A "flap" of several incidents in a rural neighborhood,
involving approaches to homes at night seems to occur every few
years somewhere in North America. Usually a flap only lasts a few
weeks, and most of the incidents are not documented until long after
the activity has stopped.
In a few, semi-isolated neighborhoods on the Mescalero IR (indian
reservation), these types of incidents have been ongoing intermittently
for several years, at least. There has never been a collective attempt
to document them until now.
Several people on the reservation are now interested in documenting
the incidents, and recording the vocalizations heard there so consistently,
and potentially filming the mysterious figures.
The amount of activity on this region may be due to both geographic
and cultural factors.
The main cultural factor may be the Mescaleros' comparitively passive
responses to confrontations with them.
There is an "avoid and let live" attitude toward these
figures. That attitude is definitely taught and encouraged among
tribal members. So when tribal members see the mysterious figures
near their homes at night, they don't react with panicky hysteria
or become aggressively defensive. They usually don't shout or scream,
or shine spotlights, or do anything in an attempt to fend off the
figures. They just wait for the figures to leave.
In most other communities in North America, by contrast, the sight
of a tall, dark, big-muscled, fast-moving figure near the house
will, more often, trigger panicky or defensive responses.
The local sasquatches may have noticed the difference.
On both Jicarilla IR and Mescalero IR there were other species of
large animals that seemed to show less fear of humans or vehicles,
compared to the same species just outside the boundaries of the
IR, where human hunting and poaching practices are much less predictable.
Any day you can drive along the public highways around the Mescalero
IR, and then drive the two public highways through the IR,
to see examples of the behavioral difference with other large animals.
You'll see a lot more large animals on the reservation, and almost
none as soon as you get off the reservation.
The lands surrounding the reservation are much more heavily hunted
than the lands within the IR boundaries. Surrounding lands are popular
among hunters from the big towns in New Mexico, and among plenty
of out-of-state hunters.
Only a small number of hunters
from outside the IR are allowed to hunt within the IR each year.
Those are escorted, guided hunts that cost around $10,000.
People pay that much to hunt there because there are so many
stunning, trophy elk and deer to be had.
There are approximately 4,000 tribal members on 460,000 acres of eco-rich
habitat. Almost all of the tribal members live in a handful
of neighborhoods near the main highway. Each year hunting priviledges
for tribal members are assigned by application and lottery. Everyone
gets what they need, and nutrition from wildlife resources is not
as needed as it used to be. There are some poachers (we met a few)
but even they had a respectful, intelligent, conservation sense about
Several people on the Mescalero IR told us they were raised with
the understanding that one should not offend or defend against the
"kensah'" (Apache word for bigfoots).
There seems to be a culturally infused confidence that
the kensah don't attack humans, or at least had never done
so, in their cultural memory.
Their cultural memory extends back a long, long way. That gives them confidence about
what to expect, and what not to worry about.
Many people we spoke with told us their parents and and grandparents
said these creatures "shouldn't be messed with", even
if they occassionaly scream near the house at night, or pound on
a wall, or kill a barking dog.
Younger family members were also told by their elders to never play
in the woods after dark, and not whistle in the woods at any time.
It's possible that these disturbances outside homes may be attempts
to interact with humans, in desireable conditions: under the cover
of darkness, and late at night when all the other humans are asleep.
Sasquatches may feel a lot safer trying to interact in those conditions
with a single human or a small family of humans, knowing they won't
have to watch their backs for other humans, as they would during
What these figures do around homes at night wouldn't normally be
perceived by any humans as an invitation to come outside and interact,
but it may be just that.
Thus, there may be an uncommonly good opportunity on the Mescalero
IR to begin an interaction with them and document on camera, etc.,
over the course of time. The new investigators from Mescalero will
be very mindful of this potential.
The geographic connection between sasquatch activity and indian
Native settlements often occured in areas with a combination of
attractive geographic attributes:
- Rich habitats with a stable abundance of animals and edible flora.
- Terrain that facilitated the stalking and ambushing of game.
- Terrain that aided the detection and evasion of hostile humans.
Some areas with this combination of physical and ecological
traits became natural strongholds for native tribes, and many of
those eventually became jurisdictioned as indian reservations.
Sasquatches may be attracted to the same territories
for all the same reasons.
They may also have found safer sanctuary on those indian
reservations, as mentioned above, due to the comparitively passive
responses of tribal members, compared to the more panicky responses
when seen near non-tribal communities.
There's also less conflict for resources now. Tribal members have
not depended on hunting and gathering for years, so there's an even
greater abundance of animals and edible plants. The habitat was more
than enough to sustain a few hundred humans throughout the year, for thousands of years,
so it could easily sustain a much smaller number of larger primates nowdays.
During the expedition, the face to face meetings with the witnesses
satisfied the wide cross section of opinionated participants that
most of the stories were honest, accurate observations. The
amount of incidents described by tribal members,
and the distribution of those incidents across the map and the calendar, drove an
estimate of at least 10 individuals within the IR boundaries. The exact number would probably be more than 10. Only time will tell if some assumptions are correct, but
time will tell in this case.
An outsider hearing about the Mescalero situation would naturally
wonder whether it's more attributable to native beliefs than anything
Some of the witnesses have been out-of-staters driving through the
reservation area, and some are non-tribal people in neighboring
The pattern of witnesses is much more geographic than demographic.
If the sightings, etc., were a product of native superstition it
would not cross over into other mountain towns in the area. The
other mountain towns in the Sacramento range are populated mainly
by white Texas transplants who are largely unfamiliar with native
lore. Sightings and track finds happen there also, though not nearly
as often as on Mescalero IR.