Turning an Explainable Event into an Encounter with the Unknown

Commentary by Royce Myers, III

Earthfiles.com Editor Turns Explained Animal Killing Into Something It Isn't - An Encounter With The Unknown

A story recently posted at Linda Moulton Howe's website (click here to read) (Ed Note: This site requires a subscription to read much of the material, including this link.) had an unusual twist to it, leaving some people baffled.

A 70-pound male deer was found hanging 12-feet above the ground in a maple tree in Delaware County, New York. The deer was caught in the branches of the tree and wildlife authorities went to the scene on December 07, 2002.

According to wildlife authorities and a wildlife pathologist, the death of the deer had been attributed to it being shot in the heart with an arrow. It is not an uncommon practice for hunters and/or poachers to use smaller animals in baiting bigger game. It also would not be unreasonable that the animal could have been hoisted into the tree with a rope and it would have been most difficult to get down.

So, is finding a deer hanging 12-feet in a maple tree unusual? Sure it is. Does this mean that there is some kind of high strangeness or other anomalous activity associated with it? That depends on who you ask...

Howe interviewed one Scott Van Arsdale, a Wildlife Technician with the Bureau of Wildlife for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. During the interview, Howe appeared to make every attempt to find something extraordinary or unexplainable about the incident. In the end, Van Arsdale simply told Howe, "How it got up in the tree is another story and I think Ward Stone (the pathologist) and myself believe that somebody put it, some human, put it up there. We're reasonably sure of that." Top that off with the conclusion from the pathologist that "a three-blade broad head arrow" was the type of arrow used in killing the deer and the fact that it would not be difficult to drag the animal up the tree with a rope, and what you're left with is a very plausible explanation of the event. But plausibility and reasonable evidence just doesn't suit everyone.

Howe went on a fishing trip during her interview appearing to make every effort to turn the event into an encounter of the highly strange. Howe questioned lack or presence of blood, questioned how the animal made it into the tree, asked if there were prints on the found surrounding the tree.

At one point, Howe asked Van Arsdale how the pathologist had concluded an arrow killed the deer. Van Arsdale responded by saying, "Oh, it's real easy because the arrow leaves a hole and the blades, cutting blades on the hunting head, slice right through. He even said it was, 'a three-blade broad head arrow.' So, there is nothing else that is going to be confused with an arrow wound."

Van Arsdale's answer led to yet another question with Howe trying to make the missing arrow sound mysterious, "But that leads to the question: What happened to the arrow that was there and how did this deer end up 12 feet above the ground in a tree with no arrow in its body?"

The missing arrow is no mystery at all. Bow hunters do, when they can find them, recover their arrows. Archery is not a cheap hobby when you utilize quality gear - some arrowheads sell for $15.00 each. Some of the arrows and arrowheads can be rather expensive. Another simple answer is that some people can't afford to leave arrows laying around in the woods. If it was a poacher using the deer for bait, then they might not have wanted to leave any evidence at the scene.

After the interview, it was clear based on the testimony of Van Arsdale that nothing alien or otherwise had taken place. No big mystery, no UFOs, no aliens, no cattle mutilations, nothing. Van Arsdale reasonably answered each question and no unusual pathological or other strange forensic evidence was discovered. In fact, no evidence showing that the animal had been "dropped" into the tree was presented nor did Howe ask about it in her published interview (i.e.: broken branches above the carcass on the tree, broken tree limbs, animal hair embedded in bark, trauma to the deer's body from dropping, et al). Another critical question missing from the interview was if a history of animal poaching exists in the area.

This is a story that no one should have wasted their time on, except perhaps for an interesting blurb in a local newspaper. Crimes happen all the time in national forests involving animals. But Howe apparently had other things in mind for this story.

Enter a leap that not even Bigfoot him/herself could make...

In spite of the animal death being explained and nothing unusual being found, Howe decided it would be a good idea to make some connection with the hanging animal carcass and her experiences in investigating unusual animal deaths.

Howe writes, "Even though the New York deer showed no signs of blood or excisions of hide or tissue, during my investigations of the worldwide animal mutilation phenomenon, I have heard from law enforcement and ranchers that occasionally deer or other wild game have been found dead, with no signs of blood, hanging from broken tree limbs as high as 14 feet off the ground."

Howe then refers to an excerpt from one of her books and the reported encounter a Washington State man had with a Bigfoot creature in 1977:

Related excerpt from my book, Glimpses of Other Realities, Volume II: High Strangeness, Chapter 2, "Light Beams, Discs and Animal Deaths" about the conscious memory of Steve Bismarck, resident of Snohomish, Washington, while working in the woods behind his father's house Easter weekend 1977:

"I heard a thud to my right and a Bigfoot walked through (the woods) going the same direction as those little guys (Filipino-looking non-humans). It was like he was following behind them."

Steve said the Bigfoot or Sasquatch creature was about eight feet tall, had a cone-shaped head and solid black hair about four inches long all over its body.

Five months later in the early morning hours of August 8, 1977, Bismarck got home from a night out and went to get some corn and barley to feed young calves he was raising.

"I hear what sounds like a bunch of coyotes yelping out in the back. It sounded like a hundred of them. I thought maybe coyotes had a deer and were tearing it apart. Then it sounded like puppies getting crushed by something stomping on them! So then I think maybe they're tangling with a bear. And pretty soon, something starts screaming. And it's a scary, high-pitched scream. Then all the coyote noises stop. And this thing is still screaming and I slam the door shut. I run and get my 30-30. And I'm thinking that thing could be up to my house in just seconds."

"Then my sister next door calls up and said, 'Did you hear that noise? I thought it was going to knock the house down!'"

"I told her, 'I think it was the Bigfoot howling.' And I called (Deputy Sheriff) Jerry Phillips and told him what was happening. He said that someone else had called him to report they had seen a large, orange glowing object drop down in the woods over my way. Phillips came out again and investigated. He didn't find any dead coyotes or other animals back there, but he found some tracks in the woods. He took plaster casts of them."

I talked with Jerry Phillips in March 1996 about Steve Bismarck's account and he remembered all of the story and more. He sent me a hundred pages of file reports and photographs, including a polaroid photo of a possible Bigfoot track cast in plaster on Steve Bismarck's farm. Phillips told me there were also dozens of unusual animal deaths in the Snohomish area similar to the several thousand animal mutilation cases reported worldwide since the 1960s.

Phillips said there were several dozen unusual animal deaths near Steve Bismarck's home in 1977 and one of the strangest was a deer found hanging from a tree limb (about 14 feet above the ground) with odd, bloodless excisions of tissue from various parts of its body."

This is an interesting account, but it has absolutely zero to do with the deer hanging from a tree in New York State...that is, unless Howe has some new evidence that Bigfoot creatures are now using modern razorhead arrows to hunt with. Doubtful.

It really is unfortunate that an event with a logical explanation and evidence showing it to be mundane has to be strewn into something it is not. This has always been a problem with UFOlogy, in that people tend to jump to conclusions and want to make nothing into the extraordinary while not having the proper evidence to support such a claim. What's even worse is that the case of the deer in New York State has an absolutely logical conclusion that can be drawn based on the evidence and testimony...