Book review by Linda Martin – © 2009
Reading group homepage for this book: Tribal Bigfoot
Re: Chapter Ten of Tribal Bigfoot by David Paulides, “Humboldt County”:
I love that David Paulides had so much time (and money) to travel and spend time doing research and meeting people. But I like to check things out for myself, so after reading his notes about Lucy Thompson’s book, published in 1916, a source of information on the “Indian Devil” aka “Oh-ma-ha” – I requested a copy from the Siskiyou County Library. Lucy Thompson was a Yurok Indian… Yurok meaning “downriver” compared to the local natives here in the Orleans/Happy Camp area who are Karuks, meaning “upriver people.”
A few days ago I received the book through a library transfer from another city in our county, and turned to Chapter IX: The Indian Devil, page 129. Almost everything that was written about the Indian Devil in Lucy’s book was retold in Chapter Ten of Tribal Bigfoot, so you might think my quest was a waste of time . . . but then I kept reading further into the chapter, amazed at her remarks about wars in Europe compared to the peacefulness of Native Americans. I found this: “Tears and love, love and tears, sweetly mingled when infant and adult meet in one great brotherhood of forgiveness. Always thus, since time began, someone must die a martyr for the beginning of every cause; and it has ever been thus, since the dawn of history, among all races and nations: the heathen, the barbarian and the civilized nations of the world.” (Pg. 132 of To the American Indian by Lucy Thompson)
This says to me that before humans and Bigfoot can come together there will be martyrs… and indeed there have been some. Bigfoot has been shot at. Some perhaps killed. Recently an esteemed reader of this blog sent me a link to an article on the Oregon Bigfoot Blog (Autumn Williams) with YouTube renditions of the Art Bell “Bugs” interview. I remembered hearing this interview when it was first aired, years ago. “Bugs” was a false name for a man who claimed to have been one of three hunters who killed two Bigfoots and buried them. Fascinating interview… “Bugs” on Art Bell – Did he really shoot and bury Bigfoot? I listened to Bugs on several occasions and always felt he was very credible. He said he and his hunting buddies killed a male Bigfoot thinking it was a bear… then after realizing their mistake, they were charged at by a grief-stricken female Bigfoot so they killed her too. Martyrs, perhaps?
Earlier in Tribal Bigfoot there was a section on Bigfoot killings – including a report David Paulides got from a former Forest Service employee who met a sixteen-year-old hunter who claimed to have shot a Bigfoot. But killings go both ways. Theodore Roosevelt told the story of Bauman, whose hunting partner was killed by a Bigfoot. To read between the lines of Lucy Thompson’s report on the Indian Devil, the Yuroks were very paranoid of contact with Oh-ma-ha: “When the Indians would go on their hunting and camping trips into the mountains, as soon as they heard an owl screech or hoot, they would stop and listen, and try to distinguish if it was an Indian devil imitating an owl or the cry of a wild animal. The Indians would stop at once, kindle a fire, and hallo; this was given as a warning to the devils that they were awake and ready to fight them if necessary.” (Pg. 130 of To the American Indian: Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman by Lucy Thompson)
I’m impressed enough with Lucy’s writing to want to buy my own copy and read the entire book, but that will wait for another time as today I’m reviewing Tribal Bigfoot by David Paulides, Chapter Ten, all about Humboldt County Bigfoot sightings. He claims that Humboldt County is the “Bigfoot Capitol of California” and the chapter was quite thick.
There are many credible and intriguing Bigfoot sighting accounts in this chapter: a woman who saw one walking through her front yard; a young boy who saw one when he had to unplug a water line, a two hour climb uphill from his home; a waitress who saw a Bigfoot on the Bigfoot Scenic Byway between Willow Creek and Hoopa in 1987; another woman who saw a Bigfoot enthusiastically chasing a motorcycle her son was riding; an ambulance driver who happened upon a Bigfoot on Highway 299 west of Willow Creek at 3 in the morning. These are all very credible witnesses and the stories written by David Paulides are detailed and entertaining.
The chapter also contains an update on some Hoopa sightings including hair sample DNA results and wonderful forensic sketches by Harvey Pratt. There’s also a profile of Al Hodgson, long-time Willow Creek resident and witness to the Bluff Creek Bigfoot footprints back in the 1960s. He is the curator of the Willow Creek Bigfoot Museum.
Note: I’m behind my self-imposed schedule for reviewing this book thanks to my injury and a trip out of town to Mt. Shasta. I have three more chapters to cover in this book before I go on to the next one, Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence by Dr. Grover Krantz. I expect that book will go slowly as well because it is full of scientific information. I am a slow reader but that will not stop me. It may mean my reading of Dr. Krantz’s book will continue into November. This may pose a problem for me because I’m writing another novel (with Bigfoot in it) during November (I always participate in NaNoWriMo.) So, my reviews may be slow, but they’ll be posted. Get the books and read ahead of me if you like… I’ll get there sooner or later.
About MeI'm Linda Jo Martin, a Bigfoot believer living in Northern California about fifty miles from the Bluff Creek film site. There have been five reports of Bigfoot sightings within a mile of my home near Happy Camp, CA. I'm a member of Friends of Sasquatch, a local research partnership for study of inter-species communication via subtle energies, and for the protection of Sasquatch.
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