Friday, August 30, 2013

"Bigfoot & Teddy Roosevelt Pt 2"

(Here is another in a series of legendary tales of Bigfoot type creatures told by very well know men. In this article we explore the story that was told to Teddy Roosevelt by a trapper. This is part 2 of the story) 
President Teddy Roosevelt 

(This is part 2 and the final edition of this story as told to Teddy Roosevelt)

The men, thoroughly uneasy, gathered a great heap of dead logs and kept up a roaring fire throughout the night, one or the other sitting on guard most of the time. About midnight the thing came down through the forest opposite, across the brook, and stayed there on the hillside for nearly an hour. They could hear the branches crackle as it moved about, and several times it uttered a harsh, grating, long-drawn moan, a peculiarly sinister sound. Yet it did not venture near the fire. In the morning the two trappers, after discussing the strange events of the last 36 hours, decided that they would shoulder their packs and leave the valley that afternoon.

 They were the more ready to do this because in spite of seeing a good deal of game sign they had caught very little fur. However it was necessary first to go along the line of their traps and gather them, and this they started out to do. All the morning they kept together, picking up trap after trap, each one empty. On first leaving camp they had the disagreeable sensation of being followed. In the dense spruce thickets they occasionally heard a branch snap after they had passed; and now and then there were slight rustling noises among the small pines to one side of them. 

At noon they were back within a couple of miles of camp. In the high, bright sunlight their fears seemed absurd to the two armed men, accustomed as they were, through long years of lonely wandering in the wilderness, to face every kind of danger from man, brute or element. There were still three beaver traps to collect from a little pond in a wide ravine near by. Bauman volunteered to gather these and bring them in, while his companion went ahead to camp and made ready the packs. 
On reaching the pond Bauman found three beavers in the traps, one of which had been pulled loose and carried into a beaver house. He took several hours in securing and preparing the beaver, and when he started homewards he marked, with some uneasiness, how low the sun was getting. As he hurried toward camp, under the tall trees, the silence and desolation of the forest weighted on him. His feet made no sound on the pine needles and the slanting sun-rays, striking through among the straight trunks, made a gray twilight in which objects at a distance glimmered indistinctly. There was nothing to break the gloomy stillness which, when there is no breeze, always broods over these somber primeval forests. At last he came to the edge of the little glade where the camp lay and shouted as he approached it, but got no answer. The campfire had gone out, though the thin blue smoke was still curling upwards.

Near it lay the packs wrapped and arranged. At first Bauman could see nobody; nor did he receive an answer to his call. Stepping forward he again shouted, and as he did so his eye fell on the body of his friend, stretched beside the trunk of a great fallen spruce. Rushing towards it the horrified trapper found that the body was still warm, but that the neck was broken, while there were four great fang marks in the throat. The footprints of the unknown beast-creature, printed deep in the soft soil, told the whole story. The unfortunate man, having finished his packing, had sat down on the spruce log with his face to the fire, and his back to the dense woods, to wait for his companion. While thus waiting, his monstrous assailant, which must have been lurking in the woods, waiting for a chance to catch one of the adventurers unprepared, came silently up from behind, walking with long noiseless steps and seemingly still on two legs. Evidently unheard, it reached the man, and broke his neck by wrenching his head back with its fore paws, while it buried its teeth in his throat. It had not eaten the body, but apparently had romped and gamboled around it in uncouth, ferocious glee, occasionally rolling over and over it; and had then fled back into the soundless depths of the woods.

Bauman, utterly unnerved and believing that the creature with which he had to deal was something either half human or half devil, some great goblin-beast, abandoned everything but his rifle and struck off at speed down the pass, not halting until he reached the beaver meadows where the hobbled ponies were still grazing. Mounting, he rode onwards through the night, until beyond reach of pursuit."

There is by the way, a second passage in The Wilderness Hunter where Teddy Roosevelt may quite possibly have been describing a personal Bigfoot experience. He writes about how he and a friend were on a hunting trip in the State of Washington. They had contracted a Native American to guide them into a remote region. Their guide urged them to avoid a particular area due to some native "superstition" that hunter-tracker Roosevelt held as utterly preposterous. 

In any event, old rough-rider Roosevelt, as was his way sometimes, bullied the apprehensive guide into taking them to this area anyway. They did not find any big game during that trek or other sign but Roosevelt made a point of mentioning the very strange noises he heard at night while camping there. He did not recognize nor describe the noises, but he did give the distinct impression that they were unusual in his learned experience and found them to be unsettling. Uncharacteristically, Roosevelt did not offer any explanation or speculation about the source of the noises, simply mentioned them, and said no more about it. Odd for an author who otherwise went into such vivid detail relative to the animals he observed and hunted.

While the killer creature was never given a clearly defined name, Bigfoot buffs believe firmly that this creature was a Sasquatch but I could use some measure of convincing. Taken on its own, the Bauman story is not very impressive as evidence for the existence of wild men in North America, but when considered along with the more substantive reports it acquires greater significance. Ultimately, readers of these eyewitness accounts will be left to judge for themselves the significance and value ostensibly placed on these stories in the future.