This is going to be an interesting exercise in playing Devil’s Advocate For both sides of an argument. As is so often the case in my life I find myself with a foot in both worlds. The experiencer, and the scientist, and having to find balance between them. Through the years I have heard the arguments both pro and con from the believer, and the skeptics alike. They both do themselves a huge disservice by being meat-heads. On the scientific side the approach seems to be one presenting their opinion with the appropriate wise, stern, countenance of the severely constipated, and couch the statement in professional vocabulary that hides the fact that the statement itself is full of absolutes, that are by no means valid. However when delivered in this manner, then by the god’s of science it must be true! Having some letters like PhD behind your name doesn’t hurt either, because that obviously means that the bearer of such credentials has a direct line to the truth. . The other side is just as guilty, but instead of the dry analytical delivery of the scientist, they appeal to the emotions of the listener. Replacing sternness with passion. Fact with supposition and the appeal to the angels of our better nature’s after all “What have I got to gain by lying about it?” they state emphatically. (Well for one you just got your impassioned plea beamed into the homes of millions.) Well I am a bit of a cynic, and find that both sides are mostly full of crap up to their ears, and the rest is toilet paper. I am going to take one of the most common arguments used by both sides, and try to show you my dear reader, the flaws, and tricks that are being slipped under your noses, through no fault of your own.
Here we go. If Sasquatch is real, why haven’t we found a body? This is a valid point. If it lives, it eventually dies and leaves mortal remains. Many scientists would have us believe that blind chance would dictate that someone would have recovered at least some fragment by now. In a way this is true, but scientists also know full well that if the deceased of any species is buried, or if the dead are eaten, and the remains burned or buried it will be quite hard to find the remains. Neanderthal has shown us that. It is true that mainstream biologists will never accept the existence of this creature without either a live specimen or a dead one to take reference samples from. Blood would have to be taken, DNA amplified and analyzed, and CT-scans and X-rays performed for internal imaging.
The counter argument among believers is always the “Look how many Deer there are and we don’t find their skeletons either.” I have also heard many argue that all of the tissue and bones gets utilized in that grand cycle of life and death. Come on believers you are going to have to do better than that. I have found deer, pig, coyote, and even burro skulls and jawbones out in the woods, without looking. So don’t throw that specious argument out there. Also if it were true that everything gets gobbled up, our museums would be empty of the remains of Pleistocene mega fauna such as the Ground Sloth, the Mammoth, and Mastodon just to name a few. This approach of using such blanket statements does neither side any good, and only perpetuates the stereotypes presented by both sides.
So let’s try a little honesty. From the scientists I want to hear that though we do not have a specimen to study, the sheer abundance of eyewitness sightings must point to something. It’s ok to admit you don’t know what that something is, but one should be at least open to the possibility of its existence. Not all of the eyewitnesses are crazy, surely. To my scientist brethren I would point out a couple of cases where by taking a know it all attitude, they missed the boat. The Mountain Gorilla and the Platypus were both held as fake. In fact English zoologist George Shaw stated “It naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means,” when he was presented with the first prepared specimen sent from Australia. Naturalists refused to believe in the gorilla despite the indigenous people from different areas all describing the same creature. Kind of missed the boat on those two didn’t we? My point is that too often the scientific community proclaims truth despite the lack of supporting data, simply because they do not want to believe in something outside of their comfort zone. This is bad for science because when we refuse to ask the questions, how can we expect to find any answers?
Now it is the crypto zoologists turn. In your own way you are as guilty of arrogant presumption as your opposite numbers in the mainstream science community. In fact, you are guilty of creating your own wall of ignorance within your ranks. For example, many ascribe to the theory that Sasquatch is, and can only be some remnant population of Gigantopithecus. Ok I will grant you that this is a good starting point, but it by no means covers all of the data, and eyewitness accounts that stretch back hundreds of years. Did I just say hundreds? Yes, I did. Because despite the widely held belief by skeptics that “Bigfoot” was merely the creation of the West Coast media of the 1950’s, there are journal entries made by the early Spanish explorers describing what we would call Sasquatch. The skeptics will say that they were merely describing large Brown Bears. This is incorrect. They knew what bears looked like, and would not have described the creature they were encountering as something else entirely. Also we have to take into account the traditions of the Native Americans, and in Canada, the First Nations people. These cultures supersede the European immigrant’s culture by thousands of years on the North American Continent. Almost all of these cultures describe the “Hairy Man” in their oral traditions. Indeed many hold that they still interact with this creature on a regular basis. The Gigantopithecus camp, throws out any evidence that does not fit their model. YOU CAN NOT DO THIS AND STILL CLAIM TO HAVE ANY CREDIBILTY! You do not know what the creature is, and throwing away any evidence that does not support your view only brings you down to the level of the deniers, and debunkers who have proclaimed Sasquatch’s non-existence. It is a basic tenet of scientific research that you must rule out possibilities by serious inquiry and taking all of the data into consideration, not just the bits you like because they back up your personal view. You have to rule out data, not throw out, there is a difference.
Let’s discuss some of the supposed attributes of the creature and see what we have. First off, I think we would all agree that Sasquatch is the Hide and Seek reigning world champion. We have credible witnesses that state that they have seen a “Pixilation Effect” like the camouflage from the movie Predator. Others have stated that it simply appeared like it had just walked into our dimension from another. It supposedly disappears the same way. Here is something else, it is apparently bullet proof. Many eyewitnesses have claimed to have shot the creature at point blank range, either deliberately or as a reflex action out of fear, and the creature either disappears, or runs off, leaving no blood or other trace evidence. These aren’t one off accounts either. There are at least a dozen that I came upon doing a cursory exam of the evidence. Here is another thing that tends to separate the Sasquatch believers camps. UFO involvement. There seems to be an alarming number of accounts in which UFO activity is reported in the same area as Sasquatch sightings at the same time. Possible connection? Who knows, which is my point. WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE CREATURE IS, OR EVEN IF IT EXISTS! So given that, how can anyone claim to be an expert? How can anyone rule out any of the more supernatural aspects, and attribute of this creature? YOU CAN’T! So quit acting like you can. Until such time as we have one of these creatures to interact with, everything has to be on the table, no exceptions.
Now it is my turn. Yes I have a dog in this fight. I have my own theory that takes into account everything I have been able to glean from the eyewitness reports, what little hard evidence we have, and what the Native peoples are willing to share. I have looked at the areas in which all of these factors seem to agree. Here is what my working hypothesis is. Sasquatch may very well be a branch of humanity that has evolved along a different path than we as modern humans have. That would account for DNA testing coming up as human.
That is the scientist talking, now I am going to give the Speculator that lives surrounded by the cold equations, and central dogma of the sciences, in my brain to have his say. When I see the more supernatural attributes that assigned to the creature, I see elements of the Shamanic tradition. This would account for the ability to pass unseen, or disappear at will. For we as modern humans such abilities have passed into the hazy fog of myth. Even among the Native American cultures, much of this knowledge has been lost. We have no idea what a Shaman is really capable of, and for most of those from my generation our only exposure to the Shamanistic tradition was through the highly controversial and most likely fictitious writings of Carlos Castaneda. So here again we cannot rule out what we have no real knowledge of. Perhaps living naked in the wilderness has sharpened these abilities in the race we call Sasquatch.
Now with the UFO connection I am going to throw this out there. What if Sasquatch was here first, and we came along later. There are some creation myths among the Native Americans in which two of their Archetypes, Coyote, and Hairy Man( Sasquatch) are deciding whether or not we as humans are going to walk on all fours, as Coyote wanted, or upright on two legs, as Hairy Man wanted. That this conversation even happens would seem to suggest that we humans were latecomers to the party, and that the other two predecessors were of a more advanced status than we. So is it too much of a leap to take to suggest that Sasquatch may have started out as a guardian of our early ancestors? Could the UFO activity just be the home office checking in? Could it be that something went horribly wrong, and the guardians, met with some tragedy that has left them in their present state of sylvan poverty?
I will be the first to say that what I have written on these pages is my take on what Sasquatch may be. I can’t prove any of it. I would never try. First and foremost I believe that whatever Sasquatch turns out to be, myth, creature, or a race of people, I would not want to be the one responsible for dragging them in to the horror of our human world. I cringe at what would happen to them if one were captured. We humans, especially scientists can be cold hearted, data driven horrors, Just look at the number of lab animals “Sacrificed” upon the alter of scientific progress every year. I think until such time as we as a race learn to treat all life with the reverence it deserves, Cryptids should remain just that, mysteries for a more advanced and caring human race to uncover. A reward for letting the angels of our higher nature’s take the lead in guiding us into our unknown future.