Throughout my entire life I have been drawn to all things Sasquatch-related. Watching the infamous Patterson-Gimlin Film as a young child filled me with both horror and intense intrigue. When most of my peers pursued typical teenage endeavors, I was listening to the Sierra Sounds or researching native ‘wild man’ legends. Over the last two decades I have watched countless documentaries, seen dozens of TV shows and read a myriad of Bigfoot books. By far the most compelling story I have come across in my lengthy investigation is a firsthand account recounted by Tom Lyons.
This week I am honored to be sharing an interview with Mr. Lyons, a Kindle Bestseller and author of the riveting series Living Among Bigfoot. Ten years ago he moved from Wisconsin to the vast wilderness of Idyllwild, California in hopes of living more healthfully. After settling into his quaint countryside cottage several terrifying events suddenly occurred. At first the former skeptic believed someone was messing with him. All of this would change once he came face to face with a creature which he never thought existed. Tom’s previously normal life would soon be turned upside down. Living Among Bigfoot chronicles the repeated Sasquatch encounters which he has experienced.
DTCH: Can you tell me a little bit about what your life was like in Wisconsin?
TL: Well, my life was certainly nothing out of the ordinary. I worked at a grocery store chain called “Piggly Wiggly” for years after high school while developing various business ideas. Once the internet became prevalent, one of those ideas ultimately evolved into an online business. I’m not going to give too much away on the business (as I eventually sold it), but I will say that anti-virus software was the initial product upon which the business was built.
DTCH: Why did you decide to move to that specific part of California? Had you visited the town before?
TL: I know it sounds sorta silly, but no, I hadn’t visited Idyllwild prior to my move. I had read great things about it and it was at a time in my life where I was enthusiastic about taking a shot in the dark so to speak. The major advantage of making your income from the web is that you can work from virtually anywhere.
DTCH: Why have you now decided to share your story with the world?
TL: I’ve listened to quite a few podcasts where people courageously share their encounters and in some cases the government has even warned them not to. They inspired me to share mine but I’d still prefer to maintain my private life, hence the pen-name. I’m quite the introvert.
DTCH: What do you feel the motivation is for officials who continue to conceal information from the general public?
TL: I get into all of that later in the series, but either way I don’t feel it’s possible to answer that in short form.
DTCH: Do you think full disclosure on this topic would be a good thing? How would society handle such news?
TL: This is something that I still feel very torn on. A large part of me doesn’t appreciate the deception, but another part of me believes certain things are better left alone by certain people, if you catch my drift.
DTCH: Can you describe the physical appearance of Bigfoot? Is the Patterson-Gimlin Film an accurate representation?
TL: All I can really tell you right now is that multiple types do exist, some of which look quite different than others. However, I will say that ‘Patty’ reminds me of what I came across in Idyllwild in terms of looks, but the movement was really quite different (that’s not to say that the one I saw isn’t capable of such motion), and I’m certainly not trying to discredit that video footage as it is obviously very impressive.
DTCH: On the topic of Patterson-Gimlin, do you feel that footage is legitimate?
TL: I do feel it’s legitimate.
DTCH: Do you have an estimated number of what the North American Bigfoot population might be?
TL: That’s a question that still baffles me to this day, but if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say many thousands if you were to include all members of each species.
DTCH: Was there a strong odor that the creature produced?
TL: I’ve come across many strange and even grotesque odors while outdoors, but in Idyllwild I was never able to indisputably isolate the creatures as being the source of the strong odor. As for other regions, you’ll have to read on!
DTCH: Would you say Bigfoot is more human-like, more ape-like, or a 50/50 combination?
TL: To put it simply, I think it’s something else entirely, but I’ll get more into that later in the series.
DTCH: Cultures around the world all have their own legends and versions of Sasquatch: Skunk Ape, Yeti, Yowie, etc. Do you think other parts of the country or world also have Bigfoot?
TL: They absolutely do. 100%.
DTCH: Do you still live in that area? If so, do you continue to encounter the creature?
TL: I no longer live in that area. I skipped around for quite a few years after leaving the region.
DTCH: What are your thoughts on the theory that Bigfoot produces infrasound?
TL: Other creatures possess similar abilities, so why can’t a creature such as this? They are insanely impressive in a multitude of ways.
DTCH: With today’s available technologies why don’t we have more evidence such as photos and videos?
TL: I’m begging for someone to find the courage to whip out an iPhone and aim it at one of these things when close enough to even attempt a quality shot. Believe me, if you see one of them that close in person, you’ll know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. I believe someone out there does indeed have the necessary composure for such a task, however the time frame they’d have to do such a thing is incredibly small and with how terrifying it is to be in that situation it doesn’t surprise me that no one has any footage of the things.
The fourth installment, Living Among Bigfoot: Unexpected Visitors, will be released on April 15th and can be purchased on Amazon. For those with any interest in cryptozoology, the outdoors, or a love of suspenseful mysteries, these books will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. I would like to thank Mr. Lyons for sharing his insight and answering my questions. You can find him on Instagram and Twitter for more information about the series.