Monday, January 14, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 14, 2001 | Bigfoot Compels More Scientists

How we picture Sasquatch being welcomed by academia
Today in 2001, Theo Stein of the Denver Post wrote an article originally titled, "Not All Scientists Doubt Bigfoot Now." it was later retitled when it was archived as, "Legend of Bigfoot put to test,
Mounting evidence gives many reason to believe."

The headline may have changed due to the push back from Science Frontiers magazine. We will get to that a little bit later.

Overall the Denver Post article listed a few Colorado Bigfoot hotspots, but it mostly centered around the premise that respected scientist were gaining interest in studying the Bigfoot phenomena:
An eclectic assortment of scientists and academics is testing the proposition that Bigfoot isn't a myth but an ice age survivor that has managed to persist just outside the vision of Western science. Drawing on each other's disciplines, these researchers are sharing information and applying sophisticated forensic techniques as never before.
As the article continues, it focuses on an Idaho State University professor named Jeff Meldrum.
One of the few academic Bigfoot researchers is physical anthropologist Jeff Meldrum, an Idaho State University professor who has examined hundreds of claimed footprints from Bigfoot, also called Sasquatch in the Northwest. Many he has rejected as hoaxes, others as misidentifications. But more than 100, he said, represent the trace of an unknown animal with a big, flat foot and five toes.

Meldrum's lab in Pocatello is crammed with typical academic paraphernalia. Posters of evolutionary trees festoon the walls, rubber models of ape feet and hands sit in a cabinet. Bulging bookshelves, charts and cabinets sit full of papers relating to his main area of study of how our stiff, stub-toed running foot evolved from the flexible, grasping ape foot of our distant ancestors.

Rather than simply an enlarged human foot, Meldrum said, the Sasquatch foot displays a unique combination of recognizably different anatomic features to solve the problem of two-footed locomotion. The result is a proportionally wider, flatter appendage with long, flexible toes and a spring-loaded, ape-like hinge in place of our stiff arch.

"This animal's little toe is about the same length as my little finger," he said, holding his hand up against the side of one of his casts. "This toe probably has the same grasping ability as my finger, too."
The entire article reads differently depending on the headline, once the headline was softened it seems to be a balance of scientific Bigfoot advocates with a sprinkle of skepticism. Michael Shermer, publisher of the magazine Skeptic is quoted as saying, "If you believe in Bigfoot, you most likely believe in the Loch Ness monster, the lost continent of Atlantis, whatever."

Science Frontiers had a highly critical response to Theo Stein, based on the initial headline, "Not All Scientists Doubt Bigfoot Now." Besides chiding Mr. Stein's approach to listing Colorado hotspots, Science Frontiers also argues that science will never be compelled by the current evidence:
Surely, this is enough to convince everyone of Bigfoot's reality. Not so! To recognize Bigfoot officially scientists must have a living specimen, a corpse, or at least a good skeleton. They do not.
You can read the entire Denver Post article at Bigfoot Encounters. Even better, you can read Science Frontiers response there too.

4 comments:

  1. From this day forward bigfoot should be depicted with dreads just like that photo. It's a good look for him. The fingernail polish though...

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  2. Theo Stein is the same one who reported that Matt Moneymaker was an attorney in 2000. He didn't do his homework, Moneymaker might not have graduated a third tier law school in Akron. He never sat for the bar, and never received a license to practice law. The paper trail, in articles and on his website and numerous postings, embrace his new found credentials, to the point he was featured in an article describing his alternative path as a past corporate attorney. Not until 2010 he was outed online via an email from an irritated fan did the word get out. Moneymaker resisted. The articles identifying him as an attorney still reside on his website, BFRO.net, but the resume calling himself an attorney has come down.
    It is a problem, the seeming attitude among these prize hunters that the ends justify the means.
    Based on that little surprise I dug around more, and unfortunately it is not a pretty picture generally and nothing I want to divulge here. Moneymaker holding himself out to the community as a lawyer deserve public humiliation. The other problems with Bigfootery, seem a little more give and take, with everyone somehow falling below a standard I think we would all like to see kept. I do notice there is little public interaction between Meldrum and Moneymaker anymore. Perhaps honesty does count.
    Theo Stein needs to update his views.

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