**This post is written by respected Bigfoot researcher, David Claerr. (Art work above by David). You can find his books on Amazon and they are well worth the read.**
In the course of my research on Sasquatch, commonly known also as Bigfoot, I have developed a deep respect and appreciation for these intelligent beings whose complexity and emotional depth rivals that of modern humans. As a species, they are far less violent and destructive than humankind. However, within their population are a wide range of personality types, just as those found in humans, from many noble and altruistic individuals to a small percentage of the aberrant and dangerous.
Over the course of more than a decade visiting some of the prime habitats of the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot in the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas, and Texas, I feel motivated to post this cautionary note on what is a generally unperceived, yet very real threat posed by either direct contact with these beings, or via retrieved specimens such as hair, scat, body fluids or tissue samples.
Some of the latest, ground-breaking research in the field of human physiology has resulted from the Human Microbiome Project, which has completed a comprehensive study of the astonishing number -100 trillion- microbes that the human body is host to. The cells of these microbes outnumber the human host's cells by ten to one.
These microbes (about 10,000 different species) include bacteria, viruses, fungi and and other micro-organisms. Some of these microbes are parasitical and others symbiotic; that is, they perform a useful and sometimes vital function in the body of the host. During this study, microbes entirely new to science were discovered.
In the course of my research, I believe that I have determined that the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot are a species more closely related to humans than are any of the other higher primates. They also appear to be much closer genetically to the various human species, modern and ancient, than they are to the "great apes". I t the current work in Sasquatch DNA sequencing has borne out this hypothesis. (refer to links in Resources section below) (Note that the accompanying Illustration is copyrighted, with all rights reserved. A modified version is available upon request and for use only by express permission by the author.)
The geographical areas that I recently scouted, in the Kiamichi Mountains (Oklahoma), the Ouachita Range (Arkansas) and the Guadalupe River Watershed (Texas) contain some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. The variety of plant life in these regions ranges from the sub-tropical to temperate, due to micro-climates created by marked changes in altitude and the presence of ravines, gorges and leeward mountain slopes. There are an abundance of cave systems and perennial springs provided by the limestone-karst topography in each of these locations. In these vast regions, there are areas with extremely rugged terrain. The difficulty in traversing these areas is compounded by the often dense, thorny, jungle-like growth in the sheltered areas. The result is that these areas are seldom if ever visited by humans. I often find plants, animals and insects that are either outside of their normal geographic range, that appear to be a different, endemic sub-species, or that may not be currently described scientifically.
Sasquatch, or Bigfoot inhabit these areas (as well as other, less remote regions), and almost certainly posses an extremely strong immune system that enables them to resist not only parasites such as ticks, leeches, mosquitoes, biting flies, and worms, but also the pathogens and microbes that these pests carry and transmit. When I traverse the most densely vegetated portions of these regions, I often dowse myself with very strong plant-based insect repellent and wear thick protective clothing. I none-the-less often return with long scratches from the thorns. I have noticed that these scratches almost immediately show signs of either infection or an allergic reaction to to the plant resins- so I treat these injuries with triple-antibiotic ointment and use medical alcohol as a wash.
The high probability that Sasquatch have an immune system that is many times stronger than the average human, implies that they also most likely tolerate and harbor microbes and other pathogenic organisms that could be hazardous to humans. They may be host to organisms currently unknown to science. As an analogy, the prevailing theory suggests that the retrovirus that causes AIDS in humans was introduced into the human population by villagers who contacted body fluids prior to consuming the meat from African primates such as chimpanzees.(Conversely, humans are likely to harbor pathogens that are hazardous or lethal to the Sasquatch)
Therefore, handling any biological specimens should be performed with due diligence and precaution. The procedures such as those adopted for use in handling medical waste or crime-scene evidence are highly recommended. These procedures will also have the benefit of reducing contamination of the specimens with human DNA. Whenever possible, use elastic medical gloves, sterile tweezers or forceps for handling specimens. Wear surgical masks, face shields or goggles, especially when handling tissue samples, feces or any evidence that has been in contact with body fluids. Place samples in tightly sealed, "watertight" or leak-proof containers. Keep samples away from any food or kitchen refrigerators. Wash and sanitize all contacted surfaces and equipment.
It is evident that are an increasing number of both individuals and organized parties that are actively attempting to hunt and kill a Sasquatch or Bigfoot. May I respectfully submit that these hunters are facing risks that are potentially more dangerous than the obvious hazards of engaging such a powerful and intelligent being. Should such hunts succeed in their objective, the indiscriminate contact with the harbored pathogens could have unforeseen consequences. The so-called "Sierra Kills" incident, as reported by the hunters involved, aside from the ethical concerns, is also a very good example of how NOT to use adequate precautions. (Note that Sasquatch seldom attack unless severely provoked, and in the Sierra incident, according to the hunter's report, displayed a hands raised above head gesture, communicating a plea to the hunters to refrain from shooting it or its offspring. This is not an editorial judgment of the episode, but a reiteration of the report. The reader is invited to draw their own conclusions.)
Here is a graphic example of unforeseen consequences in contact with new, virulent strains of pathogens: the Flu Pandemic of 1918, that killed over 21 million people worldwide, more than those that died in the then current conflict of World War I. According to the best available data, the pandemic spread from Haskell County, in the state of Kansas, USA. Army conscripts stationed in Fort Riley contracted the flu and inadvertently transmitted the disease not only throughout America's worldwide military bases, but via contact with the European Allies, and the pandemic expanded to civilian populations across the globe.
There are many wilderness regions in America that are still very vast, with small parcels that are virtually unexplored. Like the small county in Kansas, it is highly probable that there are many unknown strains of pathogens, and quite possibly scientifically unclassified microbial species in these sparsely populated regions. Sasquatch have inhabited these regions for millennia and have likely developed immunities or tolerance of these microbes, perhaps even forming symbiotic relations with organisms that pose health risks for humans.
The drought years of 2011 and 2012 have been accompanied by exceptionally strong and widespread "heat waves" and drought. I was on scouting expeditions both years, and witnessed the stress and duress the extreme heat had on the plant and animal life, even in these strong, resilient ecosystems. In 2009 and 2010, many of these areas also experienced torrential rains and flooding of the river watersheds, with devastating consequences. The Sasquatch are also being stressed significantly by these conditions, and in some cases are foraging closer to the ever-expanding areas of human habitation. The extreme and variant weather conditions resulting from global warming are thus leading to increased contact of the Sasquatch with humans.
The main point of this essay is to inform both researchers and would-be hunters that there are many risks inherent in the study or contact with these beings. Symptoms of infections or parasitical infestations can take weeks, months and even years to manifest. For the record, I am personally against the hunting or forced incarceration of the Sasquatch, or Bigfoot. There are several geographical areas where a non-confrontational approach such as that pioneered by Jane Goodall with the the chimpanzees of the Congo, would yield a wealth of information on the Sasquatch. It is also very likely that physical remains of a Sasquatch, having died of natural causes, will be recovered from one of these settings. As this essay is being drafted, comprehensive studies of the Sasquatch genome have been and are being performed by several genetics teams, so hunting and killing one of these sentient relatives of ours is not necessary to define the species scientifically.
There is saying that "Knowledge is Strength". The flip side of this concept is that "Ignorance is Weakness". Persons who irresponsibly go "messin' with Sasquatch" may be messing with their own health, that of their loved ones, and potentially with the health of the human race in general.
The Human Microbiome Project
The Flu Pandemic of 1918
Bigfoot DNA Report 2011
Theories of the origins of AIDS