Recently, I came across this column on Lon Strickler’s Phantoms and Monsters site. Please note the item marked Bigfoot Showing at Alamo Drafthouse Angers Cryptozoologists.
Those of you who have been reading for a while will know that I do not involve myself in all the silliness that goes on in the Sasquatch hunting world. I have my opinion about the creature, I have made that opinion known in other pages here and I have an aversion to the BF name that everyone is so fond of using these days. Honestly, I think that anyone stupid enough to think that Rick Dyer, an admitted hoaxer and convicted fraud, has a Sasquatch body to display ought to be separated from their money as easily as this man lies. Caveat Emptor.
What disturbs me about this article though is the story behind it. Dyer claims to have lured the giant out and then shot him. I have some serious ethical compunctions about the whole incident.
Those who read here regularly know that I favor the belief that Sasquatch is an inter dimensional being and therefore would most likely not be harmed by people shooting at him (unless, perhaps, they were using cast iron bullets). But let us suppose, for a moment, that the “this is an unknown animal” folks are correct. One of the things that stands out in witness reports and field investigations is how genuinely elusive this animal can be. This seems to be indicative of a high order of intelligence capable of planning and executing strategies for avoiding humans and capable of understanding the danger than humans pose. While Sasquatch have allegedly been known to shadow people in the woods, these beings generally are sighted by accident.
So we are talking about shooting and killing an animal with high order intelligence. I am amongst those people who would be very hesitant to kill an orca, dolphin, gorilla, chimpanzee or even an African Grey Parrot or raven precisely because my feeling around these animals is that I am relating to another intelligence. We can argue for days about whether these beings have souls (however you define that) but the fact will remain that these critters are not “dumb animals” and I think that fact requires careful consideration when we go to collect a specimen for biological research. Call me a bleeding heart but I would not want to look such a creature in the eye and pull the trigger because ‘something’ would be looking back at me.
The same thoughts go for the Sasquatch if it does exist as a physical creature. There is a vocal group within the Sasquatch investigation community that states stridently that they need a body in order to prove to the scientific elite that the creature exists. That might be true but, if it is possible to capture gorillas in the wild then it ought to be possible to capture a Sasquatch. Not an easy task, I know, but why kill the creature when it can be sedated and perhaps even tagged with a tracking device so that one can begin to discover the movement patterns of this most elusive being. Perhaps, once those movement patterns are better understood, the investigator will even be able to find and monitor pockets of Sasquatch living in the wild, ala Jane Goodall.
“But”, the erstwhile Sasquatch investigator replies, “we do not have the resources to do that sort of catch and release work.” My reply is simple: tough. No one said that proving an undiscovered species was going to be easy. The truth is that most of these so-called investigators are more interested in tramping around ineffectually in the woods on weekends and engaging in flame wars with each other during the week than they are in actually finding the subject of their search.
What’s called for, in this circumstance, is not a bunch of hunters with rifles but a dedicated group of individuals with uncommonly thick skin who are willing to go out and work for the resources to make a true field expedition a reality. These have to be folks who are willing to go to sources of funding both public and private and “make the ask” as they say in the non-profit community. Yes, there will be a lot of rejection but all it would take would be one or two organizations willing to take a chance and the face of Sasquatch research would change forever. Of course, there would be considerations of finding people with good credentials to send out on such an expedition and other logistical concerns but once the money is available a lot of things will fall into place that seemed impossible before.
I am still not convinced, given witness statements, that Sasquatch is a flesh and blood animal. The creature seems to be much too likely to show up in “window” areas and around other Fortean phenomenon to make me comfortable with the assumption that it is some sort of relic hominid or unknown primate. Nevertheless, if the unlikely did happen to be true I would not want it proved to me by some fellow toting a Sasquatch carcass out of the woods in the back of his truck. I would want to see it on National Geographic channel as one of the nature specials I so admired as a child complete with the erstwhile biologist living amongst the creatures and color commentary from the intrepid explorers who first found the animal.