April Fools Day!

2012-04-01 18:35:32.000 – Rebecca Scholand,  Operations Assistant

Discovery in the Snow

Last shift I wrote about the strange warm weather that broke daily records for five days strait. This week, although it is not the temperatures that are strange there has been something else. On most calm evenings here on the summit it is not uncommon to see the fox wondering the summit looking for dropped food by hikers. But the past two evenings there has been something besides the fox lingering around the summit. I was convinced it was a late hiker summiting, but the lack of a headlamp seemed odd even in the twilight hours. Out on the deck with the low winds you could hear something/someone moving just below the deck and just out of sight under the overhang. When I decided to walk around the building things just were not adding up. Sure I saw a few fox prints here and there, plenty of hiking boot/crampon tracks, and barefoot prints? I will admit I have been known for hiking/walking around barefoot in the snow but it didn’t have the same look as mine for a few reasons. First it was much bigger than mine and although I have a small foot, size 7, this was easily bigger than a size 18. Shaquille O’neal might be the only human being capable of a foot print this size and I am pretty sure I would have noticed if he hiked to the summit…barefoot none the less.

I decided to do some research on large human tracks to see if I could find an explanation. My searches brought me to explore research within the field of Cryptozoology, or the research of animals whose existence has not yet been proven. Now before you laugh at me for searching through Cryptids for an answer I would like to point out that prior to the 19th century the Giant Panda was considered a Cryptid existing only in verbal accounts. In 1937 this all changed when expeditionary Ruth Harkness found a baby Giant Panda in Northern China and brought it to the Chicago Zoo. It was at this point that the western world was able to accept this creature of myth to be real. (Picture: Ruth Harkness with baby Panda Su Lin in 1936)

Anyway my point is that cryptozoology currently includes Bigfoot or Sasquatch and after some research the foot print that I found fit the descriptions. Unlike a human foot print Sasquatch is said to have a print in excess of 16″ long and a narrow heel spreading to the toes with no arch. I decided to make my own barefoot print next to the one I found to give contrast to size and shape. Based on the descriptions and measurements it seems to be a likely fit. Even Shaquille O’neal’s foot print would show an arch with a narrow heel tapering to the arch and spreading to the toes.

For now there are only questions to be answered but it is exciting to think that Sasquatch might be seeking shelter in the White Mountains.

*NOTE: Although this comment is an APRIL FOOLS joke the research within Cryptozoology has led to the discovery of multiple animals in recent history that are now a part of Zoology. Examples include the Giant Squid, Giant Panda, and Okapi. Cryptozoology has also helped discredit others. The Montauk Monster that made headlines in July of 2008 is one such discredited case.

**NOTE: Information credited to Wikipedia. Photos credited to Google Image search. Sasquatch foot print credited to Rebecca Scholand.

 

Rebecca Scholand,  Operations Assistant

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