Friday, October 28, 2011

Once A Classified Species

Anyone who desires to prove the existence of Sasquatch/Bigfoot should consider both the Responsibilities and Ramifications attached to their goal!

I realize it seems entirely impossible for what is shown in many of the attached images to ever happen to Sasquatch when they can't even be proven to exist.  However once that day comes and they are proven to exist, there will be a new reality.  The caveat, poachers would also have a new target.  Unfortunately some people don't think this far ahead.  There are so many issues I truly want to address, but I must admit it's been challenging to focus on just one subject at a time.   But finally, and while lengthy, here's one of the topics I had been working on.   Hopefully it will offer those wanting to prove these beings existence something more to think about.   Why?  Because like with no other species that man has uncovered, these beings do appear to be a 'people' of sorts, and thus we are saddled with a never-before level of responsibility if we expose them.  I also know I am not the only person who considers this avenue of thinking and I'd like to believe it is a result of being wise from both years and relevant experience in the subject.  I say this because there are some in the field who demonstrate the complete opposite, and the pieces fit that they actually possess neither attribute.

There are also more of them out there then most people consider possible!  They aren't some species with a tiny population that hangs in the balance in some isolated remote sections of Wilderness.

At some point we may head down the final DNA path where proof of Sasquatch' existence will be shared with the world.  This may or many not be a good thing! As a repeat witness, I personally don't require DNA proof to know they exist, but most of the population doesn't have that benefit.   That aside, I believe that proving their existence, may be a much more complicated matter then most scientists within the field may themselves presently realize.   I contend that there is great responsibility to proceeding with such a decision, which entails comprehending there may also be a great cost.   Possibly the greatest misconception for all, is believing that their protection, post verification, will bring guaranteed peace for the species.  This may be a fantasy wish.   While I didn't always realize it myself, this assumption where I now have serious doubts!  Just about every person who calls themselves a researcher, evolves thru a thought process of wanting to 'prove their existence, so they can be protected'.   No doubt this is a noble goal, but it may also be quite naive if their thought process doesn't evolve far enough.  Establishing their safety after being outed, isn't going to be so automatic because there WILL be unintended consequences!    What will the real cost be of forcing these beings out of legend and into reality?  Clearly such a change won't be by these beings choice either, and its obvious that they prefer to remain largely hidden from our world.   (For whatever their reasons.)   We may actually be opening up a Pandora's Box in more ways then we can possibly comprehend.  Why?  Partly because there are as yet unseen players who will do whatever they can to exploit the species in ways most aren't even comfortable in considering.   Laws won't deter criminal behavior when there is a profit to be made, and that is what hasn't been completely thought through in this quest to prove their existence.

Anyone thinks I'm coming at this from any sort of naive position myself, back in the early 1980's after I saw my own first Sasquatch in Yosemite National Park in 1977, I once was going to lead some friends out to hunt and kill a Sasquatch to prove their existence once and for all.   But something happened the night before leaving that would change my mind forever about doing something like that.. ---------  I've also encountered a Sasquatch twice while armed while out deer hunting, once within 22 feet where it cut me off along the trail and I had to contemplate shooting him if he approached further.   Although to this day I do not believe I would have survived the ordeal given his size compared to my puny rifle.  So if anyone can speak knowledgeably about the subject, its me.

So what possible outcomes could there be after actual DNA evidence is published?  Will the world of science even accept the results based on hairs, tissue, or other partial samples?  Many still doubt it.   And if not, then what?   What if science collectively demands what many have already assumed they'd say: 'We need a body!'?   Will the cat be out of the bag, but without enough evidence for protection, will a new accelerated race begin?    Those in the field who have researched the subject extensively may be more inclined to accept said evidence, but those who haven't ever been engaged in discussions or read the multitude of anecdotal accounts, may not be so quick to acquiesce acceptance of their existence.   Science and society may still demand a specimen, and this may set a new stage we have not experienced before.    Of course first will come a period of doubt of the claims and maybe even ridicule given events like the Georgia hoax.    While a peer-reviewed report may hold up to relative scrutiny, the powers that be in government may also drag their feet.   When government agencies are asked by news media to acknowledge whether there is something out there, what will they say?   Will they respond honestly or will they take the same path of denial or 'no-policy'?   Even if they do acknowledge something is out there, there may still be an overwhelming demand from the scientific community saying 'we want to examine a body!'. What then?  Will we end up in a sort of never ending foot-dragging?

As a result, a sasquatch body may instantly become worth several million dollars, its already worth more then the $1 million offered in the past, but this will be a whole new race when we enter this next phase.   There likely won't be any restrictions on how death ultimately occurs for newcomers to the race.   A new 'specimen-value' will find its own place within society.  The race will begin and there is nobody in charge or any rules or ethics guidelines to follow.   Point is, Sasquatch may soon become a commodity despite everyone's good intentions today.

Up until now, Sasquatch has been mostly limited to legend within society.  The vast majority of the population has never seen one.  Some may never accept that such a species could even exist.   But with all the talk about DNA studies, bigfoot bodies, shootings, are we entering a new era?   Are we also ill prepared for the changes to come?  Everyone believes "They need to be protected!"    This desire for 'protection' has been the justification for why many bigfooters are out there trying to prove they exist.   Is this a good enough reason however?   Some justify killing one as a specimen in order to fulfill that goal.  From their perspective, the ultimate protection of the species remains a worthwhile goal.  But I must ask, how many Sasquatch have been maimed in this unfulfilled goal over the years?  Do we ever hear details of the undocumented attempts of their failures?    I am aware of a few other well organized attempts of the past, but I suspect many more failed efforts are kept secret.   Still, the race continues to harvest one.   That said, more and more of these hunter/researcher groups are beginning to understand the methods required to possibly harvest a specimen.  Its not pretty either.   I also suspect that in some regions, Sasquatch have been chased and shot at more then others, and this has even made them meaner.  This is not good.  The problem is, the individuals willing to take the step in harvesting one haven't realized that these beings are definitely something more then just some giant ape.  They are a people on some level, though we don't understand how evolved that may be of course.

Regardless, lets step forward a decade with a possible hypothetical scenario.  Sasquatch has gained increased acceptance as a real species, even accepted by science.  For that matter, laws are on the books that have relegated them as a protected status in the US and Canada.  They don't quite fit within your standard ESA Classification however.   They are found to be part human, but there are differences from us too. They are of magnificent size. They are wild and powerful. They even harness some abilities and differences which their DNA fails to explain.

No doubt most people have good intentions, but rarely are we able to think through the long term ramifications of our actions.  Its just not easy seeing into the future, but we can learn from past mistakes in real life situations.    A few years ago I even drafted up a 36 page Draft ESA Petition to list Sasquatch as a Protected Species, because I was having such successes in the field and felt it was the right thing to do.   Yep, I even based it on the Giganto theory but have long ago grown past that.    That petition language is buried away now because I realized there is much more to these beings then most will ever comprehend.  By their behavior, they also appear to not want to be proven.     So here's what needs to be pondered.   Will new laws protecting the species in the US and even Canada, prevent illegal activities such as poaching, or even attempts a poaching?  I don't believe so!  In other countries it requires full time armed patrols to protect gorillas and other species in the wild.  We have illegal poaching of record elk here in the US just for a set of antlers.  Why would new laws be effective with Sasquatch in the US?  Because its a Feel Good endeavor?  Lol  Don't be so damned naive!  Well, 'some people', may never understand this.

There are a few scenarios that I have previously raised in forum threads. The first stems from my concern that once they are proven to exist, that a new Black Market will be created.  This is what most Protection Advocates haven't quite thought through and apparently some aren't emotionally equipped to do so!   It may be the inevitable natural progression of events in a society where such practices are already well organized and widespread.    First you have your egotistical mighty big game hunter that must have every species in existence mounted on his wall.   I'm a hunter too, but I would never condone killing one of these beings ever again for such an arrogant cause.   There are elements out there who kill for other reasons too.  

First, let us look at what generally happens when there is a recognized species that is determined to also be dangerous to humans.  Their Populations are Regulated!  So if there are areas where humans have suspiciously disappeared, it could become the Managing Agency's responsibility to limit their numbers, to cull numbers in areas that are deemed to be too high.  Same as they do for Wolves, for Deer, for Bear.  And if they are found to be responsible for destruction of livestock, landowners will also have the right to kill offenders.

The REAL point of this article is to point out the big issue that most people have little understanding of.  There is a strong bush meat and parts market on our planet.  Some of this is driven by demand in third world countries that already have a view of the power transferred from consuming meat or using ground up powder of different species.   Even some modern Asian cultures still pursue parts for such purposes.  Well imagine the virility some will see as coming from the great Sasquatch!  Don't think Third World markets won't affect them in the US either, look at bear bile for those countries leads to constant poaching in the US.

In addition, how will protecting them in the US or Canada, protect them in Third World countries where they may also exist, where up until now, they have only been a mythical creature not worth the time pursuing?

Within certain undeveloped cultures, there remains those who believe that one can gain an animal's characteristics by ingesting its parts. So under such ideology, imagine the strength and vitality one could gain from ingesting Sasquatch parts.  For anyone who does not think this is a problem worldwide with other animals, just check out these two links.  Thinking those elements will not 'try' to do the same with Sasquatch would be extremely naive!   Of course, being successful is another matter, but even that won't diminish a new level of harassment on the species.

Never Overpay for Bear Bile Again! : Zooillogix

So, for those who are driven by the desire to prove their existence, understand that you are taking on a responsibility for the species' well being that is 'far greater' then what you may have ever previously considered. Will proving their existence, actually doom the only major advantage they actually had? Anonymity.  Those who don't want to see them harmed will essentially be powerless when organized criminal elements begin seeing new financial opportunity on the horizon.

There appears to be a lion share of researcher who believe that we have to prove them so they will be protected. Well, nothing may be farther from the truth once Sasquatch joins the library of existing genus.  Once they are considered REAL, a new pursuit for them will begin. Just look at the images below if you don't believe this can happen.  Every so-called researcher needs to consider this possible outcome. 

There are hundreds of sources for photos of this despicable trade. Don't be fooled in thinking that once Sasquatch are protected in US and Canada, that it will offer any real form of protection overall. The reality is, it will only create desire for a new extremely rare & exotic species, and hence creating a new market that few have contemplated possible .

Once they are proven to exist, what laws can possibly stop this kind of activity?  The following is part of just one of many busts that occur every year, but is only a small dent in the scheme of things. Will we be adding yet another species to the list to become part of the slaughter?

In the following photo there are 480 bear paws confiscated in an illegal smuggling bust in Russia.  This kind of impact can sterilize forests of wildlife.   

Here is the larger news story which is just a small portion of the documented trade in illegal parts. Just imagine what a comparable image of bigfoot could look like. So what will a bigfoot head or foot be worth?

Folks, I am raising these tough issues because I truly fear they have not been considered by those who are steaming ahead at full speed in their zeal.  I realize there has been decades of efforts by researchers to prove their existence, but understand, there is a reason why most Native American and First Nations people haven't shared proof before now. Frankly, there are also things in our universe that science remains ignorant of.  If there is one species on earth that resides partly unexplainable, Sasquatch is it, and DNA may not reveal those less tangible elements of what they are.    These are things we MUST think about! Don't think that some ESA Protection is going to prevent an attempted slaughter of individual sasquatch when opportunity arises. Right now there is no market, but that is only because officially these beings do not exist and most people don't believe they do. Once they are proven to exist however, everything will change. So far, smugglers have had no reason to chase a species, that as far as they know, does not exist. Prove their existence and they will have every reason in the world to begin their pursuit in ernest. What will a Gallbladder or the foot or hand of a Sasquatch be worth? What will ground up powered bone be worth in the third world black markets? Have the laws to protect Tigers, Elephants, and other rare species, stopped those who don't care about obeying laws?  No.

The question isn't even if someone could be successful in shooting one, its the chase that would begin, and HOW this would affect the species.  

The stark reality is, classifying Sasquatch as a new species, does not guarantee its protection! They are different realities.  What if the government subsequently comes forward and says that we have been aware of these entities for a while and the reports seem to be coming from a far greater number of people then would seem possible for a rare low-numbered species.  Therefore what if the government doesn't feel their numbers warrant protection?  What then?   Under normal scenario, the agencies involved often study the species for years in order to evaluate their numbers.   Other times there is immediate emergency protection.   In this case the field is hoping that they will proceed immediately towards protection.  What if they don't?    

Furthermore, if they fit within the Homo genus at least partly, then protection may not be able to come from the traditional Endangered Species Act (ESA) route either.    After all, if they are human or part human, there are already laws on the books.  Why should they receive added protection?    Could the government say "well if they are human, there is nothing more for us to do."   Of course we know they are different from us, but how is this demonstrated with existing proof?   If we can't view them at will, how will their differences be delineated in order to show why they require special treatment within their realm of existence?    Point is, will the discussion of their protection evolve into a stalemate just as other seemingly progressive but confusing efforts do in government?   

Most Native people just assume to leave them alone.  Even more have long felt the need to keep the truth about them from European newcomers on this continent.  They feel this way because they are being protective, they know from experience how Europeans have screwed up their own way of life and the land.   Why subject a unique wild species to the same treatment?

After all is said and done, I hope to not hear from people: "My God, what have we done?" Its not so easy to think through these ramifications beforehand unless they have been laid out before them.   While many didn't think about it before this column, maybe now it won't be so easily ignored. Everyone involved has a responsibility.   Are you doing what is right when you consider the potential costs such as outlined above?  I hope everyone with a hand in research looks closely at the photos I've posted above and mulls over just where we could end up in the future.   While proving their existence may be your desired outcome, people need to consider that their actions may have yet another unexpected bad outcome as well.  Just something to think about...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A New Voice In The Forest

It was only a matter of time before I would author my own blog I suppose.  Why not, I already do a good amount of writing on the subject within forums and on other's blogs, so having my own platform should allow me to focus more attention on particular issues.   As the chosen title infers, its premise is to consider the perspective of the species, as best as humanly possible anyhow.   Hopefully this blog will endure & adapt over time too.    While I could never expect to be the literal voice of the species, as that would require a whole lot more contact then I've ever had with these beings, having seen and encountered them several times does give a person an insight that just isn't available to those without them.   Obviously once you've seen them, you are well past the first hurdle most struggle with, that is you no longer wonder whether they even exist.    And with each encounter you have, you learn a little bit more each time.   You become less afraid and more familiar.  You learn to present yourself to them without agenda.  You eventually realize the relevance of not needing to secure proof if you wish to have an encounter.  You let your heart be your guide.   You do your best to not be afraid.   (Sometimes that doesn't totally work.  lol)    But when your next encounter happens, you learn to cherish it and it simply becomes another step in your own life experiences.

What prompted me to begin writing my own blog was the realization of a few issues.  One is that we need to recognize there are varied degrees of exploitation and harassment of the species already taking place that most don't realize.    Secondly, if and when the time comes that Sasquatch as a species is proven to the world, such realization will require empathetic and knowledgeable voices within the field.   Those who have had repeat encounters and who hold a grounded understanding of issues relative to our shared environment should have a voice.   I am just one of them.   People will need to act as their advocates of sorts, but we also need to watch for the traps that our peers may not see.    Not that we even know what Sasquatch are yet, as that answer may in fact surprise us all.    But my own encounters with them has at least given me some insight many don't have.  I am not alone either.    But I also know to be open to every possibility.  So while we all share in this exploration of the unknown, I realize that not everyone is moving at the same speed.  Once you've looked into their eyes, plenty is revealed to those who have experienced it.

Before I go into too much more, here's a little about me.  I saw my first Sasquatch back in 1977 when I lived and worked for 3 years at Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Mountains of California.    It was late at night when a good friend Steve (an excellent guitarist & singer with an energy filled raspy voice)  and I were driving home from Los Angeles after our weekend off work.   It was a good 6 hour drive, so he was dozed off in the passenger seat while I was at the wheel of my small Chevy Luv pickup.  I also had very bright Daylighter off-road lights on my truck's roof that really lit things up ahead with their narrow long beam.   We had entered the southeast entrance of the park sometime after midnight.  As we are driving the winding turns through steep terrain, we come around a corner and there he is, he had just stepped off the hill from the right and was immediately in front of my truck about 30' feet ahead.  I came to a very quick partly skidding stop.  I definitely did not want to hit him, especially being he was so massive that he could have easily picked up the front of my truck and thrown us over the cliff.   While I'm trying to comprehend, he is looking directly into my eyes as I look back up at his.    I will never forget that.  It was obvious that he could clearly see me through the windshield too, which somehow must have been made possible with the aid of light being emitted from my dash instruments and maybe his own reflection back onto me.  Ironically I don't even recall him squinting, which seems contrary to their noted dislike of bright lights.   His head was above the actual beams of the light however so maybe that made it easier.   Our eyes were locked on one another once he looked at me.   I was speechless and amazed as I took in every detail I could too.  The sheer mass of his biceps and thighs.  The hairline on his face as there was no hair just under the eyes.  His heavy fingernails.  His bare palms.   His bare skinned nose (not black! smile) and ears.  His overall size.   His extremely toned muscle outlines that I could make out through his hair.  His obvious neck.   I also remember thinking this, his biceps were bigger then my thighs and his thighs were bigger then my waist.  He was a good 8' tall too, very massive stature, and solid muscle.    No question he could have easily picked up my little truck with us in it and thrown us over the cliff had he chose.   So I definitely did not want to make him mad.    Also keep in mind, by the time I came to a stop, the front of my small pickup was well within 20' feet of him.

So all this is happening in pretty much slow motion for me as he is taking his next step and looks ahead & away from me.  It is then that I raise up and forward in my seat to look at his lower body, his legs & calves, even the bottom of his feet and their bare skin.  His hair went down just past his ankles and covered the tops of his feet.  I think it is about then that I hit my friend Steve in the shoulder and yelled "Steve, wake up, LOOK its a Sasquatch!"   As the Sas reaches the edge of the road, he looks back at me once more as he begins to reach down with his left arm while lowering himself to the road's edge.   By the time I was able to guide Steve to know which direction to look, he got to see him just as it was bending over and disappear over the side.  

Well we sat there for a minute or so, I don't remember how long exactly.  I remember that I dared him to go look over the side and see if it was still there.  lol    I also remember that as soon as we started driving again, I said to Steve: "We can't tell anybody at work about this, they'll think we're crazy!".      Of course he didn't get to see all that I did either.   And while we did keep the incident relatively quiet for the most part, this encounter would mark the beginning for me of three and a half decades of sightings and other encounters with these mysterious creatures.    Some may ask why I didn't wake Steve up immediately, but this was my first encounter and I was still young and unprepared.   Simply put, I was a shock.   When you are confronted with something so breathtaking like this for the first time in your life at that close of a distance, well you really don't know how you will react.

Well that was my first encounter with this enigma within our comfy little world we all take for granted.   That also wouldn't be my last encounter.   Some of the encounters I've since had, have allowed me to develop what I hope is a unique perspective on issues pertaining to these beings.    I know that there are others who have been equally touched with varied experiences.    It does present one a sense of purpose in the grand scheme of things pertaining to the mystery.   While there are people who have had more numerous encounters then I, I do wonder 'why' some have repeat encounters and some don't?   Do certain people share a link of sorts in a grander purpose?   Why is it that certain people do seem to attract them?   Clearly this is one mystery that we don't control.    Yes, more questions then answers for everyone.

I also want to say that my 3 years in Yosemite National Park were the most wonderful years of my life.    When you live there you knew where to escape the people, even in the main valley.   Then when I would be working, meeting people from all walks of life and from all over the world was a daily adventure in itself.   To also exchange a daily hello with Ansel Adams, and to see him as just some fellow park resident, well you might imagine my naivete' in those years.   But back to bigfoot.  About a month later that Summer, I had heard that there was a local Native American who worked at the Tioga Pass Guard Station entrance, and that he had also seen a bigfoot.  So I drove up there on one of my days off with a few friends.    I just had to talk to him, to share my story, and to find someone who might provide me some understanding.   He was working then so he couldn't talk long.  But apparently he and another man were flying north of the park in a small plane and saw what he described as a 10' or 12' tall bigfoot from the air.   Hard to recall now nor could I imagine something so big.     I told him about my encounter too, but I'm not sure he believed me actually.    I wonder if he thought I was too wet around the ears to have such an experience, or maybe he felt I was just pulling his leg?    I really didn't find any answers that day either way.   Decades later I came across two accounts of bigfoot seen from the air in the same area around the same time period.  I'm not quite sure which is his but I'm fairly certain one of them would be.

Anyway I've had many more encounters with these beings since my first, having visually seen 3 more and a few dozen or so non-visual encounters.   I am an avid outdoors-man and I know my way around the woods.  Yes I'm a hunter too, but I'm a naturalist at heart.    I've also had my rifle on me during the last three visual encounters and I've never had a desire to shoot one.   Part of that relates to something that once happened, that one day I may talk more about...    I also believe my experiences have enabled me to recognize what is natural phenomenon as opposed to what is often mistaken as sign of Sasquatch by many researchers.   It took some lessons to reach this point, but there is little doubt that people are reading way too much into certain natural phenomenon.   I am presently examining another mystery often suspected as being from bigfoot that has left many researchers baffled, including myself.   More on that in the future.   My point is that it is important to challenge the unusual stuff found out in the field.   If you didn't see Sasquatch do it yourself, don't jump to the conclusion that they were responsible!    Mother Nature has an uncanny ability to create many different unusual physical anomalies all by her self.    That doesn't mean these sasquatch aren't responsible for some of it, but if you are going to be out there chasing something that is already viewed as non-existent to the rest of the world, it works against you to see every tree break or stick laying on the forest floor, as being some kind of Sasquatch sign.   Its important to be pragmatic and challenge yourself when examining this stuff.  Remember, young people construct all sorts of odd things for fun when they are in the woods, and just like you, they follow similar patterns and pathways to get from Point A to Point B.

I have also never filed a report with any of the so-called Bigfoot Organizations about my own encounters.  The way I figure it is, 'why would I have someone I don't know, someone who probably knows less about Sasquatch then I, qualify the validity of my own claims?'   Frankly, I've had more direct encounters with Sasquatch then most of the researchers out there.   And when I see all the agendas in this field, along with an actual lack of insight into the creature itself, well I figure I'm better off qualifying my own past encounters, learning from it, and sharing with those who have had similar experiences.   None of the noted researchers were in my shoes or present at the time.   All they can do is qualify what I tell them.   The irony is, few will ever know for themselves what its like to see one.    The organization methods aren't what understanding the species is about either.   Unfortunately (or is it fortunately) most in the field only knows how to repeat the techniques of others anyhow.    They are driven by an insatiable desire to see one and get proof of the species!   A habituation is ruined or delayed as soon as the trail cameras go up.  This is simply not the way to have an encounter either, but most will never understand this, so I guess let them continue chasing these ghosts.

Having had the encounters I have dating back 34 years, I have never allowed this mystery to consume me either.  You can't.  (Although right now I'm beginning to feel a bit attached to this new blog commitment. )   I've actually avoided becoming too involved in searching too.   It was only 4 years ago that I decided to try and understand why I keep having encounters.   While there were many times when I have gone out deer hunting and just hoped that I didn't have an encounter that day, months would go by without giving it much though.  In fact as people who know me realize, I generally don't even go out attempting to have encounters.   I just take them in stride actually.    I've also learned from my experiences that they are more then just some giant ape too.   This is something that most non-witnesses don't yet understand.   Most are still at the point of questioning whether these beings even exist, yet alone being able to comprehend another classification of human alongside us.   So many of those who have never seen one or had any form of intimate encounter, yet proclaim to be experts, really don't help much.   lol

With that said, I hope my introductory page will leave you wanting me to write more.    This first one is kind of all over the place but future posts will be more targeted.   Those who have read any of my in-depth posts on various sites know I will offer some compelling thoughts to certain issues.  I'm not yet sure how often I will post on this blog, so bare with me on that as I figure out a pace.  I've got a good selection of topics that I've already drafted so I should have enough material for a while.

I'm still working out a few bugs of course and I may make the occasional edit so bare with me.   Please comments because I want to hear what you have to say.   So thank you for reading my new blog.  I will do my best to share what I can when I can, and to hopefully provide new and interesting points of view.