In my day, Bigfoot was a mystery to be solved, not a fact waiting to be proved. That statement in and of itself gives me hope. In my day … I am middle aged and have had “a day” even though it started late in life.
Back to Bigfoot.
So, I allowed myself a bit of television the other night. On one of the cable channels was a two hour documentary concerning the scientific basis of Bigfoot. It appeared more of a scripted panel discussion among true believers rather than authentic researchers. To them, Bigfoot was one of three possibilities; a prehistoric ape, an ancient humanoid or a Shaman in training who had been too long in the wild and the 1967 Patterson film unquestionable evidence.
In 1994, I researched the Boggy Creek legend where an Arkansas house in the woods was terrorized by an upright ape like beast. The incident occurred in the seventies and I was tasked with reevaluating the research for a new docu. I actually found supposed hair samples from the attack. I interviewed individuals who had been through that night of terror. Almost everyone in the area was still convinced it had been Bigfoot.
The hair analysis came back inconclusive, nothing new to prove or disprove. I watched again the really bad film on the subject, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK. I sat through two hours of an actor in a monkey suit yelling in the woods. But this time the terrified man running through a glass door caught my attention.
My thoughts were glass cuts and this person would have gone to the hospital. Hospital records might produce credible evidence. I checked out this possibility. The records were not available to me but I was given the name and address of the attending physician at the emergency room that night. He lived just outside of San Antonio, Texas.
At that point in time, he was a crusty old character who drank coffee by the pot with the perpetual cigarette dangling from his lower lip. This was not a man who believed in monsters, ghosts or the paranormal. But what he told me focused my approach to the subject.
“Don’t know what he saw that night. Saw something, though. In the movie, your guy went through a hollow core door mostly made with glass. The man I treated crashed though a two inch thick, solid oak door and was covered from head to toe in splinters. It was a fear for his life that turned him into Sampson. Don’t know if it was a monster but something scared the shit out him.”
Here was a man who had witnessed the outcome of the encounter. He believed something horrifying had been seen. But what that something could have been he wasn’t willing to elaborate on. Today, we too easily are led by the definitive even if it has no basis in fact. Thus we call it Reality TV when there is nothing real about it.
In my day, even though we documented the mystical or supposed evils of the world, I was never expected to approach my story as fact first. Possibly we have become so jaded that the mere idea of a Wild Hairy Beast-Man is not enough. Bigfoot’s reality equals big ratings and so we allow this nonsense to be shoveled down the gullet of our minds.
This departure from my day is the exact distraction I find myself in now. Every discovery about my beginnings in the desert leads to suppositions that have no basis of proof, they just are. This man in Arkansas who ran through a door saw something beyond his rational mind and everyone is content to believe it is of unnatural origins. The circumstances of my existence are beyond my rational mind yet I wrestle with this concept of unnatural origin without evidence.
So, I continue to look beyond the norm and validate what is validable. I fear though the crusty old doctor in my head is not as centered as that fellow in Texas I interviewed so many years ago. I fear my curmudgeon leads me down the path to insanity. I hope that this path is only a wall of flames I must pass through to find the cool light of resolution not this lunacy I call life.