Bigfoot Intelligence- The Evidence From Sightings
By Lisa A. Shiel
What information can we glean from modern sightings about the intelligence of hairy hominids?
Hairy hominids often watch humans from a distance. They peek out from behind trees or brush, or peer through windows of cars or homes at startled witnesses. In 1953, a man fishing alone near Portland, Oregon—his two companions were nearby but out of view—spotted a hairy hominid hiding in the thickets watching him. His account appeared in the local newspaper. In his book Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us, John Green recounts two stories from the 1960s that involve peeping hominids. Around 1964, Glen Varner observed a hairy hominid staring through the window of his mother's house at Priest Lake, Idaho. Then, in 1966, a married couple living near Lower Bank, New Jersey, were startled by a Bigfoot peeking in their window; they later left food out for the creature, who took it.
The creatures have beckoned to onlookers, as in a 1850s case from Told by the Pioneers, published by the US Work Projects Administration. The daughter of witness Rocque Ducheney described how a Bigfoot had beckoned to Ducheney, spurring him to flee the area. In several instances, the creatures paced vehicles. In January 1970—near Whitewater, New Mexico—a hairy hominid paced the car in which driver Clifford Heronemus and his three friends rode. The creature kept up at speeds of 45mph; one of Heronemus' friends shot at the creature, which fell down, though no blood was found on the road. The Gallup, New Mexico, Independent reported the encounter. When hairy hominids chase humans directly, the witness usually escapes without much effort. As reported by John Green in The Sasquatch File, a man fishing near Estacada, Oregon, in October 1968 wound up being chased back to his vehicle by a hairy hominid. When the witness fell down during the chase, the creature paused to let him regain his footing. Since a creature as large as Bigfoot could've outpaced the witness, the conclusion seems inevitable. They're as interested in us as we are in them.
A few sightings mention the creatures wearing clothing, typically an animal skin covering the lower body—as in a 1947 Canadian case from Rene Dahinden's book Sasquatch, in which a Vancouver couple saw creatures wearing skins. In 1947, a California couple saw two hairy hominids, a male and a female, along Highway 99 south of Shasta. As described in John Green's Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us, the male creature glanced through the car window at the witnesses, then loped across road. A moment later he went back the other way, retrieving his companion, who he helped negotiate the road and climb a bank on the other side. On California's Mount Shasta, around 1900, a man was bitten by a snake and passed out, awaking later to find three hairy hominids had treated his wound. The creatures carried him to a tree in an area where he could attract the attention of the prospectors for whom he worked. The magazine Many Smokes reported the encounter in 1968, nearly 70 years later. Behavior like that seen in the two cases just discussed, as well as many others, echoes human compassion.
Around 1964, Herb Brown spotted a hairy hominid stalking four deer near LaPorte, California. He related the sighting to Roger Patterson, who would later have his own encounter with a Bigfoot at Bluff Creek, California. In the 1860s, in northern Nevada, an armed party pursued a hairy hominid who brandished a club in one hand and a dead rabbit in the other—the New York Tribune reported the event, in which the pursuers lost track of their quarry. Other sightings mention the creatures holding clubs, and many recount them throwing rocks. For instance, in The Bigfoot Casebook, Janet and Colin Bord include an event Frank Dan experienced in July 1936. While canoeing on Morris Creek, in British Colombia, Dan had rocks thrown at him by a Bigfoot. Primates sometimes throw rocks, but none hunt with clubs. On Canada's Vancouver Island in 1901, Mike King saw a creature washing roots in a creek, then carefully stacking them on the ground. His sighting appeared in the pages of the Victoria, British Colombia, Colonist. These cases suggest hairy hominids hunt, use tools, and gather food in a manner similar to humans.
On a ranch in Texas, where I lived for some time, I found evidence hairy hominids use stone tools identical to those ancient hominids used. In an area where I'd previously found 17-inch footprints, I discovered unusual rocks lying on the ground just off the trails that ran throughout the property. The stones, which had appeared overnight, resemble rocks called "pebble tools," which early hominids used. Never before had I seen rocks of that size, shape, or composition on the property.
Another piece of evidence emerged right in my backyard too—stick signs. These signs consist of sticks, usually small ones, arranged in unnatural formations such as crosses, V and T shapes, and complex arrangements of parallel sticks combined with other shapes. As I discuss in my book Backyard Bigfoot, I also found footprints in the areas where I discovered sticks signs—and whoever created the signs altered stick signs I'd constructed. This type of behavior seems to indicate high intelligence, as well as a degree of playfulness.
Hairy hominids could possess a language that we simply can't understand. Grunts and growls may seem like meaningless sounds to us, but they might represent language. After all, the Romans thought the Celts' language sounded like the "baa-baa" of sheep!
Lisa A. Shiel is the author of Backyard Bigfoot: The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs, & the Sasquatch, a ForeWord Magazine 2006 Book of the Year finalist. Critics have praised Backyard Bigfoot, saying “[it] is as informative as it is entertaining” (Midwest Book Review), “[it is] one of the best types of investigative reporting I've seen” (Reader Views), and “you may agree or not with her conclusions but you will be entertained by the discussions” (The Mining Journal, Marquette).
As a recognized Bigfoot expert, Lisa has been interviewed by big-city newspapers, drive-time talk radio hosts, local and national magazines, and TV reporters. In 2005, she founded the Michigan Upper Peninsula Bigfoot Organization (MUPBO) to explore all aspects of the Bigfoot phenomenon, from sightings to evolution to UFOs. Lisa has a master's degree in Library Science. She currently pens a blog, Bigfoot Quest, as a companion to the MUPBO site.