Chapter 10:     Kidnapped!

When Adam was about 5˝ years old he was the victim of a kidnapping 
attempt. You might have read about it, big news at the time.

It took place on the University of Washington Campus. We had been 
going there regularly for ongoing experimental research in 
sasquatch physiognomy.  There had been some media coverage about 
a potential for a great scientific breakthrough in studying Adam's 
sasquatch antibodies.  

In other words, Adam was potentially worth millions of dollars, 
dead or alive.  Greedy and ruthless people were constantly after 
him.  Most of them tried to get possession of the little Bigfoot 
via some tricky legal actions, there had been a few  offers of big 
money as well as some shady wheeler-dealing, but there were also 
those who resorted to actual crime. 

We were always aware of that danger right from the start, so he 
was never allowed to wander alone when we were away from home 
and especially not in the big city of Seattle.  We had a security 
system at IPR's UW Campus Facility, there were well-established 
routines for checking in and out, cards & guards, all to keep 
Adam from one day being stolen from us.

But it happened anyway.  

We had come in to the Indigenous Primate Research Center for the 
usual monthly weighing & measuring, after which there had been 
arranged an assembly with a group of school children who wanted 
to meet a real live sasquatch.  We did that often, the idea being 
that Adam would interact with kids, play and talk with them in an 
informal situation and hopefully convince the next generation 
that a Bigfoot was just as human as they were.  

Adam usually enjoyed meeting other children, but they had almost 
always been selected groups from a single school or classroom, 
10-15 kids at a time.  Most of the visiting children had been 
informed that this little sasquatch could talk, but assumed that 
they were going to some kind of Zoo to see a cute little teddy 
bear who could parrot a few words.  They were fascinated when Adam 
talked to them like any other kid. Most of them easily accepted 
that Adam was a PERSON just like themselves, having been prepped 
all their lives by Disney's talking animals and innumerable other 
fantasies on TV.  

At the age of 5 he was already an old hand at winning a crowd over 
--but he was still only a child.  It could be unpleasant for him 
when there were children indoctrinated by racist parents.  We 
preferred that the school faculty were selective about which kids 
would come and how many of them. 

However, this gathering took place in the assembly hall at the Hub 
on the UW Campus and we arrived to discover that there were
several hundred children from all over the Seattle School District.
We almost backed out-- this was not the deal, Adam could hardly go 
face-to-face with a crowd like this.  I tried to find out who was 
responsible for this mix-up, but nobody seemed to know. 

I should have been suspicious right away, of course, this crowd 
sprang all our security routines apart, but I was trying to find a 
reasonable way to deal with the mess.  I was more concerned about 
what we should do next: the show must go on and all that.  

So I got on stage, holding Adam's hand and was greeted by a wave 
of applause.  Which died away as they waited, with great expectation, 
for the show to start.  I explained that we really did not have a 
show and were hardly prepared for such a turnout, but that we 
might be able to make do anyway.  I introduced Adam, who was 
intimidated by so many people, but who was also a big ham whenever 
presented to a microphone.  He waved and said, "Hi!"  

While all this was going on, a black Ford Transit van had parked 
just outside the Hub. Three men in Security Uniforms got out and 
walked into The Hub, a fourth man waited in the driver's seat.

Inside the Hub, we weren't about to send Adam out into that crowd 
to interact with hundreds of strangers, so we chose volunteers to 
come up on stage and talk with Adam.  No one raised their hands 
until it was mentioned that those who came up would also get to 
hold a microphone and then there were too many.  Adam chose 
eight children to join him.  

It was kind of goofy, of course, kids with microphones but no idea 
of what to say or do, so they all made funny noises-- Adam too.  
But I requested that two teachers also come up and lead some kind 
of impromptu discussion-- I was not willing to stand up on stage 
and make a fool of myself, especially when I was so pissed off 
about this entire circus number.  Fortunately there were two rather 
creative and enthusiastic young women teachers who gladly 
volunteered.  Everyone had fun for most of an hour, on stage and in 
the audience, so it was a success despite everything.

It was also a success for the kidnappers.  

As I waited just offstage for the assembly to end, three uniformed 
men came to stand next to me.  "Extra Security," one of them 
informed me.  I nodded back, said, "Good," believing them.  I only 
gave them a quick look, my attention upon Adam on stage, but did 
notice that they were three especially big and beefy men. 

Just before it was time to go the Biggest Man put a hand on my 
shoulder and asked politely, "Mr. Forest, could we have a word 
with you?" 

Absently, I allowed myself to be taken aside, away from the crowd, 
through a door and suddenly found myself being led down a hallway 
with one of them in front, another behind, a hand still on my 

I stopped.  "Hey, what IS this?"  

The Big Man in front turned and punched me in the belly, hard. I 
lost all my breath and would have fallen backwards, but the man 
behind me grabbed and held me up by my arms.  The Big Man in front 
gagged and bound me with duct tape in a very professional manner 
and pushed me into a closet.  

I was put out of play so fast that I was still wondering what was 
happening as the door closed and I lay in the dark.  I finally 
registered that their uniforms had been slightly different than 
Campus Security and then I knew that they were after Adam.  

While the two kidnappers had taken me out, the third man had 
remained beside the stage to keep an eye on Adam. When the assembly 
broke up he went to Adam and said, "Your dad told us to escort 
you out of this crowd, he'll meet us in the parking lot in just 
a minute."

Adam was confused by all the children waving goodbye to him, nice 
teachers affectionately ruffling his hair, lots of distractions 
all at once.  He couldn't see me anywhere, but here were these 
unknown men explaining that I was nearby.  He hesitated, looked 
around for me.

"I'm not supposed to go anywhere with people I don't know," he 
said, just as he was taught.

"Hey, we're Campus Security, we work for IPR.  See our uniforms?"  

The crowd was thinning out, it was time to go, I wasn't there, 
Adam was uncertain.  

"Come on, kid," the Biggest Man said, "your dad is waiting..."

Adam was still unsure, but walked out of The Hub with the three 
uniformed men surrounding him, looking for me all the while.  
He was only a child who had not yet learned to mistrust 
authority figures.

They led him to the black van in the parking lot.  I was not 
there, of course, so he began to fret.  "Where's my daddy?"

"He'll be along in a minute; you just hop in the van, okay?"

"I want to wait for Art," he insisted. "I'm not supposed to go 
anywhere without him."

"It's okay," the big man said smoothly, "we're taking you to get 
some ice cream, your daddy will meet us there."

Adam wrinkled his nose, he could smell an acrid stench when anyone 
lied.  Not so easily in the crowd, but now they were alone. 

"You're not supposed to tell lies," he admonished the man.

The kidnapper lost any patience he had been pretending to have.  
"Get in the fucking van, kid!"  He tried to grab Adam's wrist, but 
wasn't fast enough, Adam hopped back.

"No!  I won't go with you."

The other two men were right behind Adam, they grabbed an arm each.  
Adam squirmed, tried to wriggle free.

At this time he was about 5 foot 2 and weighed around 150 pounds, 
about the height of an average 14-year old, although heavy for his 
height.  These kidnappers were big combat-trained adults, they must 
have assumed that they could easily overpower a 5-year-old kid, 
even if he was a sasquatch.

"Shit, this kid's STRONG!"

"Crap, we've got a gorilla here!"

"I am NOT a gorilla!" Adam shouted, offended, jerking the two big 
men around so that they couldn't keep their footing.

The Big Man moved in to punch Adam in the belly as he had done me, 
with all his strength.  But with different results.  For one thing, 
the belly he hit was so solid that he sprained his wrist.  For 
another, he made Adam angry.

"Ow!  You're hurting me!" he shouted, charging forward, dragging 
two men and butting the Big Man backwards onto his butt.  He was 
winning the struggle.  

Adam could have ended it there with three blows, he was strong 
enough.  But all his life he had been warned not to hurt people 
with his strength, so he hesitated.  He was still concerned about 
being a good boy.

The fourth kidnapper, driver of the van, stepped out and fired a 
pistol at Adam. Fortunately, it was a gas pistol, unfortunately it 
stuck an anesthetic dart in his back.  Adam cried out in pain and 
fear and wasted a second trying to reach the dart.  

The three men piled onto him again, Big Man taking him down with a 
head lock, so that they rolled around on the asphalt.  They held 
him down as the drug took effect, his struggles subsided.

Yes, there were other people around, it's a busy campus and 
students were stopping, shocked to see four grown men bullying a 
young boy-- until they saw Adam's furry head and hands, then 
weren't sure what they were seeing --a monkey dressed in clothes?  
So everyone hesitated from stepping in.

The Big Man quickly wrapped Adam's wrists together with duct tape 
as the others held him-- lots of tape, around and around.  Then 
over his mouth to keep him from speaking.  When they had him 
secured they lifted him and put a rather limp Adam into the side 
door of the van and closed it.

The Big Man turned to the concerned crowd of students, holding up 
his hands.  "Escaped monkey, but it's all under control now, folks.  
We'll take it from here.  Move on along."

But one pretty brown-haired co-ed challenged them, "Hey, isn't 
that the little Bigfoot from Monroe?"  A young man confirmed that, 
"Yeah, I think so.  Just WHAT are you guys doing?"

But by then the four men were already in the van and driving away.  
"Hey, stop them!  Something's not right!"  But the van accelerated, 
took a hard swing and was gone.  It was off campus in 30 seconds, 
long before any kind of alarm was sounded.  

This was very professionally done.  The school classes "mix-up" 
had been part of their plan, they knew where we would be that day, 
and enough about our security system to infiltrate it.  They also 
knew that there was a secret GPS tracer hidden in Adam's clothes 
just in case this ever happened, because they removed it and threw 
it out of the van.  Someone on the inside had given them all the 
information they needed, but whether deliberately or accidentally 
we never learned.

By the time I had made enough noise kicking the door of the 
cleaning closet to attract attention and get myself free, the 
kidnappers had disappeared into the Seattle traffic.  I sounded 
the alarm to IRP Security, called the police, but far too late.  

Adam was gone.

Two days passed. Not a word from the kidnappers, not a clue for the police, not a moment's peace from the onslaught of media attention. Elaine and I were busy each keeping the other from going into panic at the thought that we would never see Adam again. We had intense meetings with police, friends and family, discussing what to do. Many of them were televised, printed in newspapers, posted on Internet. For a while there we were at the center of the world. The media was sympathetic, but it was that same old friend/foe relationship that inevitably threatens our most basic privacies. However, it was the best way to spread the word so that everyone in the world knew that our son was kidnapped and to keep an eye open for him. Keeping the media involved was our best shot at getting Adam back. Of course, the major problem with modern telecommunications media is that it is a business; some journalists will do anything for a hot story to sell their products; other people just want to be on television. So we had Adam sightings all over the world, none of them actual, which only muddied the investigative waters. We had hoped to hear a ransom demand, assured that we could scrape up the money here in the center of a media blitz. When none came forth we began to suspect that Adam's abduction was commercial in nature, which could be more serious. What we feared the most was some ruthless pharmaceutical-industrial corporation interested in doing some rather inhumane research with a unique specimen. The black van was found abandoned and burned up near Renton. It had been stolen and any fingerprints or hairs had been consumed by the burning, so it offered no clues whatsoever. Doug Wielson still knew people in the classified section of the investigation business, even though he had always turned down their offers of employment, so he got online with old university chums who were now in the CIA, NSA and probably some groups that have no initials that you or I have ever heard of. Guys with access to military satellite equipment, hi-tech surveillance experts, cyber-spies. Doug actually got some feedback on his requests, but none of it helped us find Adam. Which didn't matter anyway: three days after he'd been kidnapped, we got a call that Adam had been spotted running past Boeing Field, just south of Seattle. He'd evidently escaped his abductors and was running to lose them. The police had received hundreds of calls and were dispatched to fetch him, but Adam wasn't letting anyone catch him. He didn't know who to trust and wasn't supposed to go with strangers anyway, so he ducked into the woods and simply vanished again. We all went to Boeing Field, Elaine and I, Doug and Sally, even Melly, who was sure that he would come if she called him. When we arrived there were also hundreds of other people out searching for him, mostly well-wishers, calling, "Oh little boy bigfoot! We're only here to help you." Although some of them had the idea they were trying to catch a trained animal, whistling and calling, "Come on boy! Come on!" About 7:00 in the evening we got a call from the IPC via a police dispatcher that Adam had found himself. He had gone to the Renton Shopping Center and asked for help. Just as we had taught him to in case of such an episode as this: "go to a very public place so that a lot of people see you and tell someone who you are and have them call IPC," and of course he had the telephone number memorized. Twenty minutes later we arrived at the center with sirens blazing. Even with a police escort to clear the way, it wasn't easy getting in to Adam because of the tightly-packed crowd. Word had gotten around that Adam had been found and he was now surrounded by a horde of well-wishers and curious gawkers. TV crews had gotten there before us and were already trying to interview the star of the moment, it was a media event. We finally managed to push all the way in to our boy at the center of the swarm and there was a vast cheer when Elaine caught him up in an impassioned embrace. He seemed to be physically unharmed, but it was obvious he had been very frightened, the way his eyes darted around the crowd looking for certain faces.
After all the hugging and celebrating, we got Adam to tell us what had happened. But all he could give us was a 5-year-old's version of things, so we've never been quite sure of all the details. Having been knocked out by a tranquilizer dart, Adam woke up in a cold dark place. We later learned that it was in the basement of an old factory building, a room with cement walls and floor and ceiling, steel door and no window. The only furnishing was an old mattress on the floor. He couldn't see any of that, all he knew was that it was a dark and scary place, but that's what we found when we visited it with the police later. We had to put this story together from the confusing bits and pieces we got out of him and a study of the scene. We determined that he must have been unconscious in that room for at least a day and a half, it was certainly a very powerful anesthetic they'd injected him with-- probably a dosage for a 300- pound gorilla. It was lucky they hadn't killed him. The kidnappers had at least provided a tattered mattress for a bare minimum of comfort, but nothing else, no blanket or pillow. And no light, they left him to lie there in utter darkness. Adam hurt from stiffness because he was still bound hand and foot with duct tape, over which had since been tightly wound a rather heavy steel chain, the end of which was padlocked to a metal ring cemented into the floor. Those men were taking no chances about how strong even a little boy Bigfoot might be, so he was extremely uncomfortable. His mouth was also still taped shut so he had to keep from going into panic if he wanted to breathe. He didn't cry, not aloud at least. As a child Adam never uttered a peep when he was miserable or afraid. We've always assumed that to be a sasquatch survival instinct. He lay there for a long time, afraid, thirsty, hungry and he had to pee. Finally two men came in to him and turned on the lights. One man had some bananas and a water bottle, the other--the Biggest Man--had the tranquilizer pistol ready in his hand. It was that Big Man Adam was most afraid of, the one who had punched him and wrestled him down, but that man stayed back on guard with pistol ready if Adam should get tricky. They had a security routine and knew what they were doing. The other not-so-big guy ripped the tape off Adam's mouth so that he could eat and drink-- which hurt too, Adam said with big eyes when he told us the story. "Sit up, kid, eat and drink this." Adam did what he was told with no hysterics. The not-so-big man held a water bottle up so that Adam could drink through a straw, then peeled three bananas and fed them to Adam, carefully avoiding getting his fingers between Adam's teeth. That man studied Adam for a while, then seeming almost friendly, he smiled and patted Adam's furry head. "You're okay, kid, you're taking this pretty good." "I want to go home now," Adam told him. The Biggest Man answered with no smile, "No, kid, you'll be staying with us for a while." "But don't worry," the other man said, "we'll take you home later." "You promise?" "Yeah, I promise." Adam smelled the stink but didn't say anything. He may have only been five, but already understood that recognizing a lie was almost the same as knowing the truth. "How long do I have to stay here?" "Not so long. Then we'll take you to a much nicer place." That one smelled okay. As the men started to leave Adam said, "Wait! I have to pee-pee." The men looked at each other as if that had never occurred to them. "Hey, I ain't gonna..." said the not-so-big man. "Me neither. He can just pee in his pants," the Big Man said with a shrug. And on his way out the door he turned off the light again. "O please, leave the light on!" Adam begged. The Big Man gave him an amused look, "Bigfoot afraid of dark?" He snapped the light off and locked the door, leaving Adam in utter darkness once again. Adam really had to urinate by now, but he wouldn't do it in his pants, so he held on. But he fell asleep soon after they had left and wet his pants anyway. The food was probably drugged. He woke up first when they came back again. Adam had no way of knowing how much time had passed. It was the same routine, two men, water and bananas. "Bananas again? I said I'm not a gorilla!" "Hey, we don't know what a bigfoot eats. Take it or leave it." Adam was hungry, so he ate the bananas. He hadn't thought about drugs in the water (still only 5, you know) so he drank it. Before they left he asked again if they would leave the light on, the Big Man refused. "You're mean!" "That's what they pay us for." Adam was scared, but had to ask: "Are you guys going to hurt me?" The Big Man hesitated, then said, "Naw, kid, hey, you'll be just fine." Nasty stink, translate that lie into: "Yes, kid, we're going to hurt you really bad." When the men left him alone in the dark again he wanted to escape instead of sleeping. But soon the drug made him sleepy and he dreamed about escaping instead.
The third time the Big Man came in and turned on the light, he had someone else with him and even little Adam understood that this new man was worse than the others. He was a fat man, had a big belly and smelled of cigars and alcohol and general physical decay, generating a very unpleasant odor. He was also wearing a brown ski mask to hide his identity, incongruous with his elegant gray business suit and power-red tie. "As you can see, we've got him pretty well contained," the Big Man said to the masked fat man. That man studied the chained and bound bigfoot child from a safe distance then spoke as if rebuking the Big Man, "Why the mattress?" "Why not?" asked the Big Man, who was not about to kowtow to anyone. "Poor kid's got it rough enough. Besides, the idea is to keep him alive, not dead of hypothermia." "It's a Bigfoot. They don't sleep on mattresses." "They don't sleep on cement either." "Remove it." The fat man wanted the last word. The Big Man gave the other a disapproving look, but then shrugged and obeyed. He went to Adam and rolled him off the mattress, saying, "Sorry, kid, gotta take your bed away." Adam, now lying on the cold hard cement, asked, "Why?" "Because..." The fat man interrupted, "You don't have to explain anything to that animal." The Big Man finished explaining anyway, "...because that asshole has a mean streak, that's why." He offered a sympathetic shrug, but dutifully tossed the mattress out the doorway and it was gone. The fat man glared at the kidnapper, obviously not accustomed to disrespect from underlings, but did not choose to escalate an argument. Whatever their working relationship, it was clear that the Big Man was the more physically dangerous of the two and the fat man only dared to push him so far. "So when do we move him to the lab?" the Big Man asked. “He’s too hot to move just now, police are still stopping traffic to find him. So we’ll have to bring the surgeon here instead. See what we can carve out of this little ape.” Big Man said, "Hey, the kid understands English, you know?" "He's not a kid, he's...IT's an animal," the fat man postulated, "A primate. You should remember that." "Well, he sure as hell TALKS like a kid," the Big Man countered on their way out the door, "Maybe you should remember that." They turned off the light and left Adam lying on the bare cement floor in the dark. He could barely move at all, chained and bound as he was and now he was even more uncomfortable than before. There had also been no food or water this time, whether by intention or omission due to their internal bickering is anyone's guess. And perhaps therefore no drug. Adam was quite afraid by now: for he HAD understood the fat man's English--they were going to hurt him. He knew he had to get away. So he did-- he escaped and showed up in a shopping center a few hours later. If this part of the story seems to be missing some details... sorry folks, that's all we've got. Adam said he couldn’t remember exactly how he got away, at least we never did get the entire story out of him and there was no one else to ask. Years later it was still a blank to him. Perhaps he had been so frightened that he repressed those memories –he really was only a child —although he was able to recall every word that had been spoken around him while in captivity. Apparently it's the part without words that he forgets, like being alone and afraid in the dark for too long. That should be traumatic stuff, I suppose, but he did not seem to be especially traumatized when it was over. There's a classic "locked room" mystery here. The most Adam could tell us about the actual escape was how he went "CRASH-ING" through a big window and landing running, "then I just ran and ran and ran-- FAST as I can!" He always enjoyed telling that part of the story. Adam never saw the kidnappers again, although he still watches out for them.
The police wanted Adam to show them the building, so we drove him to Boeing Field but he couldn't find the way at first. Eventually we did find it, an abandoned phonograph player factory in a run-down industrial area, but no sign of the kidnappers remained. Not only were they long gone, but had once again cleaned up each and every clue, such as fingerprints or traces of DNA, which caused the police to suspect them of perhaps being highly professional agents, rather than mere criminals. We found the room where they had kept Adam. The cot was still there, and the chain, still padlocked. There was the "CRASHed" window on the ground floor, Adam's footprints in the earth where he had landed running. But no clue as to how Adam had escaped from the still-padlocked chain, the cement room, the steel door and a squad of trained abductors. The room gave me a chill: I thought of my poor little boy chained and bound in this evil trap, in the dark alone and afraid. I could relate to being afraid of that room, I could envision never having escaped it. Go ahead and ask: How the hell did he get away? I still do. We never did learn why the kidnappers had kept Adam there for two nights, instead of delivering him to wherever they were taking him. The fat man's words suggested that they had been waiting for the most intense police activity to ease off, but more likely that they were waiting for a payoff before delivering their kidnapped Bigfoot. Nor did we ever find out who they were, nor for whom they were working. There was one medicinal corporation we strongly suspected, but I shall not name names nor make unsubstantiated accusations here in print without concrete evidence to back it up. Popular conspiracy myths abounded, suggesting the National Government and/or the Mafia, so who knows? Whoever they were, they never tried again. Which may have to do with the fact that the testing of Adam finally leveled off-- they had gathered all the samples they could use for years ahead, nothing new was being revealed and they had confirmed that there was no commercial use for a sasquatch's blood. So Adam's flesh was simply not worth a lot of money anymore, thank goodness.
Chapter 11

Adam out of Eden