Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Final Thoughts (Maybe) on the San Antonio Sasquatch Sighting

Two nights ago, at about 10:45pm, my cell phone rang. I answered only to hear someone already in mid sentence talking about bigfoot. This gentleman continued to ramble on about bigfoot and didn't seem to take much notice of me at all. The speech was slurred and sometimes hard to understand. It took a few moments for me to realize this was the husband of the woman who made the 911 call to San Antonio police claiming a huge hair-covered creature had walked through their makeshift camp (If by some chance you have yet to hear about this incident just skip down and read my previous entry for details). This gentleman continued to go on about the incident. He said if I wanted to see bigfoot he could make that happen but only for my "own peace of mind." He adamantly stated that I should stay home if I wanted to "take pictures, write a book, put it on the internet, or get on television." I tried to interject here and there without success. After a few minutes he said his throat was hurting and handed the phone to his wife.

At this point the conversation became easier to follow. She seemed lucid, her speech was clear, and I had no trouble understanding her. However, it was what she said that was a bit disturbing. She said she had had someone "check me out" by doing an internet search on my name. She said she just wanted to make sure she knew who she was talking to. If true, I guess I passed this test as she was calling to invite me to her camp for a few days so I could see what was going on. She said the bigfoot family had moved on to "another forest" and she no longer felt safe without them near. More claims were made about government vehicles emitting high frequency waves and interlopers traipsing through the area they considered their home. It was about this time the phone went dead. It could be the battery on their cell phone died. It could also be that their prepaid minutes were exhausted. In any case, the conversation, one sided as it was, ended abruptly at that point. I stayed up another hour or so to see if they would call back. They did not. I have not heard from them since.

So, what is to be made from this? This witness was very convincing during the initial phone interview. She said some things that I found very interesting and compelling. Not so much about the creature she claims to have seen itself but more about the area where she was camping (a dumping ground by county workers for dead, probably road-killed, animals), the behavior of the creature (freezing until it realized it had been seen), the hearing of bangs and knocks and the alleged discovery of a stump that held a beehive, etc. (Again this is all detailed below). As I mentioned in the initial write-up, she went off on some strange tangents that raised some red flags for me. Strange government vehicles emitting high frequency waves, feeling that the bigfoot creatures were trying to communicate with her telepathically, and being able to "sense" a female bigfoot presence to name a few. I leaned toward believing her story regarding the sighting itself. Personally, I don't fall into the camp of those who believe there is some sort of government cover-up regarding these creatures. Nor do I believe sasquatches are shape shifters, have telepathic or psychic abilities, etc. However, having different opinions on these subjects has no bearing on whether or not a sasquatch was present in these folks camp that night. Things have changed a bit for me, however.

Obviously the odd phone call did not help the credibility of the witnesses in my eyes but there is more. Rick Tullos of the San Antonio Texas Bigfoot Research Group posted a comment below my original write-up with a link to what he had on the story to this point. He and a fellow researcher named Ken Gerhard made their way out to the sighting location. They did manage to find the campsite the witnesses had been using. According to Tullos and Gerhard the site had been bulldozed and a fire lane had been cut through the area. All that was left were residual ashes from a campfire. They located what they feel may be some tracks but nothing else unusual. You can read their full account here. According to Mr. Tullos' write-up, the date he and Mr. Gerhard visited the site of the alleged encounter was the day before my phone conversation with the couple. During our conversation the witness never mentioned having moved their camp voluntarily or involuntarily. While the witnesses never specifically said they were still in the same location it was certainly implied during our conversation. I would think the destruction of their campsite by a bulldozer would be something important enough to mention. This, if Tullos and Gerhart were in the correct spot, further hurts the credibility of the witnesses in my eyes.

It has been suggested that the witnesses may suffer from some sort of mental illness. Certainly it is no secret that many homeless people are suffering from one form of mental illness or another. Paranoid schizophrenia seems to be by far the most common disorder found in the homeless. Before anyone gets up in arms, I am not suggesting that every person who finds themselves homeless is mentally ill. That is certainly not the case. More people than ever are finding themselves in this sort of situation due to the hard economic times we are currently experiencing. However, it is a possibility that I feel must be considered at this point. It certainly would explain some of the odd behaviors and theories being put forth by the couple. I have a good friend who is a long time police officer. He has had many dealings with the homeless over the years and he says, "Many, if not most, of the homeless I've dealt with have suffered from some form of mental illness or substance abuse problem." He went on to add, " Being a paranoid schozophrenic seems to be the most common ailment they suffer. Some of them have the most elaborate thoughts and beliefs on the federal government. The most common delusion is that they have had a chip implanted in their brain and are under constant surveillance by the authorities. However, you could discuss almost any other commonplace subject with ease and intelligence despite this fact." Interestingly, he said, "Despite their delusions this does not preclude them from being solid witnesses to a crime. Based on your report (blog entry below) it sounds like a very common scenario where they saw something real, were open and honest about it, yet are completely delusional in other aspects of their lives." I have no idea if this couple suffers from any form of mental illness. Due to behaviors exhibited and their circumstances it must be considered, no matter how politically incorrect it may be, as a possibility.

So, what is my final conclusion on this one? Initially, as stated previously, I was leaning toward believing the sighting was real. The account was truly convincing and I did not detect any signs of deception. However, as stated in the original post , the odd theories the witness put forth during that first discussion gave me pause. My doubts have only grown stronger for the reasons stated above. Is it possible these folks saw a sasquatch on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas? I absolutely believe it to be possible. Do I have enough confidence in this report to suggest publishing it on the TBRC website or to come out on this blog as believing it to be a legitimate sighting? I do not. There are simply too many reasons to have reasonable doubts on this alleged encounter.

1 comment:

  1. I went hiking near the location of the reported sighting today for several hours, by the water tower mentioned by the couple. While maps and satalite images show the area as being relatively undeveloped, I was surprised at the level of human activity in the area. I couldn't walk for more than a few minutes before running into fire lanes [the same one that Tullos and Gerhard mentioned] or unpaved streets for future developments. Lots of birds, saw a deer [fewer than I would have expected given their high population density in this region] but in my humble opinion there was too much development going on in the vicinity for any large creature to make a permanent home at the sighting location. Just thought you might be interested! - ShadoAngel