Is it a group illusion? Or should that be, DE-lusion? Are people seeing things that aren’t really there? I’m referring to Bigfoot, the hairy “wild man” of the woods, by whichever of the numerous titles he, or it (or they) is known by. Sasquatch, Alma, Yowie, Yeti; or my favorite, the “Alabama Booger.” Whatever you call him, people have been seeing the Wild man for centuries, if not millennia. Are we in fact projecting visual anachronisms from our collective, subconscious psyche? Does going into the woods trigger an atavistic recollection of the days when WE were hairy wild men, running around in the forests? Or are there really Wild Men out there?
This linked-to article discusses the finding of a spoon handle with an effigy of the Wild Man Suffolk, England. Here he is depicted as carrying a club and wearing a garment fashioned from leaves sewn together. And naturally he is bearded and hairy. For medieval Europe, the Wild Man served as “barbaric, chaotic and unrestrained,” a “bogey in a world obsessed with religious and social order, an awful warning of the consequences of a lack of either.” Does the Wild man of Europe have more to do with the squelched but never totally eradicated pagan gods who once haunted the land than they do with flesh-and-blood beasties like Bigfoot? Hell, maybe Bigfoot IS one of those pagan gods, who refuses to go away just because no one believes in him anymore. (Except for the many who have seen him, that is.)