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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

INTERESTING 1957 SPORTS AFIELD MAGAZINE ARTICLE

"I MET THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN "
(A True Story)
By Dr. George Moore, M.D.
Exclusively published in Sports Afield, May 1957
readers will enjoy this eyewitness novelistic account
by the first American to meet face to face the mystery animal
of the Himalayas, the yeti.
Even without Moore's chance meeting with the mysterious creatures of the Himalayas, the author of this account would have a remarkable story to tell. In October of 1952, Dr. Moore, his wife and daughter arrived in Nepal.
Dr. Moore, as chief of the Public Health Division of the U. S. Operations Mission under the Foreign Operations Administration was public heath advisor to the new Nepalese government that had thrown the doors of the land open to foreigners for the first time since 1816. Dr. Moore pioneered the health program of a country suddenly plummeted into the 20th century. His duties took him on extensive trips into towns and villages never before seen by white men. Moore became fascinated by the customs and habits of the Nepalese people - a people quick to win his lifelong admiration and respect. After his two year tour of duty expired, Moore inactivated his commission in the Public Health Service and is at present, Director of the San Juan Basin Health Unit in Durango, Colorado. [ The story begins: ]
Monsoon! Heavy, Gray clouds had been drifting northward from Calcutta for days that June in 1953. Already early rains, warning of what was to come, had soaked the red dust of the Himalayas. The air was clean and cool. Myriads of tiny blue, white and yellow Potentilla has suddenly blanketed the green tundra above the timberline. It was curious how the colors deepened as we descended the slope. White grew highest, then yellow mixed with white and finally blue flowers dotted the landscape farther down.
The rains weren't bad enough to travel in, but at least they were a welcome change from the snow about 17,000 feet. Gosainkund Pass had been the last high obstacle to Kathmandu on our return trip from the northern border of Nepal. In fact, the day before had seen us sloshing kneed deep in the soft wet snow. Our coolies suffered the most. Half naked and barefooted, they had struggled desperately carrying 80 pound packs on their backs. A Himalayan blizzard is no joke even for experienced native porters when slippery rocks and precarious ledges must be climbed.
Brooks, Dr. George K. Brooks, an entomologist on our staff and I were slowly making our may back to our homes in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal from a mission of mercy to the Sherpas of the northern country. The government had asked us for help in controlling an epidemic of typhus in Sherpaland - our name for the high Himalayan country close to the Tibet border. We had been the doctors assigned to the job and now ere weary but satisfied that the evil Rickettsia were licked for good, we raced to get home before the monsoon whipped us. Black skies, torrents of rain and foggy slippery trails on the sides of the mountains obviously held no love the Himalayan intruders such as we.
It was at 11,000 feet, I remember that we had left Tarke Ghyang, the last village of the grateful Sherpas. We were heading south now. The foothills of the Himalayas that surrounded Kathmandu, 28 miles away were visible from the tops of the mountains. This was the area of the "Home of the Gods," a holy place to the natives. Our footsteps followed the same path two or three thousand devout Hindus take on the annual pilgrimage to worship in the Himalayan heights. A scant two or three hundred return from these journeys; the rest die along the way. On our journey up, smoke from countless funeral pyres were a reminder of the rigor and mystery of the area.
The trail was less steep now but slick with red mud. Mossy pines closed over us and thrust their sprawling roots across the way. Bloodthirsty leeches, lurking under the rocks and awakened by our sounds, crawled on our boots and up the coolies' dark nude limbs at every step. Only speed and more speed would enable us to leave this dismal, lonely, God-forsaken range of mountains.
Brooks, as we called him and I pushed as hard and as fast as we dared. Abrasive soled boots and six-foot balancing poles cut from the timber enabled us to make excellent time on the ribbon of web mud.
It was not long before we had left the coolies far behind. Not even their cries and shouts could be heard. The forest was deathly still. Fog banks, raw and cold drifted through the tall pines and left their boughs dripping and slimy.
Rounding a sharp turn in the trail, Brooks stopped abruptly. He leaned against a large rock to extract a leech that was at the point of disappearing over the edge of his boot. I stood there watching Brooks and fumbling for my pipe when an almost imperceptible movement in a clump of tall rhododendron caught my eye.
Something had moved, I was sure. There it was again! This time a few leaves rustled, more than mere chance could move. Brooks, sensing something was wrong, quickly forgot about his leech. Almost simultaneously we both slipped our revolvers out of their holsters. On our right, the slope was dangerously steep. Behind us the slope climbed upward. There was a large boulder by the side of the trail and we eased over to it, glad for the protection from the rear that it afforded us. We waited, - tense and expectant. The stillness was awesome.
The fog and mist seemed to form weird shapes writhing and twisting through the dense foliage. Suddenly, from in front of us, a raucous scream pierced the air. Another followed from the right of us. The ghostly quality of the mist and the unreality of the situation had a nightmarish tinge.
"God!!" Brooks whispered, "What was that?"
My spine was tingling in high gear now. I gripped my .38 Smith and Wesson more firmly. About 20 feet away, somewhat in front of our rock was the clump of rhododendron where the first scream broke the stillness. This time it seemed as though it was behind us.
"Brooks, " I managed to whisper, "Let's get on this rock and in hurry!"
Brooks did not need a second invitation. In an instant we scrambled on top of the massive boulder. From our new perch, we carefully searched in all directions for the next move. Our movements must have been closely watched, for a loud chattering immediately assailed us from the bushes in front. The angry chatter filled the raw air as new cries joined in the chorus from all sides. We were definitely surrounded.
Brooks muttered, "Oh my God, how many of them are there? And what are they?"
We got some idea of what was there when a hideous face thrust apart the wildly thrashing leaves and gaped at us. I shall not long forget the faces. Grayish skin, beetle black eyebrows, a mouth that seemed to extend from ear to ear and long yellowish teeth were nerve shattering enough. But those eyes, beady, yellow eyes that stared at us with obvious demoniacal cunning and anger. That face!
Weird ideas were beginning to force their way into mind. Perhaps, but no, damn it, it has to be! This was the abominable snowman!
A chill sent gooseflesh along my back. The thought of these creatures had often been in my mind when we had trekked over the snows and high places. No European or American had ever proved the existence of the snowmen, although the natives certainly believed in them. Our boys had entertained us many an evening around the campfire with horror tales of the snow beasts or "yeti" as they called them. They told how solitary travelers had been found torn to bits in the vast reaches of the mountains; how huge footprints had been found leading away from the murders. A few Sherpas had even met the monsters face to face and lived to tell the tale. We considered these accounts unlikely "hill stories" although I admit now they had left us somewhat uneasy.
No, I insisted to myself, there is no such creature as an abominable snowman or yeti. This face has to be an ape, or a man, or a demon,. . . .- Or the snowman!!
A hand pushed through the leaves. Then a quick movement and a shoulder. There before us, appeared the semblance of a body. Sweat was visible on Brooks' face now as we crouched lower, hugging the rock for what it was worth. My hands looked white in the semi-darkness.
As the creature emerged through the dark leaves, we strained to make out his form. I felt blind panic start through me. Then I stopped. "Balls of fire." I thought. "I've got to get a grip on myself!"
The creature was about five feet tall, half crouching on two thin hairy legs, leering at us in undisguised fury. Claws, or hands, seemed dark perhaps black, while his bedraggled hairy body was gray and thin. It shuffled along with a stoop the way a Neolithic cave man might have walked. Well built and sinewy, it could prove to be the most formidable opponent. Teeth bared, it snarled like an animal. Two long fangs protruded from its upper lip. Suddenly, a sharp flickering movement behind it caught our eyes. "George! A tail! Look there," Brooks cried. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind at once. "Well, Brooks," I replied, "this thing could be the abominable snowman but it also could be an ape, a large langur ape perhaps. Truthfully, I was more concerned with survival than identification. The band of animals was certainly aggressive, giving every indication that they meant to destroy us. But I couldn't help thinking about the creatures themselves. They didn't look like the common langur monkeys I'd seen in India. At the same time they had apelike characteristics. Scientific possibilities crowded their way into my mind even as I checked my revolver for the attack. Higher altitudes, fewer minerals in the water could produce less hair. Lack of heavy timber in the high regions, which would make climbing ability relatively valueless, could produce an erect species.
Mutations, the methods by which new species are created have occurred and are constantly observable in laboratories. Variations within a single species over a period of time can produce animals greatly different from the parent strain. I had no time to share these thoughts with Brooks. The best I could mumble was an unsteady "get ready!"
Other figures were now approaching from several directions. We could make out six of seven of them through the mist. One appeared to be carrying a baby around its neck. They seemed to mean business as they growled at each other. The one that had pushed through the foliage first was the leader. There was little question as to his authority as he led the attack.
"Brooks" I said hurriedly, "let's try firing over their heads to see if we can scare them. Don't hit them for heaven's sake, or we may have them in a frenzy! A wounded animal - if they are animals - won't stop. And if they are demons, the Sherpas will never forgive us if we kill them. The Sherpas, superstitious as they are, would rather be killed than offend their gods especially here."
"Okay George, you say when" he replied softly.
We sighted carefully through the fog and waited until the repulsive faces were about ten feet away. We squeezed the triggers almost together. The blast swirled in the fog in front of us. Splinters of wood and torn leaves fell through the foliage. The creatures stopped abruptly. A deathly, fearsome silence pervaded the darkening air.

"Let's give them another one, Brooks," I shouted more confident now. The second volley resounded and we were definitely reassured. A third round this time convinced the demons. They turned, howling like wounded coyotes, and fled into the thicket. The excited chattering from the gray gloom told us however, that they had not gone far.
Brooks was reassured. As we reloaded he asked jauntily, "What's next George?" "Shall we attack?" I felt as Brooks felt. We needed to do something and do it fast. On second thought, however, caution was required.
Slowly I said, "We'll wait it out, I believe, until our coolies catch up. We wouldn't have a chance if \we moved forward or even tried to make a break. I don't believe that they'll attack the whole party. Our problem now is just how far behind are the coolies? It's getting dark and these pirates won't miss the chance to eat us alive if I don't miss my guess. In another 20 minutes we won't be able to see at all."
We sank back on the rock and waited there in the twilight, nervous as cats caught up a tree. We listened for the sounds of the coolies and we listened for the change in the growls from the thicket that might indicate another attack. At this point, we knew the demons were discussing our future and wondering how to play their cards. We tried to joke, but it was corny and useless. We were scared.
The fog was unbearable. It penetrated out wet clothes and chilled our bodies. I shivered suddenly. The rock was uncomfortable. We squirmed continuously as the rough edges dug into our muscles. Fog, now almost impenetrable, swirled slowly through the black foliage, throwing dark shadows here and there in wraithlike patterns. Grotesque forms appeared and gaped at us only to disappear and leave out eyes red and tear-stained from the strain.
Brooks pulled out a cigarette and lit it nervously. I knew he wasn't enjoying it. It couldn't be worth the effort. Perhaps it gave him something to do with his free hand. It was then that I discovered that I was unconsciously clicking the cylinder release on my revolver back and forth. Brooks gave me a dirty look and I stopped.
The chattering and snarling from the thicket came only intermittently now. I tried to guess the leader's plan. Was he waiting for reinforcements? No. Not likely. There couldn't be too many of them in these hills and this no doubt was the entire pack. Planning to attack? This was more reasonable. No doubt they would hit us in one mad rush. Yes, a single massed attack at the time of their choosing. They would certainly wait until dark at any rate.
Damn those coolies! Where were they? The lazy, unreliable boneheads! Have they bedded down for the night, No, they would want a village with all the comforts attached. They'll come.
It was almost dark now. We kept straining to see through the gray mist. We were cold and wet. Our close clung to us. A black and yellow striped leech crawling up the rock fastened itself on Brooks boot. The leech, unsure of its prey, stopped and listened, weaving its upright body slowly in the air. I reached down and plucked it off the wet leather. Half-consciously, I rolled the worm in my fingers trying to crush it. It was too rubbery. I flung it to the trail in sudden disgust.
The chattering around us was growing noticeably louder. Sudden loud and urgent growls portended something new in the offing. "Brooks, this is it." Shoot to kill this time and pray."
I remember giving him one last look. We had met in Kathmandu only the year before. Already he had become a friend that I could know forever. I cocked the .38 and waited. "George" Brooks whispered excitedly - "They've stopped talking."
An uncanny and eerie silence pervaded the air. What was happening? I raised myself a bit higher on the rock. If they were crawling in for the attack, we had to make every shot count. In the bad light a .38 would not be a very effective weapon, and they wouldn't be afraid this time. But not a movement was discernible. Not a sound could be heard. We waited anxiously; sweat adding to the soddenness of our clothes. "Damn it George, where are they?" Then a sound from the right, a cracking of a twig.
"They're coming down the trail George, can you see them?" A form appeared moving cautiously toward us. There was another. I sighted the barrel of the .38 at the leading figure in the mist. Almost now, a bit closer.
"Sahib?" "Sahib," a voice called in the darkness. I hesitated a moment and then came a sudden realization. "Brooks, Brooks! It's the coolies." Thank God. We're okay now. "Shiva we're here. Shiva, on the rock, come ahead."
Beautiful, lovely Shiva…. my Gurkha foreman, boss of the porters. One of the finest men I've ever known - can ever hope to know. A loyal dependable quiet little man whose resource and strength lay deep within him. Not on the surface. A look from him had more effect on the Sherpas than a whiplash would have had. For me, he was always there when I needed him. I needed him now. He was here!
"Sahib, you okay? We hear shots. We come up quick."
"God Almighty, we thank you," Brooks murmured.
"Yes Shiva, we're okay now," I said.
"Let's go home."
My staff and friends back in Kathmandu got quite a laugh when we described our experience on the ridge near Gosainkund. Several wanted to go back immediately, but the monsoon was on us and the torrents made mountain travel out of the question. When the rains had spent their fury, my medical duties took me twice again through the same region. I never saw the animals again.
What was it that we saw?
A mutant species that man has not yet categorized? Some kind of ape; large, erect, adapted to the high altitudes; made antisocial by its self-imposed isolation, jealous of any invasion of its realm? Perhaps.
Or was it an entirely new species? An undiscovered animal? A leftover remnant of prehistoric day? A creature clever enough to elude the curiosity of man, inhabiting an area still almost wholly unpenetrated by even the Sherpas who seldom stray from the time worn trails?
From 1816 to 1951 the country of Nepal for all intent and purpose was close to the outside world. Even today only a handful of outsiders have explored but a tiny portion of this land. Yet it was this handful - more interested in climbing mountains than foraging for new species that brought back tales and evidence of a mysterious creature they call the yeti.
One thing is certain. Whatever science will some day discover it to be, the creature humankind has called the abominable snowman is there in the Himalayan heights.
I know. I met it there on the pilgrim trail from Tarke Ghyang.
George Moore, M.D.. October, 1952-3.
Artist Mort Kunstler reconstructed the scenes from descriptions furnished by Dr. Moore.
This story © Sports Afield 1957 was generously contributed by Tom Cousino

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SASQUATCH CHRONICLES WEBSITE



Our companion website to our show Sasquatch Chronicles is now live! it really turned out awesome and I wanted to invite everyone to come take a look and become a subscriber! As we move forward we will be adding a LOT more to the site for subscribers. To begin with if you know about and enjoy the show, subscribers will receive access to 3 additional hours of the show not available in free content, plus may behind the scenes videos and we are working on so many other things currently also. We greatly appreciate everyone's kind support and are very happy that so many people enjoy the shows! for our subscribers, hang on! lots more coming!

Here is the link to the new site:


http://sasquatchchronicles.com/

Thursday, September 11, 2014

WILD MAN CAPTURED WITH TWO CUBS

BOSTON DAILY TIMES
MONDAY MORNING, APRIL 1, 1839

 When will wonders ever cease? Robert Lincoln, Esq., Agent of the New York Western Lumber Company, has just returned from the Saint Peters river, near the head of steamship navigation, on the upper Mississippi, bringing with him a living American Orang Outang, or  wild man of the woods, with two small cubs, supposed to be about three months old.

Mr. Lincoln informs us that he went out to the north-west as Agent of the New York Lumber Company, in July last, with a view to establish extensive saw-mills, on the pine lands near the Falls of Saint Anthony; which lead to the capture of the extraordinary creatures mentioned above. 

Those who are acquainted with the leading features of the Valley of the Mississippi, are aware that there is little or no pine timber throughout the States of Illinois and Missouri, or in the extensive territories of Wisconsin or Iowa. The inhabitants of that region are obligated to use oak and walnut for common building purposes, and the labor of working such material is very great. The greatest portion of the pine timber that finds its way  into the upper part of the valley, is floated down the Ohio, and from thence carried up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers by steamboats. The most ordinary kind of pine timber is worth $60 per thousand, in any part of Illinois or the territories; in New England the same quality sells for about half that sum. There are some very extensive and immediately valuable pine lands near the Falls of Saint Anthony, on the upper Mississippi; but until recently they have been in the possession of the Sac and Fox Indians. In the summer of 1838, a treaty was ratified with these Indians, by which they ceded the whole of their pine lands to the United States. The ceremonies of this treaty were performed at Fort Snelling, about the first of July last. Capt. Marryatt, the famous English novelist, was then on the Upper Mississippi, and was present to witness the war dances on this occasion, which, it is said, were conducted with unusual splendor. He also spent several days among the Indians, and by the assistance of the American officers at Fort Snelling, obtained a large collection of ornaments and curiosities.

Some shrewd men at Albany and New York who knew that the treaty referred to, was about to be ratified, and who were aware, also, of the value  of the timber, formed a company, with substantial, and engaged a large number of enterprising mechanics and laborers to go out and establish saw-mills for cutting timber on the Saint Peters. They rightly supposed that the land would not "come into market," as the phrase is, for several years as it is worth little except for the timber. Those who wish to obtain land for cultivation, go into the more fertile parts of the territories. Companies may therefore "claim" land, establish mills, and cut off the timber where ever they can find it, without fee or license. The timber may then be floated down the Mississippi in rafts, for a mere trifle, and sold at the highest prices any where on the river.

The New York Company sent out their expedition in July last. The workmen and laborers with the principle part of the machinery went by way of New Orleans, and at that city they chartered a steamboat and proceeded up the Mississippi. The whole business was under the direction of Mr. Lincoln. They had on board all the necessary tools and saws, together with the apparatus for a grist mill, oxen, horses, cows, a good stock of provisions, arms, ammunition, Etc, Etc. They passed directly up the river, only stopping to take in wood and water, until they reached Prairie Du Chien , at the mouth of the Wisconsin. Here they put their animals on shore, and remained two days. On the third day they re-embarked and finally reached the Saint Peters in safety.

Their enterprise proved highly successful. They found the timber of the first quality, and the facilities for building mills much greater than they anticipated. The work went on very prosperously, and in a few months Mr. Lincoln had the satisfaction of launching his rafts on the headwaters of the Mississippi. They continued to prosecute their labors vigorously, until winter set in, when a part of the workmen started for Saint Louis, and a part of them remained to superintend the cutting of timber.

During the winter, Mr. Lincoln and several of the workmen made frequent excursions in pursuit of game, which was very abundant, and their camp was one  continued scene of festivity. The Indians brought in large quantities of furs, which Mr. Lincoln purchased for a mere trifle, and lined his cabins with them throughout, which rendered his rude huts very warm and comfortable. The whole party were as hearty as bucks, and appeared to enjoy themselves exceedingly.

About the 15th of January, two of the carpenters who had been out in pursuit of a gang of wolves that had proven very troublesome, came into the camp and reported that they had seen a huge monster in the forest, on a branch of the Mississippi, having the form of a man, but much taller and stouter, covered with long hair, and of a frightful aspect. They  stated that when first seen, he was standing on a large log, looking directly at them and the moment they raised their muskets, he darted into the thicket and disappeared. They saw him again in about half an hour, apparently watching them, and when they turned towards him again he again disappeared. Mr. Lincoln was at first disposed to think lightly of this matter, believing that the men might have been mistaken about the size and height of the object, or supposing it might have been a trick of the Indians to frighten them. He was informed, however, by some of the natives, that such a being had often been seen on the Saint Peters, and near the Falls of the Mississippi, and they proposed to guide a party of the workmen to a bluff where it was thought he might be found. The men were all ready for an adventure, and arming themselves with rifles and hunting knives, they started for the bluff under the direction of Mr. Lincoln and the Indian guides. On the way they were joined by several of the natives, and the whole party numbered twenty-three.

They arrived at the bluff late on the afternoon of the 21st of January, and encamped in a cave or grotto, at the foot of the hill. Early the next morning, two of the Indians were sent out to reconnoiter, and in about an hour returned, and said they had seen the wild man, on the other side of the hill. The whole party immediately prepared for the pursuit. Mr. Lincoln gave positive orders to the men not to fire upon him unless it should be necessary in self-defense, as he wished, if possible, to take him alive. The Indians stated that although a very powerful creature, he was believed to be perfectly harmless, as he always fled at the approach of men. While Mr. Lincoln was giving his men their instructions, the wild man appeared in sight. He ordered them to remain perfectly quiet, and taking out his pocket glass surveyed him minutely. He appeared to be about eight or nine feet high, very athletic, and more like a beast standing erect than a man. After satisfying himself with regard to the character of the creature, Mr. Lincoln ordered his men to advance. The Indians had provided themselves with ropes, prepared to catch wild horses, with which they hoped to ensnare and bind the creature, without maiming him.

The instant the company moved towards the wild man, he sprung forward with a loud and frightful yell, which made the forest ring, the Indians followed close upon him, and Mr. Lincoln and his men brought up the rear. The pursuit was continued for nearly an hour- now gaining upon the object of their chase, and now almost losing sight of him. The trees, however, were quite open, and free from underbrush, which enabled them to make their way very rapidly. Whenever they came very near him, he stared forward again with a yell, and appeared to increase his speed. He finally darted into a thicket, and although they followed close and made much search, they were unable to find him. 

They then began to retrace their steps towards the place of encampment, and when within about a mile of the cavern, the wild man crossed their path, within twenty rods of the main body of the party. They immediately gave chase again, and accidentally drove the creature from the forest into an open field or prairie. The monster appeared to be much frightened at his situation, and leaped forward, howling hideously. At length he suddenly stopped and turned upon his pursuers. Mr. Lincoln was then in the advance. Fearing that he might attack them, or return to the woods and escape, he fired upon him and lodged a charge of buck shot in the calf of his leg. He fell immediately, and the Indians sprang forward and threw their ropes over his head, arms and legs, and with much effort  succeeded in binding him fast. He struggled, however, most desperately, gnashed his teeth, and howeled in a frightful manner. They then formed a sort of litter of branches and limbs of trees, and placing him upon it, carried him to the encampment. A  watch was then placed over him, and every effort made that could be devised to keep him quiet, but he continued to howl most piteously all night.  Towards morning two cubs, about three feet high, and very similar to the large monster, came into the camp, and were taken without resistance. As soon as the monster saw them he became very furious-gnashed his teeth, and thrashed about, until he burst several of the cords, and came very near effecting his escape. But he was bound anew, and after that was kept most carefully watched and guarded. The next day he was placed on the litter and carried down to the mills on the Saint Peters.

For two or three days, Mr. Lincoln says, he refused to eat or drink, or take any kind of food, but continued to howl at intervals for an hour at a time. At length, however, he began to eat, but from that time his howls ceased, and he has remained stupid and sullen ever since. The cubs took food very readily, and became quite active and playful. Mr. Lincoln   is a native of Boston, and some of the workmen engaged at his mills are from this city. He arrived here Saturday afternoon in the brig St. Charles, Stewart, master, from New Orleans with the wild man and the cubs, and they were all removed from the vessel that evening. By invitation of Mr. Lincoln, who is an old acquaintance, we went down to his rooms to examine this monster. He is a horrid looking creature, and reminds us strongly of the fabled satyrs, as we have pictured them to our own mind. He is about eight feet three inches high, when standing erect, and his frame is of  giant proportions in every part. His legs are not straight, but like those of the dog and other four-footed animals, and his whole body is covered with a hide very much like that of a cow. His arms are very long, and ill proportioned. It does not appear from his manner that that he has ever walked upon "all fours." The fingers and toes are mere bunches, armed with stout claws. His head is covered with thick, coarse black hair, like the mane of a horse. The appearance of his countenance, if such it may be called, is very disgusting-nay, almost horrible. It is covered with a thinner and lighter coat of hair than the rest of the body, there is no appearance of eye brows or nose, the mouth is very large and wide, and similar to that of a baboon. His eyes are quite dull and heavy, and there is no indication of cunning or activity about them. Mr. Lincoln says he is beyond dispute carnivorous, as he universally rejects bread and vegetables, and eats flesh with great avidity. He thinks he is of the  Orang Outan species but from what little we have seen, we are inclined to consider him a wild animal, somewhat resembling man. He is, to say the least, one of the most extraordinary creatures that has ever been brought before the public, from any part of the earth, or the waters under the earth, and we believe will prove a difficult puzzle to the scientific. He lies down like a brute, and does not appear to possess more instinct than common domestic animals. He is now quite tame and quiet, and is only confined by a stout chain attached to his legs. 

This is the first creature of the kind, we believe, ever found on this continent. It was to be expected, however, that in penetrating the remote recesses of the new world, monsters would be found, and great natural curiosities brought to light; and it has been a matter of surprise to many that so little of the marvelous has ever been discovered. But we cannot tell what the wilds of the far northwest, the shores of Lake Superior, the regions of the Rocky mountains, and the vast territory of Oregon, may yet bring forth.

It is Mr. Lincoln's intention to submit these animals to the inspection of the scientific for a few days, in order to ascertain what they are, and after that to dispose of them to some persons for exhibition. Mr. Lincoln himself will return to the Saint Peters in the course of two or three weeks.

P.S. Mr. Lincoln informs us that he will exhibit the wild man and his cubs, gratuitously, this forenoon, in the rear of No. 9 Elm street. We presume our citizens will not be slow to take advantage of this offer.

    

Thursday, July 10, 2014

THE FRANK DAN STORY AT MORRIS CREEK


Story by J.W. Burns, teacher on the Chehalis Reservation, 1936.

A well known old Amerindian medicine man named Frank Dan told a colorful story. Ivan Sanderson reproduces this story on page 70 of his book "The Abominable Snowman" by the kind permission of Government Agent, teacher to the Chehalis, Mr. J. W. Burns. This occurred in July 1936 along Morris Creek, a small tributary of the Harrison River. J.W. Burns writes of Frank's story:

"It was a lovely day; the clear waters of the creek shimmered in the bright sunshine and reflected the wild surroundings of cliff, trees, and vagrant cloud. A languid breeze wafted across the rocky gullies. Frank's canoe was gliding like a happy vision along the mountain stream. The Indian was busy hooking one fish after another; hungry fish that had been liberated only a few days before from some hatchery. But the Indian was happy as he pulled them in and sang his medicine song.

Then, without warning, a rock was hurled from the shelving slope above, falling with a fearful splash within a few feet of his canoe, almost swamping the frail craft. Startled out of his skin, Frank glanced upward, and to his amazement beheld a weird looking creature, covered with hair, leaping from rock to rock down the wild declivity with the agility of a mountain goat. Frank recognized the hairy creature instantly. It was a Sasquatch. He knew it was one of the giants-he had met them on several occasions in past years, once on his own doorstep. But those were a timid sort and not unruly like the gent he was now facing.

Frank called upon his medicine powers, sula, and similar spirits to protect him. There was an immediate response to his appeal. The air throbbed and some huge boulders slid down the rocky mountainside, making a noise like the crack of doom. This was to frighten away the Sasquatch. But the giant was not to be frightened by falling rocks. Instead he hurled down the declivity carrying a great stone, probably weighing a ton or more, under his great hairy arm, which Frank guessed-just a rough guess-was at least 2 yards in length. Reaching a point of vantage-a jutting ledge that hung far out over the water-he hurled it with all his might, this time missing the canoe by a narrow margin, filling it with water and drenching the poor frightened occupant with a cloud of spray.

Some idea of the size of the boulder may be gained from the fact that its huge bulk blocked the channel. Later Jack Penny dredged it out on the authority of the department of hinterland navigation. It may now be seen on the 10th floor of the Vancouver Public Museum in the department of "Curious Rocks." When your in Vancouver drop in to the museum and the curator will gladly show it to you.

The giant now posed upon the other ledge in an attitude of wild majesty as if he were the monarch of these foreboding haunts, shaking a colossal fist at the "great medicine man" who sat saw-struck and shuddering in the canoe, which he was trying to bail out with a shoe. The Indian saw the Sasquatch was in a towering rage, a passion that caused the great man to exude a repugnant odor; that was carried down to the canoe by a wisp of wind. The smell made Frank dizzy and his eyes began to smart and pop. Frank never smelt anything in his whole career like it. It was more repelling than the stench of moccasin oil gone rotten. Indeed, it was so nasty that the fish quitted the pools and nooks and headed in schools for the Harrison River. The Indian, believing the giant was about to dive into the water and attack him, cast off his fishing lines and paddled away as fast as he was able.

Sanderson included this story not so much for anything it might add to the general picture of Sasquatch's in the area - there is ample evidence of that in any case - but to exemplify the type of tale told by the Amerindian that cause the white man to doubt his veracity.

Frank Dan was an old and respected medicine man living by the precepts and beliefs of his ancestors. Thus, his interpretation of events had to be in accord with his position in the community.

It is a straightforward account; namely, that while fishing, a sasquatch appeared, hurled some rocks at the old man, and stank like hell. The induced landslide and the weight of the second rock hurled, or perhaps merely dislodged into the river, as well as the giants implied curse, are pure embellishments. Even the mass exodus of the trout might well be perfectly true and due to a cascade of boulders rather than to a stink in the air that they could of course not smell in the water.

Besides, Frank Dan's "medicine" came off second best and he had manifestly fled. He couldn't explain this fact away, so he just did the best he could so not to show up in too poor a light. In fact, Mr. Burns records that Frank Dan gave up being a medicine man from then on, saying that his powers had been finally defeated. That would seem to be the act of an honest man. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

NARROW ESCAPE

 
 
 
On this particular day (July 1989) I had intended to meet my parents for a simple day hike. I arrived about 10:00 with my son Rolf and his friend David. It was a typical summer day in the mountains, light fog in the canyons and heavy shadows in the tree line; warm and enjoyable perfect weather for a brisk hike. This would occur later when my father, mother an niece arrived about 11:30.  We took a light lunch break and three of us continued up the hill while the two boys and my mother remained at the cars.
 
In about ten minutes we had made the first hillside above the road. It brought us about 80 feet up to a large plateau that was somewhat open but not heavily traveled  as I had only found this location a short time before. Long enough to have ribboned the trail and investigated the tunnels for dangers. I had also explored the remains of an old mining cabin, collected samples and posted the site in error.  My job was to remove the inaccuracies and bring the claim into compliance. This required me to part company at this plateau and venture off the trail about 200 feet. I had told my father and niece to wait at the site and I would return shortly. Ten minutes later I returned and they were gone. I called out and received no reply to my hails. Angered that they had gone ahead I returned to the bush and took a few samples. About fifteen minutes later I returned to the trail and questioned where they had gone. Both were emphatic that they had not ventured from the spot but my father seemed preoccupied by voices that he claimed he had heard.
 
"A garbled , mumbling speech that resemble the sound of dwarves arguing over a card hand". I passed it off to the carry of the boy's voices from below the bank but he insisted otherwise. With that we continued on our way and investigated the tunnels without incident. After about an hour of hike to the upper tunnels my father and niece decided to return to the vehicles. Dad would liked to have continued the hike but was worried about the safety of my niece, Tina, so he accompanied her back to the cars. I said my good-bye's and continued on my way. Onto a trail that I had only been on the week before.....
 
As I looked around it was difficult to determine exactly what I was seeing. The trail looked like it had been obliterated in some cataclysmic fashion. Huge rocks were out of place, trees broken over the hillside ripped loose. I couldn't even discern the ribbons I had placed to mark my previous trip. It was as though the hand of God had slapped the hillside and jarred it beyond recognition. I couldn't even tell if I could regain the trail without rope and pitons to secure my travel. It was devastation, so much so, that I abandoned the monument I was carrying so I could use both hands to pull myself up to the trail. I was standing in an area more familiar but equally as unusual. Here I could see the ribbons I had placed but they were laying on trees that were now on the ground. Large conifers were snapped off 3 and 4 feet above the ground like a child breaks stalks of grass.  The broken ends and ground covered with an unusual green slime. It was like nothing I had seen before in all my many travels into the wild.  It looked like it had been ejected from a toothpaste tube but the interior of the jelly contained strands of very minute vegetable matter. This was impressed into the interior like it came out of  5 separate orifices and it held its position in the mass of gelatin. Overall consistency was like thick tapioca pudding and it gave the simulation of phosphorescence in the dim light of the trail. As you might imagine from my discussion I spent some time trying to decipher the meaning of all that I was seeing as the site reminded me of the Tunguska blast in Russia or the aftermath of St. Helens. Many of the tees were laying up the hill! A short while later I arrived at the site where I had intended to place the monument. I returned for this and made placement fast as I still had to take samples and return to the vehicles before it got too dark to pick berries.
 
When I completed this task I turn to take a few samples and heard an unusual echo from the surrounding hill. An extended echo that wasn't mine coming from the hill above me. Now let me tell you. In the time that I have been mining I have had several guns pointed at my face. I had no desire to be shot by some wayward hayseed in the hills so I dropped my supplies and traveled out onto the rockslide that went all the way up the hill. A vantage point from which I would surely see the maker of the sound. Well, such was not the case so I cupped my hands to my face and called to the make of the sound. Moments later the hillside exploded in a blaze of fury.
 
Falling through the trees I could make out a large black shape and my first impression was that my call had dislodged a large nest or tree limb from above. But as it continued to crash, in a Rambo fashion, I knew I was seeing a living creature; big and black. It had to be a bear, a cub perhaps and I began to look for the mother. As it rolled through I could see arms gripping for a hand hold and a creature far bigger than a cub. This had to be a grizzly judging from its size and it was rolling right toward me.  Not a good place to be with an injured bear! I saw every form of mauling death in those first few moments and prepared for a quick and painful death a the claws of this thing then it was over. The behemoth laid on the trail dead......or unconsciously, couldn't tell. Better yet I couldn't make out head or tail on what I was seeing. It just looked like a mass of hair. I surveyed my situation in the few moments and decided to walk toward the thing and see if I could get around it and escape. Just then it began to stir and I prepared to die....
 
I saw first one hand and then another extending from the sides of this thing. Expecting a four-footed stance you can imagine my surprise when it stood up like a man and its buttocks was about eye level. I pulled my .22 caliber pistol and tried to fire a round up into the air but I was so rattled that I forgot the safety and it wouldn't fire. By now I was so engrossed in the magnificent size of this beast I just stood there and took in all I could. Determined that, if I survived, I had to remember all that I was seeing. Its back was absolutely enormous; I marveled at its muscle bundles and definition. The hair was jet black and about 3 inches long over most of its body. The hair on its head grew in a large cape about 24 inches long and in long tassels from the edges of its arms and legs.  Swishing like a Spaniel dog as it walked. Its face was a ruddy brown with deep set wrinkles under the eye sockets and eyes dark as coal. Its nose was short and black with a beard/mustache that grew from the bridge of its nose. Lower the beard resembled some aspects of the Buffalo. I thought it quite odd because I could see various forms of mythical beasts in my own visual description to myself.  Later I fired a shot over its right shoulder. It turned and looked at me and then just walked away down the trail like I didn't matter, a living goliath. As I stood there I was unsure what to do. The gun was little protection but I did have explosives down the trail in my rock bag. My thought was to get to them and I could easily scare this thing away and make my break for it. As I walked down the trail though I spotted something crouching near my supplies. It was the creature and it was doing something, digging? Well, thinking that this was possibly a method of hiding killed prey, I decided to get a closer look and make sure it wasn't one of my party. But as I got closer it picked up a rock the size of a basketball and beat it on the ground three times. I decided this was bad and began to back up. Now it seemed like I became the hunted and it turned and ran in my direction. I turned and ran for all it was worth toward the rock slide and down the hill. The creature crested the hill above me and began a longitudinal traverse of the hillside ripping out everything that stood in its way.....
 
It looked like the scenes of a Tasmanian Devil cartoon. This thing destroyed whole trees as it mowed through them, pushing them aside like I would small twigs. Rocks, branches all forms of debris came my direction as they were being hit with some beam of anti-gravitational force. It was so surreal that it was shocking and I stopped several times when I could run no further. Surprisingly, when I stopped, it stopped and when I ran, it ran. During the pauses it would make that banging sound again just long enough to enlist a response.  I ran to within 300 feet of the road before I decided to give up and then it turned and went back into the forest. As I broke out onto the road they tell me I emptied the clip of my gun. Of that I have no memory.
 
When I returned home I was too distraught to talk to my wife or my friend Kevin who was visiting. I just went into the shower and scrubbed until I began to bleed. I then collapsed in the tub and began to sob. Shaking with the adrenaline still coursing through my veins. That night I recounted my story of what I had seen. A curse that led to repeated bizarre nightmares and sleep depravation. Unusual, terrifying aspects for which I have no explanation. On that note I will leave you to digest my story.
 
I consider myself  to be a very rational man. I have seen bears in the wild and have hunted the same. What I saw wasn't a bear. It seemed a living creature that was capable of being hurt. Albeit to higher levels of pain than a man could survive. As you become more involved with this subject you will notice that science finds what it wants. It affords the research that it  wants and those who seem most devoted to the topic are not. Those who do believe, those who have had the experience are few. They make periodic visits to the media and if time allows they tell their stories even though they don't get paid for these appearances. All we want are the answers that will again allow us to live a normal life. A life in which the world is a far bigger place and we feel humbled by the magnificence of God.  Sincerely, S.F.             
            
 
 
 
 
 


Sunday, March 16, 2014

CLOSE CALL


 

 

 
Jackson County, Prospect Oregon
(Union Creek) 2001


Back in the winter of 2001 my youngest son
 and I were on our way from Boise, Idaho to Medford,
Oregon. We had a car trailer
 to his old place in Boise in order to haul his
 non-running jeep to his new place in Medford.
We hit an area of heavy snow in the
southern Cascades around 2:00 a.m. It took 45
minutes or so to get down the mountain.
We had of course been  drinking coffee to
 stay alert.

About 25 miles west of the pass it became obvious
 that the last few quarts of coffee had to be drained.
We stopped at a wide spot in the road near a summer
 tourist haunt; deserted in winter. There is a gas station
 and ice cream joint on the west
side of the road, closed at this time of year and no town or
settlement within 30 miles.

This is tall timber country and unsettled. Across
 the road is a small parking area for the ice cream joint. It is
paved and about 200 ft. wide and 80 ft. deep. I pulled in and 
 as I stepped out with .45 on hip, it occurred to me in a flash
 that grabbing the 590 mossy would be good.

As we walked to the far end of the area to be well
off the road, the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood
 on end. The area directly to our front was open with a depth
 of 50 yards and a width of 100 yards. The night was clear and
cold, 8-10 inches of snow on the ground and with a moon that
was almost full, so we could see quite well.

While standing and taking a leak with my son about
15 to my right I saw, as if springing from the earth in front
of us across the open area 10 or 12 creatures moving RAPIDLY
 back and forth in sort of a thatch weave pattern.

These things, not human men, were close to 7 ft. tall,
thin, bipedal with long arms, medium length gray fur, and damned
fast on their feet. I brought the shotgun up with the safety off, as
my son was drawing his .45.

I don't know if I can adequately explain the overwhelming
 feeling of menace, but here goes. I had been operating on pure
instinct since I stepped from the pickup, the rotten feeling hit me
 a split second before the things arrived, the feeling?, instinct?,
was that we were prey and subject to a very bad death and
to be slaughtered and eaten, not a logical process, gut feeling
and massively overwhelming.

As they were moving around in front of us, more 
appeared, and mixed among them, all the while running about fast in
 front of us. Son and I were backing toward the truck, I WOULD NOT
present my back to them some of them peeled off right and left
in an encirclement movement. They were rolling in fast from
the sides now, I could smell and feel their presence.

We got to the truck loaded on adrenaline ready to kill,
as we both knew we were in grave danger. We piled into the truck,
 locked doors. I had keys out and ready as my butt neared the seat,
I had the engine lit and trans. in gear and gas pedal mashed
in one motion. Adrenaline is great stuff! As we fled, yes fled!
something VERY close by let out a undulating scream of rage,
and pain. I believe one or more of the group had gotten really
close to us in their persuit and I ran over the foot of one of them,
yeah they were that close.

We rolled onto the highway and I told son to watch the
 bed of the pickup as well as the trailer, he already was indexed
 to the rear with the shotgun. We hauled ass for at least 20  miles
 before the feeling of grave danger started to abate.

The feeling that nailed both of us as we discussed soon
afterward, was one of being prey and soon to be slaughtered and eaten.
 I'm not easily and neither believe or disbelieve all the bigfoot,
 ghost and werewolf stuff,  in fact I am skeptical.

My son was speaking with a coworker about 6 months
 later who had grown up in Prospect, Oregon, about 30 miles south
 of Union Creek where the incident took place. He asked Jake if he
 had ever heard of any strange goings-on in in the area.

Jake went ashy white and pretty much retold the above
tale. He says to avoid the place at night.

A family friend, a 25 yr. retired cop not given to flights
of fancy and an excellent observer, had a tale very similar from
 a year before. I told my wife of this event of course; she looked
at me at the beginning as though I had developed a third eyeball
in the center of my forehead. That was from shock, she did
believe me, but did not wish to hear any of the details. She said the
 tale gave her chills. Me too as I write this, hair on the back of my
 neck and forearms is sticking up.

I have NOT gone back to explore and would not without
 a large group of shotgun and flamethrower equipped men with
me. My son and I are sane, sober persons, and not taken to
hysteria. We were wide, VERY wide awake as things transpired.
We saw and smelled what was there. 

As a sidebar neither of us heard footfalls from the
creatures. They were silent until I heard one as we were getting
the hell out of there.

To my knowledge, and I have researched, there is
nothing that matches these creatures, unless one considers old
legends and folk tales of were creatures.

To conclude, I have to fall back on Elmer Keith's
famous line

"Hell, I was there".





 

  

 

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

MINNESOTA ENCOUNTER



The following account comes from a publication by  Ken Korczak titled  Minnesota Paranormala.

"A no nonsense, hard working doctor and his surgeon buddy  are on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota. One of the doctors brought along his two son's, ages 10 and 12. The other doctor had no children, and so enjoyed being able to spend time with the young boys of his colleague.

Both doctors were extremely 'straight laced'. Both were deacons in their church, neither had much of a sense of humor, and they worked long hours. Vacations were rare, and when they did take time off, these two doctors didn't exactly let their hair down just because they were out in the north woods. They brought their no-nonsense, humorless attitude of 'lets-get-it-done' even to the fun of camping.

The men and boys paired up two to a canoe. The older boy paddled with his father and the younger boy joined the other doctor.

The Boundary Waters straddle the Minnesota-Canada border. It is a vast area of lakes and wooded wilderness, more than a million square acres. This is an extremely pristine and unspoiled region where aggressive efforts have been made to keep out as much of modern development as possible-for example no motorized boats are allowed and no motorized land vehicles. There are dozens of lakes interspersed with pine-forested islands and mainland.

The buzzing of motorized modern humanity is forbidden in this magnificent, unspoiled tract of mother nature.

Canoeing among the Boundary Water is fun, exhilarating but can be arduous. It is necessary to make frequent portages across rugged terrain between numerous sparkling-clear lakes. That means lifting canoes, camping gear and supplies, lugging them between lakes. Camping is primitive.

On their first day out, the two men and boys were coming near the end of a long, taxing day of paddling and portaging. They arrived at a spot where they decided to camp. The doctors told the boys to make a fire while they doubled back to retrieve the rest of their gear.

As it grew dark the boys began to worry because the adults were taking a long time returning. Finally they head branches snapping and the sound of someone running toward them from the woods.

It was the two doctors: but now their super-cool exteriors and reserved demeanor had abandoned them. They were frantic one of them screamed at the boys 'Put out that fire!' Before the boys could react, one of the men hastily kicked dirt over the fire-as if dousing the flames was a matter of survival.

The men shouted at the boys: 'Gather up your stuff as fast as you can-we're leaving!'  The youngsters were perplexed. They didn't have a chance to ask why. It was obvious the adults wanted out of the woods- and fast. The group returned to the original portage site, unloaded their canoes and began paddling with desperate urgency back the way they had come.

One of the boys said 'I couldn't understand what was going on, I was starving because I hadn't eaten all day, and they pushed us to paddle as fast as we could. We were exhausted, hungry, and it was already pitch dark. We couldn't understand what had come over my dad. But we also got the impression that we were not to ask. We started to cry. We felt like we were running for our lives. But from what, or why? We didn't know'

When they returned to their hotel rooms, the high strangeness continued. The two doctors did something amazing in the eyes of the eldest son: they each purchased a 12 pack of beer! The boys had never known their father to drink. As far as they knew, he was  teetotaler, and so was the other doctor. But now these deacon physicians were in obvious need of a few stiff drinks.

The boys said both men seemed dazed all that night. They were sure that neither of them slept. As for what had brought about their bizarre mood, they weren't talking about it, and the boys dared not ask.

The next day, even though only a single day had passed of what was to be a week-long excursion in the northern woods, the group packed up their car and headed back to civilization. Although a camping trip to the Boundary Waters had never been missed in the past 14 years, the trip was never made again.

The incident was not spoken of again - until about 25 years later.

The year was 1989. The father of the two boys had retired from his long, successful career as a surgeon at the most prestigious medical facility in the world. The boy who was 12 was now an adult. One day as the family had gathered to prepare for a wedding, the son casually mentioned to his dad that he had purchased a cabin near the Boundary Waters.

Invoking the Boundary Waters seemed to trigger the old doctors memory of the frightening incident of 25 years previously. He said to his son: 'Have you ever wondered why we never made another camping trip to the Boundary Waters after that last one - the one where we packed up and left so suddenly?'

'Yes, I've always wondered what happened on that day, but I didn't think you would ever talk about it.'

Here is what he said:

'When doctor Smith (not his real name) and I went back to retrieve our gear, we were resting for a moment before we picked up and headed back to the camp where you two were waiting. The trail back to camp was like a long tunnel - the trees were heavy and overhanging so that the sky was almost obscured. The trail also rose steeply and was rocky.

Suddenly a ways up the trail we aw a very large creature of some kind, but it appeared to be walking upright like a man. But it was really big, bulky, covered with hair, very tall, and in the distance it looked at first like maybe a gigantic bear. We became very concerned because someone had been attacked by a bear in this area a few days earlier. We had also heard that some bears in the area had been found to be infected with a brain parasite which caused them to act erratically. We thought this might explain the strange upright walking behavior of the large animal we saw up the steep trail - it appeared to be almost running.

As the creature came closer and they got a better look, the doctors could not believe their eyes. In the last of the daylight, their first thought of this thing was some kind of 'escaped hybrid gorilla'.

The doctor continues:

'Then I saw with some concern that Dr. Smith grabbed a large rock and hid himself behind a bush! He had a rock about the size of a loaf of bread. If he was going to throw that at this massive creature.....well, I thought that was a bad idea. I thought he was crazy, but there was no time for a debate. I decided to try to scare the thing off before he could pelt it with a rock and make it mad. I stood my ground in the middle of the path and began waving my arms, screaming and yelling.

The creature kept coming forward at a rapid rate. It only seemed to notice the arms waving doctor when he was three feet in front of him. The creature stopped abruptly. Doctor and Bigfoot stood eye to eye.

He described the creature as a large 'man-like ape' easily over 7 feet tall, massively built, long haired and emitting a  noxious odor that was beyond description. The doctor stopped his yelling and stood there practically toe-to-toe with an entity that seemed just as stunned as he.

Neither man nor beast had expected to confront the other. Time froze.

Suddenly Dr. Smith heaved his rock from behind the bushes, only to have it land about six feet behind the beast. The creature turned, bellowed an ear-splitting roar, and sprinted off the trail directly into the thick woods. The doctor said large poplar trees in front of the beast bent down and were flattened before the creature as if being pushed down by a bulldozer.

For the doctors, who spent their lives as men of science, ensconced in mainstream Christian beliefs - men who firmly believed that their grip on reality was fundamental and unshakable - confronting Bigfoot was a blow to their world view.