|John Green (left) Peter Byrne (right) are pioneers of Bigfoot research.|
In an article almost two decades old we see some of the same divisive debates that still plague the modern Bigfoot community. Ape vs. human. Kill vs. No-kill.
The excerpt further below is from the July 2, 1995 Chicago Tribune article. In the article you will read opinions of Peter Byrne from Grover Krantz and John Green.
At the time Mr. Byrne was investigating the Bigfoot mystery under a grant from the Academy of Applied Science. A former Big Game Hunter, he was initially involved in the search for the Himalyan Yeti in the 1950's in the Slick expedition.
Grover Krantz was a professor of physical anthropology at Washington State University, perhaps most famous to the general public as one of the few scientists not only to research Bigfoot, but also to express his belief in the cryptid's existence.
Finally John Green is Canadian retired journalist and first began investigating Sasquatch sightings and track finds in 1957 after meeting René Dahinden.
Time was running out.
But then, in 1992, good luck struck. Byrne received from Boston's Academy of Applied Science a very generous five-year grant. It provided enough money to found the Bigfoot Research Project, and to hire two assistants to help him launch the most high-tech monster search the world has ever seen--a search that relies on police gear, wildlife research equipment, a Jeep, a video camera, and, above all, a phone line. Byrne has a toll-free number, 1-800-BIGFOOT, and a dozen or so people call in every month to report sightings. The old hunter takes notes and then, if a sighting sounds promising, he rushes off to investigate- -to peruse the crushed twigs or watch witnesses imitate the horrible scream. Every detail is logged onto computers. Eventually, if all goes as planned, Sasquatch's migrational patterns will become clear, and Byrne can jump into a helicopter.
There are, on standby, two Bell 206 choppers equipped with the infared sensors used to track prison escapees. These would zero in on the beast, and Byrne would shoot a small dart. The dart would loop into the Sasquatch's flesh, extracting a small bit of tissue--enough to fill up, say, one tiny test tube--and ultimately the creature would lope off, unharmed. And the cameras would whir: You know the tabloids would be there. Indeed, they can't wait. Last year, the crew of "Unsolved Mysteries," an independent syndicated TV show, spent a week with Byrne filming a mock Bigfoot hunt that was replete with a Hollywood stunt man wearing oversized shoes.
Byrne has also been covered by "Ancient Mysteries," "Sightings," and the Australian Broadcast Corporation, and newspapers ranging from The Hood River News to The New York Times.
There critics are out there.
With all the fame has come criticism. For instance, Grover Krantz, a Bigfoot believer who teaches anthropology at Washington State University, argues that Byrne is "a sham, a fake." Krantz takes issue mainly with Byrne's opposition to killing, which evolved after decades of watching bumbling tourists murder Nepalese tigers. "I argue for humane treatment too," says Krantz. "But in order to attain protection for the Sasquatch, we have to prove they exist. And Peter knows that the only way we can do that is by bringing in a body." John Green, a retired Canadian journalist who has written several books on Bigfoot, is even more critical. "Peter Byrne is a fraud," Green says. "He tells the public that Sasquatch is near human because that's what they like to hear."
Green is certain that, "if Sasquatch is real, he's just an animal." But Byrne feels the truth is far more complex: He likes to think of the creature as a convict. "As a child," he explains, "we played a game called Convict 99. One person was the fugitive. Others were the police; they tried to put themselves in the mind of a fugitive. Now we're trying to do the same thing. Bigfoot is out there, but where? Where is he hiding?" It's a vast question and, trying to answer it, Byrne has forded an icy, chest-deep stream on snowshoes and slept out on winter nights with nothing but a small fire to warm him. He says, "It's like we're trying to find a needle in a haystack and the needle is moving and it doesn't want to be found."
You can read the full article titled, "ON THE TRAIL OF BIGFOOT," at Bigfoot Encounters