|Review from 'The Daily Triplicate'
September 12, 2009
by Kelley Atherton
Del Norte accounts abound
There are those who believe there is something wild, but human-like, living in the forests of Del Norte County.
Many know it as bigfoot, but the legendary hair-covered biped has many names all over the world.
David Paulides, executive director of North America Bigfoot Search in Los Gatos, has chronicled the stories of those who claim to have seen bigfoot in his latest book, 'Tribal Bigfoot.' Also included are sketches of each reported bigfoot by forensic artist Harvey Pratt.
The book includes sightings from hundreds of years ago and all over the country, but a portion of the stories come from right here in Del Norte and very close by in Humboldt, Siskiyou and Trinity counties.
One of those stories is about the most famous video footage supposedly taken of bigfoot. It was shot in October 1967 near Bluff Creek in the southeast corner of Del Norte near the border of Humboldt County.
Paulides' previous book, 'The Hoopa Project,' centered on his research into reported bigfoot encounters around the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.
For his next book he thought 'to take it one step further, out of the reservation and into the four surrounding counties and do the same thing we did in Hoopa,' he said.
He then took another step further and included stories of encounters with bigfoot all over the country.
Bigfoot sightings are not limited to Northern California. There have been reported sightings in every state except Hawaii, Paulides said.
'There have been 350 sightings in those four counties going back to the 1800s,' he said. 'There have been over 2,000 sightings in the U.S. as a whole.'
He believes there are many more people out there that have seen bigfoot, but are too intimidated to say anything 'on the record.' The people Paulides interviewed for 'Tribal Bigfoot' signed affidavits stating that their accounts were true.
In our backyard
Paulides broke the book up into locations of reported bigfoot sightings, including a whole chapter on Del Norte. There have been more reported sightings per square mile here than in Humboldt, Siskiyou or Trinity counties, he said.
'They all tell a very compelling story,' Paulides said, adding the accounts contain 'consistency in appearance.'
In one story, an Oregon trucker driving U.S. Hwy. 199 late at night reported seeing a bigfoot illuminated by the lights of the big rig on the side of the road. When the trucker turned on his brights, he said the bigfoot put its arm in front of its face and long hair flowed from its forearm (see sketch).
'For some reason they don't like to have lights in their eyes,' Paulides said, noting there are other stories similar to the truck driver's, even though being alongside a major roadway seems like a strange place for a bigfoot.
No one included in the book reported being attacked by a bigfoot in Del Norte. However, the book contains a story about 18 people who went missing in 1895 near Gasquet, but only one body was ever found. According to the book, many people attributed those deaths to bigfoot.
Bigfoot sightings have been reported in the Siskiyou Wilderness, all the forks of the Smith River and the forests around Gasquet and Bluff Creek, Paulides said.
A very hairy human
There are many fascinating stories in 'Tribal Bigfoot.' Paulides found newspaper reports of a 'wild man' or 'hairy man' in the 1800s. This is interesting, he said, because it wasn't referred to as an ape but as human.
What people described in the 1800s and in recent years, is a roughly 7- to 8-foot-tall upright biped covered in hair with a human-looking face.
People eventually developed names for these 'hairy men,' which are typically regional, Paulides said. For example, in Canada they call it a sasquatch, in Nepal a yeti, in Russia an almasty.
'They all appear to be identical,' Paulides said about descriptions from all over the world.
Paulides believes that bigfoot is 'very close to human, but a tick off' and can live in many environments.
'Something highly unusual'
Several people in 'Tribal Bigfoot' said that what they saw wasn't like what Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin captured on film near Bluff Creek in 1967 - the major difference being the amount of hair on bigfoot's face.
In the footage, the bigfoot casually walks away from Patterson and Gimlin, who are on horseback, for about 30 seconds before disappearing into the forest and has much more hair on its face than most people have reported.
'Never has a bigfoot been caught on film for that amount of time,' Paulides said. 'Never has there been a bigfoot with that much hair on its face.'
Paulides' explanation for why, with today's technology, a definitive bigfoot hasn't been captured on film is that no bigfoot has stayed out in the open long enough. In the book, many people claim that after spotting the bigfoot, it seemingly disappears.
After the famous footage came out, Paulides said that executives at Disney - the premier costume makers of that time - viewed it and agreed they couldn't make a costume that good. Looking at the film frame by frame, he said the bigfoot's muscles are visible - even today that would be nearly impossible to create, he said.
'I think that something highly unusual happened at Bluff Creek that caused that biped to stay out in the open and leave itself in harm's way,' Paulides said.
Many people are skeptical about bigfoot, Paulides said, because it's easier to say it doesn't exist than to look at evidence that he finds compelling: hair samples that come back from the lab as 'unknown primate' and foot casts with fingerprint-like dermal ridges.
Proof means different things to different people, he said. It's entirely possible that something bigger, faster and stronger, but genetically similar to humans, could survive in the woods.
Paulides has never seen bigfoot, yet believes that it exists and states in his book that the truth is out there, and very close by.
'I have always wanted to be dropped by helicopter into the middle of the Siskiyou Wilderness with three other researchers and a month's supply of food,' he writes. 'I truly believe that the right group with the right equipment, patience, and persistence could walk out of that wilderness area with enough evidence to startle the world.'
David Paulides wrote a very good book on Bigfoot, which he called 'Tribal Bigfoot.' Using modern forensic science tools techniques, accompanied by a top notch criminalist sketch artist, and engaging the Native American people and collecting their witness accounts - from the only people who, for generations, have been fully aware of the Bigfoot people - his work has revealed much more information and detail than any previous effort.
The book is well illustrated with the many resulting sketches revealing, perhaps for the first time, that each Bigfoot person has very individual physical characteristics. Scientists and the general public would be well served to read this book and accord it the respect the information therein deserves.
In his book, 'Tribal Bigfoot,' Dave Paulides switches the light on to a subject that has too long been in the dark. With an emphasis on Native American connections to the Sasquatch, Paulides brings back the art of the eyewitness interview that has, for so long, been neglected in favor of scientific testimonials that confuse the reader with the complex jargon.
This book contains no fuzzy photos, but instead contains the rendered images of Harvey Pratt, a renowned forensic artist...who rendered them from the two greatest cameras ever built, the human eye and mind.
The combined talents of Paulides and Pratt result in the captured events in the lives of so many eyewitnesses that an understanding of this complex subject develops that is compelling.
Paulides is a prodigious note taker that rarely misses a thing in the huge amount of footwork that he has done for this work. The reader can actually accompany Paulides to the many and varied places that he has traveled and feel that the experience is theirs as well.
All the testimony is accompanied by legal documents that are signed by the eyewitnesses themselves, and all sketches and artwork are signed off...that they are accurate representations of what was seen.
This is a work that I am especially appreciative of because it has not filtered through the bad versions of the Patterson-Gimlin film, but stands alone on its own merit.
I encourage anyone that is interested in the subject to, by all means, get themselves a copy of 'Tribal Bigfoot' by Dave Paulides. This book will illuminate the dark places on this subject matter and make the whole subject more easily understandable.
Review by Henry May
July 3, 2009
We have all heard how a movie sequel is usually better than the original. 'The Empire Strikes Back,' 'Godfather II,' 'Transformers II.' Well, in books, sometimes a sequel comes along that blows its predecessor away; that has happened with the new book 'Tribal Bigfoot.'
Those who read David's excellent original book last year (the Bigfoot Book of the Year 2008, ['The Hoopa Project']) know that there was a good deal of reports from the Hoopa reservation in Northwest California. For Tribal, David revisits the NW part of the Golden State, by going to Del Norte, Siskiyou, Humboldt and Trinity Counties to investigate more reports that have been investigated by him and his team. He also revisits Hoopa by asking the witnesses who did not have sketches done for Project to have the sketches made by Harvey Pratt the famed forensic artist, which they are.
But Paulides goes beyond NW California in this book; he also travels to the Sooner State of Oklahoma to interview eyewitnesses, as well as to The Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota. Not only are there witnesses interviewed and sketches drawn of eyewitness accounts, but Paulides also comes to some startling conclusions as to the true nature of the Sasquatch, via DNA tests and just talking to the eyewitnesses and hearing their descriptions. The DNA tests yield some very surprising results, and Dave follows the evidence as he sees it to its conclusions - that Bigfoot is truly more human than ape, and that they have a language, according to reports he has investigated of witnesses hearing what sounds like Native American language coming from the woods, and also hearing from Native American elders that if a Native American speaks to a Sasquatch in their native tongue, the Sasquatch will understand it.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough, and give it not 5, not 6, not even 9, but 10 stars!!!!!! Well-done, Dave and Harvey!!!!!!
Review by Bobbie Short
June 23, 2009
I am into a new book titled 'Tribal Bigfoot' by Dave Paulides and Harvey Pratt.
I haven't quite finished it because I keep going back over previously read pages to more deeply absorb something NEW that I didn't know from their previous work, 'The Hoopa Project.' In fact, this reading has caused me to pick up the 'Hoopa Project' twice to reread and make visual comparisons with some of the images that have crossed my desk over a 24-year period of time. With only one exception, Harvey Pratt's images are a startling reminder of my own experiences, but also I see a consistency in his facial reconstructions that mirror many of the descriptions by my informants, especially details heretofore given little attention. It is an absolute thrill to finally see the human aspect in print. The book is definitely a positive foot forward for research.
Good grief what a fascinating read. If you think for one minute that there is nothing to be gained by reading their second book, think again; the ground these two men and the NABS team have covered certainly demonstrates exceptional investigative skills, an art form few in research have been trained in, least of all me, and certainly above and beyond those skills I've seen demonstrated by individuals schooled in the anthropological disciplines. Paulides's approach is new, he's thorough, innovative and best of all he's objective; the man knows his craft. This read is exciting and it's been a long time coming.
Too much time and focus has been leveled in the quest for points found in track-ways and Sasquatch footprints that lends little to a significant push forward in research. This book, on the other hand, continues the author's move to place a wider focus on our Native American friends, their findings and what their oral historic teachings have brought to the table. How many times in this reading have I stopped and said to myself, 'the Native Americans and the First Nation Canadians I've interviewed have been (apparently) right all along; my God, the hours and dollars invested that have been wasted chasing deadends by the ape theorists!!' For the better part of 24 years I've stood alone in my assessment that what I have seen is human and how many times have I proclaimed that if a Sasquatch walked into my trauma unit, I would fully expect to give it all modern medicine allows, not veterinary medicine. We are not dealing with a dumb ape.
For me, these two books were a long time coming and I am absorbing Paulides's new material like a sponge. Pratt's ability to capture the fundamental nature of the forms their witnesses have given him in his images is breath-taking and often a cause for reflection. Paulides's investigative techniques I have not seen since Jim Hewkin, Jack Sullivan and Joel Hardin exited the Bigfoot arena; his ability for presenting his work in readable form is of course, an additional gift.
People, 'Tribal Bigfoot' is a brilliant work; I stand applauding this new release, which has literally knocked my socks off. It is just the breath of fresh air needed in research. The book is listed on www.amazon.com but is marked, 'out of stock.' I see Dave Hancock has this new release listed here: http://www.hancockhouse.com/products/tribig.htm
Let me encourage you to read this one!