Category: Bigfoot

Gila Bigfoot – The Long Road Home

Episode 4 – The Long Road Home

Ginger and I camp at the lake after a day of Bigfoot hunting. Along the way we stop to check-out a likely granite outcrop in a meadow. As we leave the truck to cross the meadow, I hear an unmistakable whoop from the tree-line, and an answering whoop from the rocks. We change our mind about crossing the meadow.

It’s late season, so we are alone at the campsite. I’m playing a CD while filming, which isn’t appropriate, but the publisher notified me they were okay taking the advertising revenue. I don’t think they will get rich from it.

The next day we head home. This is the last trip for the year. I stop to look at one last tree structure and leave the truck in drive, nearly getting run-over as it rolls backwards while I’m at the tailgate.

Gila Bigfoot – Stench in the Air

Episode 3 – Stench in the Air

Ginger and I continue exploring a hilltop we climbed following tree-leans. On the reverse side of the hilltop, we find teepees of broken trees and a wallow with large tree structures. The trees are woven together in a fashion that defies wind, or snow-load. X’s surround the area.

I keep getting whiffs of bad odor, until Ginger alarms and I get the distinct smell of shit. It wasn’t either of us. I didn’t step in anything. We were at least a mile from the roads and trails. The scent was strong, like someone took a crap right next to us.

Gila Bigfoot – Whoops!

Episode 2 – Whoops!

Ginger and I follow a path of tree-leans that lead to a mountain top with granite outcrops. I hear whoops as I leave the designated trail to follow the tree-leans up the hill, but in the wind, they are indistinct, so I am uncertain.

The tree-leans give way to tee-pee structures and X’s surrounding the hilltop. We don’t venture into the granite outcrop, but skirt around it looking for definitive structures to film. The outcrop seemed spooky. It’s where I thought the whoops came from.

Ginger and I continue exploring this hilltop in Episode 3, where we find more evidence and get a bit nervous.

 

Gila Bigfoot – Recon

Episode 1 – Recon

In this initial episode of Gila Bigfoot, my brother and I drive through remote campsites in known Bigfoot country in eastern Arizona. Along the way we see trail markers. One trail is close to our campsite, so we follow it.

People unfamiliar with Bigfoot trails will say we followed leaning, wind-blown trees that just coincidentally form a distinct corridor through the forest. It’s coincidence the corridor of fallen trees is surrounded by forest without leaning trees.

Skeptics will say it’s coincidence the trees generally lean the same direction at a consistent angle, unnaturally stripped of bark and branches, not connected to root balls, or broken stumps.

And it’s coincidence the ground is scuffled, like something large moved through that corridor of leaning trees. Something that followed the tree-leans straight up the hillside instead of meandering on switchback paths like game trails typically do.

It must be coincidence they lead to a ridge where there is a ‘fence line’ of downed trees blocking an aspen grove that hides another trail I surveyed previously. A ‘fence line’ that has no apparent reason for being there; where there is no stream bank, or natural feature to explain how they formed a barrier, piled on top of each other in the same direction.

It’s just another coincidence the ridge trail leads to water at the points where the stream enters and exits the lake, where the land is swampy and shallow, where it’s easy to find crawdads and fish.

And of course, it’s coincidence we hear wood knocks from this trail in the middle of the night.

New Feature – Sasquatch Library

If you’ve never seen one, you are likely a skeptic. After all, deep woods make us prone to superstition. We don’t belong out of shelter – in the dark wooded realm of human ignorance.

But have you really been in the forest? I mean off roads and trails, in the gnarly bush where most people don’t venture. Because they are out there.

yeti

Pay attention and you’ll feel them watching. A creepy tingle behind the ears; then heat, dead silence and a twinge of fear. Don’t forget to look behind you.

Those whoops, and knocks, and clacking rocks aren’t birds, or squirrels, or wind in the trees. They come from creatures with hands like ours, and voices with intelligence.

But they aren’t us. No humans lay waiting in ape suits to hoax – not in the dark wooded realm of human ignorance.

Stay too long, and you might disturb them. They’ll let you know … a rock at your feet tossed from somewhere close. Somewhere too close.

So, hold the skepticism until you’ve actually looked. And before you go, bone-up on what the experts say.



For more selections, click the Bigfoot link and browse.

And for those rainy nights alone, here are a few good reads to enjoy. Keep the doors locked and pay no mind when the dog hides under the bed.





If you’re still alive… I mean still reading, click and browse, again and again and again. Your purchase helps keep me writing. Thank you.

Gila Bigfoot

Bigfoot is not an important thing to most people. It’s entertainment – a tantalizing possibility to tease curiosity and fuel ‘B’ movies, YouTube and reality TV. How would life change if indisputable proof were produced?

If you knew for sure there was something ‘out there’, faster, sneakier and smarter than you, able to take your head off with an audible pop – you might avoid the forest…right? But you probably do already. So, what else? What difference would it make?

News flash: Squirrels know more about reality than humans – 800 pound ape-men wander the forests and mankind is clueless.

If you know the truth about Bigfoot, it puts a new perspective on human arrogance. To realize, right next to seven billion of us there are who-knows-how-many thousands of eight-foot, hairy, bipedal hominids who are so good at playing hide-and-seek that we lost track of their existence. One might wonder if we are the dumber ape.

We weren’t always clueless. And some people never have been. Traditional First Nation people have always accepted it’s existence. Only in the last century has there been a concerted denial by skeptics.

Skeptics are bred in cities for the most part…need I say more?

The Bigfoot community likes to blame scientists, and we should. They hold themselves as the arbiters of truth when they are as clueless as anyone… they don’t even go look. They’ve erected a wall of ostracism to climb over for anyone who hints of Bigfoot’s plausibility. Cheers to the hand-full of brave scientists who’ve had the courage to investigate the subject.

In spite of a mountain of evidence and eyewitness accounts, the argument is that none of it is conclusive. And thanks to hoaxers, who should be burned at the stake (I don’t care how funny it is, it’s dishonest) there is an easy excuse for any single piece of evidence.

Perhaps it’s better this way. It will be terrible if biologists run around bagging DNA samples, tranquilizing and tagging the creatures, probing and categorizing them like they do everything else. I don’t want Bigfoot sporting ear tags and GPS transponders. I don’t want our behavior to affect theirs.

I pity the great whales being harassed endlessly by dart guns and tags, speedboats and self righteous environmental protectionistas. It may have the optics of being well-intentioned, but it doesn’t amount to much more than papers written by academics to justify their existence. The world rolls on; whale, elephant and tiger populations rise and fall, but generally fall, largely under the heavy hand of humans in spite of those efforts.

I fear armies of undisciplined, city-bred college students tramping through the mountains measuring the angle of tree leans. What would be the plus side – sales of pith helmets would skyrocket? The hairy folks in the forest seem to be doing fine without our help now.

It would also be terrible to see huge swaths of forest lands isolated from our enjoyment. You must know, ultimately it would happen to ‘protect the species’ – mankind can’t resist the urge to meddle. It might also mean protecting us the same way it’s done for bear and mountain lion – with a gun.

Certainly there are people in the Forest Service who know of them, and may have come to this conclusion: leave things as they are. It may be a sad day when ‘Science’ finds Bigfoot.

Nevertheless, truth is the most important thing for some of us. Ignorance isn’t bliss, because it doesn’t satisfy the need to know. Fortunately, there is a way to know, for yourself, the truth about Bigfoot. Forget those who snicker and deny its existence. It would diminish their self importance if they knew what lurks behind the backyard fence.

The purpose of this post is to introduce Gila Bigfoot, a ‘YouTube’ playlist devoted to searching for Bigfoot. I just needed to rant for a minute.

utahsasquatch
Utah Sasquatch

Credit is due to Utah Sasquatch for conceiving of #projectgoandsee which, along with many other people participating in the project, inspired the production of ‘Gila Bigfoot’, .

Reo is a hero, which rhymes nicely, but is a worthy tribute, because he shows anyone interested in how to find Bigfoot, how to actually do it. He makes the challenge to all of us very simple and straight (why is it someone even has to say this?): Go Look!

colorado-bigfoot
Colorado Bigfoot

#projectgoandsee and its many contributors are simply walking into the woods to see for themselves. Possibly the best contributor is ‘Colorado Bigfoot‘, who’s YouTube videos of complex, massive, and absolutely un-hoaxable tree structures provide conclusive evidence of, at least, a coherent entity behind their making. What he films in the forests of Colorado begs an explanation.

arizonaannotatedArizona isn’t the first place people think of when Bigfoot is the subject. This is one paradigm people should get over. They are not isolated to the Pacific North-West; the Cascades, the Rockies, or this, or that…they are closer than you think.

Arizona is a patchwork of desert and mountain, but south of Four Corners, along the eastern border of the state, there is a hopscotch of mountains all the way to Mexico.

Bigfoot reports are concentrated in four, high country, forested areas. Area 1, on the map, is the Kiabab Plateau, which includes Mt. Humphreys and the Grand Canyon, particularly the isolated, barely inhabited North Rim.

Area 2 is the Navajo Nation, which includes the San Juan Basin, and the Carrizo and Chuska Mountains, where sighting aren’t discussed much with outsiders.

Area 3 is the best known area in Arizona. It’s home of the Mogollon Monster. Sighting reports are numerous along the rim, all the way to the Continental Divide. Here is a good video featuring the late Mitch Waite, Arizona’s original Bigfoot Hunter.

Gila Bigfoot lives in Area 4, the White Mountains north of the Gila River, and a few Sky Islands to the south. The White Mountains are mostly reservation lands for the White Mountain and San Carlos Apaches. The Sky Islands are National Forest lands.

portal_peak_in_the_chiricahua_mountainsThe term “Sky Island‘ pertains to the mountains in the basin and range country of Southeastern Arizona and well into Sonora Mexico. The ranges are surrounded by basins of arid desert. Like islands on the sea, forest habitat is isolated above seven thousand feet. Yet there is ample territory to support a profusion of wildlife. These mountains boast more diversity of species than Yellowstone.

Isolated ranges provide some interesting topographical advantages, and challenges for locating Bigfoot. The habitable range is geographically contained. Rugged, mountainous terrain limits possible occupation areas, where water and flat, livable space is available. Human traffic is scarce, limited to designated campsites on mostly primitive roads. Few people know about the area, and most traffic is local.

I use these feature to advantage. Trail finding is easy in the area I survey. Obvious paths marked by tree leans, tree breaks and barriers cross the minimal network of roads on the mountain in several places.

The mountains are rocky, mostly steep ground a sane person wouldn’t venture through without a trail. Every canyon, meadow and waterway is brooded over by rocky caps on the peaks, where a single lookout can see all approaches.

dsci0023My technique is simple. I go light and alone except for my dog. I hike straight up a path of tree leans, quickly and quietly. I choose trails that lead a short distance to a ridge, or peak, where there is likely to be evidence of their presence. There is also the possibility of an encounter.

I don’t try to hide, my footsteps will give me away anyway. I simply move quickly, under the assumption it will take them a few minutes to realize I’m off the human trail and coming their way. I hope they hesitate to move away before I get close enough.

I don’t whoop, or call blast, or beat on trees, or perform any other stunt to “draw them in”. The only thing that would accomplish is chase them away, or bring them into my campsite at night, which is the last thing I want.

I’ve been rewarded about thirty percent of the time with a whoop, rock clacking or, in one case, a horrible smell. The whoops and rock clacks were authentic. There is no animal that could do either and I’m certain no humans were around. The smell – well, it wasn’t me. That is enough, along with marveling at their ingenuity with trees, to make the effort worthwhile. They work trees like we do flower arrangements.

Of course I want to see one. That’s the ultimate goal. But I don’t expect that to happen and be able to film it. Besides, I’ve crossed that Rubicon. I saw one in California several years ago. It screamed at me. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

I wasn’t looking for one then. Now that I am, will it scare the hell out of me again? Probably…but then, that is the adventure. I hope you enjoy these first episodes of Gila Bigfoot.

Thank you.

Guest Post, Re: “The Bigfoot Hunter”

The greatest pleasure in writing something is to have someone read it. To get feedback in the form of a ‘like’ or comment is icing on the cake. It is a tremendous pleasure to connect with people in this way. Well, money would be nice, too, but I’ll get there eventually.

I received this comment on “The Bigfoot Hunter” from one of my most responsive readers, THX1138. He took the time and effort not only to comment, but to provide a wealth of information in an entertaining read. Therefore, I am posting it as a guest blog so it isn’t buried in the comments section (I hope you don’t mind THX).

In addition to his article, I’d like to add that the esteemed Jane Goodall is on record saying she believes that relic hominids, such as Bigfoot, are extremely likely to exist. So is Professor Jeff Meldrum, who has had his own encounters and has collected a wealth of evidence. Also, notable scientists such as Igor Burtsev, the late Rene Dahinden and a host of other imminently  qualified and credible experts in the field of biology and anthropology who agree, although most keep their mouths shut for obvious reasons.

Even more compelling to me is the ubiquity of Native American lore and the thousands of reports by people who actually go into the woods and understand the back country. The Apache and Navajo people in my neck of the woods consistently experience encounters on their lands and view the hairy man as the apex predator of the local fauna. Typical of mainstream ‘consensus science’, these people are dismissed as mistaken fools because institutionalized mainstream science is inherently bigoted and dogmatic.

How arrogant, smug, elitist academics can dismiss the accounts of an entire continent of indigenous peoples is breathtaking, but they have been doing that to ancient mythology and indigenous legend for a couple of centuries now, preferring to “deduce” their own narratives for these peoples history and culture with their own “scholarly” versions.

Thank you THX1138. What follows are his comments unedited.

Bigfoot News | Bigfoot Lunch Club: Panda discovered in 1927 was once as elusive as Bigfoot

The Giant Panda was once as mythical and elusive as Bigfoot. Once captured, we were able to identify fossil records that concluded the existence of the Giant Panda for several million years, and yet it was only discovered within the last century. The first Giant Panda was not captured until November 9, 1927.

The story of the Giant Panda is significant, because even after it was spotted; it took another 60 years and hundreds of highly skilled trackers to finally capture one. So elusive in its natural habitat, the Giant Panda had never been photographed in the wild until 1982 by Franz Camenzind for ABC.

Bigfooters like to include many animals that symbolize the search for Bigfoot is not over. Many of these undocumented, were only discovered within the last century. These animals include the Lowland Gorilla (1860), Komodo Dragon (1910), Platypus (1799), Okapi (1901), and the Coelacanth (1938).

There are hundreds of of these once undiscovered creatures, literally check them out at cryptomundo here

http://www.bigfootlunchclub.com/2009/11/panda-discovered-in-1927-was-once-as.html

My ex-wife used to tell me “don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to”, when asked where she had been the last few days. Well, I say to you and Ginger: don’t search for something you don’t want to actually find. lol Having said that, I’d accompany you and Ginger anytime on one of these adventures.

I can’t find a reference now, but years ago, I remember a video with, I think it was the famous Dr. Bruce Lipton of “Biology of Belief” fame, and tacked on to one of his presentations, he had shown that bigfoot type creatures must exist. He explained that the unexplored wilderness territories of the Earth, even today are vast. I think one example he used was that of northern Canada.

My dad (83) to this day insists he saw a junior bigfoot in the Shawangunk Mountains, a branch off the Catskills where he (we) grew up. This would have been somewhen between 1941 and 1943. while he was playing with a flying model airplane in the woods. It’s hard to be sure, since dad conflates memories all the time, for example recently attributing to me something his brother did long before I was born.

I don’t think that species are distinct units so much as a spectrum of adaptation which occurs over a few generations, not over millions of years of time. With what we know now of epigenics, and the two-way communication that occurs between the environment and DNA, it’s turning out that Lamarck was more correct than Darwin (unless you include the now excluded Darwinian idea of pangenesis, wherein he basically agreed with Lamarckian type of adaptation scheme using particles in the body called gemules.)

There was a story of a Yeti type creature (a female) who lived in a village in Siberia, and even was said to have mated with a villager, producing a viable offspring, who I think lived to young adulthood or adolescence.

There is also the story of the woodsman who was carried away by a family of 3 Sasquatch, and other stories:

WHERE BIGFOOT WALKS: American Monsters Among Us

“In July 1924, a weird incident involving a group of Bigfoot occurred in the Mount St. Helens region of southwestern Washington. The incident involved a night long assault by unknown creatures on a cabin where four miners were staying. The men had been prospecting a claim on the Muddy, a branch of the Lewis River, about eight miles from Spirit Lake. While working in the canyon, the men occasionally saw huge footprints but had no idea what to make of them. Then one day, they saw a huge ape-like creature peering out from behind a tree and one of the men fired his gun at it. The creature was apparently struck but it ran off. Fred Beck, one of the miners, met one of the monsters at the canyon rim and shot it in the back three times. It fell down the cliff and into the canyon but they never found the body.

That night, the “apes” struck back, starting an assault on the cabin where the men were staying by knocking a heavy strip of wood out from between two logs of the cabin. After that, there were repeated poundings on the walls, door and roof. Luckily, the cabin had been constructed to withstand heavy mountain snows and the creatures were unable to break in. However, they did begin using rocks to hit the roof from above and the miners became nervous enough to barricade the doors. As the creatures began thumping around on top of the cabin, as well as battering the walls, the men fired shots through the walls and roof, but to little effect. The noises and attacks continued until nearly dawn, ending after about five hours. Even though the cabin had no windows and the men could not see what was attacking them, Beck later told Bigfoot researcher John Green that he was sure that more than two creatures had been outside.

The incident was more than enough to get the men to pack up and abandon their mine the next day. They told their story when the returned to Kelso, Washington and a party of men went back to the cabin. Big footprints were found all around it, but no creatures were discovered. There have been other sightings in the area since, but none with such dramatic results. A first-hand account of the events was later written by Fred Beck called I Fought the Ape men of Mt. St. Helen’s. The area where the events took place was later dubbed “Ape Canyon” and it still is called that today.

One of the most bizarre Bigfoot encounters in history also occurred in 1924, although it would not be reported until many years later, in 1957. It involved a man who claimed to be abducted and held captive by a party of the creatures while on a prospecting trip in British Columbia. Although such tales seem to stretch the limits of believability, those who interviewed the man years later, including esteemed investigators John Green and Ivan T. Sanderson, did not for a moment doubt his sincerity or his sanity. Primatologist John Napier remarked that the man gave a “convincing account… which does not ring false in any particular.””

http://www.prairieghosts.com/bigfoot_walks.html

1924 – Albert Ostman

“… I pulled out a full box of snuff, took a big chew. Before I had time to close the box the old man [Sasquatch] reached for it. I was afraid he would waste it, and only had two more boxes. So I held on to the box intending him to take a pinch like I had just done. Instead he grabbed the box and emptied it in his mouth. Swallowed it in one gulp. Then he licked the box inside with his tongue.

After a few minutes his eyes began to roll over in his head, he was looking straight up. I could see he was sick. Then he grabbed my coffee can that was quite cold by this time, he emptied that in his mouth, grounds and all. That did no good. He stuck his head between his legs and rolled forwards a few times away from me. Then he began to squeal like a stuck pig. I grabbed my rifle. I said to myself, “This is it. If he comes for me I will shoot him plumb between his eyes.” But he started for the spring, he wanted water. I packed my sleeping bag in my pack sack with the few cans I had left. The young fellow ran over to his mother. Then she began to squeal. I started for the opening in the wall — and I just made it. The old lady was right behind me. I fired one shot at the rock over her head.

I guess she had never seen a rifle fired before. She turned and ran inside the wall. I injected another shell in the barrel of my rifle and started downhill, looking back over my shoulder every so often to see if they were coming. I was in a canyon, and good traveling and I made fast time. Must have made three miles in some world record time. I came to a turn in the canyon and I had the sun on my left, that meant I was going south, and the canyon turned west. I decided to climb the ridge ahead of me. I knew that I must have two mountain ridges between me and salt water and by climbing this ridge I would have a good view of this canyon, so I could see if the Sasquatch were coming after me. I had a light pack and was making good time up this hill. I stopped soon after to look back to where I came from, but nobody followed me. As I came over the ridge I could see Mt. Baker, then I knew I was going in the right direction. ”
http://www.bigfootencounters.com/classics/ostman.htm

 

The Bigfoot Hunter

Okay, I’m serious about Bigfoot. It may not make some people happy that I’m mixing the classical physics of Electric Universe with a crypto-legend like the hairy-man, but from my perspective, I’ll be seen as crazy by fewer people for believing in Bigfoot than in a Grand Unified Electrical Theory. Nobody understands magnetism, not even physicists, but everyone gets the boogey-man. My approach is to go for the truth and damn the torpedoes.

Besides, I saw one…it’s leg anyway. It screamed like a banshee and scared the shit out of me. So, how can I undo that. Enjoy the story.

The Bigfoot Hunter

IMG_1727[1]

What? You thought it was me? Not on your life. There isn’t a gun big enough to make me feel safe. I send Ginger out. She’s fearless – just look at that face. Here she is in her element:

DSCI0135
Ginger on the trail of Bigfoot

You can see the determination. See the furrow in her brow… look out, Bigfoot! I have a theory they avoid people like the plague because we keep dogs. The hairy-men hate dogs.

The Hunt

DSCI0071Ginger and I traveled to a little known place in Arizona where the creatures are known to make an appearance now and then. I’m not saying where it is, but it’s a large mountain that looks like this one. We arrived and found a beautiful camp by the lake.

Now I need to give a little back-story as to why we came to this particular place. That is, besides the many reported sightings, encounters, local legends and Apache lore that attest to its presence.

I camped at this lake a few weeks ago with my friends, Bean and Bobblehead. During the night, around two or three AM, a pick-up truck left a campsite across the lake from us and roared past in a hurry. This woke me up.

A few minutes later I heard loud banging across the lake from the direction the truck came from. Each campsite is equipped with a steel bear-proof food storage container – you can see it in the picture of the campsite. The banging sounded like someone was taking a baseball bat to one of these steel boxes. There were three, or four loud bangs, a pause, more bangs, another pause and more bangs. Then a high pitched, “hoo, hoo” like a chimpanzee shout.

DSCI0043Soon after, Ginger crawled out of the sleeping bag and looked at the tent door. I thought she needed to potty, or get water, so I unzipped the tent. She immediately crouched low, dropped her ears and tail, and growled with deep, serious intent out the opening. She almost never growls and I’ve only heard her do that when fending off a mean dog, or one of the meth addicts in our neighborhood. I don’t know how she can tell a meth addict from anyone else. Same way we do, I guess, because they’re scary.

Anyway, she then turned around and slunk into the bottom of the sleeping bag. I didn’t hear anything, but I shut the tent real quick.

Now, I know this could have been some inconsiderate campers. Nevertheless, on the drive down the mountain I kept my eyes out for any strangeness. Deep, dark, old growth forests have plenty of weird things going on. Humans don’t generally notice because we are as incompetent in the woods as some presidential candidates are with State secrets. But there is strange and there is high strangeness. I saw high strangeness.

So did Ginger. She was the one who had to go back and see more. See, she’s been watching Bigfoot YouTube videos with me for years now. She fashions herself a canine BoBo.

It all started after my own encounter in California (read the “Encounter” if you want that story). When I began to research Bigfoot, Ginger was in my lap, soaking-up all the same information. It’s really quite astounding if you take the time with an honest, open mind to look into it. I know that is almost impossible to do – have an open mind that is – because most people don’t look into anything. They are told everything.

What everyone is told is that the “credible people” who say they’ve seen a Bigfoot are simply mistaken. They likely saw a bear and the “other people” are just nuts. Well there are those, no doubt. But what they don’t say is the improbability of so many hunters, hikers, sheriffs, forest rangers; people educated both in the woods and in schools, who swear they have seen one, or experienced some encounter that isn’t otherwise explicable.

Plus the fact there is absolutely no ecological, or biological reason they can’t exist. After all, we have fossils of large bipedal hominids and apes, we carry Neanderthal and Denovisan DNA in our genes, we have living gorillas, orangutans, chimps, several other apes, and more still being found as recently as the last couple decades, so it isn’t even improbable.

The other thing that pisses me off to no end is every time someone does a documentary on Bigfoot, they bring out some Biology professor in a bow-tie to tell us all how wrong we are to think there is an undocumented ape in the woods. I’ve never seen one of these professors who looked like they could keep a campfire lit, let alone find their way back from the privy without a GPS. We have millions of undocumented people in this country. Who’s to say there aren’t a few thousand hairy ones living where few people dare to go.

Well, Ginger knows all this. That is why she insisted we go camping at that lake again. We couldn’t take Bean, or Bobblehead and their dogs, because they just drink beer and this was to be all business as far as Ginger was concerned. I agreed, because I knew I could take some great photos of the Arc Blast features on the mountain. Besides, there is no saying “no” to Ginger.

We chose this particular campsite because it was the location we heard the banging. It was the farthest down the road, next to the dam and at least a hundred yards from the next campers.

DSCI0002We left on the fourth of July. This was strategic on two counts. First, all the holiday campers would be leaving that day and we like our solitude. Second, all the Bigfoot should be ready to raise hell now that the firework wielding, beer soaked campers were gone.  We thought the Skeezamen ( a local name) might even venture to the lake now that it was quite after the long weekend. I can’t help but think that crawdads would be one of their favorite snacks – its one of mine.

The camp-site was outstanding, the closest to the lake, with a view and even a little landing next to the dam. Behind us the hill climbed to a peak forested with big Ponderosa and lots of fallen wood for the fire.

Our calculations were excellent as far as timing. We passed dozens of trucks going down the mountain. When we arrived at the lake there were only four other campers in the entire campground. We met our closest neighbors, who were staying over from the previous day. They kind of looked happy to see someone else in the campground.

After the usual chores of setting up camp, collecting wood and starting a fire, Ginger sniffed flowers while I relaxed with a cold refreshment and watched the setting sun turn the ripples on the lake monochrome. The evening was cooling, but I was still okay in a tee-shirt.

DSCI0010

Two people were fishing the opposite shore in a canoe as I walked down to the landing to enjoy the breeze in the fading light. It was then I heard the chimps again. That’s when I took this picture with the camera pointing in the direction the screams were coming from. I tried to record the sounds, but all I captured was my own breathing.

The time before, what I heard was a “hoo, hoo” yell, like a playful chimp might make. This wasn’t playful. It was screaming, hoots and occasional low grunts that went on for about twenty minutes.

As I listened, Ginger sniffed flowers until I said, “Do you hear that?” She finally perked up and listened. Across the lake, the people in the boat were jostling about, trying to row back to the boat landing. I can’t say whether it was because of the screams, or because it was getting dark, but they seemed to be trying to hurry away from the other shore.

I heard other campers from that direction blowing air horns, as if to chase off a bear. The air horns were no louder than the screaming.

The noise ended. It was not coyotes. I cannot believe it was humans. It was way too loud and continuous. Who screams and hoots and growls for twenty minutes. I don’t think a human can even make some of the sounds we heard.

I built-up the fire and began fixing dinner. We didn’t hear anything else that night, except a skunk that invaded the camp and made a stink.

In the morning, I fired up a big coffee and loaded Ginger in the StRange Rover. It was time to go searching. As we drove out of the campgrounds, we passed by the creek that fed the lake. That was where the screams came from. It was dense forested wetlands that an army could hide in.

We drove about five miles to the end of the road and then followed a four wheel drive trail to some undeveloped campsites. This was a pretty wild area, but I didn’t see anything out of ordinary. We drove back another ten miles the other way. Here is where I saw the strangeness before. For about a five mile stretch near the lake, there were unusual tree breaks and tree structures I noticed the previous trip.

Strangeness

Trees fall over. Trees break; blown by winds, hit by lightning, wounded by fire. There are many ways a tree can fall and be left leaning against another, especially in an ungroomed, old growth area like this one. But there seemed to be a pattern.

DSCI0045Ginger and I scouted several areas where the trees seemed arranged non-randomly. There were several areas where there were these crosses formed from broken tree trunks. They faced the road squarely with lots of other disturbance around them; a profusion of broken limbs, stumps and trunks leaning against other trees.

Often, the trees were wedged between other trees.DSCI0037

So, yes..that can happen naturally, but what about this?DSCI0034

This one is wedged and bent sideways between trees. Here are more views of the same tree. It did not fall this way without help.

The top left picture shows the base of the tree stuck in the ground. The bottom left shows the broken tip wedged between the bigger trees. The big picture show how it crosses like a barrier next to the road.

There were more elaborate structures, too. These trees are bent to the ground and held down by logs.

DSCI0032

DSCI0031DSCI0030There are two trees still rooted and bent over in arches, another laid over in the same direction and one pressed against the trunk of the center tree like a spring. Two logs are laid over all four to hold them down. Well, it seems odd to me. Ginger wouldn’t get out of the car. She was bored with tree structures.

I was fascinated though. My engineer mind tried to decode a plausible natural cause. It couldn’t. Here is another that defies logic.DSCI0027uI suppose this could have fallen in a wind this way. If it was the only one like it I would even assume so, but there are several broken, bent or wedged in improbable positions like this in clusters. Note all the other leaning trees nearby. Here are more views of the same trees.DSCI0028DSCI0026Ginger was getting annoyed I was looking at trees. She wanted to look for Bigfoot. She doesn’t make the connection with trees because she’s a dog. Dogs don’t look up. If it had been a turd on the ground, or something fun to pee on, she’d have been more interested.

Here is another.DSCI0029Notice how the leaning trees are held down by the broken tree? They should not have been in the line of fall if this had been wind or snow. That’s how they always seem to fall in this particular area though.

Of course I didn’t get a picture of the best one I found. It was a large trunk of a tree wedged into a standing trio of live trees, but it had branches that wrapped both direction behind the other trees. In other words, it could not have fallen there without snapping those big branches. It looked like it was shoved between the trees, bottom first.

As I examined it, looking for the right camera angle, rock clacking began in the woods not far away. I left without a picture.

So all of this was pretty interesting to me, but Ginger wasn’t impressed. She wanted something to growl at. After an exhausting day searching the forest, we returned to camp and settled down for the evening. At least I did. Ginger wandered off on her own.

Bad Daddy

After all that time I walked in the forest, she sat in the StRange Rover and slept. Now she wanted to go hunting for the Skeezamen. What the hell, I thought. I’m pooped. I wasn’t too nice about corralling her back to the campsite. I even spanked her and it made her mad. So she trotted up the hill and disappeared.

It was dusk, so this action worried me. I climbed the hill after her, all the way to the top. The reverse side of the hill was a cliff. It dropped all the way to the valley floor. I’m talking a drop of about five thousand feet, nearly vertical. It was like looking into the Grand Canyon. If she went down that slope, I knew she wasn’t coming back up.

Not only are these woods legendary for the Skeezamen, but it has the largest bear concentration in the State, not to mention cougars, bobcats and venomous things of all types. I was worried.

Twice more I combed the mountain in the dark with a flashlight. I really didn’t care about any chimp noises at this point. I didn’t hear anything anyway. I even turned the light out to listen – for some reason I seem to hear better that way. Nothing.

I crawled into the tent and left the flap open and the fire burning so she could find her way back. I woke at first light to the sound of a crow. Crows are ubiquitous in these mountain. They caw all the time, part of the forest background noise. This crow was being answered by another. Every time it cawed, another answered. Only the answer was more of a cow than a caw.

It is said that Bigfoot like to mimic animal calls and even people talking, only they aren’t very good at it. They make the right tones, but can’t get the inflections right. I have wondered if this is true, or just an excuse made by TV Bigfoot hunters who don’t have any other “evidence” to point to – you gotta make a show.

This crow made me think twice about that. But I was in no mood to ponder. Ginger had not returned. I climbed the mountain three more times, crossed the dam and followed the stream as far as I could. No sign of her.

By eight AM, other campers were up cooking breakfast. I hoped she’d found shelter with one of them and was at their camp waiting for bacon. For a little dog, she can eat  lot of bacon. I packed my kit and drove to each one. No one had seen her.

Brave Ginger

IMG_1437Ginger and I are very attached. She’s a weird dog, but also the smartest, warmest dog I’ve ever known. By warm, I mean warm. Mexican aristocrats bred Chihuahuas to sleep with because they were better than hot water bottles. This is how we sleep, with her curled against my back to keep us warm.

I returned to the empty camp despondent. I feared at this point she must be dead. There were too many wild and hungry things out there a city dog had no notion of. She’s never slept a single night outside of a bed.

I could not bear the thought of her lost on that vast mountain, alone, defenseless and scared. I could not bear the thought of leaving and never knowing. I realized, I would need to notify the Forest Service, the Humane Society and post flyers around the campground – all in futility. I decided I would wait until noon before leaving for the nearest town.

And then a miracle happened.  She slunk out of the tall grass a few feet from me, head down, a bit torn-up and bloody and terribly frightened. I wiped my tears as she came to me. I thought she was afraid I would be mad. I wasn’t of course and promised her I’d never spank her – or any dog – again.

I don’t think that is what made her scared. After driving home with her in my lap, she was still subdued for days. She wouldn’t leave my side. I think she was traumatized being lost in the woods.

IMG_1460I don’t know where she slept that night. One camper who I’d talked to flagged me down as I left the campground and asked if I’d found her. He said she had approached his camp just after I’d been by earlier and he was looking to tell me. I said, thanks she was with me now and wondered from which direction she’d come. He pointed to the opposite side of the lake from the campground.

Apparently, she’d been lost in the ravine below the dam and came up on the wrong side, then circled the lake to get back. It was a close thing. She was really lost and likely only found her way back by the sounds and smells of the campground that morning. Really a miracle considering all the creatures out hunting food like her at night.

More Bigfoot hunting will have to wait for the fall. I don’t think I’ll take her next time. I’m investing in a .44 magnum and a hot water bottle instead. She wasn’t much good at finding the wild Skeezamen anyway. Or was she?

A.D.Hall 7.9.16

The Haunting Mystery of Dyatlov Pass – Part Three

Part Two ended with the group split-up, and beginning to die.

Zina followed Slabodin’s footprints, but veered away in the clearing. She could see her destination – the tent above. She never saw Slabodin’s body, struck to the ground only meters away. She passed him oblivious to what waited ahead.

Igor followed, but could not stay on his frostbitten feet. He fell and crawled, trying to stay with Zina. The mental energy he’d expended to keep everyone together, thinking through the limited options to survive in circumstances he couldn’t comprehend. The strain of being the responsible leader. That burden kept him on edge, and now he was exhausted. Lethargy took over – even faster with stress, injury and shock. Like  Yuri and Gyorgyi at the cedar tree, his energy expended. The heat in his life ebbed away. He couldn’t see Zina anymore.

den
The ravine platform.

Semen led Lyudmila down a slope to the bottom of a ravine. Aleksi and Niclolai helped him dig into a snowbank and lay branches for a floor. They made several trips up and down the ravine bank until they made a platform large enough for all of them to sit on. Then they sat on scraps of cloth to insulate themselves from the cold. The shallow cave in the snowbank shielded the wind and the view. They had no idea where the others were, now. They could only hope they would return with supplies.

“Semen, why are they bothering us?” asked Aleksi.

“They will leave when it’s light. Maybe they already left. I don’t hear them now,” he said.

“I heard some kind of snort just a minute ago,” said Lyudmila. “Do you think they will let Igor get back to the tent? I need my boots.”

“We just have to wait and see,” said Semen.

“Can we build a fire?” asked Nicolai.

“No, I think we lay low,” said Semen. “Bunch together and get warm. Put your feet in my lap, Luda. they won’t even know we’re here.”

“You think they will come here for us, Sascha? They’ve chased us from the tent. What do they want?” asked Nicolai.

“I saw one this morning before we left the pass. I told you. I took a picture. But I don’t think they live over there. I think they live over here, and that is why they want us to leave.”

“Is that why you talked Igor into setting camp on the mountain?” asked Aleksi.

“I didn’t know. It was my instinct. I was afraid we would see it again. I know what they can do. You didn’t believe me.”

“Did you really take a picture? Did you do something to anger them?”

“Anger them? I stabbed my knife in one up at the tent. If you stayed and helped me we could have chased them away.”

“You what? You stabbed a Snowman? No wonder they won’t leave us. They’ll kill us.”

“Not if they don’t find us. Shut up.”

“You let Igor and Zina go up there. You let Slabodin go, and they think they can walk past them to the tent like it’s Sunday morning,” said Aleksi.

“I don’t think they’ll make it,” said Semen.

“No thanks to you. Why didn’t you stop them?”

“They were beyond reason. When the cold has you, it is over. You’re going to be that way soon.”

“I’m going to build a fire. You said they are afraid of fire,” said Aleksi.

“I’m just guessing. We should not alert them to where we are.”

“We need a fire,” said Aleksi, as he climbed up the slope of the ravine. He came back immediately.

“I saw one,” he whispered. “It is a baby, I swear. Come see.”

Semen watched Aleksi’s feet climbing the slope again, and saw them just keep going into the air. “Oh no!” – he could barley whisper.

Aleksi came down from the sky and crumpled in front of Semen, trying to regain his breathing. He seemed to be choking. Semen saw a hairy foot take the slope in a step. He looked up into shining eyes. Lyudmila screamed.

The end.

The final days of journey for the Dyatlov party were strenuous.  They complained of wet snow in the pass that made the work exhausting.
“Today the weather is a bit worse – the wind (west), snow (probably from pines) because the sky is perfectly clear. Came out relatively early (around 10am). Took the same beaten Mansi trail. So far we walked along the Mansi trail, which was passed by a deer hunter not long ago. We met his resting stop yesterday, apparently.
Today was surprisingly good accommodations for the tent, air is warm and dry, despite the low temperature of -18C to -24C. The walking is especially hard today. Visibility is very low. We walk for 1.52 km (1 mile) per hour. We are forced to find new methods of clearing the path for the skis. The first member leaves his bag on the ground and walks forward, then he returns, rests for 10- 15 minutes with the group. Thus we have a non- stop paving of the trail. It is especially hard for the second to move down the new trail with full gear on the back.
We gradually leave the Auspii valley, the rise is continuous, but quiet smooth. We spend a night at the forest boundary. Wind is western, warm, penetrating. Snow- free spaces. We can’t leave any of our provision to ease the ascend to the mountains.
About 4pm. We must choose the place for the tent. Wind, some snow. Snow cover is 1.22 meters thick. Tired and exhausted we started to prepare the platform for the tent. Firewood is not enough. We didn’t dig a hole for a fire. Too tired for that. We had supper right in the tent.
It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds of kilometers away from human settlements.”
Igor Dyatlov. January 31, 1959.
The final sentence is curious. Is that a voice of reluctance, knowing the following night will be spent above the tree-line? Or is that a voice of someone who has no intention of spending the night above the tree-line?
one-of-the-last-shots-of-the-hikers
The final climb to the tent site.

On February 1, the group cached some of their spare gear and supplies on a platform known as a “labaz,” and traveled 2.5 miles from the pass to the final campsite on the flanks of Kholat Syakhl. It’s estimated setting the camp took an hour, from four, to five P.M. The sun set just after five.

Reports say the party veered off-course to camp on the slopes of the mountain, instead of descending from the pass into the trees. Speculation is they may have lost their way in the wind-blown snow and camped when they realized they were above the pass and losing daylight.

Photo’s from their film don’t indicate blinding conditions, however. More likely, they knew where they were, and chose to camp there. They could have come down-hill quickly – they were on skis. Did something compel them to stay far above the tree-line? There seemed to be some fascination with the tree-line in a series of photographs.

A separate entry, in the trek “newspaper,” where they typically “reported” humorous events, was this:

“From now on we know the Snowmen exist. They can be found in the Northern Urals, next to Mount Otorten.”
zina-writing-in-her-diary-by-the-auspia-river
Zina with journal.

What brought up that subject? Theorists of the avalanche, infra-sound, espionage and UFO camps agree, this must be a humorous reference to the local Yeti legends.

At least it acknowledges the legends. It can be debated if this is humor, or a concise statement of facts – when, who, what and where.

We don’t know what the Mansi may have said about the Menk, or if they brought the subject up. If they did, and the group was making fun of it, it is even more pertinent that the Mansi mentioned the Menk. Perhaps they were warned.

Or did one of the party see something the others teased about, not having seen it themselves – something prompted the entry.

The injuries.

Much is made of the condition of Lyudmia Dubinina’s corpse, as it was found with damage far exceeding others of the group. Since her condition bears the most controversy, and complexity, this is the place to begin.

DyatDubrinaThe examiner reported her death to be caused by impact from a large force that caused multiple, bilateral rib fractures that impinged on her heart and caused internal bleeding. Her chest cavity contained one and a half liters of blood.

Her tongue, eyes and parts of the soft tissues of her mouth were missing.

luda-autopsyThe missing tongue is one of the most often exaggerated facts of the case. It has been reported as cut out, torn out, or bitten off. Yet the medical examiner clearly stated in his report the tongue and soft tissues resulted from post mortem decay and decomposition.

She was found face down in water. Investigators believe the snow began to melt at least a week, or two before she was found, and she’d lain there for months.

The missing eyes and tongue are a red herring, but the violent impact that crushed her chest is not. The breaks were on either side of her chest and each rib had two fractures. The #2, 3, 4, and 5 ribs broken on the right side with two fracture lines visible and the #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 ribs broken on the left side with two fracture lines visible. No external injury to tissue associated with her chest wound was found.

sasha-corpse-2Zolotorev, found in the ravine, also had his chest caved in. His eyes and some flesh had decomposed. He was found to wear several tattoos.

His death was caused by multiple rib fractures on the right side and internal bleeding into the chest cavity. His ribs had detached from the chest wall as a result of a heavy blow.

sasha-autopsyLike Dubinina, the #2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ribs had two fracture lines and he exhibited no outward tissue damage associated with the mortal chest wound.

The autopsy also noted that the injuries to Zolotorev and Dubinina did not come from a single event, meaning they each received blows independently, with very similar results, but not from a common explosion, or other concussive blast. The blows were targeted to the sides of the chest.

nicolai-skullThibault-Brignolle’s death was caused by impact of a large force to the roof and base of the skull. It created a multi-splintered fracture, but no exterior tissue damage, although decomposition was evident.

These three individuals died a violent death from blunt impact. All of the others died of hypothermia.

Thibault-Brignolle would have been knocked unconscious by his wounds, so could not have received them at the tent and still walked a mile to the trees. Nor is it likely Zolotorev, or Dubinina could have walked anywhere with their wounds. The mortal wounds happened in the ravine.

slobodin-skullSlabodin suffered a severe head injury, also. His body was found making his way back to the tent. The head injury didn’t kill him, however. He died from exposure, aggravated by the injury.

The injury was severe, but not immediately life threatening. It most likely put him into shock when it happened, and caused a loss of coordination. dyatdead6There was internal bleeding, indicating he lived with the injury for some time before freezing to death.

Other injuries included abrasions and bruising on the face and forehead, torn epidermis on the arms and bruises on the knuckles of his hands. Ice formed under his body, indicating he fell on the snow while alive and still warm.

Kolmegarova’s death was by exposure. Her fingers were frostbitten. She had a broad bruise encircling one side of her abdomen. The bruise was thought to be a result of a fall sometime after leaving the tent.

Dyatlov’s death was by exposure. His fingers were frostbitten. He had bruising and abrasion to the knuckles of his hands. A variety of abrasions and bruises also were found on his forehead, eyebrow, arms, legs and ankles. Examiners also speculated the bruising to be the result of a fall or blunt impact.

Dorovoshenko’s death was by exposure. His face and ears were frostbitten. His hair was burned. He had bruising and abrasions on his arms, elbow, shoulder and thighs. Torn flesh on his hands. The skin wounds were noted to be consistent with a fall, or impact. Pine needles and moss were found in his hair. A foamy grey fluid found on his cheek caused examiners to speculate he had been squashed, or taken a high fall.

Krivonishenko’s death was by exposure. His ears were frosbitten. His injuries included bruises on his forehead and around the left temporal bone, bruises on the right side of his chest, bruises on his hands, detached skin on the back of the left hand and a portion of the epidermis from the right hand was found in his mouth. He also had bruises and minor scratches on the thighs, a bruise on the left buttock and bruises and burns on the left leg.

Kolevatov was found in the ravine with the severely injured parties. Examination indicates he froze to death, likely the last of the group to die. There was a small open wound behind his ear and his neck was found to be deformed, long and thin in the area of the thyroid cartilage. He also suffered decomposition to soft tissues.

The final conclusion of the autopsies:

“As there was no evidence of a guilty party the reasons for the actions of the ski-team and their subsequent injuries is unknown. All that can be said is that they were the victims of a “Compelling Force”.
dyatlov ravineagain
The Ravine

Zolotorev and Dubinina would have had to belly-flop onto rocks to receive their injuries – sharp enough to break bones, but not tear skin. There were no fractures to the extremities, which in a fall is typically the case, as one tends to break knees, collarbones, legs and outstretched arms.

Thibault-Brignolle could have hit his head in a fall, but it is still odd there was no external injury, and the impact seemed to be from the base, side of the skull, with fractures propagating upward. The probability of all three of them falling ten, to fifteen feet, and dying as a result of injuries so specific to certain areas without collateral damage to extremities, or external tissue, is very low. A fall from that height rarely causes lethal injury, let alone three in a row. By every appearance, the wounds were not the result of a fall, but of being hit by something that targeted the torsos and head.

dyatlov_pass_the_flight
Path to the trees from the tent- superimposed photos.

Slobodin also got hit in the head, hard. Everyone of them had bruising and injuries to head and hands. Slobodin and Dyatlov had abrasions to their knuckles consistent with hand-to-hand fighting injuries.

Many cuts and scrapes can be expected on an expedition ski trek. More cuts and scrapes would be expected from stumbling on frozen feet in the dark, as they made their way to the cedar tree and built a fire. Yet they looked like they were beat to shit. That is why investigators looked first for foul play. The Mansi were cleared and no other parties were in the area to anyone’s knowledge.

The idea people chased them from the tent, whether CIA, or KGB, or anyone else, and then waited hours in the freezing night for most of them to die of exposure – and then got impatient, let them scatter, and punched rifle butts into the remaining survivors, is hard to imagine. Why not just shoot, or strangle them and have done with it. They were alive for hours under the tree. The charred remains of wood attested to a fire burning for one, to two hours.

The fear of impending avalanche, or lightning could have made them leave the tent, whether the threat was real, or perceived. But it leaves the only explanation for injuries a fall, unless the lightning chased them to the ravine. Lightning is a more likely candidate for the type of injuries they suffered, at least the major ones.

Some burn marks were noted on trees nearby the cedar, but that could have come from a fire, or lightning at any time before the tragedy. Forest trees often bear such scars. And it’s still seventy-five yards from where the worst injuries were found. Aside from the burns on hands, feet and hair that apparently came from sitting nearly on top of the coals – not unlikely at near 20-below – it is hard to correlate their behavior with a lightning event.

Why would lightning keep them huddled around a fire in the trees for hours. Even in a storm, the risk of climbing to the tent to get boots and clothing would be less than just freezing in your socks. People experience lightning in the mountains all the time, and the percentages are still in favor of not being hit. Lightning storms don’t usually persist with great intensity for long in one area.

A lightning strike that could kill all of them – one blow – could have hit the ravine and killed the others at the tree, perhaps even blowing Zina halfway to the tent. It’s possible, I don’t think we recognize how powerful lightning can be, but such an event would blow the forest apart. Sorry, no evidence.

Bears are in hibernation in mid-winter. No injuries indicated the fangs from wolves, or the claws of a bear.

Once all the evidence and circumstances are looked at, the best fit theory is a Menk – the Russian Yeti.

There is one significant hurdle to the theory of a Yeti. We don’t know if they exist. At least the scientific community claims they don’t, and most people go along with that consensus. Yet the plausibility of the Yeti’s existence is scientifically supported. That isn’t to say it exists, but science provides proof they did at one time. It is a matter of not having current knowledge if they still live.

yeti
From the Dyatlov film.

The hominid family tree is known to have a variety of species, many living concurrently with humans quite recently. DNA confirms romance, or rape, between beauty and the beast occurred with Denovisovan’s and Neanderthal’s, as recently as the last ice age. So creatures that meet the Yeti archetype lived in the recent past, as confirmed by science. Whether any remnant species is more ape than human, a hominid relic, or a hybrid of human and beast, is hair-splitting until one is studied.

There is really no reason to believe they do not exist. Skepticism is warranted, not a dogmatic refusal to consider. By numerous reports of witnesses, including those of the North American Bigfoot, Australian Yowie, and other regional types, they are consistently witnessed in the wilderness, mountainous regions that provide habitat. They are never seen in uncharacteristic settings, as hallucinations are known to produce.

Alien abduction is a case in point. Victims are often accused of hallucination because a number of instances occur in the bedroom, where sleep phenomena are known to create hallucinatory effects, yielding alternative explanations for the victim’s perception. That is not the case with the Menk and it’s brethren. They appear where, and when one might predict, even following seasonal climate and game migration patterns, as expected of nomadic hunter-gatherers.

They shun and hide from humans – it is possibly their essential skill for survival. The reason is too obvious for discussion. It makes them hard to find, any contact is brief, and they are more aware in their environment than any human they contact. Rarely are they caught in situations when they do not control the encounter. Human hubris prevents many people from contemplating such a thing.

Most encounters are intimidation. Evidence of tree structures, fallen trees, tree breaks and other features attributed to the Menk imply signage, signifying claimed territorial boundaries. Rock throwing, branch breaking, tree shaking, screams, grunts and growls feature in a predominance of encounters, suggesting intimidation with the intent to cause the victim to leave.

Beyond the hundreds of documented reports of encounters, there is a large unspoken number of rock throwing and similar intimidation behaviors experienced in the middle of the night by people who camp, or fish in the wild.

Human activities are extremely limited in mountainous, forested areas. The footprint of towns and cities is tiny, compared to the footprint of the woods around them, and most people, even in these rural areas do not spend a significant percentage of time in the woods. Tourists herd into established grounds, never seeing a fraction of a forested region. Even industry, which has harvested forests continuously for centuries, only works in small areas at a given time, allowing for easy avoidance and ample alternative habitat.

Setting aside instances of hoax, and wishful thinking, the only challenge to the predominance of credible encounters is misidentification with bears. This no doubt happens…some of the time. Bears cannot explain rock throwing, or other associated behavior and artifacts.

The best assessment tools available are photos and film. Many examples can be clearly distinguished from bears.

The photo above is attributed to the “Diatlov Foundation” – the repository of the Diatlov memory – by the Discovery Channel. Discovery represents it as an overlooked shot from the Diatlov camera film rolls. Discovery Channel is known for bending facts to entertain its audience. Yet they do claim its credibility with an analysis establishing the photo is real and assurance it is from the Dyatlov film rolls. Nothing suggests the film is doctored. What it is film of, is less certain.

anotherIt appears to have been taken in a hurry, since the focus is very poor.

Superimposed here, is a member of the Dyatlov party, and one of the search party, next to the unknown biped. The biped does not appear to carry a backpack, ski poles, or show any obvious hem, or cuff anywhere. The arms and legs look skinny compared to the jacketed, and sleeved extremities on the men, as if naked. The head is large and the arms seem quite long. Unfortunately, the arms are crooked at angles that don’t allow assessing their length accurately.

Researchers and witnesses claim the North American Bigfoot’s arms are significantly longer with respect their torso, hanging to near the knee, as compared to a human. Other body ratios are slightly different, more ape-like, and these have been photographed and analyzed. This photo is too indistinct to obtain body ratios. Yet it looks like a powerfully built, nearly naked and slightly pot-bellied, bipedal creature, caught in a suspicious looking pose – like a stalker.

The compendium of data suggests the Dyatlov party were harassed by Yeti, scared from their tent and then, later killed, or left to freeze by the angered beast. Several injuries indicate fighting wounds and death blows from their adversary. They noted knowing Snowmen exist on paper and took a photograph of a spooky biped on the last day of the trip.

The last act in the tent before the panic appears to have been picture taking. A camera tri-pod was left set-up and the camera on the floor of the tent. Zolotorev carried another camera around his neck – no boots, but a camera. They cut slits all over before they abandoned the tent. They were apparently looking at, or for something they were trying to photograph. Certainly not an avalanche, or team of KGB. Lightning bolts perhaps?

The lack of Yeti footprints is one thing one can question as evidence against it. The Yeti left none. But if it followed typically observed behavior, it would have intimidated with yells and rock throwing, or in this case, snow from the heights above the tent. Those tracks could have been covered, or blown away in the weeks before the search party arrived, just as most of the parties footprints vanished, except for a stretch below the tent. The Yeti may have never been close to the tent. A hit by a Yeti snowball would scare the crap out of anyone.

Only after the party left the tent, but did not leave the area, and lit a fire instead, did the Yeti approach to kill them in a struggle in the trees. Many native Indian names for Bigfoot mean cannibal, or taker of children, or refer to some other violent behavior. There are historic reports of death by the beast.

They may have approached the Yeti’s own nest near the ravine. Perhaps he was protecting his young. They may have angered it, as Zolotorev did in our fictional story. In any case, a story about a tattooed war hero – ten years older than the college kids – being chased by a Yeti, needed to be told.

Subjectivity intervenes in any analysis. Assurance waits for the body of a Yeti. The subjective senses are influenced by fear. The Menk is the actual boogeyman of our fears, whether it lives in the forests, or not. He hides behind trees – the black shadow at twilight. The thing that flits past the corner of your eye. That is the main reason the Russian Yeti fits the Dyatlov story best.

Primary sources are linked below. Please leave a “like” – if you did. Thank you for reading.

Postscript: The Daily Plasma strives for truth. The story and essay has kept to the truth as far as could be verified, and noted speculation versus fact, but there are so many versions, unhinged theories and sensationalized, falsified details that it would be easy to accumulate a piece of misinformation. If an error is found please advise in the comments. It will be corrected in future edits if it does not mess up the storytelling. This is, after all, for entertainment.

Resource 1

Resource 2

The Haunting Mystery of Diatlov Pass – Part Two

Part 1 left the group inside the tent with a screaming Yeti outside.

The growling and screaming became incessant. Semen Zolotorev composed his breathing. Instincts and experience took over the chaos in his mind. Suppress the panic. Panic wasn’t helpful.

Yeeaarghh…Yeeaarghh…Eeeaaghhh!

He peered through a slit in the tent, “Snuff the lamp, I can’t see.”

Igor doused the light. The tent went pitch black. “What do you see, Sascha?”

“Fuck-all,”

“Something is moving up slope, along the ridge. I see it from this end,” said Yuri. He had his head halfway through a cut in the tent.

Semen did the same thing. He had to see what was there – he had to see where they were. Ten years in the Great War…and he’d lived. One of the lucky to survive that bloody hell. Every comrade he fought with died. He’d held their bloody heads in his hands. The fucking Nazi’s couldn’t kill him – he wasn’t going to die on this mountain.

He gripped his knife tight. “If they attack, we fight back,” he said. He thought, these kids will panic soon. There was only one way to defend an attack like this – saved his ass every time – charge the attacker. Take his momentum away. Make him panic. “Igor…Georgyi…Nicolai…Aleksi. Arm yourselves.” Semen found a ski pole and blindly cut, trying to make a lance.

Whomp…something hit the tent. Zina screamed…bodies jostled…Whomp…Semen grabbed someone by the arm, “We go…now!”

diattentrips4He ripped his way through the tent wall and ran screaming. The others, confused, exposed and frightened, tore their way out and ran downhill. Igor stayed with Semen. “I don’t see anything,” he said.

“The filthy pigs are cowards. Do you smell them?”

“But where are they, Shascha? I don’t see anything,” said Igor.

Yeaarggh!

“There you are, you bastard!”

Igor watched Semen disappear in the dark, running with his knife raised. He heard a muffled grunt, then silence.

He found Semen on the snow, on his back, staring into space.

Dazed, Semen stared where a moment ago, he’d looked straight in it’s eyes. Glowing eyes. He’d felt the knife leave his hand, firm to the hilt, as the eyes blinked and vanished in the night. No matter the size of the thing and the blinding darkness, he’d put the knife between its ribs. Knife-work was like riding a bicycle.

“Semen, are you okay?” Igor helped him to his feet.

“I got it, Igor,” he said. “That will teach them to mess with a Cossack, eh?.”

“The others have run. Let’s go. We need to stay together.”

Yeeeaaaarghhhh…Yeeeaaaarghhhh…Eeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaghhhh!

“It sounds pissed-off,” said Semen. “Didn’t like the poke in the belly.”

“Sascha! We go now to the others. Now!”

“I’m with you, comrade. Lead the way. Fuck it’s cold.”

dyatlovfootprints3Igor picked up the trail of the party and followed it down slope. He tried to jog. His wooden feet made him stumble. He realized they were freezing. “I’m in socks, Semen. My God, I’m in my socks!”

“I have my Burkas. They’re wet. My feet are cold.”

“Shascha. What will we do?”

“Stay with me, I have nine lives.”

“Good, there are nine of us.”

“I may have used some…”

“What, Sascha?”

“Nothing.”

The grunting and growling behind them was constant, but it didn’t pursue. They walked as fast as they could, with feet like blocks of wood. The nerves were alive, though. Searing cold brought stabbing pain with every step. Igor began to think of options. He didn’t know if the others were okay. No option, but to reach them first.

Semen listened to the growls. He tried to hear individuals in the cacophony behind him. It reminded him of the Moscow zoo. The fucking monkey cage – that’s what it sounded like. A monkey cage full of freight trains. How many were there? He counted four – distinct, for sure. Maybe five.

“Igor!”

“Is that you Zina?”

“Igor, we are in the trees.”

“I’m coming. Don’t show yourself – just keep talking. I hear you.”

“We are under the trees. I see you coming, Igor. Across the field, you are coming to us.”

“Is everybody here?” he asked, as he and Semen arrived. The party huddled beneath a cedar tree. Igor hugged Zina.

cedar“We’re cold, Igor. We don’t have shoes,” said Georgyi.

“Everybody stand on wood, or bark, or something. Get off the snow.”

“We are. It doesn’t help! My feet are wet, and…the wind.”

“What happened, Sascha? What happened just now?” said Aleksi.

“The fucking Snowmen attacked,” said Semen…”What?”

“I never saw anything.”

“You ran. Why didn’t you stay and fight…we would have chased them away. Now, we are stuck down here. You hear their screams, don’t you?”

“I don’t know what I hear,” said Aleksi. “Damn! Why are we out here. Because a snowball hit the tent?”

“A Snowman hit the tent. What are you saying?”

“Shut-up,” said Igor. “We need a fire. Luda, grab that piece of wood. Nicolai, behind you is more…everybody.”

“What if they see it?” said Yuri.

“They’re animals. They don’t like fire,” said Semen.

“How do you know anything?” Aleksi said.

“I know,” said Semen.

“Put the fire behind the tree,” said Igor. “We’ll sit around it.”

They gathered a pile of bark and needles, sticks and branches together. They huddled in a circle around the tiny clump of debris.

“Let me,” said Semen. “Give me the matches, Georgyi. We can’t fuck around.”

“I’ll do it, Sascha,” said Igor.

Äÿòëîâöû“Okay, first everyone get around. Let us block the wind before you strike the match, Igor.”

“I am, Sascha. Okay, I’m lighting it now.”

Igor held the match, breathless and steady beneath the pine needles watching them glow and curl. They didn’t burst into flame, though. He tried again.

He tried two matches together, and the needles erupted into bright plasma. “Okay, okay. it’s going,” he said. He blew a steady wind to make it grow.

They all adjusted positions, grabbing branches and bark to sit on around the tiny fire. They began adding wood. Georgyi and Yuri scouted for more. They couldn’t sit still and hung over the fire to warm between runs to collect wood.

The fire blew out. Igor used a box of matches relighting it. Yuri and Georgyi kept feeding it, but the wind mercilessly consumed the meager bits as fast as they could replenish them. They began breaking dead branches from trees. Green wood smoldered and made Lyudmila’s eyes sting – already dry and windblown. Tears froze on her lashes.

The growling came loud again. Barks and shrieks filled the wind.

“You see, Aleksi,” said Semen. “That isn’t wind. That’s Snowmen. At least five of them, maybe six.”

“I hear it,” said Aleksi. “Okay, I hear it. I still didn’t see anything. What if it is just wind?”

“Are you stupid?” said Semen.

“Are you? Because of you, we are freezing in our sock feet. Did anyone else see a Snowman?”

No one spoke. They stood shivering, looking at Semen in the glow of the fire. “I saw it watching us in the pass – I told you,” he said. “I took a picture.”

“I believed you,” said Yuri. “I heard it, too.”

“I thought you were joking,” said Igor.

“You saw one of the Mansi,” said Aleksi. “Snowmen are a myth, Sascha.”

“They are up there. I saw one as big as Goliath. I just…you don’t believe anything unless it comes from the Party – you can’t think for yourself. What do you think is making that noise?”

“Why are they getting louder?” Zina asked. “Are they coming?”

“They see the smoke and hear us breaking wood,” said Sascha. “They know where we are – and they are letting us know.”

“How do you know about Snowmen, Sascha. You said you know,” asked Lyudmila.

“I know what happened in the war. That’s what I know.”

“She means Snowmen,” Aleksi insisted. “What do you know?”

“A company of men I knew. I wasn’t with them – comrades up the line. We shared our meals sometimes. I know what happened to them.”

“What?”

simon-zolotarev“You were still in short pants when this happened. We died like flies in the war. Sick, frozen, starved. Stukas, machine guns, grenades…tanks. Fucking Tiger tanks. Shit, blood, puss, piss, snow, mud. That’s all we knew. No one made up scary stories. We already lived a nightmare.

“They were sent to carry messages. From the Front to the Commandant. He was way back somewhere, some village brothel no doubt, so they were gone a few days. Of course, they never returned. But they weren’t killed by the enemy. Not a human one, anyway.

“We found them in a gully. It was a kill. Fresh. Rocks, as big as…as big as an ice box were thrown on top of them. No human could do it. The feeding was the thing, though. Bones cracked and sucked dry. Heads and legs pulled from the joints…pulled like a piece of taffy.”

“Maybe it was bears, or wolves, after an earthquake.” said Nicolai. “Pulled like taffy. Wolves would do that.”

“The war made humans and animals into scavengers…and predators. Forage from the country was ravaged by the war. But meat was plentiful. I saw comrades eaten by pigs, dogs, goats, wolves, rats and foul. This wasn’t wolves. Believe me. I saw wolves eat men. It was a common thing. What happened to these comrades was different. Not even humans eat humans like that.”

“There you go again, Sascha. How would you know.”

For once, Semen stayed silent. His memory would make them shudder if he explained. The irony struck him funny – they would fear me more than the Menk.

Finally he spoke, “The other soldiers – some of them knew. They were from the Taiga. They said a Menk will follow you in the woods. At night, they take the high ground and throw rocks. They don’t want us in the forest. The Mansi told you, Igor. I heard them.”

“They just said it’s a dangerous place,” said Igor. “Gor Otorten – they call it ‘Don’t Go There,’ or something like that.”

“They said the Menk killed elk. They saw the fresh kill. Do you have any idea what a kill like that looks like? Five hundred pound animals torn apart by the bare hands of those beasts. Bones as big as your head snapped in two.”

dyatparty2Georgyi huddled into the fire, dropping a few sticks on the flame. He shivered uncontrollably. “I’m so cold!”

“Luda, your foot is burning. Take it out…you can’t feel the flames your feet are so frozen.”

“I can’t feel my toes.”

“We need to get to shelter,” said Semen.

“We could go to the depot,” said Rustem

“What, and play your mandolin? There’s nothing there for us and it’s way over the mountain. Look at you shiver. You can’t even walk.”

“Just trying to think of things….”

“It’s okay Rustem, we need to think of something,” said Igor.

“We need shelter from the wind. Look, we need a hole to climb into. We need to…”

“We need to go back to the tent,” said Zina.

“You don’t hear that? They’re still there,” said Semen.

“Maybe they won’t hurt us. My grandma said she knew of them. My mother told me don’t listen because it was old women talk. Grandma said they just want us to leave them alone and they take care of themselves. Let’s go back and get the blankets and our boots and skis. Let them scream all they want.”

dyatlov2“They hit the tent and you screamed bloody murder – that was you wasn’t it?” said Semen.

“It was just a snowball. It scared me.”

“Well, I thought it was pinching your head off. I beg your pardon.”

“I want to go to the tent,” said Zina.

“I’ll go,” said Rustem. “I have a shoe.”

“Don’t go back there. I’m finding shelter. We can survive the night. They will go away when the sun rises,” said Semen.

“Zina, let Rustem go. He can bring us supplies. Stay here and sit on my lap. Stay warm,” Igor pleaded.

Rustem Slobodin stood and walked away, before anyone could say more.

“They’re angry at us. Don’t go up there,” Semen said, then turned and walked into the trees.

The party sat in silence. Yuri climbed the tree and looked for Rustem. He broke branches to get a view. The campfire died. He looked down and saw everyone drowsing. He heard a thunk in the distance. He also thought he heard a sigh. He strained to look between the branches.

Semen came back from the trees. “I found a place.” He looked at the group. Georgyi slumped over his knees, his hand in his mouth, still. The others shivered and held each other.

Yuri yelled from the tree. “I don’t see Rustem anywhere,” he said.

Semen saw Yuri was shivering uncontrollably, hanging on the tree for dear life. “Can you see the tent?” he asked.

“I can’t tell what is happening up there,” he said. “I see things, but I don’t know. I can’t focus my eyes.”

“Get down then, Yuri,” Semen said.

“I’ll stay here,”he said. “Something is coming. Rustem is coming back.”

Lyudmila get up. Aleksi, Nicolai, Georgyi get up. I know where to go.”

“Coming Sascha. I’m coming,” said Nicolai.

“I’m going to the tent,” said Zina. “I’m cold and tired.”

“I’m coming.” said Igor. He was speaking to Zina. He didn’t recognize anyone else.

“Georgyi won’t move,” said Lyudmila. “He’s not moving, Sascha.”

Dyatloff_group3Semen pulled Georgyi’s head back, “He’s dead. Take his clothes.”

“Huh?”

Aleksi hadn’t moved in twenty minutes, except to pull his feet from the fire when they started burning. He leaned over Georgyi and stripped the pants off with his knife. “Wrap these on your feet, Lyudmila.”

Zina and Igor stood. Zina walked away and Igor followed. He stumbled after a few steps, and started crawling.

Semen led the others into the trees. He held the hand of Lyudmila. Aleksi held her other.  Nicolai followed, asking, “How’d you know Georgyi is dead, Sascha?”

“When they are like that, they are dead.”

Yuri looked below him. Everyone was gone. Where did they go?

 Where did everyone go?

They left the tent. Apparently with the clothes on their backs, plus the camera Zolotorev carried on his neck. Strange thing isn’t it?

They assembled together at the cedar, then ended in three different directions. Some left the tree, some stayed and died – or died and stayed – nobody knows. Certainly they were together under the cedar for some time. The evidence is they had a fire. Clothing, removed from Krivonishenko, was found with Dubinina and Zolotorev in the ravine. Three went for the tent, four went for the ravine, and two stayed, dead already, or nearly so. How the party split has bearing on some theories, especially where there is speculation a rift occurred in the group as the cause of the entire tragedy. But there is no evidence to indicate a different sequence of events.

There is every evidence they were trying to control their fate. They built fire and sought shelter. They climbed a tree – for whatever reason. That is an extraordinary expenditure of energy under the circumstances. For what? To get firewood? To see the tent? Were they hiding from something that was after them, or just hiding from the wind? The mystery deepens.

Anomalous bits of evidence lead to dead-ends. The answer demands consistency.

dyatlovtentA number of anomalous bits of evidence, superficial connections, hearsay, unsupported anecdotal information from various people connected to the party, or the investigation, assumptions and fabrications fog the story. Some have merit and some are red herrings.

Radioactive clothing is a case in point. Dubinina and Zolotorev wore clothing found by Geiger counter to have a surface dusting of a radioactive material. Analysis indicated Beta radiation. Lantern mantles used at the time contained Alpha radiation, so although it’s a perfectly convenient explanation, it doesn’t work. The engineering students worked in laboratories at the Ural Polytechnic Institute, however. Zolotorev didn’t, but he wore Dubinina’s contaminated coat. So it is likely a laboratory is the source of the radioactivity.

It is interesting that the bodies were even scanned with a Geiger counter. It wouldn’t be normal practice, but this was no normal case. The fact of the radiation and use of the Geiger counter has supported theories of cold war espionage, to UFO’s. The Daily Plasma thinks it is a red herring, although other aspects of these theories are more interesting.

First, a theory actually examined by the investigators. Mansi tribe retribution for trespass, or some other injustice. The Mansi became suspect when investigators found the four injured in the ravine and decided they had a murder on their hands. The Mansi however were cleared. If there were any merit to the idea Mansi were involved, surely, the on-site law enforcement investigators would have found it.

dyatlov_pass_campsiteAlong these same lines, the possibility escaped convicts from a nearby prison camp found them and killed them. Throw in the radiation and Zolotorev’s somewhat sketchy military past, and you have espionage, either with American spies killing them in a meeting gone wrong, where one of the party intended to pass off the radioactive materials (as evidence of nuclear tests), or where the Soviets caught the spies in the act of meeting the Americans. There were such things going on in the remote parts of the U.S.S.R. during those tense, Cold War years and distrust over nuclear developments.

No evidence of anyone approaching the tent was found. The only footprints were those of the party. Nothing appears stolen. Money, supplies and valuable camera’s and gear seemed untouched. Escaped convicts would take things, unless they were depraved killers just climbing a mountain looking for victims on a freezing night. None of the party had connections to imply espionage, except some mystery over Zolotorev’s role at times during the war, yet nothing surfaces to show he’s a spy.

Orange Fireballs

Much is made of orange fireballs seen in the sky in the weeks preceding and during the tragedy. Theories range from secret Soviet weapons testing to UFO’s that the group somehow ran afoul of. The scene and injuries were not consistent with an explosion, and no collateral blast evidence of any kind was found.

dyatlovlightThis photo, claimed to be the last on the party’s rolls of film, provides no useful information. It could be the orange fireball, but it could also be an overexposure from an accidental, unfocused shot.

Alien visitors, assumed to be far advanced technologically, could have a focused-beam weapon to cause injury to some and leave the others to die of exposure. Based on the first person reports of humans who claim a “third kind” encounter, however, alien contact never involves such violence. It typically involves an abduction. Victims often report odd lights, amnesia, loss of time, disorientation and alien harassment, including uncomfortable anal examinations, pieces of material injected into their skin and telepathic examinations. There was no evidence found related to abduction, or alien visitation. Some metal found near the site that raised suspicions of rockets, bombs and UFO’s were identified as pieces of radar equipment unrelated to any such event.

The orange lights, of course, may have been seen. Plasma events caused by atmospheric electrical phenomena could have been the “orange lights,” reportedly seen in the Dyatlov vicinity on that night by another expedition approximately 20, or 30 miles away. Similar sightings occurred for weeks prior, according to several local sources. These things happen in Siberia all the time.

The only way an electrical phenomena is understood to inflict injury is by a discharge. Common lightning can shatter tons of rock in a single strike, as recorded on mountain tops. The night was windy, and stormy and lightning could have occurred. High voltage injury, as experienced by transmission voltage workers will generally blow a limb off, or knock the victim to the ground, with death caused by the fall. Except for some unusual burns on hair, and clothing, which was likely caused trying to huddle and shield the fire from wind, there is little to suggest injuries were from a high voltage event.

Most of these theories don’t explain the scene as a whole. Why would orange fireballs cause them to leave the tent, for instance. One could imagine looking out the tent in amazement, but why leave it. The one scenario that has plausibility is if, in the wind and storm charged atmosphere, static charges built, causing their hair to rise, perhaps causing the tent to glow with St. Elmo’s fire. This could have signaled an impending lightning threat to the experienced mountaineers, and caused them to seek shelter in the trees.

But what then? Did they wait out the storm only to find they were too far exposed and frostbitten to return. Three of them dying because they fell into the ravine, or ironically, lightning struck them as they sheltered from it, killing them with rocky shrapnel. It is a chain of events that could have occurred. The heart of the matter lies with a closer examination of the injuries.

Before doing so, one final theory finding a popular following since the recent publication of “Dead Mountain” by Donnie Eichar. It is really a variation on these themes, but with an interesting causation. Infrasound caused by a known wind phenomena. A  Kármán Vortex Street (named for Hungarian physicist Theodore von Kármán) can form when wind of a certain speed hits a dome-shaped mountain top, like Kolhat Syakhl. Vortices spinning off the obstructing object produce whirlwinds that could generate infrasound and an ear-splitting roar like an approaching avalanche..

Infrasound is low-frequency, lower than 20 Hz, below the audible range for most people. Infrasound will cause uncomfortable effects such as nausea, confusion, anxiety, and perhaps in particular combinations of power, resonance and frequency, even more damaging effects, essentially rattling the bones. Such direct effects to the body may have unhinged their state of mind, and the vibrations, or an audible roar caused them to believe an avalanche was approaching. It is assumed once out of the tent the sequence would be similar to the lightning scenario, including a fall into the ravine.

In part three, the focus will be on the corpus of wounds to the victims, in addition to individual cause of death, looking for patterns offering some conclusions. Further examination of the lethal wounds will be necessary. Some discussion of hypothermia and the dramatization will continue.

Postscript: At the end of Part One the reader was promised excerpts from the journals. The Daily Plasma prefers writing to cut and paste, and writing leads to unpredictable results. They simply fell out of the scope of the article as it developed. There is no clue to the mystery in them, other than notable exceptions that belong in Part Three.

Thank you.