Last year I went to a big concert in Bluefield, Virginia and I have, in a previous installment of the Chuck Wagon wrote about it. I don’t intend to describe that event again (got to rub elbows with Florida Georgia Line and Nelly – it was awesome), but instead, the show promoter’s plans for the week after the concert that provides the starting point for this week’s entry. This guy, Eric, is the promoter of this event every year, but his actual job is overseeing a charity that provides scholarships for at-risk youth. It’s a great charity and the concert proceeds benefit that cause. Eric was constantly going for the two days we were up there (“we” we’re my college buddy, Tim, and myself; Tim went to high school with Eric in Bluefield) and he takes a couple of weeks off every year after the show so he can recover.
So, Tim and I were headed home and he looks over and says, “Eric told me how he and his dad are spending the next two weeks in North Carolina to go ‘Squatchin.’” I looked at Tim the way a baby looks at a stranger, intrigued, but wary. “Yep, ‘Squatchin.’ They’ve got a guide and everything. They’ll be looking in the mountains of Carolina.”
Tim was serious. I was caught up in the ridiculousness of what I’d just heard, “So, they’re going hiking in North Carolina?”
He shook his head, “I’m sure that, if anybody can find a Sasquatch, it’s Eric.”
I totally agree, Eric is as likely as anyone to find a Sasquatch, because Sasquatches aren’t real. Sorry, like the Loch Ness Monster, aliens building the Pyramids, and cereal that stays crispy in milk, it’s just a myth. Eric’s welcome to ‘Squatch his heart out,’ but I wouldn’t begin to entertain the idea that I’m going to burn two weeks of vacation walking around in the woods looking for, at best, the monkey-suited third cousin of my guide.
But, there are those who believe…The Sasquatch community says that the Patterson Footage (sometimes called the Patterson-Gimlin Footage) is proof that Bigfoot exists–it’s to Sasquatch aficionados what the Zapruder film is to JFK historians–except that the Zapruder film is legit. Back to the Patterson film–it’s this grainy footage that supposedly shows a Sasquatch walking through a wooded setting. It’s pretty famous. Recently, Sasquatch experts (uh, can I be an expert on pretend stuff, too?) have pointed to “frame 61” of the footage as having spectacular new evidence that the tape is real. Google it and decide for yourself. I’ve decided it’s a bunch of poppycock. The film, recorded in 1967, was recorded on a camera bought by a known con man (one Roger Patterson) who was later arrested because the check he wrote to pay for said camera bounced higher than (to continue the mythological theme) Pegasus could fly. Another guy has since passed a lie-detector test stating that he was the one dressed in a monkey suit in order to be filmed that day by Mr. Patterson and his partner, Bob Gimlin. But, whatever the facts might say, ‘Squatchers gonna ‘Squatch.
Here’s my point, with all this evidence in your face that the film’s a work of fiction, people still want to believe. I really like Star Wars, but I’m not expecting Luke Skywalker in the middle of some “damn-fool crusade” (fans, you know who said that, am I right?) to stop on my doorstep with a light saber and a promise of uniting the Force (though that’d be so cool!).
Roger Patterson passed away in 1972, but Bob Gimlin (who says he knows nothing about any hoax perpetrated by Patterson or the aforementioned “monkey-suit-guy.” Interesting that he says he knew nothing of a hoax, not that he denies the film being a bunch of hokum, just that he wasn’t alerted to any premeditated formulation of a cock-and-bull story to be fed to a breath-holding public. He says this while speaking at Bigfoot conventions across the country. Did you read what I just wrote? “Bigfoot conventions across the country.” Yep. You can’t get people to turn out to vote in November, but you can fill auditoriums from sea to shining sea with people who are trying to get the facts on what is, at best, a mythological creature.
We, aboard the Chuck Wagon, read mythology, rather than search for it. (Though I imagine that a quest for the Minotaur in Crete would prove interesting–fruitless, but interesting.)
Keep on riding shotgun and we’ll be finding things that are of actual interest and that are real, not illusions of fiction.
Submitted by Chuck Moss