Sunday, April 2, 2017

Man or mammal? An excerpt from "Alien Animals" by Janet and Colin Bord

It was in the image of a man but it could not have been human. I was never so benumbed with astonishment before. The creature, whatever it was, stood fully five feet high, and disproportionately broad and square at the fore shoulders, with arms of great length. The legs were very short and the body long. The head was small compared with the rest of the creature, and appeared to be set upon his shoulders without a neck. The whole was covered with dark brown and cinnamon colored hair, quite long in some parts, that on the head standing in a shock and growing close down to the eyes, like a Digger Indian's.

The following excerpt is from the book "Alien Animals" by Janet and Colin Bord. You can purchase it here.

The year was 1869, the place was Orestimba Peak, a mountain in northern California, USA. The speaker was a hunter, camping in the forest, who had returned to his camp several times to find traces of disturbance. One day he lay in wait, and witnessed an extraordinary scene. His description of his visitor we have just quoted; here now is his description of that visitor's behavior:
As I looked he threw his head back and whistled again, and then stopped and grabbed a stick from the fire. This he swung round until the fire on the end had gone out, when he repeated the maneuver. I was dumb, almost, and could only look. Fifteen minutes I sat and watched him as he whistled and scattered my fire about. I could easily have put a bullet through his head, but why should I kill him? Having amused himself, apparently, as he desired, with my fire, he started to go, and, having gone a short distance returned, and was joined by another-a female, unmistakably—when both turned and walked past me, within twenty yards of where I sat, and disappeared in the brush.
This hunter was not sure whether his visitors were men or animals, and although such creatures have been seen in many parts of the world many times in the hundred years since this particular sighting, people are still none the wiser as to their true nature. Sometimes they seem almost human: 'Although I have called the creature "it", I felt now that it was a human being, and I knew I would never forgive myself if I killed it.' Sometimes they seem truly bestial: 'The head was horrible... its ears were large like pigs' and the nose was also like a pig's. I'm sure the eyes glowed orange, and the teeth were like fangs.' So in the absence of any authoritative scientific pronouncement on this puzzling question, we shall consider the creatures' claim for human status as yet unproven, and include them in our collection of 'alien animals'.

These 'big hairy monsters' or BHMs have been given a variety of names around the world, one book having a nine-page list of them,4 which illustrates their ubiquity. Many of the names are local, such as Kaptar in the Russian Caucasus, Chuchuna in north-east Siberia, Almas in Mongolia, Kang-mi in Tibet, Sasquatch in British Columbia, Canada, and Bigfoot in California, USA. Names like Yeti, Abominable Snowman and Bigfoot have archived prominence, but for simplicity we will here adopt the purely descriptive title BHM.

You can read more by purchasing "Alien Animals" by Janet and Colin Bord here.

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