|How would Hamlet handle the debate among Bigfoot insiders|
The sasquatch phenomenon has defied explanation for thousands of years. A few more are not going to kill us. I am not one of those paranormalists that thumb my nose at game cameras and thermal imagers. I’m quite interested in examining data that has been gathered, quantified, mulled over, (and hopefully not massaged).
Yes, I admire Jeff Meldrum’s work immensely, but that doesn’t stop me from considering paranormal aspects that are often attendant upon sightings, encounters, and run-ins with the “big folk.”
Part of the reason that I am open-minded about the supernatural aspects of High Sasquatchery stems from my own personal experiences that have made me quite uncomfortable--encounters involving limited telepathic exchanges, as well as the witnessing of a verbal language. I also have reason to believe that some sasquatches, some of the time, have the ability to “cloak” themselves from people’s sense of sight, but not our senses of smell or hearing.
About half of my hundred-odd overnighters into the wild have involved friends and loved ones tagging along with me, and, yes, witnessing everything from branch breaking, to knocking, to calls, to stomping, to verbal exchanges between sasquatches, to roaring, to the games sasquatches are want to play, such as stacking eggshells on top of each other in little piles to peak our curiosity the next morning after the raw eggs had been sucked dry.
On more than one occasion, different friends, at different times have independently said they suspected a sasquatch had been standing or walking near them, despite being invisible. On each occasion, I had not mentioned my suspicion that sasquatches are capable of such things. My friends came to this conclusion on their own, based upon experiences such as literally seeing a thick branch on the ground break when nothing was visually there, but something heavy seemed to have walked by.
I try my hardest to respect the opinions of my peers, especially when those opinions differ from my own conjectures about just what in the hell sasquatches even are. One thing that I feel inclined to mention here involves a playful jab at the hardcore “scientists” in our midst.
I personally know a few of the more famous “apers” (those who contend that sasquatches are a heretofore uncatalogued species of primate), and I feel privileged to call them my friends, but I just can’t let one thing go.
Here it is: I won’t name names but more than a few of my “aper” buddies admit to having seen UFO’s and ghosts. Some of them even claim to have seen both!
And yet, when it comes to Pacific Northwest bigfoots, they insist that anything other than a “hard science” explanation involving a reclusive species of (non-technologically gifted) ape would be unprofessional, counterproductive and pointless. In short, many of them flatly deny the possibility that sasquatches could have supernatural abilities, despite the fact that a significant number of sightings involve variables that simply can't be explained with the scientific tools at our disposal: things like vanishings, portals, UFO's, etc.
To me, not only is this reluctance on the part of my scientific friends to include inexplicable variables in many sightings a form of self-denial, but it’s also a great illustration of the way human beings tend to compartmentalize what modern science cannot explain.
In a way, I find this to be unscientific—summarily ignoring evidence that doesn’t fit into a pre-established paradigm. One example might involve tracks that simply disappear in the middle of a field; another a hovering UFO over a visual (or auditory, such as mine) encounter with sasquatch.
Again, I am speaking here about my scientific friends that have experienced life-changing supernatural events in their pasts (such as UFO sightings and ghostly visitations), which bow to peer pressure and discard data they consider to be insignificant and unreliable because it falls outside of the usual scientific paradigm of sasquatches merely being large apes.
The inexplicable (supernatural) data they ignore in their bigfoot research has no direct connection with their earlier supernatural experiences; however, these earlier experiences do provide a sense of context (life outside of the price fixe scientific bubble in which most of us live) that is summarily ignored, and thus discounted. My contention here is that scientific researchers that have personally encountered UFO’s and/or ghosts should be the first ones to examine and evaluate supernatural aspects of bigfoot phenomenon; however, it’s been my experience that this is rarely if ever the case; in fact, such “hard science” adherents, which have experienced supernatural activity in their pasts, seems to GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to avoid the supernatural aspects of the bigfoot phenomenon.
This type of scientific cherry-picking (avoiding anything that seems even remotely supernatural about a sasquatch encounter or evidence gathered from a sasquatch sighting or hot spot) applies double to “hard science” folks that have, at other times in their lives, experimented with the use of psychedelics, which can also provide valuable insights into the real perimeters of existence rather than the price fixe bubble in which most of us tend to live and operate as human beings.
One friend in particular, who considers himself a “hard scientist” in the bigfoot camp, and who is quite well known and respected by people on both sides of the phenomenological fence, told me over a few beers one night that he had been visited by an extra-dimensional entity as a child, and this being reappeared to him several times every six years until he was eighteen years old. The creature was jet black, larger than a normal man, and it had the ability to appear and disappear at will.
Now, you might dismiss such an account as preposterous, but I most certainly do not. I know my friend quite well, I trust his judgment, and I believe he did experience something out of the ordinary. Or course, the fact that the daemonic “thing” appeared in front of a group of his friends on his eighteenth birthday, and that I personally spoke with one of them, also had an impact on my assessment of the phenomenon.
I have also noticed that, occasionally, folks who become interested in sasquatches (whether or not they have personally experienced any sasquatch-related funny business) also claim to have relatives in their families that once upon a time worked in Black Ops, usually involving the Air Force. I can personally name three unrelated people in the field of sasquatch research that fit into this category.
None of them has told me more than that. None of them has gone into any mind-blowing accounts of exotic technologies or encounters with aliens, while all of them have reported that their relative "in the know" kept his or her lips shut tight and didn't talk about what they did on the job, whereas after work, they preferred not to think about it themselves.
It's probably worth mentioning that I don't know anyone else in any other social circle or professional circle who claims to have relatives that once worked in the "black ops" business. I have no connection whatsoever to anything like that. In fact the people I've ever met with such connections are bigfoot researchers. Neither do I have any relatives of my own that claim to have worked in Black Ops.
As for my own experiences, I make no secret of the fact that I have seen UFO's on two occasions and encountered strange UFO-like activity on two other occasions. So even though I don't consider myself a "hard science guy," that's yet another case and point. Two of those experiences occurred when I was with other people, whereas during the other two happened when I was alone. In other words, fifty percent had additional witnesses.
I have also witnessed two large balls of light going up and down behind a treeline near Goat Mountain, Oregon, changing the tops of the trees from red to white. These objects emitted soft effusive light not radiant light (such as that from an airplane or helicopter).
In short, both objects were glowing, spherical, and approximately thirty feet in diameter. I know because I could see them with my naked eyes, as well as examining them through a pair of binoculars. Even as these glowing spheres were rising and falling behind the treeline, from behind me, over the ridge, by Big Spring, a loud sasquatch vocalization was calling in the direction of the lights. For all of the world, the call sounded to me like the Klamath Scream recording, deep and sonorous, almost mechanical, yet with the ability to carry effectively over quite a distance.
Now, does this mean I believe aliens were piloting those "unidentified" craft, which I witnessed? Certainly not. Leaping to such an illogical and unscientific conclusion would be the province of an operant programmer/provocateur such as Stanton Friedman or Whitley Strieber.
Even though I am not trained in the hard sciences, I still recognize the importance of considering "what, when, and where" before "who or why." In fact, I'm a strong proponent of the "trivium," an ancient form of logic that actually predates that of scientific inquiry, but it no less useful in situations such as UFO sightings.
Since we're at it, we might as well add in the paranormalist friends of mine in the field that have also reported seeing UFO's at some point in their lives: three more eyewitnesses for the peanut gallery. And that's not even counting the ones that I have yet to meet.
I should have mentioned at the outset of this article that I've never made a point to go around asking folks about UFO's. In fact, the subject makes me somewhat uncomfortable to broach. So there could be quite a few more people with dual experience sets (sasquatch and UFOs) coming to the meetings at the Western Bigfoot Society and other related events without my knowledge. Plus, there's the fact that I'm not very active in the field these days and rarely attend any meetings.
Are all of these connections between people with UFO experiences who are also vigorously pursuing answers about the sasquatch question a mere coincidence? I think not.
But then again, I couldn’t say for sure either way. For I am a “fence sitter.” Like Hamlet, I chose to withhold my entire judgment on the matter.
Yes, I know what you are saying: Hamlet’s famous “reluctance to act” is what helped to precipitate the demise of his kingdom. How very medieval of him.
When the evaluation of sasquatch phenomena is involved, I might as well go ahead make the case that we need more people like Hamlet, who resist the urge to dismiss things which they and the tools of modern science cannot explain. Lest we forget, Hamlet also saw a ghost with three witnesses, one of whom was a dear friend of his. And not only did he see a ghost, but the otherworldly entity also claimed to be the spirit of his murdered father, and demanded revenge!
In the case of "hard scientists" that believe they have seen ghosts or UFO's, and also harbor a strong desire to figure out the mysteries of sasquatch, it's understandable not to leap to conclusions. After all, their training in the hard sciences conditioned them to resist making such connections.
Such training can also function as a form of conditioning that causes the brainwashed subject to ignore observable evidence that cannot be repeated or categorized. Despite such things, it's worth remembering that many great pioneers in the sciences were able to balance their belief in a supernatural supreme being along with their work constructing experiments, observations and conclusions based upon repeatable, reliable, and observable evidence--in other words, the application of scientific inquiry.
These days, the hard sciences are marked by a trend towards specialization and compartmentalization. Such motion seems retrograde when it comes to making the really big breakthroughs, and perhaps this is no accident. After all, many of the really big discoveries of the pre-industrial eras were made by so-called "amateur" scientists that dabbled in more than one discipline. Back then, the cross-pollenization of ideas helped to stimulate unorthodox associations that led to unexpectedly big discoveries.
Compartmentalizing personal UFO experiences from sasquatch research is nothing short of tragic, especially when key evidence and experiential data very much point towards a relationship between the two.
And for those researchers that don't have the advantage of such personal experiences, dismissing and discarding accounts of paranormal experiences and evidence involving sasquatches is just as "unscientific" as proselytizing others about one's spiritual veneration of New Age sylphs, satyrs & hirsute giants.
Kirk Sigurdson is an acclaimed author whose works have included the novel Cowslip and have been featured in The Portland Review and Lovecraft Studies. Kirk holds a Master's degree in English literature from NYU and teaches writing in Portland, OR. His next project is a Bigfoot novel titled Kultus.