Sasquatch Migration - No shortage of opinions....
© Bobbie Short …
Some really wonderful people encourage me to tackle the subject of Sasquatch migration; do the haired ones with big feet migrate in the true sense of the word as defined above or migrate to some extent or do they keep to a given area close to their home range?
The trouble with this subject is that I have very little in the database to draw from and even less from the index listing in bigfoot books; what I decided to do with “migration” is turn to members in research for their opinion. The response has been interesting...
Since there wasn't enough data in my own files to make an intelligent judgment one way or the other on the subject of migration but I find myself leaning heavily towards a behavior I call “transient wanderings” more than I do migration and that sums up any opinion I might muster for this cause.
I was influenced by the possibility of ‘transient wanderings' last winter when I received for the first time three separate reports, each documented with photographs of adult Sasquatch tracks along side 4 and 5 inch baby Sasquatch tracks found in the snow. From these track imprints, we could discern that the adult must be picking the baby up from time to time when we could see its tiny tracks no longer along side the adult tracks. It seems Mama Sasquatch is not shy about teaching her baby to walk in the snow although in all three instances the snow was not deep and they were discovered roadside for the most part. Those reports came from British Columbia, Harrison County, Ohio and a trail-line of baby tracks along side adult tracks photographed off Indian Creek Road, Siskiyou County in northern California.
Might not the fact that the Sasquatch are still hanging out in snow regions teaching young ones how to walk in snow indicate that they do not migrate to warmer climates but keep to a given area more familiar to them? I was heavily influence by this behavior; - then there was this reminder from a reader, it was also in support of no migration because they found cached food items…
Several times in the past, bow hunters have mentioned finding areas of cached food reserves above the timberline where snows are perpetual, the largest cache was found high in the Gunnison, Colorado. Besides elk meat, a sort of Bannock bread was observed, which traditionally, I'm told, is a large, round loaf-like bread that required baking…suggestive of fire use. It was usually made from barley, wheat or oatmeal, seeds and other ingredients varying according to region. It is baked together with eggs and elk lard and often wrapped in the leaves of skunk cabbage during storage. Loaves were found in along side cached rabbit, venison, wapiti and elk parts. Bannock is an often nasty smelling food, but nevertheless sustenance when winters are unusually harsh…it's all about survival whether it tastes good or not.
One might suppose caching food for a hard winter is easier if there exists an area close by where temperatures hover in the thirties year round but that isn't always the case and it begs the question, would they then follow the roving deer & elk herds along known game trails, ambushing them as needed for survival or stay to a given area? With the little data we have to draw from, we can only speculate.
In writing about migrating ‘feet,' my first inclination was to review the “old works” in Bigfoot literature, but I found that Byrne, Krantz, Dahinden & Green never wrote extensively on the subject of ‘migration,' in fact there is nothing listed in any of their book indexes. As Bigfoot book indexes go, the listings should be detailed & primary, -an integral part of every publication but are in fact a major weakness by Bigfoot authors; I found nothing of interest written in the indexes regarding migration corridors, except in John Green's “Sasquatch, the Apes among Us.” In that book, John recounts on pages 183-4 a March 1969 letter written to Ivan Sanderson from a Texan by the name of Mr. Tom Adams that ‘mentions' an instance of migration; the pertinent portion reads:
“I have no way of knowing how much you know, if any, about the monster situation here in northern Texas. There are reports from several points in this area: the direct vicinity is extreme northwestern Lamar County, Texas. The residents of this rural area report what they refer to as a “manimal” that makes scheduled appearances in June and October as it “migrates” through the area. They have reported that it has been seen regularly for the past decade and some old-timers claim they have seen such a thing for the past 50 years.”
In my own database there were scant few references to the issue of ‘feet' migration. But I found a few, this next one suggesting that the Sasquatch are ‘slick opportunists' in that they know instinctively where and when certain fruits ripen, crops mature, the salmon run, birds nest and the herds calve….
In 1996-7, I was made aware of a couple living in Flynn Springs, San Diego County, California who were puzzled to find their peach tree completely stripped of its seasonal fruit; this evidently happened overnight including the still-green unripe fruit. In that interview I discovered that the avocado growers were also experiencing a loss of fruit to a much lesser extent, generally in the fall and at no other time during the growing season was this loss noticed; but earlier in the year, of course, the fruit was not ripe. Did the Sasquatch know that? Was this evidence of Sasquatch migrating to known locales where fall fruit is obtainable? Or is this just transient routing to favorite haunts at given times of the year and not at all a true migration pattern?
It was interesting that one of the Escondido growers told me whatever was taking the fruit from his peach trees seemingly “hit & run” certain trees and totally neglected others that were also ripe. In other words, each year the same tree was hit and other trees with equally delicious fruit…abandoned.
I engaged two of the avocado growers in lengthy dialog, but I didn't offer as a choice that their loss might be due to Sasquatch activity. I learned from those conversations that the land owners suspected transient illegal Mexican crop pickers crossing through their area in route north to the San Joaquin Valley, the agricultural center of California. This made sense to some extent but did not explain how they carried off such an enormous amount of fruit in one night and it also did not explain how the fruit was reach atop of 14 foot trees where no picking ladders were available; bearing in mind the average height of the transient Mexican is generally less than 5 ft 6 inches. I hesitated to categorize this incident as true migration.
Many of us in research, when looking for the ‘go to' guy for critical thinking, turn to Roger Knights…so I did and he offered these thoughts for your perusal:
Considerations in favor of Bigfoot migrating:
1. Bigfoot seem to be wide-ranging (matching footprints are found great distances apart, for instance, and sightings often occur in short-lasting "flaps," suggesting the Bigfoot hasn't hung around long. Further, Bigfoot are reported from Florida to Alaska)
2. Bigfoot have been observed at certain locations primarily or almost exclusively during certain seasons (for instance, on salmon rivers during salmon runs);
3. If Bigfoot is omnivorous, it would not be limited to an area containing a particular form of sustenance; instead, it would make sense to wander.
4. It's hard to imagine an animal that lacks a heavy coat of fur surviving severe winters. And footprints are rarely found in snow, suggesting a movement out of such regions, or at least to lower elevations, during the winter.
2. Suspected migration-path choke points have been monitored by several researchers, but without success.
3. Apes aren't noted for being migratory (they are territorial instead). Few groups of humans are migratory either. Mostly, they hunker down in winter.
4. There wouldn't be much advantage in migrating very far (more than 75 miles, say) in the coastal areas where most sightings are reported. In non-coastal areas, a migration would have to be impossibly long to lessen the severity of a winter. (Roger Knights)
Another "go to" kind of guy with a great sense of "know how," is long time Oregonian Cliff Olson who wrote to say: "I don't think they cover great distance when migrating, I believe they have a home range that they wander through on a seasonal basis. Hitting different areas when the food sources are at their best, like elk working into the high country as the snow melts in the spring and the grass greens. Ideally there will be varying foods available to them over the year. Salmon runs, where there still is some Salmon, berries most of the summer and fall with grasses and root plants for leaner times, with farmers crops and livestock to rob if and when the situation warrants. I think the things that cause migration are an empty belly, the need to mate and the ceaseless push by humans into their range. (Cliff Olson)
The earliest reference of notation regarding migration in my database was in June of 1991, Ray Crowe in Hillsboro, Oregon and formerly of the Western Bigfoot Society, editor for years of the popular self-published “Track Record,” wrote about migratory possibilities in his article, “The Bigfoot Bar & Grill.” I am not sure whose page this is, but Ray's thoughts on migration are uploaded on the Internet here: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/5103/cryptofiction/bar.html
In private correspondence, Ray added this: “As I recall migration varied...in the PNW where food is available year round, the Big feet didn't need to migrate. Mike Jay was discussing this issue with the late George Haas once upon a time and Mike told him about a track with a particular cut (scar) on the foot...Hass sent back a photo, "is this the one?" Sure enough it was...of course Haas was from northern California and Jay was from Coos Bay area in Oregon; that's quite a walk. Their conclusion was that the critter moved that distance for some reason and we speculated it was a rogue male "mate hunting." We also guessed that eastern USA Big feet probably followed river courses south during the winter...but then again, only a guess because at the time I didn't have enough hard data. In PNW lots of tracks found in winter snow, so they hang around. That is true in other places also. Final guess...Bigfoot does not migrate, but might wander around for one reason or another.” (Ray Crowe Sept 09)
There is a second note on migration written by the owner of the old IVBC fourteen years ago, that would be Henry Franzoni, author of “In the Spirit of the Seatco.” In his Q & A section he wrote in his #13 question: “Do Sasquatch migrate?” Franzoni replied that he found no evidence for migration. Continuing on, he wrote, “The sighting reports and other possible Bigfoot related stories have taken place in the same general areas consistently for 150 years. Others have looked for migration routes and found none. I believe these beings do not move along predictable seasonal routes. I find it remarkable that the Native American stories from 100-300 years ago take place in roughly the same areas as modern sighting reports.” (Henry James Franzoni) Fourteen years ago, his view was controversial, but today probably right on.
Back in the late 80's, when Jack Sullivan, Jim Hewkin and Mike “the Greek” Dardanos were field researchers and I was a wet-behind-the ears newbie, Dardanos drove me to an organic shallot farm located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley where he had been alerted to a situation by the small farm operator. Organic growers use no chemicals in there growing processes; just open fields in this case of healthy bug free shallots; there was no real need for fences here. As Dardanos drove into the property through the country gates we noticed that the fields were open and accessible from all directions; the foothills of the Sierra Mountain range off to the east of this region. Shallots are used by high-end chefs; they're rich-tasting and reminiscent of both onions and garlic.
We were met inside the gates by the proprietor, his wife and sons; they took us to the outer edges of the east field. It was very hot that weekend, late July, the first of August and the shallots were about to be pulled, -harvested. We walked to the back of this wide field where the tops to these bulbous root plants waved in the hot breeze like a million fingers; suddenly there was a bare spot where no shallots could be seen, the dirt barely disturbed except for skiffs of disturbed dirt where something methodically pulled up a hundred-fifty to two hundred feet of shallot bulbs and disappeared with the bounty. There were no castable tracks but it was clear that something walking on two very long feet passed through those fields barefooted and evidently took with them arm loads of shallots. This, we were told, was the third year this happened, probably at night because none of the farm hands ever saw the perpetrators. Had this become an annual event and was this a migration path or simply a planned bit of thievery to a known patch of easy pickings? Probably the latter…
Mike Dardanos was struck by a drunk driver while riding his Harley through Los Banos, California at the I-5 intersection. I do not drive through that section of I-5 without stopping to reflect how different Bigfoot research might be today if Dardanos had maintained his auditory senses or still had the use of his legs; he was in his time an incredible talent; a rugged field investigator who taught me a great deal about tracking. I still spend time at the knees of his wheelchair listening to his Bigfoot stories whenever he'll allow.
Many in research will remember long time Californian, Dr. Connie Cameron who edited “The Bigfoot CO-OP" Newsletter for twenty-five wonderful years. I posed the question of migration to Connie and she replied with this brief comment: “Many books and articles have been written over the years by both Bigfoot researchers and wannabes. While sightings and various encounters have been recorded, it is startling to note that the investigation of migration patterns seems to be left to deductive reasoning. In some areas of the U.S., particularly in the South, individuals and family groups have been noted returning day after day to the same feeding station or orchard as long as food was available. The vast majority of reports, however, involve chance encounters with a single individual. Sightings in the high desert area of Palmdale, California, with its challenging environment, led researchers in that area to discuss the "just passing through" theory. A presumed seasonal migration for food seems to be the favorite hypothesis. (Constance Cameron)
Regarding the use of the term 'migrate,' our Russian colleague Dmitri Bayanov reminded me that there was a small excerpt in his book, "In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman" on page 142. My copy of his book happened to be out on loan but Blogtalkradio host and weatherman Don Keating of the Ohio Bigfoot Conference reputation was kind enough to forward this out-take from Bayanov's work:
Regarding the possibility of Sasquatch migration, Will Duncan had this to say: “Contemporary interpretation of the sasquatch evidence suggests, in my opinion that we are dealing with a close human relative of some sort. Therefore, we should look to the example of our own species, and what we know of our ancestral species and their then-living close cousins, to evaluate this question. Humanity is exemplified by an ability to exploit various ecological niches. This was probably true of Neanderthals, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo erectus and so on. We can suspect that humans and their very close relatives were/are capable of making use of environments that favor their survival, without a reliance on rigid ecological stratification more characteristic of, say, bears. I suspect then that sasquatches probably are capable of utilizing any environment that provides sufficient food and water without exposing them to undue external threats. We may also suspect that their tolerance for, and ability to avoid, external threats is quite remarkable, as they seem to be capable of living in some proximity to humans without falling into our clutches. So I don't think they migrate per se, as we see in ungulates and birds. They are more likely to go where they are most comfortable as they see fit, and this probably correlates with periods of heat and cold, drought and famine in any given area.” (Will Duncan)
“All I think I know is that purported activity goes in fits and starts. When one is watching a specific spot, one sees signs of activity for several successive nights then activity ceases. Also, seasonal patterns are evident. One would therefore assume that they have pushed on when the activity in a locality ceases. Everything is about patterns based on hunches and scant evidence. I would not say migration in the strict sense, but rather mobility that utilizes various localities on a rotating basis. Migration implies they all do the same thing at the same time. I'm pretty sure that ain't so, cuz even in the 'off-season' one sees indications of sasquatch presence, and that can even include eyeball sightings. In general, I take a dim view of blanket statements like 'migration'. As always, we don't have much to go on. One intriguing thought is not that they migrate but that they do have an annual get-together that is well attended. Not a migration, just a pow-wow like miners would do in the frontier west. I can't tell you how I came to know that because it is a whole 'nother conversation. Makes a bit of sense though, at least to me, but I'm in the camp that feels they are intelligent homins.” (Thom Powell)
It's crazy sometimes, people love drama but the consensus appears to be that no one has observed evidence for consistent migration in the same sense as we might see in caribou and bird migrations.
Do the big folk move about in a large range area? Yes, there is plenty of evidence to support that notion.
One last thought I would like to impart before I'm finished with this topic and it came to mind as I was reviewing “The Jerry Crew Story,” which still sits idle in my database. As the Block Construction Company was pushing the road through from Willow Creek, California to points north toward the Oregon border, we noticed certain track makers left their calling cards in the form of footprints in the newly graded dirt road; these were preserved for posterity by many, in particular Jerry Crew, Ed Patrick, Syl McCoy, Bob Titmus, Green, Dahinden and others including the 17” tracks with the 52 inch stride Roger Patterson found up on Laird Meadow Road on August 21, 1964. The first notice of these tracks was the year the road construction got underway, 1957.
During a Blogtalkradio interview Don Keating had with John Green in September of 2007, I phoned in and asked him approximately how many different sets of Bigfoot tracks were cast in those days? John replied “no less than 5 and possibly as many as 7 different sets of tracks. Some tracks were reasonably like others but they had, he thought, differences in the substrate or casting techniques that made him unsure of the count.
Those tracks hung around and were seen in the area, cast & photographed from 1957 until October of 1967. After that October, those tracks were never seen, never cast again, not to my knowledge. Why?
We know there are ‘feet' still living who call that area ‘home' because there are all manner of tracks still being cast and photographed in that region including baby tracks; if they are bearing children, life must still be good in that range. But what we don't see and haven't seen since October of 1967 are the tracks of the 5 or more individuals once seen so often on Blue Creek Mountain Road or Bluff Creek.
For the sake of discussion, let's say there were at least five maybe seven Sasquatch individuals, who didn't migrate; who stayed in the area roaming around for ten years. They were seemingly greatly disturbed or annoyed by the loud groaning of the heavy road equipment, yet they stuck it out and stayed…for years. Their tracks were cast by many over a ten year span; suddenly after October of 1967 they no longer exist, not in California, not in neighboring Oregon or Nevada.
What happened to the Sasquatches that left those tracks? Did a half-dozen members of that Bluff Creek Bigfoot tribe simply take off, if so why have their tracks not been seen elsewhere in the years that followed? Why have their footprints never been seen again? The bigger question might be why hasn't this question been posed by research before this?
© Bobbie Short …
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