Friday, May 12, 2006

Bigfoot: We Hardly Knew Ye (The Myths And Controversies Blog)...

It was one of my most terrifying nights. We had been to the movie theatre, and had watched a new 'documentary' movie about the great, hairy terror of the Pacific Northwest: Bigfoot! This movie featured the famous Bob Patterson film, which allegedly caught the elusive, large beast walking across a wooded clearing. Of course, it had interviews w/eye witnesses, and scientists, and assorted friends of friends of friends who knew someone who knew someone who saw the Yeti. And at key moments throughout the movie, the stereo speakers of the movie house (yes, only stereo back then) rumbled with a shrill, authentic re-creation of what a Bigfoot would sound like.

It sent secret shivers up my spine.

And that night, every shadow in the quiet bedroom seemed to move. There seemed to be a beastly presence, which I knew was
somehow just outside of the bedroom window... watching me. I remember being very afraid, and absolutely certain that the hairy brute had trekked his way from Oregon, to our front yard. And I knew that at any moment, I'd hear the awful, shrill scream from that nasty beast.

Through the yrs, I watched many other television 'documentaries' on Bigfoot, that would come out from time to time. It became all too familiar: the Plaster of Paris molds of incredibly large, apeman feet. The endless line of experts telling me why everything in the casting was anthropologically correct, and therefore true. And of course, the friends of friends of friends...

As it turned out, the night of fear & dread that I experienced after watching that movie, was a waste of adrenalin. In 2004, one of the men associated w/the famous Patterson film, confessed that the Bigfoot who was casually strolling across the wooded clearing, was really a retired Pepsi salesman from Yakima, Washington, dressed-up in a kind-of ape suit.


I swallowed 'whole' the other great urban myths that every kid growing up in the late 60's/early 70's became exposed to: UFOs, Bermuda Triangle, Loch Ness Monster, JFK Conspiracy, etc... It even got to the point where me and the neighbor kid, barely in our early teens, were planning out how we'd somehow save our money (what money?), rent a boat, and sail into the dreaded Bermuda Triangle, & solve the mystery -- once & for all! Nevermind that neither of us even had a Learner's Permit for a car. We hunched over maps and charts of the Caribbean, and spent an entire summer afternoon laying out our route, and what provisions we'd need. We were really gonna do this!

P.T. Barnum must've been laughing at us, somewhere.

Let me get some things off of my chest. Take a seat -- this might take a few minutes:

- There never was, is, or shall be a large, elusive, hairy Apeman, Bigfoot, Yeti, Abominable Snow Creature, Missing-Link Ancestor, etc... roaming the American Pacific Northwest, the Himalayas, Siberia, or anywhere else. Retired Pepsi salesman, maybe. Bigfoot? Yeh, right.

-- The Bermuda Triangle is a manufactured fantasy. Planes crash. Ships sink. People get drunk & stupid and try to play Commodore Nelson. It's always awful when lives are lost. They are someone's brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or parent. But don't look for the cause as being some vortex planted by the Lost Inhabitants of Atlantis, or a Time-Rift Beacon for Spaceships from Alpha Centauri, or even Beelzubul himself, rowing in a raft. I don't buy it.

-- JFK was killed, terribly, by Lee Harvey Oswald. Not by the mafia. Or by the Reds. Or Castro. Or the CIA. Or disgruntled Generals. Or anyone else. Nut-cases with rifles can do awful things. But a government conspiracy to kill JFK and cover it up? Gimme a break. A conspiracy afterwards to hide the ineptness at the autopsy, and the general screw-ups that bureaucrats & politicians make when the government really isn't filled with 'the best & the brightest' -- perhaps. But, as hard as it is to think that one man, acting alone, can cause such tragedy -- believe it. Oswald acted alone. The only 'patsy' was the public's ability to ignore the unavoidable facts, and to swallow fables & chase shadows in the Grassy Knoll.

-- There is no Loch Ness Monster. Unless you count the cute, little stuffed animals & pendants & t-shirts which tourists spend big bucks on, after a visit to that part of Scotland. The Loch is an enclosed area, and has been swept by modern sonar, radar, acoustics, and infrared/heat seeking instruments -- inch by inch -- & no sea monster was discovered hiding on the bottom depths, holding it's breath. Nada for Nessie.

And while I'm at it, can we as individuals please stop blaming everyone but ourselves for actions that we, ourselves, take? Life has no guarantees of smooth sailing -- but when things go wrong (and they will), it doesn't make us a 'victim'.

For example, if any of us go into McDonald's (or any such fast food place), and Super Size our Big Mac, Fries, Chicken McNuggets, Strawberry Shake, and (Diet!) Coke, then we shouldn't be too surprised when we start to put on the pounds. And I'm sorry, but it isn't Ronald McDonald's fault. Neither he, nor the Hamburgler, kidnapped us off of the street, with loaded ketchup dispensers in hand, and forced us to go in there, and order what we did. So, please, enough of the 'Ima Victim' lawsuits against the fast food joints for our weight increases, and related medical problems. And btw, we should all have enough sense to know that when we order Hot Coffee or Hot Chocolate, it's gonna be HOT! Well, duh!! Blows me away that some juries actually awarded some McIdiots millions of $$ because they burned themselves drinking/or spilling hot coffee (evidently thinking it was gonna be McGulpable Coffee??). Chaps my hide knowing that some of these people are now set for life, financially, because oooo!, oooo!, the coffee was too hot! Next time, please try ordering from Baby Bear #3, maybe then it will be jussst right! Meanwhile, you & I must work our butts off, and will probably never be as well set up as some of these dufuses are.

So, please! I need to use common sense the next time someone goes on TV or the internet, and spouts off about being held in a cave by a clan of Yeti. Or when
someone claims to know where Elvis is 'hiding'.

A little common sense can go a long way. It might not make our life stress free; but I can think of at least one night, long ago, when one scared, little kid would've gotten a peaceful nite's rest. Maybe I can sue the producers of that 'documentary'? Truly, it must've somehow scarred me for life, & caused me mental suffering and damage (as proof, try re-reading some of my earlier blogs). Yes, I can blame it all on bigfoot, or a retired Pepsi salesman.


  1. Hello!
    I really enjoyed reading that! I think you're right, and it seems like we're supposed to be so scared of everything, everything is so sensational and catastrophic all the time. Like the bird flu - nobody's bothered mentioning it on the news for several weeks now, and yet it seemed like the end of the world was coming just a month ago. I think the pinch of salt should be much more present in people's lives.
    That's so funny about McDonalds and the hot coffee cups. I can't believe it's possible, but then again, everything's possible in America, right? I'm Norwegian, but my husband is from the US, he is the one writing the Mustard House News. -Which, yes, makes me Torun, the one with the infernal head cold. I almost tried to chop my own head off this morning. Oh well. Have a good day and keep blogging!

  2. Hey!

    Great post! Thanks for the comments. I'm really glad to get up to date with your blog. I really loved the previous one about the rain. Excellent. Great to hear from you.