Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 06 | Meldrum Backs Freeman

Photoshopped picture of Jeff Meldrum holding a Paul Freeman cast
“So the thought occurred to me: Well, if [Paul Freeman] is responsible for this [Bigfoot] hoax, why would he portray it so incorrectly on the chance I would read it differently?” -- Dr. Jeff Meldrum

Today in 1997 according to the book, Bigfoot Exposed, Dr. Jeff Meldrum stakes much of his academic reputation on the Paul Freeman trackway. This trackway was a series of  Bigfoot tracks from the Blue Mountains near Walla Walla, Washington. He wrote his support on a posting to the Internet Virtual Bigfoot Conference, an online (email-based) Bigfoot research community.

This was a pretty big deal since at the time Dr. Jeff Meldrum was member of the Biological Sciences faculty at Idaho State University and Grover Krantz’s professional heir-apparent in the field of anthropology. Currently as of 2013, Meldrum is a full professor. Krantz was the first university professor to publicly support and research the possibility of Bigfoot's existence.

If you have ever heard Dr. Meldrum speak, you may be fortunate enough to hear how he first met paul Freeman and the circumstances of thier meeting. In our previous post, "Dr. Jeff Meldrum Compelled by Freeman Tracks" you can read Dr. meldrum retell the story, below is a short excerpt from that post:
Meldrum began following the tracks, far beyond where Freeman’s boot tracks ended, and found additional sets of footprints coming and going. Whatever had made the tracks had apparently come down the Mill Creek drainage, using the brush along an empty irrigation ditch as cover, possibly to raid the apple and plum orchards further below.

“At that point it was clear Paul had read the whole circumstance completely backward,” Meldrum says. “So the thought occurred to me: Well, if he’s responsible for this hoax, why would he portray it so incorrectly on the chance I would read it differently?”
The point is, Dr. Meldrum found enough interesting about the trackway himself, that he was compelled independently what he had observed himself. But let’s back up and discuss Paul Freeman a bit.

Paul freeman is described in an AP article.
Freeman, 45, does not seem the type to spook easily. He is beefy, bearded and, at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, approaches Sasquatch proportions himself. He's a meat-cutter by trade; an outdoorsman and hunter by nature.
Apparently he put down the butchers knife and started to search for bigfoot. Before his death he had claimed to see Bigfoot himself 4 times and has collected more cast, most of them with dermal ridges, more than any other Bigfoot hunter. This brings us back to Meldrum. Meldrum not only staked his good name but also put his money where his mouth is, he ended up buying Freeman’s collection for a sum of nearly $2000 dollars. 

Dr. Meldrum was quoted by the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, "I’d been given an earful by people about Paul’s reputation, and it was bad. I went into it very skeptical."

You can read Meldrum's initial reaction to the prints at our post, Dr. Jeff Meldrum Compelled by Freeman Tracks. You can get further details at Cliff Barackman's Cast Database.

9 comments:

  1. Science should ignore personalities or personal history and concentrate only on the facts.

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    1. Great statement, Phil :)
      I agree, the data that Freeman has collected is pretty outstanding! Although people claim he's hoaxed tracks, I guess he only made fake tracks to compare to and help verify his allegedly real ones

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  2. With a lot of forest,swamps,ocean depths how could scientist say Creatures like Bigfoot are not Real?if they are smart enough to barely be seen and are maybe the missing link between currant Humans and our ape anstrestory,couldn't they be smart enough to Burry there Dead,hide in deep caves,migrate like our cave cousins traveled for food,also bigfoots are probally can use animal instinct to detect when someone is setting traps for them or hunting for them.and it is known they will approch children and women with no fear.almost like a mother or father with kids or a single guy looking for a mate.Just cause there is no dead body found doesn't mean something isn't out there!so keep a open mind to the unknown things that go bump in the night or day.

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    1. This line of argument sounds as hypocritical as it does cliched. I'm sure others would be more cruel. The Bigfoot believer needs to practice what he preaches, and keep his mind open to the real truth, no matter what it is. Occam's razor is against Bigfoot: the simplest explanation is not that he is "smart enough" to purposely hide all evidence of its existence from us. What animal does that? You're also implying that this giant, naked ape, who lives in the woods and feeds off carrion, is smarter than we are. Then again, maybe that's not a difficult standard to beat.

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  3. "What animal does that?" Do you consider yourself an animal? Maybe Bigfoot isn't either.

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  4. "What animal does that?" How about the coyote? Do you know it has re-established itself in just about every state in the union? I don't know where you live, been when is the last time you saw, or heard, a coyote? There is evidence that cougars are also re-establishing themselves in their former ranges, as far east as Connecticut, and even Maine. Why would an animal that walks on two legs, as these trackways, and many others, indicate, be less intelligent than coyotes and cougars? If it is a primitive humanoid, it is most likely related to humans, however distantly, and is obviously intelligent enough to avoid it's more aggressive relatives.

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  5. id have to agree with the above comments , I live in Massachusetts and we have have an increase in sightings of bears, and cougars... as well as alot more bigfoot sightings in the region of new england ..primarily in Massachusetts...but yes sightings are increasing all over the places gradually.the more woods we keep tearing down the more likely we are to spot one of these animals ... the sad truth .

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  6. If Meldrum thinks that the tracks were headed towards some apple and plum trees has anyone gone to those orchards and looked for more tracks or some half-eaten fruit? And since Freeman choose to look there because they were coming for water, wouldn't they continue to go there for water?

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  7. Encountering a bigfoot is rarely a serene experience. But it is nothing compared with the way people treat you when you try to express what you experienced. This type of extreme prejudice and ostracism can be excruciating, particularly for humans with an intrepid and inquisitive nature. Ironically, these precise qualities are in large part why the human race keeps learning, developing, and yes, dominating the planet (over other species of animals).

    Just because a person experiences real life bigfoot encounters does not mean that person will not hoax later. And this is perhaps one of the most tragic aspects of bigfooting. It can be heartbreaking to know someone and trust them and then find out they have hoaxed.

    Perhaps most significant to this phenomenon is the way other people then automatically write off ALL encounters and evidence that person has contributed prior to hoaxing. This speaks about the way modern industrial society has been engineered on purpose. People are taught and conditioned to be narrow minded generally, highly specialized in their skill sets and interests, and trusting of authority (particularly those aspects of authority associated with "educating" and "informing" the general public).

    Even if Freeman stooped to hoaxing later in his career, that doesn't mean all of his encounters are hoaxes. And with a man like Freeman, it's possible that he even had genuine encounters after hoaxing. I am not saying definitively that Freeman was a hoaxer, merely that it's worth pointing out that his case history, in particular, illustrates how people immediately write off a hoaxer. I think it is possible that Freeman had real encounters, hoaxed here and there, and then had others. I will also say that bigfooting is very hard on one's mental and physical health.

    As native Americans maintain almost across the board in their respective nations' cultures, bigfoots are dangerous and this danger becomes most acute after a sighting due to voodoo or "men in black" forms of follow-up conditioning and behavioral modification. Even if sasquatches are not directly connected to "the matrix" seeing one makes a person somehow a risk to the overall integrity of this matrix, which needs a certain set of expectations and norms to function smoothly.

    I also feel that evidence and yes, even bigfoot bodies, have disappeared mysteriously. In some cases, witnesses then false corroborate hoax material with real sightings and encounters. This is perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all pertaining to the field of bigfooting. Indeed, it shares a great deal in common with the work of Albert K. Bender, who studied UFO's and Men in Black starting in the mid-1950's. Bender was threatened by Men in Black several years after founding his magazine "Space Review" and promptly abandoned the field of research, despite having a following in the thousands.

    Bigfooters who are capable, for whatever reason, of encountering bigfoots with any degree of regularity, are subject to tremendous pressures, from their friends family and co-workers, from the government, and also from paranormal aspects that fall beyond the veil of human understanding. From everything I can gather, Paul Freeman falls into this category. I would not be at all surprised if bigfooting even shortened his lifespan and contributed to the speed of his health's deterioration. For these reasons, Paul Freeman's work should be scrutinized carefully. If indeed some of his prints and encounters were real, and he also succumbed to hoaxing a little along the way, cut the man some slack, yo. If this was the case, he would have been under TREMENDOUS pressure from all sides. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And if he didn't hoax anything along the way, all the better.

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