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Room 101


A Room 101 Interview with
Regan Lee

Regan Lee is a prolific writer, penning columns for UFO Magazine and Binnall of America as well as writing and publishing a book on the Oregon Bigfoot legend. Bigfoot and UFOs might sound like an unlikely combination, researchers in both fields sometimes dismiss each other, but there are some parallels.

One of the many categories of alleged alien beings associated with close encounters is known as the "Animal" type. These are large furry humanoid creatures which closely resemble the famous ape-man. More generally, though, like UFOs far from there just being one definitive answer to the Bigfoot mystery there are probably many explanations.

Some Bigfoot sightings might be explained by the traditional hypothesis that there may still be a species of undisclosed primate roaming the forests and mountains of the world, but other sightings might have more exotic explanations, including extraterrestrial visitors and even beings from other dimensions. In my interview with Regan we discussed all of these possibilities.

Richard Thomas: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions Regan, I want to focus on your Bigfoot research in this interview. I think I first became interested in Bigfoot because of my interest in Doctor Who, the Yeti or Tibetan Bigfoot are in two classic stories from the series, The Abominable Snowmen and the Web of Fear. How did your own interest in Bigfoot begin?

Regan Lee: I've always been interested in anything Fortean or unusual, in mysteries "of the weird..." I don't remember a time when I wasn't curious about all these things. But probably my interest with Bigfoot really took off when I moved to Oregon, and I came across Bigfoot encounters connected with UFO sightings. Stan Johnson's story, an Oregon LTW (long term witness), and other similar tales in Oregon, had me go from "this is ridiculous! --Bigfoot and UFOs all in one tale -- to "this is really juicy Fortean stuff!" I think I'm open to the stranger aspects of Bigfoot encounters because of my own life long experiences with UFOs and the paranormal in general.

Richard Thomas: Have you ever had a Bigfoot sighting yourself, or are there any sightings that particularly impressed you?

Regan Lee: I haven't had a Bigfoot sighting myself. I did have one odd experience while discussing Stan Johnson's experiences with someone who knew him. Now, Johnson's story involves psychic communications with the Sasquatch, travels in UFOs, spiritual and religious epiphanies, healings... a sort of UFO contactee-Bigfoot combo. I met Johnson at a UFO conference; he was very charismatic. I literally felt "buzzy" as he was talking; he exuded an energy, that was for sure.

So there I am, talking about Johnson with this person, when a cone of light comes down from the ceiling and completely surrounds us. I was seeing colored lights and everything, feeling very "buzzy" as I call these psychic connections of mine. Sound was muffled, as if cotton balls were stuffed in my ears. I thought I was going to vibrate up towards through the ceiling! When our conversation ended, the cone lifted up, back through the ceiling, and everything was back to normal. I've had a couple of other things like that happen -- not directly related to Sasquatch, but connected in a round about way.

I told this story to a woman I met at the first OSS (Oregon Sasquatch Symposium) in Eugene. She told me that it was "spirit" that had manifested, responding to being called, in a sense. Or responding to the energy generated while talking about Sasquatch in that context. Come to think of it, it was a lot like a very intense ghostly apparition -- a mist or ectoplasm -- I had once experienced in a haunted house.

Richard Thomas: Probably the most famous Bigfoot sighting was captured on the Paterson film. What do you think of the footage?

Regan Lee: I saw that film in the theatre the first time in, I think, the late 60s, maybe early 70s. I think it was the Pickfair theatre in L.A. Well, it's one of those things where I keep going back and forth, but I lean towards it's a real film of a real Sasquatch. I have days when I'm not so sure, but I then I go back the other way and say, "Yeah, it's real." Despite the hundreds of attempts to debunk the film, in my opinion no one has been successful in that. Something about the way the creature moves... not so easy to reject as fake. I also believe Bob Gimlin, who I saw at the OSS and just following him through the years. He's either a very good lair or actor or, he's telling the truth. I think he's telling the truth.

Richard Thomas: My own belief is that like UFOs there is no single explanation for Bigfoot sightings, some might be undiscovered animals and others might have some more esoteric explanations. In Doctor Who the Yeti are robots created by an alien intelligence to conquer the earth. You also write about UFOs, do you think there might be an alien connection or something equally strange with Bigfoot?

Regan Lee: I agree with your take Richard. There is a connection with UFOs, what we call aliens, and all kinds of weirdness and Bigfoot. There are plenty of stories of encounters involving Bigfoot and other strange things that forces us to consider them seriously. When I say "there's a connection" I mean that there are stories out there fro witnesses that we have to consider. What that means, is another story. Unfortunately, there are those in Bigfoot research that stick strictly to the flesh and blood angle and ignore or reject there weirder accounts. I have no idea what it all means. Like UFOs, it's tangled, complicated, and no one has the answer. I do think Bigfoot is a lot more than ust flesh and blood -- it's certainly not a simple "giant ape" -- there's a lot more going on here than that.

Richard Thomas: I think Mac Tonnies might have been on to something with his Crypto-terrestrial hypothesis to explain UFO sightings. His idea was that instead of beings from outer space, UFOs were really the work of a parallel civilization right here on the earth, possibly another species of human. Have you seen any evidence that far from being lower on the evolutionary ladder, or, a missing link, Bigfoot might be a parallel species to man and might be a lot more advanced than we think? For instance, do you think stories about Bigfoot being able to go invisible might be proof of them possessing superior technology like a Star Trek cloaking device or something similar?

Regan Lee: It is tragic that Mac died so young. He was really on to something with his theory. I still hang to an ET explanation for some of the UFO stuff -- but I have been thinking the past few years that it's much more than that, or, more specifically, not only that. Call them Djinn, or whatever, but entities do exist right alongside of us. I think they are more aware of us all the time than we are of them. Sometimes we get glimpses of them, experience them, much to their amusement. I don't know if they control that or if it's just the way it is. I base this opinion on the research and experiences of others but also, on my own direct experiences with entities.

I don't think Bigfoot posses literal technology -- like they have machines underground or off in some hidden forest laboratory. Although, Peter Guttilla, in his book Bigfoot Files, relates some very strange stories of Bigfoot, or Bigfoot type creatures, wearing a sort of tool belt with all kinds of electronic gadgets. Lots of other weird stories like that.

I think that, very possibly, Sasquatch posses abilities that allows them to manipulate energy, that causes us to experience things on some level we interpret as, say, paranormal.

Richard Thomas: In 2010 there were reports that Bigfoot had been shot. What was your reaction to this news and do you think we'll ever have definitive proof of the existence of Bigfoot? (I know a Russian expedition made some claims we'll ever have definitive proof of the existence of Bigfoot?

Regan Lee: I didn't believe the story, and I hoped it wasn't true. I am a NO KILL/NO CAPTURE person: very adamant about that. I've offended some in the Bigfoot community by being so... opinionated, I guess, about this, but when it comes to killing another being, I am opinionated. Whatever Bigfoot is, it's clearly highly intelligent, and no doubt as intelligent as us humans. Maybe more so. But the NO KILL stance isn't based solely on intelligence -- as if that's the only criteria. It's a living being, clearly wants to be left alone in the sense it hasn't come out and camped out on the local wildlife management steps-- who are we to go out and kill it, just because we want to? I know all the arguments about doing it for science, and I say: I don't care. It's not justification enough.

Okay, I went off on a tangent there. Back to topic. Like UFOs, I don't know if we'll ever get definitive proof that will satisfy everyone within all the infrastructures that Bigfoot exists. Both have remained maddeningly elusive for a very long time. That elusiveness is part of the phenomena. It's supposed to be forever elusive. I'm okay with that but it frustrates others, and some refuse to accept that. It's not hopeless; within that elusiveness answers can be found. It's difficult to explain. It's sort of a state of being.

I just don't think definitive proof will ever be produced because Sasquatch isn't "definitive."

Richard Thomas: For readers who want to begin their own research are there any books you would suggest they read, magazines they should subscribe to, or groups they should join?

Regan Lee: I come from a kind of folklore, Fortean perspective, so I'd recommend books that discuss the stranger side of Sasquatch encounters. Researchers like Stan Gordon,Henry Franzoni, Peter Guttilla, Lisa Shiel, Nick Redfern. Lee Harper wrote a book with Ida Kannenberg, My Brother is a Hairy Man. Sali Sheppherd- Wolford's Valley of the Skookum about her experiences with Bigfoot years ago; she's the mother of Bigfoot researcher Autumn Williams. Williams isn't specially about the paranormal or UFOs, she does solid field researcher, but she's open and sympathetic to the kinds of accounts that some others may reject or scoff at. There's Jack Jack Lapserits and Henry Franzoni. I'd also suggest writers like Patrick Harpur, Colin Bennett, George Hansen, who don't write about Bigfoot necessarily, but their views on the paranormal in general and a sort of Gestalt perspective.

There are a lot of blogs out there that I like but among the Bigfoot blogs that address the stranger side of things: Nick Redfern has something like, four hundred blogs or so; I like Thom Powell's thomsquatch,Lisa Shiel's blogs , Autumn Willaims at Oregon Bigfoot.com and Melissa Hovey's The Search for Bigfoot, Lon Strickler's Phantoms and Monsters. there are a lot more I can't think of but there are so many dedicated people out there sharing their experiences about Sasquatch and related subjects, it's just amazing.

See if there's a state or local Bigfoot group in your area and join up, depending on their policies. Some are very vocal in their insistence that no discussion of anything paranormal or weird take place. Even if you're not intending to do field research, or believe in a strictly flesh and blood creature, ti's good to take part. I belong to a local Bigfoot research organization that is definitely primary flesh and blood, field research but they're open to other theories; and I joined a few others that aren't local, but good people and again, there's a diversity of members regarding all kinds of experiences. So find the one that fits who you are.

No matter what anyone says about all this; Bigfoot, UFOs, ghosts... no one knows everything and no one has a magic key to unlock the mystery. You are entitled to follow your own truths in all this and make up your own mind. For myself, I change my ideas about things as I continue to both experience events as well as where my studies take me.

Richard Thomas: Thanks Regan, where can readers find your columns and blogs?

Regan Lee: I contribute on-line to UFO Digest,UFO Mystic, Monster Track, Tim Binnall's Binnall of America, Skylaire Alfvegren's League of Western Fortean Intermediates and I run several blogs of my own; Frame 352 is my Bigfoot blog, Mothman Flutterings, Animal Forteana are others. And of course there's The Orange Orb, Vintage U.F.O. and Saucer Sightings, which deals with UFOs. I've written articles for some of Tim Beckley's books and I write a column for UFO Magazine.

Thank you Richard! You do great work and it's an honor.