Saturday, July 19, 2014

Phases of the Moon & Squatching

Nocturnal Nomenclature
Any squatcher worth is or her salt has an opinion about activity in relation to lunar phases. Why? Because only loosers go squatching predominately in the daytime.
 
The moon is the biggest heavenly variable once the sun has gone down for the evening. This said, nocturnal field researchers would do well to consider the following additional factors:
  • Precipitation
  • Clarity/fog
  • Temperature
  • Time of year
  • Solar activity (flares, etc.)
Believe it or not, lunar phases are also linked to solar activity. After all, the moon is simply a reflection of the sun's radiation in visible as well as invisible spectrums of light. Solar flares cause "northern lights" in addition to stirring up magnetic forces and other non-visible spectrums in the sky. Animals are sensitive to such things that humans may not be.
 
As an aside, I can attest to the fact that I am quite sensitive to certain types of solar flares, as are many types of other animals. During a period with record flare activity, I was screaming in pain on the floor of my home with an unbearable headache that lasted for about thirty minutes and then disappeared as if it had never happened with no long term ill effects. At the time, my brain felt as if it was being split apart, unlike any other headache I've ever felt. My dog was also affected. She was running around the house nervously the whole time that I was suffering. I should say that I never usually get headaches unless I am severely dehydrated.
 
During the period of my "attack," I thought I was suffering from a horrible malady until, the very next day when I read online that record solar flares had occurred at precisely the same time in the early afternoon on the previous day. I only write this brief aside to attest to the fact that things like solar flares can and do affect the behavior of sasquatches. I will discuss my findings on this subject in a later blog post.
 
Of course, the list of nocturnal variables can go on and on, but the above list identifies major ones that have impacted quite a few of my squatching successes and failures. 
 
 
Reading the Night Sky
Now, let's address the specific phases of the moon and how they may or may not impact squatch activity.

It's been my experience that squatches tend to approach humans more when the moon is closest to being new (dark). As for waxing and waning cycles, I haven't personally noticed a difference in activity.

Any nocturnal creature can see quite easily with even a sliver of moonlight. A full moon to animals (and squatches) of the night is tantamount to high noon to humans. In other words, such animals often approach a human cautiously as if the human possesses adequate night vision (which we do not).

Squatches, on the other hand, are fully capable of gauging human behavior accordingly. They notice how people tend to stumble around even with adequate lunar illumination. So do top tier predators like cougars.

As a squatcher with over twenty years of experience, I've noticed that a pattern seems to emerge in hot spots with plenty of activity. Dusk and dawn are times when sasquatches vocalize more often, assumedly in an attempt to locate each other (although I am of the opinion that they also rely heavily upon telepathic communication with each other). Most sasquatches assumedly "rise" from their rest just after dusk. In other words, the chapter of  their "day" begins as ours closes.


That's right: their day is our night. The moon is their sun and our sun is a natural element that leaves them feeling vulnerable, exposed, and perhaps even weak, at least to some degree, possibly due to the self-sabotage of feeling "ill at ease." Humans feel the same tug at night when we literally fall from a top predator to somewhere down around the middle of the hierarchy. A sasquatch sighted in broad daylight on a road with humans around--particularly humans armed with rifles--is certainly in danger, barring the use of cloaking and/or other "supernatural" abilities. It is possible that sasquatch cloaking is compromised, at least to some degree, in the daytime.

During an expedition I hosted, one good friend of mine (whose father was the primary librarian to President Jimmy Carter in the White House) witnessed a fully cloaked sasquatch step (and snap) a large tree branch on the road at approximately four o'clock in the afternoon near Tillicum swamp in Washington. He claimed to have been standing about twenty feet from the branch on the dirt road that snapped loudly in front of him. He came running down the road into the campsite and insisted that I return to the spot with him. I picked up the branch and smelled it: freshly broken.

That singular event made quite an impression on my friend. In fact, his estimation of bigfooting went from good natured skepticism to leery acceptance in one day, despite his having heard vocalizations with me on other occasions. The distant (but very powerful) vocalizations (ape-like roaring) did not make nearly as big of an impression as a fully cloaked sasquatch practically standing next to my friend. He also claimed to have seen a shadow that was cast by the creature. Assumedly, a "moon shadow" at night, even during a fully illuminated lunar disc, would not have been nearly as visible to the naked human eye.

Phases of the moon can impact how quickly and how close sasquatches will approach your camp. If the moon is full, and they are curious (most often juveniles are the most curious), they will often wait for you to turn into your tent for the night before coming near. Or they may stay atop a nearby hill or vantage point and never come very close.

When the moon is dark or merely a sliver, sasquatches are much more likely to come closer more quickly after nightfall. If you are camping in a site with excessive tree canopy coverage that brings down light levels then this might encourage sasquatches to come closer while you are still up and stirring around your camp.



A Practical Guide to Mooncraft
Before you label this section of my lecture as being "New Age" stop to consider that the German name for science is literally "knowledge-craft." In a way, that appellation is far more appropriate than our Latinate term "scientia," from which our word science is derived. Sciencia means knowledge. Knowing how to use the moon, as well as darkness, is an important skill for any rudimentary bigfoot enthusiast to master.

I recommend using candles at picnic tables and even while backpacking. Natural fires and candles do not keep sasquatches away. Why? Because such sources of light cannot be directed manually. The tone of a fire is different from that of artificial sources of light. Fires also occur in nature. Light bulbs do not. The glow of a campfire or a candle is predictable and is usually fairly feeble, especially when compared to a two million candle search light.

Such devices are becoming quite light and inexpensive these days. Eye shine is not as conspicuous with natural fires and candles, either. Sasquatches know such things. I believe this knowledge is passed from parents to children. I also think that young juveniles experiment by visiting human campsites to witness "annoying" contrivances of humanity first-hand.

For the young sasquatch, creeping near humans at night could be not unlike human teenagers watching a horror film that features CGI monsters. It's worth remembering that to every other animal in the forest, human beings are decidedly supernatural. That's why I get such a kick out of people who write off the potential supernatural accoutrements of sasquatches that differ from those of humanity.  

There are two ways of squatching at night: the first is to let them come to you, and the second is to venture out on your own. One third method that I've used, it to sit atop a hill or tree stump, with a commanding view of a field with elk or deer grazing. A field that contains edibles, such as arrow root, swampy plants, tubers, and mushrooms, can also be a winner. Years ago, I made an effort to use hunters' scents, such as pine, to mask my odor.

Later in my squatching "career," I simply tried to keep my use of deodorants and mosquito repellent to a minimum. Sasquatches do not seem to be as scent-centric as most other creatures of the night. Try wearing mosquito netting/clothes instead of the bug spray. Even a squatch can smell "Off" from quite a distance away.

Choose a place that is visible with first or last quarter moonlight or less. Your chances for a surprise sighting are greater that way. I also recommend that you do not sit around thinking obtrusive thoughts. Let your mind become peaceful. Catnap. Don't go to sleep, but rest in a placid, peaceful way. Your thoughts can give you away to an alert squatch. However, if a squatch has not been in the area that you have "staked out," then you could conceivably catch it off guard, especially if its thoughts are immersed in foot gathering or some errand.

Some of my most dramatic encounters occurred not only when the moon was a mere sliver or dark, but also when the area was swaddled in fog or mist. Keep that in mind. I know it sounds preposterous, but a weather report in autumn that predicts heavy fog is IDEAL for squatching, especially if the moon is fairly dark.

At any rate, phases of the moon DO matter when squatching. Any intelligent and well-prepared squatcher will see fit to carry a lunar calendar. If you don't have one, check online when you plan your next squatching trip. It's worth remembering that squatchers from the previous generations (70's and earlier) often neglected this all important tool, and that is why their results were often fairly underwhelming.

While camping up by Mt. Adams in Washington state with friends, I've had sasquatches approach my camp while my girlfriend and I were sitting at the table chatting just after dark. All we had in camp for illumination were candles.


Lunatic Fringe
The word "lunatic" has a direct relationship with the moon. Why? Well, for starters, full moons are notorious for increasing the aggressive behavior of humans at night. Completely illuminated discs--especially harvest moons, blue moons, and solar eclipses--are said to exercise magickal  effects upon the known terrestrial world, as well as the unknown.

Some folks might call you "crazy" for asserting that the full moon has a magickal influence on the human mind. Be this as it may, the verdict on such esoteric matters is still out.

Policeman with ample experience assert that crime rates go up dramatically during full moons, especially in summer time. I think there is probably a very logical explanation for this trend: human beings can see better during full moons. Thus, criminals (hunters) and revelers (victims) are more likely to stay out at night during a full moon; in other words, people not only tend to stay up and out during a full moon, but they also tend to stay more active.

The same cannot be said for sasquatches and nocturnal animals; they prefer the dark. Why? If they are herbivores, it gives them more "cover" to hide from predators. If they are predators, it gives them the ability to sneak up on their prey. Full moons are too bright for many nocturnal animals to feel comfortable. After all, their day is our night.

Would you want to walk off-trail in the deep woods without a flashlight on a moonless night? For many creatures of the night, a full moon spells beware with a capital "B." Darkness makes them feel safe in much the same way bright days make us feel safe.

Sasquatches are no different, especially where people tend to spend time in the wildness, or in places with resident human populations. For squatches, humans are pretty much the only "animal" that poses a threat to their safety. We rule the day, and they rule the night.

Copyright, Kirk Edward Sigurdson, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

King Kong: Modernist Representation of the Bigfoot/Troll Mythos


Parallels between ancient troll legends, which were born from first-hand experiences with sasquatches in medieval times, and with the 20th Century character of King Kong are striking. 

Trolls, like Kong, became larger than life characters, even in terms of the real life beings they represent. Eyewitness sightings and footprints tend to place male sasquatches between seven to twelve feet in height. 

In all three film adaptations, King Kong varies between twenty to one hundred feet in height. The same can be said for cinematic, as well as literary, depictions of trolls.

Legends of sasquatches abducting female humans were quite common in Native American lore. Of course, both trolls and King Kong follow suit in this regard, kidnapping females.

And then we come to the clash between modern industrial society and Kong. The troll mythos, even when adapted to modern times, stubbornly clings to the trappings of medieval Europe.

In other words, trolls naturally typify a clash between ancient larger-than-life prehistoric nature with a medieval human-dominated world, whereas Kong quite naturally typifies the clash between nature and 20th Century industrialized society. In this way, Kong symbolizes mankind's impatient desire to master its world, and control nature, as well as vast "unknown" powers of the universe. 

Personally, I find it interesting that Kong climbed the Empire State Building in the original version of King Kong, and then the Twin Towers in the Dino de Laurentis version, which was released nearly a generation ago. 
 
 
Peter Jackson's recent remake of King Kong had the huge gorilla/troll climb the Empire State Building once more, but this time it just didn't have the same punch as when this tower was the tallest in the world. 
 
When I lived in New York City for eight years, my father once visited and together we ascended to the top of the World Trade Center. The tower upon which we stood seemed as big as a mountain. It's hard to believe it stands no more, brought down by terrorism that was far less innocent than a huge gorilla's instinctual need to find sanctuary in a world that confused him after being taken captive and shipped from his isolated tropical island to the Isle of Manhattos.

As a boy, parallels between my own experiences in bigfoot country, and the characters of Dino de Laurentis's film hiking through the jungle of Kong's island made the film far more exciting than it otherwise would have been. I wept at the end when Kong died. All of my life, I have felt a strange and ethereal bond with sasquatches. Sometimes this connection has been invigorating, while at other times it has felt like shackles and a chain. 


My novel, Kultus, was an attempt to reconcile this supernatural link. In a way, the writing of it was quite cathartic, although, as I have said, my effort to write about the "Men in Plaid incident" (see earlier blog entries) was traumatic enough to literally threaten my life (I ended up in the emergency room of a hospital). I don't think it was a coincidence that during the week I tried to narrate that experience in the afterward, my health steadily deteriorated until I was forced to remove the account. Once I did so, my health eventually returned to normal.   

Friday, July 11, 2014

Visions of Transmundania


Perhaps it is no accident that I grew up to become a novelist. I feel it’s possible that I was born with an ability not only to create fictional realms, but also to connect with forces greater than humanity itself. Perhaps my early brushes with the supernatural served as hints about the world in which we live, gifting me with insights about the forces that feed upon all of us every day and every night (without our knowledge).

Powerful imaginations do not simply “make things up”—they connect to omniscient forces that are far greater than nuclear power plants or supercolliders. As such, it is no accident that our modern “technological” society has been structured in such a way as to control and limit the extent of children’s imaginations, even while harnessing their energy through structured gaming and structured artistic endeavor. Video games, television programming, films, coloring books, and a menagerie of expensively intricate toys nudge kids in predefined psychological directions.

At the same time, micro-managed "play” conditions them to undervalue the insights, intuitions, and powers with which they are born, and which may well protect them and psychologically shepherd their formative years--not unlike umbilical t-cells and mother’s milk strengthen human's immune systems as infants.


The other side of the attic taught me that the world was not as it seemed. Whenever my mother repeated the clichéd phrase, "Life isn't fair, honey," I would feel frustrated that I couldn't express the irony of such a sentiment. By that time, I was banned from discussing what went on in the attic. Nothing could have been less fair to a precocious boy of seven years old than a ban on free speech about the one thing that threatened his health, security, and well-being.

Just once, I wanted to trade places with my parents: to sleep in their bed downstairs with a view out over the garden, confining them upstairs in an attic prison cell, day and night, for twenty-four hours, during the most supernaturally active part of the month.

Then again, life wasn't fair. Living in a world where fathers and mothers believed strangers well-versed in psychology and the social sciences, with goofy names like "Dr. Spock" or Karen Horney, more than their own flesh and blood sons, at least when it came to potentially life-threatening matters of the supernatural, was beyond unfair. "Tragic" would have been a more accurate word, had I known it back in 1973, at seven years of age.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Other Side of the Attic


Author Insight: Childhood Experiences with Real-life Ghosts

Both Kultus and Cowslip, my two published novels, deal with supernatural phenomenon. Read about how I grew up around ghosts. Part II in this series will explain how the experience impacted my work as a novelist.

I spent the early years of my childhood in an old ranch house. The property was located in sandy foothills above the Willamette River floodplain. In many ways, the place was every kid's dream. A big forest stretched up the hill, a pond full of bullfrogs beckoned. Fruit trees, along with a bountiful garden, offered a surplus of healthy food to eat during the growing season. On the downside, no other kids my age lived within a few miles, which made for long and lonely days much of the time. 

Between my preschool years and the fourth grade in elementary school, I was very precocious, with abilities that seemed beyond my years. I read everything that was placed in front of me, and when I wasn't reading, I offered a running commentary of observations and questions that exhausted my parents.  

With two other children to care for, one of whom was an infant, my inquisitive nature became a burden, so my mother took to banishing me to the attic, where I was forced to remain all day long until bed time. I wasn’t afraid in the daylight, but I felt like a prisoner in solitary confinement. Often, in the summer time, I would sneak down the stairs, through the (largely unused) living room, and out the door front door, to play outside by the pond, or up the hill, digging subterranean bunkers, and building forts in the towering Douglas firs.

Along with the firs, there were madrona trees, which had become warped over the decades into otherworldly shapes from the perpetual shifting of the hill’s sandy substrate. Indeed, the entire forest behind that ranch house was prone to shifting and moving several feet per year, depending upon the severity of the rainy season. If my parents ever discovered that I had gone missing, then, of course, I would be banished to my attic chamber for yet another day.

The house was obviously haunted--I learned that the hard way. Other family members perceived that things weren't right, but it was harder for them to determine why. Of course, they didn't sleep alone upstairs in the attic, either! 

Since I was, what I term "a perceptive" from birth, Shadow People took off their kid gloves when I was alone on their turf, particularly at such a young and tender age. They knew that my fears and dread would supply them with succulent psychic nourishment upon which to feed.

On a few nights per month, the other side of the attic seemed to come alive—the unfinished side that was filled with boxes and artifacts, some of which belonged to my family and some of which had already been in the house when we moved in. I would occasionally hear footsteps creeping towards me as I drifted off to sleep. These would pause next to my bed, waiting patiently if they suspected I wasn't yet unconscious. If there was still any doubt, Shadow People would lean over the covers, prodding me gently to see if I was asleep. Whenever I felt their predatory touch, I would thrust my head under the covers, vowing to stay awake for the rest of the night.


On rare occasions, these ethereal beings would hover around my face and head, whispering together in strange otherworldly tongues until my arms and hands felt huge and my head enormous. Gradually, as the phenomenon internalized, the whispering became so loud that it felt as if my head would burst open. The sensation was terrifying; I felt as if Shadow People had somehow gotten inside me and were blowing me up like an inflatable doll. Migraines often followed the incidents, and these could last all night long.

Honestly, the one time that I actually saw something out of the ordinary in my attic room on Riverdale road, the event might well have been the product of a dream or of a passive form of somnambulism. Then again, what if it wasn’t entirely a product of my imagination? What if my “overactive” imagination enabled the being to anchor itself temporarily in our space-time continuum, and, hence, to manifest? I distinctly remember waking up in the middle of the night to find a man dressed in a black early Twentieth Century suit with a dirty white shirt underneath. He was sitting on a chair, looking dreamily out the window. Moonlight reflected on his face. He never once turned to look at me.

Eventually, I, too, looked through the open window on that warm summer night, following his gaze, out over the swamp where huge bullfrogs intoned their chorus in tongues that only amphibians could grasp, made up exclusively of vowels, deep and resinous. Was this merely a dream? It’s hard to say. I certainly didn’t think so as a young boy. It seemed too real, too in the moment, too “physical” for dream-time.

Thankfully, the visitations from Shadow People ceased after my family moved out of that ranch house when I was seven years old. I’m happy to say that I’ve never suffered a marathon migraine since, and I have never since heard whispering voices of any sort. All of that stopped when I was seven years old, never to return.

One question is certainly worth asking: "Were these experiences in my attic room imaginary or bona fide supernatural hauntings?" I will never know the answer, at least not for sure. In my opinion, children with powerful imaginations can serve as a beacon for otherworldly beings and phenomena. Young, powerful imaginations are more than simply the product of a brain with active frontal lobes. Judging from my own experiences, such gifts seem to be a memory of the place where all of us existed before we were born into this world we have been trained to call mundane.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Chased by Wolves Near Skookum Meadow

Grey wolf vocalizing

I speak from experience when I say that it seems likely to me that sasquatches keep coyotes as pets but not really in the same way that humans keep dogs. While camping up at Skookum Meadow, WA, in the early to mid 2000's, I heard coyotes react to bigfoot vocalizations and vice versa.

Most of the vocalizations originated from Big Creek canyon to the west of Skookum Meadow itself. Gray wolves also live up in those mountains and I've heard all three types of calls interacting with each other, particularly at first light.

As a matter of fact, a friend of mine, who is a tenured college professor at a very good university, and I were filming the documentary for Kultus in 2001 and we were literally chased by wolves. My friend (unwisely) vocalized during an early morning hike up towards Squaw Butte, imitating the calls of wolves that we had heard at first light. There were swamps on both sides of us, and plenty of old growth cedars and firs.

A pack of wolves came running towards us from about half a mile away through the trees. They reached our location on the trail fairly quickly and we could hear them panting, "barking," and making other sounds. 

Needless to say, we climbed a couple of trees and stayed up there for nearly thirty minutes. Pitch from the fir trees got all over my hands, arms, and clothing. It was really annoying. I yelled loudly, and the wolves answered my vocalization with some of their own on two occasions. Even when I screamed as loudly and menacingly as possible, they still responded (from must behind some nearby bushes).

Despite the close encounter (the wolves did not leave even after we came down), we never actually saw a wolf. Rather, we only heard them. Instinctively, while walking back to our campsite, we found large sticks, swung them at brush, and swaggered exaggeratedly while grunting, yelling, and trying to seem aggressive.

Skookum Meadow, WA

Several weeks later, at a ranger station, I described what happened to Kurt and I to a park ranger. He said that the aggressors couldn't have been coyotes. Rather, wolves were the culprit. Of course, it might also have been sasquatches messing with us (as they tend to do, more at night) but I think it was gray wolves. I didn't mention to the park ranger the fact that my friend and I had been bigfooting at the time of the incident. That would have sounded too much like a "crying wolf" story, but it was absolutely true!

Any time folks ask me about why so many strange things have happened to me in the woods, I have to point to factors that precipitate the events: 1) I purposefully traveled (from 2000-2009) to "hot spots" known for strange activity, especially bigfoot activity. During this period, I logged over one hundred camping trips! 2) I tended to provoke activity. In the above incident report, my friend Kurt was to blame. I would never have provoked wolves. Bad idea! Then again, some people might say the same about provoking sasquatches, which I tended to do habitually and in a calculated way that imitated "successful" behavior that had garnered sasquatch activity in the past. 3) I also experimented with telepathic communication. Yes, in my case, this did up sasquatch activity noticeably. And, remember, about 50% of the time I had other witnesses with me that saw and heard the same things that I did.

Needless to say, after being chased by wolves, I was quite frustrated that Kurt had not recorded the event on the big bulky camera that he'd been carrying to film the bloody documentary! That would have made for great cinema, especially the calls of the wolves very near us in the bushes!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sasquatches & Canines

Admittedly corny photoshop simulation: in real life the dog would be much smaller, or the BF would be much larger!

I've been bigfooting for over 20 years and I can say from experience that sasquatches do not generally like dogs. Your chances of encountering a sasquatch go down dramatically if you take a dog with you, particularly a barking dog (especially one that is fairly big).

Occasionally, I will hear stories about sasquatches killing dogs. This tends to be reported in areas with human populations that abut forested areas that contain sasquatch populations, rather than from hunters or campers in the wild. One possible explanation is that sasquatches in populated areas make a point of letting the home owner know that their dog has been killed, whereas sasquatches that assassinate dogs in the wild simply snap their necks and carry them off without much of a sound.

A few kinds of dogs seem more or less agreeable to sasquatches. Dog that naturally don't bark much are ideal, such as basenjis. Irish setters also seem to have a temperament that agrees with sasquatches.

Some eyewitness accounts on record detail sasquatches mocking or "laughing" at dogs, particularly little dogs like poodles that might seem "unnatural" when compared with naturally occurring doglike animals such as coyotes, wolves, etc.

Dogs are genetic oddities in the eyes of sasquatches. Believe it or not, this one is literally a genetically modified animal with DNA spliced from a lion and a canine.

Of course, no two sasquatches are alike. Sure, they share traits and propensities, but the Joseph Edwin Leffler story, as reported by KATU Channel Two News, provides a striking contrast to the general disdain of bigfoots towards canines. Three year-old Leffler wandered off from his mobile home on Squaw Creek Road, which is southeast of Estacada, Oregon.

Harry Oakes, a tracker and dog handler followed the boy's tracks and determined that a large bigfoot picked up the boy about one mile from the mobile home. The boy was kept warm, fed, and protected until the 939th Air Force Reserve Aerospace Recue and Recovery Group was able to find him. Upon approach, one of two helicopters spotted the boy at night using forward looking infrared. Through the therms, a massive humanoid shape was spotted walking away from the boy and his three dogs.

Upon being questioned, the young boy insisted that a giant monster had fed him salmonberries and looked after him and his dogs until (human) help came.

Expert tracker, Harry Oakes, found ample evidence on the ground to back up the boy's story. Several search and rescue members also literally saw the bigfoot walking off clearly on their FLIR. (See this account on pages 156-158 of Thom Powell's book, The Locals). And here is the AP Newswire version of the story that (incorrectly) credits the boy's dogs with saving his life.

Little Joey Leffler's story is merely one account to show that sasquatches can look after little children and dogs like big giant baby sitters when the maternal or paternal spirit moves them, so to speak.

Today, Joey Leffler is twenty-eight years old. It would be interesting to hear his side of the account as an adult, most likely with a family of his own.

Below, you can hear a 911 call from Washington state. The owner says a bigfoot "killed his dog." This is not as uncommon as you might think.

 
LINKS OF INTEREST ON THE SUBJECT
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bigfooting as Archetype

"A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man."

                                               --Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

The Old English Manuscript of Beowulf
 
In the vernacular of a post-modern anthropologist like Campbell, a "monomyth" is essentially the hero's journey towards confronting his or her nemesis. Grendel from Beowulf is a perfect example of this cultural tradition.

Grendel is many things: a man eater, a descendant of the biblical Cain, and a being with near supernatural powers. The Spear Danes who live near the swamp that is home to Grendel and his eldritch mother are horrified. Not only does Grendel kill indiscriminately, but he feasts upon the corpses of the fallen men whose lives he slaughters. 

Beowulf is a foreigner who journeys to save the remote Spear Dane hamlet. As such, he has taken a journey even before he arrives on the scene. It is interesting that, in the tale, his dark night of the soul, so to speak, may have started before he even sets out to slay Grendel. The monomyth of Beowulf begins even before the hero arrives at King Hrothgar's mead-hall.   
 
Was Beowulf essentially a tale of the first "bigfooter?" Perhaps. Most literary critics, college professors, and armchair anthropologists today have no idea that readers of Beowulf (or listeners to the oral tradition) were terrified of real life bog beasts, just as Native Americans were terrified of Bigfoot.  And there is a very good reason for this parallel.
 
These two monsters belong to the same basic species. Yes, if you want to split hairs, then Grendel might have been more akin to the Russian Almasty, rather than the larger North American sasquatch, but still, the parallel is striking.

Yes, ancient legends can be revisited in modern times. When one considers that the same inspiration for Beowulf (sasquatches) still exists today, Joseph Campbell's interpretation can seem a bit naïve and overtly Jungian. 

The most profound chords of horror in Beowulf could never be achieved without a realistic understanding of how people must have felt in ancient times, living in the close proximity to a thing whose haunting presence on the outskirts of "civilization" could not be predicted or anticipated with any degree of assurance. Beowulf captures this dynamic of uncertainty, and builds upon it expertly.
 
In my opinion, it's possible that the sasquatches displaced from their lands during medieval times behaved differently from their normally reclusive and shy North American brethren. It is worth pointing out that Native Americans learned the fine art of scalping from Europeans who were paid to kill them, and hence harvested scalps to prove how many natives they had slain.
 
In like manner, contemporary European sasquatches, even if they happened to have been the same species of hominid, may have learned some of their cruelties from the way they were treated by the small, hairless bipeds that chased them systematically out of their homes and tried, with all their might, to slay them.

It is, perhaps, more likely that Europeans were dressing up the myth of sasquatches long before these creatures were transformed into trolls through the magical art of story-telling. 

For instance, Grendel's demonic habit of eating the dead is explained through a Biblical context: he is a descendant of Cain, the accursed, who slew his brother, Abel, in the Torah's account of how the human race started, as well as the desire among humans to murder each other. In this way, the monster of Beowulf, although accursed, is essentially a human being like Beowulf, transformed through magic into a bog beast. 
 
When hunters find themselves face to face with a sasquatch, very few of them shoot. Most, when asked later why they did not attempt to kill the creature, reply that it "just looked too human to kill." Of course, this mercy also stems from the fact that most sasquatches upon making human contact (inadvertently) immediate desire to exit the scene at the first available opportunity. This type of meek behavior is quite different from the murderous cannibalism of Grendel. 
 
The troll mythos, which I contend sprang up after the diaspora of sasquatches from their native homes in Northern Europe and Russia, also embodies cannibalism. It's interesting to note that all known ape species (aside from humans) are mostly vegetarian.
 
 
Beowulf read in its Old English prose by an ambitious young scholar
 
A reading from Seamus Heaney's famous translation into modern English