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Bigfoot: To Kill Or To Film

- C H A P T E R   S E V E N -

On The Cryptograpevine: Nessie Meets Bigfoot

 

"Then itís agreed... Iíll believe in you if you believe in me..."

The Nessie-Bigfoot dialogue which follows was prompted by the above cartoon, originally published in Dan Perez's Bigfoot Times, August 31, 1981. This piece was first published in Bigfoot Times on January 7, 1985. The message is equally applicable today as it was then.

Nessie: Then it's agreed... I'll believe in you if you believe in me.

Bigfoot: Our mutual recognition is no problem, Nessie.

Nessie: And what is the problem, Biggie?

Bigfoot: The problem is our recognition by humans. A 1978 Gallup Poll found that only 13% of the American public believe in you and me, far less than the belief in Extra Sensory Perception (51%), precognition (37%), or astrology (29%).

Nessie: And why should we care about their beliefs, Biggie?

Bigfoot: Because our very lives depend on that, Nessie. While you've been cruising the murky waters of the Loch, a momentous thing has happened on the ground. Some of our most ardent fans have set up the International Society of Cryptozoology to prove that you and I are real.

Nessie: And how can anyone doubt that? Thousands of eyewitnesses would testify to our existence.

Bigfoot: Ah, Nessie, you don't understand the ways of civilization. Recognition by a crowd of fishermen doesn't make you a bit real. To be real for civilization you have to be recognized by science, that is to say by the majority of scientists around the world.

Nessie: And what is our standing with scientists, Biggie?

Bigfoot: That's a good question, Nessie. Even though we are on a par as two superstars of cryptozoology, the attitudes of scientists towards you and towards me are quite different. A recent poll of 300 scientists showed that acceptance of Bigfoot is far lower than the acceptance of Nessie, 10.6% and 31% respectively.

Nessie: Oh Biggie, I'm thrice more believable than you are! That's great. How do you account for that?

Bigfoot: One reason may be big differences showed up in the scientists' ideas about the impact the discovery of you and me would have on science. Over 50 percent of the anthropologists thought discovery of me would have a severe impact. But only 3 percent of the anthropologists felt that discovery of you would have a severe impact.

Nessie: Are you saying you're more important to science? How can you prove that?

Bigfoot: According to one enlightened opinion, being a primate and a hominoid, possibly even a hominid, I would be a close genetic relative of man, perhaps too close for comfort, and the legal and moral implications involved could be substantial. You, on the other hand, do not threaten man's elevated status in the animal kingdom.

Nessie: So on some points I am ahead, on others you are. No reason for us to quarrel.

Bigfoot: Not really, Nessie. But still you are more secure or, let's say, less vulnerable than I am. Recently the Vermont (U.S.A.) House of Representatives passed protective legislation, saying your kind "should be protected from any willful act resulting in death, injury or harassment." Congratulations, Nessie! I wish I could live to see my folks enjoy such legislation.

Nessie: You sound so pessimistic Biggie. Do humans really hate you so much?

Bigfoot: Well, it's not a matter of hatred, Nessie. I'm afraid it's something worse. There are, you see, three kinds of bipeds on earth: people, androids, and hominoids. People are really not too bad, but androids...well, they are the death of hominoids. Just listen to what one of them has in store for my species.

My aim is knowledge,
to know a thing I must probe it.

First I will capture it
with nets traps helicopters dogs pieces
of string, hole dug in the ground, doped food
tranquilizers guns, buckshot, thrown stones
bow and arrows

Then I will name the species
after myself

Then I will examine it
with pins tweezers flashlights microscopes telescopes
envelopes statistics elastics
scalpels scissors razors lasers cleavers axes
rotary saws incisors osterizers pulverizers, and fertilizers.

I will publish the results
in learned journals.

Then I will place a specimen
in each of the principle zoos
and a stuffed skin
in each of the principle museums
of the western world.

When the breed nears extinction due to
hunters trappers loggers miners farmers
directors collectors inspectors

I will set aside a preserve consisting of:
1 mountain
1 lake
1 river
1 tree
1 flower
1 rock
and 1 tall electric fence.


(Margaret Atwood, 1970)

Nessie: And why do creatures of civilization turn so bestial at the mere thought of you, Biggie?

Bigfoot: How do I know, Nessie? Maybe because "homo homini lupus est," which translates throughout history as 'man is a wolf to man.'

Nessie: I see, Biggie, your problem is they treat you like a human being. If you were not hominoid but, say, fishoid, wormoid, or even poisonous snakeoid, then humans, I'm sure, would be as nice to you as they are to me.


Postscript: Recently your author visited the same secret meeting place of Nessie and Biggie and overheard them talk as follows:

Nessie: Biggie, do you know the good news? The Commissioners of Skamania County, in Washington State, say the willful slaying of a Sasquatch would be punishable by up to one year in jail, a $5,000.00 fine or both. Besides, an official of the Federal Office of Endangered Species (OES) said that he hoped that nobody would ever actually shoot a Sasquatch to prove its existence.

Bigfoot: How did you learn that, Nessie?

Nessie: I heard a crytozoologist read that to his mate. It was in the ISC Newsletter, Volume 3, Number 2.

Bigfoot: Is that all you heard?

Nessie: Yes, Biggie.

Bigfoot: Well, Nessie, I overheard my cryptozoologist read something else in that Newsletter: "A Vietnam combat veteran announced plans to hunt down the supposed Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest and to shoot it. Grover S. Krantz, a physical anthropologist at Washington State University (Pullman, WA), supported the venture and offered the team his advice." Did you ever hear a scientist advocate the killing of a Nessie or a Mokele-Mbembe to prove their existence?

Nessie: No, I didnít.

Bigfoot: Neither did I. So you see, Nessie, as long as "homo homini lupus est," I am in mortal danger.


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