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'Sasquatch cast' makes a big impression on anatomists, TV

Monday, June 17, 2002

By DAVID FISHER
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

EDMONDS
-- The search for Bigfoot has come to downtown Edmonds.
Three noted anthropologists gathered in a waterfront hotel room earlier this
month to examine the cast of a possible sasquatch imprint, taken in
September 2000 by an Edmonds Bigfoot hunter in the Gifford Pinchot National
Wilderness near Mount Adams.

Their conclusions?
The clear imprint of a huge heel and Achilles tendon, along with possible
imprints of hindquarters and a forearm, are intriguing. It's not proof -- there is no solid proof -- that a huge North American ape exists in the woods of Western Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, American Museum of Natural History anatomist Esteban Sarmiento said. But 40 years of Bigfoot sightings, footprints and other signs have built a body of evidence that something unusual may be in the woods, University of Washington professor emeritus Daris Swindler said.

No notable anthropologists are systematically studying the evidence because
no financing exists to do so, Swindler said. But it's no longer the kiss of
death for an anthropologist's career to seriously consider the possibility
that the creature, once thought to be legendary, exists. Swindler, Sarmiento and Idaho State University anatomy professor Jeffrey Meldrum gathered to investigate the cast of the imprint for the filming of a Discovery Channel documentary on the science behind the search for the
sasquatch. Preliminarily titled "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science," the documentary will focus on the scientific analysis of seven or eight bits of purported Bigfoot evidence, including the Edmonds cast. The show is scheduled to air in November.

Known among Bigfoot hunters as the "Skookum cast," it was made by a team of sasquatch hunters that included Richard Noll, a 49-year-old tooling
technician from Edmonds who has hunted Bigfoot in his spare time for almost
three decades. The team, part of a network of sasquatch researchers called the Bigfoot Field Research Organization, hung a bait made of apples and nectarines over a mud wallow on Sept. 22, 2000. They returned to find suspicious impressions in the mud, along with footprints in the vicinity. Noll used a specialized compound, normally used to produce fine details in
tooling, to take a 200-pound cast of the impressions. In an empty conference room at the Harbor Inn on June 7, Sarmiento, Swindler and Meldrum pointed to details in the impressions as hot TV lights burned. A deep knob-shaped hole with a fluted groove running into it could have been made by the back of a huge heel jammed into the mud, Meldrum said. Fine lines, reminiscent of the fingerprint patterns on human heels, are faintly visible.

Another impression, lined with hair marks, could have been made by a huge
hindquarters, Sarmiento said. Another looks like the impression of a massive
forearm. Interpreted in conjunction with one another, the marks could have been left by an animal reclining in the mud to eat its fruit, with one knee pointed in the air and one heel dug in, Meldrum said. Given the proportions, it would
have been about an eight-foot animal. Or, the impressions could simply mark the spots where three different animals lay or stepped in the mud. Likewise, on closer analysis, hairs plucked from the sample may turn out to be primate hairs -- or elk, coyote or rodent fur. If it is authentic, the cast would be the only body impression ever taken of a sasquatch. That, indeed, would make it "arguably the most significant find in the past two decades," Benjamin Radford, a hoax-buster and author, wrote in the March issue of "Skeptical Inquirer" magazine.

But, as is typical with Bigfoot evidence, the cast is inconclusive, Radford
maintained. There is an undeniably huge volume of Bigfoot data -- footprint
casts, recordings of hoots and calls, and anecdotes -- but, in his analysis,
the physical evidence of footprints is inconsistent and littered with
hoaxes. Anecdotal sightings and unidentifiable recordings do not constitute testable or conclusive scientific evidence. And no one, to date, has found a sasquatch body, bone or body part, either in the woods or on the thousands of human archeological sites that have been excavated on the North American continent.

None, that is, unless they have been found and misidentified. With the recent deaths of Washington State University anthropologist Grover Krantz and Oregon wildlife biologist LeRoy Fish, Meldrum has become one of
the most noted professional scientists actively on the Bigfoot trail.

An associate professor of anatomy at Idaho State who specializes in primate
motion, Meldrum said he has found a good deal of consistency in the hundreds
of Bigfoot prints he has studied, in details that would be difficult for a
hoaxer to mimic. Discovery Channel producer Doug Hajicek, a veteran of natural history documentaries, said his intent is simply to focus on the science that is used to investigate Bigfoot evidence, and, possibly, to help open the door to more systematic scientific field research and inquiries.

The presence of Sarmiento, a functional anatomist who has concentrated on
African gorilla populations and the study of hominid skeletons, constituted
the first sign of Bigfoot interest from the New York-based American Museum
of Natural History. Surprising discoveries are not unknown in the field of primate research. The gorilla was not documented by European explorers until 1848 -- the mountain gorilla not until 1902.

Skepticism, meanwhile, is likely to prevail in the scientific community until the ultimate evidence is in. "Obviously, to me the ultimate evidence that this thing exists is if somebody found one and brought it back," Sarmiento said. "It would be the same for you, right? Nevertheless, this find is exciting."


BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS
Notify the Bigfoot Field Research Organization through its Web site at
www.bfro.net Someone will check out and document your claim.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/74860_bigfoot17xx.shtml




bigfoot_0616.jpg

Washington Man Says He Saw Bigfoot SAPPHO, Wash. --

Police came up empty-handed after following up on a reported sighting of the legendary and ever-elusive Sasquatch. On Monday, a Sappho man reported spotting the hairy, human-like creature known as Bigfoot near his house on the Olympic Peninsula. An animal control officer checked the area but found no signs of the creature. Sightings of the creature, reputed to lurk in the shadowy Pacific Northwest forest, are rare, but Monday's was not the first in this neck of the woods. In June 2000, Gene Sampson found two sets of large footprints in the woods behind his home and that of a neighbor on the Hoh Indian reservation.

Posted: June 16, 2002 

bfoss.jpg

Did Bigfoot Leave A Fossilized Footprint?
[Original headline: DID BIG FOOT ONCE WALK THROUGH RAMONA?]
 
A Ramona man has found what looks to be a footprint from Bigfoot. The giant fossilized footprint suggests the yeti could have once lived in the nearby mountains.

It's one heck of a climb to see the footprint; more than a thousand feet up a rugged mountain in the Cleveland National Forest. And James Snyder's house sits right at the bottom.

"I go out of my way to make a slip trail where nobody else has been and I was actually looking for gold," said Snyder.

That was back in February. But instead of finding gold on Gowers Mountain, Snyder found a giant fossilized footprint, at least it looks like one, embedded in solid granite.

The footprint was found in what becomes a creek bed during the rainy season. It looks as though something big crossed the creek a long time ago leaving its footprint behind.

What made it and when? Who knows. But Snyder is convinced it was a Yeti or sasquatch or Bigfoot.

"When I saw it I told my buddy, I said I found Bigfoot up there," said Snyder.

He hopes someone who knows about this sort of thing will contact him.

"But the neat thing about it to me, is most of your Bigfoots, or their casts or whatnot, come out of snow that you can't go back and check, or muddy soil, where as soon as you get a hard rain, well that's gone too. This is, well we can look at it. We can study it. We can bring scientists here," said Snyder.

But it won't be easy. The terrain at the top of Mt. Gowers looks like Mars, and it's about as hard to get to.

You can actually go see the footprint if you're prepared to walk an hour and a half, and that's only if you know where you're going. But it's certainly worth the trip. That is, if you're interested in seeing one really BIG foot.

  • Video: Low / High

    Story originally published by:
    KFMB TV, San Diego / CA - May 23.02

    Posted May 29.02
    Commentary:

    Mass Media Fakers Strike Again
    Just another example of how pathetic the ability of corporate journalists is to discern reality from gobbledygook. Assuming they even care:

    The story enclosed describes an anomalous print as being imbedded in solid granite! Simply amazing....

    Unfortunately, as any junior high school student understands, granite is an igneous rock i.e. formed out of molten lava. Which means, during the few hours, eons ago, when this granite was gooey enough to retain an impression, it would have immediately char broiled any mortal foot, dumb enough and numb enough to step in it.

    Also, as most moderately intelligent people without any benefit of formal education well know, granite is a very very hard material.

    There has never been an earthly creature, not even the most giant of the gigantic sauropod dinosaurs, heavy enough or powerful enough to leave a dent much less a foot print in solid granite.

    Nevertheless, I'm inclined to believe that the phenomenon known as "Big Foot" probably is not a myth, hoax, or misperception, but something unknown to science and worthy of serious investigation.

    Bill Dash   mailto:billdash@mindspring.com

    All Copyrights are acknowledged.
    Material reproduced here is for educational & research purposes only.

  • Bigfoot Believers Swap Stories at Oregon Convention

    HILLSBORO, Ore. [AP] - Woodsy men in suspenders and muddy boots examined Ziploc bags holding strands of "Bigfoot hair" and grainy photographs of ape-like forms. One man - a school teacher - keeps a pile of dung he says may have come from a Bigfoot.

    About 400 people showed up for a weekend regional conference on Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch.

    It was a meeting not of skeptics, but of true believers - folks who are quite certain there's a large, hairy ape-like creature roaming the misty forests of the Northwest.

    "A lot of people in the Northwest believe in Bigfoot," said Ray Crowe, a retired electrician and director of the Western Bigfoot Society, a Portland-based nonprofit that's considered the largest of its kind.

    A big man wearing a dress shirt un-tucked over khakis, Crowe shuffled about as he reviewed fresh photographs, brought in from places like the Mount Hood wilderness in Oregon, the slopes of the Coast Range, and Skamania County, Washington, where a 1969 ordinance protects Bigfoot.

    In those places, a sea of trees hides a body of lore that has captivated people for generations - even though Bigfoot's existence has never been proven.

    Supposed evidence of Bigfoot was on display, and on sale, at the weekend convention at the Washington County Fairgrounds.

    They included plaster footprints that ranged in size from the eponymous big - 20-inch indentations with toes as big as corn dogs - to a dainty pair from a "baby Bigfoot."

    For the kids, there were Chewbacca action figures - apparently offered because of the Star Wars character's resemblance to many people's idea of what Bigfoot looks like.

    The search for Bigfoot had its heyday in the Northwest in the late 1960s, after Robert Patterson and Bob Gimlin returned from an expedition in Northern California with film of a Bigfoot about 10 feet tall loping along a creek behind a log jam and gravel bank.

    Bigfoot societies were formed and expeditions launched. Peter Byrne, an Irishman who has also sought Yeti in Nepal, opened the Bigfoot Research Center in The Dalles with a $1 million endowment from a donor.

    Huge, humanoid footprints were found across the country.

    Crowe said he receives about 30 letters a month describing sightings these days, most from around the Northwest.

    The weekend convention showed something new is afoot among those who seek the Sasquatch.

    Accounts have evolved alongside the changing sensibilities about the environment in Bigfoot country, which is generally understood as Northern California, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

    In past decades, Bigfoot sightings returned from the woods with loggers and hunters. More recently, Bigfoot seekers include environmentalists who propose preserving Bigfoot habitat from logging, said Crowe.

    "It's definitely shifted more to conservation," Crowe said.

    But Terry Reams says killing a Bigfoot may be necessary to disprove those who doubt its existence.

    "In my personal opinion, it has to come down," said Reams, a 51-year-old electrician from Longview, Wash.

    Reams told the assembled believers of driving east on Interstate 84 near Cascade Locks on a rainy December in 1975. He looked out the window and saw Bigfoot loping along the shoulder of the highway beside his car, he said.

    He now spends weekends hiking and hunting elk in the Dark Divide area of southern Washington, known as the heart of Bigfoot country.

    Thom Powell, an eighth grade science teacher, keeps two clumps of dung in a cupboard of his science classroom, and says they may have come from a Bigfoot.

    Powell has concealed a video camera in a bird house near Chehalis, Wash. He hopes only to catch a glimpse of Sasquatch eating the tasty morsels he put out as bait.

    "We're trying to get people to recognize that there is a population of these creatures," he said, hopping between a slide projector and the microphone.

    "A common thread is to present a live-and-let-live spirit of animal accommodation," he said.

    On the Net: http://www.internationalbigfootsociety.com

     

    Story originally published by:
    Arizona Republic via azcentral.com / Phoenix | Andrew Kramer - May 13.02