You are on page 1of 4

Jamie Jackson, a visiting Bigfooter from WA January 21, 2007 Volume 2 Number 9

Message from the Curator It has come to my attention (via Cryptomundo) culture and scientific knowledge.
that Stanford University recently offered a • Analyze how and why individuals claim
Now that El Niño has chosen to deliver us a course concerning cryptozoology. The course expertise or privileged knowledge.
dry-but-cold Winter, we can breathe a sigh of was within the “Program in History and • Examine the relationship between knowledge
relief ‘cause the river isn’t showing any signs of Philosophy of Science and Technology.” claims and the intellectual and cultural context
rising. And even better than that is the fact the within which they are made.
skies are clear, and visibility is at its best. No The following is taken from Stanford’s
time like the present for some ‘squatchin (just website, introducing the “one-time” course... Well, at least they’re making some progress;
be sure to wear your “Long Johns.” ) As Tom my experience at Stanford 40 years ago was
points out in this issue, we’re very excited about Dinosaurs, Sea Serpents, and that they wouldn’t even talk about such things.
the prospects of finding some signs of BF in Abominable Snowmen: Unknown
Nisene Marks Park, and have plans to investi- Animals in Modern History
gate other nearby areas, such as the Portola Recent acquisitions for the Reference Library:
Redwoods and possibly Henry Coe Park in the HIST 40S
Little People and a Lost World, Linda Golden-
San Jose area as well.
Instructor: Peder Roberts berg, Twenty-First Century Books, 2007
A couple of issues ago I mentioned that I
had interviewed for a job, and expected that Searching the Abyss: A Beginners Guide to
I wouldn’t get it because I lack expertise in Course Description: Cryptozoological Investigation, Mark A.
HTML and Dreamweaver (web site creation Why does the Loch Ness Monster have a Mihalko, Publish America, 2005
software.) Well, I was right– I did not get the scientific name despite generally being Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozool-
job. However I did get a contract freelance considered not to exist? How did Native ogy, 2 Volume Set, George Eberhart, ABC-
design job, which is actually even better as I can Americans think about fossils, and how did CLIO, 2002
still pay attention to developing the museum, this knowledge relate to European paleontol-
On the Trail of the Saucer Spies: Ufos and
but also earn some bucks to pay the bills. I have ogy? Why do ‘living fossils’ attract so much
Government Surveillance, Nick Redfern,
opted however to close the museum during the attention? Who exactly determines the ‘right’
Anomalist Books, 2006
week as attendance has been sketchy Monday - way to study – or even just represent – the
Friday. So for the months of January and sasquatch or the yeti? Scream of the Sasquatch DVD, 2006
February the museum will be open only on the UFOs and the National Security State:
weekends (10-6) or by appointment. So if you The central goal of this course is to examine Chronology of a Coverup, 1941-1973, Richard
are planning to be in the area and want to visit how the way people think about these and M. Dolan, Hampton Roads Publishing, 2002
the museum, just give us a call and we’ll be other animals is related to their historical Searching For Ropens - Living Pterosaurs in
happy to open for your visit, even if it’s context. Our case studies include dinosaurs, Papua New Guinea, Jonathan Whitcomb,
midweek. So thanks to some creative refinanc- mastodons, the Gloucester Sea Serpent, the BookShelf Press, 2006
ing and the freelance work, we can continue yeti, the mountain gorilla, lake monsters, and
with the Discovery Project and our search for the Flores ‘hobbit people’. We will use a Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures
tangible proof for at least another year. variety of sources including media reports, That May or May Not Exist, Kelly Milner
photographs, movies, personal recollections, Halls, Darby Creek Publishing, 2006
The stories continue to come in... a lady who
now lives in Boulder Creek said that back in historical analyses, scientific papers and The Complete Guide to Mysterious Beings,
1985, while she was in an area known as the documents, novels, and comic books. John Keel, Tor Books, 1970
Brickyard, close to Raytown, near Kansas City, Roadside Americana: Landmark Tourist
she was watched by an 8-9’ brown BF. It had a Course Aims Attractions, Eric Peterson, Publications
human-like nose but the face was covered with Students will: International, 2005
hair. She said the area is hilly and heavily forest- • Consider how scientific evidence can inform
Weird California, Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle
ed, and that there are underground caverns historical research, and vice versa.
nearby. She was of the opinion the BF get and Mike Marinacci, Sterling Publishing, 2006
• Learn to work with a range of primary
around underground. sources, not limited to written texts. ---Michael Rugg
• Explore the relationship between popular


Happy New Year!

Let’s Take a Walk in the
Forest of Nisene Marks

by Tom Yamarone
It’s always a wonderful time of year –
even the weather has been nice! The new
year brings a new beginning to just about
everything. It seems that way to me. The
only drawback I can see is that we’re still
several months away from the right
conditions to be getting out in the woods
on a consistent basis. For now, it’s still the
“off season” – the time of day hikes and
scouring the home library (or bigfoot
museum) shelves for something interesting
to bide our time.

The on-line investigations have been

busier than usual this Winter. I have been I can tell you about a great local area to Back then the area was logging company
following-up on several reports but the explore. On a frigid morning in mid- land that had been logged in the 1920’s
best one is from years ago. The current December, I had the opportunity to take a and 1930’s. He and his friends would ride
ones turned out to be nothing more than friend and spend a few hours out in the their bikes on the logging roads, hike and
bored individuals submitting a series of Forest of Nisene Marks – a state park just camp in the area. Today, most of the same
seemingly believable reports from a little south of the bigfoot museum. I chose this area is preserved much as it was in the
town in northern California. It still took up location because a report came into the state park.
a chunk of time just before Christmas, but BFRO from a man who had a sighting
fortunately, didn’t become a problem. here in April 1958. We were looking for the logging road he
was on and it’s still there today as a fire
road – specifically Hinkley Creek fire
road. On the map, it begins off of Olive
Springs Road just up from Soquel, CA.
We were fortunate to come upon two local
residents taking a Sunday morning walk –
otherwise we might never have found it.
They directed us to a gated dirt road with
a posted “no trespassing” sign care of a
local lumber company. They said it was
OK to access the state park via this road,
so we did. We had to cross one substantial
creek and three smaller ones in the first ¼
mile and were soon climbing up a steep
grade above Hinkley Creek.

Another chance encounter with a local

woman walking her dogs allowed us to ask
about the road and what lay ahead. She
assured us we were on the right path and
that we would soon come to a sign indicat-
ing we were entering the state park. We
proceeded along this road for another mile
or so and soon reached the first ridge line.

The area is beautiful and heavily wooded No, they weren’t scared of what they
with 2nd growth redwoods and we had couldn’t figure out. It was a mystery and
barely penetrated the expanse that is now remained so for many years. So were all the
the Forest of Nisene Marks. There are still other strange occurrences that they would
two residences within this area of the park experience in this forest – mostly wood-
and they use the road we were on to come on-wood knocking, whistles and some
and go from their homes. We could smell strange screams. Then in the early 1960s
the smoke from their wood burning stove this young man was riding motorcycles on
but never actually saw the residences. these roads and had a very alarming
encounter. As they sat on their bikes
It’s not hard to imagine that this area could watching the sunset from Sandy Point
still be habitat for bigfoot creatures. I am Overlook, something started screaming
of the opinion that there is ample, untram- from down below them. A blood curdling
meled forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains scream and roar that was unbelievably loud.
for this to be a distinct possibility and the Over the next ten minutes, the creature
sounded off two more times – the last one
emanating from just below their vantage
point. The young men started up their
motorcycles and fled the other direction
exiting the hills near the current state park
behind the tree and jumped down the steep entrance.
slope off the road. They both stopped and
heard it running down a slope that was so
steep that had they considered doing the
same, they would have been sliding down on
their behinds. He reported that they listened
to it running down towards Hinkley Creek
for quite a while – more than a minute at his
estimation. He said they were more surprised
than scared. The creature never intimidated
them and it wasn’t anything that they were
aware of – like the black bears they knew
were up here.
The area that we hiked in last month is just
as he described it. Very steep slopes drop
down from this road into the Hinkley Creek
reports that Mike has received at the watershed. And, as I mentioned earlier, this
museum bears this out. There is also a is just one very small portion of the
report on the BFRO database from just protected parkland. We hope to spend more
south of the state park boundary from time this year exploring the trails of Nisene
November 2004. Yes, the Forest of Nisene Marks state park by day and, hopefully,
Marks is an expansive area with many arranging to camp out in the few backcoun-
remote places not explored on a consistent try, walk-in camp sites that are available
basis to this day. here. We’ll keep you posted as to what we
plan and what we may find.
The report I took in December involves two
14 year old boys who pushed their bicycles There are many more areas just like this in
up this very dirt road on that April day in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We would
1958 and coasted back down. It was while encourage anyone interested in looking for
they were coasting down the logging road bigfoot to come and explore them. The
that the witness slowed his bike at a large back country of Big Basin Redwoods,
mud puddle so as to not splash through it. Portola and Butano state parks offer many
He glanced to his right to see a large, dark miles of isolated forest to enjoy and
figure leaning out from behind a redwood investigate for possible bigfoot activity. Let
tree alongside the road. As his friend Left: Little waterfall fern gully
Top center: Forest hillside, Nisene Marks us know if you are planning on doing so
approached from behind him, and he Bottom center: Steep hillside off Hinkley Creek Fire Rd and maybe we can join you.
looked in that direction, it moved back Right: Hillside of fire road Nisene Marks

PALEOANTHROPOLOGY painstaking years removing the bones from Bernard Wood of George Washington Univer-
sandstone, and the job will take years more to sity, who didn't participate in the discovery, said
complete. Judging by how well it was pre- in an interview that the fossil provides strong
served, the skeleton may have come from evidence of climbing ability. But he also agreed
a body that was quickly buried by sediment in that it won't settle the debate among scientists,
a flood, the researchers said."It's a once-in-a- which he said "makes the Middle East look like
lifetime find," said Spoor.The skeleton has a picnic." Overall, he wrote in a Nature
been nicknamed "Selam," which means commentary, the discovery provides "a veritable
"peace" in several Ethiopian languages. mine of information about a crucial stage in
human evolutionary history."
Most scientists believe afarensis stood upright
and walked on two feet, but they argue about The fossil revealed just the second hyoid bone to
whether it had ape-like agility in trees.That be recovered from any human ancestor. This tiny
climbing ability would require anatomical bone, which attaches to the tongue muscles, is
equipment like long arms, and afarensis had very chimp-like in the new specimen, Spoor
arms that dangled down to just above the said. While that doesn't directly reveal anything
knees. The question is whether such features about language, it does suggest that whatever
indicate climbing ability or just evolutionary sounds the creature made "would appeal more to
baggage. The loss of that ability would suggest a chimpanzee mother than a human mother,"
crossing a threshold toward a more human Spoor said.
The fossil find includes the complete skull,
including an impression of the brain and the
lower jaw, all the vertebrae from the neck to
Oldest Australopithecine just below the torso, all the ribs, both shoulder
Child Remains Discovered blades and both collarbones, the right elbow and
part of a hand, both knees and much of both shin
By MALCOLM RITTER, AP Science Writer and thigh bones. One foot is almost complete,
providing the first time scientists have found an
NEW YORK - In a discovery sure to fuel an afarensis foot with the bones
old debate about our evolutionary history, still positioned as they were in life, Spoor said.
scientists have found a remarkably complete
skeleton of a 3-year-old female from the The work was funded by the National
ape-man species represented by "Lucy." Geographic Society, the Institute of Human
The remains found in Africa are 3.3 million Spoor said so far, analysis of the new fossil Origins at Arizona State University, the Leakey
years old, making this the oldest known hasn't settled the argument but does seem to Foundation and the Planck Institute.
skeleton of such a youthful human ancestor. indicate some climbing ability.While the lower
body is very human-like, he said, the upper
"It's a pretty unbelievable discovery... It's body is ape-like:
sensational," said Will Harcourt-Smith, a • The shoulder blades resemble those of a
researcher at the American Museum of Natural gorilla rather than a modern human.
History in New York who wasn't involved in • The neck seems short and thick like a great
the find. "It provides you with a wealth of ape's, rather than the more slender version
information." For one thing, it gives new humans have to keep the head stable while
evidence for a contentious feud about whether running.
this species, which walked upright, also • The organ of balance in the inner ear is more
climbed and moved through trees easily. ape-like than human.
• The fingers are very curved, which could
The species is Australopithecus afarensis, indicate climbing ability, "but I'm cautious
which lived in Africa between about 4 million about that," Spoor said. Curved fingers
and 3 million years ago. The most famous have been noted for afarensis before, but their
afarensis is Lucy, discovered in Ethiopia in significance is in dispute.
1974, a creature that lived about 100,000 years
after the newfound specimen.The new find was A big question is what the foot bones will
reported in a recent issue of the journal Nature show when their sandstone casing is removed,
by Zeresenay Alemseged of the Max Planck he said. Will there be a grasping big toe like
Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in the opposable thumb of a human hand? Such a
Leipzig, Germany; Fred Spoor, professor of chimp-like feature would argue for climbing
evolutionary anatomy at University College ability, he said. Yet, to resolve the debate, If you are reading this and don’t have a
London, and others. scientists may have to find a way to inspect subscription yet, what are you waiting for?
vanishingly small details of such old bones, to
The skeleton was discovered in 2000 in
SUBSCRIBE NOW • $25 per year
get clues to how those bones were used in life, make check payable to CapriTaurus
northeastern Ethiopia. Scientists have spent six he said.