A few years ago at an event a local woman approached me and shared a story of her own which was indeed strange. She lived in southeast Oklahoma where the hills grow steep and thickly wooded. She was of Native American descent and so shared many of her own beliefs about the more unusual things encountered in life and through history. Then she shared a story from her small corner of the world.
It was the early 1960's and there was a small gas station hugging a small narrow road amid hairpin turns and surrounded by the thick forests and steep shadowed hillsides. The woman and her new husband stopped one day for gas and the elderly woman came out and filled the tank until the younger man stepped in to do it. The woman struck up a conversation with the younger woman as she sat in the old pickup.
The conversation went something like this:
'You got any kids? I got me a boy and a girl inside. They have to stay in there. They can't come out. Not safe for them at all. You wanna come see?'
The younger woman stepped out to be polite and followed as the woman tottered over to the door into the house at the side of the station. The smell caught her attention first. It was strong and smelled like wet dog and worse. Sorry she had gotten out she tried to excuse herself but the old woman dragged her forward. Inside, there was a cage in a corner of the room with a small creature sitting in it covered with hair. A similar creature sat in front of a small screened television showing a grainy cartoon. This one was wearing a t-shirt and jeans too short in the legs. His big hairy feet were without shoes.
"I found 'em in the trees up yonder a winter ago. I'd seen them before in the forests and down by the river. The mama, well she was a human but the daddy was just like them. He disappeared. The mama was dead and they were starving. So, I brought 'em home. I expect I'll send them back there pretty soon; I'm getting pretty old you know..."
The couple drove off after that. Sure enough, the old woman did die soon and the house, according to people the young woman asked, was found empty of any other living creatures...just an empty cage in the corner of the room and a pile of old children's clothing.
I thought of that story when watching a documentary on History that suggested what we call Bigfoot might be a lingering species of something similar to a Homo Hidelbergensis - a species known to have been still in Asia when the crossing of the Bering Strait were made. Thus, making it possible they too make that trek into North America. This opened up the possibility of widespread native tales of interbreeding with the creatures might be based on real events. Closer to humans, mating could happen with those incredibly tall humanoids.
Although the tale may be a tall one crafted by a woman pulling the leg of a visiting author of the arcane, it might be mis-identification of someone suffering from a medical condition known to produce long hair over the body or it might - just maybe - have a kernel of truth in it hinting at something truly amazing and incredibly strange.