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Alaska’s Palin, Yup’iks, and Cryptids
CryptoMundo ^ | August 30th, 2008 | CryptoMundo

Posted on 09/03/2008 11:20:13 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan

Let’s check in a bit with some political news, which overlaps into our cryptozoological realm.

John McCain has picked a 44-year-old woman who was elected governor of Alaska in 2006, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. Alaska’s “First Gentleman” is Todd Mitchell Palin (born September 1964). For 18 years, he worked for BP Oil in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska (he may still work for them). He is also a commercial salmon fisherman at Bristol Bay on the Nushugak River.

Photo above is from August 2007, when Todd Palin is reported to be going back to work for BP Oil, despite charges of conflict-of-interest with his wife’s job.

Todd Palin is a four-time winner of the Tesoro Iron Dog Championship (snowmobile event). This contest is the world’s longest snowmobile race, which parallels the path of the Iditarod race with an extra journey of several hundred miles to Fairbanks added. He is a union member and a registered Independent.

This mask shows a distorted human face, with one eye partly closed and wrinkled forehead. Yup’ik Paul John of Nelson Island recalled stories about a strange noise coming from outside the qasgiq (communal men’s house). When the people saw the face of the creature that had come to them, it would have a bent face with a sideways mouth. Arctic Studies Center.

After McCain’s announcement, almost immediately, some in the media were introducing Todd Palin as “Sarah Palin’s husband, a Yup’ik,” or infrequently, more correctly saying, that he’s “part Yu’pik.” (Well, yes, he’s “part Yup’ik,” 1/8th, like I’m “part Eastern Band Cherokee,” 1/8th, since I have a great-grandfather, John Grey, who was 100% Cherokee.)

It turns out Todd Palin was born in the western Alaskan town of Dillingham to Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yup’ik Eskimo, according to Snowweek, 2006, and other pre-2008 sources.

Wikipedia’s hastily posted new entry reports that Todd Palin’s “grandmother, Helena Andree, is Yup’ik.” This, of course, may only be a partial statement of fact (pun intended).

Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea, in southwestern Alaska. The population of the city is 2,468, with about 60% of the residents being Yup’ik.

In cryptozoological history, this part of Alaska has been involved in some intriguing incidents.

Giant Eagle Mask by Duane Bosch, Alaska.

Thunderbirds: In 2002, in October, southwestern Alaskans saw a bird the size of a small plane, and within the month, David Letterman was making jokes and ABC News’s Buck Wolf was writing a column about the event. The events made my list of top cryptozoology stories of 2002.

It all began the week of October 5, 2002, when a Dillingham pilot John Bouker spotted a giant bird while flying passengers to Manokotak. His passengers also saw it. He calculated that its wingspan matched the length of a wing on his Cessna 207, about 14 feet across. Peter Porco of the Anchorage Daily News broke the story. He soon discovered that villagers in Togiak and Manokotak had also been seeing the huge birds in recent weeks.

On October 9, 2002, Moses Coupchiak, 43, of Togiak, 40 miles west of Manokotak, saw it and then said of the huge bird: “At first I thought it was one of those old-time Otter planes. Instead of continuing toward me, it banked to the left, and that’s when I noticed it wasn’t a plane. The wing looks a little wider than the Otter’s, maybe as long as the Otter plane.”

Porco reported Coupchiak said the bird flew behind a hill and disappeared. Other reports from Palmer, Alaska, came in, but after the nine-day wonder factor of the media flap, the big bird reports from Alaska got less and less attention. People went back to a local acknowledgement of what they already knew, big unknown birds fly around southeastern Alaska.

A mythological giant eagle or thunderbird which lived in the high mountains, volcanoes, and the sun plays an important role in Yup’ik folklore.

Bigfoot: Thomas Bay is located in southeast Alaska. It lies northeast of Petersburg, Alaska, and the Baird Glacier drains into the bay. It has gained the name of “Devil’s Country” when in 1900 several people claimed to have seen “devil creatures” (smaller Sasquatch-like beasts) in the area.

The creatures have always been described as looking neither like man or monkey, but covered with coarse hair and oozing sores. They are foul smelling. They are about four feet tall and have claw-like fingers.

The Strangest Story Ever Told by Harry D. Colp (1953), documents his and his associates’ 1900 encounters with these creatures after they traveled from Thomas Bay and their camp on Patterson River, upriver for about eight miles and into the high mountains, to a half-moon lake.

In 1942, the late well-known Bigfoot tracker Bob Titmus said he saw “an upright ape” from the deck of a ship that was passing through Wrangell Narrows. This is a winding, 22-mile-long (35-km-long) channel between Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island in the Alexander Archipelago in southeast Alaska. It is used excessively by salmon fishermen and fisherwomen.

As recently as July 2004, fishermen found Bigfoot-type footprints east of Egegik, near Bristol Bay.

Other Bigfoot-type sightings have occurred in southern Alaska, usually in association with water. One of the best summaries of the contemporary stories is Robert Alley’s Raincoast Sasquatch.

As far as I have been able to determine, no cryptid sightings are in the record for Alaska, tied to the Palin, Kallstrom, or Andree family names.

BTW, regarding the “Eskimo” vs “Inuit” business, let me share this helpful bit of information. The weblog VDare.com* detailed in 2002, how we should understand that the Yup’ik are not Inuit:

The official handbook of the 3-year-old Canadian Territory of Nunavut says, “A word of advice, please don’t call Inuit here ‘Eskimos.’ They’ve always called themselves Inuit, or ‘the people’ in Inuktitut, their native tongue.”

The confusion over “Eskimo” vs. “Inuit” illustrates the paradoxes that accompany the many attempts these days to change the names of ethnic groups.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “Many Americans today either avoid this term (Eskimo) or feel uneasy using it.” For example, a Web site of the University of Wisconsin School of Education advises teachers, “There are no ‘Eskimo’ people.”

That would come as a surprise, however, to thousands of Yup’ik-speaking Eskimos in Western Alaska who much prefer to be called “Eskimo” instead of “Inuit.”

Why? They aren’t Inuit.

Steven A. Jacobson, a professor at the Alaska Native Language Center (of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks), told United Press International, “Yup’ik speakers say, ‘We’re Yup’ik Eskimos; our relatives in northern Alaska, Canada and Greenland are Inuit Eskimos; they aren’t Yup’ik, and we aren’t Inuit, but we’re all Eskimos.’ Yup’ik speakers prefer to be called ‘Yup’iks’ … and — in contrast to Inuit in Canada — don’t mind the word ‘Eskimo,’ but they do not like to be called ‘Inuit.’”

“Eskimo” remains the only word that describes all the physically and culturally quite homogenous groups that extend from the Siberian side of the Bering Strait to Greenland. The American Heritage Dictionary sums up, “While use of these terms (’Inuit’ and ‘Yup’ik’) is often preferable when speaking of the appropriate linguistic group, none of them can be used of the Eskimoan peoples as a whole; the only inclusive term remains Eskimo.”

*VDare = Virginia Dare. She was the first English child to be born in the New World, in August 1587, shortly after the founding of what was to become known as “The Lost Colony” on Roanoke Island off the North Carolina coast. The site is political in nature, not Fortean.

“Monster whale-eater” mask of the Yu’pik.

For comparison and as a demonstration of how realistic the artists are, the above are Yu’pik masks of a wolf and a polar bear.

[Please understand that none of the above should be read as an endorsement of John McCain and Sarah Palin, for indeed, I personally am for the other two candidates. But in terms of fully reporting the cryptozoological news as it relates to Todd Palin, I felt this would be of interest to Cryptomundo readers.]


TOPICS: Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alaska; palin
I am happy to report a story about Palin that I haven't seen on FR yet!
1 posted on 09/03/2008 11:20:14 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan
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To: dragonblustar; NCBraveheart; Virginia Ridgerunner; A. Patriot; brytlea; Miles the Slasher; ...

A very happy Crypto Ping to my fellow Freepers!


2 posted on 09/03/2008 11:22:19 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan (An American in Miami)
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To: FreeManWhoCan

who would have imagined a crypto tie in to Sarah Palin?


3 posted on 09/03/2008 11:25:20 PM PDT by ari-freedom (You better think think about what you're trying to do to me)
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To: ari-freedom

I thought the same thing!


4 posted on 09/03/2008 11:28:34 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan (An American in Miami)
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To: FreeManWhoCan

Cryptic article? How about “drain bamaged” string of thoughts?


5 posted on 09/04/2008 1:35:50 AM PDT by unspun (Mike Huckabee: Government's job is "protect us, not have to provide for us.")
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To: FreeManWhoCan

6 posted on 09/04/2008 2:29:59 AM PDT by wolficatZ ("Bear suits are funny. Bears are funny" - Christopher Walken)
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To: ari-freedom

Yeah - a Democrat maybe - but Sarah? (Although at the moment she is bigger than life!)


7 posted on 09/04/2008 2:33:49 AM PDT by 21twelve (Don't wish for peace. Pray for Victory.)
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To: FreeManWhoCan

I kept waiting for the article to state that Todd Palin is actually a child of bigfoot!
susie


8 posted on 09/04/2008 6:10:09 AM PDT by brytlea (If you are voting third party, you are definitely voting for Obama!)
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To: Rocketwolf68; NCBraveheart; Virginia Ridgerunner; A. Patriot; brytlea; Miles the Slasher; corbie; ..
Photobucket

If you would like to be On or Off the Crypto ping list, please let me know.

Thanks, Dragonblustar

9 posted on 09/04/2008 7:47:35 AM PDT by dragonblustar (Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God - G. K. Chesterton)
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To: FreeManWhoCan

Thanks for the heads up on this Free Man!!!


10 posted on 09/04/2008 7:48:44 AM PDT by dragonblustar (Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God - G. K. Chesterton)
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To: FreeManWhoCan
"Please understand that none of the above should be read as an endorsement of John McCain and Sarah Palin, for indeed, I personally am for the other two candidates."

Well, I'm glad Loren clarified that - I sure never would have guessed by his/her lead-in...
11 posted on 09/04/2008 8:12:32 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Palin Speaks - Results in Fear & Loathing on the Left, Rejoicing on the Right!)
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Todd Palin was born in the western Alaskan town of Dillingham to Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yup'ik Eskimo, according to Snowweek, 2006, and other pre-2008 sources. Wikipedia's hastily posted new entry reports that Todd Palin's "grandmother, Helena Andree, is Yup'ik." This, of course, may only be a partial statement of fact (pun intended).

12 posted on 09/04/2008 8:31:35 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: dragonblustar

No problem Dragonblustar. I’m surprised I spotted it before you!


13 posted on 09/04/2008 1:07:08 PM PDT by FreeManWhoCan (An American in Miami)
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