Stone-Throwing Sasquatch or Poltergeist?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 14th, 2008

MonsterQuest Sasquatch Attack I and Sasquatch II programs show the involvement of stone-throwing Bigfoot as major components of those documentary treatments.

A few Bigfoot researchers may be unaware that “stone-throwing” has been part of the paranormal literature for a long time. Rock-tossing poltergeists are frequently reported in the archives to be found in many kinds of non-cryptozoological studies.

Should old and new accounts of stone-throwing poltergeists be re-evaluated as possible evidence of Bigfoot activity, or should unseen “Sasquatch” or “Windigo” said to be throwing rocks be re-evaluated as poltergeists?

The following is one such historical news item, sent along by Jerome Clark:

Columbia [Pennsylvania] Spy
October 8, 1870

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.

18 Responses to “Stone-Throwing Sasquatch or Poltergeist?”

  1. alandp responds:

    Since we have no conclusive proof that either exists, I see no reason why both possibilities should not be investigated equally.

  2. Hatch responds:

    Actually, there is lots of proof that both exsist, it’s just no one believes until it happens to them.

  3. Larry responds:

    I know people will disagree with this, but my rule is that a phenomenon that violates the basic laws of physics, is not worth investigating. Poltergeists, to the extent they represent disembodied spirits or manifestations of psychokinetic powers violate the laws of physics. We know what it takes to start a fire or loft a stone. The human brain has no way to generate and focus that amount of energy externally. Ergo, it’s a waste of time to investigate.

    Cryptids, on the other hand, violate no such laws. There are biological restrictions relating to breeding populations, availability of food, etc. But, there is no reason to reject them out of hand.

    I say follow the Bigfoot angle, drop the spirits. The questions raised in the MQ episode about the ripening of blueberries is interesting and someone should try and correlate that to BF sighting. Next time camera traps are set, do it around blueberry bushes.

  4. Ceroill responds:

    This brings to my mind Fort’s thought of proposing a natural force of teleportation to explain mysterious displacements and movements of objects and animals, and even people. Poltergeist phenomena might be squeezed in there, I suppose.

  5. GhostFace responds:

    Yeah, there’s proof and lot’s of it.. But I’ve yet to see CONCLUSIVE proof of either.

  6. eireman responds:

    The Centrahoma Poltergeist incident initially involved stones being thrown at the residents of a home in that small Oklahoma town. I say “initially” because the story only grew from there and it is hard to say how much became fabricated over time to keep the tale interesting for all the media focused on it. Because it was, at the time, a national story that carried the potential to make the right people famous. So, could it have had a bigfoot element that started it only to later be spun into a fantastic tale of poltergeist activity? Dunno. But I won’t dismiss either out of hand entirely.

  7. Goodfoot responds:

    Don’t poltergeists operate within the confines of a room or house solely? It would be kinda hard for them to throw stones against the outside of a house, from inside the house!

    Let polters be polters and Bigfoots be Bigfoots!

  8. wisaaka responds:

    From what I understand, a poltergeist in the most rigid sense is essentially a vortex of energy that emanates from an individual. The phenomenon is, when it actually happens not as seen in popular culture, almost always a kinetic energy that has a starting point in the center of the person and gradually decreases the further it gets away from the person. [One could get a good idea of what Im saying but the Rosenheim Poltergeist case from Germany, though I haven’t found a very good detailed description of it online.]
    Thus I think its highly unlikely that stone throwing (in Sasquatch reports) has to do with poltergeist phenomenon, since by definition that would entail that a person would need to be present within the range of say 50-100 feet the person whom is getting the stones thrown at them or near them. That scenario doesn’t seem logical when most reports I hear, come from people in very remote places. Also, the “stone thrower” would need to be outside the radius of the witnesses, because the reported vortex of energy in poltergeist cases is always discharges in a direction away from the person manifesting the phenomenon.
    But there is a way around the poltergeist theory. One could hypothesis that rock throwing is a phenomenon caused by the witness(es) expectations or hopes. A good example of how this could take place can be found in the book “Conjuring Up Phillip” which is the findings of a study done by The Toronto Society Of Psychical Research. It showed that group could cause physical manifestations such as table knocking and physical manipulation of objects by concentration and expectation. Phillip, the name of the entity being “contacted” was an entirely fictitious and the study was conducted to see if a mind or a group mind could produce physical results (which it did). (in 1974 a film was released “Philip: the Imaginary Ghost” which is the actually recordings from the experiment).
    So I think where as its almost completely implausible that poltergeist phenomenon is a likely culprit for rock throwing, I think it is plausible that (some) “witnesses” of rock throwing could be causing the situation themselves.

  9. proriter responds:

    Poltergeists who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

  10. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    Goodfoot: Actually no. Poltergeists can operate anywhere, they are just more likely in a house or similar enviroment. The story cited above is very much in keeping with traditional poltergeist activity.
    I do some paranormal investigating and am finishing up a book in which one of the chapters covers the subject of hauntings (along with cryptid animals, odd coincidences, and UFO reports around Indiana), so I have studied the phenomena rather extensively.

    I agree that we need to seperate out the paranormal from the unknown normal (can I call it cryptonormal? 🙂 but that becomes difficult when we have so many cryptid reports that have paranormal overtones! In many cryptid cases, the two fuse together into a hopeless mess that defies scientific investigation.

  11. Ferret responds:

    Cool article! I feel that the idea of Bigfoot being the cause of this event is unlikely. The reason being is that (as far as we know) if Bigfoot exists it is likely to be a “normal” zoological creature, whereas “normal” represents the theories and ideas regarding biology, chemistry, and physics that are commonly held as truth. So if these stones were being thrown by a 6/7 foot tall animal it seems unlikely it could knock on the door and then immediately be gone. And as that “…no cause for the knocking could be discovered…” it seems that the idea that an object was thrown is impossible. Therefore we must assume that is the event really took place, someone or something, physically knocked on the door, unless of course our ideas about how sound works are wrong and this is some sort of “quantum knock”. Now with that said this event alone cannot rule out Bigfoot’s involvement because there is no reason (only a natural tendency) to assume that the cause of the knocking is the same as the cause for the stone throwing. It is conceivable that Bigfoot (or perhaps more likely, several Bigfoots due to the quantity and rapid nature of the rocks that were thrown after the final guard was called in) is throwing rocks and something else is responsible for the knocking…spirits, ghosts, PK, or some sort of ordinary cause that is being mistaken for something paranormal due to the rock throwing, we really can’t be sure. So in short, I’ve got no idea what the cause of this event is, but it’s a really cool article!

  12. sschaper responds:

    The report does sound like primate behavior, and consistent with other Bigfoot reports.

  13. DWA responds:

    The angle I’d take on this is most relevant to the first three posts, so I’m focusing on them. The others seemed variations on the theme or …oh shoot, you know how this works. First three. Here we go.

    First: alandp. I wouldn’t focus on both equally because of no proof. I would go with the alternative that (1) seems most plausible, from what we know about physics and nature in general; and for which (2) there is a lot of evidence pointing to a consistently-described physical entity. That’s the cryptid angle.

    Second: hatch. Unfortunately there is NO proof, unless one counts the personal proof of witnesses. If I were a witness, I’d have my proof. But that hasn’t been enough to move to the cultural proof, i.e., universal acceptance of the phenomenon as real. Both of these phenomena remain hallucinatory until we get the latter.

    Third: Larry. Gotta go with Larry on this. The sasquatch angle can be and is being investigated using protocols common to those that wildlife biologists use for known species. People with considerable command of the evidence are in general agreement that this is the way to go.

    I’d go that way, until something compelling and tangible – OK, maybe a lot of such somethings – dictates otherwise.

    I won’t go so far as saying the poltergeist angle is a waste of time. Someone may know something I don’t. But I would have to hear what that is.

  14. cryptidsrus responds:

    I would have to disagree with Larry on his comment that “poltergeist” should not be investigated. Maybe not NOW, but who’s to say in the future ways will not be found to investigate these paranormal incidents properly? And who’s to say “paranormal” stuff is actually a normal part of the universe?

  15. stranger responds:

    I think you would have to go on a case by case basis. The 19th century reports are always great to read, but present real drawbacks.

    Problem 1 – There could easily be someone pulling the readers leg. Apparently, this is what “journalists” did before Britney Spears, O.J., and Brangelina. We would have to verify the integrity of the writer and newspaper.

    Problem 2 – Hoax? If the writer has no firsthand knowledge, we have to question the character and motives of the witnesses.

    Problem 3 – Insufficient information in the story. We are sorely lacking details of the topography and vegetation at the site. Obviously, Bigfoot needs serious cover in daylight if he is a primate or other flesh and blood entity, no matter how quick. We are also missing sufficient knowledge of the structure and its blind spots. One wall without windows really makes a difference. Logically, if the house still exists with any of its original damaged siding and can be related to its 1870 site, modern methods could tell us a lot about any projectiles. If Bigfoot can wing a 4 pound rock 200 yards, Major League Baseball may want to underwrite the investigation.

    Problem 4 – Outside of the above, there is no suggestive information for or against either explanation. Would anything bar a poltergeist or spirit from entering the house or otherwise escalating besides idiosyncrasy? Unknown. No mention of cries, smells, or tracks that would prefer a Bigfoot hypothesis. We are simply left in the dark.

  16. korollocke responds:

    The rock apes in Nam used to throw rocks at us, thats why we were very careful with grenades, they would through them back!

  17. stranger responds:

    FYI – A quick web pass indicates that Leavenworth is located in Crawford County, Indiana. Population appears to have been relatively low and stable. The county has plenty of hills and is mostly forested, so good Bigfoot habitat. I found a reference to a Mr. Benson producing salt from brine wells in 1870.

    Haven’t pinned down a location, but should be in western or southern Crawford County. If the house still exists, this is just west of Louisville, Kentucky. Any thoughts?

  18. wooddevil responds:

    Bigfoot has been seen in connection with poltergeist activity, which is one of many things that prove that is something beyond just an animal. For example, I read an incident in which a bigfoot researcher begin experiencing poltergeist activity not too long after he started his bigfoot research.

    What people don’t understand is that both bigfoot and poltergeists originate from the same source.

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