They were bigger and taller than human beings; one of them must have been nearly eight feet tall. Only in the confusion when one became violently ill from swallowing an entire tin of snuff that I had was I able to escape. Ostman's bizarre story is but a single chapter in one of the world's most intriguing mysteries: Does there exist, in the Pacific Northwest, a subhuman creature, perhaps an American cousin of the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas?
In Canada, they are generally called Sasquatch , an English version of an Indian name. In the United States, many call them Bigfoot. The Case for Bigfoot. Though the stories of sightings are remarkably consistent and similar, there would appear to be little chance of people working together to perpetrate a hoax, since the reports have been so separated in time and location, No one knows how many people believe they have seen a Sasquatch , because many arc reluctant to talk about it.
Like many others, Green started as a scoffer, changed to a believer as evidence mounted. Here is a partial sample of that evidence:.
His entire body, excepting his hands and feet, is covered with glossy hair. His forearm is much longer than a man's, and he possesses extraordinary strength. Helens, in what is now Gifford Pinchot National Forest of Washington, five prospectors reported that their cabin had been attacked by a band of mans-apes that hurled boulders onto the roof, tried to force the cabin door by ramming it with their bodies, an screamed in loud wails at the men inside, who had earlier shot at two of their band.
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A posse of lawmen and reporters found the cabin badly damaged and hundreds of giant footprints all around it. The area came to be called Ape Canyon, and scores of people have since reported seeing the man-apes in the vicinity. Several men have disappeared there mysteriously, leaving no trace. George Chapman saw a large, man-like animal emerge prom the woods. She and her three children fled from their home in terror. Her husband and friends from the village later found evidence that the creature had entered a shed and scattered about some salt fish from a barrel.
He said he saw an upright figure only 75 yards away, weighing perhaps pounds and covered from head to foot with dark-brown, silvcr -tipped hair. I leveled my rifle. But when the creature turned its head to look in my direction, I felt that it was a human being, and I knew I would never forgive myself if I killed it. Scientists who have analyzed hair samples say they come from no known animal. Long interested in Sasquatch , Patterson had become convinced that the only way to prove its existence was to get clear photographs.
In October , he heard of fresh tracks along Bluff Creek in northern California. Patterson and Bob Gimlin , an experienced animal tracker, set out to investigate.
They scouted the area on horse back for a week and a half. Early in the afternoon of October 20, they came to a bend in the creek where a gigantic stump, overturned by a flood, obscured the view ahead. Patterson's horse stopped and snorted then reared and fell on its side. Moments later, Patterson saw what had startled his mount. Its arm hung almost to its knees when it walked. Its hair was two to four inches long, brown underneath, lighter at the top, and covering the entire body except for the face. And it was a female; it had big, pendulous breasts.
Patterson reached into his saddlebag and grabbed his movie camera. The creature, meanwhile, was walking across a sandbar toward the hillside.
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Patterson began trotting after it, shooting pictures. At one point, the creature turned and stared curiously at the camera. Then it went into the woods and out of sight. Gimlin began to give chase, but Patterson, who had used up all his film, told him to stop. Nine days later, Robert Titmus , a former taxidermist who lives in Kitimat , B. Titmus has studied Bigfoot intensively since , and considers himself an expert at spotting the occasional hoax. Tests indicated that the creature that made them would have to weigh at least to pounds.
Screen Test. Patterson has since shown his film to scientists. The somewhat blurred, Bigfoot segment shows the creature walking away with a man-like stride, swinging enormous arms.
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Although some scientists immediately branded the creature in the film a hoax, questioning the man-like fluidity of its movements, others kept an open mind. I find this possibility almost as incredible as that of the existence of such a creature.
An unclassified animal could be prowling the Pacific Northwest. For so rugged is the ,square-mile area in which sightings of Bigfoot have been reported that major sections have never really been penetrated. In Washington, Oregon and California there are 70, square miles of national forest, and for some sections the only maps available are those based on aerial surveys. British Columbia is even less developed. It is the kind of wilderness in which animals with only normal cunning easily remain out of sight of man.
The Search Goes On. Perhaps by the time you read this, Bigfoot's existence will have been proved. This time he is using lures, dogs and tranquilizer guns, hoping to capture a living specimen.
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Others have tried before to capture a Bigfoot, without success. The most notable was Tom Slick, the Texas oilman who mounted an expedition shortly before his death in after becoming convinced that there was as much evidence for the Abominable Snowman in North America as he had found in two expeditions to the Himalayas. American Way, October , p. You listen to the tales and you take your choice. Despite many reported sightings, no one has made a photograph of any big, hairy monster.
But Tennessean Rex North is among those who steadfastly believe irrefutable evidence soon will be produced. Many decline even to discuss the subject.
Then there is Mrs. Bertha Seagraves. Granted she holds no degree in biology, mammalogy , zoology, or any of the animal sciences. And as far as Bigfoot is concerned, she confesses she had never heard the name before. All Seagraves knows is what she saw, heard, and smelled one fall evening in the backyard of the family farm in middle Tennessee.
The porch light cast a dim circle of illumination around the yard. Seagraves stepped off the porch and immediately was met by an overpowering odor that made her gasp and stop in her tracks. Then about that time, I saw it.
It wasn't that far away [she gestures toward the center of her living room], just standing, there, looking right at me. Its eyes were shining in the porch light [human eyes do not reflect light], and I just stood there for a minute, sort of frozen. Then I stepped backwards, trying to get back up on the porch. When I moved, the thing growled and turned and disappeared. I could hear it running off into the dark. And I could still smell it after it was gone. Seagraves relates her story calmly and matter-of-factly.
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I've no reason to make something like that up. That thing was as close to me as you are right now. Several hundred miles away from the Seagraves farmhouse, two Indians were strolling along a path near Little Eagle, South Dakota. Darkness was rapidly falling as they made their way down the sagebrush-choked trail. Suddenly they heard a strange grunting sound. Almost simultaneously a sour, foul aroma permeated the area. Later they returned to the area and discovered footprints measuring between 16 and 18 inches in length and 7 inches in width.
In Rice, North Dakota, a rancher was searching for stray cattle when he spotted a creature. It jumped a creek and disappeared into the brush. It wasn't a bear, and I don't know any other animal that big. But there's definitely something out there.