While growing up in the shadow of ape man sightings throughout the wooded hills of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas, I came to form a picture in my mind: more ape than man, but prone to moving on two legs instead of quadrupedally. I had certainly heard of the Sasquatch of the Pacific Northwest, but I'm not sure I would have equated the two.
The ape men that dwelt in the thick, at times impassible forests of black jack oak were justifiably smaller in stature, less robust. Those stories I was told, painted a picture of a nastier animal too: meaner and more likely to kill for food. By contrast, the 'gentle giant' of the Pacific Northwest was something of a Haight-Ashbury type who foraged for vegetation.
In many ways, the two could find analogs in comparing a mountain gorilla with a chimpanzee.
Over the years, however, as reports from out west infiltrated and the whole Bigfoot thing blew up, I noticed a gradual overlapping arise. More and more regional reports began taking on aspects of what was readily available in books, movies, and news reports. I began to wonder if local sightings were being influenced by other tales or the expectation of what a witness was seeing, rather than objective observation.
I still grapple with this question.
I know someone personally that saw one of these creatures in Missouri. He didn't describe it as a towering, powerfully built giant. It probably wasn't much more that five and a half feet tall. It was quick and lithe and not the least bit lumbering.
I also read an account on the BFRO site about a sighting a few years back in Mobile County, Alabama. The witness made a point to state that whatever it was they saw wasn't like the huge creatures you read about. These witnesses saw a similar slender, shorter creature.
I wonder: Is there a Greater and Lesser Sasquatch in the North America? Are we looking at two (or more) species here? In many ways it stands to reason, and goes a long way to explaining regional variations among reports. Of course this is all hypothesis and conjecture until such time as direct, confirmed observation takes place.