Awhile back in this space, I toyed with the notion the legendary Bigfoot may live in Wyoming. Despite the fact hundreds of generations of hunters have yet to hang one in a tree, there are legions of Bigfoot believers. So it was no surprise the day the column ran a caller informed me, "I'm going to tell you why you can't find Bigfoot in Wyoming."
The voice introduced himself as Jon-Erik Beckjord. Beckjord is described on his Web site (www.beckjord.com) as a "management consultant and also an investigator of anomalous phenomena world-wide," which I take it includes Bigfoot research. He is shown in a photograph sparring with television personality David Letterman, so his work has been noticed.
I also found a news story referring to Beckjord as an "eccentric researcher," and because I like to avoid the dark side when I write, an eccentric researcher is inspiration calling. Inspiration is something I call the "no (bleep) factor." I hear or see something that makes me say "no (bleep,)" then start asking "what if?" The answer to what if often hits a humor switch, which helps keeps me sane.
When Mr. Beckjord launched into his explanation, "no (bleep)" immediately came to mind. I decided to put a cork in the creative bottle, however. The man is obviously serious about his work, and when he observed the media "has not yet addressed" his observations, I became obliged to address.
First I checked out some data Beckjord recommended on the Bigfoot Researchers Organization (www.brfo.net) Web site. It turns out the BIRO has documented 24 reports of Bigfoot sightings in Wyoming. I was interested to see a 1989 sighting was near the Roaring Fork of the Little Snake River. I've been there bow hunting and vow next time to be more alert.
The most recent sighting was a 2006 encounter a newspaper carrier had on the outskirts of Mountain View. When you're 9-feet tall, Mountain View isn't many strides away from the Roaring Fork.
A few Bigfoot believers also responded to an entry on my blog. Web surfer Wyocodger noted "The Wind River Mountains have been cited as suitable habitat for Bigfoot. A few acquaintances have had some unexplained experiences in the Winds AND a large ape-like creature is still an active part of tribal lore on the Reservation."
So there are plenty of folks who believe Bigfoot roams Wyoming. There is no physical evidence, however, because Bigfoot is an elusive rascal. He/she has been captured only in photographs and seems to disappear into thin air.
Beckjord explained that's because the creature may actually do that. Citing theories by physicists Dr. Michio Kaku and Dr. Fred Allen Wolf, Beckjord suspects Bigfoot is a visitor from a parallel universe who uses "quantum tunneling" to travel between here and home. Wolf has speculated an electron can disappear in our universe, then reappear in another, so Beckjord asks: why not 9 feet worth of electrons?
The theory explains a lot and the concept is not far-fetched for someone who grew up with Star Trek and the Enterprise crew popping in and out of worm holes like a whack-the-mole game. Bigfoot won't be caught if he/she can just step out into a parallel universe whenever some bonehead hunter stumbles into the neighborhood.
"We have situations where Bigfoot is seen to vanish by several witnesses at the same time, including myself," Beckjord said. "Also, where tracks will start in snow from nowhere, go on for a thousand tracks, then suddenly stop. … The average guy will find that very hard to accept because he doesn't like it, but it does happen and more and more people are reporting it."
Beckjord also credits Bigfoot with the ability to read thoughts and the intellect to know a threat when it approaches. He notes many "so-called researchers" mount searches that more resemble military campaigns complete with camouflage, stun guns and the net-shooting cannons I mentioned in the previous column.
"People they conceive of as being bad guys they don't come out for," Beckjord said. "In fact, they don't come out for men that much, but for women they do come out. And for children they come out."
Then he suggested the best way to make contact with Bigfoot.
"You need to take a lot of women and cook hamburgers. They will show up."
Suddenly the cork popped out of the what-if bottle. I was overwhelmed by the imagined smell of burgers and perfume, as well as a testosterone tsunami with ZZ Top's "Planet of Women" as sound track. A little voice in my head began shouting "Time for an epiphany, buster."
OK, let's think this out. A lot of women cooking hamburgers attracts Bigfoot. Before I became happily married, I had impure thoughts of camps full of women cooking hamburgers.
I'm kind of tall and have my fair share of body hair. And my feet … are … big.
That means … (pause for effect) … I'M BIGFOOT!
Just like that, I'm a man in need of a species reassignment, which, of course, is bad news for my family. They'll get over it, but nevertheless apologies may be in order for misrepresenting my species affiliation.
I also apologize to Brian Scott for insinuating he's Bigfoot. Even though he's taller and hairier than I, I'm sure he's repulsed by the mere thought of women and hamburgers.
Thanks to Jon-Erik Beckjord, however, for straightening me out, while reaffirming my belief in the power of hamburgers and things unusual.
And now it's time to start acting like Bigfoot and disappear.
By the way, where exactly is this camp full of women cooking hamburgers?
Willy Zimmer can be reached at (307) 266-0524 or William.Zimmer@casperstartribune.net.