The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers
The Question (ID Number 671)...
I recently read "The Holy" and found on this website that part of it was inspired by a similar event in your childhood. A young child being confronted by a not-quite-human entity is something I'm pretty familiar with: I too had an encounter with a mythical being at a young age. When I was 10, the summer of 1995, I went camping with my family at a lake in Oregon's Cascade mountain range. We spent a day at another nearby lake and when we headed back in the afternoon I asked my parents if I could hike back. . . . Pretty soon, I found myself walking down a ridge with the sun already setting, and the trail winded down this dry creek bed, with a 10-foot embankment towering over the left side of the path. Then I heard something moving in the bushes up there, and I smelled something terrible. And there it was: a goddamn sasquatch. It just stood there, on the embankment and stared at me silently. And I just stood there and stared back, I didn't know what else to do. . . . After an undeterminable period of time, it just walked back into the bushes. Even then I knew it was a "bigfoot", and I really feared for my life until it went away. . . . I never really told anyone beyond a few friends (who thought I was making it up). But then I read "The Holy" and I'm now wondering if what I and others who claim to have seen a sasquatch encountered was really a "yoo-hoo". . . So is "The Holy" really a work of fiction? Are there false gods living among and around us? It might sound bizarre, but suddenly all these reports of sasquatches and yetis and UFOs and monsters in Loch Ness make a lot of sense. . . . But now that I'm fairly certain about what exactly I ran into 8 years ago, what am I supposed to do about it? Go run around the mountains looking for a sasquatch? . . . Any kind of advice would be good right now.
...and the response:
The Holy is a work of fiction. If creatures like the Sasquatch exist, they're just extremely elusive members of the biological community to which we ourselves belong. This is not true of the beings David encounters in The Holy. Since you ask my advice, I would certainly advise against joining the crowd that runs around searching for Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster (the famous original photo was an admitted hoax), or UFOs. In place of that, I'd recommend a subscription to The Skeptical Inquirer, published by the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, which regularly examines evidence for these and similar phenomena.
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