been around for centuries. Though Native American’s often relate Bigfoot as a nocturnal, petty trickster who steals salmon, there are also legends of hairy devils with evil intent.

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Photo By Edward S. Curtis – Library of Congress

The Shampe of Choctaw fable,  Ts’el’eni, the woodman of Athabaskan’s in Alaska, the Boqs of the Bella Coola, and Tsiatko, Stick Indians of Salish legend in the Pacific Northwest are a few examples. These big hairy creatures were known for stealing women and children, and eating people.

The Windigo, known to many tribes, is associated with evil. In times of famine, it ate human flesh and forever has a taste for it. There are also the Teihiihan, the little cannibals of Cheyenne and other tribal lore, described as something like a dwarf Bigfoot that entices children to play – and eats them.

Hopi believe Bigfoot is a harbinger of strife and doom. He shows himself to fellow man as a message that human behavior has strayed from the creator’s plan, and an accounting is coming due.

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Photo by Edward S. Curtis – Library of Congress

It’s not a cannibal unless it’s human. Otherwise it’s just another predator. Cannibal means a particular type of predator far more chilling to contemplate. The fact Native Americans call it cannibal betrays their belief in what it is. It’s the hairy man of the forest, a brother tribe of people.

Everyone has opinions, including a majority who outright deny its existence. But if you believe in the creature, you’re probably on a spectrum of opinion that runs from a big, relic ape, to a close cousin of mankind. Perhaps an archaic race similar to Neanderthal, or even a hybrid race that interbred with us.

Personally, I suspect they are relic hominids evolved from the same branch of genetic tree we are from. Shave Patty, the Bigfoot in the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, put lipstick and a dress on, and she’d have luck getting picked-up at the Bashful Bandit, my local biker bar.

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Photo by Roger Patterson

That seems to be the way Native Americans think about Sasquatch. They are the wild people of the woods, not another animal. They are feared and respected, and not to be allowed near children. They are not something to go looking for.

Enter the ancestors of mad Englishmen. Have you noticed Bigfoot hunters are usually white people? Non-believers account this to the ignorance of white trailer-trash folk, like me, who prefer a walk in Nature to working off the Mercedes payment all day.

This makes no sense to me. I’ll believe an outdoors man about the woods, no matter what the armchair people say. I think it’s because I belong to the only race in denial about Bigfoot.

Genetics experts say non-African people carry around 4% Neanderthal DNA, whereas Africans have hardly any. Maybe there is something dark in the Caucasian past we’re still dealing with. Perhaps that is why it’s existence is so vehemently denied by urbane people who consider themselves the pinnacle of civilization. The realities of the past are too uncomfortable to think about.

One reason Bigfoot fascinates many people is the idea humans and Neanderthal coupled in Europe in the distant past. And in Asia and Melanesia, DNA shows that people slept with Denisovan’s. The term ‘slept with’ is probably not accurate. Rape in the woods is more likely.

It points to a past when catastrophe decimated the population. There have been planet-wide catastrophes that nearly wiped life away, and the human race was reduced to small groups of survivors.

For life to go on, there had to be compromises. Brutal as it seems, there had to be cross-breeding. Perhaps forcibly and uninvited, but necessary nevertheless. It’s even believed cross-breeding bolstered the human immune system, giving us immunity to some disease.

So if there is the remnant of Neanderthal and Denisovan in the gene pool, that means at one time there were people born of interbreeding that had a fifty-fifty blend. Over time those individuals bred with other humans and the gene pool became diluted. Now there is a remnant of their DNA still carried in our blood.

But the corollary must also be true. Some of those hybrid babies were raised by surviving Neanderthal and Denisovan tribes. They would have bred in those communities, diluting the human gene. There must have been a hybrid being whose race was much less human. A feral race with more DNA of the ‘other thing.’

One can imagine they would be smart enough to survive. Smart enough to use rudimentary tools and even communicate.  They could have come from Europe and Asia to populate the New World alongside human beings.

One could also imagine they were hunted mercilessly for indiscretions in the past. Nothing puts a man into fight mode faster than someone stealing his wife and eating his children. They would have been attacked and chased into hiding, like so many Hollywood bigwigs. They would have been the Harvey Weinstein of the time, rightfully shunned for predatory sexual behavior. Harvey even looks Neanderthal, come to think of it.

They got away with it for awhile, when calamitous weather, pestilence and famine decimated life. Survival meant taking what was needed wherever it was available, and the bigger and stronger hominids had the upper hand. Humans didn’t choose to be the wives, or the dinner for their ‘brother’ tribe. But humans had to wake-up at some point and say, “enough!” The Neanderthal and Denisovan would have been hunted down and made to account.

Feared, hunted and killed, and smart enough to understand their persecution, the remnants of those races hid from the enemy. Now they watch and keep track of us when we enter their territory, but like pedophiles and creeps, know better than to show themselves. Except when opportunity allows instinct to take over and satisfy a nasty, old habit.

Native people aren’t the only ones to have these legends, We all do, regardless of race. My people have just sanitized the stories and called them fairy tales to discredit them, but like all stories they begin from a grain of truth. Werewolves and boogeymen, giants and little people have origins of truth in the distant past. Horrible truths.

What happens in the mountains seems to bear this out. People go missing, without rhyme, or reason, never to be seen again. These disappearances have a pattern that is disturbing. David Paulides is an ex-cop and writer who documents strange and inexplicable disappearances in the National Forests.

 The pattern repeats time and again. People go missing without a trace. If a trace is found, or even a body, they are found far from where they disappeared, sometimes in areas nearly impossible to reach.

Small children are found miles from where they vanish, across rugged, mountain country. People disappear while companions are just a few feet away. Experienced outdoors men take a walk and never come home. The typical profile is the last person on the trail, a child who wanders out of sight, or a solo hiker.

The disappearances often occur near a boulder field, rocky pinnacle, or cliff. As I’ve experienced myself, these are hangouts for Bigfoot. They also occur just prior to storms. Maybe an impending storm is a trigger. The blood rises with electricity in the air. A storm also provides cover – a better opportunity to get away.

Dogs trained for tracking can’t find them. Whatever scent they pick-up seems to create fear, and they refuse to track. Some lay down and whimper.

The mountain ranges I frequent have occurrences recorded that fit the profile. The camp host at one of my favorites called it “the last mountain in Arizona,” meaning it’s not overrun by anybody. Well it is, because there are billions of dollars worth of telescopes up there, but the astronomers keep to themselves, fenced inside the observatory. Otherwise, locals go there to hunt and camp, there are a few backpacking trails, and a smattering of cabins, but that’s all.

Many of the locals who go there, both Native American and otherwise, know of the presence of Bigfoot. Reports of intimidation are disturbing. People hear trees snapped in anger in the darkness at the edge of their campsites. Campers get pounded awake with blows that leave dents in the walls of their travel trailers. They hear guttural, unintelligible talking in some jabberwolky language. And there is howling at night.

I listened to howling that sounded like a cage of monkeys fighting a lion. Deep growls and grunts accompanied chimp-like squealing. It was a night of full moon at an elevation far above coyote country. It wasn’t coyote’s.

A few years ago, a woman reported to be mentally disabled walked just a hundred yards behind her family near a campsite in an adjacent mountain range. She disappeared without a trace within sight of her family, who were watchful because of her handicap. She vanished in a brief moment when they turned their attention away. And not a trace could be found. There was no trail, or track to follow.

The prior year, another woman, middle aged, camped with a group of people she didn’t know well. She’d been invited by a friend, but she wasn’t a regular in the group. As they partied around the campfire one evening, she left on her own to watch the sunset from rocky cliffs about a quarter-mile away. The cliffs overlooked a canyon named Hell’s Hole.

This is another common theme. Sightings and disappearances happen in locations with demonic names. One has to wonder why these places were named that way in the first place.

Of course, she was never seen again. Her belongings were left in her tent and no sign of her could be found. The searchers used cadaver dogs, lowered by rope to find her body in the cliffs below, because it seemed that was the only way she could have gone. They found nothing and the mystery remains.

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Bigfoot of the Urals – Menk filmed by the Dyatlov Party before they died.

From those same mountains, another story may shed light on what happens. It comes from an elderly woman who camped there with her parents as a little girl. She says she was six years old at the time, so this occurred in the sixties.

She sat on a log in the woods in sight of her parents when she heard something behind her. She turned around to see a big, black creature behind a tree. It was creeping up on her, she said, crawling from tree to tree and hiding behind logs. She thought it was a bear, until it stood up and she saw its face looked human. She ran to her parents and got away, her parents unaware of anything.

I came upon the trunk of a large tree hung upside down, cradled in the branches of another, with other trees leaned against it tee-pee fashion. I studied it trying to fathom if it could have happened naturally. It didn’t seem plausible.

As I scouted around the area, a path, or game trail led through brush, and I followed it a few yards to where it came to a boulder outcrop. As I reached the outcrop, I heard children playing, and realized it overlooked a campsite. The campsite was down the canyon, maybe five hundred feet below.

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Typical tree structures mark a Bigfoot Trail

When I climbed onto the rocks, I was met with rock clacks. Something began tapping a substantial rock against another, warning me away. It tapped repeatedly, and not with a little pebble that a squirrel, or bird could pick up. It was a rock I’d gauge as big as my hand. I turned around and left, with the creepy realization that whatever clacked the rock was sitting in that boulder outcrop watching the kids play below.

In every instance I’ve seen, their trails lead uphill to natural lookout sites, usually at large granite outcrops. A ridge, or mountain top with a cap of rock that overlooks a campsite, or roadway is a likely spot.

When I have approached such areas, I have several times heard whoops. On one occasion, crossing a meadow towards an outcropping of boulders, there was a distinct whoop from the treeline to my right, and an answering whoop from the boulders. They were communicating a warning I was coming.

The interesting thing is that I parked my truck and fiddled around next to it for several minutes before I started walking towards the boulders. The whoops came only after I’d left the road and committed across the field. I’m sure the lookout could see me the whole time, but didn’t alarm until I started their way.

They watch us. They hang out in the rocks and trees and watch every move we make. They see us coming as soon as we start. They stay hidden and keep their distance. If we approach they fall back. Only if you keep invading their area do they start clacking rocks, or throwing them. To my knowledge, I’ve never had a rock thrown at me, although a pine cone did hit the car from a clear blue sky once.

Sightings of Bigfoot most often occur on roadways. It’s their biggest vulnerability. We’ve criss-crossed the land with big swaths naked of trees. Where there are trees, the Mountain Devil can’t be seen, except for the occasional glimpse, or surprise encounter. It’s rare they are surprised, but they have to cross roads.

Away from the trails and roads, in areas overgrown with underbrush, beneath peaks and ridges, where dead trees lean against each other, and there are rocky outcrops, and boulder fields – that is where they live. To enter is to experience them watching you, hear their whistles, whoops and clacks, and find their scuffs and footprints.

I filmed the following clip at Hell’s Hole, the location where the woman vanished. You’ll see several things in the video.

First, the trail was blocked every hundred yards, or so with broken trees. I was entering an area that had been closed all winter, and just reopened. I knew from the prior year it was a hot spot, where campsites coincide with access to a creek and one of their trails.

The further I went down the trail, the more trees I found felled, and the more obstacles blocked my way. It was as if, after the roads were closed and people had left for the season, they went-off on the campsite and road, tearing down trees in the hope maybe it would keep people from coming back.

At first, I maintained skepticism. The snows and winds of winter could have knocked the trees down. The further I went, however, the more apparent it became there was more than wind and snow pack at work.

On the way, I found a footprint. The toes impressed perfectly in the mud, but the heel landed in foliage making it hard to judge its length. It was at least twelve inches, but might have been as much as fourteen. It’s width was half-again the width of my bare foot – five inches, or more, in an area I had trouble walking in high boots. The ground was covered in brambles and broken trees. You can watch the video and judge for yourself if a human would walk barefoot in that country.

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The footprint is bound by the arrows, toes to the left.
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The cap rests just inside the print.

I followed what I suspected was a track they’d made. The ground was covered in fallen trees, browning ferns and broken twigs. Through it all, there was a distinct trail of steps, like post-holes in the dry ferns that left them broken down. The footprint appeared along the track in a rare patch of bare soil.

I had no plaster, which is a shame because I think it would have cast very well. I placed a water bottle along the edge of the print with the cap resting inside for scale. The print was flat, with a hint of a rise just left of the bottle cap that may have been at the mid-tarsal break. The toes prints are seen, with the big toe splayed away from the others.

A mid-tarsal break, and the ability to splay toes for balance, is characteristic of Bigfoot prints according to Dr. Grover Krantz, and Dr. Jeff Meldrum, both qualified experts in the subject. The pictures I took are not good as the mid-day sun beat straight down, making it impossible to keep shadows away, or see what I was framing.

The tracks led to the boulders above Hell’s Hole, the very place I was I was heading. The same place searchers lowered cadaver dogs to look for the missing woman. I had Ginger with me. She almost never barks, and only growls when she means business. She started growling almost the moment we reached the boulders. At the same time I heard a repetitive knock on wood. Knock-knock…knock-knock-knock. Knock-knock…knock-knock-knock.

This is on film in Part 2, but the knocking isn’t picked-up by the camera. It wasn’t the machine-gun rata-tat-tat of a woodpecker, but a slow and precise rhythm, like keeping time with a tune. Ginger refused to follow me any further in that direction. She stood her ground and growled.

I don’t know any normal forest animal that makes a knock like that. I had the feeling the playful sound was meant to entice me. Part of me wanted to go find the source, even though Ginger was growling. I couldn’t put the leash on and drag her, because there were too many trees broken down. I had to let her free to run her own obstacle course, but she refused to follow me.

We stayed long enough to take some film and left. I didn’t feel threatened. In fact, after a few minutes I felt whatever was making the knocks was gone. On the way out, though, I heard a solid wood-knock from a different direction.

It’s at this point I generally turn around, anyway. If I hear knocking, or whoops, I don’t go further. I know that won’t get me a photo op, but there is something about intruding where you’re not wanted. To be a paparazzi, even a Bigfoot paparazzi, is to be a cad, intruding on others privacy for the hope of a photo to sell.

Besides, I don’t want my head torn-off.

Interesting Resources:

Rise of the Warrior Apes … new perspective on our not-so-nice cousins, the chimpanzee.

From Discovery UK

Tolkien’s World – Cousin Species…

Update: They are smarter than you think…Can Great Apes Read Your Mind? from “The Conversation

We shared the planet with pre-modern humans…Science DailyRed Deer Cave People…less than 14,000 years ago.

Homo Floresiensis…17,000 years ago – hobbits!

NeanderthalDenisovan…30,000 to 70,000 years ago. “The Truth Behind the Neanderthal Case“…a good documentary. Professor Tom Higham…”When Neanderthals and Modern Humans Meet” lecture at University of Oxford.

New genetic data on aboriginal  Australian’s…Mystery ancient human ancestor found in Australasian family tree

What were they like…Super Predators?

What are they like…1967…”Patterson-Gimlin“…the full Munn’s Report.

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Documentary: Stranger than Fiction – “The Patterson Film”

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Most recent sighting.

For the price of covfefe…

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One thought on “Cannibal Bigfoot”

  1. Do they eat bark? It would be very fibrous when passed, or do they chew and suck out the juice then spit? either way there should be signs, stripping bark is not much of a hobby.
    If it’s the scent that warns the dogs, of what, or how could dogs be familier with them? As you say you don’t want your head ripped off, but they seem to be at least as aware of you as you are of them, and they’re pretty clear about not wanting your prescence, warning you is hardly the act of a predator.
    I’m not an out of Africa fan, my guess is that the development of hominids began sometime after the divergence of Orang-Utans and the two Chimpanzee species. Dominate-radiate-hybridise, rinse repeat, always with the weakest/least dominant doing the radiate/expansion bit and if they weren’t bright enough they became a dead end. So i wonder if these guys are at the Orang-Utan/Denisovan end of the spectrum. That said iirc someone had a sample tested years ago, possibly fur/hair, the mtdna came up as native american the rest of it unknown.
    Stealing women, to wife, is an accepted custom in the caucasus, stealing children, by those without, has always happened. Just as cannibalism, of the dead, has often been resorted to as an alternative to starvation.

    Like

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