Me and Bigfoot

In the past Bigfoot’s existed exclusively in the myths and legends told around the glow of the campfires of North America. Now “Bigfoot / Sasquatch” lives like the rest of us in the glow of the electronic campfire that is television and computer screens around the world. In light of this I hope that you will find this story in the tradition of the ancient campfire story, something you can enjoy and learn from.

It all started somewhere in the early 1980s when I was in my twenties. I left my house in my old Jeep, a 1948 CJ¬- 2 A, to hunt deer. The place I selected was by instinct. Only later in life did I learn and understood consciously why I chose this site. It was a beautiful place with scattered piñon and juniper trees. It had many ancient Indian symbols carved and painted into the rocks that gave the place a sense of mystery and timelessness. As usual I was there alone, camping out in the most minimal and traditional means that I could. I drank cool water from a traditional canvas bag with an Indian chief printed on the side. For light I had a kerosene lantern and I stoked the cooking fire with creosote and Mesquite. In part due to the remoteness of this place and the petroglyphs the nights here had a depth of solitude the likes of which most people would not want to face alone. Those who know and pursue such experiences will understand that in a places and times like these, there is a sense of mystery and wonderment that is tangible.

As was my custom at the time I threw my sleeping bag right out on the dirt. No pad, no tent, no pillow. As the years went by I would revise this custom into something a little more complex. I camped by a large boulder that was approximately fifteen feet tall that had a petroglyph etched deep into it. This petroglyph had as part of its design a line pointing east and upward, at an angle such that when this line was projected out it intersected the top of the nearby Mesa exactly. This Mesa top Mountain towered 8 or 9 hundred feet above the valley floor and the top was lined with what is referred to as a rimrock. This is a cliff twenty or thirty feet high that runs along the very top of the Mesa. Then as now I never wore a watch or took a clock with me in the desert. It was by the position of the constellation Orion that I knew that it was time to get up, make a simple meal, grab my rifle, and get walking.

I started climbing the Mesa, after reaching the rimrock I looked for a way to climb it. Soon I found a steep, rocky crag that I used to climb through the rimrock and to the top of the Mesa. The sun was already up and shining on the top of the Mesa, so as I topped out above the rimrock I emerged from the deep cool shadow of the mountain into the bright warm morning sun. The power of this moment was unexpected. Entering and exiting this rocky crag through the rimrock you literally went from one environment to another. While one will never know for sure it is possible that perhaps only one or two people in a century ever walk the top of this Mesa. It took me a few seconds to gather my thoughts and when I did I slung the rifle off my back and scanned the Mesa top for any deer. There weren’t any. Then as this moment began to settle out I looked back at my camp and could see the large boulder that had the glyph on it, and I wondered who made that glyph that pointed to this very spot. It seems they knew things about this place that I did not.

It was an amazing time to be alive I was a young man walking by myself deep in a vast wilderness, hunting deer. I was in possession of a magnificent rifle. It was like many other rifles but this was my rifle. My rifle without me is useless, without my rifle I am useless. It is difficult for most men today to understand how much of my identity is wrapped up in this rifle. Even the origin of these traditional words are not widely known today. But there a few men that still recognized them as well as the depth of their meaning. My rifle was chambered in 7 mm Remington mag and was a bolt action rifle. What this means to the uninformed is that it was of a simple design that was meant to shoot one shot accurately and make a kill at a relatively long distance on an elk size animal. Being a man is one thing, being a rifleman quite another. It changes how you perceive the world around you and your place in it.

Now that I was on top of the Mesa I put my plan into motion. I started walking along the rimrock heading south. When the canyon narrowed to where the far side of the canyon was within the range of my rifle I walked back a ways from the rimrock untill I was out of sight from both sides the canyon. Then I walked for a couple hundred yards south and then slowly walked back to the edge of the rimrock, scanning the canyon below. In this way any deer in this section of the canyon would be unaware of my presence due to the fact I was out of sight of the canyon while I was walking south, then when I walked up to the rim I was high above them. This meant that any animal in this section the canyon would have no escape and no way of detecting me. From this vantage point I had another element in my favor in that the wind was in my face so any animal in the canyon would be unaware of my presence from my scent. I repeated this process of walking up the canyon heading south back from the edge of the rimrock and then slowly and carefully walking back to the edge over and over again till sometime in the late afternoon.

About this time I started walking back to the edge carefully checking out the opposite side of the canyon as I had done all day. When I noticed something that looked unusual, I did not use binoculars or spotting scope at this time, just my eyes. There was a ring of bright green Mormon Tea, which in itself was not unusual. However this one had some dark brown object in the middle of it that looked out of place. It did not look like a deer though I was still curious so I changed the setting on my rifle scope for three to nine power and swung the rifle up to take a look. What I saw was amazing, Indeed it was shocking. Through the scope I could clearly see that this was a Bigfoot, a Sasquatch. I knew with little deliberation that I would shoot, the only question was is it really a Bigfoot and not a man.

Here we must understand in past times, such as the time in which these events occurred, many kids and even adults would shiver all night in their sleeping bag, not because it was cold but because they thought a Bigfoot was in the area. At that time Bigfoot was portrayed as a large vicious animal with fangs. Many lost hikers were believed to have been the victim of Bigfoot. Now of course many people in our urbanized society believe Bigfoot is a large vegetarian teddy bear.

This is why I gave little thought on shooting a Bigfoot, for the thoughts and ideas about this situation were in place long before this incident.

I watched this animal through my rifle scope for a few minutes, it moved very little mostly just turning his head from side to side as if it had sensed danger. I was high above it and three or four hundred yards away, it did not seem to know my whereabouts. I quickly went through a checklist of sorts and determine that this was indeed a Bigfoot. Though it was quite a distance away, due to my skill and this magnificent rifle in my hands I could’ve made a headshot. But this would’ve been an embarrassment to bring back to the men of science an animal such as this that had its head blown apart. So I wrapped my arm through the slaying and put the crosshair in the middle of his chest. Then in a process known to other marksmen there came a moment of deliberate concentration and silence, somewhere in this serene moment the gun went off and the echo of this shot thundered through the canyon. In spite of the heavy recoil I had learned to never lose sight of my target through the scope. I saw the animal body snap, this made its body light up with a cloud of dust. Through all this I heard with a slight delay that distinct hollow sound of a bullet hitting a body. As I watched through the rifle scope the animal just sat there for a couple of seconds and then just fell on its back, I watched for another minute or two and the creature never moved. So I got up, a sense of joy and accomplishment ran through me. I would be rich and famous. Then I began to look for a way off the top of the Mesa and down through the rimrock. I quickly found another rocky crag that I could climb down through. Once through I started working my way down the side of this steep canyon and when I got to the bottom I started up the other side without delay, it was another Thirty or Fourty yards up to the kill site.

There it was, this magnificent creature, laying on its back with only one small bullet hole in the middle of its chest. Immediately I realized I had a problem as this thing was much larger than I had figured, looking through the rifle scope. I am almost 6 foot tall, while I didn’t measure it I’m sure this thing was all of eight or nine feet tall. Its arms were massive, bigger and thicker than my legs, and it had the face of a monkey. Though not well endowed it was obviously a male. And yes it had big feet, even for its size, and as well, proportionately very large hands. While we will never know it’s precise age it seems like a mature adult and physically in good shape. And yes it had fangs. They were relatively small and stuck out just a little bit from the upper jaw giving its face an overall fearsome appearance. It was obvious that it was too big for me to carry out by myself so I began to think of how I was going to do this. I came up with an idea. I was pretty sure I could get the Jeep this far up the canyon and then I would park next to the hillside and slide the creature into the back of the Jeep without ever having to lift it. I’ve seen this done once with an elk and a pickup truck. I tested this theory by dragging it down ten or fifteen feet and then just left it there. Then I started out for the Jeep I was rather excited so I ran. It was cool and I was running downhill. This physical acceleration intensified an extended the thrill of the kill into something that was truly memorable. Once I got down to the Jeep I quickly threw my things into the Jeep and started up the canyon. It was a bit tight and I had to go slow but before too long I had gotten there.

When I got there I did not see the animal laying anywhere and for a while I thought I was in the wrong place. Then I could see the trail of half dried congealed blood leading from the circle of Mormon Tea and down a ways over some rocks. So I got out of the Jeep and walked up the thirty or fourty yards to the kill site. I further examine the evidence and began to look around and wonder what in the world could’ve happened. I knew for a fact the animal was dead. There was no way that it had survived that shot. For a moment I thought maybe some mountain lions came and dragged it away, as quickly as I thought about it I understood this to be ridiculous. So I stood there looking around to see if I could find it from this vantage point. Then suddenly a sense of fear came over me, I realize the only thing that could move this carcass was another Bigfoot. And I realized at the very least there was one more and perhaps many close by, and they would’ve known that I was here and what had happened. At first I start to look at the rocks and the trees especially the dense junipers. But no sooner did I start doing this that I cast my eyes back to the ground so as not to alert them of my thoughts. It was at this moment I realized the rifle was in the Jeep and I stood here alone without it. The one word from the riflemans creed echoed through my mind, “useless”. I did not know how fast these creatures could run but I had thirty or fourty yards to make it back to the Jeep. The size and strength of these animals was such that they could’ve thrown a bowling ball like a man throws a baseball. So I started walking back down to the Jeep trying to control my emotions and my posture so that I did not look like I was desperate to get there. This Willys Jeep only had a “bikini top” on so as I got down to it I went along the back, pulled the rifle case out unzipped it pulled out the rifle, all the while keeping a sharp eye on my surroundings. Then I cycled the bolt, thus chambering a round. With this my personna changed from prey back to predator from man,, to rifleman. So with a predatory arrogance I walked back up the hill to get a better view of things. I scanned the area but I could not see the carcass of the animal I had shot. So for a moment I thought of tracking it down to find it and if I needed to kill another Bigfoot or two, all the better. Yet the more I thought about it the more I realized I was in their arena. In the darkness that was soon to come the rifle would be of little use I would be the prey and they the predator. Even the Jeep would offer no protection as it had no doors and even in daylight the Jeep in this canyon could hardly make any more than a walking pace. I stood there for a moment and pondered all that it happened throughout the day. That moment climbing from the cool shadow of the mountain into the brilliant and warm morning sun it was something I would never forget. The idea that at one point during the day I was to be rich and famous, and now this just faded away to leave me with nothing nothing!

So I walked back down to the Jeep with a sense of bitterness in me, got in the Jeep with the rifle in my lap. Then started back down the canyon the going was slow because the canyon bottom was rough and narrow and the Jeep had to be in low range. After some time I got down to where the canyon spread out and my former campsite. It was hard to tell if the sun was up or not in the deep shadows of these mountains. I pulled up to the big rock and looked at the petroglyph that pointed to the top of the Mesa. It was that special time when the magic of the day ends and the mysteries of the night began. I sat there for a while and tried to understand all the things that had happened, and to wonder if such things happened here before and if so to whom. I knew that the fact that these glyphs were here meant this place was special to these ancient people. In their ancient glyphs and symbols there was a message. A message that was meant to last the ages, yet now no one could read them. What did they say, was their message still relevant, these things I pondered. There was still a chance of danger in this place so I put the Jeep in high range and drove off not camping till I was thirty or fourty miles away. The next morning I got up, made a cup of coffee and a quick breakfast and drove home. At the time I thought that I would never tell anybody about this, it just wasn’t me. Now all these years later I’m telling this story so one has to wonder was all this just a made up story, a dream, that is a false “memory” or perhaps it’s a detailed and accurate count of things that happened deep in the desert, were things such as this have occurred throughout ages. Like all campfire stories it’s for you to decide.

By Carlos Gallinger