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"Wild Man of the Woods." This is what the word "Sasquatch," originated from the Salish Indian tongue, means. Once inhabiting present day British Columbia, the native people of this land feared this "animal" more then the fiercest bear.
The Abominable Snowman . . . known for centuries by the Tibetans, Chinese, Indians and Nepalese as the "Yeti," meaning "All Devouring Demon." In 1925, Greek photographer N.A. Tombazi was on a British Geological Expedition when he spotted the creature at 15,000 feet. Later, Tombazi would state:
"Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to uproot or pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow and as far as I could make out, wore no clothes."
From all over the world, thousands of reports have come pouring in of strange, human-like beasts resembling an ape, and yet walking fully upright. Descriptions of the Sasquatch, for example, vary dramatically, leading some to believe that there is more than one species of creature roaming the forests of Western Canada and the USA's Pacific Northwest. However, the majority fall within the following parameters: six and a half to eight feet tall; body covered in short reddish-brown or black hair; very large human-like feet; distinct and very foul odor, like a cross between a skunk and a wet dog.
Though the natives of Canada (and America) were the first ones to give claim of a, what many have termed, "Big-Foot," the first hint that something unusual existed in the wilderness of western Canada presented itself in 1811, when Canadian trader David Thompson stumbled across several large footprints in the snow, reportedly measuring fifteen by eight inches, near what is now Jasper, Alberta. The first ever recorded encounter with a Sasquatch-type creature took place in 1884, outside the small town of Yale, B.C., when a train crew came face-to-face with a long-armed manlike creature covered with coarse black hair. The Victoria Daily Colonist described Jacko, as the creature had come to be known, as "something of the gorilla type", about four feet and seven inches tall, and that but for the hair covering his entire body and for the length of his forearm, he looked human.
Throughout history, these strange beings have been reported in the remote corners of most of the earth's continents. Tales suggest that they have always been around, these hairy, bipedal creatures, occupying a niche somewhere between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom, lurking in the farthest outskirts of civilization. But before you scoff at such tales of "mythical" creatures, reader, we ask that you consider the following. Ancient Babylon had its Enkidu, the hairy denizen of the epic of Gilgamesh, while the Anglo-Saxons thrilled to the menace of the giant Grendel, slain by Beowulf. Satyrs and other woods-dwelling beings haunted the Greeks. A dictionary compiled during China's Chou dynasty in 200 BC described the Feifei, a hairy, ten-foot-tall creature that resembled humans as well as orangutans but had a taste for human flesh. More than just recent fan-fare, the notorious "Big-Foot" has existed for countless centuries.
One of the first westerners to take note of a Yeti may have been a British army major named L.A. Waddell. In 1889, Waddell found what he took to be large footprints in the snow on a high peak northeast of Sikkim. Ten years later, in a memoir, he wrote:
"These were alleged to be the trail of the hairy wild man believed to live amongst the eternal snows. The belief in these creatures is universal among the Tibetans."
This account, however, was ignored in Europe and America for decades, until the creature was popularized by an unwitting error in the translation of its Napalese name.
The year was 1921. Members of a British expedition were climbing the north face of Mouth Everest when, to their astonishment as they reached 17,000 feet, they observed some dark figures moving around on a snowfield above them. When the explorers reached the spot, the creatures were no longer there, but apparantly had left behind some huge, humanlike footprints in the snow. The leader of the expedition, Lt. Col. Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury of the British army, later spoke of the incident with journalists in India, noting that his Sherpa guides called the elusive creatures metoh-kangmi. In fact, the name was a generic Nepalese term for several mountain creatures said to roam the area, but in the course of transmission to the world the word was mistakenly thought to be Tibetan and was translated as "Abominable Snowman."
To the Sherpas, a mountain-dwelling people of Nepal, the Yeti is a familiar figure that they have incorporated into their folklore with perhaps more humor then dread. Sherpa children are often frightened into obedience by references to these monsters, but they are always advised how to escape their clutches--run downhill, they are told, because in downhill pursuit a Yeti's hair tends to fall over its face.
The year was 1951. The Everest Reconnaissance Expedition set out to evaluate routes for an attempt to ascend Everest. At 18,000 feet, two of the climbers encountered fresh tracks, which they followed along the edge of the Menlung Glacier for nearly a mile. According to expedition leader Eric Shipton, writing later in the Times of London:
"...the tracks were mostly distorted by melting into oval impressions, slightly longer and a good deal broader than those made by our large mountain boots. But here and there where the snow covering the ice was thin, we came upon a well-preserved impression of the creature's foot. It showed three broad 'toes' and a broad 'thumb' to the side."
According to Shipton, the clearest of the impressions measured thirteen by eight inches.
The year was 1983. Mr. Li Mingzhi, a Chinese schoolteacher, was living in a village near a thick forest in Yunnan, China, when late one night many of the village dogs began to bark in an angry, excited way. Mr. Li, thinking perhaps some wild animal was prowling about in the village, picked up his hunting rifle and stepped outside. In the moonlit night, Mr. Li, according to his report, looked around and, to his horror, saw a figure coming towards him. At first glance he considered it to be one of his neighbors, but as he went to meet it, he suddenly found himself face-to-face with a huge "hairy creature." Simply staring at each other for a few minutes, the creature turned away and scurried off toward the forest.
A man by the name of William Roe, while hunting in Canada one day in 1955, came upon a creature he'd never forget for the rest of his life. Coming out of a little patch of trees, he suddenly stopped short. Not far away, stood an a "large furry creature."
At first, Mr. Roe thought the creature to be a grizzly bear standing upright on it two back legs. But the longer he looked at it, the more astounded he became. For, as he later told newspaper reporters, he realized that it wasn't a bear at all -- it looked like a giant, thick-chested human, covered with dark brown fur. Its nose was flat, it lips stuck out, and its eyes were small and dark. Catching site of Mr. Roe and staring at him for a moment, it turned, walking upright, and strode off into the nearby woods.
Reports In Brief
A story in a Canadian newspaper in 1884 told of a strange creature that had been captured near the town of Yale, British Columbia. It was said to be like a small man, above five feet (152 centimeters) tall, covered with thick hair, and tremendously strong. No one now knows what became of this creature, or what it might have been.
A man who had once been a miner claimed that he and other miners working in a canyon in the state of Washington had fought a battle against a group of hairy, apelike things.
A man who had been camping in Canada claimed that he was held prisoner for a time by a family of giant, apelike creatures.
Standing 2.5m tall, with long red hair and a taste for corn on the cob, Bigfoot is back and apparently running around a nature reserve in central China. State media said yesterday that Chinese scientists were on the trail of the legendary ape-like beast after a hunter reported seeing a huge fast-moving creature covered in long, red hair in Hubei province's Shennongjia Nature Reserve. The China Daily said the scientists found 40cm footprints, brown hair and chewed corn cobs at the spot where the hunter said he saw the beast.
LOCATION: Near the H. Roe Bartle Scout Camp, near Osceola - St. Clair County, Missouri.
OBSERVED: In the summer of 1982. I was 12 years old and went to my first Scout summer camp, near Osceola, Missouri. The entire region is part of the "Ozarks" with thousands of square miles of wilderness. One afternoon, myself and another scout were assigned to go to the next camp over, Camp Lonestar, to work on a Tower-Building merit badge. We got tired of this after about 2 hours and decided to walk the 10 miles back to Camp Frontier where my troop was - maybe we'd make it back in time for dinner. Asking one Scoutmaster if there was a shortcut between the camps, he said yes, and pointed us in the right direction. This trail had been used until 1970, when a flood had washed out a bridge. We proceeded about 3 miles down this trail when the forest canopy became so dense, it virtually blocked out almost all sunlight. The foliage on the forest floor was just as dense - someone standing just feet away could be lost to view.
Boulders & fallen trees were so thick the trail was soon lost, but we kept going in a Northeast direction, where we thought our camp was. We then heard a crashing sound through the underbrush coming from the Southeast. We stopped to listen & thought it might be a deer, which are common in this area. It was then I saw something that scared the ___ out of me. I saw 2 "Creatures" about 6 feet tall, covered in dark brown fur, about 100 feet away from us. They broke out of a thick stand of trees to my left, running faster than any human being could run, over serious obstacles such as large rocks, fallen trees, & thick undergrowth......faster than I ever could. They then crossed the path we were about to take about 80 feet in front of me, ran down rocky, log-filled embankment, JUMPED a 10-foot wide stream, and scrambled up the other side. They then disappeared into the forest on the other side of the stream. I froze with fear, not believing my own eyes. At first I thought I was looking at Chimpanzees, but these things were taller and bigger than me (I was 5'6" at 12 years old). These things seemed like they were "racing" each other much like children do. I saw them for about 10 seconds before they disappeared, and they definitely were bipedal, similar to Human form, and they were swinging their arms over their heads each time they jumped over a large obstacle, just like hurdlers would in a race.
There was no way I was going to go any further down this trail no matter what. We were scared out of our minds, and ran back the 4 or 5 miles to the main road as fast as we could. We then hitched a ride from a Scoutmaster back to our camp. When we returned, we told our Scoutmaster everything we saw. He didn't believe us - neither did anyone else. To this day I think of it, knowing that there is no way a human being could run that fast over logs & boulders & down a steep ravine like that in fur suit in 99 degree weather.
When I read some of the other sightings in the southern part of Missouri - I know that there are still unknown primates in that area. For anyone who has ever been in this region, the forests are so thick & there are so many limestone caves, ANYTHING could be hiding there.
Dear Mr. Niednagel, (True Authority)
Thank you for your interest in what I am trying to do in the Sasquatch field. I have been in Sasquatch research for over 30 years after seeing the Roger Patterson film in 1967, when it came to Eugene, Oregon, where I lived at the time.
I and my family had encounters with the creature two different times (1958 and 1959). As a young boy we had one raid our camp. On the second occasion I found tracks in shallow water along Iron creek in the GIFFORD PINCHOT National forest, near RANDEL,WA. We camped on Bradly Mountian. Anyway, we didn't know of Sasquatch until the 1967 film. I retired from Law enforcement after 21 1/2 years and put the knowledge I have learned to work. I have had four sightings of the creature known as Sasquatch. What I am trying to do is locate a specimen that will stay in one area in order to get people in your field to come in and take over for further study . . . then get protection for the rest. They are awesome creatures to see. I have "tracked" man, but nothing compares to these creatures. They show intelligence and speed . . . when they travel they cover large ground, and hide their tracks better then any animal I ever ran into. Though shy, they can be extremely dangerous. A Sasquatch can simply put fear into you like nothing else can. Perhaps we can learn something from this animal. They are very wood-wise, of course, since they live there. Again, I think we can learn a lot about ourselves from this creature and how to live with nature. My goal is to prove their existence . . . that they are not just some story told around campfires. I have collected hair samples, tracks, and feces to be tested and I will continue collecting this evidence for CRYPTOZOOLOGY studies.
In a large sense, it would be nearly comical to conduct a conclusion on the legendary bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti. There simply is too much that lies in the "unknown." While many honest people claim to have seen one, a physical (dead or alive) specimen has yet to be brought forth . . . leading many to scoff. While we do not scoff at the possibility of a living animal such as this, the lack of physical evidence does raise many questions. Indeed, as with every cryptid of our world, only time will tell.
Available online at www.trueauthority.com/cryptozoology/bigfoot.htm