A troubling feature of many Bigfoot accounts is the claim to have had experiences with Bigfoot creatures over long periods of time - periods in which the Bigfoot seem to become habituated to human presence. One of the better-known accounts is that of the pseudonymous Jan Klement in the book The Creature:
Sometimes the mind plays strange tricks upon us and with the passage of time we find it difficult to separate truth from fantasy. Time has passed, about two years to be exact, and I feel that I better write down my story before it passes into that gray area of unreality.
You who read this story can expect no great prose, no witticisms to tempt the chuckle bones, nothing to challenge the imagination. This will be a straightforward account of what happened. You may believe it if you wish or refuse to believe it. Your acceptance or rejection of this tale will have no effect on the future of the world or the future of yourself. (5)
Thus begins the account of one man's experience with a Bigfoot in southwestern Pennsylvania, a tale of friendship between a human and a Bigfoot creature, affectionately named 'Kong.'
Having built a small cabin on 11 acres of land, Klement worked hard to improve the property, which he called 'The Diggins' because of his inclination to dig ditches, holes, ponds, and embankments on the land. On one occasion, after working all day to dig a small pond, Klement settled onto the porch of the cabin to enjoy a beer:
I heard a slight noise to my right and so I lifted myself and peered around to the side of the cabin from the porch and there crouched before me was a large hairy creature. In an instance the creature turned and leaped into the brush to the back of the cabin and was gone. I stood stunned. 'My God.' I must have shouted it out loud.
A few days later the creature returned. This time Klement was eating an apple on the cabin porch when the creature suddenly appeared at the porch railing. The creature carefully extended its arm, snatched two apples, stared briefly at Klement, and then ran away into the bushes. Klement estimated the creature was over seven feet tall, man-like or ape-like in appearance, and covered with short brown hair. The creature had large eyes and an 'expressive' mouth. Klement noticed well-developed leg and shoulder muscles and a protruding stomach. The stomach warrants an explanation from Klement:
The protruding stomach may seem normal when one considers apes and sees pictures of them but when an artist conceives a human the human is pictured as flat stomached and muscular which is a misconception. Stand on any street corner and you will observe that humans are flabby with protruding guts. The older the human the more protruding the gut. I can say this, as I look down over my own creeping obesity. So you should not consider the creature as too much different than humans on that basis. (8-9)
Following this second meeting, Klement actively attempted to attract the creature and to habituate it to his presence. Through trial and error, he discovered that the secret was to work until his clothes were damp with sweat and then to sit on his porch with apples for bait. When the creature appeared again, Klement encouraged it to come closer by hand gestures. This seemed to have no effect. Klement then tossed an apple at the creature's feet. It was then that he saw that it was a male:
Its penis hanging limply in front, scarcely noticeable in the failing light. He picked up the apple, opened his mouth and with one chomp crushed it in powerful jaws. I threw him another and another and on the third apple I spoke in low hushed tones increasing my voice to normal about the tenth apple. I was now fishing apples from the chip basket on the railing. The creature loaded most of these in his arms and walked to the bushes at the end of the small clearing and disappeared. (10)
The next evening the creature returned and this time would take apples directly from Element's hand. Klement notes that the creature most certainly did not subsist on apple hand-outs. Indeed on one occasion he saw it run down a small deer and carry it away into the bush, presumably for a feast.
Klement describes why he was not frightened by these events:
I have always prided myself on not being afraid of anything and this seemed to be a situation in which the creature was afraid and I was the aggressor. I have traveled somewhat in Europe and have slept among hostile gypsies in Hungary and faced a knife point in an alley off Piccadilly Circus in London. When these adventures occurred to me they seemed unreal and as if it were happening to someone else, perhaps to my alter ego or some other psychological manifestation of my personality. It was and is this sense of unreality about life that makes me unafraid. Besides I was a scientist and this was a situation in which all true scientists wish to find themselves someday. (11)
In a few weeks' time, Klement had managed to tame the creature somewhat and gave him the name Kong. He even managed to teach him a few simple words. He taught the creature the word 'Stay' and, perhaps more importantly, 'Go' - a word used to tell the creature to leave the area quickly.
The word and sound BAH meant NO. I tried to teach him NO but he confused it with GO and would leave the area. I usually had to use BAH when he would touch me too briskly or start to eat one of the small surviving spruce trees I wished to save. (35)
Over time Klement found it hard to think of Kong as an animal. In addition to his physical resemblance to a human being, Klement noted that Kong also seemed to share emotions in common with our species. Facial expressions indicated pleasure, anxiety, fear, surprise, and annoyance: 'Once I thought he was smiling but it was only a grimace, probably from gas which he often expelled orally and anally with explosive force' (36).
On one occasion, Klement even observed that Kong was sexually aroused:
Well here was Kong with a glowing hard on, standing in front of me. I gave him two apples which he promptly ate. As he stood around I felt uneasy and once again embarrassed. Occasionally he would touch one end of his penis and seemed to be brushing away flies but none were in evidence. He was not masturbating. Finally I told him to get the hell out of here and if he had a female to go and find her. Of course he didn't understand what I was saying . . . (65)
Kong did find a way to relieve the sexual tension, however, much to Klement's surprise. Looking across a field at a herd of cattle, Klement saw Kong in action:
He was mounted on a large Holstein cow and was shoving away. The cow would start to walk away and Kong would lift his legs and hang on with his hands cupped against the side of the cow until it would stop and then he would begin working his buttocks rapidly again . . .
I told Kong that there were no more apples and that he should go. I headed for the car and Kong started slowly up the road toward the top of the hill. I hollered after him 'you picked the ugliest one.' (66-7)
Before long, however, Klement noticed that Kong seemed to be ill, perhaps even feverish. One day he returned to the cabin to find Kong lying in the rain, dead. Fearing the public's intrusion into his privacy, Klement decided to bury Kong secretly. With a great deal of effort, he managed to pull Kong into the back of his station wagon with the aid of a rope and an old door for a ramp. Once inside the car, he drove Kong to a deserted spot many miles away for the burial. Getting Kong out of the station wagon and into the woods proved to be quite difficult, however, and the whole affair ended in a rather grisly scene:
I tried to drag Kong into the woods but he was too heavy. There was only one thing to do. I took out the axe and started cutting him into movable pieces. First his head came off with one deft stroke. There was a clap of thunder and it started to rain. My feet were in snow and my head was in rain. His arms came off with difficulty. His legs needed several hacks and by this time I was crying uncontrollably. Some blood formed on the wet snow. I took out my bottle of scotch and swilled much of it down. Then I started carrying the pieces into the woods. I have no idea how far I went but it was a good ways. I made one trip for the arms, one each for the legs. And one for the head. I had to drag the torso behind me with the rope. It kept getting tangled on greenbrier and small saplings.
The rain pelted me, the lightning flashed and I could see West Virginia over on the other hillside as I dug the grave. The pieces of Kong lay in disarray about me. Finally the hole was about three feet deep and full of water. I dug a slit trench in the hillside to drain most of the water away. Snow was still in abundance on the ground.
The covering job was a nightmare and I was glad when it was completed. After the job I repeated 'I am the resurrection and the life sayeth the Lord and he who believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live and he whoever liveth and believeth in me shall have everlasting life.' I don't know why I said it, I'm not a religious person but this laying to rest of one of God's creatures evoked this testimony of sorts from me. I returned to the car with my shovel, my rope, and my poncho. When I got there I finished the rest of the scotch, got in the car, threw the bottle out the window, turned the car around and skidded up the hill to the gap and down the other side. (84-5)
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