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Backyard Bigfoot: The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs, & the Sasquatch [Hardcover]

Nick Redfern , Lisa A Shiel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2006
Special Library Edition Bigfoot...Fact or Fiction? Read this book before you decide! ==================== From recent footprints to ghostly figures painted on stone centuries ago, "Backyard Bigfoot" presents startling evidence that the hairy creatures who lurk in our world's backcountry represent more than a figment of our collective imagination. Bigfoot expert Lisa A. Shiel lays out the evidence - physical and folkloric, ancient and modern - to prove that Bigfoot and its kin all over the world stand closer to us than we ever imagined. If you're a newcomer to the subject, you'll learn valuable facts as the author guides you through the mine field of theories, counter-theories, and assumptions about Bigfoot. Knowledgeable researchers will find a treasure trove of little-known evidence and usually taboo concepts. In perfect detail, Shiel lays out her singular and astonishing revelations about Bigfoot, gleaned from years of research - both in the field and in the historical archives. Joining her odyssey, you'll explore: * Stick signs -purposeful symbols created with sticks and other material; * Mane braiding, where intricate braids appear in horses' manes overnight; * Predominant Bigfoot theories, and why they don't fit the facts; * UFO-Bigfoot connection details typically dismissed by academic pedagogues; and * Distorted human history and how it affects our perceptions of the Bigfoot enigma. From human evolution to lost civilizations, from UFOs to ancient artwork, Shiel weaves disparate threads into one incredible yet thoroughly believable theoretical tapestry - and leaves you breathless. ==================== "A skillfully written combination of field observations, academic perspectives, and discussions of other paranormal mysteries." - Thom Powell, author of "The Locals: A Contemporary Investigation of the Bigfoot/Sasquatch Phenomenon" "A unique, and intensely personal perspective on the Bigfoot controversy." - Nick Redfern, author of "On the Trail of the Saucer Spies" "You may agree or not wit her conclusions but you will be thoroughly entertained by the discussions." - Andrew Grgurich, The Mining Journal (Marquette,Mich.) "Absolutely one of the best types of investigative reporting I've seen as Shiel compiles so much information into this one little book that you will read over and over again." - Beverly Pechin, Reader Views

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Slipdown Mountain Publications (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974655376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974655376
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,981,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

LISA A. SHIEL researches and writes about everything strange, from Bigfoot and UFOs to alternative history and science. She has a master's degree in library science and previously served as president of the Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association. As a fiction writer, Lisa blends her paranormal interests with sci-fi and romance elements to create her own brand of adventure stories. Her fiction works include the Human Origins Series novels as well as short story collections. Lisa's nonfiction books explore topics as diverse as Bigfoot, evolution, and Michigan's quirky history.

Product Description


A skillfully written combination of field observations, academic perspectives, and discussions of other paranormal mysteries. -- Thom Powell, author of

Anyone wanting a unique, and intensely personal perspective on the Bigfoot controversy will not be disappointed. -- From the Foreword by Nick Redfern, author of --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Author

As the first humans trundled out of Africa 200,000 years ago, a giant ape known as Gigantopithecus roamed southeast Asia. Today, the descendants of both species endure—us and Bigfoot. This is the story told by most cryptozoologists. But is the story accurate? Or have both archaeologists and cryptozoologists ignored vital evidence in their quests to prove their theories?

This book presents evidence that suggests they have, and that our view of human and Bigfoot origins has been skewed to support the unproven theory of evolution. Only by reexamining the evidence for human evolution, in the light cast by forgotten evidence, can we understand the true nature of Bigfoot.

The annals of both UFO and hairy hominid sightings include thousands of rational, intelligent people who sought ordinary explanations for the extraordinary phenomena they witnessed, but failed to find one. I count myself among those people.

I’ve based this book on my own extensive research, first-hand encounters, and avid interest in all aspects of the phenomenon. Until a body is found, however—and perhaps even then—the subject of hairy hominids won’t make it into a science textbook. Instead of focusing on "proving" they exist, we should concentrate on figuring out what they are, why they’re here, and what those answers tell us about ourselves.

The hunt for truth never ends. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forteana in the backyard 6 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Backyard Bigfoot" is a controversial survey of the Bigfoot phenomenon from a paranormal angle. It also features UFOs, Anomalous Black Cats (ABCs), ghostly attacks on horses, and conspiracy theories. The author, Lisa A. Shiel, is a Bigfoot and UFO investigator who is apparently unafraid of controversy. Indeed, most of the anomalous events recorded in the book happened to Shiel herself, either at her backwoods property in northern Texas, or at her new home in the Michigan wilderness. (If you wonder how a lone woman dares to live in the outback, Shiel reveals that she's got six dogs, including at least one Anatolian Shepherd, one of the nastier guard dogs around. I'm impressed.)

Shiel claims that Bigfoot have been attempting to communicate with her both in Texas and Michigan through stick signs, including cross signs that mysteriously appear overnight. Bigfoot has also thrown rocks at her stables. Shiel believes that the elusive creatures are tool-makers. She has found small rocks from nearby rivers at her property, rocks which resemble tools used by Australopithecus and Homo erectus. More spectacularly, Bigfoot has braided the manes of Shiel's horses! After this, the story gets more and more extreme, with black panthers and red wolves showing up at the author's property in Texas. These animals are not native to Texas. Black panthers are (of course) a staple of folklore, and are often thought to have a paranormal origin. So are huge canines. When Shiel invests in new camera equipment, she begins to photograph luminous orbs and a bizarre pillar of light.

One thing is certain. Sceptics and flesh-and-blood crypto-zoologists won't like "Backyard Bigfoot"!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well researched, nicely written - not so convincing 26 Dec 2006
By DV6740 - Published on
I was curious about the possibility of stick signs being real evidence of interaction with Bigfoot, but I was also curious to know if Lisa A. Shiel, author of Backyard Bigfoot, had a new, logical, perspective on Bigfoot and how the plausible existence of hairy forest giants might relate to UFOs, "orbs" and other paranormal mysteries.

Her outlook on these subjects seems just as naive as many others who staunchly "believe" that photographed orbs are manifestations of spirits from beyond, and that UFO's are proof that extraterrestrials, or interdimensional beings, maneuver through our airspace in highly advanced craft.

The bottom line is that there is absolutely no proof to substantiate these phenomena, and it is illogical to speculate based on belief alone.

I mean no disrespect to the author. This is an interesting, well written book, and she certainly has done her fair share of research. Her theories are entertaining, and there is much anthropological and paleontological inforamtion included in the book, though not always in the best context.

In some cases I notice that her interpretations are a bit of a stretch from what one might ordinarily gather from the information at hand. For example, in the first chapter, "Ancient Evidence," Shiel presents an image of a pottery piece decorated with a representation of Bes, an Egyptian "hairy dwarf" god. Sheil tells us that Bes is often depicted with a feathered headdress, large feet, and sometimes as a bipedal lion-like creature. What she fails to mention are the obvious wing-like appendages seen protruding from the back of the creature in the image presented. This depiction of Bes is as much a representation of a hairy hominid as it is of Mothman, for those who believe in the existence of such a thing.

The stick sign phenomenon is intriguing, and may indeed be evidence of a possible attempt at communication, or mere playfulness, by creatures we know as Bigfoot or Sasquatch. Shiel has obviously done extensive experimentation with the stick sign phenomenon, but the fact that it continued at two very different locations, and on her property in both cases, may indicate that the phenomenon could have been generated through her own misperception of her environment.

I'm a skeptical person, but I try to keep an open mind when reading books like this. Backyard Bigfoot does contain some ineteresting information, and possible evidence that may or may not suggest the presence of hairy hominids on the author's property.

Much of what the author presents is assumption. She assumes a connection between hairy hominids and UFOs based on anecdotal evidence, stories. She assumes that orbs, and other most likely photographic and optical anomalies, represent paranormal activity and not common dust, moisture, insects, or other airborne debris. Shiel also assumes that these orbs have a connection to the alleged hairy hominids she believes frequent her property.

Shiel suggsts a connection between things like strange lights, mystery canids appearing on her motion-activated game camera, and her sighting of an out-of-place jaguar near her home when she lived in northern Texas. It seems that all of the world's paranormal mysteries found their way into her backyard. That is, if out of place jaguars, or wolf-like animals are paranormal phenomena.

Something I've noticed with many people who believe in these "mysteries" is that they tend to experience all kinds of strangeness in their lives, while skeptics like me seem to miss it all. And everything becomes part of some great mystery far beyond the comprehension of even the most educated scientists and thinkers.

On that note, one thing that Shiel doesn't hesitate to do, whenever she has the opportunity in this book, is to bash skeptics as a close minded group with an agenda to shut the door on all hope for the believers. I got the distinct impression that she views skeptics as the most illogical people, when in fact the opposite is true.

Skeptics ask questions, and point out facts which believers tend to conveniently ignore. I'm not bashing the author. She has written a fun book, and presents plenty of food for thought. There can be no belittling the author for the work she has done. She is an intelligent person, and the book is well researched. I must say, however, that much of what she offers and interprets seems liberally colored by her belief.

Are Bigfoot responsible for the stick signs she finds on her property? Maybe. Does Bigfoot exist? Maybe. But it seems that the author has convinced herself of their existence and assumes that they are communicating with her through the stick signs. Some of the stick sign formations do seem to be deliberate, while others could very well have just fallen out of a tree and landed that way.

There are many other creatures in the woods capable of shuffling some sticks around, during the course of gathering materials for a nest or den, even the wind can whip up a loose branch, twig or stick and have them land as they may. To say that the stick signs are evidence of a creature that has never been sufficiently proven to exist is a stretch.

Throughout the book are refereces to stick signs and rocks (some of which Shiel claims are evidence of hairy hominids' toolmaking skills), appearing where they were not the day before.

How is it possible that the author has such precise recollection of what is, or is not present on her property, and how can she be so certain as to how something got there? Are we to believe that Shiel strolls through her property on a daily basis making a detailed inventory of the contents of her land? Many of the passages in the book seem to indicate just that.

I will admit that my explanations above do not answer the riddle as to why Shiel seems to consistently get responses to her own placed stick signs. If an animal didn't just happen to shuffle over the sticks during the night, rearranging them a bit by mistake, then maybe there is something intelligent trying to communicate with her. But the evidence is sketchy. And it doesn't necessarily have to be a Bigfoot. Does it?

Sheil also discusses mystery braids that appear in the manes of her horses, seemingly overnight. She describes the detail, and intricacy of the braids, but at the same time refers to them as having a knotted appearance and being difficult to remove.

The photos Shiel presents of the braids show no real detail, and don't really help to support her claim. In some pictures it looks like she's showing nothing more than a tangle of hairs. Hard to say for sure. Also, she is again making an assumption that the braids are the work of playful, hairy hominids. Let's keep in mind that she never saw any Bigfoot lay down the stick signs or make the braids. Therefore we cannot establish for certain that they are responsible for these events.

There is no proof, despite the cute cover image, which seems more suited for a childrens' book than a serious examination of the Bigfoot phenomenon.

The book is interesting, however I must say that it is odd as well. It is a book about the paranormal and the author's belief, well suited for those who wish to continue to believe in these things.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brave Voice of Wondrous Encounters 30 Dec 2006
By Regan Lee - Published on
Lisa Sheil has done a brave thing in writing about her unusual encounters and theories concerning Bigfoot. As she herself notes, the idea that Bigfoot shares a connection with UFOs, orbs, psychic phenomena and other anomalous activity is highly controversial. Shiel's willingness to put herself out front with her experiences and theories is to be commended.

The UFO - Bigfoot connection is not one looked upon favorably by both many UFO researchers, as well as Bigfoot researchers. It is a brave thing to put oneself out there with not only personal encounters of such a `high strangeness' content, but to extend that experience further by concluding that there is a relationship between human, Sasquatch, psi, and UFOs. Too much for some; as both UFO and Bigfoot researchers know. But as Shiel says,the data is out there (and I know it is, having researched two Pacific Northwest encounters of a similar type myself) and this fact won't go away.

A word about that: it sounds wild, and from my own experience, I can say that if this is the first time the reader is coming across this, it may sound very strange. I know that when I first read about a `Bigfoot-UFO' connection, I almost threw the article in the trash. But after coming across numerous, similar stories about this relationship, I was forced to acknowledge that there is a body of evidence that suggests there is something to these "high strangeness" encounters.

From the first unusual `stick sign' found on her Texas property Shiel finds that these patterns seemed to have been made intentionally by someone -- or something. Chances of the message maker being human, while a rational assumption, were slight, since Shiel lived in a remote rural area. And when Shiel moves from Texas to her isolated new home in the upper Michigan peninsula, she finds that the message maker, or makers, have followed her. For Lisa Shiel discovers that this fascinating and unusual mystery didn't get left behind in Texas.

Based on her previous Bigfoot research,Shiel suspects that the ones responsible for these `signs' could be Sasquatch. As Shiel begins to respond to the messages by rearranging the sticks and other items left by the messenger, a communication between human and non-human begins.

Shiel's book includes a wealth of photographs, Bigfoot research, and background into folklore and anomalous phenomeana to reach her conclusions. These may shock some readers at first, and put off others completely, if it weren't for the fact that, as Shiel points out, the relationship between Bigfoot and UFOs has been documented time after time. Refreshingly, Shiel addresses the various angles to this relationship, while keeping an open mind -- and urging others, including `flesh and blood' Bigfoot researchers, to do the same .

Shiel is to be applauded for her willingness to refuse to ignore this mysterious aspect of Bigfoot studies, as well as her fearlessness in her ongoing journey to discover the truth behind these types of events.

R. Lee
The Orange Orb
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Odd ... 8 Jun 2006
By M. Delauro - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are a beginner in the realm of hairy hominids, there are better choices.

If you are well read on Bigfoot and looking for new information this is not a book for you.

Content is at best odd and mostly far-reaching conjecture. And I find it disappointing that the author expects us not only to believe she was getting messages from Bigfoot in the form of "stick signs" while living in Texas --- but that the same phenomena occurred when she moved to another state!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book! 9 Jan 2014
By J.S.R. - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really liked most of the book. Got a little spooky when she described some of what was happening around her home, especially the UFO part. I enjoyed reading about the attempts at communicating using the stick signs.

I got a little bored on some parts because of the lengthy scientific explanations of human history, but a lot of that was also interesting and relevent to the points she was making.

Overall, the book is very good. I recommend!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read... 25 Oct 2013
By W. Moran - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The only thing that kept me from giving it a 5 was I would have liked her to go more into the stick sign adventure. She kind of got off into other subjects a bit, but still its a fun read, and I recommend it.
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