Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 23rd, 2006
Is Manimal More Man Than Animal?
by Dmitri Bayanov © 2006
International Center of Hominology
But the hardest stumbling block, which I painfully stumble against even today, is the unbelievable linguistic prowess of the Carter Farm Bigfoot. The two Sasquatch words of unknown meaning, remembered and brought from the wilderness to civilization by Albert Ostman, could easily be ignored and forgotten by hominologists, but how can you ignore and forget the published vocabulary of 223 Bigfoot words and phrases presented by Janice Carter Coy, each word and phrase dutifully translated into English?
How did she manage to obtain and learn such a vocabulary? Listen to her answer: “… I went daily with my Grandfather Carter to visit and feed them where they would say something, and either my Grandfather, Fox or Sheba or one of them would have to translate the words into English for me. I took notes in a little note pad of the words I would hear them say out in the woods or fields and brought them to my Grandfather Carter when I got the chance. I would ask him what they meant. (…) This is the way I learned from Fox and his family how to speak in their Bigfoot language. It is a practical skill, one might say. It is also very hard for a human to speak in Bigfoot”(50 Years with Bigfoot: Tennessee Chronicles of Co-Existence, p.196).”The sounds of some of the words are carried out, yet other words are chattered so fast that it is hard to catch what is being said. (…) It took years for me to halfway understand them”(p.205).
And here is some light on the way the Bigfoot talk to each other and to their hosts: “Fox and his family can communicate with each other in a language of their own”(p.196). Fox and Sheba “were chirping and chattering back and forth to each other. I don’t know what they were arguing over”(p.92). “They mostly talked in old Indian and used chirps and whistles and grunts and growls and such when they talked to each other. They would alternate this with English when they spoke to us. … they would substitute an Indian word or a gesture or a grunt for some of the words when they talked to us”(p.157).
Here’s how language lessons began on the Carter Farm: As reported by Janice’s grandmother, “The two, Bigfoot and man, were said to spend hours together at the barn or in the field learning each others’ language”(p.57). Janice: “I always thought that my Grandfather Carter had taught Fox how to speak English, and that between Fox and Grandfather they had taught the rest of Fox’s family how to speak English”(p.196).
So how did they speak English? Fox “could say words in English that Papaw taught him but not like human speech, as we know it. The sounds they make when saying words in English are not like the way humans speak”(p.15). “While all of the Bigfoot here on our place could speak their own language fluently, they can only speak a mixture of broken English language. Sheba struggled with it a lot. Her English was very limited… Fox could speak much more clearly and used longer sentences than any of the rest of his family when speaking in English”(p.196).
An example of Fox’s utterance in English given by Janice is his saying “Thank you” when she “scooped him up a pail of dog food” (p.65). As to his speaking in Bigfoot, she offers almost in the beginning of the book an example that left me gaping. Once,when Janice, her four-year-old sister Lila and another girl were playing in the wood, they were scared by the sudden appearance of Fox. Robert Carter intervened and told Fox off for scaring the girls. Janice writes that “he sure didn’t mean to scare us, at least I gathered that much of it. Fox was not talking in English to Papaw (that’s how Janice calls her grandfather. – D.B.), and Papaw was talking what I call Bigfoot words to him. Fox looked right at Lila and said: “Yoohhobt Papi Icantewaste Mitanksi … Posa … Ka Taikay Kataikay Tohobt Wabittub”. Translation by Janice: “Yellow Hair, be happy little sister. I naughty. Don’t cry Blue Eyes”. And her explanation: “Lila’s eyes were blue when she was little and her hair was a yellow-red…”(p.24). In other words, Fox was apologetic, tried to console little Lila and used her traits in naming and addressing her. All that in a few touching words. Call him what you like — bipedal ape, Australopithecus robustus, Gigantopithecus blacki, for me such an utterance, if it really happened, is the sure sign of a human being.
Some Bigfoot words and phrases from the vocabulary compiled by Janice:
31. Nenepi = The malevolent little people (in reference to all humans, their word for human men).
80. Ella Cona = The Fire Rods of the White Men or Humans (Guns).
84. Hah-Ich-Ka Po-Mea? = Where is she going? (Asked twice to my Papaw about where I was walking off to). Papaw told me this one’s meaning.
96. Me-Pe Mahtaoyo = Poor little one or little baby (Refers to what Sheba kept chanting over and over the time her baby died and they buried it and was sitting out there on its grave crying and chanting this).
99. Ob-Be-Mah-E-Yah = Get out of here; get out of the way, leave from here. (This is what Sheba said when she knocked my horse over with me on it, along with telling me to leave and get out of here in English).
129. Nanpi yuze Sni Yo = Take your hands off of me. (Sheba said this to the strange male Bigfoot when he grabbed her).
130. Napi = God, The Lord God (It is also Sioux for Great Spirit).
132. Nicinca Tonape He? = Do you have children? (Fox asked me this and I asked him to repeat the question in English, as I didn’t know what he asked me). In 1990 I was 25 and this is when he asked me this question. (Janice then did not live on the farm. D.B.)
146. Waste Ce Dake = I love you (Papaw and Fox said this to each other when Papaw was in the road that time right before he died. Papaw said it means I love you in Bigfoot).
197. Siyuhk = Soul (Bigfoot)
Well, it took me three years to get somewhat “habituated” to the idea that homins can be as eloquent as that. Still if feels like a miracle. Jonathan Swift’s speaking horses, the Houyhnhnms, are not a miracle, because I know it is fiction. So why should speaking Bigfoot be stranger than fiction? First, because this overturns my previous thinking. Second, because it confronts me with the incongruity between the Bigfoot’s human intelligence and their animal way of life. If they are so clever, why are they so wild? That is the question! Half a century of contact with civilization on the Carter Farm has not changed a bit their animal way of life. That is the conclusion I draw from 50 Years with Bigfoot.
Janice confided to me by email three instances of her telepathic communication with the Bigfoot (she was not advised to include that in the book and it wasn’t. But in her vocabulary you find under number 25: “Mookwarruh = Spirit Talker (What they call telepathic communications to each other and to people)”. How about that? Believe me, I take this easier than their verbal skills, because telepathy doesn’t clash with their wildness (who knows, maybe even supports it!), but language does. At least, in my present state of knowledge. (Thank goodness, she hasn’t observed any Bigfoot-UFO connection).
I’ll be grateful to anyone who can convince me that the Bigfoot language is fiction. Shall not be obliged then to revise the Porshnev theory which I accepted and spread for 40 years. I am in close contact with three people who have had long direct talks with Janice and investigated the matter on the spot. They are Mary Green, Will Duncan and Igor Bourtsev. All three believe the case is genuine.
Dr. Henner Fahrenbach has not been to the Carter farm but is in contact with Janice and examined some hair samples collected at the farm. He is also in touch with a woman in California who claims long-time observations of Sasquatch on her property and being engaged in habituation attempts. Fahrenbach finds some observations by this informant and those by Janice to be “astoundingly identical”, and this “has added immeasurably” to his confidence in the testimonies of both women, “because the coincidences exceed chance.”
In May 2004, Dr. Fahrenbach analyzed hairs that Janice claims to have pulled from Fox’s wrist, and the scientist’s conclusion was this: “The morphology of this hair is clearly primate in character, all standard mammals of N. America are ruled out, and the remaining confounding variable – human hair – is not similar to this hair at all, in that the density of pigmentation far exceeds that of the blackest human hair. These observations provide a legitimizing underpinning to the factual details reported by Jan Coy (Carter) (as co-author) in the book by Mary Green, deviant interpretations thereof notwithstanding.”
I haven’t been to the Carter farm either, and want now to share with hominologists my opinion of the testimony by Janice Carter Coy, as published in the book 50 Years with Bigfoot. If she could have made all that up, she would sure be an illustrious winner of grand prizes in literature. It is my conviction that no genius of belles-lettres or science fiction could compose what Janice has told and written. With my experience in hominology, I see that she knows what I know and also much much more. It is just the excess of her knowledge, especially its linguistic part that is so surprising and disturbing.
More than once I discussed the issue with Will Duncan, and this is what he wrote me in part in November 2004: “I have been investigating the Carter Farm for almost three years.” “Janice’s story is not consistent with models of what Bigfoot is, as developed by many people over decades of investigation. However, it is consistent with both Native accounts and with the Ostman story. I can only conclude that either 1) portions of Jan’s story (and the Natives’, and Ostman’s) are exaggerated, or 2) the prevailing ape-like model preferred by many long-time investigators is based on very limited observation of Sasquatch in remote settings.”
Remote settings… This reminds me of the little Himalayan folk tale, quoted by George Haas. Yes, most of our knowledge comes from observations at a distance, and it is Albert Ostman and Janice who observed the creatures at close quarters. As regards Janice, such closeness lasted not hours and days but years and decades, and this is the only logical explanation of her superior knowledge.
As for the thought of “exaggeration”, it was my line of “defense” when I began and continued to receive information from Tennessee. But this “fortification” was getting weaker and weaker as I continued to note instances of Sasquatch “linguistics” in reports coming my way from North America. As, for example, this one: “The sounds were all jumbled together and it sounded like whatever it was, was trying to put words of sorts together, like it was trying to communicate with us. (…) The individual sounds themselves sounded a bit like the sounds made by Tahltan Indians I used to hear long ago, but it wasn’t any of the Native or white languages I have ever heard”(J. Robert Alley, Raincoast Sasquatch, 2003, p.197).
Or this item I received recently from Chris Murphy, quoting The Daily Colonist, September 24, 1972, by T.W. Patterson: An Indian hunter, following a buck, came across an animal that he believed to be a big bear. To his astonishment, upon taking aim at the animal, the creature looked up and spoke to him in his own tongue. “It was a man about seven feet tall, and his body was very hairy”.
If we decide that our informants are exaggerating, we’re back to the conspiracy theory. All right, the Natives may be exaggerating, in line with their mythology and beliefs, but what motive or interest could Ostman and Janice have had in so grossly exaggerating or conspiring with the Natives? I see none at all. Since they faced disbelief and suspicion, one can expect them to belittle things, not exaggerate.
Some critics maintain that if what we have in Tennessee is true, then those creatures are not Bigfoot/Sasquatch, but something else. This doesn’t make our problem easier: instead of one mystery we’re getting two. Yes, in theory it is possible that some super animals have crossed the “rubicon of mind”, while others have not. Let us note that Ostman’s adventure, with its “accepted” Bigfoot, took place in British Columbia, far away from Tennessee. Thus there is no ground at all to exclude the Tennessee adventure and its furry fellows from the Bigfoot problem.
© 2006 Dmitri Bayanov
International Center of Hominology
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.