. . . when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. Sherlock Holmes In case you haven’t noticed, it is Bigfoot season again. When the rainy season ends and the cold fronts begin to move in, the Bigfoots emerge from hiding. Already this fall, mass Bigfoot sightings have begun in Florida: a Lakeland man shot one in the Green Swamp (it got away), an Apopka security guard was scratched by one at a nursery, a hitchhiker near Belleview saw one and the smell (not the Bigfoot) knocked him down. The Suncoast is no exception: this month five were seen near Brooksville (where more Bigfoots are sighted than anywhere else in Florida). They have been sighted near S.R. 583 in Safety Harbor, on the shores of the Pithlacoo-chee River, strolling along lonely Pasco County roadways, at Little Salt Springs south of Sarasota, thrashing about in a Venice wilderness, and crossing S.R. 476 up in Citrus County. Just last Thursday, Port Richey high school student David Humphrey was chased across the Bay Boulevard bridge by one. These are real Bigfoots, now, not the ones who will be appearing at your door tonight grunting “Trick or Treat.” You hope. One never knows for sure. That’s why we have thoroughly researched the Bigfoot phenomena to prepare a sort of Bigfoot primer to aid in distinguishing the actual abominables from the hirsute heathens. How do you know a Bigfoot is nearby? One always senses the presence of a Bigfoot before it appears. A severe feeling of nausea and fright will take hold one minute before a Bigfoot appears. The fright is understandable. A scale devised by Dr. Grover Krantz (physical anthropologist at Washington State University) puts the average Bigfoot at between seven and nine feet tall. It weighs between 500 and 1,000 pounds (a 12-footer weighs 2,350 pounds) with a 5.8-inch heel breadth and four-to-six foot stride. The nausea is advance warning of the worst case of B.O. you’ll ever encounter. How do Bigfoots smell? ” Bad. Real bad. So bad, that those who have been near Bigfoots have trouble describing the odor, most settling for a combination of the following: rotten meat, skunk, rotten eggs, moldy cheese, goat dung, and burnt sul- phur. Much traveled Bigfoot author Ivan Sanderson says the smell is ciose to that emitted by the “pygmies of the Ituri Forest of the Congo Uele” (and that we smell like “boiled rabbit” to Bigfoots). Suncoast Bigfoot spotter John Sohl says it is “like being downwind from the Toytown dump.” Charles Stoekman, whose Florida Keys home is constantly plagued by Bigfoots, claims they smell “like a dog that hasn’t been bathed in a year and suddenly gets rained on.” What don’t Bigfoots like? Rain. They like rivers and swimming pools, but nix on rain. When a Bigfoot gets rained upon, it shakes its arms vigorously until they are dry. Bigfoots do not like shotguns. A New Port Richey woman saw one in her backyard and threw a bag of garbage and a cooler filled with trash at the monster. It didn’t budge. Bigfoots love garbage. But when her husband emerged with a shotgun, it was long gone. When is one safe from Bigfoots? If it is raining or you are with someone owns a shotgun. What do Bigfoots like? Tricycles. Experts don’t know why but there have been numerous reports of Bigfoots walking off with trikes. They like to eat rats (which they squash before eating), decapitated racoons and ducks (which they . . . well, you get the picture), flour pancakes and frogs of any size. Bigfoots pull the tongues out of everything they eat. Experts feel they do this because they resent not having the power of speech. Bigfoots also like fire. What is the greatest ambition of a Bigfoot’s life? To start a fire. In fact, one way of tracking a Bigfoot is looking for the piles of branches and twigs it leaves. Try as it might, a Bigfoot cannot start a fire. What is an average day in the life of a Bigfoot like? Eating, trying to start fires, running from rain, searching for tricycles. What are some other interesting facts about Bigfoots? When more than one Bigfoot are together, they walk in order of size, tallest to shortest. Bigfoots are nocturnal, omnivorous, bury their dead and hide in trenches covered by branches and leaves. They are said to be direct descen-dents of Esau, whom the Bible describes as smelling like a “field of rotten potatoes.” Is Bigfoot known by any other name? Sasquateh (NW U.S.), Skunk Ape (SE U.S.), Yeti (Himalayas), Big-Unn (Pasco County), Yequi (Tibet), Sisimito (Honduras), Shookpa (Nepal), Jacko (Rocky Mountains), Mi-Go (Bhutan), Shiru (Andes) and Gin-Sung (Central China). What do Bigfoots look like? Massive shoulders. Body covered with dark hair. V-shaped chest. The bulk is equal to a six-foot human weighing between 300 and 400 pounds. The hands are wide with long palms, short fingers and thumbs nearly the same length as fingers. Forearms are long, biceps thick, hands reach to the knees. Bigfoots have a knot on the back, no neck and a small lump of a head which resembles the peaked hump of a yak. The face is hairless but not Neanderthal, as most think. The forehead slopes only slightly, the nose is pugged with nostrils flowing into the upper lip and there is a tuft of thick hair running across the forehead. Eyes are glowing and cat-like and have been described as both hot pink and yellow. How does Bigfoot sound? The call of the Bigfoot is a high-pitched shrill bark, 10 times louder than a dog, like a coach’s whistle blown in a tunnel and amplified. It is said that baby Bigfoots are born with the sense of language but lose it by maturity since there is no one else to talk to. There are only two Bigfoot words on record “hu hu,” and “ook.” Why is it called Bigfoot? Because its feet are at least 17-inches long, calloused on the edges, have short metatarsels, an equal row of straight toes (slightly webbed), wide heels and double balls. Young Bigfoots have arched feet; older ones are flatfooted. The footprint is 3-6 times deeper than a man’s. Bigfoots often have deformed right feet, although experts cannot figure out why. What should you do if you see a Bigfoot tonight? Put a tricycle in its “hu-hu or ook” bag and Bigfoot will leave you alone.
Article from The Tampa Bay Sun from October 77