Thursday, June 18, 2015

Kathy Strain's Interview!

I would like to thank Kathy once again for taking time to answer questions from our forum!! Thank you my friend and may you be blessed with many more years in your endeavors!!


Bipedalist – (3 part question)
1) So with the upcoming fire season in your region upon us early, what is the plan for trying to get some good BF evidence of sightings ala the Battle Mountain Fire incident in Nevada?  What about that incident?  Any truth to it?  Ever heard a colleague in the Forest Service (or fire incident command) make mention of it?  
Kathy- The Battle Mountain fire incident (where a bigfoot was supposedly burned and they called in a vet) never happened.  I investigated it at the time it was reported.  I have never heard any former or current employee talk about it (because there is nothing to talk about!).
2) What is it like being a bigfooter and a proud grandmother both? 
Kathy- It feels pretty awesome! I hope that one day my grandson, Matthew, can get this Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a concentration in Wood Ape!
3) How close do you feel you (or Bob) ever got to a Bigfoot, what makes you think you were that close?
Kathy-  Before my sighting in 2012 (see below), I was probably no more than 30 yards from two wood apes.  My husband Bob nearly stepped on them (again, see below). (Just to be clear, I’m an archaeologist and we use metrics - my estimates on yards/feet isn’t great.  In a radio interview I gave last year I said the wood apes I saw were 100 yards from me without realizing that is a football field – my bad!).
Gigantor –
Kathy, your work with the pictographs which are over 1000 years old is important because it debunks the skeptical claims that BF is a modern myth created after TV aired the PGF film. 
Kathy- Thank you!
4) My question is, how are they dated?
Kathy-  Pictographs are created through ochre and clay – neither of which can be directly dated, so the age of the pictographs are based on archaeological and ethnographic evidence.  As noted in the article I wrote, the Hairy Man Pictographs are located within a village. Artifacts from the village date roughly to 500 years ago to modern contact. The pictographs are slightly older than the village, so a good estimate is 500-1000 years in age.  We know they were present in the late 1800s because we have photographs of them from that time period.
5) Please give us a narrative of how you became interested in the pictographs. How did you come across them and your feelings when you first realized what they signified?
Kathy-  The Hairy Man Pictographs have been known for a very long time. I first saw them when I was in high school and thought they were pretty cool.  It’s “significance” didn’t dawn on me until I was the District Archaeologist for the Sequoia National Forest. We were doing an archaeological excavation and I was working with the Tule River Tribal elders on the project. It was during that time that I was told the stories and my passion for traditional beliefs about bigfoot started.
That moment must have been sweet! 
6) Are there other pictographs that have come to your attention after your research paper at Mayak Datat? 
Kathy- Yes, I’ve been told that there are a few more but I haven’t visited them or confirmed that they are indeed pictographs of a “bigfoot”.
7) How do your First Nations contacts feel about you being part of a pro kill effort?
Kathy-  I don’t know that I have ever had a conversation about my pro-kill stance with any Native Americans. Generally when I’m doing work with tribes, we’re talking about them and what they believe, not about me.
8) From an anthropological standpoint studying Native myths about the creature?
Kathy- (I think this goes with the question below)
9) Is there any information that be gleaned from them that could be used to take a type specimen?
Kathy-  Yes, quite a bit actually!  Native stories talk about wood apes throwing rocks, doing tree knocks, whistling, being very curious and watching humans, climbing and being in trees, being very fast, and that usually only one is seen at a time (although there is some mention of groups, but it’s fairly rare).  Hopefully the stories about them stealing women and children for food are just a scary story!
I also want to say Kathy that I respect you greatly and thanks for all you do!!
Kathy- Thank you!
Thanks Kathy, for your willingness to do this interview! I have a great amount of respect for the work you do in the field, the books you have written, the work you do for this forum, and you as a person. 
Kathy- Thank you Chelefoot – but my only book so far is “Giants, Cannibals & Monsters: Bigfoot in Native Culture.”
10) Is there one incident in particular that makes you feel sure that this animal truly exists?
Kathy- Yes, my own sightings!  HA!  I was heavily influenced by “Legend of Boggy Creek” as a child. My interest in bigfoot is what caused me to go into anthropology in the first place. I think there are a lot of incidences that caused me to know the animal exists – probably the most important being the PG film.
I'm still on the fence, so I'd love to hear what things most influenced you to research this subject.
Kudos to you, as a scientist, for having the guts to actively, publicly research this and thanks for all the time that you put into finding the truth!  Kathy- Thank you for the kind words!
First off I want to thank you for your work not only in the BF field but with the forum as well. Kathy- Thank you! 
Myself, I'm a skeptic, but not a scoftic, I lean towards believe there is such a thing as BF.  I assume since you are associated with NAWAC you are of the belief BF is an ape.
11) So I would ask, are you open to the idea that these creatures could be relict hominids, or do you strictly believe they are a type of ape?  Kathy- I am open to the idea that wood apes could be a relict hominid. The only thing I actually know for sure is that they aren’t Homo sapiens.
12) I'd also like to add to Gigantor's question of dating and ask what is the earliest recorded date of the existence of the Hairy Man pictographs?
Kathy- Other archaeologists have date ranged it to around 700 to 2000 years old, but I suspect it’s around 1000 years old.
13) As the chair of the Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers, can you provide examples of best practices or excellent research that is being done by Independent Research Organizations but that are not well known in the community at large? 
Kathy- I am actually the treasurer for the AIBR. I was the chair for many years but I got too busy with other work.  Our website has a great section on protocols that a researcher can use as well as a fantastic sound library of known and unknown animals.  You can find it at
14) Of the different strategies being pursued by the many different and diverse BF research organizations all over USA and Canada, which strategies do you think will be the most fruitful in obtaining physical evidence acceptable to the scientific/academic community? 
Kathy- I think it depends a lot on the location. In California, I like to camp and use call blasting to bring them in closer. In Area X, we do a lot of hiking and act a lot more aggressively.  There we also use hair snares which I recommend for all locations.
15) Why do you think these creatures are so cryptic? 
Kathy- It’s hard to know. In Area X, wood apes throw rocks and knock on wood in an attempt to get our attention, but the second they get seen by one of us, they bolt. Why do they do that?  I suspect it’s an emotional reaction and they can’t help themselves.
I'd like to say that I'm thrilled that our own Kathy Strain is affording us an opportunity to ask her questions related to our favorite cryptid. 
Kathy- Thank you!
16) (two part question) Since I'm not sure exactly how far back accounts of the creature by the Indians go, I'd like to ask if there is any evidence that the Paleolithic humans in North America (i.e. - Clovis) interacted with it or were aware of the creature's existence? If so, what? Please explain in as much detail as possible, and your educated opinions are welcome.
Kathy- We have no way of knowing if pre-Clovis or Clovis people interacted with bigfoot. There isn’t any artifacts, bones or petroglyphs that suggested they did or didn’t.  Their oral tradition didn’t survive. I would think that they did have interactions, but that would be a guess. The oral traditions and stories we have from Native Americans are only a few thousand years old.
17) An early BFRO report from out of California boasted to having the oldest petroglyph at the time (images etched in stone) do you know how old that petroglyph was estimated to be and do you know if the petroglyphs found in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Delta county are of the approximate period?  
Kathy- I am not sure what you are referring to. In general, petroglyphs (pecked into rock) are thought to be older than pictographs (painted on rock). There is a Hairy Man petroglyph at the Hairy Man Pictograph site, but it would be the same age as the rest of the art.
18) Can you tell us what other states these petroglyphs are believed to exist?  
Kathy- I don’t know of any other “bigfoot” petroglyphs. I would be curious if you know of some!
In both instances the engravings who found inside a cave structure as I understand it, and they both possessed some very crude but familiar drawings of what we would easily associate with Sasquatch today thank you.  
Kathy- Could you point me in the direction of these?
Doc Holiday
19) Have you received much static from scientific colleagues for your active participation in BFery? 
Kathy- Nope, not ever.
20) Have you ever experienced anything that you perceived as communication from any BFs, and was it verbal, physical (thrown objects etc) or other?  
Kathy- I have heard many calls, whistles, wood knocks, and rock clacks.  I definitely believe that wood knocks are a form of communication with other wood apes.  I heard what I like to call jibberish on one occasion. It was in 2012 in Area X and very early in the morning. I was awakened by a very frustrated animal that yelled out a sound like “Yoga” and then threw a rock at the roof of the cabin I was in. Was that a “word” that communicated something to someone or just a “sound”?  I don’t know. I have had many rocks thrown at me in Area X – I’m not sure if I would call that communication or not, but it sure causes me to communicate bad words towards the wood apes!
Kathy:   Thank you for answering questions.   
21) Is there anything similar in California to the ape like basalt stone heads found along the Columbia River in Washington?   
Kathy- Not that I am aware of.
22) Are California finds limited to rock drawing art? 
Kathy- As far as art goes, there are old California Native American baskets that have a bigfoot design in them as well.  The Pacific Northwest is probably the best known for their pre-contact bigfoot artwork – totem poles, masks, costumes, and dances. I have been doing work on bigfoot in South America and have found similar costumes and dances (as well as stories). 
23) Secondly I just became aware of a stone wall structure in Mt Hood National Forest that has been examined by the Mt Hood Forest Service archeologist and preliminary estimates suggest that the structure may date back 10,000 years.   Are you aware of that find and has anything like that been found in the mountains in California? 
Kathy- I have heard about it yes.  I don’t know that a conclusion has been determined yet though. We have 10,000 year old artifacts and archaeological sites in California. We don’t have anything like a stone wall that dates back that far.
Ok, so there may be a few Sasquatch pictograms, the one shown above being the best, showing probable ''eye shine'', or something symbolic. 
Kathy- The lines coming from Hairy Man’s eyes are tears – after all the animals created man, he was afraid of Hairy Man and ran away. That hurt Hairy Man’s feeling so he drew himself crying.
24) The ''Dogman'' is now sliding into ''mainstream'' cryptozoology; -do you know of any pictograms of a possible ''Dogman'' out there?  Kathy- I have never heard of a dogman pictograph.
Stan Norton
25) Is there any indication at Area X of sasquatch foraging evidence?  
Kathy- I have seen tubers pulled up – but any animal could do that! The most compelling indication were two nut cracking stations in X. Nuts had clearly been placed on the top of the rock and then crushed with a hand held rock and the meat eaten. It had to be a human or a wood ape and it seems like a strange thing for a human to do.
26) What do you postulate they are feeding on there?
Kathy- There is so much food, it is unbelievable – berries, tubers, nuts, insects, snakes, rats, squirrels, deer – it’s practically a super market!
27) Could you test your hypotheses?
Kathy-  It would be great if we could watch a wood ape eat something, but so far, no direct observance has been made.

28) Also, have there been any noticeable sasquatch behavioral responses to the clear cut forestry activities going on around X? (as detailed by Bipto on the BFS)
Kathy-  I think the clear cutting is affecting the wood apes greatly – I think it pushes them into smaller and smaller areas and likely reduces their food availability. The clear cutting is also replacing the deciduous nut-bearing hardwood forests with conifers. However, since we’re just starting our 5th year of a long term study – we’ll have to wait and see.
29) Might those activities have displaced animals into/away from X? 
Kathy- I would think it would have displaced animals into X rather than away.  That may be the reason the area has so much activity.

Keep up the good work! 
Kathy- Thanks!
(Referring to Kathy’s sightings)
30) Oh, Kathy, why didn't you take a picture or video? 
Kathy- Actually there were surveillance cameras deployed in the area and a motion sensitive camera aimed very near the area of the sighting. All it captured was my behind as I ran towards the animals (and it’s really hard to manage both a gun and a camera at the same time…).
31) Were out in the woods looking for BF without a camera?  Kathy- I always have a camera on me. Up until last year, the area was blanketed with plot watchers and motion activated cameras and in 2013 we even used a surveillance system around the cabin. We have go-pros as well. None have captured a photo of a bigfoot.  But again, our intent isn’t to get a photo of a bigfoot – it is to get undeniable proof – a body. 
32) One more, have you seen the hands? 
Kathy- The hands were balled up into a fist so I didn’t see the hands nor fingers.
33) Do they have an opposable thumb?
Kathy-  No idea, but since they can grasp rocks in order to throw them, I’m guessing they do.
34) Kathy, please tell us about the baby sighting. No Mom around?  
Kathy- In June 2013, I and some other members of my team, were sitting on the side porch of the cabin to get out of the sun.  I looked up and noticed a tree shaking and saw a roughly 30 pound dark brown animal with no tail climb to the end of a branch, “bounce” the limb, and use the momentum to jump across a clearing to another tree. I thought I had just seen a chimpanzee.  I told Brian Brown what I saw and we ran to the location and it was already gone.  The tree it jumped into appeared to have been jumped in before – the higher limbs were broken – I hypothesize that as the baby wood ape put on weight, it broke the limbs it was jumping to and moved down to the next limb.  I didn’t see any other animal.
35) How close?  
Kathy- Roughly 60 yards.
36) Did the baby see you and how did it respond?
Kathy- I don’t believe it saw me.
37) Kathy, do you and your husband plan on going to Area X this summer? 
Kathy- Yes.
38) Any news about this year's operation? 
Kathy- Nothing that I can share at this time.
39) Also, are there native legends that confirm or mirror specific aspects of BF behavior as theorized today? 
Kathy- Yes, see above.
40) If I understand correctly, most native people considered BF to be a type of person.  Is that true?  Kathy- Yes, most Native Americans (past and present) believe bigfoot to be a type of person – a brother to us, but most Native Americans believe all animals to be a brother of some sort.
41) Have you heard anything that would make you think that BF is viewed differently than other animals?
Kathy- No, most Native American believe all animals are sacred and a brother of some sort. They attribute powers and significance to many of them.
WV Footer
Kathy, Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. I would just like to hear more about your sightings
Kathy- (This is the quick, painless version).  In May 2012, me, my husband (Bob), and three other NAWAC researchers were in Area X. At about 6:30 pm. we heard a rock throw and they left to go investigate the sound. I stayed behind at the cabin.  I was just looking around an area called “the bottleneck” when I saw what looked like a branch being slowly let go in a nearby bushy tree.  I noted at the time that there was a dead tree lying on the ground that went through the same tree. When the guys came back I asked them to check the area and they casually looked and said nothing was there. They then left to go investigate another rock throw but Bob stayed behind with me.  I asked him to look more thoroughly in the bush/tree. He pulled the limbs apart and looked really hard – even thought about stepping on some additional logs on the ground to go through to the other side – but instead he just yelled back at me that there was nothing there but a couple of logs.  When everyone came back, we sat down and started talking. My chair was situated so I was looking right down the bottleneck. Brian Brown was on one side of me and Bob was on the other.  The other two researchers were facing each other.  At around 7:45 pm. (although I swear it feels like it was just after we sat down), we started hearing some footfalls.  One of the guys said that it sounded bipedal.  Just then I see two black figures, one big and one small, come down the bottleneck along the hillside.  I yelled “there they are”, then I jumped up and ran at them, keeping my eyes on the big one. They bolted up the hill like nothing I have ever seen before. It was like they had been on a bungee and were suddenly pulled upward.  The big one had muscular legs and to get up the hill, it had tucked in its arms and bent itself over slightly (like a power runner).  I can’t tell you anything about the second one other than it was smaller.  The next morning when I came out of the cabin, everyone had a horrible look on their face and Bob asked me to repeat what he had said about the bushy tree the day before. I said “You said there was nothing in there but a couple of logs.” He said “Guess how many are there now? There’s only one.” We all believe the wood apes hadn’t left the area but had stayed in the bushy tree, lying down on the ground to hide.  Bob had assumed they were logs due to the shadows. Why did they come towards us instead of fleeing away in a safer direction? Maybe they thought we were gone…or maybe they wanted a closer look. I really don’t know.
The other sighting was of the baby wood ape that I already mentioned.