Monday, February 14, 2011

The Greater And Lesser 'Squatch

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. 


Sharon Day said...

I've wondered about this when you compare the skunk ape accounts with the NW. This might be like trying to compare people indigenous to North Africa with those in China. There will be variations depending on region and isolation. Still, a BF looking but shorter citizen could be one of their young. The young would be less likely to know the crafty ways of the adults yet in staying hidden and might be more likely to be seen. I think if you have isolated populations breeding, you'd have to come up with differences depending on region because I seriously down the NW BF is hiking to Oklahoma for wintering purposes. Great post! You rarely hear people posing these thoughts.

Mike said...

I think Bergmann's Rule could certainly apply here. Possibly the same species but the southern animals do not need to be as large due to the milder climate.

Mike said...

I think Bergmann's Rule could apply here. Possibly the same species but the southern animals simply don't have the need to be as large due to the milder climate.

Just a thought...

Cullan Hudson said...

You could be right, Mike. These could be differences in the same species based upon diet and climate like the Brown Bear and the Coastal Brown or "Grizzly" Bear, which grow much bigger due to their high protein diets. Or there are more species than one of what we collectively term "bigfoot".