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LAND-LOCKED

Choosing who you trust to do your research with can be an arduous task, but when it came to picking my current partner Ken was a shoo-in. He’d little or no experience in Bigfooting, would listen to my stories for hours (Without asking questions), and, and it’s a big and, he had a Jeep. Of course there’s more to Ken than meets the eye and certainly more than I’m letting on, but we’d known each other since Sunday School, always circulated in the same crowds, and tended to agree with each other on most accounts, and he was chosen to be my alternate Caregiver to my wife – by my wife -- in all our outdoor adventures.

My service to the US Army had brought me one unwanted gift… a Combat Related injury –Sarin (GB) Gas exposure that had left me as a 100% Disabled American Veteran after 25 years Honorable Service. The exposure had left me with neurological damage -- cognitive deficit – and taken my sense of inhibition away. Ken was always there to guide me back away from the edge of the cliff, or climbing out over the sunken deserted well, or poking the Bald-faced Hornet nest.

Remember I said Ken didn’t ask questions? Well that sort of gave me an advantage over choosing our activities, and the routes we followed. At least until Ken caught on to what we were really doing… Searching for spoor and sign of Sasquatch, Bigfoot, and or other Forest Giants. This one occasion Ken turned us around and back to the main trail because he believed I was wandering and bound to get lost. But, what I was doing was vigorously following spoor and sign, confirming a habitat of a Bigfoot family or group of families.
 
We had been right in the thick of things concerning immanent discovery when Ken threw down the “Caregiver” card and said, “Let’s get back on the track and head down out of here before the wives begin to worry what were up to here”. It was his last few words that made me realize he knew what was going on and though he’d kept quiet all along, he felt we were getting too close. So, we headed north down off Cobble Hill, and made our way to Cobble Hill Trail toward Moody Ledge.
 
All the way down off Cobble Hill we’d hear tree slaps, and earth thumps, and branches crack behind us. When we got to the bottom we backed the Jeep up the trail to turn around and a 10 inch Ash Tree came crashing through the canopy from the high mountain side slamming and blocking the logging trail behind us.  That tree could not have been twenty feet behind us. Ken slipped the gear into 1st and said, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out”, as he raised his foot off the clutch. Knowing now that the trail was closed to us we had to figure out another way back into the area from a different approach. But for the immediate time we’d give that area a rest.
 
When we got back to the idea of getting back up in that area we first thought about approaching it from the East. That meant we’d be crossing properties managed by the Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, A Texas Timber Industry owner, and the White Mountain National Forest. East has more mountains, fewer in-roads and logging trails, but East would get us up and just behind where we were when we first broke off the search for spoor and sign. However, that did not work out. We discovered that at some point earlier that Spring the local Snow machine Club had driven posts in on either side of the road and chained the area off to access to several roads. So in addition to being uninvited to use Cobble Trail my buddy Ken and I were blocked by the local ski machine club from using the Merrill Mountain Trail… a trail that we’d always had access to before.
 
Not to be put out easily we quickly altered plans and rerouted our attempt from there to another option on the other side of Chandler Pond. This placed our start point for our new approach Northeast between the Cobble Hill trail and Merrill Mountain. However, we discovered that not only did the current seasonal occupant (Bigfoot) want us anywhere near them, and that the Snow Machine Club had intentions of keeping people out too, there was an owner of a third property behind the ponds that had bulldozed piles of gravel and dirt thus blocking the jeep entrances to several trails back behind the ponds and who obviously did not want us anywhere near the Cobble Hill or Jericho Pond area. It began to seem like both Man and Beast wanted us out of the area. Though we knew the area was more than promising for research, sightings, and encounters we made the wise decision to depart and steer clear of the area after those incidents.
 
There was one more option for us to enter the area that we had used before, but it had been recently purchased by several gentlemen out of state who had quickly “Posted” (No Trespassing) the land and chained off access. I learned later through a neighbor that these men had let it be know they were “Bear Hunters” but I suspect they chose to release that information to keep people away. We inquired in writing to the Snow Machine Club and they politely and promptly responded and filled in the information about why they had joined with the Texas Timber Company owner and blocked off the road up Merrill Mountain. They had taken issue with other local recreational (ATV) users over damaged trails and bridges and who actually footed the cost for and the manpower to maintain the trails. The ATV users backed off primarily because all the old railroad lines were/are available to them for their use.      

It may surprise people but we actually took this to be a good sign… a good sign that perhaps people were actually working together to keep the area free of outside traffic thus providing Bigfoot with a safe area. Choosing the right person to research with can be as rewarding as choosing where you research.  Ken and I agreed to back out of that area altogether. We’ve left the area alone ever since as we believe that the Bigfoot family in a purposely Land-Locked area is better off without us bringing further unwanted attention to them. We’ve moved on to other promising areas knowing someone else actually cares about what happens to Bigfoot.


SK-


This post by TCC Team Member Stephen Kohler. Stephen is a 12th Generation New Englander. Retired Combat Disabled Veteran, 25 Years Honorable Service in the Army as Enlisted, and an Officer. Researcher at the Pentagon. Bigfoot enthusiast, Soldier, Teacher, Writer, Outdoorsman, and Horse Tender.




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