Saturday, September 24, 2016

Preface by a Bigfoot Tracker from the book "Bigfoot" by B. Ann Slate and Alan Berry

The following is an introduction by the late great John Green for B. Ann Slates' and Alan Berry's book, "Bigfoot". It covers with three areas: reports of encounters with hairy, human-like giants, unidentified flying objects and "psychic" phenomena. Perhaps this was the beginning of the woo philosophy that was adopted by Erik Beckjord, and then seized by Thom Cantrall, Arla Williams, and the lunatic psychologist, Dr. Matthew Johnson?

You can purchase the book "Bigfoot" by B. Ann Slate and Alan Berry here.
Preface by a Bigfoot Tracker 

We live in an age in which the many different frontiers of knowledge are being pushed back with unprecedented speed.

In many directions, but not in all.

The people who are doing the pushing and those who are supporting them are not generally involved by accident. Somebody is paying for the effort. If there is money to be made from such research, the resources applied can be considerable. When taxpayers provide the money, if they can be made to feel that the subject area is of vital importance, the resources available can be almost unlimited. They can be so great as to put men on the moon.

At the opposite end of this scale there are areas that do not offer a profit and that society considers a waste of time and not worthy of support. In those areas there are very few people doing the pushing and they have little with which to push.

This book deals with three such neglected areas: mainly with the reports of encounters with hairy, human-like giants, but also with unidentified flying objects and with some aspects of what are loosely termed "psychic" phenomena.

There is no doubt that there is a relationship in the way these subjects are treated by society and the problems that face those trying to learn more about them.

"Science," meaning perhaps the majority of the scientific establishment, has no use for them. Science "knows" that there are no hairy giants, that the flying objects, if identified, would prove to be something quite ordinary, and that mind and matter conform to limitations that are generally recognized.

This general opinion does not prevent a few scientists from actively conducting research in these fields, and it probably stimulates participation by laymen who would otherwise be unable to keep up. It does, however, prevent the vast resources available to governments and large scientific institutions from being applied to such research. Progress, as a result, is bound to be slow.

For nearly twenty years I have been one of the laymen involved in investigating reports of hairy giants. As a newspaperman I tend to be skeptical about any story of something unusual, and I also have a great deal of experience in questioning people on a multitude of subjects. I have seen literally hundreds of footprints that appeared to be made by some creature similar to man but a great deal larger and heavier, and in attempting to determine what made these footprints I have talked to hundreds of people who gave convincing accounts of seeing just such a creature.

At the same time I have been unable to uncover any evidence whatever that such footprints were produced by any human agency. There have been hoaxes, of course, but the most elaborate of them have simply lacked the ability to duplicate the type of footprints for which I am seeking an explanation.

The same is true regarding the motion picture of a hair-covered giant taken in California in 1967 by Roger Patterson. Fake movies, before and since, have never withstood rigorous investigation for long, but every study of the Patterson film and every inquiry into the circumstances under which it was made have tended to confirm its authenticity.

Research into old, long forgotten records has confirmed that reports of such creatures have been continual, from the original Indian inhabitants of North America and from the explorers and fur traders who invaded the unmapped interior. And paleontology has provided evidence of likely ancestors for the giants witnesses now describe.

These are matters with which I am thoroughly familiar; I can vouch for their authenticity. Lacking any physical remains, the case for the existence of the hairy giants cannot be considered proven, but all the other evidence is there, and in quantity.

Most of this material has been gathered from a fairly limited and homogeneous area, the temperate, moist, mountainous country extending from central California through Oregon and Washington to central British Columbia. And almost without exception it fits into a single, tidy framework.

Footprints have been very similar to those of a flat-footed man, the differences, in addition to superhuman size, being mainly that the foot is considerably broader in proportion and that the toes tend to be of more uniform size. Sighting reports have described creatures completely covered with short hair, color ranging through white, grays, browns, and black. Also, they stand and walk upright, much like men, but are usually far larger and more heavily built.

These creatures, commonly called "Sasquatch" or "Bigfoot," have apelike faces, but unlike the known apes, they are good swimmers and can apparently see in the dark. They eat just about anything, including leaves and the tips of evergreen boughs. They do not use tools, weapons, fire, or clothes, nor do they have homes, but live a wandering, foraging, solitary life much like that of a bear.

Since there are relatively few sighting reports in winter and few tracks are found in snow, they may well sleep through the cold months as a bear does. Most of them, particularly females with young, are apparently much more cautious than bears about exposing themselves to humans. Being primates, they presumably have larger brains than other animals, but like gorillas, they have a way of life for which superior intelligence is not required.

The creature population in any one area appears to
be very small, and this seems to have always been the case, but the species cannot be said to be in any way endangered or even much disturbed by man's activities. 11 we consider their vast range, they must number in the thousands.

Man's total failure in hunting them is not so hard to understand as it might appear at first. He has no dogs that will track them, and if he did, he would be incapable of keeping up, considering their reported speed. He does not know enough about them to call and lure them in, bait them, or trap them, and because he refuses to believe that they exist, when he does stumble on one he is usually too astounded to do anything.

The creature itself is not really exceptional. It is just an upright-standing primate adapted to life in a temperate climate—man himself has those characteristics. If it is bigger than man and hair-covered, so is a gorilla. And while there are Indian traditions endowing it with psychic powers—mind reading, for instance—I have not encountered any evidence along those lines.

In all, research in the area where I have been active has roughed out the picture of a creature that presents no real problems except how to collect one. I am aware, however, that other people have found other things.

There are, for instance, footprints apparently made by feet with only three toes. These tracks have been reported, photographed, and cast both in southern California and in the eastern United States. I must confess that my attitude toward them is similar to that of most scientists toward the five-toed prints. I haven't seen one, and knowing no acceptable explanation for them, I'd just as soon forget them.

As to linking the Sasquatch with visitors from outer space, I see no need to do so. But Earth could hardly be the only inhabited planet in the universe, or man I the most advanced intellect in it. Since man can travel only a relatively tiny distance into space, it seems reasonable to assume that other creatures with far greater capabilities may be flying in to look us over, especially since we started setting off atomic explosions and launching things outside Earth's atmosphere.

It is understandable, too, that when people report seeing an animal that science insists does not exist on Earth, it should be suggested that it comes from somewhere else. But the Sasquatch, as I know them, fit very logically among the other creatures of Earth—far more so than does man himself. If they have been seen near UFOs, I would prefer to consider it a coincidence or to assume that the occupants of the UFO were just looking at the Sasquatch, or vice versa.

But these are things I have chosen not to explore. The authors of this book have explored them, and knowing so well the difficulties and prejudices that they face, I cannot do otherwise than recommend that the reader give their findings full and fair consideration.

Author of On the Track of the Sasquatch,
Year of the Sasquatch,
The Sasquatch File

You can purchase the book "Bigfoot" by B. Ann Slate and Alan Berry here.

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