SS18

Akaneesha

Akaneesha Photo

Sasquatch Summit
Ocean Shores, Washington
16-18 November 2018

By

Thom Cantrall

 

 

It was the first conference I had been even allowed to attend in more than a year.  I was not sure I could even get onto the stage, but I had been training for this event since I had been asked by the organizer, Johnny Manson (No relation- I hope – to Charles), to address the gathering.  Barb Shupe, of the research team, “Squatchin’ With Barb and Gabby” had volunteered to drive me the 3 hours or so to the event as well as to ferry me back and forth between our hotel and the event headquarters at the stylish Quinault Resort and Casino directly on the beach at Ocean Shores.

We arrived mid-afternoon on Friday to check into our rooms at the Sweetgrass Hotel, also directly on the beach then returned to the resort to get our displays set up before the evening’s scheduled 6 pm start of the “Meet and Greet”.  Since I was a scheduled speaker, I had my table inside the Great Hall while Barb was in the Vendor’s Area, immediately outside the hall.

First order of business is our own meet and greet of all those friends presenting who we have not seen since last time.  First to so meet was Brandon Tennent, who does the finest T-Shirts to be had anywhere and Dr. Jeff Meldrum with whom I have a very special relationship…  We each disagree with the other about 40% of the time, but I never fail to learn something new from him every time!  We are proof positive that it is most possible to disagree without being disagreeable!  Thom Powell, one of the very best to grace these events was next, then Joe and Tammy Hauser… both so dear to me!

I finally selected my own table at the side of the hall and near the ladder to the dais, so chosen because there were two adjacent and we needed the second one to display the butt casts from the September “Barb and Gabby” outing.  Kevin and Sandy had prepared a slide presentation to accompany the casts of the prints discovered by Ashlea and Kevin.  The two were kept wholly busy the entire time with visitors full of questions.  Also displayed on this table was the probable sasquatch scat sample collected by Patricia from near Mt. Rainier in Washington’s Cascade Mountains… a sample just shy of three inches in diameter!

I had ample help from Rob and others in setting up the display of my books and my newest feature, the five titles I have, thus far, converted to audio book.  I had some display copies as well of some volumes I had edited and published for others.  Among these were Arla Williams’ “My Life With the Hairy People”, her life account of her interactions around her eastern Oklahoma home beginning at age six and Kathi Blount’s   “My Journey Into Myth and Mystery”.

After all was set and in readiness, Barb came to get me and escort me to our preplanned dinner at the Resort’s renowned “Land and Sea Buffet”  we were accompanied by the artist, Rich Mog, from Secaucus, New Jersey with his son who was here to help him with his booth in the Vendor’s area.  Also there was our friend and sometimes Santa Claus, Rob Hofer.  There may have been others, but my engagement with a mound of Dungeness Crab, large, succulent shrimp and a slice of “just right” Prime Rib so large that if they had not severed his feet, he could have walked to the table by himself precluded me from knowing who they were!

Dinner over, the crabs mourned and the prime rib but a memory, we returned to the hall to meet and greet all who came for the conference.  The evening was convivial with reunions of old friends and the meeting of new ones!  What a wonderful way to spend a Friday evening… talking with like-minded people on a subject that most of the world believes a myth!  Those in attendance ranged from some who were ardent skeptics,  and why they even paid money to attend, amazes me, to those like me who have had the most intimate of encounters!  All were there for one thing… to hear the messages prepared for them by the speakers!  I love that Friday night session.  Meeting all those new folks makes all the effort so worthwhile.  It is during this time that my old adage of “If I had a dollar for every story I’ve ever heard that began ‘I’ve never told anyone this, but…’” really takes on a new life.

So many folks have had an experience they can’t explain and have no idea who to talk to about it.  Most have tried to discuss it with family with less than spectacular or even satisfactory, results!   Here, finally. They feel safe talking to me…  I had one lady this weekend, Rachel, who did not even want others to overhear what she had to say…  It’s okay, that’s part of what we are there for.

The evening ended with a “Town Hall type of meeting where the guests were invited to share their experiences and encounters publicly.  Often these can degenerate into a sort of unscheduled, disjointed discourse on some subject barely related to sasquatch.  This time, however, it was spirited, on topic and interesting!

Saturday morning dawned bright and clear… a sunny day in November on the North Pacific Coast… rare indeed!  We began our day with a battle with a round-a-bout while trying to get into McD’s… Eventually the roadway acquiesced and bowed to our determination, if not our hunger,  and we left with a sausage mc muffin apiece and a dream for a perfect day.   The short drive from downtown Ocean shores afforded us time to dispose of the majority of our breakfast morsel and allowing us to arrive in full readiness to face a long, if interesting day!

Our morning program began immediately at 9 am… more or less… with an Invocation by Quinault Tribal Elder, Butch Pope.  As usual, he was eloquent in his prayer and he even included a special remembrance for our veterans… a point greatly appreciated by this veteran!  At the conclusion of his prayer, it was time…

“Ladies and Gentlemen please welcome… and I was on…

As I began, I kept a very close watch on my audience for signs of boredom, disinterest or dissention and was surprised to see there was NONE!  Two men rose and left early, but that’s alright, I was obviously not talking to them.  But, those I was talking to were loving it!  There were no crossed arms… there were no scowls or frowns.  I didn’t even see a single wrinkled brow.  On and on the presentation went… from a demonstration of predisposed bias, partially ruined by one person who felt compelled to prove how smart he was… or that he had read the book by yelling out the point I was building to make.  I really wanted to ask him if he’d like the microphone so he could deliver my dissertation, but I behaved!  On we went through evidence and how that works then into the logic or illogic of the Patterson Gimlin film being a hoax and ended that with a demonstration of what it took to walk in Patty’s steps… Then the conclusions… time was nearly done… Barb had shown me the last time card… 30, 20 and on to the green numerals… 10… 5… 3 and finally the red numerals… 2… Then ONE!

From here, we are going to let the following conversation recorded from a group in Facebook describe what happened…

Sandy: The Summit was a full house, and Thom Cantrall shared a great presentation….with a surprise twist at the end…🤗

Dana: Yes it was a great presentation and lovely surprise. 😆 So good to see everyone! 😀

Kathy: Twist?

Thom: uh huh… wasn’t Peppermint either and I’d never seen it done like we did it… before nor since

Kathy: Tell all! please😉

Bob Gimlin… Uptown

Thom: You know I had made a set of time cards so Miss Barb could time me and post how much time I had left???
It never seems to bother me much if I run a few minutes over… but it seems to cause gray hairs to sprout in their (hosts) heads…
Well… I thought I’d be nice this time and at least TRY… so made up these cards… 30 min… 20 min… 10 min… 5 min… 3 min…2…1…  30 and 20 were black numerals… 10, 5 and 3 were green numerals… 2 and 1 were RED!
Well… my timing had been IMPECCABLE… as she held each card up, I was right on the tick with where I wanted to be…2 min… conclusions winding down…

1 min… done in RED even… conclusions done… moving into final slide… picture of my book. “21 Days to Destiny” just say it’s where the info is contained and it’s available on my table….I know…shameless plug and self-promotion…

Barb’s Table

remember … the entire hour I’m on stage… TWO physical demonstrations – one with three volunteers from the audience…and I’m STILL perfectly on time….

All this time RS is in my ear…. prompting me… emphasize this point… “I’m not gonna use the feather story” YES…use it… it was my gift to you…” so I told the story… all thru it, this is going on… he made me laugh a couple of times with his antics, but the audience didn’t know what caused that….

now… last RED number was now done… last slide came up….I’m starting to say “Thank you for being here…and all the platitudes preparatory to leaving and I hear… “Keep going!”

Kathy: I’m on the edge of my seat…

Thom: “What?  I’m done!”  “Keep talking…don’t stop…”  so, ever agreeable to what RS wants (You tend to be that way with a 9’3″ tall individual…) I kept going… I will have to wait to see the video to know what I talked about.

I have not the foggiest idea, but I said something… not sure how long it was .…  a minute or two, I suppose… I looked in Barb’s direction and she was waving the card like a FLAG…..I could hear the sweat dropping from Johnny’s brow behind me…..I’m SEATED, ’cause I couldn’t stand that long…
when RS says, “ok, conclude,” so I said “I want to thank…”
CRASHHHHHHHHHHHHHH……....BOOMMMMMMMMMMM ,………… SCREECHHHHHHHHHHHH like the WORST mic feedback you have EVER heard in your LIFE…. it was SCREECHING… people were grabbing their ears… technicians came from EVERYWHERE… all mics were unplugged and turned off…and still it came…

it lasted approximately 3 days!!

They finally determined it was coming from the HOUSE system, not the hall’s sound system… 2 days later it stopped

Kathy: I love RS!

Thom: I’m standing there….well sitting there with that deer in the headlight look… saying “you COULDA warned me…” and I get a chuckle back and “do you think they’ll forget that ending???”

Across the building in the back of an equipment room, LOCKED… is a control panel ALSO LOCKED which contains a “gain control” switch… that had somehow moved from the extreme left position to the extreme right position…. inside a LOCKED panel, inside a LOCKED room, completely removed from the great hall!!!

Thom:  …Thank you for your time folks… come see me at my table if you have questions… gave the mic to Johnny, mustered my crew to get me off stage and retreated to my table…

… where, over the next 9 hours or so, more than 250 people and maybe as many as 350 people came to me to thank me for coming there and for giving that “wonderful” presentation… and bought 2X as many books as I had EVER sold at even a full 3 day conference!!!!
Thom: Yes, Kathy, I love him with all my heart and soul… but he CAN be a liability at times!!!! LOL

Kathy: Oh Thom❣️

Thom: It was absolutely magnificent, Princess!! I felt I could have flown off that stage at the end

I went to Dr. Meldrum at the end and said. “Well, Jeff, we’ve done it again…. disagreed with one another on 40% of what we said but leave friends and I can say I LEARNED something from you once more…
He said, “You are so articulate… and your arguments so lucid and well supported that I find myself disagreeing with you, but my head is nodding up and down and I’m transfixed by your logic…”
was so strange to hear that from him
The funny thing about it?? All of our group knew who had done that… they all KNEW it was Akaneesha

I had the most beautiful set of notes prepared… a complete outline with miniatures of all my pictures in the presentation so I never had to look at the screen once… 5 pages of outlines…. got all done ready to close my book… I was on the 2nd page in my book… I had never turned to page 3 even
but I had covered every salient point in the entire presentation

Thom Cantrall I’m not sure how they will do it, but there will be those who will call me a liar for these words and this account, but I swear this is precisely what went down… please, while you can, and it is fresh in their minds, ask others who were there if there is a SINGLE word of untruth in this description… I know the vilification is coming, but learn now…

 

What Others Had to Say…

 

Susan Funkhouser I was there!! and me being a cautionary critter had no doubt who instigated that screeching. It was not just the usual feedback noise, it was several tones all at once, the buzz, the shrill shriek, the amp sound, whistling, all doing their own thing all at once and I just sat there with a smile on my face thinking, “well doesn’t this beat clapping” :)

 

Sandy Nelson  - Thom Cantrall… there were hundreds of people who witnessed this event. When the techies started looking at each other and pointing, I knew the jig was up. It was complete AWESOMENESS in the most awe inspiring way❣
Well done A… aka…RS…

Thom, my Sis and I just wanted to say your presentation was amazing! And if you don’t believe in Woo, oops here it is. Glad to sense your teacher was watching your back. – Kristina

Thom was really on top of his game with his presentation…  Great energy and very clear rebuttals of the “guy in a costume” agenda that had been spouted over the years. Akaneesha was obviously there lending his support. What an ending! I’ll remember this one forever. Thank you Thom for going the extra mile to make this happen and God Bless Barb for getting you to SS safe and sound! – Nancy

Brian Bland I thought your presentation was delivered with foresight and passion and you spoke with your heart which is something I always appreciate. The fact that you were just wrapping up before the “BIG NOISE” kicked in was not a coincidence. I do not prescribe to coincidence especially in regards to our big friends and I can visualize RS and Arrrie teaming up with love and humor to show you their approval. I think RS initiated it but I felt Arrrie’s presence there and I know he has a great sense of humor. I can see them both having a great big belly laugh over the entire affair. They don’t do these kinds of things for just anyone so you were definitely appreciated by them and all in attendance.

Thom, I just want to say what a truly captivating presentation you wrote and delivered at the Summit this weekend! You always prepare such good information to share! I know I’m not the only one who did not have dry eyes when you spoke of your Teacher, there is no doubting the love and friendship there. Good job, so proud of you for that accomplishment, you reached hundreds of people in attendance with solid advice.  And thank you again for letting us bunk with you.  - Sue

What a fantastic presentation Thom, so relaxed and informative, and the ending…WOW! – Patricia

Thom your Presentation was great and the finish was fantastic. I was laughing so hard when that bizarre equipment malfunction. Your Teacher was definitely making a statement. I loved it. – Theresa

Hmmm…I wonder if Johnny’s technical crew captured that horrific screech… testing the Hertz would be very cool! It was astonishing… love the idea that perhaps we ALL got a “frequency sound bath upgrade”. Thanks, Ashlea  - Sandy

Ashlea – That’s what it felt and sounded like to me. I’ve been around some gnarly feedback before at many a rock show and I’m pretty sensitive to light and certain sounds. This experience was different, it did not affect me like feedback and by the middle of it, I found it invigorating and fun to be in… not uncomfortable.

I sat next to a total skeptic and after the mic feedback, he left the conference! Thom shut him down!!!! – Kristina

Understand, this happened immediately after Thom’s raw and open monologue about the woo, of which I witnessed 2 guys walk out mid-presentation in apparent disgust of this “theory” (out of 500+ attendees). Interrupting the final minute of Thom’s presentation was a deafening, room-wide microphone feedback that shut down the whole room in audio overload as technicians pointing in every opposite direction showed me a clear misunderstanding of what was happening!! Holding my ears, I asked Ashlea if she thought this was a technical issue. She half smiled and shook her head “no”. I already knew, I just needed confirmation. Akaneesha was making a statement! – Kevin

Yes it was a great presentation and lovely surprise. So good to see everyone!  - Dana

Thom you did a great job on your presentation at the Sasquatch Summit! – Darren

Jeff Kindle Thom- I know I told you this after your presentation at the Summit but I am going to tell you again. Your presentation was as good as I have seen at one of these gatherings. You engaged your audience with your knowledge as well as demonstrating your passion for your research. Well done my friend.

Just wanted to tell you that my son and I had an even better time at the Summit because you were there… your experiences are so incredibly interesting combined with your ability to tell them. Thank you so much for your kindness and friendship. Looking forward to seeing you again… Rich Mog

Arla Cailleach Collett You will never find another person who has as much info about Bigfootdom and the people in it.

And Then…

                Of course the Conference continued… I was followed onstage by Adam Davies who gave a brilliant dissertation on the unknown cryptids around the world.  Adam has conducted expeditions worldwide in search of knowledge under the auspices of “Extreme Expeditions”.  In fact I first met Adam and his group when I was asked to participate in one such event in the North Cascades in Washington State.  It was at this site that he obtained the photograph of the big white guy kneeling over Lori and him in their sleeping bags.

Rictor Riolo – Rictor had a very important theme as the basis for his dissertation… He delved into how to do a proper forensic investigation of a discovery site.  This is a subject near and dear to my heart.  It is something we have been striving so hard to impart to our groups.  Security of the scene and proper evidence gathering is essential to the preservation of the quality of the evidence.

Unfortunately, the speaker allowed his personal opinion and politics to interfere with the scientific objectivity of his message.  It is a shame that he spent so much of his time on politics that he could not finish his message on his core subject.

As usual, Thom Powell was masterful in his presentation.  Thom taught science and astronomy to 8th graders for decades and there is no tougher audience to keep focused and in tune than this group of new teens!  Perhaps it is because my mind is at this level or, I hope, teaching at that level appeals to the masses of us.  Whichever it is, it works for me and I find myself transfixed by his delivery and teaching!  Thom has a very rich background in research of the sasquatch phenomenon and it comes through loudly!  He has sufficient personal experience to compliment and endorse his investigative finds.

In addition to his teachings at this conference and others, he manages a personal blog that is very worthwhile to investigate!  This blog is at http://www.thomsquatch.com/and I heartily recommend it. q If one reads nothing else on this blog. “The Coconut Telegraph” is totally worth the price of admission!!

Saturday afternoon brought its own brand of enjoyment and knowledge with David Ellis’ presentation for the Olympic Project.  David had two guests with him who had been having regular interaction with the large, hairy ones and they had some absolutely beautiful recordings they shared with us.  The audio recordings were outstanding and very professionally done!  Donna and her husband were articulate and interesting in their descriptions and illustrations around their subject.