Holli Bragg-021611Listen to Holli Deal Bragg read her column.
When I was a child, I was a student in a program called Quest that taught me to think outside the box. A very special teacher, Anne Edwards, made the course fun. I will never forget her asking us to walk as if we were wading through peanut butter as we lined up to leave the classroom one day.
There is nothing wrong with a vivid imagination. There is also nothing wrong with believing in things that cannot be proven.
Keep in mind that the Bible mentions unicorns. There are no fossils found, no proof that the mythological creature existed, except for a single passage in the Bible.
After reporting a recent discovery of what appeared to be a giant footprint in Jenkins County, I was met with a series of disparaging remarks. Some of them were rather insulting. Please, don't talk down to me. Disagree, but don't condescendingly tell me "there is no Bigfoot."
There may not be a huge creature with size umpteen triple wide feet, but please explain the sightings of large, hairy, smelly creatures all over the country. No, make that worldwide.
Our own local history has reports of Samuel Harville, who built the locally renowned Harville House (on Harville Road, of course) having seen such a creature.
Harville was hunting with slaves and dogs when they scared up a large, hairy, obviously male creature that stank to high heavens. Sometimes these mysterious creatures are called "skunk apes" because of their reportedly musky odor.
What did Samuel Harville see? What did his dogs and slaves chase? What is this thing that so many people claim to have seen?
I am not saying there is a "Bigfoot," but I'm not saying such a creature doesn't exist.
There are so many things about this world and this life that we do NOT know. I have seen things in the night skies that I cannot explain. Some of these sightings were also seen by others - credible witnesses. While there is most likely a logical explanation for what we saw, who really knows what they were?
Department of Natural Resources rangers have laughed at me for asking about large black cats in the wild. A well-respected wildlife biologist pointed out that there is no documented classification for a wild black feline in this country. Yet - I have seen one. I have interviewed credible hunters and others who have seen what they call a black panther. Do they exist? Yes. How do I know? I've seen one. Do people believe me? Not everyone.
It has only been a matter of maybe a hundred years - a blink in the matter of time - that scientists discovered the platypus and the manatee. Did people, before those scientists documented their discoveries, laugh at others who saw a furry creature with a duck's bill? Who encountered the odd-looking manatee?
Most likely, they did.
My point is, just because someone believes in the POSSIBILITY of a Bigfoot, a panther, or a UFO doesn't give naysayers the right to be disparaging, condescending or downright rude.
What is wrong with entertaining your imagination? Is it a sign of insanity to imagine life on another planet? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I find it arrogant and narrow-minded to think that Earth is the only planet with intelligent life. There is so much we do not know about what is out there beyond our realm. Why wouldn't we wonder about others with equal or superior intelligence?
Who is to say there aren't portals in time and space where worlds merge and overlap? Explain the lost colony of Roanoke, Va., where meals were found half-eaten, fires were found still burning, but no human was found, alive or dead. The word "Croatan" was found carved into a tree - but where did the people go?
Our history is full of mystery. Take the Anasazi tribe, which also disappeared without a trace. Who can explain what happened to them? Western novelist Louis L'Amour wrote about the Anasazi. His theory was there are doorways to other worlds, and the tribe simply moved through one of those doorways to a better world.
Oh, but I'm crazy, right?
No. I am not. But I prefer to entertain ideas about the unexplained and unknown instead of keeping a closed mind. After all, it was the way my Mama, Mrs. Edwards and the Quest program taught me.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.