Ground Zero, Recent Shows
1/23/20: HIGHWAY HOPSQUATCH W/ DAVID ELLIS

MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS

In the morning before I came into the office I was having a hectic day. We have been having torrential downpours all day –and I needed to run a mountain of errands before I came into the office.

One of the things I had to do was to go to the barber and get a hair and beard trim. The young woman that was doing my hair started talking about her favorite movies and how she was excited about the academy awards.  I asked her why and she told me that she had a friend the works at a local animation company that has been well known for some of the best-animated features out there.

Laika is a local animation company that has produced movies like Caroline, KUBO and the Two Strings, and Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride. They are now getting the nod for the best-animated feature called “Missing Link.”

Missing Link is the story about a “Bigfoot” type character that travels to the Himalayas to find his Yeti relatives.

I told her that by coincidence I was going to Washington state this weekend for a Big Foot festival.  She said that there have been a lot of animated movies about Bigfoot in the theaters.

I remember when I was with my family in Los Angeles there was a huge sneak preview for Smallfoot at the Chinese theater on Hollywood Boulevard and there was also the movie The Son of Bigfoot that was an art house animation film from the Netherlands.

I guess making Sasquatch a cuddly character is big business for Hollywood even though researchers and hobbyists are still trying to find concrete evidence of the elusive creature.

Still, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence either. Wild animals don’t exactly mug for photos, and the planet’s ever-shrinking forests still regularly unpack surprises.

Many people do not realize that there are unknown species that turn up now and again much to the surprise of researchers.  One animal is the Saola which is a wild bovine that was discovered by scientists in Vietnam in 1992.

The Panda, at first was a hallucination and a myth told amongst the Chinese people before it was found. Its legend had been around for 100 years or so before it was revealed to the western world in 1937.

Scientists recently discovered that the Yeti are real creatures. In fact, while the idea of the creature being a giant ape-man similar to Sasquatch has captured are imaginations of investigators for centuries – the Yeti is, in reality, an as of yet unknown species of bear that lives in the Himalayas.

What is most interesting is that we probably know less about these very unusual bears than we “know” about the Yeti.

Scientists from the University at Buffalo figured out that Himalayan brown bears split off from the rest of the regional bear population several thousand years ago, which is why they’re so genetically distinct from most other brown bears. Living in geographic isolation for so long has separated them from other Asian brown bears, and even from their relatives on the nearby Tibetan plateau.

They even look different.

In fact, they are claiming that the bear itself is a hybrid species that would appear to be a quite massive hominid if it was seen standing on its hind legs.

So the question is how we get beyond the campfire stories and gather evidence for a Sasquatch –and what exactly is proof when we have nothing to compare it to.  If we are to compare it to what has been discovered in the Himalayas then what we have is a hybrid species that may not even be part of some missing link equation or esoteric paranormal cryptid.

However, eyewitnesses say that the Sasquatch or Bigfoot looks more human-like and those who have seen it have never had the heart to kill it because it looks far more human than apelike.

So, therefore, are we to compare any evidence to a gorilla or even a man? Are we expecting some paranormal distinction in the DNA to make it something more than just a wild animal whose species has declined over time?

I believe that more than not – the mythologies and the supernatural get in the way of a serious look into what we are dealing with.

Perhaps the most compelling photographic evidence of Bigfoot is a controversial short film shot by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin in 1967, which appears to document a female Bigfoot striding along a riverbank in northern California.

While many people have heard rumors that the film has been declared a hoax – the details now have been digitally analyzed showing muscular movements and pendulous breasts that would indicate that it was indeed a female.

Bob Gimlin who is still alive today doubles down on his claims that the film is indeed a document of the Sasquatch.

I was surprised that I even had my own Bigfoot experience at The ECETI Ranch in southern Washington.

 I saw a man eating apples off of a tree. I could only see his hairy back and muscular build. He had long golden hair.

It was when the man looked at me that I knew that what I was gazing at was not a man. It had a face that looked flattened. The nose was close to the face—the eyes were black and the lips also looked as if they were exaggerated and stretched.

I often say that the face of the creature reminded me of a Gibbon or when a person puts a nylon stocking over their head and face – it becomes distorted and flat. It is like someone took a shovel and just thwacked the thing causing it to look a bit inhuman.

What I saw was tangible, it was a man with a wrestlers build standing in an orchard. When it saw me and looked into its eyes, the words immediately left my mouth.

“Bigfoot” I said calmly – everyone in the room said, “what?” – I pointed through the window and said louder “Bigfoot!.”  People were sprinting to the door but it was too late – whatever it was outran the crowd.

Other people were not surprised that a Sasquatch visited the camp. The Night before a woman was startled when a young deer leaped over her head as she was walking back to her yurt. Another man said that something was just outside of is cabin making what he said sounded like throaty laughter.

He said that the sounds were a lot like what an elk makes when it is rutting. However, at times, it sounded like some inhuman laughter.

Many were speculating that the reason there was a Sasquatch in the camp was because there was a forest fire that was burning on the Northside of Mount Adams.

Traffic cams in The Pacific Northwest have been accidentally catching these creatures as they attempt to cross highways and mountain pass roads.

On November 30th, 2019 Oregon Police received a call about a Bigfoot sighting near the Hood River exit on Interstate 84. The caller described the thing as dwarfing the guard rail & too big to be a bear and walking upright. The dispatcher immediately checked the Oregon Department of Transportation cam and caught a grainy upright figure standing at the guardrail just off exit 64.

On January 22nd, 2020 The Washington State Department of Transportation tweeted photos and videos of what it said might be a Sasquatch at Snoqualmie and Sherman Passes. WSDOT first tweeted photos of what it said might be a Sasquatch at Sherman Pass.  The sighting was caught by a traffic camera pointed toward State Route 20 on Sherman Pass, and shows what appears to be a Sasquatch-like figure near a tree.

It was a different story near Snoqualmie Pass, in an area that is hard to access – a night traffic cam caught a Sasquatch as it was making the round across the mountain passes, with another sighting on the I-90 wildlife crossing near the pass. 

I remember back when I was a kid, I was first introduced to Bigfoot through a series of movies that you may remember were seen throughout the 1970’s. They were created by Chuck Sellier who was a film and TV producer that I eventually met through a meeting I had with Don Shanks who played Nakoma in the TV Series –Shanks also played Mike Meyers in Halloween 5.

The film that he made about Bigfoot was called The Mysterious Monsters. The film was narrated by Peter Graves and while many films have depicted Bigfoot as some passive shy animal — these films did not sugarcoat the creature and made us aware that Bigfoot certainly was the king of the forests in the Pacific Northwest.

The Ape Canyon attack was the first story I ever heard about Bigfoot.

Ape Canyon is on the Southeastern corner of Mount St. Helens. Ape Canyon was heavily impacted by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. There is a narrow Ape Canyon trail, also near the mountain is the Ape Caves.

There was a violent Bigfoot attack that happened there in 1924. A group of miners claimed that they were violently attacked by ape-men. Fred Beck, one of the miners, claimed they shot and possibly killed at least one of the creatures, precipitating an attack on their cabin, during which the creatures bombarded the cabin with rocks and tried to break in.

In August of 1963, a story ran in the Longview, Washington times about a skier that disappeared near the Ape caves named Jim Carter. Jim Carter disappeared without a trace in the 1950s. Carter, was with a twenty-member climbing party, was ever found although teams of experienced mountain rescue units scoured the area for a week.

As the party came down the mountain Carter left them at the 8,000-foot level, near a landmark called Dog’s Head. He said he would go ahead and photograph the others as the skied towards the timberline. That was the last time he was seen. The next morning a discarded film box was found at the spot where presumably he had loaded his camera.

Carter’s ski tracks indicated that he had raced down the mountain — something was chasing him. In his wild descent, Carter jumped several gaping crevices before going right off a steep canyon wall. Neither he nor his equipment was ever found.

Several of the seventy-five men in the search parties reported they experienced an uncomfortable feeling of being watched the whole time they were in the area. They concluded that he was attacked by the ape-men; apparently, a very aggressive or a pack of very aggressive Bigfoot.

Although retreating appears to be the typical response of a Sasquatch to the presence of humans, many credible reports describe after dark harassment of campers and rural property owners by animals believed to be sasquatches. The harassment activity is usually limited to screams, crashing and snapping of tree limbs and brush, and occasionally the throwing of rocks.

While the entire body of reports strongly suggests that sasquatches do not make a practice of harming humans, the same body of evidence suggests they do hunt other animals. Among the animals that appear to be prey are deer, elk, raccoons, beavers, ducks, and rodents.

Sasquatches are also known to kill dogs that chase or threaten them. Dogs often flee or cower in their presence, but some dogs are more aggressive and sometimes receive very brutal treatment as a result. Aggressive dogs have been found torn apart, with Sasquatch tracks around the remains.

This raises the question about whether Sasquatch can attack if there is a territorial conflict.

Sasquatches are known to raid chicken coops, rabbit hutches, hog pens, and fruit orchards from time to time. There are few reports of horses or cows being attacked or bothered, but these types of livestock do sometimes get very frightened when sasquatches are nearby, according to witnesses.

There was some controversial footage that went viral on the internet that was taken in Bashkortostan, Russia. It is a terrifying cell phone or cam footage of a creature, quite possibly a yeti chasing a car.

The car speeds up and the creature keeps up with the car – it is a dark apelike creature that scares a group of girls. You can hear the screams of terror as the creature runs up the road and through the brush to find them

Again, all we have are the stories and the attempted shots by amateur photographers.

We can now add traffic cams to the mix. 

People take for granted that all species of animals have been identified and so the idea of a great ape species living in North America is an absurdity until the “body of evidence” is exposed to the world. Even if it was exposed, the reality of such a creature could be as mundane as an endangered ape or gorilla that somehow found a way to cross continents and remain elusive from hunters and investigators, only to show up unexpectedly and witnessed by deep woods campers.

The whole idea of new and mysterious species being discovered and categorized is academic to serious researchers who realize that even in recent history animals that were once thought of as products of mythology have suddenly appeared and have been categorized by scientists.

Bigfoot still remains elusive and for as long as he has not been captured, there are some that doubt its existence.

The difficulty in capturing an undeniable picture, video, or even hair or scat samples of the Bigfoot has caused a number of people to dismiss outright the possibility of such a creature existing. However, eyewitness testimony continues to pour in and recently the sightings of such a creature have increased.

The aggressive nature of the Bigfoot is now becoming part of the story as well and of course, there are many people who believe the only way to document a Bigfoot is to kill it in order to put to sleep any and all questions as to whether or not it exists in the wild.

Serious reports of aggressive Bigfoot are a terrifying thought and there have been recordings and videos of campers and hikers who have unfortunately come to close, only to be chased out of an area, or forced to hide and producing recordings of their terrifying screams and grunts.

Back in 2011, I was called about a report out of Madras, Oregon of a group of Sasquatch pushing boulders on to a train trestle. A freight train locomotive hit the first boulder and suffered damage while the other Burlington Northern train was able to stop.

The boulders weighed 300 pounds. Officials say that the boulders were meant to derail the trains. The train that hit the rock and was lifted off the tracks momentarily before setting safely back on the rails.

The train sustained between $2,000 and $3,000 in damage, but no crew members were injured. Railroad officials didn’t report the incident at the time, claiming that it was a natural occurrence — the second time it happened was when authorities were called in to investigate the incident.

Both boulders were left on the tracks in the dark. Think about 300-pound rocks were carried in the middle of a high rise train trestle – humans could have done it of course but why go through all the trouble of moving heavy boulders to the middle of a track and running the risk of injuring yourself?

The authorities may have been embarrassed to admit that perhaps the ape-men were the culprits.

If science is not embarrassed to study the so-called Bigfoot, perhaps they will try to determine if some upright-walking species of mountain apes have slipped through the cracks. After all, many of today’s animals got their start as improbable creatures that are believed to be made up in the minds of opportunists and charlatans.

Take a look at some of the animals that exist on this earth and contemplate their looks. An elephant seems so peculiar; a giraffe is just as unusual. Rumors flew about a huge pig-eating lizard and there were many who laughed until the Komodo dragon was discovered in 1912.

Robert Anton Wilson once said that we have created this safety net we call reality and every once in a while we are reminded that a very real existential world exists and that the spooky actions we see are all part of some quantum theory that is not easily explained.

There have been many occasions where we have been told the universe we live in is a construct, a safe haven that we have developed to hide away from the various demons and bogeymen that plague our nightmares.

In my business, I have learned there are many things that lurk in the shadows. For most people, shadowy figures appear just in the corner of the eye, which leaves you with the idea that you must be seeing things. We have all had some sort of fleeting encounter with shadowy figures hiding just outside the normal field of vision; familiar shapes typically are seen lurking in the dead of night in the corner of a room, peering from behind a tree or around a corner.

On the supernatural side of the argument, we can assume that these shadowy figures are spirits, miasmas, or even shadow people. However, there is yet another area of study where the shadowy figures are not always wispy entities playing hide and go seek with your mind.

The study of monsters and crypto creatures has always been downplayed as a field where investigators are out to find a creature that might exist. There are experts who also investigate the possibility that some of these creatures are supernatural in nature or are the product of some rogue manifestation.

Even if you don’t believe in Sasquatch or Bigfoot, the possibility is something you cannot deny.