Dangerous Skating

My name is Michael Esordi, and as a longtime and legitimate member of the cryptozoology community, I would like to address a few points in this article by James Snyder (“I Just Found Bigfoot,” Cover Story, January 14).

Mr. Snyder contacted me sometime after his 2002 discovery of the footprint in Ramona, California. When I met with Mr. Snyder, he showed me some photographs and his cast, but when I inquired about the possibility of seeing the site to obtain better evidence, he refused. However, I respected Mr. Snyder’s wishes and decided to see what we could determine based on the evidence collected. I posted the amateur photos Mr. Snyder took to the website to allow researchers across the nation to examine them and comment. As a result, I did have a number of well-known and highly respected researchers comment. However, given the quality of the images, it was difficult for any real determination to be made at that time regarding the footprint.

On the occasions I met with Mr. Snyder, he conveyed two things to me. One was that he wanted to determine what had made the footprint, and the other was to see what kind of monetary compensation could be made from his find. After some discussion, I obtained Mr. Snyder’s permission to make a cast from his original and to offer it for sale on the website. I personally covered all costs of production and manufacture on the item and did place it into commerce on my website. However, there was minimal interest in the item, and no profits were ever made on it. Given this fact, I discontinued sale of the item after a relatively short period of time.

Around the time of my relocation to the East Coast, I attempted to contact Mr. Snyder on a number of occasions, as I wanted to follow up with him on my decision to pull the cast and to discuss feedback from the researchers who were interested in the footprint. Unfortunately, Mr. Snyder chose to not respond back to me, and I was left assuming his interest in the matter had waned.

I feel Mr. Snyder’s article is skating a dangerous line with some of the litigious verbiage he uses to describe our interaction. I’m certain if he realized he was committing what is considered libel that he might have chosen to more closely examine his recollections of our meetings and would have described things quite differently. Again, I would like to set the record straight and say I never made a profit on the cast I produced and I did attempt to contact Mr. Snyder on numerous occasions with no response back from him. In all of my interactions with Mr. Snyder, I only conducted myself with the utmost professionalism and with a high level of integrity, as I have a reputation in the research community I have spent many years building. Unfortunately, in his article, I feel Mr. Snyder has portrayed legitimate and highly qualified researchers in the field of cryptozoology in an unfavorable and unfair light.

Michael Esordi

James A. Snyder responds: I apologize if I misspoke about what transpired after Mr. Esordi moved to the East Coast. But honestly, I didn’t receive any messages from him or I would have responded.

I was very grateful for his interest and help. He took the time to share his extensive knowledge on this Bigfoot enigma and provided an avenue for feedback from others in the world of cryptozoology. He was one of the best experts I spoke with, and I still hold him in high regard. It was not my intention to portray him unfavorably. I sincerely apologize for this unfortunate misunderstanding.

Burned-Up Bigfoot

After reading several paragraphs I knew exactly what this story was (“I Just Found Bigfoot,” Cover Story, January 14). It has been on the internet floating amongst the Bigfoot sightings. The conclusion is Bigfoot could not have left a footprint in molten lava that later solidified into granite. He would have burned up. The other conclusion is granite is too hard for Bigfoot to step strongly enough for a print to be impressed into the stone.

If Mr. Snyder had taken his sample to the SDSU geology department, I am sure they could have explained this to him in great detail. Of course he would have to show the original site and prevent the constant guessing.

For people who research Bigfoot stories, this one is old news. Having a mold of something that looks like something else doesn’t make it so. If there is one BF print, why not thousands in the area, forgetting the heat problem for a moment? Why no human prints in granite? Maybe because it is physically impossible to do so.

There certainly have been BF reports in the San Diego area from the time of the Spanish friars. None have involved rock prints.

Earl Kline

via email

See This Before 2012

In a follow-up to the Bigfoot article by James A. Snyder (“I Just Found Bigfoot,” Cover Story, January 14), I have my own related story that takes place in the same general area where the footprint was found. On July 1, 1990, I accidentally captured ten UFOs in a single daylight photo hovering over the San Diego River. This is where the Bigfoot impression was discovered, according to the article. I also had a difficult time getting a professional opinion of the objects in the photo but did my own research in the meantime and discovered a repeating pattern on one of the objects that I also discovered in other UFO photos as well as ancient artifacts, crop circles, and the Nazca Lines in Peru. The Los Angeles Times broke the story in 1991, and numerous front-page features, radio interviews, and TV spots followed. My 2006 CBS special on KFMB Channel 8 as well as my recent United Kingdom article confirm that a lost sacred pattern has been rediscovered. While it may be the Reader’s policy not to cover any local story that has already been covered, there are thousands of San Diegans who have never heard of this UFO photo or the three important rock faces connected to the event. To see the evidence the L.A. Times labeled “unsettling,” just Google my name or “Inaja UFO Photo” or go to orreman7.com/BestUFOphotoever.html.

This is more than a local story as you will see by exploring all 30-plus linked pages on my nonprofit website, which over a million visitors have witnessed. With 2012 rapidly approaching, mankind is hungry for the truth about aliens, UFOs, and Bigfoot, and here is a native San Diegan who claims to have stumbled onto the Rosetta stone that has unraveled some of mankind’s greatest mysteries. So what if some other publications have covered this groundbreaking event in the past? It’s time for the Reader to step up to the plate and fulfill your obligation to cover this historic event for your community. Click on the link to my United Kingdom interview to see the possibilities. If you’re interested, I’ll charge you the same price I’ve charged everyone else to use my photos: nothing.

Mike Orrell

via email

Thanks For Calling

Hello, I appreciate your concern about the traffic to our website and your deft attempts to make me look naïve (“Media Hawk,” January 14). But allow me a minute to clear up some just plain mistruths.

I, Scott Lewis, am the CEO of voiceofsandiego.org, not the editor. That designation belongs to my longtime friend and associate Andrew Donohue, who runs one of the most productive and inspired teams of reporters I’ve ever known.

You say our traffic went down according to quantcast. com. May I direct you to that measurement source again (http://www.quantcast.com/ voiceofsandiego.org). Not sure what you were looking at, but you completely misread it. You say our traffic has “taken a free-fall to 20,000–25,000 per month.” There’s nothing on the Quantcast graph that comes close to those numbers. And as you can see, we’re right back where we were before the website redesign (and its new comment policy) at more than 94,000 people per month.

You write that I seemed unconcerned. That’s because I’m not concerned. I hate even talking about those numbers because we measure our success based on our impact, our loyal readership, and our number of members, which are all growing well. But nonetheless, I figured that if you’re going to play the part of a media columnist and use these graphs to make your point, you might want to read them accurately. Furthermore, if you want to use that measurement, I wonder why you don’t highlight sandiegoreader.com’s estimated numbers on Quantcast (http://www.quantcast.com/ sandiegoreader.com), which show it at well below half our readership. I don’t think that means anything about attendance at your own “congress” or whether you’ve gone “soft” but “some have speculated…”

Which brings up the last point: you say “some have speculated” that Jim Madaffer provided the tip on the SEDC investigation. That’s hilarious, if only because the man wouldn’t even speak to us after we called for his resignation in 2006. We followed the SEDC story through for two and a half years of hard-nosed investigative reporting. While we certainly miss Will Carless as a person and an incredibly talented journalist, he wasn’t the first, last, or only investigative reporter on our staff. We’ve replaced him and even grown our reporting staff since he left six months ago. In fact, we’re in the process of finishing up what will be our third multi-part special report in the last two months.

Thanks for calling, at least. Had I known you wanted to write about more than just our traffic numbers, I’d have loved the chance, as would Donohue, to have offered up perspective on it. Sorry you didn’t give us the opportunity.

Scott Lewis



Funding Hoax

The Reader has printed several articles about the so-called government “budget shortfall”: “Nonprofits Nonplussed” (Feature Story, December 31), “Free Lunch for Banks” (“City Lights,” January 14), and “More Community, Less College” (“City Lights,” January 14). These topics have something else in common: failure to report a budgetary hoax upon us. There is no shortage of government funding! In fact, there is a huge surplus waiting for us to claim as our rightful property.

Besides the familiar annual budgets that we see/hear reported by the news, there are the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR). These reveal that government entities, on average, made three times the gross income that was showing on their corresponding budget reports. Due to accounting chicanery, these assets and income streams are hidden, often listed as expenses.

Based upon 20 years of research, Walter Burien launched the website CAFR1. com to inform us about this scam. You can find the details there. To summarize some of his findings: The collective governments’ (local, state, and national) gross earnings from all sources (investment, taxation, and enterprise) amounted to $14 trillion for the year 2007. The entire U.S. population’s net income, after direct and indirect taxes, was $5 trillion (out of a gross of $10 trillion). The public sector is far wealthier than the private sector! Are we down the rabbit hole with Alice or what?

Over 54,000 government entities in the USA collectively own and control more assets and wealth than that of the entire private sector in the USA. This represents the fulfillment of the economic model called Fascism. Think of it: two-thirds of government’s annual gross income has come from nontax sources. Yet, only tax sources are revealed in annual budgets, and “budget shortfalls” are trumpeted as the reason for more taxes and more cuts in services.

This scheme for skimming off up to half of tax revenues and sending them to Wall Street has been going on since 1951 — 59 years! As of 1999, cumulative totals of all “liquid” investment assets of local, state, and federal government entities in the USA conservatively exceeded $60 trillion. Totals as of 2008 were approaching the $100 trillion mark.

There is a remedy: the profits from this collective ownership, amassed by government, can revert back to the people to pay all government costs, resulting in the phasing out of all taxation. In November 2008, Mr. Burien launched the Tax Retirement Fund Association (TRFA) at http://TaxRetirement.com to facilitate this process. Happy New Year!

Pat Palmer

Normal Heights

Race Is Useless

Just when you thought that the concepts of tribalism and race were finally left behind by modern societies and the 20th Century, Eric R. Apple revives these factitious canards in his courteous reply (January 14) to my original letter of January 7 regarding the impossibility of being both Jewish and atheistic while still maintaining Judaic culture. Mr. Apple alleges that “in many cases” (presumably not including Marilyn Monroe and Sammy Davis Jr.), Jews are a race through matrilineal lineage, as if this could ever be universally observed historically, even up to the present, since one half of all Jewish marriages in America today are to non-Jews. He also argues that the monstrous crimes of the Nazis were largely perpetrated against the Jews not because they attended temple ceremonies but because of their Jewish descent, when obviously both were factors demonstrated by the frequent desecration of Jewish synagogues, culminating in the horrific Kristallnacht of 1938, and Hitler proclaiming that the Germans were the “master race” themselves.

I’m wondering, Eric, only a short time ago what you wrote when asked of your race on your driver’s license, other IDs, and government or military documents, and even job applications, and if you marked “Jewish,” what did you put down for your religion? Frankly, the whole idea of race should be consigned to the dustbin of history and a disclaimer encouraged from those who continue to believe that they are somehow different, separate, or even superior to others.

Gerald A. Shepherd


We’ll Run Out Of Skin

This commentary is in response to a letter from your letters page, “Perfection, At Last,” phoned in by John Kitchin (January 14).

Yeah, it’s really great that the Reader’s finally becoming a “real, perfect-bound magazine, just like Time, Life, and all that.” But what would be really great, dear Reader, is if you could actually become like Time, Life, and all that, by, I don’t know, maybe getting ads like Time, Life, and Newsweek, and all that.

I realize that California is all about the appearance — you know, you are what you drive, what you wear, what you look like. But dude, this is California, I’m sure there are businesses other than places to make your boobs better, your face better, your body better. I think your ad department needs to work on finding out there is more to California. You have articles about how wonderful San Diego is. How about some ads from all these places that are so wonderful for us to go out and visit?

It’s just getting a little bit tiresome to go page after page after page and see the same ads over and over and over again for the same services over and over and over again. I mean, San Diego only has so many people in it. They can only get so many boob jobs, nose jobs, ear jobs, navel jobs, rejuvenation jobs. After a while, we’re going to need other services. Or maybe they just keep rejuvenating over and over and over again. Who knows?

Chaos Rabbit

San Diego

Not Entitled To Joy

I have some news for Elizabeth Salaam. You are one of “them” (“I Never Thought I’d Become a Welfare Queen,” Cover Story, January 7).

You never explain what your master’s degree is in. But whatever it is, it didn’t help you read the WIC book that explains what cheeses are allowed and which aren’t. But there are pictures. Maybe you should look at them before you complain about the grocery checker who will lose her job if she processes a WIC check incorrectly.

Your master’s degree didn’t teach you and your husband that you were supposed to be putting something away for a rainy day instead of blowing 50 bucks on sushi and going to cute bed-and-breakfast weekends and having your hair done in expensive salons.

Just because you qualify for public assistance doesn’t mean you should take advantage of it. Oh! You don’t like standing in line for free money? Oh! Let me call the whambulance for you! Here it comes! Wah wah wah! It gives you a nice opportunity to read Chekhov and collect a check. I wish I had more free time to read classics. But I’m not willing to shake you and others down for it.

I don’t make $475 a week at my job. I would except I’m forking over about half to cover people like you. Yeah! I’m resentful! Why should I do it? Your irresponsibility and misfortune are not my problem. Why should I have to pay for you? Why should I supplement you and your husband’s pizza? Why don’t you pawn your expensive engagement ring instead of waving it in the worker’s face? You willingly hand over your liberty and autonomy to state and federal bureaucracy and then whine about the method in which they deliver. What do you expect? You’re an ingrate.

Why don’t you and your husband get off your behinds and get a job? You are poaching resources from those who really need it. Oh, you have a master’s degree! You think that’s supposed to impress me. I’d be more impressed if you got a job. I’d have more respect for you if you flipped burgers at Jack in the Box or made lattes at Starbucks. You could deliver papers. You could baby-sit. Your husband could mow lawns. You could get a roommate. If you tried, you could work it out. But you think you’re entitled to a certain lifestyle, and you’re comfortable taking from me and the rest of us to pay for it. I think it’s shameful.

Your middle-class upbringing causes you to think you deserve respect. And yet you don’t show respect for others evidenced in the way you denigrate the checker in the grocery store and show contempt for the worker wearing red lipstick and the WIC worker who isn’t chummy enough for you. But especially you disrespect us by taking our money and then bragging about how your “joy” is our responsibility to pay for. It’s not a right. You reap what you sow, babe. That lesson should have been included in the master’s program, but maybe you were having a spa day then. I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am of working to pay for people like you.

Jamie Utter

via email

No Slackers, No Lazies

I just finished checking out your “new edition” Reader on Saturday. I like the new stapleless-binding format, and the smaller size makes it easier to pack in a briefcase or book bag.

The lead article was surprisingly good as well (“I Never Thought I’d Become a Welfare Queen,” Cover Story, January 7). As someone who had to jump through hoops to claim his bennies (Medi-Cal, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, and general relief — the last two of which I no longer need or use), I can tell you that there is a perception that those who dare to claim are merely slackers or lazies who are unwilling to “Get up, Get out, Get employed.” And, sadly, not all of them are merely members of the general public.

Those who look upon folks like the author — or myself, for that matter — as somehow “all take–no give” might want to remember that in the hubris of their “It won’t happen to me!” attitude breeds the nemesis of their downfall. All that it can take is a major medical disaster, a boss who’s more enamored with cutting costs (and jobs) than with retaining good employees, or a company ending up in Chapter 11 receivership, and guess what, you are now one of us!

Overall, good magazine, better layout. Now, how about hiring some folks to write fresh stories. Reliance on reprints gets rather old after a while!

Robert K. Johnston


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Re: the letter about the funding hoax. Now I understand why the USA has been in 50+ wars since WWII and has military bases in over 150 countries around the world. I just never believed that "American interests" were at stake all over the world. I thought it was just a metaphor for "our values (democracy, freedom, etc.)" which were at stake. Since our boys and girls are dying for them, why not enjoy some of those profits?

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