INTERVIEW — TAPE #74, SIDE #2
Q: Mark Russell Bell
D: FM 101.9 disc jockey
P: Pacific Bell Message Center Voice Mail
K: Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
C: Cliff Crook, Bigfoot Central
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D: FM 101.9. They were actually here not too long ago and they’re coming back for another swing through the Southland. I believe it’s the end of March. Yep: the 23rd they’re set for a date at the Coach House. And I would think as long as they’re going to do that, they’ll probably announce a few other shows in the area. We’ll fill you in as we get closer. We heard from Robert Plant and also Chris Rea, “Let’s Dance.” It’s 9:17, Nicole and Chuck this Valentine’s . . .
Q: I didn’t get to the receiver fast enough to get the name of that song but the first song I heard was the new song by The Beatles. So it was the perfect way to begin my Valentine’s Day and have breakfast reading the newspaper. I can’t tell you how many people in it have the name ‘man’ and ‘son.’ Just for example: Jim Steinman is doing the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s next project.
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Q: Since my book is about Hollywood, I thought I would mention some information in the newspaper today (reported by Judy Brennan) because of all the other articles about the Academy Awards because the nominations were announced today. I think that the major studios could learn a lot from Miramax. They only spent about $2 million to market their film, including about $1.5 on the January re-release and Oscar campaign (of “The Postman”). In contrast, Paramount spent about $25 million on pushing “Braveheart,” including $200,000 on the Oscar campaign. Universal spent about $20 million on “Apollo 13” and $12 million on “Babe.” Sony/Columbia spent $10.5 to $12 million for marketing “Sense and Sensibility,” (“RIGHT”) including an estimated $500,000 on the Academy ads alone. These costs pale in comparison to the outlay on the year’s most expensive movies. Universal spent an estimated $20 million to market “Waterworld.” Buena Vista/Synergy’s “Judge Dread” had marketing costs between $25 and $30 million. Carolco’s “Cutthroat Island” cost about $15 million to market and “Showgirls” (“SSS”) had $10 million of the $14 million promotional budget spent on marketing. Paramount also spent over $15 million to open “Jade.” So there are a lot of interesting stories behind the scenes. I’m especially glad that Michael Radford was nominated for Best Director because I’ve always liked his work. And I haven’t seen any of the films that the actresses are nominated for but I’m glad that Sharon Stone was nominated. And for Best Actor I don’t see how anyone could not vote for Massimo Troisi. He’ll never have another chance to win. I see that there’s an interesting story here about “Babe.” It says the Australian producer of “Babe” was attempting to assess the film’s appeal at 4 a.m. Sydney time. Miller was awakened at 2 a.m. with the news that the film had been nominated for seven Oscars. In what he interpreted as a kind of omen, Miller said his six-month-old son had awakened moments before, laughing. The article was written by Robert W. Welcos and Claudia Puig, Times staff writers.
( . . . )
P: Sent today at 10:21 a.m.
K: Hello, Mark. This is Kim Murphy with the Los Angeles Times returning your call. You were asking about Bigfoot Central. That’s located in Bothell, Washington. It’s run by a fellow named Cliff Crook and is number is (give number). Bye.
( . . . )
Q: So, anyway, nice talking to you, Cliff Crook. How do you spell your last name?
C: The last name is Crook, C — R — O — O — K. It’s in a shepherd’s staff.
Q: Okay, great. And where is that? Over the — which — over which letter?
C: Pardon me?
Q: Oh you said — there’s a — what did you say?
C: As in a shepherd’s staff.
Q: Oh I see. As opposed to — (“THE BANK”)
C: Criminal. (small laugh)
Q: Yeah, right. I see. Okay. Okay, great. Well, anyway, nice speaking to you. I am going to speak to Carol about obtaining the photo rights for my book.
Q: And now, first of all, I do believe that this photo is legitimate, having well researched the subject over the years. And what are your feelings about it?
C: Yeah, I think that if this photo is authentic — I think that the person that has seen Bigfoot before and has actually encountered Bigfoot and made sighting of Bigfoot a.k.a. Sasquatch, I think that he will automatically recognize from that photo what he saw.
C: And I think that will prove it to the person. Not to the world but to the person that has actually seen Bigfoot, which I believe there are many people that have.
Q: Many people have. They just unfortunately didn’t have a camera at the time. And there are even footprints — like one with some toes that were broken.
C: Oh yeah.
Q: Yeah, there are things that would be very, very hard if not impossible to counterfeit.
C: Yes, it would.
Q: Are you familiar with Julia Pastrana?
C: Who is it?
Q: Julia Pastrana. Strange Magazine did a piece about various bigfoot-type people over the years and she was one of them.
C: I see.
Q: She was half bigfoot.
Q: So you might but they didn’t point that out in the article. I know these things for reasons too lengthy to go into but apparently she was in the mid-19th Century, she was world-famous as a singer and dancer during the days of P.T. Barnum. So all this time, someone who was a bigfoot was in the public eye and there for everyone —
C: To see.
Q: — to see. And no one even bothered.
C: I had never heard it. In all my research — forty years of it, I have never heard of that before. And . . . just because I’ve been on the trail for that long and out there where things are happening doesn’t mean that I have researched everything either.
C: But that is really — I would like to learn more about that.
Q: Well (“YOU KNOW”) you can — there is an author who has published articles about her. His name is Drimmer. I think it’s Frederick Drimmer and he included (“IN”) articles about her in several of his books. (“THE”) The best one I think is called — what was it called? He (“HE DID”) — he’s famous for doing that one on freaks called Very Special People but he did a follow-up — oh, it’s called Born Different.
Q: By Frederick Drimmer. And there’s a whole chapter on Julia Pastrana.
C: Oh thank you. I’m going to look that one up.
Q: Okay, fine. I — take it from me, definitely. Half bigfoot. She’s like a midget variety of the Bigfoot.
C: I see.
Q: Her mother apparently was kidnaped by — she was a Mexican — you know, a native Mexican woman who was kidnaped bathing at a lake. (“OR NO[T]”) Or, anyway, she fell into Bigfoot — into a cave with bigfoot people and basically was rescued like four or five years later and she had a small child who was a dwarf bigfoot.
C: I know that the North American Indians have way back into their legends, they have legendary tales of a giantess woman that met up with a bear at one time, you know.
Q: Right. They usually call them bears or Root Digger Indians or —
C: Yeah, Root Digger.
C: From California. Northern California.
Q: And also in Ivan T. Sanderson’s book about Abominable Snowman: Legend Come To Life, he talks even about (“NO”) the dwarf variety in South America.
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: I SHOULD HAVE SAID CENTRAL AMERICA.)
C: Oh right.
Q: The Dwendis.
C: That’s it. Uh-huh.
C: Yeah and —
Q: Have you now ever seen one, yourself?
Q: Have you ever seen a — like a bigfoot?
C: Oh have I — yeah, that’s what started me on the trail of the Bigfoot search. In 1956 I was with three boys and a dog and we were camped out in the woods — in the backwoods that people hadn’t been in to inves(tigate) — you know, to travel in. Nobody had been in there to investigate if there is anything in there. Like bear or deer or anything. They had no reason to go in there. It was all brushy and swampy. But we ended up down in the swamp areas and that night something that we saw that wasn’t a — all human or it wasn’t a bear (“UH”) uh walked up across the swamp up to the campfire light in — within twelve feet of us and peered over the top of the underbrush. And we spent a real terrifying night.
Q: (small laugh)
C: The dog that was with us was a German Shepherd. It went into the brush and tried to attack it. And it was thrown over the top of the underbrush and almost into the campfire and the wind was knocked out of it. And we all witnessed that. And —
Q: What do you think of those people who say that there could be a connection between UFOs and bigfoot?
C: Well I think we should deal with one mystery at a time here.
C: Yeah. And I think it’s too easy for people to link everything to UFOs. Every single thing.
C: And — but you know —
Q: My book has some testimony about that, by the way. From my interviews.
C: Oh I see, okay.
Q: So you’ll (“THEY”) — you’ll (“BE”) — you have to read my book, obviously.
C: I sure will. (I) put out a newsletter. It goes all over the country and — (“YY”)
Q: Your newsletter?
C: Yeah. And —
Q: How tall was this that you saw, by the way?
C: I would advertise your book in my newsletter.
C: How tall was the —
Q: The bigfoot you saw?
C: It stood over six-foot underbrush. I saw it from the shoulders up. (“UM-HUH”)
Q: And it did — did it look like the photo that ran in the L.A. Times recently?
C: Oh it certainly did.
Q: It didn’t have any neck?
C: The photo in the L.A. Times — now you’re looking down — the photographer — the one that encountered it was looking down he estimated twenty to twenty-five yards, looking down at it. So it was looking up, giving it a no-neck appearance.
Q: Right. It probably has some small neck or something.
C: Yeah, like it was looking way up and so the eye of the camera made the creature image look a little bit odd. In other words, it wasn’t taken from level turf.
Q: Right. A lot of people think this photo is a hoax. But, you know, if I was doing a hoax, I sure would make it — I would not make it look like this picture.
C: You’re exactly right. And if you were to talk to the gentleman that actually encountered it, (“E”) just I’m sure that you would be very convinced to see him in person . . .
Q: Do you remember his name?
C: Yeah, I know his name. I’m not supposed to release . . .
Q: Okay, fine. Well then I would not want to — anyway, I’ve known people too who’ve had photos of bigfoot over the years. At least, they say they do. Who knows if they really do or not?
(TRANSCRIBER’S NOTE: WHEN I WAS WORKING AS A TALENT AGENT, JOHN CARRADINE’S MANAGER TOLD ME THAT HE HAD FOOTAGE OF A BIGFOOT.)
Q: But —
C: For sure. I think it — when it comes to trying to decide if something’s authentic or not, and I mean when it deals with something this deep into mystery, I think a person goes by his gut feeling, his own gut feeling. He can talk to — if you could actually talk to the person, it would really help. And then to see the photos that he has in his own possession —
Q: Did he have — does he have other photos too?
C: He certainly does . . .
Q: He must be a very loving individual for a bigfoot actually to come that close to him.
Q: He must project love.
C: He does . . .
Q: And that’s why — that’s why the bigfoot isn’t scared of him.
C: Yeah, he’s totally friendly. He’s really a neat guy.
Q: I bet his first name is Michael.
C: Is his first name Michael?
Q: I don’t know. I bet it is.
C: Anyway, I can’t —
Q: Oh I know you can’t. No, I know.
C: Because he has . . .
Q: It’s just too bad that people in this day and age feel they can’t divulge themselves because people will think that they’re liars or —
Q: Or crazy.
C: Yeah and he’s —
Q: It’s sad.
C: — he knows what he would be in for if he —
Q: Isn’t that sa(d)? Well, you know, I can’t wait to see what I’m in for because my book embraces all these various areas of New Age thinking.
C: Well I think that you’re in the clear because there are so many people that will consider you not a crusader but a — oh let’s see, somebody that is really brave.
C: Somebody that’s brave enough to get out there and tell people exactly what he has learned and what — and he’s taken the experiences of others and included them and found out that — (“IT’S”)
Q: I think it’s about karma because I even did (“LIKE”) the press kit for the movie “Braveheart” with Mel Gibson that just won all those Oscar nominations. I mean like I did the press kit for this movie.
C: Oh yeah.
Q: So — and I have a brave heart too.
C: Yeah, for sure.
Q: (small laugh)
C: That’s pretty neat.
Q: And that, of course — did you see that (“MEL”) movie? It starred Mel Gibson.
C: No, I didn’t but — no, I haven’t.
Q: Well did you see any of the movies? Probably not.
Q: Have you seen any of the movies up for Best Picture like “Babe” or anything?
C: I really have — (“I DON[T]”) not — no.
Q: Okay. I don’t blame you. Your life is more interesting than a movie.
C: Well thank you.
Q: Probably. I mean if you’re, you know — bigfoot I mean —
C: One of the people that saved me from killing myself one time was a man named Charlton Heston who I met — re-met about several weeks ago here. He was on a book tour. And I went over and thanked him and shook his hand for that. And I don’t know — it’s like pre-destiny or something because this man appeared out of nowhere when I was in Southern California one time and he was going over to a rodeo grounds to advertise for a new movie coming up called “El Cid.” Well —
Q: I’ve seen that. Beautiful movie.
C: Yeah, and you know I didn’t — I had not heard of Charlton Heston then. I had not heard of him or — and “El Cid” wasn’t — I don’t know if — I think Charlton Heston had already made “The Ten Commandments.” I think so. But I still hadn’t heard of him because of the lifestyle I’ve had but (“AWAY”) he came over there and introduced himself. He said, “Good morning.” It was a great, great morning and I was over there talking to my — way out in nowhere, you know, talking to a friend of mine, which is a Palomino horse called Tony. And he came up over an embankment and — as a complete stranger and (“NO”) was very friendly and talked to me and asked — invited me down to the rodeo grounds to see him go around in a chariot to advertise for his upcoming movie. But it curtailed a lot of setting up in the rodeo in how everything went together like — he was so interested in that, in watching it all come together. And so we sat way up in the bleachers and we looked down, just two of us and actually waited most of the morning and talked to different people. He introduced me to them and I got interested in riding a Brahman bull because of the money that was involved. But I’d never ridden a Brahman bull in my life. And I got (“TO”) all the way sitting — over, ready to hop on it, you know, and ready for the whistle and the gate to open. And I remembered what Heston told me when I was sitting in the stands. He said, “Go down and look at Old Blue and I tell you if you’ve never been a Brahman before,” he said, “People get killed on them.” Well, anyway, he was much older than I was at the time and well I just thought he was more or less talking through his hat kind of but then another voice told me that this guy might — had no reason to try to keep me off that Brahman.
Q: Right. And what — the name Brahman certainly has a symbolic meaning.
C: Yeah and I took his advice serious at the last second and I (“NO”) took the tag off my neck and threw the hat down and they were real mad at me. And I was kind of mad at myself because I knew that if I stayed on him for over I think it was three seconds I could walk away with the money. But the guy that got on him after me — he went directly from the Brahman to the hospital and I heard that he had broken almost every bone in his body.
Q: Oh my God.
C: And I went over into the — after, into the crowd, up to the bleachers and everything and I looked and I couldn’t find the guy I spent the whole morning with, Charlton Heston. And I always wanted to thank him for what he did for me. And so much went on during that morning that we talked and talked — he did most of the talking but I always wanted to thank him and I thought I never would see him again but just several weeks ago he came over here on a book tour and I was able to get it off my chest and thank him. And it really meant a lot to me.
Q: I guess like movie stars’ lives touch a lot of people through their movie(s); (“AN THEIR”) also through their own life.
C: That’s what — I think so. It was later when I realized that how famous that he was at the time and how famous he would become later.
C: You know, I used to keep it to myself when people would talk about him and I wouldn’t tell the story. I’d keep it to myself. I think the reason was that I had never sent him any note of thanks whatsoever. I think once a person says thank you and gets the gratefulness out of his heart to somebody else — I think he can talk about it from —
Q: Oh definitely.
C: Yeah. And in the meantime it just kind of keeps you in kind of a — one of the little small prisons.
Q: Right. Well I also consulted for the movie marketing of “8 Seconds,” the Luke Perry movie.
C: Oh yeah.
Q: And he was playing someone who actually died doing what you almost did.
C: Oh yeah.
Q: So yeah. It’s a very dangerous sport and do you think it is cruel to animals?
C: Oh it sure — I certainly do . . .
C: Yeah, I think it’s cruel to the animal and I think it’s cruel to people. And I also think that there are a lot of mindsets out there that are — that would think for me to say something like that, that I would be a nut. But I don’t know. It doesn’t matter what people think if —
Q: I — yeah. I was once in Las Vegas during (“LIKE”) — the rodeo happened to be in town at the same time. Just one of those coincidental things. I saw so many mangled people. I mean — (“LIKE”) it’s a very macho sport but it isn’t (“MM”) so macho after you’ve been mangled.
C: No. (small laugh)
Q: You know?
C: Yeah. No, it — the way you said that it sounded like a rhyme.
C: Macho after you said mangled . . .
Q: Exactly. It sounds like it should be a song. A pop song.
C: Definitely. (laughs)
Q: Garth Brooks, get busy.
C: It ain’t so macho after you’re mangled. (laughs)
Q: Exactly. I think we have a top ten hit. Now if only I could meet Garth Brooks. But, anyway —
C: A Country hit, yeah.
Q: So, anyway, I’m working on this book and it encompasses bigfoots and reincarnation and I’ve been having like hypno — past-life regression and I basically I found out that two of the characters I wrote about — and one of them was Julia Pastrana — I could be the reincarnation of. So that’s very interesting. And like I’m almost thinking now like the people like Charlton Heston who play like their most memorable roles — (“MEAN”) could they possibly be the reincarnation of these people and the synchronicity leads them into these roles? It’s an interesting idea. (“BUT”) Since you’ve met him, what — do you think he’s close to the energy of El Cid or Moses or Ben-Hur? I mean which of those characters do you think is closest to his energy?
C: Well I think he’s so serious about his acting and everything and so deep into it, it — I didn’t feel like it was a religious experience meeting Heston or —
C: — or remembering back when I didn’t even know who he was and was talking to him all morning. I think that he has (“SO”) right now to this day it looks like he hasn’t really changed that much from —
Q: No, he hasn’t.
C: — we’re talking back in 1961 when I met him. And here he is, a man in his seventies and he just — he’s still a very healthy —
Q: Oh I think we’re definitely talking Moses here.
C: Yeah I . . .
Q: Definitely. (small laugh)
Q: He has the energy.
C: Oh boy. And everybody that saw him out here at the — when he was on his book tour . . . listening to . . .
Q: Is that his real name? Charlton Heston?
C: Yeah, that’s his real name.
C: And they were saying that, “Boy, he sure does not look his age . . .”
Q: What about you? Have you ever given any thought to reincarnation?
C: Yeah, I — oh sure. And I think everybody has.
Q: Yeah. In passing.
C: I know, myself, I’m very inclined to a — I don’t know if it’s religion or — it’s Christianity is what it is. I don’t know if that could be described as a religion.
Q: What did you say?
C: Right. And I remember how much a verse affected me that was in the Bible when I heard it when I was a little kid. And it was in Hebrews — 3 comes to mind. It said that many have entertained angels unaware.
Q: Right. Well my book is also about angels. Do you have an angel?
Q: Do you know the name?
C: I don’t know the name but — I have an idea what the name might be but I don’t know for sure.
Q: What name do you think it might be?
Q: Jacob. And how do you know? Just an awareness or did you —
C: Well (“IN”) that has appeared to me in a dream.
Q: Oh great.
C: And I would be inclined to believe that many people have a guardian angel.
Q: Oh I think everyone does.
C: I would hope so.
Q: I know mine is named Mighael.
Q: That’s why I mentioned if this other person who took the photograph was named Michael because I meet so many Michaels in my life that every time I look ar(ound) — either they have ‘son’ in their name or ‘man’ in their name or ‘Michael’ in their name. You don’t have to tell me — yes or no but —
Q: Right but if this (“SURE”) particular has one of those elements in his name, would you tell me? You don’t have to say which one.
Q: He does have one of those?
C: . . . huh.
Q: He does?
Q: Wow. See? So my book is going to be a definite bestseller because Mighael is like a major Angel. So, anyway, will you have Carol call me?
C: Yes, I certainly will.
Q: Okay, I’ll leave my number.
Q: And if — (“IF”) if you like, I’ll have her get in touch with my attorney or she has a release already — whatever I need to do I’ll be glad to do.
C: Fine. Hey, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to get on another phone right now.
C: Okay. Hold.
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C: . . . foundation.
Q: Okay, wait. Start over. The motto.
C: Yeah, the motto of Bigfoot Central is ‘Peaceful Pursuit.’