Monday, October 8, 2012

Bigfoot, Yeti, Maricoxi, and Fear Liath

Dear Readers,

As Madame L has been discussing Bigfoot (Sasquatch) and other such creatures with her friend LJP, who has looked into the issue, Madame L asked her:

Are there other ape-men around the world besides Bigfoot in North America and Yeti in Asia?

Here is her answer:

Dear Madame L,

I spent a few days this summer in the Washington/Oregon area and was reminded of how big the lore of Bigfoot/Sasquatch is there. I could easily see how a legend such as that is perpetuated. In many drives on roads with heavily forested views where trees growing thickly together come right up to the asphalt of highways, it was easy to imagine how quickly a large, hairy humanoid figure could quickly melt into the shadows and be lost immediately to view. 

A friend of mine has spent a lot of time in some of these forested regions as part of his work responsibilities, not only in Washington and Oregon, but northern California as well. This man has first-hand evidence of Bigfoot sightings/hearings. Usually it would be easy to quickly discount such tales as hearsay or campfire tales, but this man is an established, renowned scientist and not liable to tell tall tales without having scientific proof. I won’t go into those details here, but it was those retellings that convinced me there is some truth to these stories.

When asked why there wasn’t more wide-spread knowledge and publications from reputable sources about Bigfoot, he told me about a park ranger over the area he was working in. He asked the ranger the same question, and was told that they didn’t want word to get out because they don't want a bunch of drunk, redneck Californians wearing flip-flops crashing through the forest that they then would have to go and rescue after inevitably getting lost. I do wonder if more rational (read: not conspiracy-theorists) haven't done more documentaries, etc., because of that reason. Not because they would necessarily be the drunks stumbling through the forests, but because the stories aren’t getting enough credence leant to them.

For those interested in more Bigfoot details, there is an excellent site of reputable reported sightings, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization (BFRO) . Sightings are only published after significant substantiation. Of particular interest to me is this recording,  because it is exactly what my scientist friend told me he heard in those same woods. For more sound recordings with more than just the “Whoop,” visit this link to hear some howls coupled with whoops: Those sounds may be more interesting further along this post in regards to the original question about other Bigfoot-type sightings in areas other than Asia and North America.

Speaking of which, and to answer the original question, it has recently come to my attention that there are at least two other main places where a Bigfoot-type creature has been spotted. The first is in Scotland and is called Fear Liath, Gaelic for “The Big Grey Man.” The first public declaration that such a creature existed was reported by John Norman Collie, a respected scientist and explorer. So hesitant he was to share his experience, he waited 35 years before publicly sharing his story.

"I was returning from the cairn on the summit in a mist when I began to think I heard something else than merely the noise of my own footsteps. For every few steps I heard a crunch, and then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own. I said to myself this is all nonsense. I listened and heard it again but could see nothing in the mist. As I walked on and the eerie crunch, crunch sounded behind me I was seized with terror and took to my heels, staggering blindly among the boulders for four or five miles nearly down to Rothiemurchus Forest. Whatever you make of it I do not know, but there is something very queer about the top of Ben Macdhui and I will not go back there myself I know."

After breaking his silence, others who had climbed that mountain also came forth and reported similar experiences. For more information, here are two links for you:

In South America, the equivalent is called the Maricoxi. Percy Fawcett reported encountering a group of them in 1914. They were extremely hairy, lived in villages and used bows and arrows. They spoke in grunts and lived to the northeast of a tribe called the Maxubi (

For a longer, more detailed read, visit this link that contains an excerpt from Ivan Sanderson’s “Things.” This details the account of Colonel P. H. Fawcett, made famous by his dramatic and unexplained disappearance while exploring in the jungles/mountains of Brazil. Colonel Fawcett's diaries were preserved up to this last fatal expedition, and were published by his son, Brian Fawcett, under the title “Lost Trails, Lost Cities.”

"It was not long before sundown, when, dim and muffled through the trees, came the unmistakable sound of a horn. We halted and listened intently. Again we heard the horn call, answered from other directions till several horns were braying at once. In the subdued light of evening, beneath the high vault of branches in this forest untrodden by civilized man, the sound was as eerie as the opening notes of some fantastic opera. We knew the savages made it, and that those savages were now on our trail. Soon we could hear shouts and jabbering to the accompaniment of the rough horn calls--a barbarous, merciless din, in marked contrast to the stealth of the ordinary savage. Darkness, still distant above the treetops, was settling rapidly down here in the depths of the wood, so we looked about us for a camping site which offered some measure of safety from attack, and finally took refuge in a tacuara thicket. Here the naked savages would not dare to follow because of the wicked, inch-long thorns. As we slung our hammocks inside the natural stockade we could hear the savages jabbering excitedly all around, but not daring to enter. Then, as the last light went, they left us, and we heard no more of them.”

There’s more, but you can visit the site to read the whole account. Notice the similarity in the description of the horn or whooping sound. Does it sound anything like the recording on the BFRO site? To me there are similarities that cannot be discounted.

As for the fear that overcomes people, or the supernatural feeling they get, I credit that with another reason that there is such a lack of photographic and other “beyond faith/belief” proof. People report being scared to a level of fear not felt before and unable to react accordingly. Those who have been on Bigfoot-sighting expeditions those say the same thing about the intense fear, but then I think that if they were expecting to see Bigfoot, wouldn't they have cameras at the ready all the time? I like to think I would, and I may be alarmed, but hopefully not to the point of not being rational. Although, the sightings all seem to be at night, and in heavily dense forest, getting a picture would be extremely difficult, I suppose.

After listening to those audio recordings again of the whoops and howls, the hair on my arms rose and I can empathize with those who are too alarmed to capture photos or otherwise think rationally.

As for all these ape-men, I find it interesting that there appears to be one in each continent. I hadn't ever thought about it before this week, being as geo- (and ego?-) centric as I am. I like to think of them as herbivores, but that doesn't really make sense in an anatomical/physiological sense. I guess it depends on if they're more closely related to apes or humans. I could be okay with them eating small animals like rabbits, etc. Imagining them being human-vores is more than a bit frightening. The accounts of the South American one with the arrows makes them seem much more advanced than the Bigfoot accounts, and more than a little alarming. Could they have just been natives dressed up in ... native .... stuff? War costumes or something? And the whole pygmy thing.... unique to South America? Or just not reported in the other continents?

Are the Bigfoot, Yeti, Fear Liath and Maricoxi real or imagined? I don't know what I think, I s'pose.The more I read and learn, the more I lean towards “Yes.” I find it extremely interesting that scientific people like my friend have had sightings/hearings/evidence of such a creature, and to me that lends weight to the theory that they do exist.

What do YOU think?



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