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Jimmy’s Journal No. 12: Adventures with Finding Bigfoot

Straight From Minneapolis and his Heart … 

Jimmy’s Journal No. 12

                                                 "Take care of the minutes, and the hours will take care of themselves.."                                           


The third film I produced ‘Jimmy Wilson`s Snowman’ was maybe the most interesting subject matter I have ever dealt with, maybe the most interesting subject anyone has ever dealt with, ever.. Yes, I happened to pick it, I wanted a film that would captivate my customers’ imaginations number one, and the marketers, and the promoters, and the public relations people too.  Although when you`re a film maker and you’re dealing with a million little details all the time, and your film becomes a 24hr. a day project for 6 months, you want the subject you`re dealing with to be stimulating.  Something that will keep one`s attention for a long long period of time.  Now what subject in the world is more stimulating than the Bigfoot..           
Well I got off to a bad start..   When I produce a film I do a lot of research before I do anything else.  I read books, I learn about the subject matter to be, and I also get names of people that are experts in the subject matter that I could possibly interview to help me tell the story.  I could’ve used more of my intuition when I was starting out on this film, but I was so excited, as I always am whenever I begin producing a film, that my eyes got bigger than my stomach.
I think I met every kook in the Bigfoot world!  And believe me, there were many..  I remember thinking, I may not be able to do this? This just might not work.  Because number one, I wanted to come at this from a different angle than most.  I never went into this film thinking there was a Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Abominable Snowman, Yeti, or whatever.  And I didn`t go into this film thinking there weren’t any possibilities of the creature existing.  I wanted to do a straight on film, find the real people that could answer the real questions. The people who were in the know, who knew if the Bigfoot was fact or fiction, and then leave it up to everybody once they viewed my film, as to what it was, or what it wasn`t..
Just about this time when I was ready to throw in the towel, I decided to take a little break, regroup, and I flew out to California to visit my folks.  I was sitting in my aisle seat in the airliner reading ‘The Sasquatch Field Guide’  when the flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder and asked me are you interested in the Bigfoot?   I said yes!   I went on to talk to her about my project and the difficulty for this film maker, me, and that I just kept meeting every Sasquatch nut in the world..
She then told me her hobby for years was the Sasquatch, and that at home she had books and literature I could use!  I promised to return everything to her if she would just let me do the research I needed to produce the film.
A few weeks later a large box arrived at my door from Susan Boland the flight attendant!  I opened it and read all the material.  It contained everything I needed to do this film!  Legitimate Bigfoot eyewitnesses and researchers.  She was really a Godsend to me, she is listed in the credits of the film under ‘Archives’.
Ok, here I go, first I interviewed ‘Ngon-Nway-We-Dung’ a Native American from the Anishinabe tribe here in Minneapolis.   He went on to explain to me the Bigfoot is not a monster, that it is here to tell us that we are not treating the planet as we should, and that we are not treating each other the way we should.  That he has heard many stories from the elders in his tribe that the Bigfoot represents spirits from the past that were here a long long time ago..
I liked this!  I`m liking the trail I`m on now..
Two other people I wanted to meet and do extensive interviews with, Brian Gosselin a police officer from upstate New York who was a credible eyewitness, and John A. Bindernagel, the foremost Sasquatch researcher in the world and author of ‘North America`s Great Ape, The Sasquatch’.  I contacted Mr. Bindernagel and he agreed to grant me an interview for the film, so I hopped on a plane and flew out to Courtenay, British Columbia!
I rented a small motel room for a few days there, contacted John, and went over to his office and asked a few questions and did a lot of listening..   He was a great guy, friendly, personable, but professional and treated the subject with the seriousness of any wildlife biologist that studied this animal, and only this animal for over 30 years.
The first thing he told me was that the name Sasquatch comes from an aboriginal word ‘Sasquets’ from the ‘Chehalis’ band.  That in Canada it is usually called Sasquatch and in the US Bigfoot.
He went on to describe the animal in that it had a human shape but with prominent shoulders, long arms, and a thick short neck. That at times it looked like it did not have a neck.  That it usually had a heavy dark coat, but it could also have a coat of light brown as well and sometimes black.  That it stood 7-9 feet tall and muscular with large hands and feet.  The way it moved across the ground he described as, "Like it was walking on air.."
He told me that the animal was very shy, benign, retiring.   That in 95% of the eyewitness reports he`s examined the animal has walked away or stood and watched people and then disappeared.  But that in 5% of the cases it has stood it`s ground if bothered and responded accordingly with threat or aggression.
Most Sasquatch sightings are solitary and in the evening he went on to say, although sometimes two are seen, and at times a family has been encountered usually in the daytime foraging for food.  They eat roots and tubers, ground squirrels, berries, leaves, and fish, and shellfish, and meat too.  In more than one instance hunters have taken down a deer or elk during hunting season and a Sasquatch will appear and take the

Dr. John A. Bindernagel

deer or elk, put it over it`s shoulder and run off.. They have been seen swimming underwater and above water using what one eyewitness described as something like a breast stroke. The most important evidence of the Sasquatch are the tracks and the array of tracks, usually around the size of a 16 or 17 shoe size.. The breaking of saplings 6 to 8 feet above the ground is thought to be left by the Sasquatch as it is moving through an area.  He went on to say that when people see a Sasquatch they are just totally    flummoxed, because we’ve been conditioned for so long to not believe they exist.  So when we see one, we`re almost in shock.

We know very little about it, but he believes it knows a lot about us.  He believes they watch us a lot and have a very good sense of our behavior, even if we don`t have a good sense of theirs.  He hopes in the near future there will be funded studies of the Sasquatch and it`s behavior at universities throughout the world.  

The last thing he told me, is that he`s still hopeful one day someone we`ll find Sasquatch bones in a cave or somewhere in the wilderness to examine. I left British Columbia and Dr. Bindernagel with the completed interview, and knew then, this was all interesting enough to make for a great film!
Now off to upstate New York and my interview with eyewitness, officer Brian Gosselin!
I landed in NYC. and rented a car and drove the 3 or 4 hrs. to upstate New York.  I rented another room in even a smaller motel in the small town.  It had a bed, a bathroom, a small closet, and a small desk with two chairs and a small light.  I brought my digital tape deck and microphone and set it up on the desk.  The interview with the police officer was for 9PM.  I remember it was dark outside, I think early Spring or late Winter.  Brian Gosselin shows up and we sit down in this little motel room with this one little desk light on and he begins to tell me his eyewitness account.   As soon as he spoke three words the hair on my arms stood straight up..
He told me of his eyewitness encounter on a cool clear crisp night, that stars were out, no moon..  He was on an evening break from patrolling, he had parked near a meadow and a hedgerow on the edge of town, taking five minutes and relaxing before going back on to patrol his shift again.  His patrol car window is open and he begins to hear a swooshing sound, of something walking in the meadow out in front of him.  A sound as if someone’s wearing corduroy pants and their legs are rubbing together..
The sound starts to get louder and it`s getting closer.   He told me at this point he was a bit scared, anyone would be..  He got his portable spot light ready, and took the dome light out of his squad car, so when he opened the door no light would go on.   He then took his service revolver out, opened the door of the squad car and the sound was still coming and coming closer!  He flipped the spot light on and about 40 to 50 feet straight ahead of him was this creature!  He said he didn`t know if it was Sasquatch, Bigfoot, or whatever.  But he said it wasn`t a man in a monkey suit and it wasn`t a gorilla..

Officer Brian Gosselin

The creature  stood 7 foot or so tall and he estimated it`s weight at 350 pounds.  With the spotlight on the creature, he could see it bring its hands which he described as huge paws and try to cover up and protect it`s large eyes from the spotlight.  The officer now had dropped to his knees, and with his gun in one hand and the spotlight the other, he could of killed the creature..
All this time it`s running through the officer’s head that it looks human like, but he knows it`s not a human. He could see the outline of it`s spinal column as it momentarily turned to the left, not because the creature was thin, but because it was so muscular.   He noticed in the spotlight how it`s hair grew in from the sides to the center and that it`s hair was matted down, like it had been laying in mud or clay.  It`s ears did not protrude from it`s body and hair covered them.  

The creature quickly then left from the direction it came, but this time with a loud vocal screech.  The officer told me he was not able to kill the creature.  He told me if something is out there, no matter what it is, who or what gives him the right to kill it.  He felt it would be murder.  

As the interview ended I thanked Brian for his time and Sat down and just stared into that little light on that motel room desk.  I felt I was witness to an experience not many on this planet have had..   A few minutes later I remembered what another eyewitness told me earlier, an older gentleman from Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania.  What he told me was now ringing in my ears.

"Ya` know hunters go into the woods, thousands of people go into the woods, and most of em` don`t see nothin`.   Most of em` don`t even see a deer..
These creatures are very intelligent.  They know we hunt, they see us kill wild animals, they see the weapons we use, and they fear us, they`re afraid of us.."   


So Long for now…  Jimmy


Jimmy Wilson Gallery
4304 Upton Ave. So. 

Born in Minnesota, photographer, filmmaker, writer, and gallery owner.

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