All photos on this page courtesy of Mike Quast
Author Mike Quast, a longtime researcher, conference presenter, and author of several highly regarded books on Sasquatch, was kind enough to share with us an excerpt from his fast-paced and fascinating new book, Sasquatch Central: High Strangeness at a Northern Minnesota Homestead.
"In the early 1970s, reports began to circulate from areas across America of Bigfoot creatures being associated with various paranormal phenomena. They came from witnesses who were just as much real and honest people as any in the past who had simply described seeing huge upright hairy creatures or finding giant footprints, but now there were new bizarre elements being added.
Bigfoots were being seen in association with UFOs and all sorts of floating lights, with theories emerging that they might even be extraterrestrial in nature or that they might come from some parallel dimension that they could teleport in and out of at will. It seemed to be a viable explanation as to why in spite of how many years went by, no firm proof that they actually existed that would be accepted by the scientific community had so far been captured. Most Bigfoot researchers cringed at these theories, still convinced that they were looking for nothing but a very elusive flesh and blood animal.
As the decades passed, the dichotomy between the two camps became even more extreme as the paranormal believers began to talk of psychic communication between Bigfoot and humans, a phenomenon that came to be called "mind speak." As the 2000s dawned, at its most extreme, this line of thinking even led to the formation of what could easily be called cult groups that were literally worshipping Bigfoot and viewing the creatures as advanced spiritual beings.
The flesh and blood researchers who still beat the bushes in search of footprints and DNA samples in an attempt to bring Bigfoot firmly into the realm of zoological acceptance came up with a quaint term for the other camp that was seeking to exist side by side with them. That term was "Woo."
"Woo" is a completely dismissive term meant to indicate that anyone it refers to is either mentally unstable or a hoaxer that is peddling delusional or deceptive false claims. I will use the term here only because it seems to have become established in the Bigfoot field.
So these are our two camps now--the flesh and blood, and the woo. The flesh and blood denounce the woo totally and completely, while the woo try to reach out and find common ground with their opposing camp and try to get them to open their minds to other possibilities. It does not seem likely that such a thing will happen any time soon...
I approached the Bigfoot field as a member of the flesh and blood camp, and for the most part, I still consider myself as such. After all, if one is trying to prove to the world that something exists, you do not want to hear that even if you get your hands on it, it is capable of just dissolving into smoke.
I have to admit, I do not like the woo. It threatens one of my greatest goals in life, a dream I've held for decades. It was a dream hard enough to achieve under normal circumstances, but harder still if one accepts that what you're seeking isn't truly of this world.
It's not that I don't believe in paranormal or supernatural things because I most certainly do, and I find them fascinating. It's just that I had never wanted to think of Bigfoot as being one of them. But at the same time, my years of meeting and interviewing Bigfoot witnesses have taught me to have faith in people's honesty.
Many people with nothing to gain and things to lose have gone on record with me about the creature sightings they've had, asking nothing in return except to be believed and to share their stories. I am an advocate for these people, for they often suffer ridicule for their stories, and that bothers me a great deal.
In all those years, only a very few times were there even hints in any of the stories I collected about anything paranormal. But I have to ask myself now that if I was to encounter such a case, wouldn't I have to apply my faith in people in the same way? It would not seem fair to reject someone's story out of hand after I've thoroughly assessed them and looked into it just because it doesn't agree with my previous beliefs. Maybe I'm unique in that respect, but that's how I feel about it.
I say these things because the case I ran across in late 2019 started out as a standard Bigfoot investigation but ended up as not only a habituation case but as full-blown woo. The witnesses in the case--and there are a lot of them--are as good and honest as any I have ever met. I would be doing them a disservice if I did not tell their story in full and if I was to censor any bit of it, leaving things out because I thought it wasn't what people wanted to hear. I didn't even want to hear it, but I did, and it cannot be ignored. Especially because I came to experience some of it for myself.
Is it a pipe dream to hope that this book might begin to forge a bridge between the flesh and blood and the woo camps in the Bigfoot field? Maybe. Probably. But hope springs eternal.
The owner of the property on which this story takes place is named Randy Bauer. Interpretations of the events that have happened on that property may vary widely, but what follows is the true account of those events."
-Introduction, pp. viii-xi
"There was one more incident in that month of July that would take the cake for strangeness. The SRA had advised Randy to talk out loud to the Bigfoots while he was out in the woods, telling them his name and assuring them that he meant them no harm and only wanted to communicate. He has always said that he felt absolutely ridiculous doing this, but he has done it nonetheless and was doing it one day while he was out making a routine patrol of the area and taking several pictures. Once back at the house, he was sitting on his couch going through the pics on his phone when suddenly, out of nowhere, something pounded on the side of the house outside the kitchen near the front door so hard and so loud that the whole place shook with the force of it. Naturally startled, Randy jumped up from the couch and headed for the door, and as he went, he abruptly heard a high female-type voice exclaim "Randy!" When he looked out the door, there was no-one and nothing there.
This was extremely disturbing, and in the aftermath, Randy wondered if he had heard his name called with his ears or if it had been inside his head. In his research into Bigfoot, he had read of people who believe the creatures are paranormal in nature and can communicate telepathically, a phenomenon often referred to as "mind speak." He couldn't be sure about it, but just before the incident, he had been out in the woods loudly announcing his name. Something seemed to have understood and followed him home. Could this really be? The notion of it went far beyond thinking of the creatures as just simple animals."
If you enjoyed this excerpt, come check out the book here: Sasquatch Central: High Strangeness at a Northern Minnesota Homestead.
Mike Quast can be reached at email@example.com