BigfootWeekend September Expedition

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Native American Cultures: Insight to Sasquatch


Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Tom Fonner. He has been exploring the backcountry of Arizona for over 30 years. He enjoys the solitude and peace of the outdoors with a passion for wildlife, nature, and landscape photography, tracking, hiking, camping, and fishing. You can visit his blog at swbri.blogspot.com.

I recently read an article of a personal experience that a young Native American man had encountering Sasquatch on a hunting trip. The account detailed not only the hunting trip and sighting of Sasquatch, but it also revealed a brief insight to the beliefs and understanding of this animal within the broader Native American community. Throughout North America we have a vast reservoir of knowledge that we seem to ignore in our efforts to pursue an understanding of Sasquatch. The things we could learn from a special people and their culture could truly make the difference in our efforts to identify this creature's existence.

I feel that we often forget or just set aside the fact that those with the most knowledge of Sasquatch's existence are the Native American communities that stretch from the Seminole Nation in Florida to the Inuit cultures of Alaska. All accounts of Sasquatch began within these cultures and this is a remarkable historical legacy with a treasure trove of knowledge that we should embrace. I would hope that the various organizations dedicated to the study of Sasquatch would seek the advise and the personal opinions that could be presented by the different Native American cultures in their regions of operation.

I live in Arizona and this region of the United States has had scattered reports of the existence of Bigfoot/Sasquatch. I'm skeptical of this yet I remain open minded to the possibility based on those things I've heard from the Apache and Navajo Nations. If there is chance of its existence in the southwest then we need to listen to the accounts presented by those in these areas. I often distrust the accounts presented by many, but after many years as a science and history teacher in Arizona I've learned that their is a special integrity within the Native American communities. I've rarely met people of more character and trusting in their word than the Native America children and families of those I have taught over the years.

In a recent article I advocated for the establishment of a National, or a North American Bigfoot Research Organization with special regional response teams to improve the efforts of verifying the existence of Sasquatch. I also believe that the establishment of such an organization should include leadership from the various Native American cultures. It is imperative that Native Americans have a strong input into these operations and their advice be paramount in the decision making process. It is quite likely that the discovery of Sasquatch may take place on Native American land and we need to respect the traditions and cultural impact such a discovery will have. The only true important goal is the recognition of Sasquatch as a species and not the money driven obsession and self gratification of personal fame that so many strive for.

65 comments:

  1. I dont think they want to contribute to the general knowledge of squatch because they don't want the squatch harmed. That causes them to speak less about it. I'm Native American and I asked a older relative about it and why we don't hear more natives talking about sas and that was the feel I got on his response

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    1. That I can respect. You are fortunate to be part of a remarkable culture. We miss knowing many things because of trust.

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    2. It truly is unfortunate. I only hope that the oral stories are passed to the next generation of Native Americans.
      Maybe one day that knowledge can be shared.

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    3. If I see a Sasquatch I am going to shoot it. DEAD.

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    4. If I see you I am going to shoot you. DEAD. lmao. internet tuff guy

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    5. im serious. im going to shoot a sasquatch if i see one.

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    6. I didn't ask. Nobody asked

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    7. I hope you miss your shot and he drags you through the woods like a rag doll.What you're talking about is the murder of another hominid and should be penalized buy a lengthy stay behind bars. (After he drags you through the woods !)

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    8. or it might be demonic which would explain alot. In which case, good luck!

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    11. Hotshot trolls acting tuff again. As someone said at the top, NAs don't really want to talk about it because they're not interested in what the white culture will do with it. Like that gun idiot before. And they know it's no animal either but a man which is another crucial reason for the unwillingness.

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    12. Wait... You guys are now talking about something really far fetched lol A Native American Conspiracy?... Keep in mind that some of the tribes words for Sasquatch literally mean "Forest Demon" or "Hairy Cannibal"

      The Tribes here in Vancouver, Washington actually had two different groups of them. One that they referred to as "Stick People" That were said to be mischievousness stealing salmon and occasionally trying to steal women and children (And known for their stench) While at the same time stating that malevolent Giant Cannibals lived up near Mt. St. Helens. (Two different possible Hominids)

      Perhaps instead of focusing on what they may have knew about Bigfoot creature, the focus should be on why they believed Brothers, Gods, protectors, Bosses on one side of the country, and Demons, Evil Spirits and monsters in other parts... I understand why researchers want to chalk this all up as the same thing to make a case, but these may all be different Hominids in different regions.

      Some of these Native American legends that try to get pegged as "Bigfoot" type creatures, don't even fit the description. "Windigo" for example. Both Bigfoot and Dogman enthusiasts try to claim this legend to support their own topic when in reality if you actually read the legend, it is closer to a Zombie. And other Native American legends claimed by Bigfooters more support more Werewolf like beings.

      I fully agree that Native Americans would know far more about Sasquatch than anyone. But to go into this assuming that every Man-beast story they have is all based on the same creature is a mistake.

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  2. I really like this article Tom. I have always believed that gaining information from Native American/First Nations peoples is a good approach, in my opinion of course.
    I have messaged some Native American YouTube friends in the past, and I've learned a lot from their perspective on how Sasquatch should be searched for and what to leave as gifts.
    So far no intimate or detailed knowledge has been shared with me because of various reasons, all of them valid in the eyes of the messenger.
    I have always wanted to contact someone within the various Bands in Alberta but I'm a bit apprehensive because I'm not sure how to go about it. I am not First Nations, so I don't know how receptive an Elder would be to a white man wanting to know about Sasquatch.
    Finding Bigfoot was lucky enough to visit with the Stony Nakoda Elders. These people are not far from me at all, maybe an hour away.
    I also find that in Canada and my own province that there is not very many like minded individuals or groups to contact. Most seem to be in eastern Canada.
    I really do like your insight on this. Thank-You

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    1. I gave you my group and FB site yesterday in a reply. I would appreciate information that you have learned. This is a topic top on my list. Take it easy.

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  3. I dont put much stake in Native American beliefs.
    They are a superstitious people in their beliefs. To them there is no fine line between reality and mythology. For example A deer is just as real as the little people in the Snow Bird moutains of N.C.

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    1. I agree in part, these natives don't claim to pass down history or science in their stories, carvings, and art. Furthermore, there is a significant "supernatural" element to many stories that cannot be easily seperated from scientific truth. That's not to say we should discount Sasquatch stories, there are at least a few that pass down knowledge of animals, ecology, and animal behavior that would put most zoologist to shame and talk about Sasquatch in the same way. I'm thinking specifically about a group in Northern Alaska that Robert Alley talks about.

      Point is: it's just not that simple

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    2. wow. just wow. i thought science was about discovering the truth. even if it sounds improbable. you sir are hindering science because you don't think that little people might have existed in the snow bird mountains. I'm pretty sure that the ancient indians knew more about those mountains and what lived there than you. so why don't you sit down and shut up and listen to what the elders have to say about the subject.

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    3. The elders of the Native American cultures have much to share. When they speak then we should listen. There is so much we could learn. Maybe you should listen.

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    4. Shapeshifters, Firebird, Wendigo, and BigFoot all of these legends are real because Native Americans have said so.
      Don't forget about the other Indians (the ones with who put dots on thier foreheads) Khali and the rest of the half human/animal icons. Yep All real.
      /S

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    5. this is the best news yet! thanks tasha

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    6. But we know deer is real, NAs simply add their own meanings to these real beings. They may believe there's special powers involved but any of the species in question is still a real being. Including Sasquatch. Gotta love white ignorance.

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    7. Deer aren't real. I am a critical Thinker people. You will respect my superior intellect. The hooffoot (deer) is make believe. An imaginary creature made up by you simple minded dreamers who fail to realize that us critical thinkers rule the universe. Us and Skeletor.

      Again, Deer are not real you fool.

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    8. Just becuase I dont believe in Indian legends does not make me ingnorant. Most of the stuff that the say is due to the fact that back hundreds of years ago native americans were not educated. And it is very easy for them to explain things by coming up with a wild or outragous legend or story to justy their lack of education. Alot of the earlier white settlers are guilty of the same thing. I will listen to stories, but I take waht they say with a grain of salt.

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    9. "Shapeshifters, Firebird, Wendigo, and BigFoot all of these legends are real because Native Americans have said so.
      Don't forget about the other Indians (the ones with who put dots on thier foreheads) Khali and the rest of the half human/animal icons. Yep All real.
      /S"

      ROFLMAO You have no idea that you just lost your own case do you? Look up your THUNDER bird... And then read what discovery that legend lead to. lol

      In fact, every discovery of a "New Species" the scientific world has made, Indigenous cultures had already known about. The Gorilla, The Orangutan, the Chimpanzee, The coelacanth.

      The only thing science can claim it's own are mostly new species of arachnids,insects and deep sea creatures that we were never looking for, just stumbled onto them.

      When you think about it, in it's arrogance science discounts indigenous people as insignificant and primitive... And yet they prove science wrong all the time. Some jackass gets credit for a "discovery" that they knew all along. And yet it still happens today.

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  4. Tom Unfortunately too many visitors here cannot accept any alternatives to the small universe they occupy day to day. I suppose some are just happy to stay in their comfort zone and feel some need to dismiss anyone who steps out of theirs. Just sad, when there is so much we can learn and enjoy if we are open to new ideas and ways of looking at the world around us. Every day we see new discoveries made by scientists and amateurs alike. Appreciating other people and their ideas are the stimulus to learning and understanding. Without that, where would we be today? Thanks for the article.

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    1. It's pretty damn comfy here in reality come check it out. The Booger can't get you here.

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  5. Another outstanding post from you Tom. :) The civilized world tends to view tribal knowledge, or the accounts from native people's as being less accurate then so called modern knowledge. What so many of us forget, is we are all native peoples, we all evolved on this world, and we all use to have rich tribal histories, and valuable historical data. Sadly many of us have lost that knowledge. It only makes sense when seeking out unknown animals, to make inquirers of the local hunters. It matters little who they are, or what *tribe* they come from. Hunters and trappers who live off the land must cultivate a deep understanding of what lives in the forest; if they are to be successful. Many new species of fish are discovered by visiting local fish markets, the Coelacanth is a prime example. The recently discovered Lion Killer of the Congo is an example of a new primate discovered by following up on the leads provided by local hunters. The snub nosed monkey is another excellent example. Scores of new primates have come out of the Amazon region and nearly all of them; were first reported by native hunters. Anyone seeking an elusive or, as yet un-described animal; who isn't interviewing local hunters or native tribes; is a poor researcher and is unlikely to be successful. Really enjoyed reading this post Tom. SWP

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    1. I have been very succesful in my BF investigations and I dont need to interview tribes and hear their mumbo jumbo. Thnaks but no thanks!

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  6. I have said it before, and I will say it again: The white man will not be happy until he destroys this planet, but not before taking all of its sacred creatures first, as evidenced by all of the disgustingly idiotic posts about "shooting it dead" if they encounter sasquatch, bigfoot or yeti. That is why those people will never see one and why the elders will never share any truths, sasquatch related or otherwise. Those who support pro-kill, the TBRO among others, are not worthy enough to be graced by its presence, and never will be. That is not me being sanctimonious or native-centric, it is just pure, simple, sorrowful fact and one I learned many years ago. Most, if not all, people have absolutely no idea what they are dealing with in regards to the sacred creature. Funny, but the white man is the one with the primitive mind in that they think to destroy first and ask questions later. Their biggest mistake is in thinking this creature is here to answer to him and his science.

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    1. Amen. Sad small-brained Dirty Harry gung-ho culture.

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    2. White men are not going to destroy the planet. Please.....

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    3. Could you be anymore racist, Featherhead? Forgive me,I myself am not racist but I am making a point. "White Man will destroy the world."??? And all black people are gang-bangers, all Arabs are terrorists and all Indians are out to take our tech jobs and convenient stores away right?

      I am all WHITE English from my fathers side (His grandmother was 100% Cherokee) and Italian from my mothers side. I am as conservative as they come. I believe in my right to bare arms, small government and strong capitalism yada yada yada. But I do not kill that which I don't plan on eating and I believe in keeping our natural habitats the way they are. I believe that Native Americans got royally screwed and believe the U.S. Government owes them a-lot of money.

      But before you start shouting White man this and White man that,(As if we are all the same) why don't you look at what your buddies the Seminoles have been up to in Florida. They are pretty much the Mob. Leasing out their land to Developers to get even richer than they already are and then buying Land in Europe.

      P.S. I am NOT prokill

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  7. It seems Bigfotnis does a re-write every few years. New "outdoorsmen" pop up with special insights, mostly involving their own amazing intellect. Maybe sharing the actual oral traditions, with citations, would go futher. Loren Coleman did a superb job of that recently on his blog.
    This man claims to have been extensively hiking the back country for 30 years, but is just now wondering if Bigfoots are real? And scolding others for not paying attention? He is not too observant apparently.
    He is just getting around to listening to the Apache and Navajo but forgot the Tohono O'odam or Pima, Maricopa, Hopi, Zuni, and Yavapi to name a few there long before the Artic invaders of the 1700's.
    Lots of confidence accomapnies the blissfully ignorant. Does anyone use libraries anymore?

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  8. The Native American will tell the imbecile white man anything to pry the dollar out of his wallet.

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    1. You are wrong. We do not want the white mans dollar, we only want his fire water.

      After several hours on the white mans fire water, I can really get in touch with nature, talk to bigfoot, my dead uncle, etc. Hi-ya-ya-ya, Hi-ya-ya. Yip! Yip!

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  9. I dont think they want to contribute to the general knowledge of squatch because they don't want the squatch harmed. That causes them to speak less about it. I'm Native American and I asked a older relative about it and why we don't hear more natives talking about sas and that was the feel I got on his response

    Hi, what tribe are you from?

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    1. I tend to agree even though many of the younger gens raised on TV are quite assimilated in attitudes and knowledge and are shocked when they too see a Bigfoot. But, they take that news home where elders do help them understand the world in many ways is ancient as are it's inhabitants Some find it a blessing to see one, other tribes consider it a scary omen. Either way they sure don't need Matt Moneymaker to make it real.

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  10. I really like this article Tom. I have always believed that gaining information from Native American/First Nations peoples is a good approach, in my opinion of course.
    I have messaged some Native American YouTube friends in the past, and I've learned a lot from their perspective on how Sasquatch should be searched for and what to leave as gifts.
    So far no intimate or detailed knowledge has been shared with me because of various reasons, all of them valid in the eyes of the messenger.
    I have always wanted to contact someone within the various Bands in Alberta but I'm a bit apprehensive because I'm not sure how to go about it. I am not First Nations, so I don't know how receptive an Elder would be to a white man wanting to know about Sasquatch.
    Finding Bigfoot was lucky enough to visit with the Stony Nakoda Elders. These people are not far from me at all, maybe an hour away.
    I also find that in Canada and my own province that there is not very many like minded individuals or groups to contact. Most seem to be in eastern Canada.
    I really do like your insight on this. Thank-You

    Hi there. Maybe you can start with giving some presents to the elders. You need to earn their trust (I'm not a Native American by the way).

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    1. contact the Tribal Counsel directly and offer to share what you know first. A Bigfooter who only takes and doesn't give would not be welcome. One of the reasons Matt Moneymaker is so reviled.

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  11. The only problem with this new organisation is Tribal communities do not want anything to do with bigfoot. Most have a deep cultral fear of the creature and have learned to just Leave it be !

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  12. I'm an Anishinaabe man from Northern Minnesota. I can not speak for all tribes; however, I can speak for my tribe and for myself as a tribesman.
    The first factor is that "all tribes and their knowledge of our hairy forest friends vary."
    The second factor to finding if a tribe actually has knowledge of them is "if they have a name for them in their Native Language."


    My tribe has not only one name for these people in the forest, but 3 names the dialect differences of different reservations will vary; however, the root words within the "algonquin language group" remains the same. 1.)Bagwajinini, bagwayaawinini, bagwas, bagoojinini all have the same root meaning wild.
    2.)kitchi-saabi, mesaabi= giants

    The names for them include the suffix root for "MAN". If they were anything less than "MEN" they would have different names such as animals. Ancient stories include communication with them, wars with them, breeding with them, using spiritual medicines against each other as well as sharing medicines. They are depicted as the one true race that rules the creators garden and that the remainder of us are simply visitors. All ancient stories include that they have special abilities that we do not. All these stories are documented for centuries on rock art, birch bark scrolls and within oral history.

    To say that we are all a bunch of superstitious idiots is extremely offending. My people, from the algonquin language group who spread all across the Northern woodlands of America and into Canada tried to tell everyone what was out there when the Waabanakii people (Eastern lands people) met the ships landing on the East coast.

    MY PEOPLE TRIED TO TELL THE NEW PEOPLE AND TEACH THE NEW PEOPLE ALL ABOUT THESE LANDS WITH ALL OF IT'S BEAUTY AND SPLENDOR. THEY DIDN'T LISTEN. INSTEAD THEY MOVED TO ASSIMILATE MY PEOPLE AND PERFORM GENOCIDE. SENT OUR CHILDREN TO BOARDING SCHOOLS WHO ARE NOW OUR GRANDMOTHERS AND GRANDFATHERS AFRAID TO SPEAK THEIR OWN LANGUAGE AND TALK ABOUT THINGS THEY KNOW BECAUSE OF HISTORICAL TRAUMA.

    ONLY SELECT FEW ARE GIVEN THIS KNOWLEDGE AND I DON'T BLAME THEM FOR BEING HESITANT TO SHARE.

    There are caucasion people that know all about the forest people but you all insist that they are crazy so why the hell would we want to open our mouths about it and possibly suffer from ridicule, shock therapy, hospitalization, forced mental evaluations?

    Do we know about them? yes... Do we have a deep knowledge of them? Some of us... Do we fear that you'd hurt them? yes... Do we protect them? yes... The ones who do not know these things are the ones that have suffered from cultural trauma, cultural genocide, assimilation and/or silenced by skeptics and non-believers.

    We could have taught you all so much... Now, even we have lost most of it...

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    1. Thanks for your post, please share more with us in the future. Hopefully we can be receptive. I know I will. Thanks again and please share more.

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    2. I really appreciate what you have posted here and it goes along way to explaining why the first nations's tribes are so reluctant to share what they no.

      I would recommend writing an article and put all you want in it and submit it to Shawn to headline a whole discussion. I'm sure he would do it and I certainly would like to know more

      Chuck

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  13. You are so right and it is so very sad.

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  15. Hi Anishinaabe friend. Have you read the story of Janice Carter? If so, do you think she is reliable on this subject?

    Kerem SAYIN from Turkey.

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    1. Janice Carter is full of shit...enough said!

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  16. Tom Fonner - I don't understand you at all. On FB, you advocate for killing BF to obtain a body, yet here you advocate for a Native American perspective. Granted, many tribes have different relationships with the beings we call Bigfoot, but most of them consider them to be PEOPLE. So can you please clarify your real intent? Are you really interested in knowing more about beings that a significant number of Native Americans say are "another tribe" or committing murder?

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    1. NOW THAT IS ENOUGH. I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT YOU MAY WANT TO USE YOUR NAME NEXT TIME YOU FEEL LIKE ACCUSING SOMEONE OF SOMETHING. THIS SAME CRAP OCCURRED RECENTLY IN RESPOSE TO ONE OF THE GROUP SITES. I HAVE NEVER ADVOCATED THE KILLING OF BIGFOOT. I WOULD ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO GO TO SOUTHWEST BIGFOOT RESEARCH AND INVESTIGATIONS OR SOUTHWEST GROUP SITE ON FB AND READ MY QUOTES. I STATED THE VERIFICATION OF BIGFOOT WOULD NEED A BODY EITHER DEAD OR ALIVE AND NOTHING ELSE WILL SOLVE THIS PROBLEM OF VERIFICATION. I ALSO STATED IN COMMENTS THAT I WOULD ONLY SHOOT IT IF I WAS ATTACKED AND DEFENDING MY LIFE. FURTHERMORE I STATED THAT I WOULD BE SATISFIED WITH PHOTOS AND LEAVING IT ALONE. ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT ACCUSE OTHERS AND MAKE FALSE LEADING STATEMENTS THAT HURT THIS COMMUNITY AND ITS EFFORTS TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. IF YOU HAD ANY SENSE OF INTEGRITY YOU WOULD START OFF A CONVERSTATION WITH LETTING EVERYONE KLNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT PEOPLE LIKE YOU ONLY WANT TO CAUSE A PROBLEM. I WISH YOU WOULD OF INCLUDED YOUR NAME IT WOULD HAVE MADE FOR A BETTER SDISCUSSION WHEN I POST YOUR COMMENT AND MINE ON ALL THE SITES. I HOPE EVERYONE WHO READS THIS MAKES THE EFFORT TO FIND OUT THE FACTS FOR THEMSELVES INSTEAD OF PAYING ATTENTION TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

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    2. Tom, would you please quit yelling! You are making my ears hurt you dumb bitch!

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  17. Everyone who believes bigfoot exists raise your right hand. Everyone who doesn't believe they exist raise your right hand. We live in a democracy, right? Guess what? I don't care about those of you who voted against. I've never seen one but I know they exist. I've seen videos and heard accounts etc and I don't need further proof. These people are telling the truth because I have a reasonable amount of intelligence. Are there hoaxers out there? You bet. Do I believe all. No. Do I disbelieve all? NO. Fact is, one could be killed and brought back to "civilization" and there would still be a significant # of people who would not believe. In fact you could smack some people between the eyes with a bigfoot body and they still would not believe. Who cares. Nobody should. Do they exist? I know they do. Are they a people? You bet. Only a people would go to great lengths to avoid human beings. Hell if I had the chance to avoid humans and their idiotic ways, I would too. Trouble is I'm ingrained. They are not and quite intelligently they do there best to keep it that way. My name Ed Graham and I live in Pittsburgh. I really don't care what you think of me. All that matters is what I think of myself. If they didn't exist, there would be nothing to hoax.

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    1. They are not a people you dumbass. Why dont you get out from behind your computer and go out into the woods and invistigate!

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    2. My fried said he saw a ghost and a UFO. I now know they both exist.

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    3. sticks and stones can break my bones but a course in spelling will not hurt you. What are you so afraid of?

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  18. I would like to say from me being a Native American. I would share what I know about our big brother in the woods. A lot of non natives are close to understanding but still way off in this matter. But I would share what I know, I think it will open up a world for you.

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