"America's Terrifying Woodland Monster-men"
By Warren Smith
At one time, their
stomping grounds were virtually impenetrable forests in the Western Mountain
States, but lately these wild half-man hand beast creatures have been
spotted in Michigan, California, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and
Florida - scaring the hell out of hunters, picnickers and campers who
suddenly come face to face with these weird ape-like beings. "I was so terrified
I couldn't even blink my eyes," is the way that Harold E. Nelson
of suburban Los Angeles described his frightening encounter with the wild
hair half man half beast known as the abominable snowman. [ABSM]The eerie experience
occurred when Nelson, a retired businessman, left California to visit
his relatives in upstate New York.
"I drive around the country a lot so I bought a pickup with a camper
on the back," Nelson related. "On the evening of September 11,
1968, I pulled off the highway just outside Billings, Montana. It was
a lonely place to spend the night." Nelson had
been driving since early morning so he skipped his usual hot meal.
" I opened a can of pork and beans and was munching on a few crackers
when I heard a racket outside the camper," he continued. "I
was going to investigate when the noise stopped. I figured it was a small
animal of some sort. I dismissed the incident because you can get spooked
when you're camping out. I had left my pipe in the pickup cab so I picked
up the flashlight and opened the door
Harold Nelson will always remember those few minutes. "I was frozen
with terror," he said, still shaken by the experience. I was face
to face with a yeti, a snowman or whatever you want to call those things!"Later, Nelson described
the creature. "It had an apelike face but it was definitely not a
gorilla," he explained. "The head was slightly pointed, sloping
down like the sketches of cavemen. The whole body was covered with a reddish-brown
hair. There were a few spots of white hair along the edge of the enormous
shoulders. It stood erect, like a man, and must· have weighed 600
or 800 pounds. He was big--real big."The elderly grocer
was stunned with fear. "My mind just short-circuited. I couldn't
think," he stated. "My flashlight was shining on the beast and
I remember very distinctly that the eyes shined in the beam, like a wild
animal. It, made a funny noise, sort of like a gargle and whistle at the
same time. The thing reached toward me. That's when I screamed."Fortunately, Nelson's
terrified scream frightened the intruder. "He stepped back, looked
puzzled and then frowned," Nelson said. "I raced back to my
bed and got a .22 caliber pistol from beneath my pillow. I expected the
beast to come tearing into the camper. It moved forward, peered curiously
into the doorway, then turned and shuffled off into the darkness."
The frightened camper trembled as he watched the beast cross a small creek
and disappear into a cluster of trees. "I am very grateful that I
did not have to use the gun," Nelson said. "The bullets would
never have stopped him.
Then, I got to thinking that maybe he was not
running away, but was going to get some of his friends. I set a speed
record getting my pickup out of there. I was still shaking when I pulled
into a small town gas station and started talking with an attendant."The gasoline station
employee was not alarmed by the report. "He said other motorists
going through had seen these beasts along the highways," Nelson said.
"I decided not to report the incident. The police would say it was
a bear, the attendant told me."
Nelson is convinced
he encountered a species of those mysterious creatures known as Abominable
Snowmen. "I get around the country and plenty of people are seeing
these things," Nelson declared firmly. "I won't camp along an
isolated highway anymore." Harold Nelson, like many other people,
is convinced that Abominable Snowmen are real.An avalanche of reports
of recent encounters with these half-men, half-beasts have puzzled the
authorities in dozens of countries.
We can now assume that a specimen
will soon be captured. A hunter may zero in on a shadowy figure in some
marshy swamp and blast down an Abominable Snowman. Or, some well-equipped
scientific expedition will finally capture one of these elusive creatures.
This month, this year, certainly in the very near future, one of these
primitive beasts will become a front-page reality!Dead or alive, the
specimen of a snowman will trigger a boiling scientific controversy.
Many notable scientists
have looked at the movie film of a snowman taken by ex-rodeo rider Roger
Patterson. In recent years, the Yakima; Wash., monster-hunter launched
several unsuccessful searches into the western wilderness. Then, at 3:30
p.m., Oct. 20, 1967, Patterson and Bob Gimlin were in the great forest
north of Eureka, Calif. They sighted a strange, hair-covered beast walking
upright through the timber. Patterson grabbed his movie camera and zoomed
in as the creature moved away.
The result is a highly
controversial roll of 16mm. · color movie film. A biologist from
the Smithsonian Institute said he "observed nothing that would point
directly to a hoax." His colleagues, American and Canadian scientists,
viewed the film with cautious bewilderment. "It is as hard to believe
the film could be faked as to admit the creature exists," reported
Dr. Don Abbott, an anthropologist with the Provincial Museum in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada."
An actual body
of one of these creatures, or a living specimen, would be shattering to
science," a noted scientist informed SAGA. "It would create
wholesale confusion in several areas of science. Biology, anthropology,
and even history would have to be revised. Textbooks would have to be
rewritten. I wish someone would drag in one of these things. The turmoil
would be terrific."
Science would not be the only casualty. There will be some puzzling legal
problems. The law does not accurately define a human being. We have no
legal precedents as to what sum of bone, blood, nerves and brains constitute
Homo sapiens. Would the Snowman be considered an animal, and. therefore
liable to be trapped, caged and exhibited in a zoo? Or, would it be judged
as some form of human being and subject to the laws that apply to every
citizen? "I think about
the legal aspects a lot," reported 68 year-old Harold Nelson. "What
would have happened if I had shot that Montana Snowman? The thing is definitely
part human. Would it have been murder?" If the law declared
the Snowman to be an animal, then the ownership of these creatures as
property would be permissible." Some shrewd businessman would try
to breed and train them to perform menial tasks," Nelson theorized. While this may sound
like fantasy, the Russians claim to have already done so!
Dr. Jeanne-Marie-Therese Koffman, a Russian physician, delivered her report
on Abominable Snowmen to a 1967 meeting of the Russian Geological Society.
Nicknamed "the Abominable Koffman" by her colleagues, the Russian
scientist told of her five-year search for the Agachikishi, as Snowmen
are called in the USSR. She informed the assembled scientists that 219
people had sighted Snowmen during nine expeditions into the isolated areas
of her country.
Even more interesting
was a report from Dr. Koffman that a farmer in the Caucasus Mountain Range
had successfully trained a Snowman to perform chores on the farm. The
story is fragmentary; however, the farmer apparently discovered a starving
snowman and the creature became very docile when the farmer fed him." The beast became
something of an interesting pet," the report stated. "He followed
the farmer around the farm when chores were done, and quickly learned
to perform some of the simpler tasks.
Eventually, the farmer taught his
hairy hired hand to drive a tractor. The beast was very proficient in
handling the tractor but was unable to learn how to start the machine."There are persistent
rumors from Russia that the Soviet scientific establishment has captured
a live Snowman.
The creature is reportedly being examined in Moscow in
a top-secret project. Some credence can be given to this possibility because
there have been an untold number of sightings in the Caucasus Mountains
over the last several hundred years.
The Agachikishi, Kaptar, Mesheadam
and the Almasty are regional names in various parts of the USSR for the
Abominable Snowman. Each year, there are hundreds of confrontations with
Snowmen behind the Iron Curtain and communist scientists have launched
a worldwide investigation.
If the thought of Snowmen trained to toil for farmers seems farfetched,
alternate possibility of these creatures being judged human would be equally:
staggering. "You imagination wouldn't have to stretch too far to
see some fascinating political problems if Snowmen are real," an
attorney declared. "
As a human, they would have the same rights as
any other citizen. This would include the right to vote, own property,
enter into legal contracts and, of course, be responsible for their acts."The attorney reflected
for a moment. 1 then laughed aloud. "The government would undoubtedly
decide they were wards of the state," he chuckled. "The politicians
would create another government bureau to manage their affairs. Some politician
would start thinking about the Snowman vote and we would have another
One of the most startling
phenomena connected with the most recent sightings in North America has
been the locality of the encounters. Traditionally, past glimpses of these
mysterious creatures have occurred primarily in isolated mountain ranges.
The "Oh-mahs" and the "Big Feet" prowled the western
mountains while their cousins, the Sasquatch, roamed British Columbia
and s western Canada. It appeared that these families, or tribes of Snowmen
liked the lush vegetation of the forest and the security of mountains.
Then, in the late
1950s, a rash of reports occurred in Missouri, Florida, Michigan and even
arid desert areas. Game wardens and conservation officers in several northern
midwestern states claim the Canadian Snowmen are migrating southward.In the summer of 1965,
a hairy monster that terrorized residents during that summer panicked
Monroe County, Michigan.
Teen-aged Christine Van Acker and her mother,
Rose Owens, declared a man-like beast attacked them when their automobile
stalled on a lonely highway. Dozens of frightening reports poured in from
other residents who claimed to have experienced unnerving encounters with
migrant worker claimed to have battled a Snowman when the beast attempted
to kidnap a young woman.
Another sighting occurred on the evening of Nov. 8, 1966, when William
and James Cagle were driving toward Marietta, Ga., from their home in
Oklahoma. They braked their truck to negotiate a sharp curve in the highway
near Winona, Miss.
As the vehicle slowed down, one of the huge creatures
rushed down the slope toward the truck."When my headlights
picked him up, he was on our left side," James Cagle wrote. "He
was aggressive, angry and ready to attack. Personally, I don't believe
he was angry with my brother or me.
When I was out in northern California
I heard these things dislike noise. He may have wanted to destroy my truck
because the sound may have disturbed his sensitive ears."
was no more than 20 feet from us when we slowed down to seven or eight
miles per hour," James Cagle continued. "The face looked like
a mixture of a gorilla and a human. The arms and legs were very large.
The chest was at least three feet thick. His eyes glowed in the dark and
did not seem to have pupils."It looked us
over, then slowly raised an arm like the Indians do when they greet someone."
James Cagle reported, "I had seen all that I wanted. I floor boarded
the accelerator and we moved out of there."James Cagle is convinced
the Snowmen are scattered around America today. "They seem to hate
noise so they may not come too close to a city," he summed up. "I
do know that no .38 or .45 bullet could have stopped the one we saw. Anyway,
they should not be killed except in self-defense because I am positive
they are part human."
meeting with a hairy creature in another southern state shook Brenda Ann
Adkins. "I drove up to Monteagle Mountain, north of Chattanooga,
Tennessee early last spring and stopped to take some color pictures of
the scenery. I left my camera in the car and walked along the cliff edge
to find a spot to take a few pictures. I was staring over the mountain
when there was a noise in the woods behind me. I also smelled a very strange
odor, almost nauseating, as if something had died."The 19-year-old girl
turned and saw the creature stomp out of the brush and lumber toward her.
"I was absolutely frozen with fear. This thing was at least seven
feet tall and must have weighed several hundred pounds," she declared.
"I'll never forget his enormous chest, and those huge arms and legs.
His body was completely covered with a blackish-red hair. The face was
a mixture of an ape and a human."Just like the perils
of a movie heroine, the young woman was trapped on the cliff ledge.
beast was between her and her automobile. "I still have nightmares
about that afternoon." Miss Adkins related. "He seemed to be
angry and was growling. I thought he would push me off the cliff or something.
Then, he stopped about six feet from where I stood, cocked his head in
a quizzical way and just stared at me. He studied me for a few moments,
then seemed to smile, made a little blubbering noise and walked back into
the brush!" The young woman dashed
to her car and drove to the town of Monteagle, on top of the mountain." I stopped at the restaurant there. I was shaking so badly that I
spilled coffee on my dress." she said." A man asked if I needed
help. I told him the story and he said it was probably a bear. I agreed
with him because I was almost in shock. He probably thought I was a little
crazy." The young woman has
returned to the mountain on two other occasions, hoping to see the beast
again and obtain a photograph. "My father works in Chattanooga and
he accompanied me," Miss Adkins explained. "He carried a big
deer rifle, but I don't think a rifle would stop one of those monsters." Miss Adkins was very
fortunate. There are accounts in every country of women being abducted
by these half-men, half-animals; the folklore of Indian tribes in several
parts of North America contains tales of these bizarre kidnappings.
such experience allegedly occurred during the last century when a 17-year-old
Indian girl was captured by a snowman when her tribe camped in the Harrison
Lake district of British Columbia." Old Annie never
quite lived down that tragedy. She was compelled to live with the young
male Sasquatch, and his parents,'' said Gordon Nicholson, an enthusiastic
Canadian monster hunter. Nicholson has spent six years gathering information
on Canada's "Wild Men of the Forests." "The legend says
that Annie was kidnapped and carried to a smelly cave on a mountain just
south of Harrison Lake. Annie managed to escape from the Sasquatch family
after several months of captivity. She wandered in the forest for several
days and was delirious and half-starved when she reached civilization.'' Nicholson adds, "The
old woman died several years ago so there is no way to prove the story.
However, there are persistent legends about Indian women being carried
away by these fellows in my country of Canada, and down in California
and the northwestern states. Many of the old newspapers contain stories
of 'wild men' who lurked in the woods. I think these may have been the
Gold prospectors and
treasure hunters frequently seek their lost bonanzas in isolated areas.
Since 1964, treasure hunters in the Borrego Valley desert in California
have whispered about "the Abominable Sandmen of Borrego." The
arid area is near the Mexican border, it is virtually uninhabited. There
are many fissures, caves and crevasses in the Superstition Mountain region
and prospectors say the Cocopah Indians have told of a subterranean labyrinth
under the mountain, Maj. Victor Stoyanow was seeking an access into the
Superstition Hills in January 1964, when he noticed large, humanoid tracks
in the sand dunes. "The prints ran in pairs, generally parallel and
averaged about 14 inches in length and nine wide at the instep,"
Major Stoyanow declared. He returned to the desert on several other occasions,
made plaster casts of the prints, and snapped photographs." Curious as I
am, I hope that the person who discovers what kind of beast it is doesn't
happen to be me." Major Stoyanow said after his thorough investigation
into the tracks.
The San Diego Union
ran an unverifiable article some years ago of a "sandman" that
was shot by hunter Frank Cox at Deadman's Hole, near Warner, California
in San Diego County. The beast was described as a cross between "a
man and a bear." The head was rather small, with protruding teeth
and powerful jaws. The muscular creature had feet that measured 24 inches
in length and the body weight was estimated to be 400 pounds. Harold Lancaster,
treasure hunter, was prospecting in the Borrego Sink, east of the settlement
of Borrego Springs. California in July 1968, when he saw a "sandman."
"I was camped up on a mesa one morning when I saw a man walking in
the desert," he reported. "The figure came closer. I thought
it was another prospector. Then, I picked up my binoculars and saw the
strangest sight in my life."It was a real
giant ape man," Lancaster said. "I had heard about the screaming
giant ape man up in Tuolumne County that frightened people for a couple
years. Another person and I even went up there to look for the thing.
I decided it was a hoax and never expected to actually see one."
As the "sandman" drew closer, Lancaster became worried. "That
thing was big. I was no match for it," he reported. "I had a
.22 pistol on my hip but it would have been like shooting at a gorilla
with a pea shooter. I was afraid the beast might get too close. So, I
fired a couple of rounds into the air. The sandman jumped a good three
feet off the ground when the sounds of the shots reached him. He turned
his head, looked toward me and then took off running in the other direction!"Why didn't Lancaster
shoot the alleged sandman? "I was afraid," he admitted. "They
should be protected. They're a form of a human, a primitive species. It
would be murder to kill one. They should be studied."In recent years the
midwestern states have also caught the "Snowman fever." There
have been a rash of reports around Fremont, Wisconsin.
Last December a
group of 12 deer hunters were moving through a swamp near the town when
three members of the group saw what they described as an "unknown
animal." They were no more than 200 yards from the beast. It rose
to a full height of seven feet, waved its arms as if in anger and glared
at the hunters.Game wardens investigated
the report. Conservation Officer Larry McKevitt said he believed the hunters
were sincere "but their description might be the result of an over-active
imagination."There have been similar
reports of "ape men" lurking in the swamplands and forests of
rural Wisconsin. The northern half of the state is still relatively isolated.
Hunters and farmers are the most frequent sighters. However, most sightings
reported are quickly dismissed by game wardens, conservation officials
or law enforcement agencies."If there is
a tribe of ape men roaming around in the swamps, why doesn't someone shoot
one of the beasts and drag the carcass into town?" asked an indignant
State Police official when queried by SAGA on the Wisconsin reports.
Across the Mississippi River in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota is
an area known as "Little Switzerland." Steep hills, dense woodlands
and hidden valleys and hollows run for vast stretches between the towns.
Motorists who travel this area at night have reported eerie encounters
with weird "ape men" along the highways.It was near midnight
several months ago when Larry Hawkins. an Iowa student, drove along Highway
52, south of Rochester, Minn. He was headed for Decorah, Iowa. Suddenly,
his car headlights focused on a figure crouching beside the highway. "I
thought the person was in trouble," said the student. "I braked
down and pulled onto the shoulder. Then I saw that this thing certainly
wasn't a human, as we define the term."The creature was ape-like
in appearance, with thick shoulders and covered with hair. It leaped from
its crouching position, left the roadside and ran up a steep hill into
the woods."I got out of
the car and saw that it had been crouched over a dead rabbit," Hawkins
reported. "I picked up the dead carcass. There were no signs of blood
so the creature had not killed the rabbit with its teeth."As the young man was
examining the rabbit in the beam from his headlights, a sudden harsh roar
sounded in the darkened woods. "The creature must have thought I
was stealing its dinner," he explained. "I wasn't going to argue
about it. I leaped into my car and didn't stop until I got to a police
the report as a bad joke, saying I had probably been drinking.'' Hawkins
A man who drove an
early morning truck route to Rochester, Minn., from northern Iowa was
also dismayed with he claimed to see "monkey-men" along the
highways. His frequent reports provided considerable amusement for his
fellow workers. They chided the truck driver for "always seeing those
crazy things out there. You must be nipping at some bourbon.'' "I
swear those monkey-men are real," he insisted. "No one will
believe me."The tragic finale
came at 4:30 a.m. one morning when the driver ran his truck off the road.
He was killed in the crash. His stunned co-workers soberly recalled his
reports about the "monkey-men" who lurked along the highway.
"I guess the monkey-men got him," a shaken friend said. "He
was always telling how these things would sometimes stand right in the
middle of the road. I figure he swerved to miss one and crashed."There have been reports
of sightings from many communities along the Mississippi River, several
centered around Winona. Minnesota. Canada's Sasquatch may have gradually
drifted south for food and a warmer climate. A vast marshland extends
down from Canada into the Upper Mississippi Valley. Outside of these watery
marshes are some of the most productive farms in the world. Farming has been mechanized
and open corncribs are quite common on most farms in the Midwest. "The
entire area is a giant cafeteria for animals." according to experts.
"The new machinery for combining corn is fast and efficient but small
portions of the grain are left in the field." The Snowmen would probably
find this discarded grain very appetizing.The wild game count
has also mushroomed during the past few years in the Midwest. Deer and
other wild animals are coming down from Canada and moving into the swamplands.
In recent winters, the deer population has been so heavy in some parts
of the Midwest that many have starved for lack of winter forage. "The
increased game would make the Midwest attractive for a group of sub-humans,"
a game warden admitted.The truth about the
Abominable Snowmen will be discovered when science obtains a dead body,
or a live specimen. Professor Boris Porchnev, a leading authority, advises
a calm attitude toward the subject. However, the thought that a group
of sub-human creatures have thrived in our forests, unknown to science,
staggers the imagination. It will be one of the great stories of this
century when the elusive Snowman finally becomes a reality.
© SAGA Magazine
Credit Source: Tom Cousino
Scanned Text by Bobbie Short
Article also courtesy Ron Schaeffer's Creature Chronicles July 2009
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