August 22, 2006

Stovepipe Hat Bigfoot?

Some folks at the Pine Ridge Reservation say there are two separate things being seen. A Bigfoot and a Tall Man or Big Man. Could there be an overlap in reports?

This is the Harry Trumbore illustration from The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (p. 45) of Pitt Lake, BC’s "Sasquatch" seen in June 1965.

Pitt Lake Giant

Could eyewitnesses of some Bigfoot at Pine Ridge be misintreprating the head shape of these creatures for a stovetop hat?

And what are we to make of reports of the "Big Man" with a cape?

Reports of Bigfoot stealing shirts and pants off clotheslines have been recorded. Sightings of hairy "Bushmen" with discarded boots and Bigfoot with checkered shirts have happened.

We may not be fully conscious of how many of these incidents occur because they are so unbelievable.

Here’s another Trumbore sketch of reported local hairy hominoid, the Tano Giant, which has been seen using an animal skin as a cape.

Tano Giant

What is really going on at Pine Ridge?

What is clearly becoming apparent is that some people wish to be heard about the differences in what is being seen. We all have been reading this through Chief of Police James Twiss’ statement at Cryptomundo and the comments of people close to the event. For example, here’s the way PynkSpyder puts it in an email:

Okay, some things are not being said. I’m from this reservation, and, really, you couldn’t go 5 minutes without the topic coming up during that week. I heard from an OST officer, who is a good friend to both my father and my uncle, that a few units were able to corner a Bigfoot like creature in Pine Ridge. His description of it was much different from that in the statement. He said it was extremely tall (between 12 and 15 feet), had hair covering its entire body, with the exception of its face which was black, and red eyes. He also said it smelled horrible…like a sewer.

During the same week, there were several reported sightings of creatures, not always the same. I remember there was one incident in Oglala, but that creature was definitely not Bigfoot–it had hooves. Bigfoot sightings are not at all uncommon on our reservation. In Oglala alone, I know of 3 sightings just last year. Bigfoot is part of our beliefs. It’s said that whenever one appears, it’s a bad omen. It’s bringing news of a tragedy that’s going to happen, or it’s giving a warning.

Finally, I think you guys are a little confused. Tall Man and Bigfoot are not the same thing. “Tall Man” is something from old stories–bad spirits of giants, who once roamed the Earth, but became so arrogant that they challenged the thunder and lost. Bigfoot, on the other hand, is not bad. I have many family members who have seen Tall Men, and they are definitely not the same thing as Bigfoot.

As I metnioned to one Maine Fortean, Jim Boyd, whom I was talking to this about, some of these "Tall Man"/"Big Man" reports do remind me of a few of John A. Keel’s "Grinning Man" cases. Some of them. Others, however, do not. Hardly cryptozoological, unless misidentifications are occurring there. I don’t really want to open this door too widely here. Before you know it, we’ll all be discussing Indrid Cold and then I’ve have to disappoint people with the fact that Woodrow Derenberger, who is the source of the Indrid Cold stories, was a hoaxer.

Meanwhile, back at Pine Ridge, something a little more credible appears to be happening. Tall Man, Big Man, Bigfoot. What kind of wicked comes this way?

We all are learning here. I must recall again, historically, in Peter Mathiessen’s 1980 book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, it was the Oglala Sioux who told that author about their local variety of Bigfoot. The Lakota (western Sioux), Mathiessen said, called their Bigfoot chiye-tanka (chiha-tanka in Dakota or eastern Sioux) – chiye means "elder brother" and tanka means "great" or "big." He found in English, though, the Sioux usually called the Bigfoot with the term, "the Big Man". Perhaps Mathiessen didn’t fully explore that two different things were being discussed?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

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