POCATELLO — Of the three experts speaking in Pocatello on Saturday, two agree that the sasquatch, more commonly referred to as Bigfoot, is typically a creature that shouldn’t be feared, but one that can be provoked.
The third said he’s certain one should keep a distance from the creature.
“They still scare the hell out of me,” said Scott Nelson, an expert on the creature’s language. “As much as I wished I could go and bond with them, some of the stuff me and my son have been through with Ron (a friend of his) in Kansas and Missouri, I can’t get to that place.”
The question about the danger a Bigfoot poses was asked during a panel discussion at the Walking With Bigfoot convention hosted Saturday at the Clarion Inn in Pocatello.
Nelson followed Arla Williams, an expert on Bigfoot culture who said she has spent much time among the creatures. It was Williams who said she has bonded with the creatures she regularly visits.
“I don’t have fear, and I have never had a fear of them,” Williams said.
Thom Cantrall, another Bigfoot expert, said he could only think of one circumstance under which the creature could be easily angered.
“Threaten their children,” he said. “There isn’t a species that I know of that if you threaten their children you aren’t going to be in some kind of danger.”
He quickly followed that up with some reassurance about the creature’s true nature.
“If you think you have a dangerous sasquatch, call me, I will come between you and them,” he said. “They can be hostile, they can be aggressive, but if you use your head and try to understand them, you won’t have a problem.”
When asked about the evolutionary difference in the sasquatch, whether they simply stopped evolving as humans did, all three agreed that while the creature is human-like, it is not human.
“There are so many things about them that will scream human at you when you see some of the things that they do,” Williams said. “But when you look at one — I am talking you are face-to-face, looking at this (because) you are not eye level to eye level with very many of them — it does something to you.”
She said that close contact with the creatures helps you to realize they are not human. The difference between the sasquatch and the human, she said, is that the creature has chosen its path.
“They are not paving streets and dirtying their water,” she said. “They stayed in harmony with the earth. There is a lot they can teach us if we just open our minds.”
Cantrall said that 30,000 to 40,000 years ago, humans and sasquatch co-existed.
“Our species, Homo sapiens, changed,” he said. “We stopped adapting to our environment and started adapting our environment to us. (Sasquatch) didn’t. He continued to adapt to his environment, and that’s the difference between us.”
The daylong event, Walking With Bigfoot, featured speakers and other experts. Among those experts on hand, showing some of the proof he had gathered during his 23 years of looking, was Michael Johnson, an investigator with Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies, based in Colorado.
Johnson, an avid elk hunter, said he began looking into the existence of Bigfoot to find some answers.
“I had some things happen on some hunting trips that I could not explain that piqued my curiosity,” he said. “I started trying to figure out what was going on, and then the evidence started coming at me and this is where it led.”
Among the items Johnson brought with him to Pocatello, some of the evidence he has collected, included a photograph of what he called a gigantic hand print made in mud on the back of his pickup truck, footprints in the dirt where they were searching and a paper plate upon which he put food for the sasquatch that now bears its very large finger prints.
Then there is his latest find.
“That is a feces sample we just found recently,” he said, pointing to a zipped, plastic bag with a large, dark item inside.