Posted by: Guy Edwards on July 31st, 2013
|(Yes. That is Dr. Pyle wearing a blanket of moss.)|
Dr. Robert Michael Pyle is one of my favorite Bigfooters. Over a few beers last year we talked Bigfoot, biology and butterflies. Yes butterflies, you see Dr. Pyle is world renowned etymologist and more specifically a lepidoptertist. Due to his background, he has a take on Bigfoot like no one else. In the back of the book he even maps out a protocol in case we ever do have the opportunity to come across one, live or dead.
Below is a review of his book, “Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide” from The New York Times. Not many Bigfoot books make it across the desk of a NYT book reviewer; an achievement in itself.
The title comes from a geographic area between Mt. St. Helens and Mt Adams, a dark valley made mostly of black basalt. It is the largest roadless area in Washington State. Although seemingly apt, the name actually comes from a gold prospector named John Dark. The Dark Divide is also the nest of Ape Caves and Ape Canyon. This book is highly recommended. You can get a copy from Powell’s Portland’s largest local bookstore, or of course at Amazon.com
Book Review by Robert Sullivan
The New York Times, July 30, 1995 Where Bigfoot Walks; Crossing the Dark Divide
By Dr. Robert Michael Pyle, PhD.
Illustrated. 338 pp. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. $21.95
While the description of Bigfoot generally remains consistent — very tall, very hairy and extremely elusive as it roams the forest of the Pacific Northwest — the styles of Bigfoot literature vary like the styles of the Bigfoot hunters themselves. Sasquatch, the British Columbian classic by Ren&ecute; Dahinden with Don Hunter, reads a little like Louis L’Amour with a cryptozoological ax to grind. The Search for Bigfoot: Monster, Myth, or Man?by Peter Byrne, a former African safari guide who currently heads the Bigfoot Research Project in Hood River, Ore., is like a story told over a campfire at the end of a trek across Nepal (especially the part where Mr. Byrne recounts smuggling what was thought to be the hand of a yeti in the lingerie of the wife of the actor Jimmy Stewart). And then there is the rigorously scientific air that characterizes the work of Grover Krantz. In his last book, Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry Into the Reality of Sasquatch, this anthropology professor at Washington State University executed a frame-by-frame analysis of the so-called Patterson film, a blurry eight-millimeter home movie that shows something hairy running across a bank of Bluff Creek in northern California. With Where Bigfoot Walks, Robert Michael Pyle has added yet another style to the genre: the Bigfoot book as natural history treatise, a kind of story of Sasquatch as told by John Muir.Mr. Pyle says he is not interested in whether Sasquatch is or is not real. Rather, he aims to examine the myth surrounding the controversial creature and the human characters who have concerned themselves with its fate. He describes his pursuit as “a chance to immerse myself in the putative habitat of Bigfoot. And perhaps a way into its mind, or at least into the part of my own mind where Bigfoot dwells.” He recounts a year of studies in flashbacks woven into a narrative of a month long hike through territory in southwestern Washington, known as the Dark Divide, that is rich in Sasquatch sightings.