Showing posts with label big foot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label big foot. Show all posts

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 13 | Hopeful Skeptic Says Both Bigfoot Camps Need Help

Eugenie Scott a skeptic who would like Bigfoot to exist
"I would like [Bigfoot] to be real" -- Dr. Eugenie Scott

Today in 2009 Eugenie Scott spoke at the Ask a Scientist event in San Francisco. The topic that night was Bigfoot. As an anthropologist and a skeptic Eugenie seems to have more patience for bigfooters than she has for creationist. You can read about the event below.

Tuesday, January 13, 7:00 PM
Ask a Scientist: Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest

Bigfoot, Yeti, and hordes of other cryptoid missing links have been igniting human imagination for ages. Even the most skeptical of us must wonder if it’s possible there really could be large, undiscovered primates on earth, still unknown to us humans. Can we be so sure we’ve found them all? And if some enticing evidence presented itself, how would we test it scientifically? Tonight physical anthropologist Eugenie Scott will help us answer the question of whether or not we might one day be able to welcome some long lost relatives to the family tree. This event is presented in collaboration with the Bay Area Skeptics.

Speaker: Eugenie Scott; Physical Anthropologist and Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education
Although we don't know exactly what happened at the Ask a Scientist event, we can get a pretty good idea watching the video below. 


In the video below Dr. Eugenie Scott represents the Bay Area Skeptics. She quickly identifies two camps of bigfooters. In the first camp, as she describes them, are the paranormal, mystical bigfooters that believe Bigfoot can shape shift, she quickly marginalizes them and says that is an argument for theologists. In the second camp are, as she defines them, cryptozoologist. She is critical of their lack of scientific process and ability to test their explanations.  Dr. Scott does say Scientist like Dr. Jeff Meldrum are heading in the right direction.

The entire hour and half video is well worth watching, it gives us some insights into what our challenges our in seeking Bigfoot. The Table of Contents is below and you will have to click on the "Watch Full Program" in the embedded video to see the whole presentation. 


Eugenie Scott: Bigfoot and Other Wild Men of the Forest from Ask a Scientist on FORA.tv
Video Table of Contents:
01. Introduction: 00 min 56 sec
02. Bay Area Skeptics: 02 min 33 sec
03. Two Types of Wildmen of the Woods: 06 min 15 sec
04. Scientific Investigation of Bigfoot: 04 min 06 sec
05. Cryptozoology: 03 min 43 sec
06. Likelihood of Undiscovered Bigfoot Species: 04 min 18 sec
07. Where Bigfoot Lives: 03 min 04 sec
08. Remnants of Giant Asian Ape?: 04 min 36 sec
09. Bigfoot Prints: 08 min 49 sec
10. Existence of Orangutan: 05 min 02 sec
11. Habitat Encroachment: 00 min 35 sec
12. History of Bigfoot Sightings: 02 min 13 sec
13. Strength of Belief in Bigfoot: 00 min 36 sec
14. Bigfoot Books: 02 min 48 sec
15. Explanations for Sightings: 03 min 54 sec
16. Unreliability of Eyewitness Reports: 04 min 38 sec
17. Yeti Movie: 02 min 27 sec
18. Bluff Creek Sighting Video: 08 min 46 sec
19. Snow Walker Yeti: 06 min 32 sec
20. Camera Traps Fail to Spot Bigfoot: 03 min 34 sec
21. Analysis of Hair Samples: 05 min 21 sec






Friday, January 11, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 11 | "Zipper" Found on Patty "Bigfoot Costume"

Today, January 11, in 1999 the color plate of frame 352 from the Patterson/Gimlin film was carefully examined by imaging specialists at a color technology laboratory in Ventura, California. State-of-the-art scanners were used to magnify the image down to the color-point level.

All of this came about due to a press conference called by Cliff Cook and the supporting testimony of his associate Chris Murphy. Murphy claimed to of found a bell shape (aka zipper pull tab) within the grainy film image and even took the time to hand craft a pretzel-like, clay model of this bell shape.

The final image in the series shows the detail in question at approximately 1600% magnification. At this level of resolution the individual points of color are clearly visible.

Murphy's "bell-shaped object" is not readily discernible at any level of resolution. To the naked eye the "object" appears to be a diffuse blotch of light reflecting off the fur. At increasingly higher magnification this detail still appears to be a diffuse blotch of light reflecting off the fur. Several other parts of the bigfoot figure show similar blotches of light reflecting off the fur.

The detail in question has no clear edges, and has no visible "artificial" shape. The lab tests demonstrated that a clear magnification of the color plate does not reveal anything like the pretzel-like object displayed at Crook's press conference. The image analysts stated that Murphy seems to be relying on some "highly imaginative, Rorschach-like interpretations of fuzzy details in enlargements of the color plates."

It is important to note The Oregonian on this same day had a headline "BIGFOOT PROOF CALLED 'MAN IN MONKEY SUIT'" The article was released by United Press International and begins with these two paragraphs...

BIGFOOT PROOF CALLED 'MAN IN MONKEY SUIT'
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 11 (UPI) _ Two longtime trackers of the legendary creature Sasquatch say grainy film footage that allegedly proves the existence of the beast also called Bigfoot shows nothing more than a ``man in a monkey suit.''

The Oregonian newspaper reports today that Bigfoot trackers Cliff Crook and Chris Murphy have determined that four magnified frames from the so-called ``Patterson-Gimlin Film'' show tracings of a bell-shaped fastener on the creature's waist, indicating that the image is likely that of a human being wearing a costume.


The Associated press chimes in as well with this report reprinted below...

CLAIMS AGAINST BIGFOOT FILM SET ENTHUSIASTS AT ODDS
By JOHN M. HUBBELL
Associated Press

BOTHELL, Wash. (AP) - In the hearts and minds of true believers, Bigfoot's existence has long been enshrined in a single minute of jerky, grainy footage of a startled sasquatch retreating into the upper California woods.

But two enthusiasts of the legendary being are alleging four magnified frames of the 16 mm footage show tracings of a bell-shaped fastener at Bigfoot's waist. They say the creature in the so-called Patterson-Gimlin Film can finally be dismissed as a man in a monkey suit.




"It was a hoax,'' said Cliff Crook, a longtime Bigfoot tracker who devotes rooms to sasquatch memorabilia in this suburb north of Seattle. "How can an artificial, manmade object end up on a Bigfoot?''

The film, purportedly showing a female Bigfoot fleeing a stream-bed, was taken by Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin on Oct. 20, 1967. It has largely withstood independent scrutiny and, for many steeped in the lore of the man-beast, has become bedrock evidence of its very existence.

"There's no way of really detracting from it,'' said Ray Crowe, president of the Western Bigfoot Society in Portland, Ore. The image captured in the footage "has a fluid motion. It's a wild creature of nature.''

The film is important because many Bigfoot believers compare all plaster casts of telltale footprints against those made by Patterson the day he purportedly filmed the creature slinking across a sandbar in the Six Rivers National Forest.

Discredit the footage, experts agree, and the gold standard for Bigfoot tracks will be washed away.

Crook bases his assertion on computer enhancements performed by Chris Murphy, a Bigfoot buff from Vancouver, British Columbia, who maintains he discovered an aberration in the footage in 1995 while helping his son Daniel prepare a class project.

Murphy declined to be interviewed, instead supplying a written narrative detailing his discovery.

According to that account, the Murphys used a color photocopier to duplicate a frame of the Patterson film. Zooming in again and again, Chris Murphy became suspicious.

To him, something geometric - vaguely the shape of a bottle opener - seemed to take shape at Bigfoot's waist. Murphy maintains that four sequential computer-scanned frames of the film show the object in different positions, as if it were swinging. He theorizes something is cinching the sasquatch costume in place.

Murphy made a clay model of the object and in October gave that and the enlargements to Crook, a charter-bus driver transfixed by sasquatch stories since 1957. That's the year he made a camping trip with teen-age friends on Washington's Olympic Peninsula that ended with telltale signs of a sasquatch encounter: a rustling of brush, a throaty growl and an ever-worsening hallmark musk.

Decades later, at 58, spare rooms in his home are dubbed "Bigfoot Central,'' stuffed with photos, plaster casts and maps dotted with push-pins that chart sasquatch sightings.

Now his hoax assertion is giving rise to a howl that would make a Bigfoot proud. Longtime enthusiasts smell a deserter.

One recent e-mail was typical of the incredulity Crook's allegation of a costume fastener is up against.

"Cliff, Cliff, Cliff,'' it scolded. "That's matted feces.''

"There are two witnesses (and) there are footprints,'' said Rene Dahinden, a Richmond, British Columbia, researcher who shares the film's copyright. "We've never had anything like it previously, and anything like it since.''

Dahinden, 68, discounts Murphy as an amateur. "He wasn't involved in this until 1993,'' Dahinden said. "He couldn't spell the name 'sasquatch' before that.''
Grover Krantz, a Washington State University anthropology professor and Bigfoot expert, also believes firmly in the old footage.

"I fully accept the Patterson film,'' Krantz said. "If there was a fastener, it could not be seen in an enlargement. The film grain is such that it cannot hold an image of something that small.''

The truth of the Patterson-Gimlin film remains as elusive as Bigfoot itself. Enthusiasts such as Krantz and Crowe see the film as a building block for their faith. And the faiths of Crook and Murphy endure in spite of it.

Crook knows that, in dissent, he and Murphy are "far outnumbered.''

"There's a few broken friendships because of this,'' Crook said. "I just figured, 'This is a search for the truth. When it becomes something different, that's when it should stop.'''

Maybe a Bigfoot will one day view the film, Crook figures, and offer its own disapproving grunt.

"There's just too much evidence that these creatures do inhabit certain areas out there,'' Crook said, ever sanguine. "Even though the Patterson film is a hoax, it doesn't mean Bigfoot doesn't exist.''

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 09 | Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science Debuts

Cover art for Discovery Channel documentary and companion book

2003. It was a Thursday night exactly ten years ago today when a documentary film, Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, aired on the Discovery Channel. The program featured scientists from various disciplines analyzing the most compelling evidence. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science was produced by Doug Hajicek with White Wolf Entertainment, the same people who brought us Monster Quest. It is narrated by the distinctive voice of Stacy Keach.

The documentary can be defined by the analyses of three pieces of Sasquatch footage and 17 categories of evidence.



The three pieces of footage were the Patterson/Gimlin film, the Freeman footage and the Memorial Day footage. The 17 different categories of evidence included: fossil evidence, new species discoveries, dermal ridges, the Sasquatch body, images, step frequency, biomechanics, forensic measurements, Patterson-Gimlin film, behavior parallels, vocalizations, visual misidentification, track morphology, kinesiology, soft tissue pathology, statistics, and DNA.

Also included in the documentary were six experts, described by the official webpage below:
In the documentary, scientists from various disciplines put the most compelling sasquatch evidence to the test. Collectively their conclusions are ground-breaking. There is now scientific proof for the existence of a giant primate species in North America -- a species fitting the descriptions of sasquatches (bigfoots). 

The nation's top primate anatomist, Dr. Daris Swindler of Washington State Univeristy examines the Skookum Cast, along with prominent primatologist Dr. Esteban Sarmiento of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and anthropologist Dr. Jeff Meldrum of Idaho State University, give their conclusions about the Skookum cast, and what it points to.

The nation's top bioacoustics analyst, Dr. Robert Benson at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, analyzes sound recordings of purported Sasquatch vocalizations with an advanced computerized system in his laboratory. He explains his conclusions about the recordings.

Primate fingerprint expert, Officer Jimmy Chilcutt, discusses the consistent and distinct dermal ridge patterns found in track casts from the northwest and southeastern United States. He states his conclusions about the level of proof provided the dermal ridge casts evidence.

DNA expert Dr. Craig Newton from BC Research in Canada attempts to extract DNA from hair samples and saliva taken from the Skookum Cast site. He explains the potential and problems with DNA analysis.

Dr. Russel Ciochon shows life-size models of Gigantopithecus, and describes their interactions with early man. Various other scientists fill in other parts of the puzzle.
Anthropologist Dr. Jeff Meldrum also wrote a companion book with the same title, "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science."

According to Wikipedia, the DVD version is slightly different from the broadcast including extra footage.


  • The full length of the Patterson footage in digital format, allowing you to zoom in on individual frames with unprecendented clarity
  • More of the Freeman footage
  • More of the Memorial Day footage
  • An FAQ on the Sasquatch mystery
  • A gallery of images related to Sasquatch evidence and research






Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 08 | Circus Train Wreck Blamed for Wildman Sightings

Recreation of Bigfoot escaping a train wreck

Today in 1905 The Washington Post published an article regarding the sighting of a "wildman".

The "wildman" was described with all the Bigfoot characteristics we have become familiar with.

The story continues to speculate that the wild man may have escaped from a traveling circus during a train wreck. You would be surprised how often "a wild animal escaped from the circus" is used to explain a Bigfoot sighting.  In the book Historical Bigfoot by Chad Arment there are at least 24 counts in as many papers suggesting circus train wrecks as the origin of the escaped "wildman". Here is a quote from the Jan 8th 1905 event.


Several persons give it as their opinion that this creature is a wild animal of some kind that made its escape from the Robinson & Franklin circus that was touring this peninsula a number of years ago. The circus train met with a railroad wreck, and several wild animals were freed from their cages, many of these beasts were captured, and others were shot, and while others were never seen by the circus people again.

The source of all of this can be read online at Google books. The Historical Bigfoot, by Chad Arment, which covers sightings of Wild Men, Gorillas, Yahoos, and What-Is-It's, from the early 1800s to the 1940s. Before the term "Bigfoot" was coined to signify an unknown species of North American primate, sightings of towering bipedal apes were reported throughout the continent, and were called by a variety of names. This book compiles and sorts the most significant sightings, but also provides a look at hoaxes, mis-identifications, and the influential perspective of newspaper editors as they dealt with reports of a strange hairy manlike ape.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 06 | Meldrum Backs Freeman

Photoshopped picture of Jeff Meldrum holding a Paul Freeman cast
“So the thought occurred to me: Well, if [Paul Freeman] is responsible for this [Bigfoot] hoax, why would he portray it so incorrectly on the chance I would read it differently?” -- Dr. Jeff Meldrum

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.

“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?”
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.

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.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 05 | 5 Primatologist Advocate Bigfoot

5 prominent primatologist that advocate Bigfoot (left to right: Jane Goodall,  George Shaller,  Russel Mittermeier,  Daris Swindler, Estaban Sarmiento)
“Even if you throw out 95 percent of [the sightings], there ought to be some explanation for the rest..."--GEORGE SCHALLER; International science director for the Wildlife Conservation Society

On this day in 2003 Theo Stein, environmental writer for the Denver Post writes an article entitled BigFoot Believers. It is an encouraging article showcasing the pendulum of public opinion swinging towards the scientific consideration of Bigfoot. He goes into great detail describing each of the five prominent primaotologist's advocacy for Bigfoot as a scientific endeavor. Read the complete article below. There is even an interesting epilogue to all of this that you can read about after the article.

Bigfoot Believers: Legitimate scientific study of legend gains backing of top primate experts 
Author Theo Stein

Publication -Denver Post , Sunday January 05, 2003 – EDMONDS, Wash. – After enduring decades of ridicule, Bigfoot researchers are enjoying support from some of the world’s most respected scientists in their efforts to prove the hulking creatures of legend are no myth.

The persistence of reported sightings of Bigfoot-type creatures in North America and elsewhere has convinced leading researchers on primates – including Jane Goodall, made famous by her studies of chimpanzees in Tanzania – to call for something never seriously considered before: a legitimate scientific study to determine whether the greatest apes that ever lived persist in the world’s moist mountainous regions.
Skeptics, who include those in the scientific mainstream, scoff at such ideas. They say reported Bigfoot encounters, tracks and other evidence are either hoaxes or mistakes, and that people who believe such nonsense are soft-headed.

But dedicated amateurs and a smattering of professionals are trying to change that attitude. Using accepted scientific methods, they believe they can show at least some of the claimed evidence for Bigfoot – footprints, hair, voice recordings and a 400-pound block of plaster known as the Skookum Cast – are authentic traces of a rare giant primate.

Recently they have received support from a handful of the field’s top experts.

Daris Swindler, for example, is not the typical Bigfoot believer.

When he retired in 1991 after more than 30 years at the University of Washington, Swindler was an acclaimed expert in the arcane study of fossilized primate teeth.

His book, “An Atlas of Primate Gross Anatomy,” went through several printings and was among the standard references in the field.

So it comes as a surprise to some of his peers that Swindler believes that the Skookum Cast, discovered by amateur Bigfoot researchers in 2000, is a genuine record of a hairy giant that sat down by a mudhole to eat some fruit.

“Daris said that?” asked Russell Ciochon, a prominent paleo-anthropologist and professor at the University of Iowa. “He’s an important figure. But I still don’t think Bigfoot exists in any form.”
Mythical giant apes lurk in the traditions of nearly every Native American linguistic group and in legends handed down through the ages from Europe and Asia. Each year, Bigfoot or similar creatures are reported by hundreds of hunters, hikers, motorists and others from central Asia to the central Rockies. But no one has provided the minimum proof required by science: a type specimen or remains that researchers can pick up, measure and argue over.

Nevertheless, Goodall is intrigued.

“People from very different backgrounds and different parts of the world have described very similar creatures behaving in similar ways and uttering some strikingly similar sounds,” she said. “As far as I am concerned, the existence of hominids of this sort is a very real probability.”

George Schaller, director of science at the Wildlife Conservation Society, has spent 40 years studying rare animals in remote places, including pioneering studies of Central Africa’s mountain gorilla, which Western scientists first discovered in 1903.

THE SCIENTISTS:
JANE GOODALL A world-famous primate researcher and author, she revealed, in studies of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, surprising behaviors in humanity’s closest living relative. Goodall has won numerous international awards for her contributions to conservation, anthropology and animal welfare. Currently affiliated with Cornell University, she serves as the National Geographic Society’s explorer-in-residence.

GEORGE SCHALLER
International science director for the Wildlife Conservation Society. His pioneering field studies of mountain gorillas set the research standard later adopted by Goodall and gorilla researcher Dian Fosse. Schaller’s 1963 book, “The Year of the Gorilla,” debunked popular perceptions of the great ape and reintroduced “King Kong” as a shy, social vegetarian.
Schaller’s studies of tigers, lions, snow leopards and pandas also advanced the knowledge of those endangered mammals.
In 1973, he won the National Book Award for “The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations,” and in 1980 was awarded the World Wildlife Fund Gold Medal for his contributions to the understanding and conservation of endangered species.During the past decade, he has focused on the little-known wildlife of Mongolia, Laos and the Tibetan Plateau.

RUSSELL MITTERMEIER
A trained primatologist, herpetologist and biologicalanthropologist, he has discovered five new species of monkey,including two last year. Mittermeier has conducted fieldwork in more than 20 countries around the tropical world, with special emphasis on Brazil, Guyana and Madagascar.
Since 1989, Mittermeier has served as president of Conservation International, which has become one of the most aggressive and effective conservation organizations in the world during the last decade. His publications include 10 books and more than 300 scientific papers and popular articles.

DARIS SWINDLER
Emeritus professor of anthropology at the University of Washington, Swindler is a leading expert on living and fossil primate teeth and one of the top primate anatomists in general.His book, “An Atlas of Primate Gross Anatomy,” has become a standard reference in the field. A forensic anthropologist, Swindler worked on the Ted Bundy and Green River murder cases along with hundreds of others.

ESTEBAN SARMIENTO
A functional anatomist affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History, Sarmiento focuses on the skeletons of hominids.In 2001, he participated with George Schaller in a search forCongo’s Bili ape, a possible species super-chimp reported by natives but unknown to Western science. Sarmiento has also studied the Cross River gorilla, a critically endangered subspecies on the Nigeria-Cameroon border whose population is thought to be numbered in the hundreds. He has taught in the U.S., South Africa and Uganda.

Schaller remains troubled by the fact no Bigfoot remains have been produced, nor have any samples of feces whose DNA can be chemically poked and prodded to unlock the identity of their maker. And he is mindful of hoaxing.

But he, too, considers Bigfoot an open question.

“There have been so many sightings over the years,” he said. “Even if you throw out 95 percent of them, there ought to be some explanation for the rest. The same goes for some of these tracks.”

“I think a hard-eyed look is absolutely essential,” he concludes.

The most common evidence allegedly left by these animals are the footprints: big prints in remote locations, some deeply pressed in sand or gravel firm enough for a grown man to pass without leaving a trace. Some footprints, like those Ray Wallace’s family claim he left near Bluff Creek, Calif., in the late 1950s, are hoaxed. Many more are too vague to be conclusive. But a few are so detailed and anatomically accurate that they baffle the experts.

“Either the forgers are spending an awful lot of time on this, or there is reason to give this evidence another look,” said primate researcher Esteban Sarmiento of the American Museum of Natural History. “I think a serious scientific inquiry is definitely warranted.”

Skeptics argue that large mammals, particularly great apes, simply aren’t discovered anymore. Not true, says Russell Mittermeier, vice president of Conservation International, who has co-authored scientific papers describing five new primates.

Since the 1990s there have been several spectacular finds, he said, including the antelope-like spindlehorn from Vietnam and a South American peccary thought to have gone extinct thousands of years ago.
“I’m not one to pooh-pooh the potential that these large apes may exist,” Mittermeier said. “I guess you could say I’m mildly skeptical but guardedly optimistic. Whoever does find it will have the discovery of the century.”

Words of encouragement like these are music to Bigfoot researchers’ ears.

“My whole motivation has not been to convince anybody of the existence of the animal, but to convince them that there’s a body of evidence begging for further consideration,” said Idaho State University professor Jeff Meldrum, whose expertise in primate locomotion led him to become one of the few academics openly researching Bigfoot tracks.

“This is immense,” said author John Green, who has tracked Bigfoot reports for almost half a century from British Columbia and investigated some of the most famous sightings and track finds. “The possibility that there could be a real animal behind it just didn’t occur to scientists 20 years ago.”

The flap over recent claims of Bigfoot hoaxing has not deterred Swindler. But the lack of a body plus the acknowledgment of at least some hoaxing adds up to too many questions for Ciochon.

Like that of Swindler, Ciochon’s work focuses on fossilized primate teeth, but of a very special species: Gigantopithecus blacki, the giant Asian ape of the Miocene epoch, which lasted from about 24 million to 5 million years ago.

Most Bigfoot supporters advance Gigantopithecus, or Giganto for short, as the likely ancestor of Bigfoot, if not the hairy beast itself. It’s a tantalizing but entirely unproven link that drives Ciochon to distraction.
Ciochon thinks his study subject, which co-existed with the human ancestor Homo erectus for hundreds of thousands of years, may well be the archetypal inspiration for the “boogeyman” and other nocturnal monsters that populate the traditions of aboriginal cultures from Nepal to North America.

But he vigorously rejects any suggestion that Giganto, which he thinks was a specialized, bamboo-eating vegetarian, could persist today.

And he worries that the hotly contested grants that fund his work overseas may go elsewhere if the stigma of the shambling sasquatch of Native American lore attaches to his study subject.

“My biggest problem is there’s no evidence, other than conjectural hair and these footprints, some of which we know are faked,” Ciochon said.

“If someone finds a skeleton, I’ll be there in a nanosecond,” he said. “But that’s what it’s going to take to get me to change my mind.”

“There are so many problems,” agrees Swindler, who six years ago told a USA Today reporter to count him among the skeptics.

But as he examines the Skookum Cast on a rainy December afternoon in this Seattle suburb, Swindler points out landmarks in the lumpy landscape: a hairy forearm the size of a small ham, an enormous hairy thigh, an outsized buttock, and a striking impression he feels confident was made by the Achilles tendon and heel of a creature that is not supposed to exist.

“Whatever made this was very well adapted to walking on two feet,” he said. “It’s not conclusive, but it’s consistent with what you’d expect to see if a giant biped sat down in the mud.”

Swindler hopes that his assessment of the Skookum Cast, and a Discovery Channel documentary set to air Thursday, will generate support for further research.

The key, Schaller said, will be finding dedicated amateurs willing to spend months or years in the field with cameras. “So far, no one has done that,” he said.

It was a group of dedicated amateurs that discovered the Skookum Cast. A team of volunteers from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization had spent two days in Washington state’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest, putting out pheromone-basted plastic chips during the day and blasting sasquatch calls at night in an attempt to attract an animal.

On the second night, researchers heard a powerful reply to their broadcasts, said Richard Noll, an aerospace toolmaker who has spent 30 years researching the mystery. The next morning, Noll was stunned to realize that an unusual impression of a large animal on the edge of a mudhole near their camp could have been left by their elusive quarry.

“An elk will gather their feet under them when they get up,” he said. “But there are no elk hoofprints in the center of the cast.”

Meldrum and Swindler concur there are only two logical explanations for the cast: Bigfoot and elk. And they have also ruled out elk.

John Mionczynski, a wildlife researcher who has spent 30 summers studying bighorn herds in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains, has his own reasons for believing in Bigfoot.

On a moonlit summer night in 1972, he backhanded an animal he thought was a bear as it sniffed at a bacon stain in his tent, then watched as the silhouette of a giant, shaggy arm with a broad hand at the end swept toward his tent, collapsing it on him.

“That hand was three times as wide as mine and had an opposed thumb that stuck out as plain as day,” Mionczynski said.

He spent the rest of the night huddled by the fire with a revolver in his hand as the creature lobbed pine cones at him from the dark woods behind his tent.

“That pretty much eliminated bears,” Mionczynski said.

Mionczynski is working on a contraption of tiny hooks and barbed wire that he intends to place near seasonal foods he thinks sasquatch depend on. He hopes the snare will let him get a DNA sample.
North of Seattle, Noll is collaborating with Owen Caddy, a former Ugandan park ranger who studied chimpanzees in the mid-1990s.

For the last 18 months, they’ve scoured certain sandbars on a north Cascades river, documenting more than 30 suspected sasquatch footprints they believe were made by a mother and two young. They hope to identify the animals’ food sources and travel corridors, then set out a picket line of infrared camera traps.
“I feel the animal is out there, and I don’t hedge on that,” Caddy said. “I’ve found physical evidence myself, and I’m confident in my analysis of it.

“Something is making these tracks, and it’s not people.”

As stated above, this article has an interesting epilogue. Dmitri Bayanov of the Darwin Museum of Moscow, wrote two letters; one to Theo Stein and the other to Daris Swindler.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 04 | Oliver the "Baby Bigfoot" DNA Results

Oliver was known as baby bigfoot, the missing link and even the humanzee
"I still get inquiries about Oliver really being a Bigfoot." -- Loren Coleman

Today in 1976, a newspaper declared the mDNA results of a captured “Baby Bigfoot,” while unique, the Baby Bigfoot was merely a chimpanzee. Oliver (pictured above) was often known as Baby Bigfoot, but a more modern, and perhaps cleverer moniker, was coined in a recent documentary broadcast on the Discovery Channel. This documentary called "Humanzee," featured an upright walking chimpanzee named Oliver. For those who have heard of Oliver before, he's just a chimp according to test results. Chimp or "Humanzee," Oliver was a remarkable, upright walking chimp who appeared to prefer living and behaving as a human being than a chimpanzee for the better part of his life.

At cryptomundo.com Loren Coleman wrote in 2007, "I still get inquiries about Oliver really being a Bigfoot."

Oliver's had a real strange and sordid history. Others have noted Oliver's peculiar smell, eye coloring, bird-like voice and various mannerisms as being very un-chimp-like. And then there is Oliver's sense of himself. The prevailing view is that Oliver is simply a mutant chimp. Could Oliver be the result of clandestine genetic alchemy? A mutant or hybrid chimp? Missing Link perhaps?



BOERNE -- His days on the freak circuit and on tabloid covers as the fabled ``missing link,'' are finally behind him, as are seven lost years in a medical research laboratory.

Now, Oliver, a mild-mannered, middle-aged ape that walks upright like a human, is taking a well-deserved Hill Country retirement, but is no less a scientific mystery than he first appeared 25 years ago.

"Oliver's had a real strange and sordid history. He was exploited tremendously for his very unusual morphological characteristics,'' said Ken DeCroo, a California anthropologist and animal trainer who owned him a decade ago and, like others, has not forgotten him. "His physical appearance was rather different than most chimps. He's bipedal, which means he walks on two feet, and that is very unusual. And another aspect is his very small head,'' he said.

Others have noted Oliver's peculiar smell, eye coloring, bird-like voice and various mannerisms as being very un-chimp-like. And then there is Oliver's sense of himself. "He was not like normal chimps and other chimps didn't get along with him too well. He preferred to be with humans,'' recalled Bill Rivers, another former owner. But Oliver has mellowed with the years. Since May, when he and 11 other chimps were retired from the Buckshire Corp., a research center in Pennsylvania, Oliver has shared a spacious open-air cage with other chimps at Primarily Primates.

Wally Swett, director of the primate sanctuary, said his newest celebrity guest is adapting well, and, after years in isolation, has formed an attachment. "He's bonded with one little female,'' said Swett.

"And he understands a lot and is quite cooperative. And he's not like other male chimps which can get quite grabby and aggressive,'' he said.

Old news accounts assert that Oliver has 47 chromosomes (see results info below), one more than a human, one less than a chimpanzee, but there are no records to confirm it. Quite soon, possibly for the first time, Oliver will undergo sophisticated blood and genetic analysis to resolve, once and for all, exactly who or what he is.

"The prevailing view is that Oliver is simply a mutant chimp. Others think he may be a cross between a common chimp and a pygmy chimp, and soon we'll be able to make a determination,'' said Dr. Gordon Gallup, an anthropology professor at the University of New York at Albany.

But, said Gallup, who has lectured about Oliver in his evolutionary psychology course, there are other possibilities holding infinitely more complicated implications. "It's difficult to know for sure, but I think there is reason to suspect that Oliver may be a human-chimpanzee hybrid. It turns out that humans and chimps are at least 99 percent identical in terms of basic biological chemistry, and you can get hybrids among much more diverse creatures than that,'' he said.

Rumors of such taboo experiments being conducted in China, Italy and the United States have persisted for years, but have never been acknowledged. Could Oliver be the result of clandestine genetic alchemy? The answer may come after a blood sample -- to be taken from Oliver at an upcoming medical examination -- are tested at the University of Chicago, allowing scientists there to finally determine his genetic pedigree.

"Let you imagination run wild. It has such mind-boggling implications for things like religion, and whether such a creature would be covered by the Bill of Rights. It could make people think about their relationship to evolution,'' said Gallup. "But until there is some evidence either way, it's simply an academic exercise rather than anything you can take seriously,'' he said.

Dr. David Ledbetter, who will do the testing, said genetics technology will allow him to determine if Oliver is a normal or mutant chimp, and if he proves to be a hybrid, his parentage. "It seems a little silly to me to have all this rumor and controversy floating around when its a very straightforward thing to do the chromosome analysis,'' he said. A spokesperson for the Yerkes Primate Center in Atlanta, the most prestigious primate research facility in the country, said scientists there had never heard of Oliver.

Oliver surfaced in the early 1970s, when he was acquired as a baby by trainers Frank and Janet Burger whose dog, chimp, pony and pig acts were once regularly featured on the Ed Sullivan Show, at Radio City Music Hall, and once even by dancer Gene Kelly. "He came in from Africa with three other chimps that one of Frank's brothers had sent over from the Congo. But this one we could never use. He was odd and the other chimps would have nothing to do with him,'' recalled Janet Burger, 69. But if Oliver was strange in appearance, and was shunned by other chimps, his intelligence and personality were also quite different from the other apes in the Burgers' entourage.

"You could send him on chores. He would take the wheelbarrow and empty the hay and straw from the stalls. And when it was time to feed the dogs, he would get the pans, and mix the dog food for me. I'd get it ready and he'd mix it,'' she said. As he grew older, Oliver also acquired habits normally enjoyed only by humans, including a cup of coffee and a nightcap. "This guy, Oliver, he enjoyed sitting down at night and having a drink, and watching television. He'd mix his own. He'd pour a shot of whiskey and put some Seven-Up in there, stir it and drink it,'' she recalled.

Oliver also displayed emotions not normally associated with chimpanzees, including tears of remorse at temporary separations. But ultimately, it was another of Oliver's human like traits that forced the Burgers to sell him. By 1976, when he was approaching sexual maturity, Oliver was turning into a masher.

"He had sex on his mind. The old hormones flared up but he didn't care about the female chimps we had, he started trying to have sex with me and any other woman,'' recalled Burger. "I was leery of him. He was as strong as five men, so I told my husband, "I'm not putting up with this. He's going or I'm going," so we sold him to Michael Miller and his partner for $8,000,'' she said.

Miller, a New York City lawyer, had seen dollar signs in Oliver, and took him on the road, including Japan, where newspaper accounts report that 26 million Japanese viewed him.

In the United States and overseas, breathless speculation raged over the ape with the shaved head. Was he "the baby Bigfoot?'' A mutant or hybrid chimp? Or perhaps a newly discovered primitive African humanoid? Miller also hinted at the unspeakable: An ape-human hybrid.

In press accounts of the time, Miller said he intended for Oliver to undergo a full battery of scientific tests to determine his identity, but the results, if any, were never made public. After belonging to Miller for several years, Oliver was owned by a series of West Coast animal trainers, beginning with Ralph Helfer, owner of Enchanted Village in Buena Park, Ca., where Oliver was exhibited as a freak. "They had two or three shows a day. I'd just walk him out on stage while another fellow talked about him. They had theories that he was half-man, half-ape. That was part of the show,'' recalled Bill Rivers, who years later would be the last animal trainer to own Oliver. "It was just like seeing a space alien,'' he said.

Oliver later became part of Helfer's menagerie at Gentle Jungle doing occasional television commercials and shows. But when the facility closed he was given to Ken DeCroo who had worked there. DeCroo, an anthropologist and animal trainer, said Oliver was unlike any of the hundreds of chimps he had worked with in both research and commercial settings. "It was very hard to predict what was happening in that brain and generally he acted more human than chimp in a lot of settings,'' recalled DeCroo.

"This is the classic example. Very often I would sit him down in the living room with me to drink coffee. And one time he was out of coffee. I never trained him to do this, but maybe he knew it from the past. He got up from the table, walked into the kitchen, picked up the coffee pot, poured coffee into my cup, then into his, and then took the pot back into the kitchen,'' he said. "But here's the chimp part. He's making a terrible mess. His brain is telling him what to do, but his body isn't quite doing it. But he had the awareness. He understood where all the elements fit and that I was out of coffee. It was shocking,'' he said. DeCroo is now struggling to put Oliver down on paper. "I'll tell you how much Oliver has affected me in my life. I'm writing a novel, which is very much fiction, but is very much based on Oliver,'' he said.

"It's about researchers in a university that decide to do the experiment: man and ape. This experiment is quite possible, but would you do it?" he asked. "In deciding that, you can imagine the ramifications both ethically and scientifically. And what do you do with the creature in the end? It's quite an adventure and Oliver inspired it,'' he said.

DeCroo said in 1986, when he closed his animal compound, he sold Oliver to Bill Rivers with the understanding Oliver would be given a decent retirement. When he heard later Oliver had ended up at a research facility he was remorseful. "He was a good friend and I've always felt guilty. I failed Oliver. I really thought he wasn't going anywhere,'' said DeCroo. But Rivers said he eventually sold Oliver to the Buckshire Corporation, where he languished for almost seven years, when the ape proved too difficult to keep. "He couldn't get along with the other chimps. I was doing a lot of traveling. I really didn't have a place for him,'' said Rivers.

According to Buckshire president Sharon Hursh, Oliver showed signs of a rough treatment, but was never used for research. "When we got him, we gave him an entrance physical and it was evident to us he'd had a pretty tough life. Somewhere along the line, he must have been a tough chimp. He had scars that indicated rough handling,'' she said. "We basically purchased him for laboratory research but he was never used. He just sort of ate, kicked back and slept all day,'' she said. Fortunately for Oliver, others did not forget him.

Vincent Pace, a concert pianist and circus ochestra leader, met Oliver when the Burgers were traveling with the Vargas Circus in the early 1970's. But when Oliver was put up for sale in 1976, Pace said he was outbid by Miller, the New York lawyer. "I lost track of him totally for 20 years,'' said Pace.

"But two years ago I came into a big sum of money and I made a list of things I wanted to do. I wanted to buy a new Rolls Royce, I wanted a face lift and I wanted a new baby chimp. And in searching for a new chimp, I bumped into Oliver at the Buckshire,'' he said. Initially, he said, the Buckshire appeared willing to release Oliver. "I spent $70,000 to build a room on my house here for him. It's all plexi-glass, stainless steel and Formica. He'd have private eating quarters,'' he said. But after his attempt to get Oliver failed, said Pace, he was glad to see him and 11 other Buckshire chimps end up with Primarily Primates in Boerne.

"I'd lived without him for so long, I thought getting him out and into anybody's hands would be better than him being where he was,'' said Pace. "Someday I'll go to Texas and see Oliver before he dies. This animal is almost human in his emotions,'' he said.

Regardless of the outcome of the genetic testing, Oliver will enjoy a peaceful and permanent refuge in Boerne, said Swett. "He's been dragged around and exploited for over 20 years, but this is his final retirement. He'll never go into research or on exhibit again,'' said Swett. "In terms of significant scientific findings, we'll play it by ear, but never to the point of inconveniencing Oliver,'' he said.


Thanks to astute and resourceful BLC fan, Nadia Moore for finding this link for the abstract of Oliver's DNA results.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 03 | New York Times Declares Wallace is Bigfoot

Rough estimate of the New York Times Front Page, Headline accurate 

In 2003, January 3rd, The New York Times printed a front page article reporting Ray Wallace's "death bed" confession as the guy wearing a Bigfoot costume in the famous Patterson/Gimlin film. To Bigfooters the Sasquatch in the film is referred to as Patty. Ray Wallace has been claiming he was Patty long before he died, but somehow as a "death bed" confession the story seemed to stick better. He also claimed at one point his wife was in the suit. The testimony of Michael Wallace, Ray's son is the thrust of the article.

''This wasn't a well-planned plot or anything,'' said Michael Wallace, one of Ray's sons.

''All it means is that Ray Wallace is dead, not Bigfoot,'' said Dr. Wolf Henner Fahrenbach, a zoologist in the Portland area who is retired from the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center.

Though some Bigfoot believers had long suspected that Mr. Wallace created the tracks, he kept his secret, and his family never confirmed it until his death.

Michael Wallace said his father had a friend carve the feet. Dr. Fahrenbach has tried to prove -- by DNA analysis of hair samples -- that Bigfoot is a species heretofore unknown to science. ''Sasquatch feet grow in substantial excess of general body dimensions,'' Dr. Fahrenbach wrote in one study. ''Hence the justifiable moniker Bigfoot.''

Filmed in the Six Rivers National Forest in Northern California, not far from where Ray Wallace laid his tracks, the short film shows a bewildered-looking apeman walking upright, while glancing at the camera.

The film has its believers, Dr. Meldrum and Dr. Fahrenbach among them. ''As long as Dad was alive, he was Bigfoot,'' Michael Wallace said

Our favorite part is when Dr. Matthew Johnson get's wrapped into this famous article. Dr. Matthew Johnson is an active leader in the Bigfoot community and a Bigfoot witness who currently offers parenting advice via books, CDs, and conferences. His site Family-Rules.com is one-stop center for "Parenting with a Plan." He also has a popular Facebook Group Team Squatchin' USA


Dr Matthew Johnson (Dr. J) in the wilderness. In 2003 he was quoted
in the now famous New York Times article about Ray Wallace

Below is the excerpt that includes Dr. Matthew Johnson.
Dr. Meldrum and Dr. Fahrenbach may have some academic investment in Bigfoot, but Dr. Matthew Johnson, a clinical psychologist from Grants Pass, Ore., said his conviction could not be dismissed as scholarly bias.

Dr. Johnson said he was too big - 6 feet 9 inches tall - too educated, and too familiar with the outdoors after living in Alaska for years to be fooled by some guy in an ape suit, or a logger with wooden feet.

"I've never had a U.F.O. encounter and have not seen the Loch Ness monster," he said. "I was just a husband and father out for a hike."

Two years ago, while hiking with his family in the Oregon Caves National Monument, Dr. Johnson said, he ventured off to the side of a trail, looked up to some trees and stared, eye to eye with Bigfoot. He reported his find to the National Park Service.

"Ray Wallace may have indeed hoaxed his own tracks," Dr. Johnson said. "But I can guarantee you that Ray Wallace was not walking around in a nine-foot Bigfoot suit in the Oregon Caves at the age of 82. What I saw was real."

Since the encounter, Dr. Johnson, now president of the Southern Oregon Bigfoot Society, has led numerous outings to feed and track Bigfoot. He leaves bananas and husked corn for the animal.

Click the following link to read the entire Bigfoot New York Times article.

In a previous post we broke the news that Judge Rheinhold is planning on producing a movie about Ray Wallace.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 02 | The Bigfoot Bulletin is Published

George Haas pioneer of disseminating Bigfoot news and research
"One of the most significant developments of the year 1969, at least from a Sasquatch hunter's point of view, was the birth of an unassuming little publication called the Bigfoot Bulletin. " -- John Green

In 1969 on January 2nd George Haas, the organizer, archivist, and spokesman of the Bay Area Group of Bigfoot investigators, publishes the first issue of The Bigfoot Bulletin a two-page newsletter that allowed Bigfoot researchers to actually compare and share notes.

A diagram of a Bigfoot hand trap, the type of ideas you would see in The Bigfoot Bulletin

The Bigfoot Bulletin was a new kind of venture in North American hominology, much approved at the time both by René Dahinden and John Willison Green. In Fact one chapter of Green's Year of the Sasquatch (1970) is devoted to that newsletter. Green writes:

One of the most significant developments of the year 1969, at least from a Sasquatch hunter's point of view, was the birth of an unassuming little publication called the Bigfoot Bulletin. For years people who were spending their spare time and money running down Sasquatch reports have talked about the need for a means of communication, but none ever did anything about it. Some kept in fairly regular contact by letter, but others did little or no writing, only dropping in during their travels or telephoning at intervals that might be years apart. Quite a few didn't know that anyone else was active in the field at all.
The man who changed all that is George Haas, of Oakland, California. George has worked at a variety of outdoor jobs and has been a keen woodsman for many years, but he got into the Sasquatch business via the bookshelf. From correspondence with George I know that his experience included a period as Ranger in Charge of the Calaveras Big Trees State Park in California and six years in Yellowstone National Park where he designed, built, and operated an 18-acre reforestation nursery.

The first issue of the Bigfoot Bulletin came out on January 2, 1969. It was just two mimeographed pages. The first item reported the finding of 16-inch tracks in the snow on the Bluff Creek Road, December 2, 1968. Most of the rest of the first page listed published articles on the subject in current papers and magazines, but on Page 2 was an article by Jim McClarin, who has continued to be the Bulletin's most prolific contributor. It was the first of a series of old-time stories to reach a modern audience in the Bulletin.

Despite its growth in size and circulation, George Haas has continued to distribute it (the Bulletin) free of charge, as well as handling an ever-growing volume of correspondence resulting from it.

A number of Sasquatch hunters are basically more inclined to compete than co-operate — because they each want to be the first to bring one in. From this point of view some already object to the Bulletin as making too much hard-won information available at no cost and no effort to anyone who comes along. But for those whose main interest is to see the facts brought home to a doubting world, the Bigfoot Bulletin is an undiluted blessing. No one can buy the Bulletin. It is sent only to those who contribute information.
As someone who has been blogging about Bigfoot since 2007, I am reminded of my hard-copy predecessors. Men like George Haas,  Ray Crow, and Mike Rugg; men who were compelled by research and were interested in sharing as much insight on Bigfoot as possible. These Bigfoot newsletters were made with typewriters, scissors, paste and are still impressive today.

Click the following link to see the Bigfoot Bulletin archives
You can also buy archives of Ray Crows newsletter, "The Track Record."

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | JAN 01 | Chief Big Foot and Finding Bigfoot Season 2 Premiers

Photo of Chief Big Foot taken on January 1st 1891, 2 days after the Wounded Knee massacre .
This photo had been taken on January 1, 1891, two days after the chief was killed by a horrific revengeful Seventh Cavalry gone berserk. Although far from the cryptozoological Bigfoot, Chief Big Foot got his namesake in a similar way; not from his actual feet, but from his tracks. Jut as Jerry Crew's 16 inch print discoveries led the media to describe our favorite cryptid as Bigfoot, Chief Big Foot was also known for his extra large snowshoe prints he left while pursuing deer. In other words, white people have been abusing the word Bigfoot 70 years earlier than we thought. It should be noted that only U.S. soldiers referred to the Chief as Big Foot, he was known by the Lakota as Spotted Elk (Unpan Glešká).

Spotted Elk (Chief Big Foot) The son of Lone Horn, he was cousin to Crazy Horse and half brother of Sitting Bull. He became chief upon his father's death in 1875.

Though skilled in war, he was known as a great man of peace, adept at settling quarrels between rival parties. Known for his political and diplomatic successes, he was often called upon to mediate disputes. Following their defeat during the War for the Black Hills, he encouraged his people to live in peace, and to adapt to the white men’s ways while retaining their native language and cultural traditions. He encouraged them to adapt to life on the reservation by developing sustainable agriculture and building schools, taking a peaceful attitude toward white settlers.

This makes all the more tragic the circumstances of his death. Sick with pneumonia, he was en route to the Pine Ridge Reservation, seeking shelter with Red Cloud's band. Apprehended, he became a victim of the Wounded Knee Massacre (1890) in which nearly 300 men, women and children of his tribe lost their lives.

Cliff Barackman trying to be a "baby Bigfoot"
On a less somber note, on January 1st, 2012 the second season of Finding Bigfoot kicked off. Below is an excerpt from the full Finding Bigfoot press release.

Over the course of 10 hour-long episodes, Animal Planet’s FINDING BIGFOOT returns for a brand-new season on Sunday, January 1, 2012, at 10 PM (ET/PT) for further expeditions to investigate reports of the mysterious bigfoot. From small towns in the South to remote areas of the mountain West and dense forest of the Northeast and into Canada, four passionate, driven researchers and adventurers embark on one single-minded mission – to find this beast.
BFRO members Matt Moneymaker and James “Bobo” Fay, professional educator Cliff Barackman and skeptical biologist Ranae Holland engage in the ultimate quest in search of proof that Bigfoot really does exist – and that he or she is alive and abundant in North America. By examining photos and videos of the creature, speaking to local witnesses, using new technology and luring the mysterious beast with the team’s squatch calls, the group uncovers startling proof of the legendary and highly intelligent enigma that has eluded capture for centuries and fascinated man for just as long.
During the series premiere, called “Baby Bigfoot,” the quartet of investigators head to the Catskills in New York near Poughkeepsie to provide in-depth analysis of 15-year-old video footage from 1997 that indicates a juvenile or baby sasquatch could have been in the area at the time.
 Click the following link to read responses to the Baby Bigfoot episode.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween: Sasquatch as a 1970's Subgenre of Horror

Clockwise starting top-left: Big Foot, The Legend of Boggy Creek,
Sasquatch: the Legend of Bigfoot, and Shriek of the Mutilated 


Just in time for Halloween, the folks at the website, Not Coming to a Theater Near You, have been reviewing the Sasquatch Cinema from the 70's every Friday this month of October 2012. These reviews of  "Sasquatch Cinema" are a part of a larger annual installment, going on it's 9th year, called 31 Days of Horror. What they call Sasquatch Cinema, we call Sasquatchploitation.  Surprisingly they review one movie, Shriek of the Mutilated, that is completely off our radar and  not on our Top 51 Sasquatchploitation Movies List. The reviews are by David Carter and really excellent reading if you enjoy film in general. Below you can read an excerpt from the four reviews so far this month.

Big Foot
[John] Carradine anchors the film as Jasper Hawkes, a Southern traveling salesman who has made his way west with his associate Elmer (John Mitchum, Robert’s older brother). Radiator trouble leaves the pair stranded on the roadside for a time, but they make a hasty retreat after Elmer finds a massive footprint on the banks of a creek. High above them, the beautiful Joi is having engine troubles of her own and is forced to parachute to safety when her Cessna loses power. Joi lands on a heavily wooded mountainside, and she barely has time to get her bearings before she’s grabbed by a pair of large, hairy arms.

Meanwhile, a curiously well-mannered and clean-cut biker gang cleans out a small general store’s supply of beer and junk food. A pair of young lovers, Rick and his girlfriend Chris, break away from the group to have some alone time and stumble upon a giant, ape-like creature buried in a shallow grave, but surprisingly don’t seem very concerned about it and have a picnic nearby. Rick leaves to make some tune-ups to his bike when he’s attacked and knocked unconscious by a creature similar to the one in the grave. Upon waking, he finds Chris gone and he rushes back to town to report the incident. Due to his outsider status, he finds few willing to listen to his tale, despite the fact that they all agree they’ve heard of similar attacks by large monsters recently. Jasper listens to Rick, however, and he believes the monster the young man saw to be the legendary Bigfoot. Jasper and Elmer offer to help Rick find Chris, knowing that the capture of a such a monster will make them both millionaires.  Read More...

The Legend of Boggy Creek
Boggy Creek’s narrator informs us that his first encounter with the Fouke Monster was an indirect one. “I was seven years old when I first heard him scream. It scared me then; it scares me now,” he muses, impressing that the creature is both authentic and something to be feared. The film reiterates this idea of authenticity subtly in the scenes immediately following, which introduce the small town of Fouke, Arkansas. The rural southern charm of the town is emphasized in such a manner as to imply that the residents of Fouke would be incapable of deception and are knowledgeable enough about the local fauna to be able to correctly identify an animal or, conversely, know when they came across an unknown animal.

Authenticity established, the remainder of Boggy Creek consists of case studies and reenactments of recent encounters with the Fouke Monster, who was peculiarly very active in the early seventies. The stories range from somewhat benign sightings of the creature at a distance to harrowing encounters where the lives of the witnesses were in danger. Certain details about the creature emerge over the course of the film: it is nocturnal, aggressive, and carnivorous. It is important to note that the latter two aspects differ greatly from the general consensus that Bigfoot is a gentle beast concerned primarily with avoiding detection. The Fouke Monster seemingly intentionally draws attention to itself in many instances, most notably in the film’s dramatic climax where he terrorizes a family over the course of several nights. Read More...

Shriek of the Mutilated 
Shriek of the Mutiliated is the story of a trip to investigate Yeti sightings by Professor Ernst Prell and his graduate students, Tom, Lynn, Keith, and Keith’s girlfriend, Karen. The Yeti is Prell’s pet project – actually, obsession – and rumors that a previous expedition ended in disaster frightens the students. At the expedition site upstate, the students are introduced to Prell’s collaborator, Dr. Werner, and his imposing Native American manservant, the mute Laughing Crow. Werner gives Prell the welcome news that he has seen and heard the creature in the area recently, and the team begins their hunt early the next morning. Tragedy strikes the group almost immediately as Tom is attacked by a hulking monster with shaggy white hair. The remaining team learns of his fate much later, after a day of searching only finds Tom’s partially eaten leg.

Prell’s obsession with the Yeti determines that the expedition must continue, despite vociferous protests from Karen. The others agree to continue on, and Lynn is the next to fall victim to the Yeti. The surviving group is now faced with the harrowing possibility that they too will die and decide to undertake a drastic, previously unthinkable tactic in a last ditch effort to capture the creature. The group attempts to lure the Yeti into a trap using Lynn’s corpse as bait. This too fails; the Yeti escapes, the group is scattered, and Keith is knocked unconscious. Karen is attacked by the Yeti after returning to the safety of the lodge, but dies of fright before the beast can kill her. Read More...

Sasquatch: the Legend of Bigfoot
Sasquatch draws its influence from the Bigfoot films that preceded it, most notably 1976’s The Legend of Bigfoot. In addition to the likely intentional mimicry of the title, Sasquatch takes that film’s main focus – real life wildlife expert and Bigfoot hunter Ivan Marx – and essentially replicates him for its main character, Chuck Evans. Those who have seen Legend will be familiar with Marx’s frequent poetic musings about nature, ecology, and his mysterious prey, and Sasquatch’s Evans provides similar commentary during the film’s mostly uneventful trek to the fictional Peckatoe River Valley in western Canada. The similarities between the two films’ narration is intentional, as is Sasquatch’s appropriation of Legend’s overall structure and the documentary format. To the unfamiliar, Sasquatch would appear equally as authentic as Legend or any other Bigfoot documentary film—a technique that would greatly enhance the impact of the film’s conclusion.

While Evans and crew are making the journey to their ultimate destination, the film borrows a trick from The Legend of Boggy Creek and includes reenactments of famous Bigfoot encounters to satisfy the film’s horror quota. The first of these is the “Ape Canyon incident” from 1924, which took place near Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. Four miners claimed to have been attacked by a group of ape-men/”mountain-devils”/Sasquatch who battered the outside of their cabin and pelted them with rocks and logs for an entire night. Per one of the experiencers, Fred Peck, claims the men shot at the creatures – killing at least one – but no bodies were found the next day. Peck attributes this to his belief that the creatures were extra-dimensional beings—a not uncommon belief in Bigfoot lore. Sasquatch doesn’t address this aspect, but instead treats the incident as wholly terrestrial and factual in a well-executed scene that manages to generate a good deal of terror. Read More...


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bigfoot and other Pongidae Skeletons

You can click the picture above to see larger version.

New Illustration for you Bigfoot Lunch Clubbers. As most primatoligist and anthropologist know, we humans share a classification called Homindae which includes Pongidae (the three/four other great apes; Gorillas, Orangutans, and Chimps/Bonabos).

Well, obviously BF would fit into that class as well. Above are the skeletons of the homidae/pongidae family, notice different porportions such as a a gorillas wider torso, orangutans longer slimmer build, and the chimps thicker, stockier leg bones. The BF skeleton is a blend of a Gigantopithecus reference and the Patterson film.

RELATED LINKS
Homidae Taxonomy at Wiki
Gigantopithecus at Wiki
Patterson/Gimlin at Wiki

Monday, November 16, 2009

South African Sasquatch



*** UPDATE ***
There has been a correction made to this post. Originally we had spelled Waterbobbejaan with a single "a". Thank you to Brian for the correction. He also alerts us to the book written by Ben Venter titles Waterbobbejann.

We celebrate two things in this post.
1. Our AKA Bigfoot World Map has been up for only six months and we have broken the 1000+ hits mark.
2. We have added our 46th pin to the AKA Bigfoot World Map, the Waterbobbejaan AKA the African Bigfoot.

I guarantee you this was not an easy find. Most sightings and myths of giant undiscovered primates are outside the continent of Africa. This is an irony, that has not escaped us here at Bigfoot Lunch Club. Did this mean there are no stories or even tribal myths in Africa? The short answer is no; enter the Waterbobbejaan.

The name Waterbobbejaan literally means "water baboon," and it has been described as everything from pygmy sized to seven feet tall. Its fur is sometimes red, sometimes as black as scorched earth. There are numerous eyewitness sightings of the beast from the deep woods to the rural outskirts of African cities.

Unlike it's herbivorous American cousin, the "Waterbobbejaan," as it's come to be know in South Africa has been accused of terrorizing people (even killing a few), as well as all kinds of livestock terror -- Ripping cattle, goats, chicken, and anything else it could catch.

Native South African Roland Jaffe, 35, is the primary researcher for the Waterbobbejaan. He is quoted in an interview:

This creature is all over the country in some form. The best known ones are reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo Basin. I've heard stories in Namibia, Kenya, and as far north as Egypt.


We at Bigfoot Lunch Club are only slightly concerned Mr.Jaffe refers to Africa as a country, especially since he is a native. You can read the rest of his interview here.


View AKA Bigfoot World Map in a larger map


Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Color is Bigfoot's World?



In a recent article, Scientific American reveals how primates are uniquely evolved to see in three colors, known as trichromacy.  Unique not only among mammals, but unique among the entire animal kingdom. To find out why read the excerpt below.  It seems, genetically, it is not such a feat to see in blues and greens (Dichromatic view), but seeing the additional red hues (Trichromatic view) requires a mutation of a gene nowhere near the other two genes. You can read the full Scientific American article here

To our eyes, the world is arrayed in a seemingly infinite splendor of hues, from the sunny orange of a marigold flower to the gunmetal gray of an automobile chassis, from the buoyant blue of a midwinter sky to the sparkling green of an emerald. It is remarkable, then, that for most human beings any color can be reproduced by mixing together just three fixed wavelengths of light at certain intensities. This property of human vision, called trichromacy, arises because the retina the layer of nerve cells in the eye that captures light and transmits visual information to the brain uses only three types of light-absorbing pigments for color vision. One consequence of trichromacy is that computer and television displays can mix red, green and blue pixels to generate what we perceive as a full spectrum of color.

Although trichromacy is common among primates, it is not universal in the animal kingdom. Almost all nonprimate mammals are dichromats, with color vision based on just two kinds of visual pigments. A few nocturnal mammals have only one pigment. Some birds, fish and reptiles have four visual pigments and can detect ultraviolet light invisible to humans. It seems, then, that primate trichromacy is unusual. How did it evolve? Building on decades of study, recent investigations into the genetics, molecular biology and neurophysiology of primate color vision have yielded some unexpected answers as well as surprising findings about the flexibility of the primate brain.
Almost all nonprimate mammals are dichromats, with color vision based on just two kinds of visual pigments. A few nocturnal mammals have only one pigment. It seems, then, that primate trichromacy is unusual. The short-wavelength (S) pigment absorbs light maximally at wavelengths of about 430 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter), the medium-wavelength (M) pigment maximally absorbs light at approximately 530 nanometers, and the long-wavelength (L) pigment absorbs light maximally at 560 nanometers. Although the absorption spectra of the cone pigments have long been known, it was not until the 1980s that one of us (Nathans) identified the genes for the human pigments and, from the DNA sequences of those genes, determined the sequence of amino acids that constitutes each pigment protein. The gene sequences revealed that the M and L pigments are almost identical. The S-pigment gene, in contrast, is located on chromosome 7, and its sequence shows that the encoded S pigment is related only distantly to the M and L pigments.


Almost all vertebrates have genes with sequences that are very similar to that of the human S pigment, implying that some version of a shorter-wavelength pigment is an ancient element of color vision. Most nonprimate mammals have only one longer-wavelength pigment, which is similar to the longer-wavelength primate pigments. The gene for the longer-wavelength mammalian pigment is also located on the X chromosome. Those features raised the possibility, then, that the two longer-wavelength primate pigment genes first arose in the early primate lineage in this way: a longer-wavelength mammalian pigment gene was duplicated on a single X chromosome, after which mutations in either or both copies of the X-linked ancestral gene produced two quite similar pigments with different ranges of spectral sensitivity the M and L pigments.

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