I have heard many theories regarding Bigfoot. Missing Link. Undiscovered North-American ape. Living modern branch of Gigantopithicus. Inter-dimensional time traveling monster summoned from the physics experiments during the US Government funded Montauk Project. Really, I'm a fan of all of these and thought I had heard all of these. Not True.
Enter Matt Bowman. You may remember him from a previous post Is Bigfoot My Brothers Keeper? He wrote a paper published by the JOURNAL OF MORMON HISTORY VOLUME 33, NO. 3 FALL 2007. It is an article entitled A Mormon Bigfoot: David Patten’s Cain and the Concept of Evil in LDS Folklore.
I will give you the Readers Digest version. Multiple historical Mormon documents reference an Bigfoot-like encounter experienced by David W. Patten. Patten was an early leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The creature is described as a hairy man of ill smell, who claimed to be none other than Cain himself. Yes, the creature talked.
Why am I bringing this up again? Because, I was a little disappointed after reading Matt Bowman's Paper. I realized there is no mention of one of the most respected BF scientists out there, Jeff Meldrum. Why would/should have Matt Bowman mentioned Jeff Meldrum? Jeff Meldrum is a BYU Alumni AND Author of the Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science. A book recognized and recommended by Jane Goodall, in fact she is quoted on the cover, "...[Sasquatch:LMS] brings a much needed level of scientific analysis to the Sasquatch-or Bigfoot-debate."
Being ever diligent I have corresponded with both Matt Bowman and Jeff Meldrum. I should first say both are very gracious and kind. Although I must say Mr.Meldrum shattered my own private personal Bigfoot hypothesis, but that's another post altogether.
First Mr.Meldrum's response to the Cain/Bigfoot Paper:
I am aware of the primary citations, but haven't encountered Bowman's paper...I don't place any significance in Patten's "experience" for Sasquatch research, but would be interested to learn more about its historical context.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
Your welcome Jeff, I had a hunch as a Mormon you may have heard of David W. Patten and as a published well-recognized and respected Sasquatch researcher you may also have had something to say about the whole thing.
Matt Bowman's response?
In retrospect probably should have included something about Meldrum in the paper; I was aware of him when I did the research, but just didn't find a good place to fit him in. I've seen some of his work but have never spoken to him personally, so I'm not sure what drives his interest.
Overall, though, I'd say he fits in with the trend among Mormons I describe in the paper away from a more supernatural interpretation of Bigfoot and toward an increasingly scientific approach.
So there you have it mystery solved.