Hunting For Bigfoot… That Ape-like Thing Baffles Everyone
California Aggie volume 95. #11
April 19th, 1977
By JANE WILSON
If you have ever gone mountain camping you have undoubtedly from time to time experienced the sensation of tinglingfear sent up your spine when a bush rustles or you see two luminous eyes peering at you from the dark. You immediately attempt to pass it off as a friendly little bear or mountain lion. Yet few persons have ever fully considered the possibility of that rustling, brief glimpse of the unknown being an eight foot tall, seven hundred pound ape-like creature – “Bigfoot.”
One person who has fully expounded upon this possibility is an ambitious seventeen-year-old Sacramento resident, Ben Waldroop. In fact, Waldroop is so serious about the famous monster’s existence that he has organized the first California Bigfoot Association, and plans to lead a three week expedition into the Bigfoot country of Mt. Shasta this June.
Being far above his years in terms of drive and intellectual curiosity, Waldroop became fascinated with the legend of Bigfoot over a year ago and began to research the subject in his own time by reading books and becoming a regular at the State Library. With all the sightings of Bigfoot that pour in every year from such California areas as Palmdale, Shasta, and Sonora, not to mention similar mountain regions in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, Waldroop and his small band of supporters sincerely believe Bigfoot exists.
Because Bigfoot has never been captured or studied, Waldroop is careful to assign a note of caution to the Bigfoot theories that he supports. Waldroop describes the ape-like creature as “a man-shy, nomadic animal that lives in dense forest terrain, feeding much like a bear does on fish and vegetation.” According to Waldroop, several things seem to support the fact that Bigfoot might be nomadic, such as the scarcity of its reported sightings and the fact that
no one has ever actually found an established winter den.
When asked how.such a huge creature, supposedly living in or around populated areas, could exist without having been seen regularly, Waldroop alludes to the dense forest where “cover and discretion are naturally facilitated,” and where natural forces “expedite the process of Bigfoot’s carcass decay.” Waldroop also feels that all animals, especially Bigfoot, have a strong sixth sense which forewarns them against possible dangers, man included. He says that because of its successful avoidance of man, “the animal must exhibit superior cunning and intellectual abilities over many other animals.”
Although still seeking financial sponsorship, Waldroop and eight traveling companions, including a physical anthropologist from Sacramento State University, plan to start their trek this June 10. With financial backing they hope to purchase specialized equipment, including an infra-red night vision device which enables utilization of natural night light from the moon and stars; a sound amplification device to record far off noises; and a tranquilizer gun in case they encounter Bigfoot.
The group intends only to capture Bigfoot for a short period of time, study and perhaps tag it, then release it alive and unharmed. Waldroop is quick to make clear that the expedition is “Not for profit, but only for research.”
Waldroop expresses some hesitations about other reports and filmclips such as the movie “Sasquatch.” He feels that some people are out to “capitalize and gain publicity” from the legend. He does feel, however, that researchers have in the past produced some important findings. The young explorer considers the late Roger Patterson, who filmed the famous filmclip of a live Bigfoot in 1967, as noteworthy. “Film experts from a large Los Angeles film company studied the film and found it to be
extremely convincing. They conjectured that it would have taken thousands and thousands of dollars, plus much expertise in anatomy to have produced such a
film,” Waldroop said. Such efforts would be out of the range of the average person, he maintains t addine that he believes that
perhaps more than half of the Bigfoot reports are true. For those who are interested in membership, or just wish to discuss the issue further,, the California Bigfoot Association’s mailing address is P.O. Box 13162, Sacramento, California, 95813.