Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 18th, 2006
I have now the following report (below) via direct communication from the Chief of Police for the Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety- the law enforcement agency for the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Intriguingly, online skepticism surfaced this week that just because there are no newspaper reports (other than kill rumor denials in the Rapid City papers) about the Bigfoot sightings in South Dakota, these encounters are not truly taking place. Of course, the lack of appearance in the print or electronic media does not mean something is not occurring in the real world. Cryptomundo will continue to bring you the news as it happens, directly from what’s being seen in the field to your computer screen, whether it has been in a newspaper, on television, online, or not. This is not your grandparents’ cryptozoology. This is your news.
Please click to enlarge this image of Bigfoot as drawn by Paul Smith, and sepia-colorized by Simon and Schuster designers for the cover of my book Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America. The sightings from South Dakota seem to describe a hunchbacked Bigfoot.
Here’s the Chief of Police’s report:
August 17, 2006
Hello, my name is James Twiss. I am a police officer on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I am passing on information regarding the rash of sightings of a tall man or Bigfoot on the Pine Ridge reservation. During one of these sightings, I had our department’s thermal imaging camera and along with about six other officers, did in fact pick up a large heat signature on the camera.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a recorder yet for the camera so we weren’t able to record it. We did watch as it moved away from us down a gully and it was missed by the other officers as they tried to find it using their flashlights. It is hard to explain as it must have already been past the officers before they arrived on scene. We watched it go into the creek area which runs through town. We heard a flurry of dogs barking but wasn’t able to locate it.
Also to set the record straight, the first two sightings was called in as a tall (10 to 15 feet tall) [man] who appeared to be wearing a stovepipe hat and long coat. It was reported to be peeking into a apartment complex commons room where there was several witnesses.
This is strange as in the early 1980’s my brother was a police officer and responded to a call with another officer in the country (35 miles north east of Pine Ridge) and when they arrived, the family was in the living room with their dogs and had turned their furniture into a fort in the living room and was armed with knives and whatever else they could find.
They advised that they had heard their dogs running into their front door and when they opened it the dogs ran in and was scared. The family reported seeing a large man (his hips was above the roof of their family car) wearing a stovepipe hat and had on a long coat. My brother and the other officer went outside where the man was reported to be and saw that the light layer of ice was broken and the mud was disturbed where something had moved towards the creek area. The family had the officers wait while they got together their belongings and had the officers escort them from the residence. This isn’t the only sighting we have here; they increase every spring and fall.
To revisit the Police Scanner Recording, please click here.
A moment of cultural clarification in the use of names, descriptions, and words. If you read the first paragraph closely, you will note that Chief of Police Twiss interchanges the use of the term “tall man” and “Bigfoot.” He then goes on later to describe a “tall man” that was seen earlier in July and in the early 1980s, as a “tall man” or “large man.” Among the Lakota, when talking about a “big man” that is the same as speaking about Sasquatch or Bigfoot.
In Peter Mathiessen’s 1980 book, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, the Oglala Sioux people are quoted about their relationship with their local variety of Bigfoot. The Lakota (western Sioux) call them chiye-tanka (chiha-tanka in Dakota or eastern Sioux) – chiye means “elder brother” and tanka means “great” or “big.” In English, though, the Sioux usually call him “the Big Man”.
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.