This is part 3 of a 4-part series about a most amazing photographic piece of evidence that truly stirs up our curious minds with wonder and a bit of horror.
Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2.
Don continued his search for all sorts of unexplained things in many locations, but he also went back to that particular cave many times for several years. He observed what he believed to be prints left by females and even children in the back rooms of the cave. In all, he counted 16 different individuals by the prints they left.
14-inch other hand
One area he named the "nursery" because there were seven stone slabs that almost looked like beds and little footprints on the ground. He cast many of them and puzzled over the cave and Massey's encounter, wondering if it was a freak face to face or if the "Rascal" might show himself to Don.
He found signs that someone was raising pigeons in the cave for eggs and for a food source up on a ledge. This explained the dead birds he had found outside of the cave too. It seemed they could eat the eggs, when birds were past the roosting age, perhaps kill and eat them.
As well, Don found a couple used lighters with some stick twigs that had been burned at the tip.
A large bird that was skeletonized and laying on the floor still with bones in place was noted by Don and Massey when they came in the cave the first time. When Don came back to the cave, they were gone.
This bones-in-place-and-bones-gone scenario happened many times to Don throughout decades of research. The cave with the blue ice that contained hundreds of bones in it, was all gone the next time he went back. The yellowed bones near the fire pit in this cave were gone the next time he came back with Massey. All he had to do was see the bones and they went missing.
*This scenario can be found in the real-life series "The Stalker Between the Worlds" on the blog about a man who on his daily walks has for years had interactions with a being of unknown origins. As soon as the Walker saw the bones, the Stalker removed them.*
The cave throughout the year stayed 45 degrees and there were plenty of bare footprints to cast, even of small feet. Whatever child was walking around the cave in 45 degrees without shoes, they were tough.
Some of the prints he also found many miles away at other caves indicating they travel and the travel might be done through communicating tunnels. Of course, we cannot exclude the possibility that curiosity seekers who went deep into the backwoods might have found the cave and others to explore in the region. Still, there was something unusual about some of these hands.
This print appears as if the hand were wrapped in a bandage or rags and he left an imprint lying down that looked like a broken arm.
This was a double print of two female-looking hands pushed into the dirt as she laid down near the bandaged/broken arm man.
One time, he left a big basketball-sized wad of butcher paper and then chocolate bars, hoping that they would eat the candy and handle the paper. They took the lighter to the paper and burned the edges as if to hide their evidence.
Later, he spread peanut butter way up on the wall, too high for any mountain cat to stand up and reach. He found it had been licked utterly clean with nail-like digging in the surface horizontal to the floor instead of vertical.
In most caves he went into, he found a stone "pillow." This was a smooth river-rock like rock set on a ledge so that the person lying down could watch the entrance. It was identical in most every cave.
To his shock, he had left potatoes to which they stuck the plastic forks in that he had left - they did not like them, would not eat them. But, once when he was done visiting, he went home to find a rotted potato at his cabin about 15 miles away!
Of the 16 individuals he had cast, 6 of them had the unusually long fingers, bigger hands. And, he noted that the pinkie finger was as short as the thumb on the prints with 8-inch long fingers. That mutation had him pondering if perhaps what was in the cave was perhaps affected by the 1961 Idaho Falls radiation leak incident.
At the time Don considered this concept, he had not yet realized he had the bag from the Massey expedition with the camera inside holding the photo Massey had taken. Massey had been so worked up from the close encounter that they just shoved it into the bag with the red/blue blinking light and other items and forgotten.
Don was simply looking for evidence to backup the encounter Massey had and to perhaps explain who Massey had seen when he was left alone in the cave. For all he knew, it was a rather not-so-hairy Bigfoot, as he had not yet caught a glimpse of the image. Eventually, he would find the camera and get it developed, but in the mean time, Don accrued plenty of evidence of those dwelling in the cave, assuming they were Sasquatch.
Making heads and tails of this evidence has been something I had to sit on for months, just studying, contemplating the context and the finds, and wondering how it was possible this "Massey Man" (what I have come to refer to it as) could exist today, even in a very remote area. It would take a breeding population of these "recluses."
Upon seeing this, a lot of things come to mind, but almost instantly, as I look at the pronounced ligaments around the eye, I realize this fellow had to be designed to protect himself from light. It seemed adapted for darkness.
I asked myself, what others have we heard of who prefer the darkness?
And then the legend of the Moon-Eyed People told by the Cherokee came to mind....
Part 4 (conclusions)
**Tomorrow's post completes the series as I discuss a lot of possible explanations**