Bighoot and the Owl People

Mick Zano

Haneyville, PA—We Discordians have congregated at an annual party for about twenty years now.  No one knows exactly why; it’s best not to question these things.  Every June, like those Capistrano swallows, we migrate to a remote Pennsylvanian cabin deep in the Black Forest region of Sproul State Forest (thankfully not to spawn).  The last party got a little strange…and not in the usual, bean fight, tree duct-tapping, naked fire dancing kind of strange.  I’m talking real strange…

You see, my daughter wanted to look up Skinwalkers the other night.  Her classmates constantly talk about old legends of Kokopelli, witch doctors, Chupacabra and the like.  So after searching Skinwalkers to dispel her silly childish fears (I may not sleep for a week), she noticed a large black bird on the page.  We clicked on this other site to find Thunderbirds.  Of course, they’re said to be from, er…the Black Forest region of Sproul State Forest, but that’s just a strange coincidence. While it’s true that most Thunderbird sightings have occurred in north central PA—usually between keg four and keg five for my crowd—I’ve never seen anything unusually large in those woods (except my friend Jim Blob).  In fact, Mark Twain actually saw a monstrous black bird in nearby Ravensburg State Park in Jersey Shore, PA…a place where Alley and I spent many a sunny day messing with Saskwatch.      

Another click and we saw a picture of a giant owl, walking upright.  I shuddered.  You see, Alley and I went out to that old cabin in search of some thing, or some things, that I encountered in those woods.  But first, let me splain.  Circa June 2007 about seventy people were partying in those rolling Pennsylvania hills.  After the band left, around 3:00 AM, some of us heard strange creatures in the distance.  We mimicked and taunted the things, which is always a good idea when dealing with legendary liminal totem creatures sacred to the Hopi (Hint: Discordians aren’t horribly bright). 

The next morning people talked about what they had heard over eggs and coffee (who am I kidding? we were still drinking).  Pokey McDooris, Dave Atsals, and Pearce Winslow were all there.  The Ghetto Shaman was supposed to come, but he apparently didn’t get let out of the drunk tank in time.  Of the seventy some-odd folks, all but a dozen remained for the second night—when things got really weird, and not in the usual pagan ritual, naked conga-line kind of weird.

Several of us heard the beasties’ encore that night, but this time they were closer—much closer.  Over the course of the next several hours these things actually assailed our camp.  I listened for hours but I’ll be damned if I could describe them.  They sounded like several fairly large, ground dwelling creatures.  The sounds were indescribable, otherworldly, and freaky (like my friend Shag).

These things were pissed and raising an awful racket.  I remember walking my friend Shag out to his tent just before dawn (don’t look too deeply into this).  He set his tent up way off in the woods and now he couldn’t find it.  He didn’t want to get eaten by the whatever-the-hell-they-were-trying-to-find, so he asked me to tag along.  I remember finding his tent an unsettling amount of time later to this cacophony of strange hoot, grunt, and howls.  The walk back to camp, alone, was a memorable one (if I’m remembering correctly). 

The next morning everyone reported having heard these things this time.  Half the group thought it was a pack of barn owls, while the other half thought it was a pack of coyotes. 

I knew they were neither—at least not of the usual variety. 

No one had ever heard anything like it.  So Alley and I drove out there the next night and tried to record something for posterity.  But, on that trip, we were driven mad by a monstrous tentacled beast that dragged us to the nether realms and devoured us.  Hail Yig!  

Back to reality…so this website we’re purusing describes these three-to-five foot tall owls that walk on the ground and, of course, feed on human flesh. has a picture of Ornimegalonyx oteroi (a giant Cuban owl—illegal to smoke in the states).  Remains of this approximately three-foot tall owl circa 8,000 years ago (shown below) were recently unearthed.  Some say they’re still alive today.  Bighoot sightings have occurred in the southwest where witnesses claim they make a coyote hum/owl hoot screech. 

Maybe there is a rational explanation.  Maybe they were just large ground-dwelling evil pack owls… Or maybe there was something in the Ghetto Shaman’s acid that shouldn’t have been.

Does anyone else hear X-Files music?

But leave it to me to live in Thunderbird country for a decade and run into Bighoot.  Now that I’ve moved to Bighoot country, I’m sure I’ll run into a Thunderbird. 

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Mick Zano

Mick Zano

Mick Zano is the Head Comedy Writer and co-founder of The Daily Discord. He is the Captain of team Search Truth Quest and is currently part of the Witness Protection Program. He is being strongly advised to stop talking any further about this, right now, and would like to add that he is in no way affiliated with the Gambinonali crime family.