June 25, 2022

Looking for Monkey Creek, Part 4: Paranormal Bigfoot

Part 1: What Monkey?
Part 2: The First Hike
Part 3: Flesh and Blood

A claimed 1988 Bigfoot sighting in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado, led to the placing
of this humorous Bigfoot Crossing sign on the Pike's Peak Highway above the town.

Bigfoot researchers split into two main groups, "flesh-and-blood" and "paranormal," for lack of better terms. Anthropologist Grover Krantz, who typified the flesh-and-blood contingent, referred to the latter in his 1992 book Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry into the Reality of Sasquatch as "the lunatic fringe":

There is little need to specifically address the claims of any particular paranoromalist . . . . It is more effective simply to promote what we do know and to ignore as much as possible, and avoid any association with, those people who are making the investigation appear ridiculous. (256)

In 1988, I was a reporter at the Cañon City Daily Record. Dan Masias, a resident of Green Mountain Falls, west of Colorado Springs, claimed that he and his young son had looked out from their house one winter day and seen two "creatures" walking past in shallow snow. He got no photos of them, but he did photograph the tracks in the fresh powder snow. (Some neighbors had also reported odd sightings.) 

The large tracks had three toes and — important detail — went on for a few yards and then simply stopped. By the time we visited, Masias had constructed what amounted to a Bigfoot shrine in one room of his home, with the photos, news clippings, and other memorabilia.

Some readers contacted me afterwards with reports of other strangeness in the Pike's Peak area, including combination UFO-bigfoot sightings. I had never heard of the two being grouped together before, but as I said, I had not paid much attention to bigfoot stuff before, even when living in western Oregon.

"Paranormalists" see Bigfoot encounters as part of a broad spectrum of events that intrude into normal reality. You often hear the source for these intrusions described as The Other. The creatures are sometimes physical (and obey physical laws) and at other times are not. The footprints end.

So when I did think about Bigfoot, which is reported in the Western Hemiphere from Chile to Ontario, the flesh-and-blood explanation broke down over simple zoological questions: What does this "wood ape" eat in wintertime when the black bears, by comparison, are hibernating? (No known ape hibernates) How many must there be in X square miles to support a breeding population with sufficient genetic variety? How do they raise the young wood apes successfully while staying hidden 99.99 percent of the time? 

The paranormalists' answer is simple but incredibly mysterious. Timothy Renner and Joshua Cutchin, authors of the two-book series Where the Footprints End, conceptualize it this way:
Flesh-and-blood apes seem to dematerialize and slip through our fingers like wisps of smoke. Nuts-and-bolts UFOS refuse to land on the White House lawn but shoot away at impossible speeds. Clinging to one side of the Möbius strip, we may not notice the twist, but viewed from afar we see the very twist itself allows things to walk on both sides of the loop.
    The idea that something can be real — in that most Materialist definition of reality, i.e., it is physically here (in terms of sasquatch, for example, able to leave footprints and move things) — and yet completely ephemeral has led to even more "science-fiction thinking." Desparately trying to prove the physical reality of bigfoot, yet faced with all the attendant problems of proving a breeding population exists, bigfoot enthusiasts have tured to explanations as varied as quantum physics, interdimensional travel, or even that bigfoot may themselves be aliens, brought here by the Ufonauts. (vol 2, 38, italics in the original)

They add, "When [bigfoot and UFOs] appear together the mystery deepens, but becomes more wondrous at the same time."

Thus, the paranormalists accuse the Grover Krantzes of this world of editing out "strangeness" from Bigfoot sightings (concurrent appearsances of odd lights, UFOs, or strange noises such as loud buzzing or metallic crashing) and also of editing out "sighting" locations that don't look like hypothetical Bigfoot habitat, such as Midwestern golf courses or Texas suburban cul-de-sacs.

There is one point, however, on which many flesh-and-blood and paranormal Bigfoot enthusiast do agree, and that is that the creatures are fond of building "tree structures."  Let's examine that term next before returning to Monkey Creek.

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