Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bigfoots Don't Stink--At Least Not Always

Cryptozoology News suggests Sasquatch mat have a defense system similar to skunks

"In British Columbia and Alberta strong smells are mentioned in only 4. 5% of reports". --John Green, Spring 1995

A foul smell is often associated with Bigfoot, popular culture has reinforced this stereo type. In the first Anchorman Bigfoot's anatomy is used to describe the most foul cologne. Cryptozoology News (CN), although poorly sourced, reminds us that John Green's data points to a small percentage of odor being associated with Bigfoot encounters. CN continues to suggest that Sasquatch similar to skunks may have a defense mechanism citing examples from Dr. W. Fahrenbach, a retired biologist from the Oregon Primate Center, and Dian Fosey a renowned Gorilla researcher.

Before we send you Cryptozoology News, we wanted to share John Green's data regarding the odor associated with Bigfoot encounters.

It is common knowledge that sasquatches are reported to have a strong and unpleasant smell--in Florida they are commonly called "skunk apes". It is probably also well known, at least to the readers of newsletters, that strong smells are not always reported; but is this just because the witnesses were not in a position to smell anything, or because sasquatches do not always smell bad?

To contribute some information for anyone interested in this question, here are the results of an analysis of reports from the western part of North America that I have entered in my computer.

In 923 descriptions of supposed sasquatches, only 72 mention a strong smell. Nine mention a mild smell and eight state specifically that the animals had no smell. Strong smells were mentioned in less than eight percent of reports. This percentage is fairly consistent throughout the American states, percentages being: Washington, 9%; Oregon, 11%; California, 8%, and the average for eight other western states, 8.5%.

The percentage in Canada is lower. In British Columbia and Alberta strong smells are mentioned in only 4. 5% of reports. The number of descriptions involved, 217, would appear to be large enough so that the different percentage may have some significance, but it is hard to imagine what it could be.

Absence of a report of a strong smell obviously has no significance if the witness was a good distance away or was inside a building or vehicle. Restricting the survey to reports where it would seem that the witness should have noticed a strong smell if one was present gives the following results.

    In contact with the animal:     strong smell    5,     mild     0;      no smell,     5.

    Less than 5 feet away, in same air:                0,        2,            3.

    Estimated 5 feet away, in same air:                4        1            4.
    Estimated 10 feet away, in same air:              5,        1,            14.

Up to 5 feet the percentage of strong smells, in 24 reports, is 37.5%.

At 10 feet, in 20 reports, the percentage drops to 25%.

With some animals strong smells are associated only with the adult males. Most sasquatch reports do not involve any identification of sex, but it is usually assumed that most are males. My files contain only one report in which a sasquatch is identified as a female and said to have a strong smell.

    * A single report, that of Albert Ostman, has a disproportionate effect on the statistics. He claims to have been carried home by an adult male and then to have been close to a young male and a young female. In conversation, although not in his written account, he said that the adult male had a strong smell, the two juveniles mild smells. If his account is left out the number of reports of mild smells drops to seven, and the percentage of strong smells reported" in British Columbia drops to 4%.

John Green

Spring 1995
You can read the skunk gland theory at Cryptozology News  

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