In early May of last year on a week day, I hiked out to a small pond in a remote corner of Adirondack State park. The snow had not been melted for very long at all and the trail was very wet. The last people to sign the log book at the trail head had been cross-country skiers. It was slow going on the soggy trail, mud coated my boots in thick clumps. There was apparently a detour on the last leg of the trail, but the marker appeared wrong. It said .8 miles to the lake, or something like that. I remember it taking forever. So when I finally got to the lake, in frustration I yelled out, ”Point eight miles my ass!”
Just then I heard a huge noise, like a large rock being thrown against a boulder. It was unmistakable and made a loud reverberating bang. . The glaciers retreated from this area after the Ice Age leaving the area strewn with huge boulders. Many are the size of houses; so large you can practice rock climbing moves on them. They are often overgrown with moss and have trees growing on them, and some even have little caves.
I was startled by the noise and looked around to see what could have caused it, but a search confirmed that I was alone. I was taken a bit aback by it. I continued my walk down to the lean-to by the lake and was pleased to see a pair of loons right by the shore. Distracted, I forgot a while about the sound I had heard.
This happened last summer while I was working as an organic gardener. Every chance I got I would hike in the woods, eschewing well-worn trails in favor of bushwhacking my way from point A to point B. On two more occasions in remote stretches of woods, I would suddenly hear a loud “Whack!” of a large stick (or a small log) being whacked against a tree, with amazing force. To describe it the best I can, common sense would dictate that possibly I was hearing a deer or a bird knocking over a log resting against a tree as they fled my arrival, but that was not the sound. The sound was of somebody swing a log against a tree like it were a baseball bat, as hard as they could. We are talking about a really loud noise. Incongruously loud. Everything would be quiet and then “Whack!” No other sounds preceded it or followed it.
By the third time, I had the distinct impression that what I was hearing was some kind of signal. Others have witnessed similar phenomenon. They have dubbed it “tree knocking”.
I believe what I heard may actually be a vocalization. I did not know it at the time, but what I heard was completely consistent with others who have had the same experience. The knocks are a signal and each knock represents the number of humans in the group. I was alone each time I heard a knock and heard only one knock.
This is pretty amazing to me to read about other people having the exact same experience as me of this sound occurring in the exact same way. I had not heard of tree knocking until a week or so ago, while doing research for this article.
Whenever I tell anyone I grew up in New York State, I often hear things, “Wow, New York. What was it like living in the big Apple? Have you ever been to the Empire State Building?” There seems to be a kind of disconnect where people hear “New York city” and no matter what I say for the first few sentences they think of the city until it finally sinks in that I grew up in a fairly rural area.
New York State actually borders on Canada and contains the largest protected wild area in the lower 48 states, believe it or not. Adirondack State Park covers some 6.1 million acres, a land area roughly the size of Vermont and greater than the National Parks of Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Great Smoky Mountains combined.
There is an ancient mountain range in the middle of this park that contains parcels of land that quite possibly, even up to this present day, human beings have yet to set foot on. That might sound surprising, since the park is visited by an estimated seven to ten million tourists per year. However, one interesting idiosyncrasy of Adirondack Park is that nearly one half of the land there is privately owned; much of it by Timber companies, but also in private hunting preserves and other concerns that keep most people out and maintain the land in a wild, nearly pristine state.
In the Adirondacks, certain areas of the park such as the High Peaks region are frequented more that others. The southerwestern areas of the park, in contrast, receive comparatively few visitors. (It could be that since it’s not as mountainous it’s less popular with tourists.) This area is the rich in biodiversity and comprises the oldest portion of land set aside when the park was first formed in 1885. Since then there has been no logging in these areas of the park and the land has been allowed to revert to a nearly primordial, state; some patches even contain the original old growth forests. There are many remote lakes and rivers in this region, and there are healthy populations of black bears and white tailed deer. This region has also had sightings of mountain lions. Some residents of the Park believe that populations of the big cat still exist here, surviving the extermination they experienced elsewhere in the northeast in the 20th century.
I have recently moved back to the mountains of upstate New York, to return to the same gardening gig I did last summer. I am doing 20 hours a week of gardening for room and board. Just outside my back door are six million acres of wilderness, and in my spare time I plan to look for Sasquatch. There have been many sightings in the area.
Last year I attended Bigfoot talk in the Woodgate Town Hall and listened to a presentation by a local man named Jack “Adirondack Jack” Leach. He’s serious outdoorsman who has reportedly seen Bigfoot several times and has become a researcher. He strikes me as a no-nonsense type dude, and he’s worked as a hunting and fishing guide in the Adirodacks for over 30 years. Jack has several casts that he has made over the years and a (blurry) camera trap photo. After the presentation, several people in the audience shared their encounters and sightings. Hearing theseaccounts had a powerful effect on me. It’s one thing to read stuff on the internet and watch clips on YouTube, but it’s quite another to witness normal, everyday people who live and work in the area sharing what they have experienced.
I shared my own encounter: The one about the rock being thrown. I still had not heard about tree-knocking, but Jack shared his experience of having several boulders thrown his way and advised me if I were ever to experience that again, the best thing to do would be to exit the area.
I went on an excursion this weekend, Jack’s advice echoing in my head. Some Bigfoot encounters in this area have been hostile and aggressive, but I will say this: If you are entering the North Woods and worried about attacked by Bigfoot, don’t bring a gun – bring a camera. You will be perfectly safe! You won’t see anything! Take it from me! I had two cameras with me Saturday and didn’t see or hear anything. In contrast, during my last three experiences I had nothing of the sort with me.
These experiences have shaped both how I’ll conduct my research, and how I envision Sasquatch as a whole. I’ve come to the conclusion that people who think of Bigfoot as an upright, walking ape of some sort have it wrong: Bigfoot is superior to us.
It is superior to because it is the native inhabitant of Mother Earth and we are aliens. We aren’t straight-up aliens, we are alien hybrids. An alien life form has infected our civilization with its parasitic memes. We are like those Zombie ants, but we’re infected with mind parasites, not brain parasites: I’m talking software – memes, archetypes. Now that we’ve been infected, we comprise these entities’ “extended phenotype”, not just individually, but collectively. (Perhaps the people who have escaped these parasites are the Sentineli of Sentinel island. They appear to be the only truly uncontacted, uncontaminated hunter gatherer tribe left.)
As an infected species, we have become disconnected from the Earth. Instead of serving our own interests – biologically, socially, ecologically – we are serving the interests of the parasite.
When we stray off into the woods we are in a sense entering an alien environment that should be our native habitat, but its not. We have become alienated from it. The contrast is more apparent when we enter the ocean as scuba divers, donning all this complicated gear and extraneous oxygen, but we are almost the same way when we go into the woods. We bring food, clothing and shelter from our artificial environment into the natural environment. Our feet are too tender to connect with the Earth, so we insulate them from the ground with layers of cotton, rubber and other materials. The sun burns our tender skin so we wear sun block. We carry tents and implements to prepare food raised under artificial conditions, produced in factories and wrapped in colorful plastic.
We are all parasitized by this Alien intelligence, but its a matter of degrees. As a white person, I can clearly say white people are more parasitized by this entity than other ethnic groups and it also seems to bother a lot of us more. Other ethnicties don’t seem to feel such a strong need to camp.
It would be a mistake to say that all the indigenous people everywhere are, or historically have been, completely at one with their environment. Its a romantic idea to believe that, but I don’t think its completely true. The Native Americans saw Sasquatch, and they had shamans who acted as a bridge between their societies and the natural world, so I think they were disconnected too because If you have a place in society for healers – for people acting as a bridge between worlds – that implies a rift. The experience, of the Natives was mediated through technological culture also. Its wasn’t so raw and unmediated as we might imagine. They were moccasins, clothing, ate cultivated food and used symbols and technology. In listening to Native American fables you get the impression that the average Native American back in the day had almost a secular materialist outlook. The teacher again and again calls that mindset into question, reminding the listener of the importance of the spirit world and the plants and animals.
There were parts of the wilderness the natives would not often go, but when they did they would would encounter Sasquatch.
Sasquatch is a teacher. Sasquatch is a potentiality. They are big, strong, dominant and completely at one with their environment. They are the biggest, strongest thing around, and even dogs fear them. They walk upright and appear intelligent, and even seem to have psychic powers, yet they are naked and barefoot. They don’t wear pelts or other clothing. They are covered not in fur, but but long human hair. This is consistent in the sightings. Every other creature in the forest seems to respect them, so they are at the Apex. They seem to have dominion over the natural world, yet seem to be completely without technology.
The Sasquatch in this area seem slightly smaller than the ones regularly sighted in the Pacific Northwest They are described as seven feet tal,l whereas the Western Sasquatch are often described as over eight feet tall. This would make sense since the other large mammals are also slightly smaller out here, such as moose.
I think They might be of a different but closely related tribe as the Western Sasquatch or Skookum. That is the view I ascribe to: Sasquatch as a non-human tribe. Not animals but not human either. I think we share a common ancestor, but around 30,000 years ago or so humans decided to go down the path of technological culture such as using Fire, symbolism and Agriculture (which Jared Diamond has described as The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race), and the Sasquatch decided to live at peace with its environment and develop the power of their minds.
So I am trying a new approach: one of humility and of reaching out in friendship. If I encounter a Sasquatch I will think of it not as a scientific find but a blessing. I will take no photos, but be ready to listen and to learn what they have to teach.