Cultures

Native story of the ”Crazy Bears”, from the Rockies, 1888


1888. This is the year of an entry in a journal kept by a white man who lived among the Indians in the Rocky Mountains, knew them well, spoke their language, and was initiated into the tribe – the story is told by Brad Steiger in Mysteries of Time and Space.

The record is in a private diary, which did not come to light for the best part of a century, when it came into the hands of its author’s grandson. Some readers may be familiar with the sasquatch, momo, bigfoot or ‘crazybear’, an old Indian tradition which in modern times has been revived by many sightings by civilized people, often loosely associated with UFO sightings… The link is made in the reported Indian description of the men in the flying saucer-what the Indians call a ‘small moon’-as having very short hair and shiny (silver?) clothes.

The author of the diary tells how he was shown a ‘crazybear’ – a powerfully built naked man covered with smooth dark hair – living in a hut. The Indians told him that, from time to time, a ‘small moon’ came down from the stars ‘like a swooping eagle’ and landed; the short-haired men in shiny clothes then pushed one or more ‘crazy-bears’ out of the craft, waved in a friendly manner to the watching Indians and flew back to the
stars, leaving in the minds of the Indians a feeling – perhaps hypnotically induced – that the ‘crazy-bears’ would bring them powerful medicine, and that they should feed, cherish and protect them…

sasquatch et

(This) powerfully-built naked people, covered all over with smooth dark hair, except around the eyes and on the hands and feet. They were seen first out of doors, on the banks of a muddy stream; then living underground in a cave or burrow, as a family group, with rough mattresses for beds, but no other property.

…Reading the more sober and less sensationalised descriptions, one has a consistent
impression of a powerful, muscular build, height about that of a big normal man, but broader-chested, with long, powerful arms. The females, as described, have broad, massive bodies with no waist, and have heavy, pendulous breasts. They have a strong odor, and a loud cry or roar. All are described as naked, and covered all over with short, smooth hair, dark or brown, except for the palms and soles and around the eyes. They avoid contact with normal humanity, but can be aggressive. They are flesh-eaters, and live and hunt like a bear. I see no reason to doubt the 1888 diary, which was private, not intended for publication, by a man living close to unsophisticated Indians and sharing their life.

-Excerpts from ‘The Janos People’, by Frank Johnson, 1980 (out of print)

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