Sunday, October 9, 2016

Editorial: Seeing is believing! Now What?

Have you ever had something happen in your life that caused major changes in the way you looked at things in the world? From religion to how other people perceive things? And if it happened to you, what next? Where do you go from there?

All my life I have been non-involved with Sasquatch. I won’t even say skeptic because I never took up the argument or got into those conversations. I simply didn’t give the subject any thought. If I had, would I have believed? Probably not! I would have been a serious skeptic, questioning everybody's thoughts on the subject and questioning answers to the mystery that is Sasquatch.

Then in 2010, I had an encounter. I wasn’t asking for it to happen. I wasn’t looking for some cryptid adventure. I was a hunter all my life. From small game hunting in the fields with my Father and his dogs, to deer and bear hunting in the heavier woodlands. I trapped when I was a teenager, all through high school. I've spent time in the woods of Pennsylvania. I knew what animals existed in my state. I hadn't seen them all in person, but I knew what animals were in the state. Or at least I thought I did.

One day while enjoying some motorsports activity in a large Federal Forest in NW Pa, I noticed rocks coming in my direction from my right after 2 or 3 had already hit the right front of my parked ATV. I've described my encounter several times so it's not my intention to go into details here. Let’s just say it was an over the top, no shit, no doubt, 80 foot away in the open, encounter. Briefly - I turned, a creature stood up, and from that very second, I went from "I didn't think about Sasquatch" to "now I can't stop thinking about Sasquatch". It messes with one’s mind when one second you don’t believe in something that seems so far out of the ordinary, to then not having a choice but to believe. That moment changed my life, or parts of it.

I no longer deer or bear hunt in the fall and winter months. Even though I wasn't hunting at the moment of this encounter, I just can't take a rifle in the woods. I haven't answered the question why I don't hunt. I loved hunting. I love eating venison. My not hunting any longer is just a side effect of what happened. Also, I've become somehow more spiritual. What happened in those woods that day somehow brought me closer to my creator. I question it now. My faith is strong, but questions just continue to go through my mind. What are they? Where did they come from? Are they animals of the woods, or part human? Even though I was never asking the bigger question "does sasquatch exist," it was answered for me that very day, in 15 seconds.

NOW WHAT? So what! I've seen a Sasquatch. As life changing as that is, and as exhilarating as it is to have the knowledge that Sasquatch exist, I know less about them than one would think.

Something that happened as a result of this encounter - I began researching for information. Naturally, online is where I went. I soon discovered that there was this entire community of folks who are into the subject, from one end of it to the other. I use the word community loosely because I soon saw it was more like a dysfunctional family at best. I saw the arguing between the ape believers and the part human believers. Arguing between the physical creature believers to the paranormal believer that just know they come from another dimension. So here I am, having recently witnessed one of these creatures standing some 7-8 foot tall-just staring at me with a curious look on its face. Honestly, when I saw it, my first thoughts were a hairy mostly human something. Regardless of my thoughts, here were people online who had all the answers. I was happy. I'd found what I was looking for. People who had answers.

Wow! Was I soon disappointed? I found out that sightings; the true, very real sightings are extremely rare; that what happened to me was what most folks wish their encounter would be like. WAIT! YOU mean all these experts haven’t even seen anything resembling a Sasquatch but know so much about them. HOW? I began reading and then collecting old school books and some newer ones. When I'm not in the field researching, I'm into a book learning something, or online exchanging words with folks whom I've learned to trust more than others. There are many ways to learn. However, having a sighting, even one like mine, does NOT make one an expert. I now have more questions than I think I ever would had I been into the subject and not had an encounter. I know they exist so they HAVE to leave evidence like any other creature. But where is it?

I’ve learned many things including Sasquatch are the experts in camouflage. They can hide better than anything, even with their extreme size. They hide, NOT because of us. They hide because they have to. They are probably an ambush type predator when they need meat and proteins, so they have to know how to stay hidden and silent for long periods of time. I actually believe if we are in woods where Sasquatch exist, that they may be closer to us than we think. But they stay hidden. It isn't magic.

So why did the one I saw, do what it did? Why throw rocks to get my attention, and then stand up in two foot tall grasses and show itself to me. Why? The experts say they don't do that. I laugh when I hear those things. We don’t know what they do or don't do. Nobody HAS proven they are an ape species so why all the comparisons to what apes would do?

I guess we have to start somewhere. I for one just wish we would work together and share this information, instead of pointing fingers and saying they don't do this, or they DO that. Frankly after seeing one that I believe probably wasn't even fully grown, they can do what they please.

The bottom line is that now that my encounter is in the public domain, folks know the story. I was very fortunate to have had this happen, in the way it happened. And for the most part, people have been respectful of my encounter. It was what it was. Simple as that. But why are we so quick to attack others? We know nothing. Having an encounter doesn't make one an expert unless you went back to their hiding and hunting areas with them, hung out and learned for weeks. That doesn't happen. Reading books only enforces what someone else’s beliefs are or were. We learn from our own experiences but in this case, I believe it must be a constant experience or we are simply filling in the gaps with ideas. Most of us simply don’t have the time to make it a constant experience-staying in the field for weeks and months in areas we know they have visited or areas they currently live in. There are so many questions now.

So, seeing one didn't make me an expert. It turned me into someone who is now full of questions. So many questions that it drives me crazy at times. After seeing one, you cannot just put it down and go back to normal life. It becomes a pursuit of answers that I know I will probably never answer or have answered for me. I say to those who hear of my encounter and say they wish for an encounter, they need to be careful what they wish for. It becomes a responsibility. Folks have questions and for some reason expect you to be able to answer their questions because you've had an encounter. Here is where it gets real. "I don't know" seems to be my favorite answer. But in taking this seriously, that includes always sticking to the truth, the facts of what happened. I have no idea why it did what it did. Any other answer would just be a guess on my part. I feel blessed having seen something that I never thought existed. Then to see it in a fairly peaceful manner just makes me feel they are peaceful. To believe they are all peaceful is foolish though. Just because it happened to me this way, doesn't mean they are all like that. We just DO NOT know. When I hear those "experts" telling of their encounter, and in so doing have all the answers to every aspect of what occurred, I wonder if either the whole story is made up, or parts of it are to tell "a story." I frankly don't like that word when talking about my encounter. Story sounds like a made up tale or something. What I tell are the facts of what happened in those brief 15 seconds. Anything else I say beyond that, I will always say "it's just my opinion."

So many questions. Very few factual answers. Seeing IS believing but that’s where it stops. So now where does one go? So now, what's next?

Dave Groves

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