The Old Man of the Woods

Wild Man

A reader who shall remain anonymous for reasons that the post will make self-evident kindly provides us with an eerily intriguing diversion.
Cousin lived with my grandparents in a hunting cabin in Missouri. Still lives there now that they're gone. Their neighbor back then was this old Indian guy who raised buffalo. Decent guy. Told us not to go down paths with certain markers or the old man of the woods would get mad ad throw rocks. If he throws rocks leave. Well, being boys gotta explore and find those markers test it out.
Woods in that area is like a series of clearings connected by game trails (some natural some cut by hand) and off the game trails are briar thickets about 10-20' tall and so dense you can only see about 10' in any direction. Makes deer hunting a nice ambush exercise. Also means you can't see shit like coyotes and mountain lions until you step on them, heh
So we find some of these markers and nothing happens the first couple years. Eventually we start hearing something parallelling us in the briars, and when it was upwind you could smell this like rest stop that's not been cleaned in a week smell. If we kept going after it got close, small rocks would start landing at our feet
You'd also get it approach and get rocks tossed but never come out out the brambles if we'd target practice at their range for more than an hour.
We figured old man of the woods...some stinky hobo squatting. So one time we yelled and took shots into the tree canopy near where we heard it.  Then the brush and trees started shaking like crazy, my cousin got beaned in the forehead with a golf ball sized rock, and it took off through the brush making shitton of noise
After that we'd get pelted with rocks if we waited until it got to the edge of the briar while we were shooting, so we got to where we'd just bug out back to the house. Grandma saw the rocks hit us one time and freaked out because apparently her brother ran into the same thing back in the early 50s and he said he managed to flush it out one time and it was the Beaman Monster,which is like the area's pre-bigfoot name for a Bigfoot, and it went on a rampage through his chicken farm and killed all the birds. She wouldn't let us go out without my uncle being with us armed with one of his big game rifles after that, heh
Stinky Bushman hasn't been back since there was a population explosion of coyotes and cougar in the area
My comment:

Cryptozoology has been a sporadic hobby of mine since childhood. I've studied the research of investigators like Loren Coleman, Jeff Meldrum, and John Keel for years.

I can't tell you what our guest blogger encountered. I can tell you that his account perfectly aligns with multiple data points consistently found in the most credible Bigfoot reports.

One of those points, which particularly impressed me, is the witness' aversion to the words "Sasquatch" and "Bigfoot". He only uses the latter twice, and only to explain the Beaman Monster to readers not familiar with the local lore.

This is consistent with the most reliable and best-attested accounts. Bob Gymlan points out that such witnesses tend to use terms like, "whatever it was", "that thing", and "it". Our guest blogger uses "The Old Man of the Woods" because it was the term he was given by a more knowledgeable resident.

If you're inclined to scoff at claims of an undiscovered large ape inhabiting the forests of North America, recall that the mountain gorilla was only recognized by science in 1902.

Even cryptozoologists admit that 95% of reported Bigfoot sightings are misidentifications of known animals. But all it takes is one authentic report.


  1. With the strange unwillingness to use "Bigfoot", I wonder if there is a supernatural component to this.

    Mankind was given dominion over nature, and as a sign of that, Adam was to name the animals.

    So if people are unwilling to name it as a beast...

    I recall reading that many UFO/alien close encounter testimonies are very similar--even identical to--demonic/fae close encounter testimonies, including the alien abduction stopping immediately when Jesus' name was called on.

    1. The demonic/UFO connection is a whole other can of Fortean worms.

      I've found that the best approach is to take it on a case by case basis. In regard to accounts like the above, I think it highly likely that we're dealing with small remnant populations of ice age apes that avoided the fate of other megafauna by adopting an extreme risk reduction survival strategy.

      That said, if demons can appear as goats, black dogs and cats, etc., nothing's stopping them from taking the form of Sasquatch.

    2. I'm the guy who talked to Brian. I didn't say bigfoot explicitly in my encounters because I didn't ever actually see one; not really anything to do with demonic stuff. I saw the rock trail markers, saw the rocks sailing in on us over the brambles, and heard something moving in the brush where the rocks were coming from. There's always still a chance what my cousin and I dealt with was a woodland hobo. Nothing else out there would have the capacity to throw rocks accurately. They were lacking the low level looting in the area that usually accompanies hobo camps, though. Then you've got the 200+ years of sightings of Beaman/"Old Man" in the area by both European descendants and the long-time locals.

      As for supernatural, nothing I saw in this series of incidents indicated we were dealing with anything other than a flesh and blood critter, which is partially why we pulled our shots into the canopy instead of directly at it when we finally got sick of the nearby rock tosses. Grandma thought the same with her Beaman conclusion, and so did the neighbor I mentioned. His take was informed by his national/tribal lore on the "old man", which says that they're 'an older type of people than us', that they can be dangerous and cannibalistic (as in human eaters), but will typically leave you alone if you leave when you get the initial rock tosses and such. They only become active problems in a drought/famine, or you kill one without also killing its whole family. I take that to be remnant population of some type of higher order ape.

      If you want to talk demons, one of my friends from elementary to halfway through high school had several mental issues that manifested hallucinations. I thinks schizophrenia combined with a few other things, but I can't recall exactly. It was controllable with meds. His hallucinations were odd in that they had object permanence like real objects. Nothing teleported or phased through walls, anything like that. The thing he kept seeing that freaked him out were assorted dead people's ghosts just around ala The Sixth Sense and a thing that's basically the Rake from the last couple years of internet creepypasta. Said that would follow him around like a dog.

    3. Gymlan points out that when Sasquatch shows up in Native American lore, it's "Practical advice for wild animal encounters" woodcraft; not winter camp medicine man ghost 'n' goblins stuff.

      Your neighbor's advice jibes with what I've heard, viz.: Avoid certain areas. If you see one, leave. If one attacks you, hit the deck and don't try to fight back.

      Being higher-order primates, their diet likely has a high proportion of meat--probably similar to ours. It takes a good amount of protein to run a big brain, and these things are smart. We'd have bagged a few by now if they weren't.

      Grubs, shellfish, and small game probably meet their protein requirements the vast majority of the time. But yeah, there's no ignoring the credible cases of abduction and outright man-eating. Environmental pressures do seem to play a part. Then again, like certain members of all species, some of them are just dicks.

      By the way, why do you think the Old Man's exit from the scene coincided with the rise in cougar and coyote numbers? Were they competing for the same resources, or was the old guy chasing off/preying on the other large predators?

    4. It's just something I noticed after the fact, and didn't even really ding until I was talking to you about razzing my cousin. There was a series of regional events, and I'm not sure how they all fully interplay.

      First was a HUGE pack of feral dogs formed from people dumping their dogs out there. This was after the potshots, and while we were still getting stink smell and rock throwing at the range. Then there was several years of really bad flooding, two years so bad I got trapped out there a week longer than planned because the Mississippi River crossings would get closed to inspect/repair the bridges. The dogs seem to have been wiped out in the floods. Around then it became trendy for rich east coast business and mid level Hollywood types to build mcmansion complexes in the middle of nowhere out there as vacation homes. They used those a couple years then abandoned them but never sold them. Then the deer, coyote and mountain lion populations jumped noticably. That's when the black cougar I told you about in DMs appeared.

      Somewhere in all that, we stopped getting the range visitor, and by that point we weren't risking going on the game trails. I think what happened is the dog pack led to increased competition, then the sudden building/human population jump with the mansions drove them out (sightings still reported occasionally around the Beaman trading post, but that's like 20-30 miles away). Then the abandonment of the mansions led to the deer having more defacto sanctuary area, population boom for them, population boom for the coyotes and cougar. Maybe enough predator competition the Beaman/old man range never re-expanded

    5. "Your neighbor's advice jibes with what I've heard, viz.: Avoid certain areas. If you see one, leave. If one attacks you, hit the deck and don't try to fight back."

      Back before the Internet was All, I remember watching some kind of National Geographic program (back when that actually meant something) and it showed a man being 'attacked' by a silver back gorilla.

      It was largely the same: Get down low, avert your eyes and don't make any aggressive movements. The gorilla will leave you alone if you follow those directions. If you don't, it will go from dominant male giving you an awesome display of power and a warning to the gorilla killing you.

    6. Yep. It's exactly the same rationale.

      Consider: An adult male chimpanzee, the great ape most notorious for attacking humans, weighs 40-60 lbs. Yet he can rip your arm off and beat you to death with it. Cognitive studies show that chimps have greatly accelerated spatial and motion processing ability compared to humans. They basically have bullet time.

      We're talking about an ape with ten times that mass, whose brain is probably even more developed. You are not going to win a fistfight with it.

  2. I'm considering adding myself to the Bigfoot population more every day.

    1. My happiest days are the most unplugged.

    2. I know that's a tongue-in-cheek comment, but there are accounts of such things happening. Look into the Albert Ostman case.

    3. My favorite podcast for the last 7 years has been Mysterious Universe. A couple of Australians making these tales even more thought provoking and entertaining. Turned me on to some interesting reads as well. Two of which worth naming, Nick Redfern's Final Events and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife also Jacques Vallee's Passport to Magonia.

    4. Thanks for the recommendation.

      Vallee's an interesting guy. He was the first A list UFO investigator to move from, "It's aliens," to the interdimensional visitor hypothesis.

  3. That’s not Bigfoot that’s my drunk Uncle Bill

  4. Cryptozoology is always fun, even if I can't always take it seriously. Its terrific grist for stories either way.

    That being said, I have always thought that in the realm of Forteana and the Unexplained, Bigfoot is the most plausible. Unlike UFOs and ghosts*, belief in Bigfoot or some type of remnant Great Ape does not require bending or rewriting the laws of physics as we know them or throwing them out entirely.

    *I won't get into the realm of religion: I am not qualified.

    1. Our takes on broader Forteana largely align. I'd go so far as to say that Bigfoot doesn't belong in that category. The existence of an unrecognized great ape in North America is squarely within the realm of empirical science. There's already compelling physical evidence--footprints with dermal ridges, hair samples, scat bearing previously unknown primate parasites, etc.--but proof means producing a body.

      Since you brought it up, and since I am qualified, we know for a moral certainty that ghosts are real.

    2. What’s the theological explanation for ghosts? I don’t remember that explicitly in Scripture

    3. In reverse order:
      >Saul orders the Witch of Endor to summon Samuel's shade. It works.
      >The Apostles mistake Jesus for a ghost. Instead of saying, "There's no such thing as ghosts," He tells them, "I'm not a ghost," at least tacitly affirming ghosts are real.

      Philosopher Peter Kreeft has performed extensive research into ghostly phenomena. He examined hundreds of reports spanning centuries. Kreeft has concluded that ghost sightings have four causes:
      >Human souls who were barely saved by the skin of their teeth. These are the sad, gray phantoms who still have some earthly attachments or unfinished business here. Catholics would interpret this as the lowest level of purgatory, a hair's breadth above hell.
      >Blessed souls bringing consolation to loved ones on Earth.
      >Demons masquerading as departed humans.
      >Visions of departed loved ones granted by God.

      Telling them apart requires discernment of spirits. As always, by their fruits you shall know them.

    4. So Dr. Kreeft never saw damned souls, huh? Interesting.

    5. Reading Kreeft's take on the matter again, his wording is rather vague. He speaks of malicious *spirits*--not ghosts per se--who deceive. He further says that these are the ones who appear at seances and that they probably come from hell.

      There's some room for interpretation, here. My take is that he gave a textbook description of demons.

      To my knowledge, there's no Scriptural account of a damned human soul escaping hell and returning to Earth. We know that demons can operate on Earth, but only by God's leave.

      Could God allow a damned human soul to return to Earth for some express purpose of His own? I won't dismiss it out of hand, but I'd need to see more support for the idea than the caller on the other end of a ouija board claiming to be Judas Iscariot.

    6. The biggest problem with ghosts is that the behavior reported to have come from them are all perfectly in-line with demonic activity. Light tricks, EVPs that tell contradictory information with truths sprinkled inside, and attachment to those who get too close, are all traits they possess.

      This is extremely dangerous when there are so many spiritually hollow people blindly interacting with them and believing everything they hear and see from them.

      No wonder exorcism is in such high demand these days.

    7. Interesting stuff, thanks.

    8. @ JC - in a talk by Fr Ripperger, he mentions this one time he was approached by a ghost hunter team. Fr. told them to quit doing it was opening themselves to demonic attack. They refused and walked away. Ripperger then remarked to the exorcist in training with him that the boss of the two was likely possessed as he had “the look”.

  5. I forgot to mention, have you ever seen the 'Survivorman' Les Stroud's story about his encounter with Sasquatch/Bigfoot?

    i thought it was quite compelling.

    1. Survivorman is my favorite survival show. How on Earth I missed Stroud's Bigfoot story escapes me. Looking up the video now.

    2. Just watched the Rogan appearance where Stroud relates both Bigfoot stories. I totally agree with him and Joe.

    3. It's a good story and as compelling because of Stroud and his experience as anything else.

      I used to watch Survivorman back in the day. The episode where he spent the time in a shack in Patagonia with the pack horses was mind blowing. What a beautiful, barren place.

      If it ever hit the fan, I'd move to one of the more hospitable areas of Patagonia.

    4. Dread Pirate Roberts tested; Dread Pirate Roberts approved!