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A Shaman from Indiana: The "Woo" Factor in Bigfoot Research

Interview by Lowlander Researcher, Eric Lester

Throughout the years we have met and interacted with many people on Bigfoot trips. They will often tell us about experiences that they have had. Some of these are possible Bigfoot encounters, but a lot of others are hard to explain. The hard-to-explain is generally dismissed by mainstream, and not believed by many. Often it seems that people who experienced something out of the ordinary really have had the experiences that they describe, and are trying to explain it as best they can in terms that they can understand. The best thing that we can do as Bigfoot researchers is listen carefully to what they are saying and try to give them helpful, and hopefully meaningful, feedback. Steve Moon and I met and did a night op with an independent paranormal researcher, Dan, on an Iowa BFRO public expedition in 2016, which Steve conducted. I hung out with Dan quite a bit during the expedition, and found him fascinating. His interests in life are many, and go well beyond Bigfoot. Many of Dan's varied explanations for the nature of reality are presented here, but we were primarily interested in his Bigfoot encounters, and what he sees as the paranormal side of Bigfoot; what is known in the mainstream Bigfoot research community as "Woo!"

Dan and Lowlander Tom Kimball document a stick structure at the 2016 Iowa BFRO expedition. Photo by Steve Moon What are some of the more esoteric interests that you have, and how did Sasquatch become one of them? In terms of esoteric interests, I think this started with my fascination with unexplained phenomena. As I researched these subjects it became increasingly apparent that something odder then one might expect was going on. There is the usual question of why phenomena as varied as UFOs, cryptozoological encounters, and other such things always somehow remain just outside of mainstream acceptance. But there were a lot of odd things that I noticed going on in the Bigfoot realm between seemingly unrelated reports as well as unrelated phenomena. On the more conventional side there would often be things like inexplicable electronic equipment failure or people feeling intense irrational fear, or smelling odd smells. The more extreme phenomena would be reports of creatures appearing or disappearing, seemingly out of nowhere, or taking hits from bullets with seemingly no effect, or even shapeshifting. I wasn't the only person who noticed this, obviously. One researcher that got me thinking about it was John Keel, who believed that many paranormal occurrences were evidence of beings he called "ultraterrestrials." I got the impression that he thought these to be completely non-physical entities most of the time. I had some issues with this because some of the creatures that people saw did things that didn't seem to jive with that, including some truly weird behavior. For example people would see the Menehune (little people) of Hawaii eat physical food that was left out for them. Or a Sasquatch or some other creature might leave behind blood or hair. So the ultraterrestrials theory didn't seem to cover things anymore then the idea that these were regular animals. But then I read several books which made things fall into place a bit more. One was The Holographic Universe written by Michael Talbot. Others were several theoretical physics books about the multiverse theory written by Michio Kaku.

These authors provided ideas that to me were sound in answering the "where and the how" of where these beings come from and how they operate. If my theory was correct, I thought, you didn't need to be some weird creature to do the things people describe these creatures doing. A human should be able to learn how to do these things, too. So, this is what lead me into practical exploration of how psychic/occult phenomena work; because I wanted to find out how to do cool stuff like that. What are some of the more interesting encounters that you have had, and how did these affect you? When I first became involved in this, there were a couple of important resources that I encountered in my research. One was Robert Bruce’s material on astral projection. I had some success using this; I projected into the dream of a friend of mine and described things in his dream that he later confirmed were in the dream. The really big breakthrough came when I met a shaman in the city of Chicago. I’m no longer in contact with him, and don’t know his current whereabouts, but for several years he acted as my mentor. The first time that I attended a ritual of his was the first time that I knew for sure that all this stuff was real. Once our group in this ritual began to fully experience the space that he had set up, everyone was able to read each other’s minds.

A space set up for a ritual by Dan’s mentor, a Chicago based shaman. Photo by Dan

The shaman saw stuff in my mind that I had never told anyone. I have a habit of using my tongue to try to figure out how long my teeth are when I’m thinking. He described how I do this in great detail, among other things. I mean, there’s no way anyone would know this without looking in my mouth, and when I do this my mouth is closed. So it’s kind of impossible to know about this under conventional circumstances. Also, I tried telepathically asking him if he would need a ride the next day, and he verbally told me that he would let me know in the morning.

Besides telepathy, other weird stuff happened during the ritual. For example the toilet broke when I was using it. The chain inside the toilet tank got disconnected. Usually when this happens I just pretend I don’t know how to fix it, because it’s a pain. But that wouldn’t fly this time because everyone could read my mind and would know that I was lying about not being able to fix the toilet. But then suddenly the toilet worked again, and the chain was reconnected. I knew instinctively that I had somehow fixed the toilet with a minor reality shift. These phenomena would later be something that I would be exploring in much greater detail, as I believe that it is possible to manipulate and control what people call the “Mandela Effect” and this was my first experience in doing so.

Editor’s note: For an informative discussion about the Mandela Effect, see Forbes, October 31, 2017: The Mandela Effect – Bad Memories Or An Alternate Universe? at Sasquatch didn’t directly come into this until my first BFRO expedition, in Wisconsin. I had gone to other "window areas" before, and worked with the phenomena there, but this was the first time that it was all about Sasquatch. I had signed up for my first BFRO expedition, going to northern Wisconsin. A little while before I went on the expedition, I had an astral projection. The latter half of the projection involved a Hindu deity explaining some things about how reincarnation works, but the first part related to some things that would happen later. I saw a man who looked like some kind of an investigator walking around on the top of my house. This man then got down and drove off in a truck with a BFRO sticker on it. The individual I saw in my astral projection took on the appearance of someone who I would later learn is a real person; BFRO investigator Jim Sherman, who I would meet at the Wisconsin BFRO expedition. I wasn’t familiar with his work, so I had never seen him before.

On the expedition, on a Saturday evening, some interesting things happened, but for the most part they didn’t happen directly to me. Saturday was the last day of the expedition, and people were splitting up into groups. I suddenly remembered the astral projection that I had had, where I saw the individual who looked like Jim. I took this as a sign, and so I went with his group. When we set off, we went down a trail that had been scouted out by BFRO investigator Bob Barhite. When we went down this trail, I had a really good feeling that something was going to happen. As we walked, I could hear some sounds far off in the shadows of the woods. Our group did a few knocks and got at least one really clear return knock, or multiple knock.

We went further into the woods and stopped by some stick structures. The guy standing next to me, Fernando, suddenly freaked out. He had seen what appeared to be a little three foot tall Sasquatch dart across the trail in front of him. Unfortunately I just barely missed seeing it, as I had been looking at the structures. I nicknamed this individual “Littlefoot”. Around the same time this happened, some of the electronic equipment in the group failed, which is consistent with paranormal phenomena of all types. Bob thought he saw some eyeglow move by some of the stick structures, before vanishing. Not that long after this we heard what may have been a Sasquatch call. It sounded similar to the scream made by the guy with the alien hands in John Carpenter’s movie The Thing. I believe someone in our group had a recorder going, unless that was among the equipment that went out. Anyway not much else happened after that.

After the expedition I met back up with my mentor. He said that he’d had a dream where I was walking next to a guy wearing a red shirt in the woods while a Sasquatch hid behind a tree laughing at us. Fernando had been wearing a red shirt. I later tried to channel the spirit of Littlefoot, and asked him what the stick structures were for. The answer I got was that they are a sort of aid in shifting through dimensions. I don’t pretend to understand how that works but that’s what I was told. I’ve had other paranormal Sasquatch experiences since then, but these were the first.

This isn’t directly related to the question of Bigfoot, but I thought I would mention it because it’s kind of cool. If one finds themselves in a window area of any sort, and they haven’t done anything to keep their senses from opening, they may notice some interesting phenomena. If you are in that sort of area, try zoning out, maybe with your eyes closed. If you are in such an area and do this, you may notice some bizarre imagery emerging in your mind’s eye. The most common imagery for me is related to insects such as ants. I’m not entirely sure what this symbolizes but every time I go to a window area and try this, the same sort of imagery shows up for me, with some variation.

This large stick structure was found by Dan (left), Lowlander Eric Lester (right) and Steve within fifty feet of where the trio had spent a night op the previous night, at the 2016 Iowa BFRO public expedition. The structure had apparently been made the night before, as no fallen leaves covered major portions of it that were laying on the ground, and leaves were falling at the time. During the night op, Dan instructed us to do as he describes in the paragraph above. While we were doing this, a tree fell directly behind us at extremely close range. Our experiences that night and the next morning were remarkable. Photo by Steve Moon

This won’t happen just anywhere. I’ve tried and this sort of thing only happens in highly energized places. When I went to Skinwalker Ranch with a friend, we tried an experiment where we both did this, and similar imagery showed up for both of us. The stronger the area, the clearer and more powerful the imagery will be. This has happened to varying degrees for every Sasquatch hot spot I’ve been to. If an area has a certain history, the imagery may be more closely related to what was going on there. For example in the Ulupō Heiau State Historic Site, in Hawaii, a supposedly haunted area, I would get Tiki imagery. For unknown reasons the insect imagery is most common in Sasquatch related window areas.

Here are some of my more interesting encounters. Only one of these may be sasquatch related.

A short time after I had met the shaman who was to become my mentor, I wanted to investigate a place in Michigan called Omer Plains. Omer Plains is a window area that has a history of being haunted by giant phantom wolves, known as "witchy wolves," which are sometimes reported to be invisible but at other times visible, and have been known to attack people. It also has a history of Sasquatch related activity. The first time a group of us were going to go, each of us had a dream that essentially told us this was a bad idea. I straight up had a dream where a spirit guide told me not to go there. So this ended up being postponed for about a year. Later when I had more experience under my belt I again wanted to go there. About a week before we went, a girl who was supposed to be going with us had something happen to her that would once again derail the trip. She was in bed half asleep when she saw what appeared to be a girl standing at the foot of her bed. This girl shapeshifted to become a reptilian humanoid, and proceeded to lift my friend out of her bed and throw her across the room. Her roommate, who was in the room at the time, saw her levitate out of bed and fly into the wall. Whatever this being was, it left claw marks on her arms as it grabbed her. Needless to say she was freaked out, and so our expedition got cancelled again. I couldn’t have paranormal creatures doing something like this to my friend, so I did a ritual to capture the intelligence responsible for this and place it inside of a stone. This was a success, and it stayed there for about a year. At the end of that year I let it out and the two of us hashed out what had happened. The being had acted on a misunderstanding about me, which I can’t go into here. But the point is, we managed to bury the hatchet and this creature is now an ally of sorts, even though we got off to a rough start.

The next incident occurred on my first expedition to the infamous Skinwalker Ranch. I had hired the famous Skinwalker Ranch investigator Ryan Skinner to be our guide. He’s written several books about the area and was also the guide to Jesse Ventura’s team for a Skinwalker Ranch episode of the TV show Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura.

The secret location at Skinwalker Ranch where an orb was observed. The truck pictured here is the vehicle that the small being was observed climbing onto. Photo by Dan

I met a friend in Oregon and we drove to Utah from there. On the way I got a weird text message from an unknown number that said something about blood. I don’t remember exactly what it said, and couldn’t say now, as that phone has since been broken, but that was a little odd. Upon arrival we met up with Ryan, and he took us to a secret location near the ranch. A bunch of odd little things immediately began to happen. Our walkie-talkies would randomly turn on by themselves, and for about half an hour we could all hear a weird clicking noise, but nobody could locate the source of it. The clicking noise sounded a lot like the sound of Kodama, a Japanese spirit, made in this clip from Hayao Miyazaki’s production Princess Mononoke...

I did a short ritual to call out the forces in the area. After this Ryan hopped the Skinwalker Ranch fence. I didn’t want to risk getting shot at so we decided to hang. This was the right idea, as about ten minutes after Ryan left a red ball of light showed up about 30 feet away from us and proceeded to shoot out a laser beam. The ball disappeared shortly after this. It was about the size of a small grapefruit. The Shermans, who lived on the ranch in the 1990s, described seeing similar appearing balls attack their farm animals. A bit later it got colder out so we got in the car. My friend had to relieve himself, and when he got out of the car saw a small shadowy figure of a man he described as being around 2-3 ft tall, climbing on the back of Ryan's truck. After leaving the ranch we passed through a town that literally seemed to be deserted even though lights were on in many of the buildings. On the way out of this town we spotted a motel called The Bates Motel. I wanted to stop but my friend insisted we keep driving.

Another interesting encounter was during a trip I took to Guatemala in 2012. This was the first time that I noticed the psychic imagery phenomena. I went there in a group that included John Perkins, who is an environmentalist and a shaman, who has written a number of intriguing books. What really fascinates me about his books are his accounts of human shapeshifting, done by shamans and others. This was in line with my theory that you didn’t have to be some weird interdimensional creature to “hack the matrix” so to speak, and that a regular human could do so under the proper circumstances. On our first day we stayed in the city of Antigua, which my roommate Diego described as a ”city of ghosts.” He may have been right, as a lot of interesting things occurred on this expedition. On the second day we went to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, which is where I noticed the psychic imagery phenomena.

Dan’s group at the Mayan site of Tikal. Photo by Dan

Whenever I would go to sleep really clear imagery of shapeshifting animals and native Mayans would suddenly pop into my head. The imagery became clearer in the days that followed. It got to the point where I was seeing energetic beings mulling about doing their thing in regular consciousness. In addition to this, some poltergeist phenomena were occurring in my cabin. I got a brief vision of snake-like eyes, and understood this to be an entity similar to the one I had captured from Omer Plains. This one seemed friendly though, and became part of the reason why I was able to smooth things over with the Omer Plains creature. I won’t go into detail as to “how or why” though, as these entities don’t like me saying too much about them. Later we attended a fire ceremony led by a native shaman, who would call to rain spirits, causing it to actually rain then and there, if just for a moment.

The fire ceremony that Dan’s group attended, which was led by a local native shaman. Photo by Dan

The group was supposed to hold hands, and next to me was a Latino, or native, looking man. I reached out to take his hand and my hand went through him. Immediately after this he vanished. The person next to me witnessed all of this happening.

The last encounter I’ll talk about happened on my New York BFRO expedition in the Adirondack Mountains in 2016. It was the first day of the expedition and my group was going up a mountain. As with the “Littlefoot” expedition, I had a pretty good feeling that something would happen. We got about halfway up the mountain when what appeared to be a blinking firefly came up on us. When the firefly was about 5 to 10 feet away it shapeshifted into a ball of light about the size of an orange, slightly smaller than the one I had seen at Skinwalker Ranch. It slowly circled us and then vanished. Prior to this it looked just like a regular firefly. I’m going to use this incident to tie a few things together. One thing John Perkins wrote about in his books was shamans turning into balls of light. Outside of that, people have seen beings like UFOnauts, Sasquatches and other creatures turning into balls of light. I believe the ball of light phenomena may be a technique used by creatures to travel between dimensions. I believe it is possible for regular humans to also master this and use it to travel between dimensions. It is my opinion that this is the Holy Grail of psychic techniques.

There are those who think that Bigfoot is a relict hominid and discount fringe theories about strange Bigfoot occurrences that cannot be explained. Where do you stand on this?

I believe that Sasquatches are physical beings, and that they just have a better understanding of how reality works then most regular humans or animals do. Just as in the movie The Matrix, you can bend and break some "rules," which ties in with what I was saying about the holographic universe theory. As I said earlier, I think humans could learn how to do that too with the proper understanding. But yes, I think they most likely are hominids, just not the hominids native to the version of Earth that we know. I think that they originate in a version of Earth where things turned out a little different, resulting in the dominant human species evolving in another direction.

A possible Bigfoot hand or foot print found by Dan at the 2016 Iowa BFRO expedition. Photo by Dan

Why do you think it is so difficult to get close to these creatures?

There are several reasons why I believe it is difficult, and one is based on my own experiences. I am certain they are telepathic. They will sense anyone’s presence, so unless something weird happens they won't be seen unless they feel like it. Another reason ties in to the fact that I don't think they are native to our reality. If my theory is right, they can just slip back out of our world whenever they feel like it.

Will science one day accept the existence of Bigfoot?

I think it's possible, but this will depend on a variety of factors. One of these relates to the Sasquatches themselves. If for whatever reason they felt like fully revealing themselves to us, I don't think mainstream science would have much of a choice. The other thing is, while I think theoretical quantum mechanics is headed in the right direction, when it comes to those theories being applied to practical reality, mainstream science for the most part has been a little hesitant. Of course there are apparently all sorts of black projects that involve all sorts of crazy stuff, but true or not that doesn't mean much if it isn't made public. Assuming humans don't dig our species too far into a hole we can't get out of, I do think it's likely that someday we will see progress of some sort in the acceptance of these phenomena, even if it’s outside of mainstream science. If someone is there to see it, the truth can't remain hidden forever.

Dan has had some interesting experiences as a paranormal investigator, and that is one reason why we wanted to interview him. But there are larger reasons… It has been our experience that people have strong opinions about a paranormal Bigfoot, and there isn’t much of a gray area. This polarity may one day fall away, and the truth found to lie somewhere in the middle, or just as likely, one side may be proven right, if in fact there is a way to prove anything regarding the paranormal. Experience tells us that it will likely be a very long time before mainstream science begins to accept the existence of Bigfoot. The goal of current Bigfoot research should be to document and write about our accumulating experiences, and let these guide future research and eventual theory building. Through this process, “fringe” ideas, or “Woo,” may be more widely considered to be within the context of the “possible,” and gain traction as an area of study not only in the mainstream Bigfoot research community, but in the science community in general. We would see this as a major advance, as it would help to unify the vastly complex and diverse field of Bigfoot research.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences with us, Dan!

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