|Photoshopped picture of Jeff Meldrum holding a Paul Freeman cast|
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.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.
“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?”
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.