In this excerpt, author Loren Coleman talks about his controversial speech he gave in 2001 about Bigfoot's sexuality and the repercussions he dealt with as a result of his lecture.
The following is from the book "Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America" by Loren Coleman. You can purchase it here.
In 2001, I had an intriguing encounter with the stone wall the Bigfoot community has erected around the subject. I was speaking at a well-attended Newcomerstown, Ohio, conference on Bigfoot. Some 225 people had gathered from nearby Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana, as well as from such far-off places as California, Washington, Texas, Maryland, Arkansas, and Florida. The audience included a few families of Bigfoot hunters.
The speakers began their talks in the early evening, and I was given a very late slot to say my piece. Delays, questions to other speakers, and breaks to sell a wide variety' of plaster-cast copies of tracks, tapes, books, and T-shirts put off my slide lecture until after 9 RM. that cool spring evening. Most of the families had left, and less than a hundred die-hard researchers remained.
I talked for over an hour, showed eighty slides, and discussed a wide range of Bigfoot topics. I quickly touched on the subject of Bigfoot's sexual life and that so little has been written about it. I showed just one slide of an illustration drawn by Harry Trumbore of a Bigfoot seen by a Pennsylvania professor in the early 1970s; artist Trumbore had unconsciously given a slightly effeminate stance to a clearly male Bigfoot.
Drawings of Bigfoot are almost always asexual. Except for the hard-to-ignore large breasts in drawings of the Bigfoot captured on film in the Patterson-Gimlin footage, most sketches of Sasquatch and other unknown hominoids show no sexual or gender guidelines. Bigfoot are most frequently shown without any male genitalia even though a penis might be part of a witness description.
In my Ohio lecture, I noted, quite briefly, how curious it was that this Bigfoot should appear this way, as it is one of the few instances where we had an eyewitness state that he had seen a Bigfoot having sex—here, with a cow. I lightheartedly wondered aloud if TO percent of the Bigfoot population, matching the figures we have for Homo sapiens, might be gay. Then I moved on to the next slide.
At the end of my lecture, the usual questions and answers touched on a variety of topics, but not this one. People asked me about what I had seen, what I "believed" in, what did I think about Bigfoot in Ohio, all the usual questions, but not one person asked me about the sexual activity of Bigfoot. Of the two families that were left in the audience, one mother even came over afterward to say how interested her oldest daughter was in the research.
You can imagine my surprise when I returned home a few days later to find my talk had become the center of a vortex of Internet-driven outrage. People who were not even in attendance at the conference, from the West Coast and the South, were claiming that I was "irresponsible" for having exposed families and their kids to my "disgusting" talk in which I had called "Bigfoot a homosexual" and said that "Bigfoot and cows mate." One person wrote, "Did you really say that Bigfoot is homosexual and likes cows?" And an angry writer wrote, "Talking about anal sex with cattle by an unclassified creature when there are children in the audience who may view Bigfoot as a monster anyway, isn't a subject YOU as the speaker, arbitrarily have the right to inflict upon other families." Another person forwarded this: "The most important point is you have NO credible evidence that Sasquatch have anal intercourse with cattle. 'What stupid illiterate speculation!!!!!!!!!!!" Or this: "Come in out of the rain, Loren. You live in fantasy land."
A couple of wags tried to put a different spin on what had happened. One wrote, "Actually, if Bigfoot was gay, he wouldn't be having sex with cows, he'd be having sex with bulls!" Dave Grenier of Olympia, Washington State, clarified the joke by writing that, no, "if Bigfoot was gay, he'd be having sex with another Bigfoot, not a bull."
Now, years later, the only thing that people can remember about my talk in Ohio is the twisted reality that I said "Bigfoot is gay" and "Bigfoot has anal sex with cows"—neither of which were noted exactly that way. Trying to defend yourself online is often an uphill battle, especially against misstatements from folks who hear things about you secondhand. I was particularly offended by remarks that I was undermining the youth of all of Middle America as my life has always revolved around education and keeping kids safe. Upon reflection, I see now, what happened to me, post-Ohio, is that whenever sexual data surface in relation to Bigfoot, emotions reign rather than science.
This is for too important an issue to ignore, so I wish to examine those Bigfoot cases in which elements of sexuality have played a part, beginning with the story that got me into so much trouble at this 2001 Ohio Bigfoot conference.
From the book "Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America" by Loren Coleman. You can purchase it here.
In this fascinating and comprehensive look at the fact, fiction, and fable of the North American "Sasquatch," award-winning author Loren Coleman takes readers on a journey into America's biggest mystery -- could an unrecognized "ape" be living in our midst? Drawing on over forty years of investigations, interviews, and fieldwork on these incredible beasts, Coleman explores the modern debates about these powerful, ape-like creatures, why they have remained a mystery for so long, and what we can learn about ourselves from these animals, our nearest cousins!
From reports of Bigfoot's existence found in ancient Native American traditions, to the controversial Patterson-Gimlin film of a Bigfoot in the wild, to today's Internet sites that record the sightings almost as soon as they occur, Coleman uncovers the past, explains the present, and considers the future of one of the greatest unsolved mysteries in the natural world.