Friday, June 17, 2011

Spain: Searching for Bigfoot in the Aragonese Pyrenees

Spain: Searching for Bigfoot in the Aragonese Pyrenees – The First Expedition
By Javier Resines, Criptozoología en España

Since time immemorial there has been speculation surrounding the existence of “wild men” in certain isolated of the Pyrenees where access is difficult. This likelihood has regained currency following the information supplied by recent expeditions made in to the region of Bielsa, Huesca (Spain).

Our gratitude goes out to French researcher and filmmaker Florent Barrere, promoter and popularizer of these expeditions, for allowing us to gain access to his reports and extract the article we reproduce below, created by this seeker of the unknown. He describes the events surrounding the two expeditions organized by the Les films de la grotte association with the aim of securing information on the “Wild man of the Pyrenees” following news of the case known as the “Peña Montañesa yeti”.

Enjoy the report...

Expeditions to Bielsa
By Florent Barrere

1. Location of Bielsa and its Surroundings

Bielsa is a small town located at the entrance of the valley of Monte Perdido in the province of Huesca of the Aragonese Pyrenees. In order to enter this valley from France, the easiest route to follow is the road to Saint-Lary-Soulan in the valley of Aure, passing through the Saint-Lary tunnel. Some Spanish towns with low population densities – with the exception of Bielsa – offer a wealth of surprises in the valley of Monte Perdido: Peña Montañes, Espierba, Parzan...

The main mountain forest in Monte Perdido is known as La bola verde o pineta, which is to say, “the green valley with trees”. It is a very damp valley typical of the Pyrenaic forests: deciduous hardwood forests and shrubs up to an elevation of a thousand meters, then mixed with conifers from the 1000-1800 meter line.

2. Incidents in the Vicinity of Bielsa

A well-known case occurred in the region known as Peña Montañesa (Huesca) in the Aragonese Pyrenees. This is peaceful area that is only visited by shepherds and their flocks. On May 4, 1993, a group of six woodcutters came across a strange creature standing 1.7 meters tall in this wilderness. According to Manuel Cazcarra, one of the workers, they were cutting trees when “around 15:45 hours, I suddenly heard screams, sharp screams like those of a wild goat. We thought that one such animal had fallen off a cliff, and I went over to see what had happened. When I saw it, it was climbing a pine tree, holding a branch with its hands and feet. It screamed. A 90-meter distance separated us from the creature. I summoned my companions to come and see, and the first of them was Ramiro Lopez, who arrived in time to see the being descend from the tree to hide behind a large bush. The rest of my companions came over, but were unable to see it. However, they had to dodge a tree-trunk violently hurled at them, undoubtedly by the monkey man.”

These are the simple and exact words used by a man who has seen bears, although these have become scarce in the Spanish Pyrenees. He was sure that it could not be a bear or any other known animal in the Pyrenaic fauna. When we asked Manuel Cazcarra if he had come across other traces in the following days, he answered: “A few days later, the window of one of our Land Rovers was broken. And only a few days ago, a tractor truck was half destroyed.” That very same week, a Guardia Civil (state police) patrol, accompanied by one of the lumberjacks, reported to the area and found strange prints on the ground. While they did not appear to belong to any animal known to the Guardia Civil, and with a view toward avoiding a panic, the hypothesis was put forth that the prints probably belonged to a bear that escaped a nearby wildlife preserve.

3. Expedition 1: Broken Trees

The first expedition to the surroundings of Bielsa was organized at the initiative of Philippe Coudray, who along with his twin brother Jean Luc Coudray, visited the region in June 2008 to attempt a “hominological first contact” after learning of the recent account of the Spanish woodcutters. With the experience gleaned from the expeditions in search of the North American wild man (Sasquatch 2007, Texas and Sasquatch 2008, British Columbia), Philippe Coudray was able to go deep into the mountains of Monte Perdido valley and give his opinion on some wooden structures or broken trees – intentionally created – that were found.

Philippe and Jean Luc Coudray’s first photographic location was around a small paved road known as D11, which leaves Bielsa toward Espierba. The broken trees are along the roadside leaving Espierba.

Three sets of broken trees have been found at different heights along this road, normally between two and three meters tall. They have been photographed by the Coudray brothers, with this being the most characteristic image of the broken trees (see photo)

A priori, these two young trees could have been accidentally broken following a powerful storm, as is customary in this mountain forest.

However, the structure’s details tell us something more: aside from both trees being at the same height, which can occur naturally, the two young tree trunks are supported by a softer branch that is artificial, as it was placed to support the structure.

Therefore, what could be construed as a mere accident of nature – a pile of wood arranged at random by natural agents – appears to be an intentionally crafted structure, whether the height of both broken pine trees is accidental or not.

(To be continued)