Further Adventures in the Land Called X

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 30th, 2013

From the NAWAC website:

The title of this episode, “Further Adventures in the Land Called X,” is, I will admit, somewhat misleading. It is indeed a furthering of the accounts and experiences members of the North American Wood Ape Conservancy have had as they conducted their work this past summer in a remarkable little corner of the Ouachita mountain range (Cole & Marston, n.d.). It is, as you probably already know, called “X” by the group. You will hear some astonishing things. Possibly you will find some of these things to be unbelievable. As always, you have my assurances that everything you hear is true. I know these guys and, crazy as some of them may sound, this is true.


But no, this show is not actually about random bigfoot encounters in X. It is actually about a group of dedicated individuals going about the work they feel is necessary to bring “bigfoot” out into the light of science and reality. In short, this is about collecting the wood ape holotype (Green, 1978). Members of the NAWAC have not been shy about their intention to collect as complete a wood ape specimen as possible. However, this is the first time you’ll hear about what that endeavor is actually like. It’s not, as you probably expect, easy work.

Now, you either agree with the point of view of the NAWAC or you don’t (Higgins, 2011). Regardless, the position of the group, and the thing that drives them, can be summed up by explaining what’s called the “50/500 Rule” of conservation biology (Traill, 2010). Basically, about fifty individuals of a particular animal need to be present in any given area to prevent a destructive rate of inbreeding. If these fifty are cut off from more of their kind, or are the last of their kind, their chances of survival are questionable. Around 500 individuals are required to maintain an acceptable level of genetic variation; numbers lower than that can make the animals susceptible to being sucked into the terrifyingly named “Extinction Vortex” (“The Extinction Vortex, n.d.).

The extinction vortex is a series of models used by biologists to understand and predict animal extinction rates. Besides genetic diversity, other factors include habitat pressures and habitat fragmentation (“Arkansas Files Appeal to Join Clear-Cutting Suit,” 1991). Of course, no one knows for sure how many apes there are in the Ouachitas, or North America, for that matter, but we know that the region has been and continues to be harvested of trees using practices that promote the development of monoculture forests. We know that the relatively untouched areas of the range are becoming fewer and farther between. When applying that knowledge to what we understand about large primates worldwide, and the group’s own observations of wood ape behavior over the past several years, we would expect “bigfoot” to be social animals that live in groups inhabiting established territories. Each group, whatever its social structure, would require a finite amount of land upon which to thrive. Some of the big unknowns are how big is that territory? Are monoculture environments acceptable wood ape habitat (Expertsvar, 2013)? How many eligible areas are left in that part of the country? In short, are there less than fifty apes left, or more than 500, or somewhere in-between? And do they know where they can find more of their kind? Essentially, how many factors found in the extinction vortex are already at work and affecting wood ape populations?

The NAWAC feels the only way to know how many apes there are in X or how many “Xs” there are in the Ouachitas or the Ozarks or the Sierras or the Olympics, or anywhere, is to put qualified and numerous boots on the ground to find out. The only way to put those boots on the ground is to establish as an absolute fact that there is an actual animal to be protected. The most efficient and expeditious way to establish as an absolute fact that the animal exists, is to collect a specimen (“Collection of voucher specimens,” n.d.).

There are more than a few people in the community of sasquatch enthusiasts who feel the best course is to leave these animals alone.

“They’ve been just fine all by themselves so far, and they’ll be just fine in the future.”

But that train of thought is tantamount to putting a bag over your head as a way to better understand the world around you. All one has to do is look at a satellite map of any wild and wooly area in North America to see how truly wild and secluded parts of it are under constant pressure. They’re shrinking. If you think this situation is tolerable to an animal like sasquatch, you might as well ask yourself how many can you balance on the head of a pin (Radford, 2008).

I suppose we could wait for an acceptable DNA sample to be collected and confirmed, or for an unsuspecting bigfoot to step in front of a logging truck with bad brakes, or for an old portly one to succumb to cardiovascular disease while raiding a campground dumpster, but nothing like that has happened in more than fifty years of looking and, at least in my opinion, it’s unlikely to happen in the near future. So, we can either keep waiting, and hoping to get lucky and pretending like the animal we’re talking about here has all the time in the world, or we can show some initiative and try to protect them and their habitat sooner.

Perhaps tomorrow.

And that’s what the NAWAC is working towards.


Link to original article
with photos and references.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

18 Responses to “Further Adventures in the Land Called X”

  1. dconstrukt responds:

    really interesting…

    i mean, the breeding population data… that is fascinating.

    based on that model… if these things are real, there should be a good # of them…

    and with the data we just saw on the map… of all the sightings… there would appear to be several “groups” of them scattered over north america.

  2. hairybeast responds:

    the real thing to do right now before the rains start, is to go to the California fires area and look in caves and tunnels for suffocated bigfoot corpses. they are probably baked but you don’t have much time to get there before the rains come and it will be hundreds of times harder to find and eaten up.
    this is the chance of a life time. they were there, it was summer, they could not out run the fires, they are there, remote view maps and go scout or whatever, but do it now!!!!!!!

  3. AreWeThereYeti responds:

    Listened to the entire podcast and while I happen to agree with their (admittedly controversial) stance: that a type specimen must be shot to confirm the species’ existence, I think they need to revisit their strategy to harvest the individual.

    As it stands, their most successful ploy has been shooting through the side of a black-plastic “blind,” at night, utilizing a thermal scope mounted on 30.06 rifle. Aside from the inherent risk of relying solely on a thermal image to acquire/identify a target, they reportedly plan, upon making a successful shot, to cover the body with a tarp “to keep it from the the sight of the other members of the clan.”

    Apparently, they believe that upon killing one of these reportedly social creatures, the other members of the group will simply fail to notice what has happened and/or ignore the body of their fallen comrade because it is hidden under a blanket!?? In the interview the NAWAC members mention, on several occasions, how impressed they were with the size, strength (rock allegedly thrown OVER 120 yds – that’s an entire football field plus both end zones – through brush!!!) and territorial nature of their quarry, yet they think they will simply shoot a wood ape (as they refer to them), roll it up in a tarp, and cart it off under the noses of its companions??? One would imagine, instead, that their actions would elicit an immediate – not to mention violent – response from the surviving individuals. In other words, the NAWAC’s “contingency plan” seems sure to result in either: a massacre of the avenging local bigfoot population; or the massacre of the NAWAC field team; or both…

    Based upon sasquatch’s reported size, strength, speed and stealth, it behooves the NAWAC brain trust to amend its post-shooting protocol.

  4. Goodfoot responds:

    What could possibly be more Earth-shaking than a Bigfoot carcass, you ask? Why, it’s the “discovery” of an “ape” that walks on two legs!

    The Ape Thesis is something that plainly cries for a re-thinking of the entire thesis. Apes don’t stroll about on their hind legs. Only humans do.

  5. Ploughboy responds:

    I’ve followed with keen interest the activities in Area X, as reported by the NAWAC. I do agree with their strategies, and I wish them luck in carrying them out safely and successfully.

    That said, I think the premise that wild space in N. America is inexorably shrinking might be slightly exaggerated. I suspect the increase in Bigfoot sightings, if not a product of increased media attention and the internet, might be attributable to an INCREASE in habitat. We are increasingly becoming an urban society, not news to anyone. De-populated landscapes are evident from coast to coast. Lots fewer eyes on the land than in days gone by. More eyes on screens, less farmers, loggers, hunters, ranchers and all those who spend their lives getting intimate with their land. It is as if we’ve just conceded that playing field. No, it isn’t 1491 all over again, but it is as good as it has been in a long time. If you lived in the Eastern U.S. in mid 20th century, you’d have had fewer trees, less protected land, and much fewer game animals. Bear, lions, deer, wolves even? Not to be seen. Hadn’t been seen in a generation or more.

    The single most factor in favor of a healthy Bigfoot population is the number of deer living out there. Anyone doubt there is more protein on the hoof than ever before? Think an apex predator is going to eschew a mono-cultural forest when that resource is there to be exploited? Not a chance, I say. Ask your local mountain lion. The reports of BF stalking, ambushing and consuming deer are numerous. This might be the golden age of Bigfoot.

    Again, this is not to say they don’t need our recognition and possible protection. If it suits your agenda to kill one, do that. I just don’t believe they are going hungry or running out of places to hide, breed and roam. Life may actually be getting easier for them.

  6. Ploughboy responds:

    I should add too: Habitat fragmentation. It appears Bigfoots lack the reluctance to just move through human dominated habitats that some other top predators and prey have. This gives them a pretty adaptive niche in a fragmented landscape. They are smart enough to do that, and do it well. With that tendency, how much habitat could a large biped string together? Avoiding large cities and towns only, well, let’s just say “lots.”

  7. Goodfoot responds:


    Agree 100%.

  8. airforce47 responds:


    I do agree with Dr. Higgins on the necessity of getting a specimen for science and even though the coming report of Professor Sykes in the Nov/Dec time frame may be a game changer a specimen is needed. However, my guess is that some of their assumptions may be wrong about the species and they may be putting themselves at extreme risk.

    The fallout from the Professors report may be a change of hunting laws and may end the NAWAC plans for a specimen. Other methods may be needed to get a specimen besides killing one and that won’t be easy either. My best,

  9. Becho responds:

    I will agree with ploughboy on one point. I live in a county that is essentially a very large tree farm. There is very little old growth left. The logging practices have increased the growth of the type of food that elk, deer, rabbits, grouse and other herbivores eat. Bigfoot has thrived along with all the other wild animals that have benefited from this. Also, along the edge of these wild lands are farms with orchards. I have heard stories of people, locally, seeing them in their fruit and nut trees. So I don’t think they are under any kind of pressure of extinction at this time.

    What I don’t agree with is the idea that one must be murdered to save them. That is a bunch of bull. These men are essentially trophy hunters. They have selfish reasons for what they are attempting to do. It has nothing to do with saving the species or the advancement of science. The species doesn’t need saving. I happen to know this. I have found that there are far more Sasquatch out there than I had ever imagined.

    I never carry a weapon out there. They are very intelligent beings and know what weapons are. They can also sense the motives of humans. They will not attack without being provoked. They may intimidate, at times, in an attempt to run a human out. But attacks have been very rare and most of the time I think they were provoked in some manner.

    I can tell by listening to these men on the radio program that they are full of fear from this clan. Anger, by the way, can be another form of fear. As long as they keep trying to set up a kill they have good reason to fear.

    There is a reason Sasquatch, or “wood ape”, as they refer to them, keeps tearing down their blind. They know there is something not right with those structures and the activity within. They were making a statement. They can sense that these men are up to no good. It is a testament to their keen instincts. Bigfoot is much smarter than these dumb hicks.

  10. Ploughboy responds:

    Becho….any accounts you’d be willing to share with us? I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and understanding on this topic. If not, no problem.

  11. dconstrukt responds:


    Becho – haven’t laughed that hard in a week!

    I never carry a weapon out there. They are very intelligent beings and know what weapons are. They can also sense the motives of humans. They will not attack without being provoked. They may intimidate, at times, in an attempt to run a human out. But attacks have been very rare and most of the time I think they were provoked in some manner.

    I gotta hear him explain himself and these comments …

    so they’re very intelligent beings eh?

    Have you sat down with them, have a latte and had a conversation?

    Do you even have proof they are even real?

    Oh, so they can sense the motives of humans?

    how’d you discover this one? did you ask professor X from Xmen to communicate with them telepathically to figure this out.

    I’m dying to hear the answers…. peeing in my pants after reading your comments…

  12. Ploughboy responds:

    Deconstrukt, you are now certain to be crowned the smartest guy here. Thanks for your pithy rejoinder. Any bets on whether a poster with an experience is likely to share them with you, or us? Thanks for the help.

  13. Goodfoot responds:

    Ploughboy: ROFL. We just witnessed a little episode that will forever be known as “dconstrukt Uncloaked”.

  14. Ploughboy responds:

    @Goodfoot…yep, never fails to astound. Let’s prove how clever we are AND suppress anyone’s inclination to share evidence to boot. You get your own bias confirmed when they don’t post it, so it is a three-fer. YAAAA!!!!

    Is it any wonder we get nowhere when we alienate the very people who might have points to contribute, from their own experiences? Not interested in hearing those? Go somewhere would be my earnest wish.

  15. Goodfoot responds:

    ploughboy: If I wasn’t interested in hearing the views of others, I wouldn’t be here.

  16. Becho responds:

    It’s alright ploughboy, I really got a good laugh out of their comments. I don’t expect anyone to believe me. I don’t really care. Most of the people that do believe me are the ones that have had their own experience. In fact I know many of these people because I live in area where there is a large population scattered over several hundred miles. Like I’ve said on this site before, it is a very personal experience and hard to convey to others in any manner that would convince them. In fact, I am not in any hurry for them to be considered real. I think they are doing just fine without a bunch of yahoo’s out there bothering them. Now this is going to get a good laugh from dcunstrukt, I have some evidence such as audio, pictures and video of prints and I might share them when I decide I care enough to. But, really my evidence isn’t that great compared to some I’ve seen so, big deal. Who cares to see another print or hear another audio?

    When I was growing up I always thought there was something magical and mysterious about the wilderness. I went out hundreds of times over a few years and only found one possible footprint. Then one day I smelled something and heard some knocking. That gave me a boost of ambition. I studied and I hiked and I figured it out and then I made subtle contact. They don’t come in and shake your hand and sit down on the whoopee cushion. They stay on the periphery and only approach when they can’t be visualized. Now when I go out, the wilderness is even more of a magical place. In fact (another laugh coming, dconstrukt) I feel almost as if I’m in some kind of fantasy. It is most astounding!

  17. dconstrukt responds:


    dude…. you can’t make shit up this funny…. i’m cracking up here!

    Ahhhhh… so you ALSO know how they wanna be approached now too?

    lemme guess.. you tried a pickup line… it didnt work, so now, you know how they wanna be approached….

    oh, and there’s a large population of them nearby?

    did you stumble upon them while walking through the woods?

    or wait.. you google mapped them and found this out.

    And yes… you have proof… of something not proven yet to be real… but its not as good as other stuff out there….

    considering 99% of the “proof” is utter garbage, and yours is worse than that… well… i’m left to assume yours is even crappier than their crap.

    oh… and you smelled *something* in the woods… WAIT, IT’S GOTTA BE BIGFOOT!

    LOL…. dude… the only thing magical here, are the mushrooms you’ve been eating which have severely affected your reality…

    Thanks for the laughs…

    (shakes his head)

    what a jabroni!

  18. Ploughboy responds:

    Well, a big thanks Becho for posting that. We are very long on posterior-produced opinions here, and short on sharing first-hand knowledge. I have this impression of the internet that is sort of like that corner table at the local cafe where the old coots gather to swap their opinions on everything, unbidden, and to the everlasting frustration of those who just want to get the local news.

    Goodfoot and I, and many others though appreciate our opinions might not be the God’s gift to knowledge we may have otherwise convinced ouselves they are.

    So, it sounds like you definitely reached a tipping point? Was it one incident, or a collection of them? Anything you think you’ve learned about the critter others may not commonly know?

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