Is Manimal More Man Than Animal?
by Dmitri Bayanov © 2006
International Center of Hominology
In my book, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman, 1996, I told about a local teacher in Eastern Kazakhstan, named Mstislav Kushnikov, who “has heard stories about ksy-gyik (wild man) from the locals and personally saw huge footprints at the place of one sighting. He opened a regional museum and one of its paintings, done by a local artist, is an enlarged copy of a picture in a textbook of anthropology showing a Neanderthal in front of his cave. Once a young tractor-driver from a nearby village scrutinized that picture for a long time and said: “I’ve seen a type of this kind, only female. She had dangling breasts and her skin was not as naked as in this one in the picture… her body was covered with long, shaggy, dark-brown hair.”(p.104)
The reported sleeping position of the Ksy-gyik.
I recalled that episode when reading the following lines in Janice’s story: “At that time in school we were studying the subject of prehistoric man. I made the crucial mistake of pointing out that we had a family of Bigfoot on our place that looked a lot like Neanderthal man except much hairier. I will never forget the consequences for this slip of the tongue. My teacher told me I was a liar and my classmates made me out an outcast. (…) I ended up changing schools and attending another high school for two years thereafter.”(p.171)
Thom Powell, in his book The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon, 2003, tells of the capture of a seven-foot hairy male during a forest fire in Nevada in August 1999, as reported by an anonymous witness (why anonymous is well explained there). The captive had “multiple burns to hands, feet, legs, and body”. He was given medical care, “tranquilized and moved to unknown location”. The witness mentions “human like arms and legs, face not like man or ape but mixed between”. Witness “felt he was in the presence of a very human creature”, said he “will always be a believer of their existence beyond any shadow of a doubt as seen with my own eyes, smelled with my own nose and heard with my own ears. His image is still as visible as it was then. No monster, no animal but a linage of native man. (…) Specifics, features, anatomy? Well, stand in front of the mirror and think of man’s evolution.” (pp.219, 224, 228)
So time to think of man’s evolution and Bigfoot’s place in it. The pet theory of the “ape model” proponents is that Bigfoot is the product of so-called parallel evolution. According to genetic findings, man and chimpanzees are more closely related than chimpanzees and orangutans. It is argued that Bigfoot descend from the orangutan line of primates, and therefore genetically more different from man than chimpanzees. Why then are Bigfoot bipedal? Just as a result of parallel evolution — independent development of upright locomotion in a separate from man line of primates.
That is conceivable. Insects, birds and bats, for example, had mastered flying quite independently and each kind in its own way. Birds and our primate ancestors became bipedal as a result of independent causes. What about intelligence? It also develops independently and parallel in different kinds of animals. Crows and parrots are very intelligent, pigeons are not. Dogs, cats and rats are intelligent, rabbits are not. So it is conceivable that primates of a separate evolutionary line from ours could reach a very high level of intelligence. If they happen to be bipedal and show high intelligence, how can we know they represent a parallel line of primate evolution? By means of a biochemical analysis of their proteins, for example.
One such analysis is mentioned in Grover Krantz’s book. On page 127 he tells that Dr. Jerold Lowenstein, a biochemist in San Francisco, analyzed a few hairs collected by Bob Titmus and supposed to be Bigfoot. “Lowenstein was able to compare the protein structure and found it similar to human and African apes; it was less similar to orangs, thus eliminating them and all other animals from consideration. Differences in protein are better indicators of relationships than are visible structures because these are nonadaptive… Lowenstein’s test was not fine enough to say “yes” or “no” to the closest matches (human, chimp, and gorilla), or whether it was a new type within this group.”
As to visible structures of supposed Bigfoot hairs, they have been analyzed under microscope by Dr. Fahrenbach. In this work human hair was for him the only “confounding variable”. This means that in its structure Bigfoot hair and human hair are variables of one type of hair, different from the hair of apes and other animals.
DNA analyses of supposed Bigfoot hair and scat also show them to be “human”, even without any variables The analysts tend to interpret these results as contamination of the material by human DNA from the people who collected those samples. Will Duncan, who initiated DNA analyses of such material from the Carter farm, thinks otherwise and refers to the opinion of an expert: “A scientist in Michigan began to independently suspect that the human DNA he was getting from various purported BF hair samples was, in fact, not contamination but from BF”. It is thought, writes Duncan, that our close relatives, and perhaps other closely related hominids of unknown types, “would have nuclear DNA matching the human pattern. Without having knowledge of what difference would be there, and at which point of the genome to look for them, we don’t presently know how their DNA would differ from ours.”
Thus there is no indication that Bigfoot are the result of parallel evolution and only distant relattves of humans. On the contrary, there are signs of a very close relationship. If so, crossbreeding can be banked on. In Europe, Asia and Australia there are legends, as well as old and not so old reports, of crossbreeding between “wild men” and normal humans. The Zana Case in the Caucasus is one of the best known of this kind.
Some years ago I learned that a similar case is on record in America, though never mentioned in the books of leading investigators. I came across it in S’Cwene’y'ti and the Stick Indians of the Colvilles: The Interaction of Large Bipedal Hominids with American Indians as reported by Dr. Ed Fusch, Anthropologist, 1992. The paper was sent to me by the late Don Davis, and I understand this material is posted on Bobbie Short’s Bigfoot Encounters website. The following are quotations from Dr. Ed Fusch’s report:
“The “Old Timers” among the Spokane Indians had some very strong and unshakable beliefs about him: Belief number 1 — and strongest of these beliefs was that S’cwene’y'ti was NOT an animal”. “S’cwene’y'ti was accepted by the Indians as part of their environment, like the deer and bear. He was not considered an animal, but people”. “Sasquatch was referred to by several different names but a common conceptual thread permeates all their beliefs. He was always considered a human being, members of their own species. Prior to the arrival of the white man, the only people known to the Indians were other Indians and Sasquatch. The Lake Band of Indians called him “Skanicum” which translates to “Stick Indian”. “S’cwene’y'ti was known by the Spokane Indians to interact also with human females”. “Laura states that there are areas just south of Nespelem and about two miles north of the Columbia River where she can call Skanicum (in his language, she knows how) and he will answer. She believes that they live in the area. At one time she encountered a large male Skanicum on the highway near Nespelem. It tried to converse with her, making organized sounds, leaving her to believe that they have a language. She left quickly”. “One girl was kidnapped by the S’cwene’y'ti people and not returned until she was grown woman”. “While cooking dinner one of the women, a recent bride through bride-purchase, took a kettle and went off after water. Minutes later she was heard screaming. The men rushed to the scene but could only stand and watch as Skanicum carried her off. They knew that Skanicum was very vengeful and if harmed the captive may be injured and the mountains would not be safe for any Indian. (…) She was with Skanicum all summer, or at least a couple of months, when the men searching for her on horseback saw her gathering wild potato roots. Skanicum was asleep nearby. Upon seeing the men she emptied her lap of the potatoes, crept quietly to them, leaped on one of the horses behind its rider, and thus escaped. Upon return to camp all of the Indians immediately broke camp and hastily departed the area. During her stay with Skanicum the woman had gathered roots, etc., which they shared. Skanicum eats anything that other people eat but lives primarily on roots such as that of the thule (tooly) or cattail plant, which they gather, dry, and store in caves. They build fires with flint stone and steal hides from Indians, which they use for bedding and to cover the entrance to their cave. During her stay with Skanicum the woman became pregnant and bore a son named Patrick, who grew up on the reservation. Patrick’s body structure was very different from that of other Indians as his arms were very long, reaching about to his knees. He was very short, about 5’4″ tall (his mother was described as “tiny”), possessed a sloping forehead, very large lower jaw, a very large wide mouth with straight upper and lower lips, and straight protruding teeth. He was kind of stooped, or hump-backed. His ears were elongated upwards (peaked) and bent outward at the top. He had very large hands and long fingers, is described as very ugly although extremely intelligent. He attended school on the reservation, was “very smart”, operated a ranch in the area, died at about the age of 30, and is buried on the reservation. (…) From his marriage to Laura’s cousin were born three daughters and two sons.” The oldest daughter, Mary Louise, “now about 65 years old .”” Mary Louise lives near Omak.”
Believe it or not, according to Janice, Bigfoot even have a word of their own for Bigfoot-human crossbreeds. In the vocabulary she compiled, under number 112, we read: “Hanke-Wasichun = Half blooded (as in if a Bigfoot and a human have a baby together).”
Legends? Well, I wish our North American colleagues would devote as much time and effort to verifying the Patrick legend as Igor Bourtsev has devoted to exploring the Zana legend.
Of all the questions raised in this discussion the question of Bigfoot language is the crucial one.
No wonder then that Dr. Henner Fahrenbach hastened to send me a warning already: “Dear Dmitri, with all due respect to Jan’s involvement and efforts with Fox and her other Sasquatch, I would preach extreme caution about accepting any of her assessments of their language abilities.”
He further explains his caution by her unacceptable assessment and interpretation of the sounds on the Sierra Sounds audiotapes. I am grateful to Henner for his response, and his advice is well taken. Yes, Janice’s account regarding the Bigfoot language sounds quite fantastic at our stage of knowledge and ignorance. I am impressed though by the way Janice describes how they speak. In theory it is expectable that pre-sapiens hominids should speak in the way Janice describes. How could she know that? And the notebooks in which she wrote down the alleged Bigfoot words are real and still existing.
And this is what Will Duncan hastened to put in: “Hello Dmitri and Henner, from the perspective of three years’ involvement in the Carter Farm situation, I presently am telling people this: We have absolutely no hard evidence of the language abilities of her BF. By this I mean we have no sound recordings, no videos of them talking (or otherwise) and so on. We do have anecdotal evidence that they may be able to speak or to mimic speech. Specifically, Jan says they can. Lila says they can, Gene and Michelle McCauley told me they heard Fox say “Hello”, Paul Coy told me he heard Janice talking with Fox but couldn’t understand him, and I personally heard murmuring vocalizations sounding like moderately deep human voices coming from the area of the main barn while I was in front of the house and there were no people around. (…) I do not contend that any of this information is conclusive. But it is very suggestive and points to avenues for future investigation. It would be foolish to ignore it. If BF has human DNA it would make its purported language abilities easier to understand. Certainly Janice’s story, as difficult as much of it is to swallow whole, indicates they are people of some sort rather than apes, just as Albert Ostman and many of the Native reports suggest.”
© 2006 Dmitri Bayanov
International Center of Hominology