Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spy vs. Spy


      As was suggested in a previous blog post, bigfoot researchers are basically spies. We wish we could do science, we try to do science, but most of what we end up doing is a lot closer to 'intelligence' gathering. Well, there's one potentially disturbing but well known fact in spy circles: it's spy vs. spy all the way. While you are spying on the rogue elements, who ever they are,  they will be most certainly be spying right back. That includes the sasquatch. 
       It gets better. The biggest surprise of my entire experience in the strange world of bigfoot research was the realization that, while I was attempting to study 'them', they had been studying me. They knew where I lived and they made that fact perfectly clear.
     Done laughing yet?  Good.  Allow me to explain. It all began when I was studying the habituation claims of Allen and April Hoyt at their residence outside Onalaska, Washington. I was the lead researcher but it was a team effort and we at BFRO had cameras and video systems on the site, and I was spending a lot of time working on equipment and just hanging out in the woods at this site some 100 miles from my own home in Oregon.
     Once, I spent a particularly long summer night in the Hoyts' woods after a spate of eyeball sightings by the residents.  On this particular night, I camped out in their woods until 3 a.m., whacking trees with a bat and listening for responses. Eventually, it became time to face the reality that I was not going to get any response from The Locals that night.  Due to my own family obligation, I elected to do a couple hours of red-eye driving so I could be home for a full day the following day.  That was a drive I hope I never have to repeat. It was torture. By some miracle,  I made it home in one piece just before sunrise and I've never been happier to arrive at the driveway of my own rural homestead.  I stepped out of my pick-up, zombie-like, leaned against the fender, and basked in the triumph of making it safely home.  At that precise moment, from the deep woods at the far end of my property, came of three sharp, booming tree whacks!
      I could not believe what my own ears were hearing. I was also so exhausted that I could not even consider taking a detour into my wood to check thing out.  I was too exhausted to do anything but stand there in wonderment. But the remarkable irony of the situation was certainly not lost on me.  The noise I was hearing in my own woods was the same three-knock pattern I had been using all night.  After spending all night whacking trees a hundred miles from my home, trying to send signals of good will toward 'them',  'they' were now letting me know they heard me, but precisely at the time when I was too exhausted to follow up.
       The timing was uncanny. I couldn't help but wonder if this was their idea of a joke. I had just traveled one hundred bleary-eyed miles and there was no denying that the loud, clear knocks were done for my benefit.  At that pre-dawn hour, I was the only conscious soul in the vicinity. I had just turned off my car's engine and I was standing outside, alone, and taking a moment to recover from my automotive ordeal.
     The implications were nothing short of enormous: not only had 'they' heard my noises at Allen and April's, but they apparently had no intention of answering me there. Yet,  they evidently knew where I lived and they somehow were able to follow me there and use my own signal pattern to answer me in my own woods as soon as I arrived home!  But how was that possible? I had just driven a hundred miles.  I certainly didn't set any speed records but I must have averaged forty miles per hour. Can they also travel that fast? Or could they use some form of communication to contact other, more local bigfoot individuals and tell them that I was heading their way, and it was time to give me a taste of my own noise-making medicine.
    Okay, now you can laugh.  I know I did, because I got the overwhelming sense that they were back there in the woods laughing at me and slapping each other on the back.  I think I turned toward the woods and shouted some sort of expletive, raised my middle finger, then stumbled in to the bed I had been eagerly anticipating for the past few hours.
    You better believe I did not relate the incident to my skeptically-minded 'flesh and blood' colleagues at BFRO. Heck, I was as much a part of the 'flesh and blood' mindset as anyone up to that point.
     But this was also the first of several events that forced me to re-evaluate my way of regarding the bigfoot phenomenon. This was the very first clearly 'paranormal' event I had personally experienced while conducting my own effort to gather empirical data on  the existence of the sasquatch. I had no way of explaining what just happened but I was certain that it happened.
     Eventually, a few other equally paranormal events happened to me which would take many more words to relate than I can put into this blog post. To make a long story short, some strange and foreign animal parts appeared on my property,  some equally weird circumstances led to the acquisition of interesting video images at Allen and April's, and the application of lessons learned at Allen and April's led to an unexpectedly successful result for the Skookum Expedition during that same year (2000). 
     Even though I was noticing these puzzling, if not bizarre coincidences as they occurred, I refused to embrace any kind of paranormal interpretation. Only Erik Beckjord did stuff like that in those days. Nor did I tell anyone else. I just kept my mouth shut.
     Then someone handed me  the book, The Mothman Prophecies, by John Keel. In that book, the author is a Chicago journalist assigned to investigate a cluster of paranormal events in northern West Virginia around the town of Point Pleasant.  Eventually, Keel concludes that some sort of extraterrestrial beings are at the core of what is going on and about the time that he makes this realization, the beings themselves endeavor to get in touch with the author and let him know that they have been studying him all the while that he was trying to gather information on them. This brings me to John Keel's two very profound and very troubling  ideas about paranormal research that he raises of his book, The Mothman Prophecies.
     First key idea John Keel puts forward: In the study of paranormal matters, the phenomenon you are studying changes in response to your study of it.   Just like the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of subatomic physics, you impact the very phenomenon you are studying and it changes in response to your attempts to quantify it.  Second, the entities you are studying are sufficiently intelligent and aware of your interest in them that they also study you. Spy vs. spy.  In the case of The Mothman Prophecies, the mysterious entities were also considerate enough to let John Keel know that they knew what he was up to.
     It's hard to describe the feeling I had when I finished that book. I sat on my sofa and stared at my ceiling for hours, trying to deny that what I just finished reading seemed to have enormous implications for the informal but serious scientific pursuit of sasquatch evidence I had been conducting at Allen and April's for the past two years.
     Like most bigfoot researchers, I avoided anything to do with the word 'paranormal,' I did not see my interest in the sasquatch phenomenon as being connected in any way to the ET-based phenomena that John Keel seemed to be writing about, yet the eery similarities were enough that I got up the courage to finally share some my weird experiences and suspicions with others.  Much to my surprise, I began to find that at least a few other serious devotees of the sasqutch phenomenon did indeed have experiences that were similar, if not identical to mine. 
     Some ten years later, several other people in my circle of bigfoot-researcher acquaintances agree that they have noticed subtle indications that the sasquatch they are studying do indeed know where they (the researcher) live, and that the bigfoot creatures seem to know a great deal more about the patterns of comings and goings that the researchers exhibit as they travel to and from their remote camera-bait stations.
     I must emphasize that not everyone who studies bigfoot has such suspicions, in fact most do not. I was over at Cliff Barackman's place the other evening and we were talking about this subject that I planned to write a blog post about.  Cliff is as serious as any so-called bigfoot researcher I know, but  he could not relate to my thoughts at all.  He confessed that he had no spooky experiences or events to relate.  I told him, "That's okay with me. Just keep your eyes open, especially right around your own place, and notify me if anything changes." Cliff said he would, then he kicked me out.
     So there you have it folks: That's the kind of stuff you sometimes get when you try to use 'intel' to assemble patterns that speak to the more subtle aspects of the suspected interaction between the sasquatches and us humans.  Obviously, this kind of thing is the reason why intel is not an acceptable avenue for so many bigfoot researchers: it is too vague, too squishy, and much too open to possible misinterpretation.  I'm told that everything I am describing here is best explained by coincidence or my own hyperactive imagination. In other words, I'm crazy.
     But, since I read John keel's book, I have decided I can live with that. I feel much better knowing that if I'm crazy, so was John Keel (he died recently), and so is a growing body of other researchers I have come upon who invoke very similar experiences.
     I will finish this rambling blog entry by saying that this whole line of thought and investigation has had a profound effect on the way I conduct sasquatch research.When someone says, "Hey Thom, are you still looking for bigfoot? "  I smile and reply, "No, I don't look for bigfoot, anymore. Bigfoot knows where I live. I let bigfoot find me."  We both laugh at the self-important arrogance of my statement .  They assume I'm kidding.  I'm not.  Thanks to The Mothman Prophecies I can now say there is even a bit of a precedent for my egocentric attitude.  Besides, there is one other distinct advantage to this new take on bigfoot research:
It's a very liberating point of view.  I don't drive hundreds of miles any more to follow up on each and every sighting report I catch wind of. Been there, done that.  I think I better understand now the futility of that endeavor. Besides, it's just barely possible that, after 'chasing bigfoot' for years if not decades, the sasquatches know where I live.  Perfect. I say, let the bigfoots find me, for a change.
    This way, I can have a life. I can spend a lot more time close to home, just hanging out, listening, and appreciating my own nocturnal woods and rural surroundings.  And think of the gasoline I'm saving...


  1. Fascinating post, but can’t help finding the animal parts aspect disturbing. It would be interesting to hear some more about this and your views on what, if any, meaning could be attributed to it.

    One incident that happened to me when attending an expedition in a known active area ties in with your post about being observed. I appreciate the following brief account may appear eccentric or deluded, but then if you have an interest in sasquatch you could say that goes with the territory anyway.

    On arrival at base camp I left a gift of some apples stuck into twigs on a tree near my tent, but out of sight. At least 24 hours later a return ‘gift’ was left against and to the back of my tent. It was composed of a hunk of fungus, and a stone with a forked twig precisely placed on top pointing towards the location of the apples. It was not easily visible and I only noticed it because I was moving my tent. I discovered it in the early hours of the morning when I approached the tent alone, so it was dark, but other people were close by chatting quietly. It is of course possible that the ‘gift’ was left by another attendee and, although there is no strong evidence that it was, I couldn’t completely discount that. However, there was something else that suggested it was genuine but that’s another story.

    The moment I found it I knelt down to have closer look. The litter of leaves had been carefully swept aside forming a square to frame the presentation. I was astonished and I was thinking through the implications of what I was seeing. As I looked, and literally a few seconds after spotting it, I heard a clear male voice about six feet to my right go 'Hee Hee Hee Hee'. I had the immediate impression that it sounded like a Native American laughing at my discovery of the gift. I looked to my right and there was absolutely nobody there. I checked below the rim close to the tent where the ground dropped down to a creek, but there was nobody there either and no noise of a person moving off. The voice was close and very personal and I could not imagine any human getting away so instantly without being noticed. It was really quiet at that time and I was fully aware of what was going on around me. The tone of the voice was mischievous and somewhat sarcastic, but I wouldn't go as far as to say malicious. I would describe it as semi-detached but making a point of being amused at my reaction plus a hint of mockery.

    I didn’t mention it to the others at the time as it was just too weird. I felt they would find it difficult to believe and could be forgiven if they marked me down as a fantasist. Strangely, although I was a surprised by the voice, I was not scared as it was built into the whole experience of the discovery which was an exciting and positive one. I have thought about this incident now and again and I am sure as anyone can be in that strange situation that I did not imagine it. To sum up, this unexpected voice sounded what I can best describe as 'Native American' and appeared to be 'disembodied'.

    Anyway, I don't think the identity of the source of the voice can ever be fully resolved. I would say this event was a 'paranormal' one, in the sense that there is no immediate physical and conventional explanation. I have since read that Native American tradition has it that bigfoot can be 'jokers' and can throw their voices. If this is true then what I believe happened to me was a perfect example

  2. Just because "crazy" things happen, and you are there with an open mind to observe them, does not make one crazy. Right outside of our consensus version of reality the universe is "totally insane." Well, surely it obeys "laws," but much of what is going on is not yet fully understood. We are biologically predetermined to experience a certain range, a slice of perceptual reality, and really not much more once our culture gets in there and restricts it further. Much of what we now call "paranormal" will one day be understood by science; but human subjective experience runs way ahead of what now may be empirically proven. Likewise, much of what science now knows runs way outside of normal human physical experience. The problem is in sorting through "the unknown" to find "the real," the provisionally real, at least. Science may be a "candle in the dark"; but we should always remember that the scientific has a liminal edge where it bleeds into the as-yet-unproven and mysterious realms.

  3. My best guess for how they got a bigfoot to woodknock behind your house, is one or several hitchhiked inside of your vehicle in one of several possible spirit forms and then moved to the woods once you telepathically noted to yourself that you had arrived home. My second guess would be that several bigfoot followed you home as fast moving orbs and simply kept you within sight, as you weaved irratically between the white lines. My little spirit buddies seem to consistently choose the former of these two choices, to follow me around.

  4. Great post. Would you mind if I repost on my blog and link to you?

  5. Hi Thom,

    You are definitely on the right track in regards to your evolution of thought on the bigfoot phenomena.

    Part of the reason bigfoot as a whole has remained hidden is because of the symbolic relationship they share with humankind. Bigfoot is not what we think they are, but rather, much more. As research continues into this field, we will realize how similar and different they are to us. It's not simply on a physical level as many may suggest or believe.

    Until we can turn the magnifying glass onto ourselves will we understand bigfoot and their existence. This applies to any "paranormal" field we do not fully understand. We must look within for the answers, and not rely on physical gadgets or outdated thinking to help us move forward in our spiritual evolution with all beings and creation.

    Bigfoot "know" of our intent and are aware of our predominantly aggressive and sometimes strange behavior.

    The universe will give individuals brief opportunities to interact with these beings in an effort to close the gap in man's belief of separation.

    As your experiences have shown Thom, one begins to realize that there's more than meets the eye and that "other" forces are involved at a level we do not fully understand. The separation you may have once believed existed between you and these beings is becoming more narrow through your own unique experiences.

    BUT, change is happening. It is individuals like you who are seeing the "forest for the trees." I commend your work and the education you share with others by providing a missing link others may try to ignore.
    Thank you!

  6. Hello Thom! Outstanding post!! Speaking of the Mothman,,,I live less than three miles where he was seen at the most. A huge area known here as T.N.T. Although his reign of terror occurred a few years before I was born,,I have family that hunted for him and some of the people I've known that actually seen it has had their lives change radically. Unfortunately it is not the man of moth I seek,,,but a Huge sneaky hair covered being that loves to scream extremely loud and scare the socks off anyone that's hears it..I have collected three story's from two reliable sources that are totally ignorant of the signs of a BF,,,hopefully soon ill be able to confirm his presence here first hand.

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