In the beginning of things men were animals and animals men. ~ Algonquin saying

"For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons." ~ The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sacrificial Lambs Unto the Demon: Batsquatch in Oregon

From my Trickster's Realm column on Tim Binnall's Binnall of America site. This was posted on BoA May 11, 2009.

I've received several e-mails the past couple of days from someone here in Lane County, Oregon about a supposed "batsquatch" sighting. The sighting occurred around 1:00 a.m. in a rural area; about ten miles from my home.

According to the person who contacted me, he told me he was e-mailing me on behalf of the 19 year old witness.

You can read more about the e-mail exchanges on my blogs Frame 352 and Mothman Flutterings. Basically, the man was startled by a noise, found he had locked himself out of the house, started to look around for a way to get back in, when he caught sight of the creature:

The "thing" was about 15 ft. from the witness at about 1:15 A.M. behind his house. He accidentally locked himself out of his house while working in his garage late last night. He went around to the back of his house to climb in through a window. He heard something and used the light from his cell phone, pointing it in the direction of the sound. The thing had a human form only quite large over seven feet with red reflecting eyes and very large wings. It jumped into the air flying off with the sound of massive air displacement with each wing stroke.

For some reason, the whole thing seemed fishy to me. I wondered at the fact someone was working in his garage at 1:15 a.m., and presumably during heavy rain (until a day or so ago the weather has been very stormy) and managed to lock himself out of his house on top of it. (Why did he lock his door in a rural area?) It sort of screamed crank freak to me. But that's my bias, and of course, who knows.

What deeply disturbed me was the plan to trap this thing by using a lamb as live bait:

Can it be baited with a lamb? I'm thinking of putting shark hooks with 3/32" braided steel leader in the lamb's fur along the back. I want to tether the lamb near the edge of a field near the woods. I am concerned about coyotes getting the lamb first.

I e-mailed this person, discouraging him from doing such a gratuitous thing. He responded by saying this creature was a "demon," and both he and the witness are Christians. The sad irony of the symbolism of the lamb offered as a sacrifice seems to have escaped him, even after I pointed it out to him. He e-mailed me:

Demons feed off of fear. When faced with them, don't be intimidated and yes, I am a believer in Jesus as the Christ, Son of God. Demons are actually cowardly when they are confronted with faith in God. I am concerned for the safety of the young man that told me the story. His faith may not be strong enough to sustain him.

He assured me he plans to go ahead with the plan this weekend (May 10th, which is Mother's Day. Hmmm...) and will take pictures. His justification for using a live animal as bait is that predators in the area eat lamb:
here are coyotes, black bears, one lynx, and a couple of cougars in the area so the lamb may end up eaten one way or the other.
My last reply (at the time of this writing) follows:

So, very sad to say, it seems you intend to go ahead with this and sacrifice a lamb to gratify an ego-driven need to "prove" to the world such a "demonic" creature exists. The fact that bear, cougar, coyote, etc. kill livestock does not make this okay. One is the natural predation of creatures upon another; yours is an ego driven choice made out of a religious conviction, not a need to eat for survival.

By the way, if you really believe any of this, the fact (in your view) this thing is a "demon" -- well, does it even need food? Why not try a sort of exorcism, without the lamb? Prayer, light, intent, focus, etc. -- that might go a long way.

Also, if it's a demon, do you really think such a creature would hold still within the confines of being held prisoner in a lab somewhere, especially a government lab? For no doubt the authorities would get involved a fantastic find.

Do you really trust the Big Science Infrastructure (talk about demons) and government that much -- that they wouldn't kill this thing, cut it up, and hide it away after they've done what they've wanted? And how much credit or vindication do you think such authorities would grant you in regards to the proof of this creature? You're really back at square one.

I haven't heard back from this person after my last response, and I hope I don't -- I doubt that I will. I'm afraid however, that, if any of this is true and these two people believe there actually is a "demon" creature out there, they will indeed be gung ho and happily hook up a live lamb, lie in wait, and cause a big mess, without capturing anything anomalous.

Cryptozoology has its share of people like this; who think nothing of using live bait in attempts to capture, dead or alive, a "monster." These two men are not researchers in any way, but it's a sad example of the kinds of people that one encounters sometimes.

Maybe I don't have the stomach of it, well, I don't -- it's an interesting story, and I'm content to leave it at that. This little encounter has raised some questions for me though; do I go by intuition in dealing with people, do I ignore it, do I acknowledge yet continue on? I think being a woman has something to do with this; it'd be pretty damn stupid of me to go off alone to a stranger's rural property -- one who thinks nothing of tying up live animals to trap a "demon" -- and that's one of the reasons it's helpful to have support in field research in terms of teams and organizations. However, I'm not a field researcher and in this case, glad I'm not.

UPDATE as of June 3, 2010: never did hear back from this person, or come across any info on this kind of sighting in my area, or Oregon in general.

Image: Zurbar, Agnus Dei (The Lamb of God), 1635-1640

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