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March 30, 2017

Oregon Man Determined To Prove Bigfoot Exists In America

By Jayson Jacoby

The Baker City Herald

Baker City, OR (AP) - There’s a plaster cast of a footprint on the wall of Scott Violette’s basement and it’s the sort of thing that could give a kid nightmares for weeks.

Violette, who lives in Baker City, Oregon, is wearing a camouflage cap emblazoned with the slogan ``Squatch Hunter.’’

He walks beneath a sign that welcomes visitors to the ``Squatchers Lounge.’’

Violette slides a volume titled ``Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science’’ from a bookshelf crammed with similarly named works and topped by a vintage 1970s metal lunchbox emblazoned with the figure of a hairy bipedal beast.

The theme here is as obvious as an 18-inch-long track stamped in a patch of mud in the deep woods.

Yet Violette, whose T-shirt reads ``Sasquatch Research Team,’’ says the heart of his operation - his ``Sasquatch lair,’’ he puts it with a hearty chuckle - lies elsewhere in his labyrinthine basement.

That nook is where he stores his motion-sensing, sound-recording video cameras.

And his drone.

And the paintball gun he’s modifying so it’ll fire darts designed to extract a scrap of DNA that in theory could convince skeptical scientists - which is almost all of them - that Sasquatch, better known as Bigfoot - is a real creature.

A replica plaque on Violette’s wall

``Just because it hasn’t been seen by the right professor from the U.S. doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,’’ said Violette, 54, who grew up in Summerville, graduated from Imbler High School and moved to Baker City with his wife, Hannah, about four years ago.
``I do believe they exist. I think the proof is right there, but they’re not accepting it.’’

Violette’s interest in this most famous of ``cryptids’’ - animals whose existence has not been conclusively proved - dates to age 7 and an afternoon trip to watch a movie at the Elgin Opera House.

But his plans for this summer are more ambitious than any of his previous forays into forests where perhaps Bigfoot walks. Violette hopes to collect some compelling evidence while he hikes through the dense woods of the northern Blue Mountains near Tollgate.

His nearly lifelong fascination with the possibility that an unidentified primate roams the Pacific Northwest prompted Violette to recently start the Blue Mountain Bigfoot Research website and Facebook page.

Violette encourages people to visit the sites to share their Bigfoot sightings, track finds or other potential evidence, offer to accompany him on evidence-gathering trips to the mountains, or just to order a piece of Bigfoot kitsch with which he hopes to bankroll his project.

``This is something that’s been on my mind since we moved back (to Northeastern Oregon),’’ Violette said. ``I’ve always spent a lot of time out in the woods. I decided it’s time to take this seriously.’’

Which is not to say that Violette can devote his life to pursuing what mainstream science long ago decided was merely a myth.
He performs as Professor Algernon, a magician in the Steampunk tradition, he works with the Eastern Oregon Regional Theatre in Baker City, and he’s the drama coach at Baker High School.

Besides which he works part time at Cashway Lumber Company in Baker City.

But as his wardrobe choices and his basement decor both announce without a shred of subtlety, Violette’s dedication to the pursuit of Bigfoot is considerable.

``It’s important to me that science eventually accepts this,’’ he said. ``It’s not just a reason to go out into the woods.’’

A FILM SPARKS A LIFELONG INTEREST

Violette wanted only to watch a movie at the Elgin Opera House.

But it wasn’t the main feature that captured his attention that day almost half a century ago.

Back in the late 1960s, films were preceded not just by previews of coming attractions but also by short films known as newsreels.

The one on that day in Elgin showed what soon became - and still remains by a wide margin - the most famous and most scrutinized section of film purporting to show a Bigfoot.

This is the Patterson-Gimlin Film - the PGF to Bigfoot enthusiasts.

Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin, both from Yakima, Washington, were riding horses on Oct. 20, 1967, along Bluff Creek in Northern California. The pair were intending to film a documentary about Bigfoot - Patterson had already self-published a book on the subject - when they claimed to have come across an individual Bigfoot which Patterson filmed with a rented movie camera.
The film is polarizing - many people, and most scientists, consider it a hoax.

But for the boy from Summerville, that film, which lasts just a minute, sparked the curiosity that continues to intrigue the man today.

The west wall of Violette’s ``Squatchers Lounge’’ holds a photograph taken of perhaps the best-known frame from the Patterson-Gimlin film. The photo is next to that plaster cast, a replica of the one made from a track the creature’s foot supposedly left on a Bluff Creek sandbar that October day.

Many years after his epiphany at the Elgin Opera House, Violette learned that many people claimed to have seen Bigfoot, or found the creature’s tracks, in the Tollgate area.

``That was only 15 miles or so from my house,’’ he said. ``I was really excited. I went up looking for Bigfoot a lot.’’

Violette never found his quarry, or even signs of the beast.

But even as he went on to college, earning a degree in theater arts at Eastern Oregon State College in 1984, Violette’s enthusiasm for Bigfoot never waned.

``I did a lot of reading, every book I could find on Bigfoot,’’ he said. ``If I saw it in the store I’d buy it.’’

NATIVE AMERICAN STORIES

Violette’s exploration of the mystery diverted onto a new branch in the 1990s when he returned to college, this time to study anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley, where he earned his master’s degree in that discipline in 1998.

He focused on Native American culture, a choice inspired in part by his own family. Violette’s grandmother, Donna Higgins, who was born in Halfway and lived for many years in Baker City, was one-half Nez Perce.

Violette, who spent many of his boyhood summers living with his grandmother in Baker City, once asked her about Bigfoot.

``She told me, `that’s real,’ “ he said.

Indeed, most Native American tribes’ oral tradition includes a ``wild man of the woods’’ - a commonality that intrigued Violette during his years at Berkeley.

He also learned that tribes considered these wild men to be actual rather than mythical animals, and that descriptions are similar not just among North American tribes but also among residents in other parts of the world.

Violette acknowledges that Bigfoot hoaxes are common, both in sightings and with footprints.

And he concedes that in many cases the eyewitness who claimed to see a Bigfoot almost certainly saw a known animal such as a bear.

But Violette said he can’t so easily dismiss some of the commonalities that distinguish many of what he calls ``credible’’ sightings, such as the size and shape of the purported Bigfoot.

The same is true with footprint casts, some of them made thousands of miles, and decades, apart. Violette said it seems to him implausible that hoaxers would employ the identical fake feet in such widely dispersed places and times.

Among the few accredited scientists who share Violette’s views on Bigfoot is Jeff Meldrum, a professor of anatomy and anthropology at Idaho State University in Pocatello.

Meldrum, who specializes in how primates walk (primates are an order of mammals that includes humans and gorillas), wrote ``Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science,’’ the book Violette plucked from his shelf.

Violette said one of his main inspirations for starting the Blue Mountain Bigfoot Research project was a Bigfoot expedition he participated in with Meldrum in Idaho several years ago.

And Violette said he plans to rely heavily on research that one of Meldrum’s students conducted in the northern Blue Mountains in the 1990s to pinpoint his own search area for this summer and, he hopes, in future years as well.

``I want to pick a site and really hit it hard,’’ Violette said.

HAS HE EVER SEEN A BIGFOOT?

The answer, Violette said, is ``maybe.’’

He and his wife were in Yosemite National Park in 2010 when they saw what he describes as a ``shadowy figure’’ walking into a line of trees.

Although Violette said he couldn’t identify the animal, he measured the height of a tree branch that the animal touched, and that suggested the animal was about 8 feet tall.

He also noticed a strong and foul odor at the time he saw the animal - a common aspect of Bigfoot eyewitness stories.

``It was bad,’’ Violette said of the stench. ``Something I’ll never forget.’’

Although he’s never seen any animal he couldn’t identify in Northeastern Oregon, Violette said he and his wife came across a line of dozens of tracks in the snow near Old Auburn Road, about 10 miles southwest of Baker City, in January 2014.

They followed the tracks for about a mile, he said. Although the tracks were not clear - the snow had melted and refrozen after they were made - Violette said the tracks bore characteristics in common with other alleged Bigfoot ``trackways,’’ in particular that the tracks were in a straight line rather than offset as with human footprints.

Violette doesn’t claim either experience as anything other than an interesting anecdote that fortified his fascination with the subject.

He understands that proving Bigfoot exists requires, quite literally, flesh and blood. Or at least one or the other.

And Violette is realistic about the odds that confront him or any other lone researcher.

``You have a better chance of winning the lottery.’’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Saving The World’s Great Art: The Real Monuments Men, This Week In The Civil War: Sherman In Mississippi, Folkies Recall Opening For The Beatles At Carnegie Hall In ‘64

Hoffman’s Relapse & Death Is A Tragic, Common Outcome, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting At Morton’s Ford, VA, ‘Jar Nut’s’ Collection Of Bottles Is On Display In Spencer, NC

Monuments Men: 1,000 Years Of Culture Saved From Nazis, This Week In The Civil War: The Union Campaign, Film & Museum Reveal More Realistic View Of Bonnie & Clyde, IRS Is Working To Save Tax Payers Money Through EITC

2013 Was 4th Hottest Year On Record, Says NOAA, This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Jan. 26, Germans’ Longing For American West Births Documentary Play, What Do Fish Poo, Fresh Berries & School Kids Have In Common?

Making Of Lone Survivor Challenging & Controversial, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, Archaeologist Seeks WWII DNA From Pacific Graveyards, Handyman Program’s ‘Angels’ Help Keep Seniors At Home

This Week In The Civil War, Originals Of The Star-Spangled Banner & Flag To Be Displayed, Our Universe At Its Infancy: Images From Hubble Telescope, 100 Years Later, The British Still Debate WWI’s Legacy

Music Therapy Organization Helps Vets Cope With PTSD, This Week In The Civil War: Winter Furloughs, Rare 1886 Michigan Lighthouse For Sale, Concern For Elves Prompts Iceland To Halt Roadway

This Week In The Civil War, New Survey Reveals US Dads Very Involved In Child Rearing, Dolphin Center Offers Course In Marine Mammal Care

Papers Stolen During Civil War Going Home To Virginia, New Vero Beach Dig: Ice Age Humans In North American?

This Week In The Civil War: Lincoln’s Restoration Plan, Oldest DNA By 100,000 Years Throws Science Into A New Era, Bird Lovers Seek Respect For Sweet Birds: Iowa Blue Chickens

Police Still Seeking Clues To TV Star’s 1957 Murder, Scrawny Stray Cat Becomes Media Star: Pete The Cat

Researchers Seek To Teach Computer Common Sense, This Week In The Civil War: Fighting In Tennessee, New Trend For Vets Helps Pets & Owners: Euthanasia At Home, Florida Archaeologists Carefully Ponder & Paw Mystery Site

President Kennedy Is Best Remembered In His Own Words, This Week In The Civil War: The Battle Above The Clouds, German Who Held Nazi-Era Art Trove Wants Collection Back, Fifty Years Ago, A Young Boy Sought To Comfort JFK’s Bugler

This Week In The Civil War: The Gettysburg Address, NC Student, A ‘Modern Hippie,’ Treasures His 1977 VW Bus, 1869 Account Of Yellowstone Was Disbelieved, Nearly Lost, Amazing Story Of 17th Century Gem & Its Princess Savior, BBB: Tips For Donating To Typhoon Haiyan Relief

2013 Meteor Crash In Russia Is More Likely Than Realized, This Week In The Civil War

This Week In The Civil War: Confederates’ Knoxville Move, Was The Exorcist A True Story? The Answer Remains Elusive, OK, Weather Nerds! Here’re Some Weird Sandy Facts, LA’s La Brea Tar Pits Mark 100 Years Of Excavations

Inspired By Hugo’s Wrath, SC Building Arts College Thrives, This Week In The Civil War, Evidence Found Of Yeti: Oxford’s DNA Analysis Irrefutable

Remembering The Civil War, Graves Spanning Decades Of Tragedy Featured On Hike, NC Twins Meet Biological Mother On Their 20th Birthday

In Debate Over Redskins’ Name Whose Opinion Matters Most?, ‘Appearance Isn’t Everything’ & Model Finds Attention ‘Creepy’

Texas Historical Commission Look For Old Socorro Mission, At 86, Man Continues Career As Mason: ‘I love to do it’

Burger King Seeks To Make Fries Less ‘Painful’, Pirate Ship Which Sank In 1717 Yields Valuable, Rare Booty, Miss Piggy Sets Up House With Kermit & Fozzie At Smithsonian

Beep Baseball Helps Blind Players Gain Confidence

Woman Loses 160 lb. In Two Years, Without Suffering, US Wind Farms Responsible For Dozens Of Raptor Deaths

Detroit Asserts Driverless Cars Are Only Eight Years Away, Beloved Irish Poet’s Final Words: “Don’t Be Afraid.”

Report Highlights Importance Of Increasing Fruit And Vegetable Access In North Carolina, Area Of Brain Where ‘Normal’ Memory Loss Occurs Is Found

Life After TV’s Smash Still Busy For Its Songwriters, Free Dogwood Trees For Joining Arbor Day Foundation, August, Back To School Sleep Habits: Tips For Getting Kids In Gear!

NOAA Features Live Ocean‘TV’ Through August 16, Amazing Mayan Frieze Is Found In Guatemala, New Film The Butler Bridges Decades Of Struggle For Blacks

Elvis Week Honored With Release Of Elvis At Stax, Agencies Now Track The Biggest Fish: Whale Sharks, Suburb Seeks To Reduce Deer Population With Birth Control

Tick-Killing Robot May Change The World - And Your Backyard, Research On Monogamy In Animals Yields Varied Results, Back To School Overview Of Cool Stuff For Kids!

Retired Professor Sweeps Village Streets For The Good Of All, Particle Bs Sighting Confirms Clue To Universe’s Origin, Native Artist Seeks To Redefine What It Is To Be An Indian

Chance Meeting At Auschwitz Leads To Understanding, High Point Man Recalls Days On Lone Ranger Radio Show, Monks’ Sand Mandala Tour Spreads Cultural Tolerance

Solar Powered Plane Finishes Historical Journey In NYC, Raising Butterflies Is Spiritual Medicine For SC Man, More People Are Donating Bodies To Science

Teaching Each Other How To Live, Inmates & Dogs Reform, Easy July 4th Dessert! Raspberry Coconut Pie, Freshly Made Lemonade With Fresh Berry Ice Cubes, Utah Man Submits Bigfoot Skull Fossil To Science For Exam

NC WW II Veteran’s Family Receives His Bible, Missing Nearly 70 Years In Europe, Greensboro Science Center Works 24/7 To Save Little Duke

Formerly Obese Man Will Cycle To The South Pole, Site Of Native American Chiefs In Virginia Is Now Protected, Infant Left In Phone Booth Grows Up & Seeks Birth Family, Yummy Hobby! Mushrooms In A Grow-Your-Own Kit

Search For First Web Page Leads To North Carolina, Myspace Is Reinvented (by Justin Timberlake) As A Home For Musicians, Artists & Writers, Keep It Down! New Products Help Soften Noise Sensitivity

Staying At Historic Inns Requires Some Homework - Do It!, Retired From ‘Real Jobs,’ People Embrace New Lives As Artists

Modern Home Classics: Noguchi’s Light Sculptures, Facial Recognition Technology To Stop Crime...Invade Privacy?

At 100, ACS Has Made Huge Strides In Reducing Cancer, Authors Seek To Align Horses With Owners’ Personalities, Honeybees Trained In Croatia To Find Land Mines

Dan Brown’s Very Latest, Inferno, Is An Engrossing Read, Man Hits The Road On Harley To Collect WWII Vets’ Stories, Fitzgerald’s Obscure Grave Garnering More Visitors Now

Sundance Takes A Look At Animal Moms On Mother’s Day, It’s All The Rage: Moms & Dads Taking ‘Stroller Hikes’

Britain’s Pinewood Studios Opens Its Branch In Atlanta, Fido Swallowed A Sock? That’ll Be Expensive And Maybe Fatal, Replica Of 8th Century Buddhist Caves Now On Exhibit

Planets With Life, “Goldilocks Planets,” Are Everywhere

A Place For Artists & Poets, Marked By A Big, Big Head, Woman Gets Book & Movie Deal After Self-Publishing On Amazon

Are You A Lilly Girl? It’s Hard To Resist The Sunny Lilly Lifestyle, NYC Pay Phone Project Features Neighborhoods’ Past

Everything You Need To Know About Backyard Chickens, History Buffs Gather To Mark 80th Anniversary Of Air Disaster, Hurricane Uncovers Sadness Of Unclaimed Patients’ Remains

Love Hummingbirds? Tips For Attracting These Tiny Miracles, Haiti Paints A Slum And Honors Artist Prefete Duffaut

PA Exhibit Features Local Reading Railroad Artifacts, Rite Of Spring Gives Right Of Way To Jersey Salamanders, Restoration Of Last Wooden Whaler Nears Completion

Stonehenge A emetery?, What’s A Rogue Taxidermist?“Cat” Grey Is, For Example

Community Helps Excavate Oldest Street In The US, For Fun & As Collectibles, Retro-Style Toys Remain Popular

Email, Text, Instant Message: Does Lack Of Response Bug You?

Re-enactors Skill At Acting Out History Has Dual Purpose, Team Retraces Shackleton’s Amazing 1916 Rescue, Virginia Volunteers Offer Chocolate & Hugs

Helping Kids & Adults Heal From Trauma: There’s No Clear Path, Cat Stars Of The Internet: How Did This Happen?

Shoah Foundation Produces Holograms Of Nazi Survivors, Museum Mounts Exhibit Of Ice Age Masterpieces, Family Restores Rare Airplane After ‘Coyote Chase’ Crash


 

 

 

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