June 23, 2010

A Quick Bigfoot Retrospective

I could be blogging about the latest fire--started by the Royal Gorge tourist train, we are told--but it is thirty-plus miles away, and the smoke is going a different direction. (And my little fire department has not been been summoned and probably will not be.)

So let's have a Bigfoot round-up.

What prompted this was a recent piece about a North Carolina man who said that a bigfoot responded to his predator call.

The real question, however, is why J.R. Absher wrote, "Self-proclaimed North Carolina mountain man."

Back in my newspapering days, I was told by an editor that we used "self-proclaimed" to distance ourselves from a descriptor that might otherwise be considered libelous. (The example was "self-proclaimed witch" for a follower of the Wiccan religion.)

So "mountain man" is libelous? Or is the writer just questioning Peeler's credibility?

During the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Colorado rendezvous two weeks ago, the topic of Bigfoot came up again, as it might when you're walking through a thick stand of lodgepole pine amid wisps of fog.

Here is one originally from the Denver Post  seven years ago: "Legitimate scientific study of legend gains backing of top primate experts."

Another piece from 2001 by the same writer, Denver Post environmental reporter Theo Stein, mentions huge footprints along Colorado's Eagle River. (Stein is now communications director for the Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources, which is officially mum on Bigfoot.)

This Bigfoot site has quite a list of articles.

When it comes to giant hairy primates, I am firmly agnostic. People who spend more time in the woods than I do have "seen stuff."

The late Grover Krantz, a physical anthropologist, made the case for a creature occupying somewhat the same ecological niche as a bear--but more nocturnal--in his 1992 book Big Foot Prints.

Krantz taught at Washington State University, and his evidence and arguments pertained mainly to the rainy Pacific Northwest  forest.

But I cannot imagine a flesh-and-blood giant primate living in the harsher climate of the Rockies without the ability to enter a state of near-hibernation like a bear, because there is not much for an omnivore to eat in the winter time. No other primate does that.


Heather Houlahan said...

I use "self-described" to make clear that I'm not slapping my own label on someone: "Self-described raging bitch from Hell ..."

And "self-proclaimed" to make it clear that I don't necessarily endorse some mantle that someone has assumed "Self-proclaimed human rights watchdog ..."

Darrell said...

Wasn't there a report from W/NW of Colorado Springs a few years ago?

Green Mtn Falls or somewhere toward Woodland Park, IIRC.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Darrell--A man in Green Mountain Falls claimed to have seen two "creatures" (his term) walk past his house in the late 1980s sometime.

I later spoke with him and saw the photos that he took of the alleged tracks. Not sure what to make of them. The line of tracks just ended suddenly a one point.

Later someone put a "Bigfoot Crossing" sign on the Pikes Peak Highway where it climbs the ridge behind the man's house.

Coloradocasters said...

This was a great post. I enjoyed it and think it would be kind of cool to have a few bigfoots in CO.

Sadly I have no sightings to report other than a few large and slightly hairy guys that I share the water with.

Peculiar said...

The South San Juans are representing well on the map; perhaps the sasquatches have a conspiracy worked out with the ghost grizzlies. That one in Moffat County must have some interesting adaptations for living in sage desert.