The enduring aspect of several myths of yore leave many with no recourse but to ponder whatever grain, or seed, or persistent subliminal communal consciousness perhaps, to have made some of them so prevalent. Take stories or legends of the dragon, for example. Not in one aboriginal culture alone have descriptions of dragon-like creatures persisted through the millennia. Fairies, elves, and spirits of elemental nature – practically all native peoples have beliefs of ancestral intercourse with such beings. And, the sasquatch…
Most “famous” is the Himalayan Abominable Snowman; but we in the west are no strangers to “our” regional brand of the human-like furry paleolithic creature.
Levi Skoronsky, Ph.D.
At first glance, the hamlet of Lago Del Cielo would appear as an “outskirts” to some other municipality – but even small villages have, in turn, their outskirts. Lago Del Cielo (Sky Lake) is an isolated island of privately owned real estate surrounded by many dozens of miles of forests. Perhaps the main wonder of the place is that the nearby environs weren’t clear-cut for timber or dug up for mining. Too far from the railroads and major highways (much to the relief of environmentalists and the interwoven life-threads of the earth itself) for economic benefit of resource cultivation/harvest; this outpost became (“mercifully,” would say the same environmentalists and interwoven earth life-threads) more aligned for resource appreciation and study.
In a motley collection of shacks and trailers on a hill outside of town was the log cabin occupied by Dr. Levi Skoronsky. He was “Professor” Skoronsky for half of each year, teaching college biology in a medium-sized town a hundred miles away at the edge of the mountains. Levi’s real vocation was pursued during his time here in Lago Del Cielo, where he could concentrate on research of some of the prevalent creatures of myth and legends – but primarily the sasquatch.
Dr. Skoronsky did not end up in ‘Sky Lake’ without some measure of deliberate design. Lago Del Cielo was central to a large expanse of primeval forest. This primordial untouched swath of the planet was the laboratory, as it were, for Levi’s hypothesis. Certain creatures of aboriginal myth and legend (and the abominable snowman in particular) were “real” – but not in an orthodox and, therefore, verifiable-by-the-scientific-method sense. The sasquatch (and fairies and dragons, among others) existed in a sort of “netherworld” straddling our physical realm and partly in what might be called the astral and/or etheric dimensions.
“That is why we find no bodies, or skeletons of these creatures,” explained Dr. S to an intimate gathering of hamlet-outskirt-residents and grad students at his cabin. He had had, as was customary at these convocations, more than his share of the contents of the collection of bottles spread about the room. “They can affect phenomena in the physical realm – when they’re alive”, he continued, “but upon death – they revert to their true astral nature.”
“Dr. Skoronsky? Elaborate on this, uh, true astral nature…”
“Okay. Perhaps I should have specified that while alive, they have the ability to integrate physical matter into their manifestations. Remember, those manifestations are primarily non-physical in nature. But they can generate energy and power, and can pack what you might call a “wallop”. But they are, intrinsically, energy beings. That’s why I consider them ‘astral’”. Levi’s hand flourishes were more florid than his vernacular at this point.
Some of the convocation regulars understood him. Others, drifting along merlot or lager-fueled currents, were beyond understanding. Heads from both sets of believers nodded emphatically. Levi asked for volunteers to accompany him on a field trip the next day. Five people within the room promised to meet him at the light of dawn to go snowshoeing near a ridge just east of town.
Daybreak. Two of the grad students and one ‘outskirt’ neighbor clambered out of Levi’s rusty Jeep as he pulled off the highway. Their breath visible as abrupt puffs of slowly dissipating clouds, Dr. Skoronsky’s field trip crew was already lagging behind as he strode up the roadway embankment in his snowshoes, heading confidently towards a valley further east.
“Dr. S, wait up!” one yelled. Levi slowed a little. He was impatient, as he knew that the early-morning hours were his best chance for something more than a casual observation. Over the course of the winter before this particular trek, he felt he had become familiar enough with the habits and range of a group of mysterious creatures. Today he would intercept them as they moved from one hillside to a canyon deeper in the forest.
Knees lifted high, practically springing from one step to the next, Levi left his companions further behind. He wasn’t worried about them. His trail was obvious. They simply had to follow. He thought instead about his group of “study subjects.” There were two or three dominant, ‘alpha’ members. There were groups within the group. But there was one aspect about these beings that really puzzled him. The half-dozen times he had glimpsed forms moving through the forest, and some of the quickly disintegrating signs he encountered, led him to believe that one creature in particular was “not well.”
There was one pale form, smaller than the others. Levi had given it a name, something half-remembered from a movie or television show long ago. “Cubby-Wubby-Woom-Broom” left tracks and traces indicating what could be a congenital malady, or serious injury. He had thought of all sasquatch as robust and sturdy creatures. These indications showed otherwise.
The snow-dampened blanket of quiet was abruptly shaken by an ethereal snorting sound and then an eerie wail. Levi froze. Just up ahead, perhaps a hundred feet, eight shaggy snow-encrusted forms ceased swaying back and forth. Levi squinted. These sasquatch had been encircling something small and frail, but were quickly disappearing as Levi tried to focus his senses. His instinct was that he had encountered a sasquatch wake, a ceremony to guide the dying spirit from one incarnation to the next. Levi quickly strode forward.
It would be less than a minute now, before molecular-bond collapse. Cubby-Wubby-Woom-Broom staggered; seeking support against a fallen tree-trunk. His spirit gathered, coalescing for the phase-transition shift, as his already-empty physical housing was soon to begin final disintegration. Levi quickly pulled out his camera, snapping one quick photograph. This would be, he realized, “proof” only to himself; a reminder of a close encounter with the temporal, transitory, ‘shadow’ realm parallel to but mostly invisible to our own. Levi froze after the shutter-click, holding his breath. It seemed much longer, but within seconds, what had been the body of this young albino sasquatch collapsed into a dusty pile. A few seconds later, even that dust had vanished from atop the snow.