Eerie presence, powerful stench: BIGFOOT!
By RENEE FITE
July 1, 2008 --- TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS — Sightings are being reported again in Cherokee County of the tall, hairy creature with a face resembling a human and a strong stench - Bigfoot.
“I feel like Faye Ray here,” said Sheryl Mast, of the Gideon community. “Maybe he’s looking for a girlfriend.”
Bigfoot is a common reference to an uncommon and unexplained occurrence.
People seeing it may assume the creature is a bear or choose to not tell anyone about what they saw.
After all who would believe them?
Sightings have been reported in almost every state and many countries, of a creature known as Yeti in Asia, Yowie in Australia, Sasquatch in Canada and Chiya tanka by the Lakota Indians.
Bigfoot prefers mountainous and forested regions.
This time north of Tahlequah on rural State Highway 82 at Gideon, near Peggs, experiences include the thud of heavy footsteps running and shaking the ground, large footprints in the mud and a very strong, musky odor.
Urban legends abound and can be tracked worldwide on the Internet from sworn affidavit accounts to obvious nonsense.
But in an area known as Muphy’s Hill, between two branches of 14-Mile Creek, Sheryl Mast is sure she didn’t imagine the loud bang against the side of the trailer and the terrible smell.
She’s lived there about a year.
The closest neighbors are about five miles away, other than a second trailer that sets besides her boyfriends’, where a friend lives.
The Bigfoot is curious, Mast said, and is getting to be a regular visitor.
“It’s getting bolder, coming out in the daytime,” she said. “Sunday afternoon the wind shifted and we smelled it.”
Mast said she went up in the front part of the yard by the lane, where her dog was upset in a pen.
“She was crying and moaning and squealing and I found a beer bottle in the pen,” she said. “Something broke the whole door almost in half.”
A beer can was found in the area where trash is burned, “and none of us drink,” said Mast.
On previous visits the Bigfoot has left small signs of being in the area.
“It tore a branch off a tree in May,” Mast said. “And I think it threw our little dog against the trailer. When I opened the door it was panting and kept coughing for two days.”
The dogs usually chase people, she noticed, “but they get really quiet when this thing is around.”
Mast said the first time the Bigfoot came was around was in February.
Their friend moved into the trailer in March.
“He said he heard a deep, low growl and something shook his trailer,” Mast said.
One night they were outside talking and the dogs got still.
Then the little dog started barking and chasing something tall and furry, which they saw running between the trailers.
They went inside and locked the door.
“It banged on the door,” she said.
“Then we could hear and feel heavy footsteps running away.”
There were no markings or dents left on the trailer, but this is when the little dog may have been, “picked up and tossed at the trailer,” Mast said. “It would have to be really big, have big hands, to pick up that little Jack Russell and throw it.”
A lock hanging on the door was knocked or thrown and later found under the trailer,
Two weeks ago she said the whole trailer shook.
It only lasted five minutes, she said, “but we were scared to death.”
They looked outside with a lantern but only smelled a strong musky odor.
Mast thinks the location of the two trailers between two creeks may bother the creature, that they’re in its way.
There’s a path worn in the tall grass leading down the hill and to the woods, Mast said with, “a mashed down area where something has been laying.
“We have no deer here and that’s strange for this area and by two creeks.”
She’s not so much afraid, as uncomfortable.
“So many appearances make me think we’re getting closer to a confrontation,” she said. “You know the feeling something is watching you. It gives you tingles.”
It makes you really wonder what’s out there, she said. “I don’t feel threatened. I think it’s curious about us.”
It’s one of several Internet sites that list sightings by state.
Since the 1990s sightings have been documented in the Daily Press by citizens certain what they saw was not a bear. And it always had a strong odor.
As early as the 1800s reports have been given about Sasquatch from frontiersmen and Indians.
Pioneer American missionary Elkanah Walker’s story is told in Classic Sightings, about the Spokane Indians in Washington State.
Walker considered it a superstition that they believed in a race of giants that inhabited a snow covered mountain, worked at night and were men stealers, coming to lodges when people were asleep and taking them to their abodes without even waking the people up.
They would also steal salmon from the Indian nets and eat it raw. And their smell was so strong it was nearly intolerable.
It is generally believed Reverend Walker was referring to Mount St. Helen which has always carried Sasquatch legends.
In 1924, Fred Beck was among five miners attacked by a creature they called an abominable snowman in this same Mount St. Helen vicinity.
They said very large footprints had been seen by creekbeds and springs, whistling could be heard at night for a week and a booming, thumping sound was also heard. One evening two of the miners saw a tall creature with blackish-brown hair near a spring. They shot at and it ran behind a pine tree. They shot again and it ran fast and upright until it disappeared.
Back in a sturdy cabin the men had built themselves, they decided to return home the next morning as it was too late in the afternoon to make it out of the mountain before dark.
Near midnight the cabin was rocked by what seemed like boulders being thrown at it, some coming in through the fireplace, as it had no windows.
Some of the mortar was knocked loose between the logs and the men could see though.
They shot their guns in the air and never at one of the creatures, counting six of them,
It was daylight when the Bigfoot cousins finally stopped shaking and hitting the cabin. As soon as the men were sure they could made it to their trucks, they left $200 in equipment behind and headed to safety as fast as they could.
Another report in 1925 by a group on a British geological expedition in the Himalayas, with a Greek photographer, found and documented large footprints with photos including a large, upright human creature that showed up dark against the white background.
In 1951 in Nepal, Micha F. Lindemans writes about the origins of Bigfoot or Rakshasa in Encyclopedia Mythica.
“It smells terrible and it’s strong. It likes to throw boulders as if they were pebbles. It makes a ululating or whistling sound. And it’s rumored to be strong of alcoholic drinks.”
And females have also been reported, as the one by trapper and hunter William Roe in Canada in the 1950s, that was six feet tall with brown hair tipped in silver, its face, feet and breasts were gray-brown, and it weighed about 300 pounds.
He observed it didn’t seem to be afraid of him once it made eye contact with him, but walked quickly away looking back over its shoulder at first.
Chinese call it Yoren, the Chinese Wildmen, Man Monkey, Man Bear.
Wherever it’s seen, by whatever name, Bigfoot remains an unidentified mysterious animal whose existence has been reported but not proven - a cryptid.
Oklahoma -- Tahlequah Daily Press dot com July 1, 2008
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