Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ABSMs: ALL? or Nothing?

While I admired the thought processes of Dr. Krantz and the type of evidence that he preferred, I began worrying about whether we were dealing with biology here [sort of like the concern with the Loch Ness Monster]. As I noticed some of the distribution maps of ABSM sightings in North America, some seemed unlikely in the extreme. If one feels oneself being driven away from the "biological" solution, then one is staring at two rather different paths: Nonsense vs. Spectacularly Anomalistic. That choice revived an old memory. When I was studying for my PhD at Case Tech, I had a friend studying for his at the across-the-sidewalk school Western Reserve. Bill Baker was a world-class lunatic and a capital hoot. He was also the producer of the major talk show in Cleveland, the Allen Douglas Show. Bill would talk me into, every year on April Fools Day, to go on the show. He was Dr. Wilhelm Van Der Roe and I was Dr. Heinrich Hertz. Operating out of our plush laboratories in Pepper Pike, we had invented such wonders as lightning bolt collectors, the electric banana, and a micro-sound probe that could detect the speeches of past presidents trapped in their easy chairs. To note that some listeners obviously believed us, says much about the potential quality of some of our case reporters. Well, he also talked me into going on TV to speak "as an expert" about a report of bigfoot in downtown Cleveland. With a 20-year-old sportcoat, a too-thin tie with a tight obsessively uptight knot, and a disheveled hair-combing, I was decidedly over-the-top and undoubtedly set cryptozoology in Cleveland back several ice ages. [this was by-the-way my only foray into such misbehavior as shortly thereafter I grew up and began taking things way too seriously]. The point here is that it was never very likely that the big fellow in the news story saw a biological bigfoot in downtown Cleveland, and I'd bet a fair sum that he saw nothing at all. The little map above shows many unlikely spots for roaming cryptoapes of the Krantzian kind to be walking about. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That sort of thinking, of course, drives one towards the "nonsense" theory. But I didn't want to go there too quickly, even though in my shallow studies I didn't have the quality of witness that I "liked" [such as I had at Loch Ness with Father Carruth and Alexander Campbell et al]. The tales of Sasquatch which were resonating with me were the tales of the Native Americans. Some of these seemed like old folklore [like the Windigo] to scare kids into not roaming off alone in the woods, but others had that spiritual or at least uncanny element to them that hints of something more significant. Sasquatch was in the Mythos of the Haida and Kwakiutl etc. just like the Wasgo had been, but with a difference. They had spoken of the Wasgo as belonging to the concrete world, but the Sasquatch [even though a land dweller] as part of the group of powerful animal-spirits linked to the ocean--sort of like another reality from which they and their power emanated. These were the real spirit-gods and, I believe that trickster gods like Raven [or coyote, further south] were denizens of that realm as well. So, we're on the edge of All-the-Way-Fool again.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just sat that all aside. I was no expert, and obviously didn't know what I was talking about. I tried, poorly, to keep a little track--weird ideas would come up, and plenty of hoaxes and people going so far as to threaten and punch out others at meetings [and we thought we had it bad in UFOlogy!]--and then I began to notice Bigfoot creeping into UFOlogy. Well, NOT welcome, not welcome at all. Along came encounters reports, most of them having no UFO around but some did. I was impressed by the pretty blonde girl and her mother, driving along, when a hairy white-furred "ape" reached into their car, jostling her and banging into her eye with the resultant bruise in the picture. Since this was two-witness and report-to-cops, it was the type of report that I like. But Michigan? As time went by, some people were claiming that Michigan was becoming a Bigfoot garden spot. Hmmm. Maybe. But not Biology in the Krantzian mode. But IF not, and if the pretty girl and her mom were honest [how can you not trust a pretty girl and her mom?], then what in or out of the world were we dealing with?-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
According to my "guts', ABSMs and UFOs are not supposed to mix. I had been aware that an Indiana UFOlogist, Don Worley, had collected several such cases, but ignored it. Then, I found that another UFOlogist, Stan Gordon of Pennsylvania, had a whole Flap's worth of ABSMs on his hands. Gordon was, and is [due to his work at trying to find the answer as to what went on when the military retrieved a large object at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania in the 60s] well known. Still the cases felt "wrong" to me. The creatures were right out of Halloween or Transylvania--absolutely NOT Krantzian--and more like big hairy goblins than biology either here or "out there". But could this sort of case be honestly ignored? Actually, I don't know the answer to that. I know that the fact that footprints were found which violate normal mammalian anatomy [three-toes, a la running dinosaurs] doesn't sit well with me. But if the witnesses, some multiples, are good then what am I to say? A good friend once said that he was conclusively convinced that ABSM-type entities co-exist with UFO reports. A researcher in Australia once made a whole catalog of them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Creepy is the word for these sorts of UFO encounters [if such they are] and frankly "creepy" is not the norm. "Creepy" has more typified matters of the paranormal "nature" entities than UFO CE3s. But UFO researchers field these things. One of our best, Bill Chalker, looked into a 1975 multiple-witness case in Tailem Bend, South Australia where the "Yowie" [Ozzy's ABSM] was striding down the road carrying a lantern. In 1973, two teenage girls in Beaver County PA reported an 7+ foot tall white-haired ABSM carrying a lighted sphere. John Timmerman got a report from a military man of a 9-footer with dark hair simply disappearing, leaving no traces in the snow. None of these particular cases had a direct connection to a UFO. Now I've got too big a pile of encounters to prefer the "Nonsense" hypothesis. But I have all sorts of things which don't fit the Krantzian biology either. Oh brother, it looks like All-the-Way-Fool. But what sort of fool? Am I in Magonia or Alpha Centauri? Despite the occasional UFO or UFO-like connection, the ETH for these things doesn't fit well---unless they're "games" of some kind, in which case my civilization-type-two amoralists are scaring people, literally for the fun of it. If it's Magonian activity, then they're about their imitative mischief-making again. It would be nicer if these clowns would make this a little easier. With that last thought in mind, I leave the last word to the famous cryptozoologist, Fats Waller, in the last picture collage.


  1. As the blogger at The Blogsquatcher, the subject of UFO/bigfoot connection is one that has interested me for some time. But you can't find most of the good sources for these cases on the internet. Would you be willing to correspond with me about some of your sources? I can be reached at if you're willing.

    Great blog, btw. It's in my regular reading rotation now.

  2. As an old prof, I feel some duty [and it's a moral thing, too] to help people with information when I have it to share. So, I want to say yes. The other side of this is that I seem to fill up my time unexpectedly with things like this @#%* blog itself and I just don't have anywhere near the zip I once had. But I still want to say yes. I do not know how easy it will be for me to transmit information to you in useable form but I suppose we can try. As an idea of the problem, UFO case files come from sources often difficult for anyone to access other than a researcher who has created his own esoteric mountain of materials. Some of the UFO/ABSM stuff is from Flying Saucer Review. Some from other UFO journals. Some is in monographs like the Australian one I alluded to. Other material is even rarer such as audiotapes of witness interviews. As you can tell, the actual data is scattered and of much different ease of transferring. I will try to negotiate the anomalies of the internet to contact you, but I can't promise how much of this stuff, I'll be able to deliver.And, as a fundamental limitation, this is not an area of UFOlogy that I have emphasized in my own research.



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