Sasquatch Coffee

Nick Redfern Further Expounds on Monsters and Proof

Posted by: Nick Redfern on June 7th, 2011

I posted Nick’s article from his Lair of the Beasts column earlier today here on Cryptomundo.

Loren responded with his post Cryptids Are Not Totally Elusive, Actually.

Nick further expounds on his theory here exclusively on Cryptomundo.

Thanks for running this, Loren. It’s clear to see that discussion of such creatures as being anything than just that – creatures – provokes a lot of controversy!

As you know Loren, I’m not dogmatic about this theory. I certainly do have a great deal of time for it. But, at the end of the day, it’s a theory, and until all evidence is in, a theory is all it can be. But, until (or if) all the evidence is in, then in my view all other theories are simply that too. And i’ve always stressed that. But, to expand a bit further, here’s why I hold such views:

The biggest mystery to me (and which prompts me to address the Tulpa theory) is why it’s always specifically the large Cryptids that elude us (and that’s the point of my post) and not other large animals.

I’ll tell you what I mean by that: We find bears in the woods and secure proof for their existence. We never get definitive 100 percent evidence for Bigfoot (note in my post I didn’t say we had zero proof, I confirmed we had some that always seems to end up in the “Maybe” drawer).

It’s the same with the oceans as it is with the woods: we observe, classify, catch etc. whales, dolphins, squid, eels etc. But, we never get conclusive evidence of sea serpents.

Turning to the skies: we can see, catch and classify eagles, crows, etc. But we never get conclusive proof of the large, unidentified birds that people report, or the pterodactyl-style creatures people talk about.

I don’t dispute at all the idea that a colony of Bigfoot-style creatures could hide from humankind – possibly quite successfully…for a while. But, the problem I have is that all across the world, it’s these particular groups of creature that we never get hard evidence for:

(A) the unidentified apes/wildmen;
(B) the lake monsters;
(C) the sea serpents; and
(D) the large winged-things.

And the interesting thing is that these are clear, delineated categories of animals that are beyond elusive. If they don’t fall into those categories, we prove their existence. If they do fall into those categories, we don’t prove their existence.

That’s the thing: we can routinely find – all the time – large animals in the exact same environments in which all the above are said to exist (woods, oceans, lakes, skies). So, why are these particular groups always the elusive ones, when other animals in the very same environments are not? Occasionally, yes of course they could elude ultimate detection. But always, throughout human history?

And re the bodies angle: yes, if any or all of these things are real, just once we should surely have a body. Even if the Bigfoot bury their dead, or the bodies of the Nessie creatures decay on the bed of the loch. I’m not asking for a thousand bodies of Bigfoot, or 40 Nessies, etc. Just one will do. Just one (of any of the varied Cryptids – flying, swimming, or walking). But, we don’t even have that. We have people who have claimed to have seen Bigfoot bodies etc. But, if the story of a body being found was undeniable, I wouldn’t be writing these words.

To me, there is something deeply weird as to why certain specific classifications of cryptid have – forever – eluded us, avoided undeniable classification, and have not turned up in the form of a corpse that can be confirmed as genuine for all to see.

None of this should be seen as me being skeptical of the existence of any of these things. I’m sure they do exist – absolutely. But, it’s the nature of that existence (physical, ethereal, somewhere in between) that I question.

One last point: some people (although certainly not you) seem at times to react with barely concealed hostility to my Tulpa-style views. But why? If Bigfoot exists, what does it matter if it’s some sort of ape, or something infinitely weirder that is connected to the human mind?

I’ve never really understood the emotional angle of people getting bent out of shape because someone suggests Bigfoot isn’t just an unknown ape, or some relic like Gigantopithecus. The goal, surely, should be to prove its existence, whatever that may be, and address all possibilities, wherever they may lead, and then accept the evidence when it’s found and if it’s found.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


66 Responses to “Nick Redfern Further Expounds on Monsters and Proof”

  1. ktowne responds:

    I agree completely. People have to include ALL of the phenomenon in their investigation even if it doesn’t “agree” with what they want to find. If Bigfoot does end up being a Tulpa (which would be near impossible to prove) that’s what it is.

    As for the debate that animals such as gorillas and coelacanth being one unknown don’t forget where they were discovered. The ocean and remote parts of the Congo. Bigfoot’s been seen in peoples backyards! There’s a big difference between discovering a species in the ocean and in the jungle and trying to find a species in rural communities in the US.

    I believe they exist completely but I don’t believe they’re flesh and blood.

  2. NWesterner responds:

    I have to agree with Redfern here, and I’m quite interested in alternative theories of Bigfoot (and other cryptids). There seems to be a shortage of books on the topic, I know because I have looked for them. I would be very much interested if Redfern does a book on this subject. It does seem that anything but the mainstream theory of Bigfoot being a prehistoric gigantic Ape still walking around is considered a red headed step child in the crypto community. I guess some folks think these kind of “outlandish” theories put an unwanted mark on the community, which is understandable considering how hard it is to gain public acceptance of Bigfoot to begin with. Still, it doesn’t stop my interest in the more esoteric ideas about these mysterious creatures, and its nice to see a high profile researcher like Nick Redfern addressing them.

  3. Loren Coleman responds:

    Well, part of the reason emotions come into play, perhaps, is because Nick, folks like you seem to be speaking for a point-of-view that is based on a psychological, emotionally-based system that is the opposite of the open-minded but more concrete scientific point-of-view. Don’t forget, I explored and wrote about tulpas 40 years ago. I rejected that youthful exercise, but what you have done is combine the parapsychological with an absoluteness that goes beyond the tulpas or the evidence.

    For example, you continue to define what you think proves that large cryptids do not exist (the “celebrity cryptids,” as I term them). But what you have constructed are absolutes in which your theories dwell. You set up your examples by saying that Bigfoot is an ape. Theory. You note the Loch Ness Monsters as living marine reptiles. Theory. You have stated, rather clearly, these unsupportable position:

    “Every single attempt to secure physical evidence of the monsters in question has ended in nothing but complete failure.”

    “If there’s one thing that all of the many and varied creatures that fall under the banner of Cryptozoology have in common … it’s their overwhelming, eerie elusiveness.”

    They are not elusive. They are constantly being found. Physical evidence is found.

    You work your logic to work for you. But you cannot say “yes, if any or all of these things are real, just once we should surely have a body,” and then frankly neglect to see that bodies have been found.

    Large animals that were cryptids have been discovered. Even some of them exist withing your rigid criteria. For example, as Bernard Heuvelmans wrote, the former “African man-of-the-woods,” Africa’s “Abominable Snowman” was finally discovered. Today, we call them gorillas.

    Perhaps you are so bored of the examples that you ignore them? The classics are well-known: okapi, pygmy hippo, mountain tapir, saola, kouprey, beaked whales, giant forest pig, and, yes, the coelacanth.

    Large ape-like primate cryptid = n’giya = gorilla.
    Large sea monster = kraken = giant squid.

    As long as you play in the sandbox of the shifting sands of Science, and ignore that large animals have been discovered and are now part of zoology, you shall win your argument. But you can’t have it both ways. You cannot say the “no bodies are ever found,” and then ignore that new species’ bodies, living and dead, are found all the time.

    And no, they all are not “old” examples. The largest new animal discovered last year was a 6.5 feet long, a fruit-eating, tree-climbing monitor lizard from Luzon. Natives had told about their encounters with these cryptids for a long time, but scientists only took the locals seriously in 2003, when the scientists began looking for the giant lizards. But after this lizard was found, what kicked it off the radar of media reporters? The unfortunate “Chupacabra” body from Texas that naturally turned out to be the carcass of a dead canid suffering from mange.

    If one thinks that the cryptids don’t exist, they will not look. To buy into your theory that cryptids are “elusive” or worse, “invisible,” and that no one sees them or finds their footprints or ever locates the bodies is to give up by using this business about parapsychology, zooforms, and other intangibles.

    Heuvelmans was smart enough to set up his remarks about cryptids existing based on the fact they were seen and had an impact on humans, biologically. Your theory completely undermines the zoological foundation of cryptozoology.

  4. DWA responds:

    This is worthy of comment:

    [T]he problem I have is that all across the world, it’s these particular groups of creature that we never get hard evidence for:

    (A) the unidentified apes/wildmen;
    (B) the lake monsters;
    (C) the sea serpents; and
    (D) the large winged-things.

    And the interesting thing is that these are clear, delineated categories of animals that are beyond elusive. If they don’t fall into those categories, we prove their existence. If they do fall into those categories, we don’t prove their existence.

    That’s the thing: we can routinely find – all the time – large animals in the exact same environments in which all the above are said to exist (woods, oceans, lakes, skies). So, why are these particular groups always the elusive ones, when other animals in the very same environments are not? Occasionally, yes of course they could elude ultimate detection. But always, throughout human history?Nick Redfern

    Yes. And the explanation is simple, and doesn’t involve any presumptions of elusiveness beyond the norm for wild animals. Which are, um, elusive. The simple explanation is:

    THEY DON’T EXIST, PEOPLE!

    That’s what the society thinks. When the society thinks that, no piece of evidence is followed up. So, no proof.

    I read a report on Bill Dranginis’s website of a sasquatch crossing Interstate 64 in south-central Virginia, in broad daylight, in heavy traffic. Did it happen? Who knows? Only one person reported it. Would we expect that? Of course we would. Everyone else:

    1) Didn’t want to be called crazy;
    2) Didn’t know where to report;
    3) 2) didn’t apply, but 1) did;
    4) Decided that they now knew, and the rest of the world could go hang.

    There might be other possibilities. But they’re probably not worth listing.

    When Europeans came to the New World, the animals they found were analogues of animals they already knew about. No problem believing folks who saw sheep, wolves, bears, deer, etc. But one thing Europe didn’t have? Apes. North America seemed like Europe West, with the exception of charming savages with quaint superstitions. Native reports – and reports of settlers, for that matter – were simply discounted. Same with the yeti, because come on, people! Apes are TROPICAL.

    Now as to the other animals you list as un-findable, Nick, I don’t think that the evidence so far supports their existence. At least, it doesn’t say: this is what they are. There may be something worth examining in Loch Ness. But I have a hunch it ain’t a plesiosaur. I’ve seen birds that I thought were big. Saw a crow once and thought: EAGLE!!!! Until, I mean, I got a better look. (I plead West Nile Virus. Not me; but I hadn’t seen a crow in a looong time.) So ‘thunderbirds’ are explainable in terms of mistakes. Maybe. I’d have to see a lot more evidence than I do before I’d look, though.

    The sasquatch, yeti, almas, orang pendek and maybe more than one other surviving hominoid remain undiscovered because no one follows up evidence sufficiently to bring back proof. (The only bigfoot expedition in history took almost a month; the yeti expeditions – except one – scared off every animal within earshot.) That’s it. These animals have left everything from footprints, vocalizations and hair to parasites, feces and blood. But the sustained sleuthing that science does when it *expects* to find something? Nada.

    That’s it. In a nutshell: No one expects to find it. So no one looks. Not as “looks” needs to be done to secure proof.

    Until it is something that science can confirm with the tools at its disposal, I don’t care. And neither does anyone who hasn’t personally seen one. So if the sasquatch is too busy orbing, shape-shifting, de-materializing, Beaming Up, or Burying Its Dead With Silver Spades for us to find it, I won’t believe it until I see it. Personally.

    Now. If it’s just an ape, a story in Yahoo! News has my full attention.

  5. flame821 responds:

    The giant squid (aka Kraken) is a good case in point. There have been numerous reports and sightings of this (former) cryptid for centuries, longer if you take into account Greek accounts of many armed/headed sea monsters. However it wasn’t until just a few years ago that any had been found alive and whole (though granted, it didn’t stay alive for long due to the depth pressure).

    Same thing can be said of those frill-gilled sharks that suddenly surfaced near Japan. We didn’t even know such things still existed until they suddenly popped up from the depths.

    As for carcasses and corpses, I won’t repeat myself from my last post, but aquatic life is no different from woodland life. Look at some of the whale falls (most of which have been man-made by dragging beached whales out to sea and dropping them) when they monitor these falls they are amazed at how quickly several tonnes of flesh can disappear. They have discovered there are certain organisms that ONLY survive on a whale fall. We found out information we didn’t even know to look for.

    Why can’t we say the same thing for NAPEs? Skunk Apes would be a prime example, the ecology of the swamp is amazing, quite literally nothing goes to waste and very little is ever found once it goes in unless it can manage to walk back on its own, and even then its a wing and a prayer.

    While you are correct about your Tulpas theory being every bit as valid as any other theory, I think many of us aren’t ready to discount the physical aspects and science of what we have. After all, you cannot prove a spirit, at least not yet; science and technology haven’t advanced that far. So if we cannot prove it scientifically it literally does us no good. It becomes nothing but an anecdote or interesting theory that cannot be proven under any circumstances.

  6. Nick Redfern responds:

    Loren

    Cheers for the comments. I do indeed appreciate your stance on this, and note that you commented on the whole Tulpa angle many years ago.

    As an aside, I was very pleased (althought this had no bearing on my post) to have obtained a first edition of Creatures of the Outer Edge from a Dallas branch of Half Price Books a couple of weeks ago for 95 cents! I now have 3 editions of the book, and am proud and pleased to own them all.

    My main point in making the Tulpa comment is this, however: People may agree with me or they may disagree with me (and, for me, either stance is fine, as I’m not emotionally tied – AT ALL – to a need to conclude this or that), but why is it that certain types of Cryptid (man-beasts, water-based beasts, and large flying winged entities), always seem so downright elusive?

    If Bigfoot (in the woods) is so elusive, why aren’t bears? If sea-serpents (in the oceans) are so elusive, why aren’t whales and dolphins? If pterodactyl-type things (in the skies) are so elusive, why aren’t large buzzards, etc?

    That’s my main crux: not that I don’t think these things don’t exist. I certainly do think they exist. It’s the nature of that existence I ponder on – and which I think is worth pondering upon.

    I actually don’t have a problem with Bigfoot, the Yeti, the Yowie, Nessie, Champ, Ogopogo etc being SOMEWHAT elusive. I have a problem with being OVERWHELMINGLY elusive.

    We share one thing in common: we absolutely know there is a real Bigfoot phenomenon. We only disagree on the nature of that phenomenon. But that there IS a phenomenon is undeniable..

  7. Hapa responds:

    The problem with the idea that supernatural causes are behind cryptids is that it takes the field of Cryptozoology from science into Demonology. Supernatural beings cannot be taken to a lab and examined. Demons cannot be killed and dissected. Physical animals can. And just because they remain ultra elusive does not immediately mean they are supernatural Tulpas: they might just not exist at all.

    Now Redfern brought up the Yeti: there is no such thing as one type of “Yeti”: there are several.

    There’s the traditional Bigfoot Yeti, the dwarf Yeti (Tel-hma?) and the Dzu-teh, the “hulking one”, the latter of which walks on all fours and has claws. Loren Coleman in his Crypto-zoology A to Z (writing with Jerome Clark) wrote that the most likely candidate for the Hulking one are Brown bears inhabiting the Himalayas, such as the Red bear, one of the region’s subspecies. Considering that our word “Yeti” derives from a word in the region that can refer to any large mountain beast, and considering that the Red Bear can walk both upright and on all fours (the mountain climber Reinhold Messner claims to have seen a Himalayan Grizzly run upright!), we can conclude that the Himalayan Grizzlies are the source for the Dzu-teh, and therefore is a biological reality.

  8. Nick Redfern responds:

    Hapa:

    When you say: “…just because they remain ultra elusive does not immediately mean they are supernatural Tulpas…” I agree.

    As I have said all along, the Tulpa angle is a theory. But for many, the idea that Bigfoot is an unclassified ape, or that the creatures of Loch Ness are plesiosaurs is a fact. But, like it or not, it isn’t a fact. It’s just another theory, too.

    So there can be no doubt re where I stand, I’m totally open-minded on what Bigfoot is or isn’t. But I’m baffled why, when hulking, 8-foot-tall beasts are reported all across the USA (often in well-developed areas, rather than just the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Everglades etc), the physical evidence (in terms of even just one body) is so lacking.

    I would understand it if Bigfoot was only reported – perhaps once a year – from the forests of Washington State. But the beast is everywhere – roaming into town, seen in woods in everywhere from Texas to Alaska, creating a flap, and then gone as mysteriously as it appeared.

  9. DWA responds:

    The bodies, plural, of more than one dead sasquatch and more than one dead yeti have been examined by the people who killed them – and in one case by a qualified zoologist.

    No proof yet.

    The only thing “overwhelmingly elusive” about these two cryptids, at least, is the prosecution of the scientific method in a dedicated search for a period of time sufficient to garner proof.

  10. DWA responds:

    “I’ve never really understood the emotional angle of people getting bent out of shape because someone suggests Bigfoot isn’t just an unknown ape, or some relic like Gigantopithecus. The goal, surely, should be to prove its existence, …”

    Here’s why we get bent out of shape:

    THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTING ANY OTHER CONCLUSION, and to follow theories backed by zero evidence is counter to everything scientists practice.

    People propounding supernatural theories chase scientists away, laughing as they run, and the goal of this, surely, is to NEVER prove its existence. Because scientists are the only people who ever prove any new species real, and they – surprise! – ain’t touching this one with a ten-foot pole.

    Except, of course, for a few shining, diamond-hard scientific lights. Who doggedly pursue, with no time and less money, something that ALL THE EVIDENCE SAYS is “an unknown ape, or some relic like Gigantopithecus.” Or something very closely related to one of the above.

    And who will get no serious help, ever, at the current rate.

    Which means that those of us who were not Chosen By The Mother Ship People will never get to find out whether they’re real, or not.

    THERE’S YOUR EMOTIONAL ANGLE.

    grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR………………….

  11. springheeledjack responds:

    I love metaphysical discussions…don’t know how I missed the first post. :)

    Nick, I do believe there is a basis for such things as your talking about. I think the human mind and what we’re capable of is only beginning to be delved into. You’re dipping more into the Fortean end of things, and theories evolving along those lines. And throughout history there’s a whole slew of reports of odd things–things out of the monster movies that seem to pop up from time to time. Tulpas can be one explanation.

    Another theory that’s just coming into being, is string theory and multiple parallel universes where all things are possible. Along with that discussion is the theory that there may be bleed through from one universe to another. This could account for our cryptids too.

    I’m not mocking or making fun. They represent possibilities. The problem is that those possibilities make pursuing the phenomenon/creatures even harder to study if that’s truly what they are. And the emotional angle comes into play because most people aren’t satisfied with a tulpa or bleed over that they can’t touch, classify, etc. That’s a pretty heavy leap.

    However, for my own self, I believe we’re dealing with living, breathing critters. As for elusive, I think it comes down to the things we’ve always run up against.

    DWA pointed out the main obstacle to real solid, undeniable evidence: the mainstream population

    A) doesn’t get caught up in cryptozoology other than maybe the weekend channel surfing. Of the remaining percentage, many listen to mainstream science’s position that it’s all a bunch of malarkey and merchandising. That leaves a percentage of a percentage of those who look beyond the surface and start seeing that “Hey, there’s actually more to it than we think,” and actually take the scientific leap into investigating and looking for these animals.

    Most people I know look at Bigfoot and Nessie as interesting subjects of conversation–something cool to talk about when you’re just trading stories. A lot of people I know are open to the possibility of their existence, but cryptids don’t take up any space in their lives. It’s just the occasional, cool…yeah, I think they could exist. It’s only a really small minority of people who get caught up in cryptozoology to the extent of going beyond the weekend specials.

    2ndly, elusiveness. I’ll give you…it’s maddening…yeah, how the heck can a population of critters 10-30 feet long exist in a confined lake undiscovered (basically) until the 1930′s, and still be avoiding scientific confirmation decades later? It seems easy math. But it ain’t.

    The loch is 24 miles long, a mile wide and 5-900 feet deep, and the water isn’t pristine blue, but filled with run-off peat. Add to that, that despite growing human populations, most of the shoreline still is not covered with housing. And even if it were, how often would eyes be straying to the loch surface at any given moment, especially with what I said earlier about people’s attitudes toward cryptids.

    And you also have to take into consideration that the locals may accept its existence as fact and don’t need to report every sighting. And even tourists in boats probably aren’t going to get a good look at Nessie because past experience and accounts tell us that Nessie is sensitive to sound and boats traveling in the loch, and being an underwater critter, it can easily stick to the deep until they pass by.

    You may think that predisposes a great amount of intelligence at work, but animals have proven time and again that they are able to adapt to their environments. And I think that’s something humanity doesn’t take into account. By and large, we don’t adapt to our environments anymore, but make tools to help us cope with our environments.

    Perhaps the common denominator with cryptids is not their elusiveness, but their advanced ability to adapt to their environment to the point that they can avoid detection by humanity who has an egocentrism–after all, we’re smart and smarter than everything else on the planet (just kidding), so something that can avoid us can’t be physically real.

    Unless their skills rival our own.

    As for lack of solid bodies, that’s not necessarily true either.

    A) back in the 30′s there’s the picture of a supposed cadborosaurus carcass found in a whale’s stomach. There’s also an account of a dad and son who supposedly captured a small caddy while fishing (think it swam near the boat and they caught it in a bucket, but let it go because they were afraid it might die). There’s also an account of a sea captain (1880′s? Have to check my own books if needs be) who fought and killed a serpent, brought it on board, but it began to stink and they were so far out of any port that they cut it loose. And that’s just the water cryptids, which to me, represent a much larger problem of location.

    Same goes for flying crpytids. I think the biggest obstacle there, is that

    A) most people hardly ever look up…even dense populations…everyone’s so into their daily worlds.

    B) Distance and sizes in the sky are darn difficult to gauge…if I saw a thunderbird at a high altitude flying overhead, and I did look up, would I be able to discern that it was larger than normal at a great enough height?

    C) You also have to take into account that thunderbirds may not all be full grown…if you spot a bird about the size of a large eagle, wouldn’t you just assume it’s an eagle..especially if you’re the average public who has NO real experience or education when it comes to things avian? I would.

    Bigfoot. I think this is the one that breaks the mold, because I think we’re dealing with a critter that is smarter than your average animal. If it’s thought processes are anywhere close to ours, then it’s got a huge advantage, despite its size. Humans for the most part don’t venture too deep into the wilderness…yeah, yeah, I know, outdoors-people, hikers, yada yada, but really not even all of them go too far off the beaten path. And again, the environment itself is a place where Bigfoot has adapted itself, and apparently almost perfectly. In the wilds, humanity has become the intruder and does not adapt to the environment, but merely copes.

    And that’s why I think we’re dealing with flesh and blood. I don’t believe humanity has any corner on the intelligence or the adaptability market to the point that we’re even as good and certainly not better than every other species on the planet.

    I have the greatest respect for American Indian ideas about how Nature and the world works, and I do believe there’s more going on in the world than meets the eye, spiritually and physically. I don’t discount the ideas your putting forth, but I think there’s still plenty more to be investigated before we’re forced to relegate Bigfoot, Nessie and the rest to the metaphysical.

    It may well be Nessie and Bigfoot’s ability to evade us that keeps it on the planet.

  12. Hapa responds:

    Mr Redfern:

    Boy we’ve got to pick one forum to discuss this: talking on two at the same time, yikes!

    But seriously, yes the ape idea is just as much of a theory as the Tulpa angle. In science however, the supernatural isn’t given heed: only natural-based claims are given thought (naturalistic methodology), and though we use theory as an idea that is meant to fit the facts, scientists often used it differently: to them, a theory is an idea that has withstood a lot of testing, so much so that it is considered “fact” (atomic theory, germ theory, fossil theory, etc). And a hypothesis is an idea that could become a theory, something more like what we would call a “theory”. Now I don’t consider the theory of evolution by means of natural selection true (I am a born again Christian), and likewise some theories, which seemed like unsinkable truths did sink (Azoic theory: the bottom of the Ocean is too inhospitable for life due to no sunlight and intense pressure and cold) nevertheless this is how they use the word theory, and they will only accept natural explanations (save in fields of Archeology and the SETI program, etc, but even here supernatural intelligence is not considered).

    So if I was to ask Niel De Grasse Tyson (host of Nova science now) Robert Bakker (Paleontologist with a ZZ-top flair) or Francis Collins (Christian and head of the Human Genome Project) if either of the following ideas about Bigfoot could be considered at least scientific: Ape or supernatural entity, what would be their answer?

  13. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    You say: “THERE IS NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTING ANY OTHER CONCLUSION, and to follow theories backed by zero evidence is counter to everything scientists practice.”

    But that’s only relevant to your argument because your assumption/conclusion is that science will solve the Bigfoot puzzle. As for “no evidence,” if there was any hard, physical, undeniable (and I do mean 100 percent undeniable evidence for Bigfoot as a living entity as we understand the term), we would not be having this debate.

    So, science has not solved the Bigfoot issue. Therefore, what’s the problem in seeing if it can be resolved via other, far more alternative means?

    I’m merely addressing the possibility that perhaps Bigfoot is not an issue for zoology or science, but for some other avenue of research.

  14. Nick Redfern responds:

    springheeledjack:

    Thanks for the comments. I don’t dispute at all the theories/ideas you suggested re lack of a body etc etc. But, I come back to the crux: don’t you think it’s strange that after all the decades of searching for Bigfoot and all the other unknown apes (some in close proximities to large cities in the US), lake-monsters, sea-serpents etc, we would not have JUST ONE body?

    Now, people say words to the effect of: “Well, there was a story of [insert the name of your favorite cryptid] shot and buried in etc etc etc…” Fine. But even though we hear these stories of dead cryptids, the body always vanishes, is always unavailable, or can’t be located again afterwards etc etc.

    Every time? Really? We can’t get lucky just once? To me, that’s beyond odd, regardless of how densely packed this forest is, or how deep that lake is etc.

    And why is it that with Bigfoot (sometimes of the 8-foot variety even) being seen in close proximity to cities, we can’t even catch them then? It’s not like people are having to trek through the Congo to find it! I live just outside Dallas, and within a couple of hours I can be in prime Texas Bigfoot country!

    If 8-foot apes are running around only a couple of hours from major cities (Seattle, Dallas etc etc), we should have been able to prove it. In my view.

  15. Nick Redfern responds:

    Hapa:

    I think they would indeed suggest the ape theory has more merit. Indeed, I think most people (at first glance, at least) believe the ape theory has FAR more merit than the Tulpa theory.

    But, it’s when we dig further into the puzzle of not just Bigfoot in general – but most cryptids – that we see a puzzling trend.

    Whether you take a scientific approach, I take the Tulpa approach, or someone else thinks Bigfoot is beamed down by aliens, at the end of the day it all boils down to one thing and one thing only: for whatever reason, we have all systematically failed on every single occasion in the history of Cryptozoology to catch, find the body of, or kill, a famous cryptid. Or, if such a claim has been made, the body never surfaces (unless it’s along the lines of the Minnesota Iceman, where the story is steeped in controversy and unresolved).

    But, we can still find countless other animals in the very same locations where the unknowns are said to live – bear, mountain lion (woods)’; whales, dolphins (oceans), etc. Why are cryptids always 100 percent elusive (in terms of catching them) in locations where other animals are far from elusive and CAN be caught?

  16. DWA responds:

    Nick: My point is that the scientific solution to the cryptid puzzle hasn’t even been tried.

    One of the main reasons it hasn’t is that multiple explanations untestable by science with its current tools are muddying the waters even more than they have already been muddied by the sheer implausibility (to the mainstream of society) of the animal.

    I’d like to see science tried. It’s not being tried. When major research institutions are devoting money and time to the search, and when no one in academia snickers anymore – or at least the snickering gets considerably quelled by serious consideration of the evidence – now you can talk to me about science being given its innings. For all the redoubtable chops of those few scientists willing to look, they haven’t brought the mainstream over. Scientists in other fields feel free to pick on such as Meldrum and demand his tenure on a stick. That’s a sure sign that science isn’t being applied, in any concerted way, to this question. (Concerted = time, which always = money.)

    There is much testable evidence. It is not being tested, because too many people – still the vast majority of scientists – are either snickering, or allowing the fear of same to (quite understandably) deter them. I frequently hear the question: so, how long do we give this search before we give up? My answer: well, since it hasn’t even started yet, let’s wait for it to start, and then give it a minimum of ten years’ attention by serious scientists. That’s a minimum. That’s how long it took scientists to get a video of the Bornean race of the Sumatran Rhinoceros, an animal presumably far dumber than the sasquatch and yeti, in a far more limited range, in which its evidence was far easier to find and follow. (The first photo preceded the first video by only a year.)

    So. I give science ten years.

    Once they get started.

    I think all the evidence points to something for which we will need far less than ten years, once the question is engaged.

    Science can resolve this question, if it wants to.

  17. brainiak11 responds:

    If Bigfoot (in the woods) is so elusive, why aren’t bears? If sea-serpents (in the oceans) are so elusive, why aren’t whales and dolphins? If pterodactyl-type things (in the skies) are so elusive, why aren’t large buzzards, etc?

    Elusive no, extremely rare yes. So rare in fact that we rarely see them let alone find a body.

    Bigfoot is perhaps so rare that we may never find a body. Of the large “former” cryptids, bodies usually weren’t found, they were discovered alive (usually due to eyewitness reports). Bigfoot may have reached its evolutionary population peak thousands of yrs. ago. This may be a built in mechanism for the sole purpose of avoiding detection.

    However, I do find it very difficult to believe that Bigfoot could go undetected in the more developed areas of North America (Tulpa?). But in the Pacific Northwest and other very remote areas of the world (zoological?)

  18. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    This is really getting deep and way beyond normal reasoning. I will stay out of this one.

  19. springheeledjack responds:

    Nick,

    I know what you’re saying. It drives me up a tree. But again,I think it comes back to two things.

    1) Humanity’s arrogance…and apathy. We assume we’re the smartest things on the planet, and that this should be a simple walk in the woods.

    I also suspect that evidence for Bigfoot and the like have shown themselves at some point, but that humans either don’t know what it is they’ve seen in the woods (or shores), or haven’t ever come forward about it. If I found a big carcass in the woods, depending on the decomposition, it might not even look recognizable as a humanoid–just look at some of the stuff that washes up on beaches (I know apples and oranges). But the point is, we at Cryptomundo also often work from the false assumption that people are educated enough to make a determination about a carcass.

    It’s completely realistic to me that a group of hikers, heck, even hunters could tromp through the wilds come across a carcass and automatically ASSume it’s a bear or moose just because it’s a corresponding size and ignore it. Those people may not be familiar with Bigfoot, may not believe in it in the first place, or just plain may not care.

    Again, it’s the assumption that because we here are “into” this crypto stuff, and that everyone else is too. I use my own experiences as reference here. I know lots of people who know I’m interested in this stuff, and many friends who will listen or even ask questions from time to time, but 99% of them don’t think about it beyond those rare moments. And even if they believe in that stuff,it doesn’t mean they’d necessarily report something if they did walk by it in a forest or on a beach. My brother had an encounter with something he’s pretty sure fit the description of Bigfoot (even though he’s reluctant to put the label on it), but he’s never filed a report with the BFRO, and probably never will.

    2) The critters. I think BF especially is a whole lot smarter than its being given credit for, and as I said earlier up there, intelligence coupled with adaptability is a powerful combination…and I think it’s quite possible that the combination is enough to outsmart us. Same for USO’s. I don’t think they’re as intelligent as Bigfoot, but I think their ability to adapt added to their water environment is enough to stay ahead of us.

    Water is definitely an environment where humanity is outclassed–between visibility, depth, space and maneuverability, it’s easier to keep out of reach physically, and encounters do happen, it’s just they’re even more fleeting because most of the time people are seeing USO’s in a two dimensional plane…the surface.

    While I think there’s plenty of Fortean things afoot, I also still believe that at least Bigfoot, Nessie and sea serpents (for me) are solid, real and capable of being proved beyond the realm of cryptid at some point.

    Ultimately, I think proof probably has come and gone at various points, it just either wasn’t recognized as such, or people didn’t care enough about the topic to push it forward. Indigenous tribes always seem to know about critters before we do.

    Still, I’m always open to theories and new perspectives. I think the problem comes for cryptozoology is that it is starting to get some attention and respect (depending on who you talk to), and I do think it’s important to separate cryptozoology from the supernatural.

  20. Nick Redfern responds:

    whiteriverfisherman:

    You say: “This is really getting deep and way beyond normal reasoning.”

    There’s nothing – at all – beyond normal reasoning in asking why just one Bigfoot has never died in the woods and been stumbled upon by a human. Or why it’s never been hit by a car or truck on the many occasions it’s seen racing across roads. Or why it seems near-indestructible when people shoot it. Or why just one body has not surfaced. Or why we can catch other large animals (bear, mountain lion) in the same areas where Bigfoot is seen but we can’t catch it. Or why 7-to 8-foot-tall apes seen only a couple of hours from major cities can’t be located and captured. Or …well, I’m sure you get the picture.

    In view of the above, it’s perfectly normal reasoning to bring up such issues!

  21. Nick Redfern responds:

    braniak11:

    You say:

    “Bigfoot may have reached its evolutionary population peak thousands of yrs. ago. This may be a built in mechanism for the sole purpose of avoiding detection.”

    Not impossible. But this theory is reliant one factor that stretches credibility beyond its limit.

    It requires Bigfoot to never, ever make a mistake when avoiding detection – and subsequent capture or shooting.

    Bears largely live undetected, but they do get shot or caught.

    Right here in Arlington, TX where I live, we occasionally see coyote, in the city itself. Most of the time they avoid detection, capture, shooting etc. But not ALL the time.

    No animals in the USA, other than cryptids, avoid – with an impressive 100 percent success rate – capture, shooting, death, and formal discovery.

  22. Nick Redfern responds:

    springheeledjack:

    You say that you “think it’s important to separate cryptozoology from the supernatural.”

    Fair enough.

    But how do we know that what we commonly term the supernatural or the paranormal will not one day be demonstrated to be an aspect of science we don’t yet fully understand?

    Try showing (if it were possible to do so, of course, LOL) a working TV to someone from the 1500s. You’d be lucky to avoid getting burned at the stake for being a witch, warlock, or practicing occultist.

    I know this is getting way off from a cryptozoological discussion, so I’ll keep it brief, but what passes for the paranormal today, may be tomorrow’s fringe-science theory, and the 22nd Century’s science-fact.

  23. DWA responds:

    Nick: you say

    “[Wh]at passes for the paranormal today, may be tomorrow’s fringe-science theory, and the 22nd Century’s science-fact.”

    Yes. For the reasons you state.

    But that will be because science finally got to a place science cannot get to yet with the tools at its disposal.

    springheeledjack notes exactly how sasquatch carcasses have been, count on it, stumbled upon by more than one person who either

    1) had no idea what it was;
    2) wondered, but the stench kept him away;
    3) wondered, but the bear guarding the carcass kept them away;
    4) wondered, but squeamishness/bear possibility/other plausible reason kept her away;
    5) didn’t wonder (look, dead bear! Better not get closer);

    Etc.

    Including, as likely as not, the interesting doorstop on some prospector’s cabin somewhere. The odd hairs pulled from the bumper of the poor guy who collided with, um, a bear, that’s it. Or the “cow bones” that got tossed from a pipeline lay or construction site.

    When you say “Bigfoot has never died in the woods and been stumbled upon by a human. [I]t’s never been hit by a car or truck on the many occasions it’s seen racing across roads. [It] seems near-indestructible when people shoot it. [J]ust one body has not surfaced. …” you are making the point of the hominoid-focused, science-oriented, better than we could make it ourselves. Again:

    1) Carcasses have been *made,* by the hunters who examined them (one told Grover Krantz about the foot of the one he’d shot, confirming Krantz’s theoretical conjecture perfectly);
    2) More than one has been hit, and injured, by a car;
    3) More than one has either been killed or badly wounded, by a single shot;

    …I could go on. Basically, the sasquatch and yeti encounter literature precisely parallels those for North American species we know about. Yes, they’re reports. But there’s no more reason to discard them than to believe them.

    Yet we still have no proof. The reason: nobody has run the gauntlet with a piece of evidence, through the scientific community to proof. Understandably, few would want to.

    Have the above encounters happened? When science leaves the thread unfinished, the way it must finish it for all of us to know, how the heck could we answer that question?

    What has not worked so far isn’t science. As I say, that hasn’t begun to be sufficiently applied. What hasn’t worked so far is trust-me.

    I’d rather see science eagerly grab the ball and run with it. Which it won’t, as long as things that it cannot touch yet with the tools at its disposal are put forth as solutions, without evidence to back them up that science will buy. That makes a quease-inducing stew even more unpalatable for a scientist.

  24. Nominay responds:

    Nick Redfern,

    The problem with your theory is that it’ll forever orbit in outer space and never come down to Earth, because there is no way that Bigfoot as Tulpas can be quantified, whereas science has made inroads on the subject. That much can’t be disputed, but you’re free to not find the science of it, and people’s sightings, compelling in the conventional sense. Your idea is just borne out of frustration that Bigfoot has not yet materialized in a cage. Its survival instincts are to avoid humans, its superior intelligence to other mammals makes it adept at doing this, and compared to this “Lord of the Forest”, we are quite clumsy foreigners in its domain, way in over our heads. I’ve studied a majority of these sightings for years. 9 times out of 10, Bigfoot sees you first. And practically without exception, these people only become aware of it after the eerie feeling that they are being watched. This is often described in a way that fits the definition of telekinesis. Many “experts” who have made their research and forays into the woods a part of their lifestyle for decades have concluded that you can’t sneak up on Bigfoot because Bigfoot knows you’re coming from a mile away. This is why the habituation movement among Bigfoot enthusiasts has been pioneered by those like Christopher Noel, because Bigfoot has to come to you. As far as the 1 out of 9 times where we humans catch Bigfoot by surprise, our reactions have been of such shock the normal response is absent. Yes, there have been a dozen or so sightings where Bigfoot has been in the cross hairs of hunters, but there is a hunters code that you don’t shoot something if you can’t identify it, and they’ve all claimed to adhere to this. Another thing that has given hunters pause is the of feeling of shooting something that seems so human to them. An exchange where hunters have met eyes with Bigfoot leaves them changed for life. These are powerful and sophisticated creatures, not just physically. That, and Bigfoot has had some close calls with cars on roads, just means it’s luck hasn’t run out yet but will run soon. As there’s more people and more encroachment and more opportunities to capture video, I’d almost be surprised if Bigfoot isn’t “formally” discovered within the next 2 years.

  25. Nominay responds:

    Correction – a minority of the hunters did fire at it, out of fear, but its partial concealment in the woods allowed Bigfoot to retreat hastily back into them. A few of these hunters were pretty sure they’d hit it but either weren’t sure, or sure of how bad. I believe they all happened at night, so Bigfoot had plenty of time to run back hundreds of yards into the care of its companions … what we “know” or assume based on what we “know” is that Bigfoot is social, dependent on family groups and are often not alone.

  26. j stewart responds:

    Nick Thank you for such a pleasant discussion. Its such a nice change from other posts from the past week or so.

    I understand where you are coming from. I am a hunter and a trapper. I hunt animals most people never see. How many bobcats have you seen yet they are as elusive as any animal yet we do see them either dead on the roads and on camera. I recently got a picture of a black cat on my trail camera. Is it a panther, probably not, but a black cat in the middle of several thousand acres is pretty odd. I am Half Cherokee and know the supposed links between the cryptids and the “spiritual world”. I have spent thousands of hours in the woods hunting and have seen the most recluse of animals yet I have only had one encounter with a Sasquatch but that was enough. I even have pictures of a mountain lion in eastern Texas which was confirmed by Texas Parks and Wildlife. People have claimed for decades that they have seen Mountain Lions in East Texas yet we just now have gotten a picture. There has never been a dead one found nor one killed. Not one bone has been found either. But at last proof in a picture that was confirmed by TPWD.

    I guess what I’m getting at is, that in my opinion, just because an animal hasn’t been found dead it doesn’t mean it can’t exist and it doesn’t have to be supernatural. The mountain lion I have the picture of isn’t a supernatural entity, yet it’s the first picture in east Texas ever. Good discussion though.

  27. theo responds:

    Gentlemen,

    The discussion about biological entity versus thoughtform (another name for ‘tulpa’) actually started four decades ago, if not earlier. Perhaps not surprising, it sprang forth from the weird byways in ufology, where high strangeness cases prompted researchers to look for other explanations than the ‘nuts and bolts eth’, as heralded by the books by Jacques Vallee (Passport to Magonia (1969) and John Keel (UFO’s Operation Trojan Horse, 1970), preceded by the theories of Meade Layne in the late 1940′s and early 1950′s.

    Authors and researchers like F.W. Holiday (The Dragon And The Disc, 1973 and The Goblin Universe, co-authored with Colin Wilson, 1986) John Keel (Strange Creatures Out Of Time And Space, 1975), Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman (The Unidentified, 1975 and Creatures Of The Outer Edge, 1978), D. Scott Rogo and Jerome Clark (Earth’s Secret Inhabitants, 1979), Janet and Colin Bord (Alien Animals, 1981) have all explored the theme of a paraphysical nature of some cryptozoological manifestations.

    In 1990 Jonathan Downes, first coined the term zooform, maintaining that many zooform phenomena result from complex psychosocial and sociological phenomena. He suggested that to classify all such phenomena as “paranormal” in origin is counterproductive. A good example of a zooform phenomenon would be the Owlman of Mawnan.

    I note that there is, thus, a large body of work to read and study for those wanting to further wander down this path. I have since some time entertained my own notions on this aspect. Those who have read my articles in Fortean Times (in the most recent issue I discuss exactly such a creature skulking in the borderlands between the cryptozzoological and the zooform) know what I mean with this.

    I also note that the larger debate on forteana, cryptozoology and ufology goes through the same cycle; after the 1980′s paranoia (Cooper, Lear, Valdemar Valerian et.al) and the 1990′s ‘hardware’ approach (Roswell revisited again), books like Mac Tonnies’ Cryptoterrestrials and some of Redfern’s books again offer revisionist and other theories.

    I am very interested what the outcome, this time, will be in the larger debate. I do note that there is some excellent research being done in various quarters, and with this I am respectfurl of the researches by Redfern and the comments by Coleman. That benefit we did not have, pre-interent days, to chime in on a discours between two great minds.

    My post therefore is to provide the debate with a historical context and to offer those interested a short bibliography (there are many more titles I could list) to study. We can all elevate the larger debate by becoming informed.

    So start now.

    Sincere regards,

    Theo

    P.S. @ Nick: just today I also bought in a secondhand shop a first of Creatures Of The Outer Edge, isn’t it a nice coincidence:)

  28. springheeledjack responds:

    Nick,

    I agree with you. Someone from the 1800′s would look upon some of our technology and ASSume it’s witchcraft…followed by burnings at the stake. And I think even now, with all of our technology, in another hundred years, the little humming lipstick Dr. McCoy used on Star Trek may well be how maladies and illnesses are healed (cell phones look real close to S.T. communicators to me already…and they can do a whole lot more…except for the phaser bit). IT is highly probable that as science advances, we will see a whole lot more corollaries between what we perceive as the physical world and what really goes on.

    However, I’ve also come to see that things take time, and especially with people. As I said, I have my own ideas and theories about how the world actually works, but people, and people as a whole have to take baby steps. You can’t take a person from the pioneer days, show them a Ferrari and expect them to believe it’s something that can be made by mankind. The same is true for this debate. Too few people agree on what BF may be IF it is real, let alone asking them to take another step and say it may be some more complicated projection of the psyche, mind, etc.

    You may well be right on your theory, but outside of metaphysical debates, I doubt most people will entertain the idea without a lot of eye rolling and comments about linking Ufology and BF and so on. For most day to day people, even the discussion of BF, Nessie and what not have that tendency to make people pull back and say, “that’s it, I’m out…call me back when things settle down.” And in the scientific community they’re not even going to step near those waters until there’s some basis to generate a possibility. As DWA said,

    “But that will be because science finally got to a place science cannot get to yet with the tools at its disposal.”

    On the other hand, I’m always up for a good conversation on alternate possibilities…and judging from the number of posts, you’ve generated some good, serious, thought provoking ideas. While your theory has merit, it’s just too big of a leap for most people to make…for now.

    That, and I’m still of the mind that I think human arrogance and egocentrism go a long way toward explaining why Bigfoot and Nessie and Caddie have outsmarted us for so long.

    Thanks for the posts!

  29. ithilien responds:

    This discussion is all well and good but reminds me of my own premise, which is that only witnesses should allowed to comment on these things.

    The very fact that they ARE seen, by many the world over, but NEVER caught, should tell you something.

    The tulpa hypothesis should not be dismissed as the foolishness of youth and on to more mundane topics like bigfoot in the freezer…it is profound wisdom and experience of a very ancient culture. To act as if you have “gotten past” considering this theory as at least part of the explanation is either ego, trying to appeal to the mainstream, staying in a safe and acceptable place, or being “scientific.”

  30. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    You say: “…springheeledjack notes exactly how sasquatch carcasses have been, count on it, stumbled upon by more than one person…”

    Yes, I fully agree: we have such reports. But why does not even one – that’s all we need, just one – story of a body actually bear fruit in the form of a body? Just once. It never does. If it did, we wouldn’t be debating the matter. It’s always testimony, or it’s always the body got buried, or was too decomposed to move etc etc. Granted all such scenarios have validity? But…ON EVERY OCCASION?

  31. Nick Redfern responds:

    Nominay:

    I don’t dispute that science has made in-roads. But, conventional science, and massive amounts of field-work cannot (and never have) provided us with proof. There’s something wrong with the picture when massive ape-like animals can consistently avoid detection, capture and classification, and reportedly live a relatively short drive from where I live – half way between Dallas and Fort Worth! Science should have uncovered the proof we all want. It has not. That’s a problem.

    You say: “Your idea is just borne out of frustration that Bigfoot has not yet materialized in a cage.”

    Frustration? That’s hilarious. I made a comment in one of the 3 threads about my views at this site (I’ve actually got confused as to which thread it was at, but it was this morning, so it should be easy to find), about people assuming I’m getting all emotional, or frustrated about the lack of a corpse etc.

    Frustration doesn’t come into it (people need to leave emotions out of Bigfoot research, or it becomes like a debate over religion – another subject that no one can prove has any physical merit to it). My “idea” is actually a very old one. There’s nothing brand new about the Tulpa theory.

    The reason why I have time for the Tulpa theory isnt because I’m frustrated by the lack of a body. It’s because I recognize that despite all the efforts of science to secure a living or dead Bigfoot, for all the field work, for all the people who have shot bullets into Bigfoot, for all the plaster-casts, photos etc, the body or living entity so skilfully eludes us.

    When it consistently eludes us, for me that means it’s time to look elsewhere. So, my “idea” is not provoked by frustration. It’s provoked by logic.

  32. Nick Redfern responds:

    j. stewart:

    I understand your points about mountain lions and the East Texas comment. But, the fact is that we do have bodies of mountain lions from elsewhere in the US, and we have living specimens of mountain lions from elsewhere in the US.

    So, just because mountain lions may be extremely elusive in Texas, we still have evidence for their existence elsewhere in the US.

    But, that’s the problem with Bigfoot: BIgfoot is elusive EVERYWHERE.

    Imagine how weird it would be if (no matter how elusive they may be in Texas or elsewhere) no mountain lion was ever shot, died and stumbled upon by accident, put in a zoo, or formally classified – EVER – in the United States. But, that’s what we face re Bigfoot.

  33. Nick Redfern responds:

    springheeledjack:

    Cheers for latest comments and observations! You say: “I’m still of the mind that I think human arrogance and egocentrism go a long way toward explaining why Bigfoot and Nessie and Caddie have outsmarted us for so long.”

    It could be. And a body could turn up tomorrow. But, that it never has so far is something that makes me think there will always be differing opinions on what Bigfoot is or isn’t. We should, however, avoid the “us vs. them” angle (not that you brought that up; I’m just making an observation).

    At the end of the day, we’re all looking for the truth about what Bigfoot, or Nessie etc, may be. That we’re all searching, but may have differing opinions on how that search should proceed and down which avenues, should not (in my view) be problematic.

    Why should it annoy people that Nick Redfern spends time looking into the nature of Tulpas to see if it has a bearing on what Bigfoot might be? Does it bother me if people go into the woods at weekends with night-vision equipment, or guns, to look for a flesh-and-blood Bigfoot? Not at all!

    The annoyance/sometimes-vehemence angle even that surfaces when anyone dares to suggest Bigfoot might not be flesh and blood, is something I find almost as perplexing (and as intriguing) as Bigfoot itself!

  34. brainiak11 responds:

    Nick,

    You say:

    “Not impossible. But this theory is reliant one factor that stretches credibility beyond its limit.

    It requires Bigfoot to never, ever make a mistake when avoiding detection – and subsequent capture or shooting.

    Bears largely live undetected, but they do get shot or caught.

    Right here in Arlington, TX where I live, we occasionally see coyote, in the city itself. Most of the time they avoid detection, capture, shooting etc. But not ALL the time.

    No animals in the USA, other than cryptids, avoid – with an impressive 100 percent success rate – capture, shooting, death, and formal discovery.”

    All I am trying to say is that the rarity/scarcity of Bigfoot and/or other cryptids determines the odds that we may find a body and/or formal discovery.

    Because of this it may take 1,000,000 (who really knows) encounters (could be through research or chance). Whereas we may encounter a body of a bear/coyote every 50 encounters (due to how common they are).

    We just haven’t got to 1,000,000 yet.

  35. brainiak11 responds:

    Hi Nick,

    Was just thinking about your statement: “No animals in the USA, other than cryptids, avoid – with an impressive 100 percent success rate – capture, shooting, death, and formal discovery.”

    If Bigfoot was hit today by a bulldozer and its body was recovered your statement would still be true!!

  36. j stewart responds:

    Thanks for the reply Nick. Although I don’t agree with your points of view, I do however respect it.

  37. Nominay responds:

    N. Redfern,

    Just seems like your “logic” is an excuse for a lack of patience. We like to imagine ourselves as objective and sober minded more than we really are, but you’re invested in this issue as I am, and that comes from passion which is emotional.

    Tulpas applied to Bigfoot are only nice theoretically but can’t be taken seriously beyond superstition. No, Tulpas are nothing new, just to us westerners who are notorious for taking things like Eastern teachings and applying them in a broad, far reaching range to a lot subjects and issues prevalent to modern times. That’s why they call it New Age. I’m not saying that you held and looked into a crystal ball before arriving to the Tulpa theory, just that you didn’t doesn’t impress me. It speaks to resignation, because you’ve taken it upon yourself to decide how much time it should take to snag a squatch. How is that not arrogant?

    I mean, tell me Nick, would considering Tulpas before 1995 have been premature? Would the Tulpa/Bigfoot theory not have been prudent in 1985, or 1975? How about 1945? 1952? At what point should the consideration of Tulpas be respected? Because you’re not just Tulpa proponent here, you’re also playing timekeeper with nature. That’s a tall order, so while you may interpret others as being open minded to you, I interpret them as being lax.

    I’ve given several reasons already why Thoughtforms deserve to stay in Nepal or Kashmir or wherever … Here are a couple more:

    1) The number of Bigfoot sightings parallels the annual amount of precipitation in North America. This gives credence to Bigfoot needing a certain amount of rain and water, not thoughts from people. This would explain why the amount of sightings in North Dakota stays stagnant at single digits, because Bigfoot needs a certain environment in which to survive. This is also why most of the TX sightings are on the eastern portion, many of which are not far from Dallas and Houston. The most diverse ecosystem is the Big Thicket, so there’s the best place for you to go and form thoughts of Bigfoot.

    2) The unique branch and rock structures found throughout Bigfoots habitat point to an ability for abstract thought, which would make it more likely than less, that Bigfoot bury their dead. This is not your Jack Links stereotype Bigfoot – this is a creature capable of a ceremonial aspect to their lives, just like it is capable to hide like a ghost – because it is more evolved to extra sensory perception than us and by most indications, falls under the Genus Homo. Not an upright gorilla. …. Not a giant orangutan (G. Blacki).

  38. springheeledjack responds:

    I keep bouncing back and forth from one post to the other…so to save time, Nick, I think I just agreed with you on the other post. :)

    And I’m with you here too. It’s okay, in my book, to disagree and to end up not even believing the same thing. I think if humanity could do that on multiple fronts, we would have a lot better world.

    For the present, I’ll continue to hunt living, solid, breathing and eating cryptids (though depending on the philosophical text you read, that statement may not mean much either). However, I will always keep an open mind–that’s how real progress is made.

    And in the end, if we can discover the true nature of our favorite cryptids, that’s what’s important.

  39. DWA responds:

    Yes, I fully agree: we have such reports. But why does not even one – that’s all we need, just one – story of a body actually bear fruit in the form of a body? Just once. It never does. If it did, we wouldn’t be debating the matter. It’s always testimony, or it’s always the body got buried, or was too decomposed to move etc etc. Granted all such scenarios have validity? But…ON EVERY OCCASION?Nick Redfern

    Odd? Couldn’t argue. Odder than all the evidence adding up to a false positive? Absolutely no way. There is so much evidence – scientifically testable evidence – that the oddity is, to me, digestibile. Not by a great margin, but yes.

    The unique branch and rock structures found throughout Bigfoots habitat point to an ability for abstract thought, which would make it more likely than less, that Bigfoot bury their dead. This is not your Jack Links stereotype Bigfoot – this is a creature capable of a ceremonial aspect to their lives, just like it is capable to hide like a ghost – because it is more evolved to extra sensory perception than us and by most indications, falls under the Genus Homo. Not an upright gorilla. …. Not a giant orangutan (G. Blacki).Nominay

    Not so fast. Ever seen a spider’s web? A bird’s nest? A termite mound? Same level of complexity, actually greater. Says nothing about ceremony, and definitely nothing about genus Homo. The bulk of the evidence – nests included – says that whatever this is, Homo ain’t likely.

  40. Nick Redfern responds:

    Nominay:

    You say: “Just seems like your “logic” is an excuse for a lack of patience.”

    LOL, where on Earth (or off it, perhaps) are you getting these ideas?! No I don’t have a lack of patience. I will repeat: my approach re Tulpas is driven by the fact that I find the lack of even a single body of Bigfoot perplexing. And because I find it perplexing, I feel there is merit in looking into other avenues and theories for the answer. It’s nothing to do with a lack of patience! It’s as simple as it really is: looking elsewhere to solve a puzzle when one approach has not yet worked. And that’s all!

    You say: “…you’re invested in this issue as I am, and that comes from passion which is emotional.”

    We can be passionate about the quest for Bigfoot without becoming belief-driven and defensive when someone dares question a theory. I am totally forthright with my views (check my comments here) that the Tulpa theory is just that – a theory. I am not some nutty evangelist banging on the pulpit trying to convert people. I merely wrote an article stating why I have problems with the flesh-and-blood angle, and I highlighted why I feel looking into other areas of research may prove profitable.

    When it comes to Bigfoot (although certainly not my normal life!) that’s about as emotional as I get. It’s an interest. It’s intriguing. It’s not to me (a way of life). I don’t lie awake in bed at 2AM pondering on the nature of Bigfoot.

    You say: “Tulpas applied to Bigfoot are only nice theoretically but can’t be taken seriously beyond superstition.”

    Someone once said much the same when people dared to suggest the Earth was round, or that the Earth orbited the sun.

    For how long into history should we have considered the Tulpa theory for Bigfoot? For as long as reports exist!

    You say: “The most diverse ecosystem is the Big Thicket, so there’s the best place for you to go and form thoughts of Bigfoot.”

    Yes the Big Thicket is VERY diverse. Have you read Rob Riggs’ book, “In the Big Thicket”? Read that and tell me Bigfoot is just an ape. That book (ironically covering the very area you recommend I go to – I’ve actually been on a number of expeditions there with Rob) links Bigfoot with deep, deep high-strangeness.

    You say of Bigfoot: “…it is capable to hide like a ghost – because it is more evolved to extra sensory perception than us…”

    Really?? So you criticize my views that there is more (or less) to Bigfoot than just flesh and blood, yet in the same breath you posit that Bigfoot can hide like a ghost and has highly developed ESP! Interesting! I wonder what mainstream flesh-and-blooders will think of that!

  41. DWA responds:

    Bottom line, from those of us who actually want to know what the sasquatch is.

    There is only one theory worth following:

    This is a critter. Flesh and blood. Nothing supernatural, nor particularly abnormal, about it. Use the copious evidence to find it, the way we do with all other critters.

    ALL OTHER THEORIES ARE NON-STARTERS.

    There seems an egregious misperception here: Science has been steadily grinding on this, for fifty years, without results, so, time to go in a different direction.

    SCIENCE HAS NOT TOUCHED THIS, AT ALL, save for a scant few part-timers, trying heroically to inch ahead with little resources, and less time.

    The reality is the reverse. It’s Fifty Years of Woo-Woo that have failed.

    Time to go in a different direction.

    Science: confirmation of new species IS YOUR JOB. Stop the ridicule, and support those who want to use science to find the answer.

    This is the deal. If you don’t think so, don’t respond to me; check with whiteriverfisherman. I’m with him.

    Over and out.

  42. Nick Redfern responds:

    DWA:

    You say: “Bottom line, from those of us who actually want to know what the sasquatch is.”

    I believe all of us who engage in debate about Bigfoot, regardless of theories, want to know what Bigfoot is.

    You say: “There is only one theory worth following: This is a critter. Flesh and blood. Nothing supernatural, nor particularly abnormal, about it. Use the copious evidence to find it, the way we do with all other critters. ALL OTHER THEORIES ARE NON-STARTERS.”

    Thank you for sharing your OPINION (which is what it is). Would I be right in thinking you discount any and all cases where even the smallest degree of what might be termed “high-strangeness” occurs in Bigfoot encounters? How, therefore, do you view reports where people have seen Bigfoot vanish before them (such reports do exist)? What do you think of Stan Gordon’s book Silent Invasion? Do you just ignore the data?

    Regardless of your view that, “…This is a critter. Flesh and blood. Nothing supernatural, nor particularly abnormal…,” the fact is that to support that notion you have to discount a historical body of genuinely weird data and reports.

    That science has barely touched this issue is barely relevant. The fact is that, regardless of whether scientists get involved in the controversy or not, the many reports of people seeing Bigfoot, trying to shoot it, tracking it, avoiding it as it races across the road (very often at bridges) in front of their car, the issue of Bigfoot simply dying and being stumbled on, the often very close proximity of Bigfoot to major cities, etc etc, should have yielded a living specimen or a corpse by now. Just even on one occasion.

    We can debate this issue forever and a day, and that will not change until we have a body. I actually really do hope we get one (even though it would negate my Tulpa theory; but it would be worth it), as it would be fantastic, truly amazing news that would change both cryptozoology and zoology FOREVER.

    However, I have a very sneaking suspicion that every single person reading this will go to their graves with a lot of reports and files in their filing cabinets, with a lot of Bigfoot books on their book-shelves, with a lot of case-files, photos and plaster-casts, but no conclusive hard proof (a body) that it was really all worthwhile. Which is precisely why I don’t get all emotional, uptight or send my blood-pressure through the roof when I’m discussing Bigfoot. Bigfoot should be an interest, not a way of life upon which significant parts of a person’s life depends.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but reading your last comment, I could practically see your blood-pressure rising as you wrote it. For everyone interested in Bigfoot, research should be an interest or a passion. But actually getting irate over one theory or another is just downright bizarre. There really are more important things in life than what Bigfoot is or is not! Family, friends, health, jobs, soccer, beer, etc etc. You know: the stuff that actually impacts upon us on a day to day basis.

  43. DWA responds:

    Nick:

    Careful about imputing emotions, as I’ve watched you defending yourself on this blog from folks making the same assertions about you. I’m just done. I’ve made my points, and the evidence backs them up.

    If this were that emotional an issue to me I’d be a sas researcher. I’m not.

    This is merely common sense. The body of reportage of a flesh-and-blood animal has frequency, and coherence, and can be followed up by science. Should it so choose.

    Slam dunk. Over and out.

  44. j stewart responds:

    No need to get touchy folks. Nick is being more than civil and everyone else should also. I think the posts of this past few weeks have everyone a bit defensive.

    I see what your saying Nick. I am leaning a bit more to the idea that if I’m open minded enough to believe that a 7 to ten foot 800 lb hairy beast is roaming the worlds forests, then why not be open enough for your theories. OK, I’m now more open, not convinced, but willing to see what happens in the future with open minded anticipation. I still think Sasquatch is flesh and bone but I will not dismiss your ideas and will hold them in account when doing research.

  45. Nick Redfern responds:

    It’s a slam dunk??? Without ANY corpse in evidence?

    Yes, people have made assertions about me re emotions in the 3 threads on this issue. However, I don’t believe in any of my comments there’s anything to show I’ve barely increased my pulse rate, never mind got all emotional. I have presented my views and when people have raised issues, I’ve answered them with my opinion.

    Should there be any other posts in this thread, I won’t have net access at the house after tonight until next wednesday, so I’ll reply when I have Net access back.

  46. Nominay responds:

    Nick and DWA,

    What is the suggestion here? That Bigfoot is an oafish bipedal, pre-Pan Ponginae? How is it that a dull witted ape, or an ape lacking human intelligence, would stand apart from others to exist only in the imagination? Wow, some of us humans have a pretty high notion of ourselves in thinking we have the mental ingredients to create mere apes – as oppose to mythical ones – unbeknownst to us.

    Can only Shaman shapeshift, or can mall rats whose extent vocabulary is “uh muh gawd” be capable of this too? Where Nick did you go from thinking Tibetan monks could manifest physical beings to Wal-mart America? Where did you go wrong?! Who is laughing harder at each other, you or me? If the criteria is so nil that all my daughter has to do is watch Hannah Montana and have one brain cell to create our own Bigfoot in the backyard, then your theory is facile and your intelligence happenstance. It is not as much an insult to scientific Bigfooters as it is to the Buddhist monks who put in some hard, spiritual time. Us westerners sure are funny when it comes to unlocking the secrets of Eastern mysticism. The way you’ve correlated Tulpas to Sasquatch sounds like a Stephen King novel, only this beast is shy and not homicidal.

    Elite military-trained snipers can also hide like ghosts. In woods and grasslands they can get within feet of you in plain sight, and, if necessary, retreat quickly. If you’re slow on the knowledge curve there then just recall this scene from Clear and Present Danger. Us humans are domesticated; even snipers wouldn’t have senses anywhere close as sharp as Bigfoot. Part of that is just what it takes for it to catch its prey, like deer. But if we’re not the only hominids, then it stands to reason that Bigfoot is more in tune with a 6th sense than we are. ESP is an evolutionary inheritance. It didn’t come about from contemporaries of pop culture 20th century. It came from a legacy of Shaman, Witchdoctors, Sadhus, Yogis, Monks and mystics the world over going back to archaic cultures. So when I typed telekinesis before, I was thinking and meant to type telepathy – a condition that is more believable of a hominid in a natural state than it would in a pre-Pan ape. I don’t think flesh-and-blooders would mind so much entertaining the notion of Bigfoot having a higher state of consciousness and its potentialities. They certainly would swallow that a lot better than your X Files Bigfoot.

    We cannot have it both ways DWA, where Bigfoot is a hiding genius and a cousin to the gorilla or orangutan. If bipedalism is not enough to convince you that Bigfoot is of our lineage, then the accounts from close encounter witnesses should. It’s shocking enough to have an unexpected sighting of Bigfoot, let alone a close encounter, but add on top of that the surprise at how human it looks. One specific, anatomical characteristic is the nose. We are the only other ape with a hooded nose. We know not just from the better sightings but from the Patterson film itself, that Bigfoot has such a nose, not the flat noses we see in the other great apes. We are the only other ape to not have divergent toes and thumbs. It goes without saying that their hands and feet are like ours. These traits are huge on the evolutionary scale. Like us, Bigfoot deviated from Pan (chimps) and the other apes a wildly, long time ago.

    The Native Americans familiarity with Bigfoot lent to them treating them as humans whose boundaries were to be respected. We’d also have to discount the Native Americans stories of Bigfoot kidnapping women and impregnating them in order to maintain a non-human ape Bigfoot. There are just too many things that Bigfoot can do like us.

    Which brings me back to Tulpas, why would every Tom, Dick, and Harry imagine Bigfoot all the same? Wouldn’t some look like the Planet of the Apes with the flat noses? Bigfoot doesn’t elude us because it is magical, it eludes us because we have been conditioned and compromised by an artificial world. We have replaced wisdom with intellect and are idiots at our computers on Prozac, while they are at peace in the wild.

  47. norman-uk responds:

    I am not sure if tulpas exist, neither am I saying they don’t as I don’t know that much about them, but I am sure they do in the sense that the thought is father to the deed. It could also be misused when an interested party reports seeing the unusual thing in which they are interested to be dismissed by the phrase ‘you would see it wouldn’t you’ meaning you imagined seeing the object of interest. It happened to me yesterday regarding a hawfinch though it is not incredibly unusual.

    However the evidence for Sasquatch is very good and that it has physical effects in the physical, in our real world. That it is extraordinary is clear but a flesh and blood creature like ourselves and there is sufficient evidence to continue research without invoking tulpas and thus unnecessary complexity, difficulty even impossibility.

    The idea that Sasquatch is amply evidenced may be a problem for some and it takes a while but the evidence is accessible, just needs an open mind, fairness and diligence to appreciate it and not be swayed too much by ridicule, by the uninformed and by committed sceptics arguments, nor that science doesnt do science but scientists do and they often lock the truth up away from non-members.

    It cannot be reasonably denied that the absence of a body or body part is a huge difficulty as in sasquatch and it is difficult to expect the mass media or public with a lack of knowledge to appreciate how strong the case is for sasquatch. Reasons given for lack of a body sound like excuses and is a subject in itself. It does not however mean that sasquatch is not real, might mean its rare! (no I wont invoke Carl Sagan here)

    There is a solution however and that is DNA and there appears to be a bit of a move in this now some DNA samples are being tested other than at the New York labs where appropriate samples have been given sceptical treatment such as no positive results have ever been produced. What is needed is similar treatment as has been given to, at least 30,000 year old neanderthal samples by Svante Paabo of leipzig. These samples were worked on for five years. The sample were reported as being over 90% bacterial DNA and what wasn’t bacterial was fragmented. 60% of the genome was analysed and from that positive and important information obtained illuminating both modern and neanderthal DNA!!! In the light of the evidence fro sasquatch it is not valid to say there isnt DNA among the samples provided indeed this has been found by some labs but rather a few and limited in detail. The leipzig labs work apparently cost about $3 million dollars so not that expensive! Clearly room for a huge improvement here!

    There is an elephant in the room on this thread a huge new ape was discovered recently which has not been mentioned and is relevant despite some ‘buts’ and that is the Bili ape in the Congo. Also part of the picture was the recent discovery of a huge population of lowland gorillas previously unknown and I am sure the ‘hobbit’ and denesovan remains are getting near to what Nick says is missing! Of course small and less glamorous creatures are being discovered all the time hardly hitting the headlines. I cannot work out why the Billi ape wasn’t a big hit both in cryptozoological circles and mainstream.

    To summarise I think the evidence for bigfoot is potent and believers (I know) should confidently come out and say so while concurring there is a special problem about the lack of a body until DNA analysis is sorted out. This would have a positive affect on the media and scientists leading to that breakthrough when everybody starts finding bodies and DNA, its overdue, nb. Tulpas would be very counterproductive

  48. norman-uk responds:

    just one more point!

    I think the evidence for sasquatch is a bit like one of these, you have to work at it to get the message!

  49. DWA responds:

    Yes. Slam dunk.

    A half-century of woo-woo theorizing, while the evidence has been piling up with virtually no one looking at it, has gotten us no body. Time to try science for a change.

    This thread is actually a good example. Nominay is still talking about hiding genius, while I have carefully explained for post after post that the animal ain’t hiding, people. Extreme Joe/Jane Average Schmoes are seeing them, left and right. Hearing them, smelling them. Footprints, hair, feces and blood, pretty much all over the place. And everyone thinks it’s too good to be true, and looks the other way.

    And still nobody believes anyone who says they’ve seen one. I could stand in the street for ten years and go unconfirmed by science, if everyone had to believe on pain of being thought crazy that I couldn’t possibly be there.

    That’s what it is, gang. It’s not hiding genius; it’s the human genius of walking right past what we don’t want to see, demonstrated yet again.

    Time to give it a rest.

    Science: your turn. Start paying attention, to shut the proponents up if nothing else. There. How ’bout that?

  50. DWA responds:

    Somehow I can’t stay away. I might even ask whiteriverfisherman to come back for two more cents. :-D

    Nominay: Feet, nose, hands, whatever. Don’t mean a thing. We invest too much spirituality in our plain ol’ animal looks. Shoot, BIRDS are bipedal, man! We ain’t nothin’ special; and those feet are really nothing like ours except very superficially. In fact they’re functionally as much like a chimp’s as like ours; and if you disagree you ain’t paying attention.

    The first time I saw an orangutan face close up my little kid brain said THAT’S A PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Um, no it wasn’t.

    Who said apes were dull-witted? If I were an ape I might take exception to that remark.

  51. Nominay responds:

    If you were a pre-Homo ape you’d be too dull-witted to take exception to that remark, even if you did understand our sign language. I knew you’d take the convergent evolution route, it’s the only card you can play. Are you sure Bigfoot’s not a marsupial? Seriously, it sounds like Bigfoot is to you what the Pronghorn is to the antelope. Where in the fossil record have we had convergent evolution among primates? If anything, we primates have had such diversity that none was ever needed. And we are an entire Order. Compare that with Carnivora where several niches were filled by unrelated Families

    “… talking about hiding genius, while I have carefully explained for post after post that the animal ain’t hiding, people. Extreme Joe/Jane Average Schmoes are seeing them, left and right. Hearing them, smelling them. Footprints, hair, feces and blood, pretty much all over the place. And everyone thinks it’s too good to be true, and looks the other way.”

    That’s some giant orangutan. I mean, to leave such a mess, thumbing its nose at us. It must feel really emboldened to let its guard down like that.

    “It’s not hiding genius; it’s the human genius of walking right past what we don’t want to see, demonstrated yet again.”

    It’s totally taking our ADD for granted and getting sloppy because it knows we’re too distracted by reality tv. I can see Bigfoot now, looking in through the window at DWA as he watches Finding Bigfoot, bitterly cursing everyone for being a Mr. Magoo.

    I’m going to sound like Nick here to my embarrassment. There’s no body. There’s no DNA. There’s no video that everyone can jump on board with. The scientific community could care less even though it would be the find of the millennium. Then there’s the irony of us arguing over its intelligence …. and whether it’s human or Clint Eastwood’s sidekick. The US is over 300 million and counting. I think we’ll cut Bigfoot some slack since it has Nick convinced that it’ll go extinct if we don’t close our eyes and click our heels 3 times. DWA, you are THE ONE AND ONLY who isn’t impressed by how as a species it hides from our species. If Bigfoot is a normal ape, then we are retarded – You and Nick are at two extremes.

  52. DWA responds:

    “I knew you’d take the convergent evolution route, it’s the only card you can play.”

    Ah, but see, Nominay, I know how powerful a card it can be. You may not.

    1) It’s a hell of a card on its face, dude, the ace in the deck, a card of undisputed value. We know convergent evolution happens. KNOW it. Tulpas? Evidence for those? Bigfoot, Homo? Evidence for that? Bingo;

    2) Where have we had convergent primate evolution? Serious question? Really? All the primates in the fossil record that are coughhairycough and coughbipedalcough, a number of which are accepted by scientists as evolutionary dead ends;

    3) The learned estiimate that we may have evidence for only five percent (5%; cinq percent; 5 out of 100; really really few) of all the primates that have ever lived. Anyone who bases any conclusion about evolution on the fossil record – that would be the fossil record *so far* – as you are trying to do is putting together a 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle using only 250 pieces. And good luck with that.

    OK, as that one sinks flaming in the west. …

    ” I can see Bigfoot now, looking in through the window at DWA as he watches Finding Bigfoot, bitterly cursing everyone for being a Mr. Magoo. ”

    I don’t watch TV programs on Bigfoot. (I rarely watch TV.) I busy myself with the evidence, which is all I have time for and which is given VERY short shrift in any TV treatment. Trust me, you only have to read these blogs to figure that one out. And while we are on that…

    “It’s totally taking our ADD for granted and getting sloppy because it knows we’re too distracted by reality tv.”

    NOW YOU’RE GETTING IT.

    “DWA, you are THE ONE AND ONLY who isn’t impressed by how as a species it hides from our species.”

    It’s no more elusive than animals we know about. And I’m not alone in that assessment. How the HELL are you thinking that all these people that I can practically guarantee you have never seen a wolf, mink, cougar, lynx or wolverine are seeing these?

    “If Bigfoot is a normal ape, then we are retarded …”

    DON’T GET ME STARTED.

    Nick and I are at two extremes. You are at another one. There’s no evidence that this guy is any more special than the primates we know about. Except us, of course. WE are science-fiction “special.”

    Particularly when it comes to seeing what we don’t want to see.

    —————————————

    “Is the yeti a flesh-and-blood animal, or is it a spirit?”

    “How could it have been a spirit since we saw its footprints after it had run away?”

    - Exchange between Charles Stonor and Sherpa Pasang Nyima, 1953

  53. DWA responds:

    ERRATUM:

    I stated in a previous post that I occupy an extreme position in this discussion.

    Of course I don’t. Unless, of course, one considers the scientific method extreme, which for this discussion, it may be.

    But sometimes extreme medicine is required to cure the patient.

    So there’s my couldn’t-be-more-reasonable position. Let’s stop saying what the sasquatch is, as determined by a bunch of people sitting around a table *here* while the evidence sits in an untouched pile over *there.*

    Let’s bring science into the hunt to figure out what the sasquatch is. And since science can’t prove “tulpa,” let’s shelve that one for now. (Unless Mr. Redfern has a search strategy for tulpas.) And get a specimen for Pete’s sake before anyone cries “human.”

  54. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    Ok, after reading these comments and catching up… There seems to be some confusion here about convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is where when two unrelated species evolve to be similar in look. Take the Fossa in Madagascar. Its a member of the mongoose family, but if you saw one, you’d swear it was a feline. The Tasmanian Tiger looked a lot like a dog, but it was a marsupial. That’s what convergent evolution.

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that no other species has evolved to look like a primate, especially an upper primate.

    I think what you guys are thinking about is two separate species living side by side or even interbreeding…..that has happened a lot. Some branches were dead ends….some are still here… And scientists are pretty sure that Neanderthals and Humans interbred.

  55. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    Ok, after reading these comments and catching up… There seems to be some confusion here about convergent evolution. Convergent evolution is where when two unrelated species evolve to be similar in look. Take the Fossa in Madagascar. Its a member of the mongoose family, but if you saw one, you’d swear it was a feline. The Tasmanian Tiger looked a lot like a dog, but it was a marsupial. That’s what convergent evolution.

    I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure that no other species has evolved to look like a primate, especially an upper primate.

    I think what you guys are thinking about is two separate species living side by side or even interbreeding…..that has happened a lot. Some branches were dead ends….some are still here… And scientists are pretty sure that Neanderthals and Humans interbred.

  56. Nominay responds:

    Kahil, your comments precisely make my point. Convergent evolution extends down to families, of which the Fossa is of one and cats are of another, both under the Feliformia suborder. Our suborder Haplorrhini includes most primates. Orangutans are outside of our genus, subtribe, and tribe. These make up our subfamily which is us, Chimps, and Gorillas – Orangs fall outside of this too. The suggestion from DWA was that Bigfoot is more likely “Orangish” – that is, a descendent of Giganto Blacki – in spite of its similarities with us. We haven’t seen in living species or in the fossil record, the equivalent of a Fossa to our wildcat. DWA then suggested that those more closely related to us (within our subtribe) are examples of convergent evolution, which cannot be, because those evolutionary dead ends were more closely related to us than chimps.
    Give it up DWA – I was making a sarcastic defense about Bigfoot slacking on its genius and mocking your appraisal of how clueless we are, so don’t think I’m coming around to your view.
    “It’s no more elusive than animals we know about. And I’m not alone in that assessment. How the HELL are you thinking that all these people that I can practically guarantee you have never seen a wolf, mink, cougar, lynx or wolverine are seeing these?”
    Actually, you can’t guarantee me that. An open mind would be to say half of these people have seen these animals because they live in rural areas and hunting is a part of that culture, but those species also don’t live closer to more urban areas the way Bigfoot does, so that answers your question.
    “Nick and I are at two extremes. You are at another one. There’s no evidence that this guy is any more special than the primates we know about. Except us, of course. WE are science-fiction “special.”
    The other primates we know about are all in cages, or bragged about in scientific reviews with an up close glossy photo (whatever lorise or tasier it is now). Bigfoot hasn’t dared let this happen, which is the premise of Nick’s madness. The two extremes I referred to are opposite ends, of which I am in middle.

  57. DWA responds:

    Nominay:

    Give it up? Apparently I won the argument. Nothing about the sasquatch suggests Homo. And I notice you gave that up. Any statements about the relation of extinct primates to us is sheer speculation. It may have some evidence supporting it but it’s still speculation. “When the ancestral forms are unspecified or unknown, or the range of traits considered is not clearly specified, the distinction between parallel and convergent evolution becomes more subjective.” That’s the case here. The over-reliance on the fossil record is a stone in the shoe of modern biology. It’s not incomplete. It’s pitifully incomplete.

    I don’t suggest anything about the sasquatch’s lineage. One thing I am very consistent on is that no such presumption can be made. (I very seriously doubt Giganto, personally. But I have no way of knowing, and neither does anyone else.)

    And as to this exchange:

    —————————————-

    “It’s no more elusive than animals we know about. And I’m not alone in that assessment. How the HELL are you thinking that all these people that I can practically guarantee you have never seen a wolf, mink, cougar, lynx or wolverine are seeing these?”

    Actually, you can’t guarantee me that. An open mind would be to say half of these people have seen these animals because they live in rural areas and hunting is a part of that culture, but those species also don’t live closer to more urban areas the way Bigfoot does, so that answers your question.

    —————————–

    Actually, it doesn’t. An open mind can say that it’s possible but an open mind can’t conclude anything. The point is that sightings – which can in no way be discarded by a truly open mind – say that lots of people are seeing these animals, and that they aren’t really that elusive. Elusive yes, but not by the orders of magnitude that the fringe speculates. Maybe on the order of gorillas or chimps in non-conditioned populations. (And being generally solitary, they’re helped by that, as the others are social animals.) We just ignore the people who encounter them. Who, based on the evidence, I would bet lunch money don’t see the kinds of animals I listed and would expect to come out ahead.

    We’re closer than we sound on this (except for the Homo thing, which I don’t buy but heck, I have no more evidence for that than you have that it is). But I’ve got to call Nick’s approach..well, not in concert with copious evidence.

  58. Nick Redfern responds:

    Having been offline the last few days, I see there’s a few more comments. I think what the new (and old) comments collectively demonstrate is that Bigfoot researchers are (for the most part) polarized into 2 camps:

    The majority clearly favor the flesh-and-blood angle. The minority do not. We all agree on one thing, however: we want proof of Bigfoot. And, by that, I mean a body. We all want that (living or dead, but preferably the former.

    Even I, who have a massive amount of time for the Tulpa theory, would like to see Bigfoot shown to be flesh-and-blood. Why? Because in the world of science, it would make Cryptozoology legitimate, and would have the spiral effect of pushing people to then look for other cryptids, help with funding etc.

    But, I feel that this won’t happen. What I do think will happen is that 20 years from now, 50 years from now, 200 years from now, people will have far more plaster-casts, more photos and footage etc that people will endlessly debate about (“Is it a man in a suit etc?”), but still no body. Why because there is something deeply, deeply odd about Bigfoot. But that’s just my view. Yours may be different. And so it goes.

    If people want to continue to debate this, cool. But, even though it has been a stimulating debate, I’m not sure where it can go any further than just beyond the “I think it’s a Tulpa,” “No, I think it’s an ape,” angle. Why? Because we won’t agree, and we know that, unless something significant in the search for Bigfoot changes.

  59. Nominay responds:

    No DWA, I am referring to Homo, still.
    “Nothing about the sasquatch suggests Homo.”
    Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
    We have a disagreement about how much evidence there is. You champion science but then you disagree with the results of it. Who are you to say not enough scientific findings have come in? How much is enough? Any chance you’ll change your mind in your lifetime? You seem torn in a contradiction to me.
    You claim to have no presumption and yet you have a hardened opinions of your own, such as to how Sasquatch is and what it isn’t. Btw, I’m not using the word elusive – that’s Nick’s – I am using the word eluded/eludes .. can we at least agree on that?

  60. DWA responds:

    “I’m not sure where it can go any further than just beyond the “I think it’s a Tulpa,” “No, I think it’s an ape,” angle. Why? Because we won’t agree, and we know that, unless something significant in the search for Bigfoot changes.”

    Nick, I can agree with that.

    The thing that can change it is serious mainstream scientific involvement in the search – a significant component of which would be eliminating the scoff-without-evidence approach that still dominates the mainstream.

    There is enough evidence to change scientists’ minds. My evidence for that? It has changed the mind of every scientist that has seriously considered the evidence. At least I have never heard a scientist negative on the evidence who demonstrated acquaintance with same.

  61. DWA responds:

    Nominay: Well, yep, we’re gonna have to see.

    I was doing an intellectual exercise before this post, because a hallmark of genus Homo is material culture beyond what we see in non-Homo species due to the planning and conceptual abilities – and the opposable thumb and precision grip – required (e.g., flint knapping; projectile points; etc.) What if we found evidence of a creature that was a Homo in every respect – except for not one shred of material culture evidence? Or, say, everything but an opposable thumb? What would happen then? I used to think that there was no way the sasquatch could be a hominid; then I read an opinion that I had to at least think opened the subject up for debate. So I don’t know; but the evidence – again to me personally – points away from genus Homo. The evidence of structures that we see doesn’t go beyond what extant non-human species – including birds and insects – can do. Again, material culture is just something these animals appear able to largely do without.

    I don’t disagree with any “results;” there aren’t any yet. Proof is, to me, the result. And there is none yet. No scientific findings have come in yet. The only thing that is “enough” is what will count, to the society at large, as refereed by the scientific mainstream, as proof. I can’t change my mind until the state of the search changes. In my lifetime so far things have gotten worse, not better, even though the available evidence has skyrocketed. One has to analyze that evidence to go anywhere with it; and the society won’t accept the word of the proponents.

    My “hardened opinions” are based on considerable acquaintance with evidence. I simply haven’t seen anything to change my personal viewpoint on this yet. But I’d hope we all understand that until there’s proof, opinions are just air.

    I’d say that the sas and yeti are elusive animals. But I have read so many encounter reports for both that I feel pretty comfortable saying that the elusiveness is no more the reason for their continued cryptid status than …well, didn’t work for the lynx and wolverine.

  62. Nominay responds:

    “I’d say that the sas and yeti are elusive animals. But I have read so many encounter reports for both that I feel pretty comfortable saying that the elusiveness is no more the reason for their continued cryptid status than …well, didn’t work for the lynx and wolverine.”
    The main difference between Bigfoot and other wildlife is that you can’t hunt it and you can’t capture it. Hasn’t worked. You can send dogs out to run a cougar up a tree, you can shoot Bigfoot’s prey (deer) easily enough, and if the inclination is there, you can create a bear trap. But as humans came to dominant the scene out in the open, Bigfoot succeeded as a species by avoiding us. It did this by relying on stealth and adapting as a nocturnal, forest dweller. That much isn’t worth subject of debate, but my belief of it having ESP goes a step further and is more specialized.
    Nick – welcome back …. I just felt your theory deserved to be challenged, so I did that.

  63. norman-uk responds:

    It seems to me that there is ample evidence to state there is a corporeal sasquatch, even if at times its a tulpa, an illusion, a ghost or organised nanobotien or recreational alien in protective garb. It is difficult enough to deal with the flesh and blood version without the extras even if not ruling them out! Good luck to those who wish to pursue the non zoology versions but its not for me and I doubt it would be productive.

    I dont accept sasquatch and manimals cannot be hunted or captured without denying there are difficulties including its ESP. Human existence is partly a record of overcoming such difficulties right up to the largest creature that ever lived. I think it likely the minnesotta ice man was an example of an unfortunate success. I am totally against such a hunt and think there are other means of proof.

    My view is that crptozoology shoots itself in the foot by not being robust enough in making the case for sasquatch based on evidence and wilting under fire from sceptics. Sceptics are out to destroy and not interested in finding balance. Left to them all the manimals and unknown hominids will quietly disappear. Sasquatch needs the right sort of friends! i think those who do know the evidence are letting Sasquatch down and allowing it and others to disappear off the face of the earth. I wonder how this compares to those who watched the thylacine go while they split metaphorical hairs ?

    Also in my opinion science is failing sasquatch, getting hung up illegedly no body and hoaxes and myth. They are supposed to objectivey see their way round these sort of things like finding the picture in the autostereogram. Such a failure that a smart person like Nominay can say there is ‘no DNA’ , when of course there is, giving a wonderful resource for establishing a type specimen and as a resource to be studied for Sasquatch realtionships and characteristics.

    I know little about what other impediments Sasquatch may face such as commercial interests or from religous bodies as these dont get a mention, but expect they do exist. As it is scientists are obstructing proof of Sasquatch and with admirable exceptions need a rethink.

  64. Nominay responds:

    Hi Norman,

    “I don’t accept sasquatch and manimals cannot be hunted or captured without denying there are difficulties including its ESP. Human existence is partly a record of overcoming such difficulties right up to the largest creature that ever lived.”

    Sure, it’s “possible” to take a one into custody .. but Sasquatch, to its credit, has accomplished its objective, up to this point. Part of that is its unmatched intelligence to other creatures, great and small.

    “It is difficult enough to deal with the flesh and blood version without the extras even if not ruling them out!”

    Difficult by our standards. We’re use to thinking of ourselves as omnipotent when it comes to resolving matters which lie before us. We’re use to thinking of ourselves as the height of all levels of intelligence and means above all others. And when it comes to Sasquatch, we don’t consider that a fellow hominid of close relation could share our cunning nature but in a different way. In short, we are arrogant.

    “Such a failure that a smart person like Nominay can say there is ‘no DNA’ , when of course there is, giving a wonderful resource for establishing a type specimen and as a resource to be studied for Sasquatch realtionships and characteristics.”

    First, thanks for the back-handed compliment… If you’re satisfied with the DNA results so far, then tell me, what IS Sasquatch? Is it a Homo Erectus? Is it Gigantopithecus? Where does Bigfoot fall on the evolutionary tree? All we know is that its not a gorilla or a man .. whoop-de-doo. And that the sequencing’s incomplete to the extent Bigfoot remains unidentified, leaves open the possibility of error or contamination. That Bigfoot gets to have its way with the DNA like this too is part of what inspires the legend Nick and others go along with: that Bigfoot is supernatural, trans-dimensional, or jailed in a spacecraft and allowed 1 hour a day recreation on Earth.

  65. norman-uk responds:

    Nominay

    I actually think sasquatch has in the past been captured and bodies and bits held. Still are in dusty museum backrooms or garage shelves. Not taken seriously or neglected, why should they when sasquatch is either considered a long shot or tomfoolery. Possibly viewed by religious organisations as akin to witchcraft. I did ask some jehovas witnesses what they thought of sasquatch but they never came back with an answer.

    This doesnt mean sasquatch isnt elusive, very much so. But historicaly sasquatch has fought a losing battle with technology such as the bow and arrow and homo sapiens sapience. In its own environment sasquatch is likely to be master as long as it can keep its distance from modern man including its weapons and tactics.

    There is a problem of disease too for sasquatch, outbred and outgunned leading to a smaller population and less ability to cope with new or evolving diseases brought to it by its near relative modern man. How many campers and researchers drop fataly for example their newer versions of E.coli etc onto sasquatch. hopefully it is now relatively resistant to measles. The outcome of this is that sasquatch populations are unlikely to flourish where there is contact with man, comfirming and addding to their elusiveness.

    There is every reason to be dissatisfied with sasquatch DNA results first because most testing doesnt find any sasquatch DNA and what has been found hasn’t actually revealed much. What is potentially possible is that progress should by now be being made in identifying characteristics of the sasquatch and relationship to man and other primates (if comfirmed).

    Many samples have been found but little result. Maybe partly because Saquatch DNA seems close to human DNA and when you get to human DNA it becomes political. In some case analysis of the sample is a half hearted attempt perhaps influenced by the sceptics chant that without a body the DNA result wouldnt mean anything. In the modern world the DNA is potentially the body and if several appropriate samples produce an approppriate result then there is a 21st century type specimen! I have read somewhere of this being done or attempted. Before Sasquatch and other manimals go extinct, DNA would be technicaly a good substitute for a body and in time provide all possible imformation. Not the prefered solution by any means.

    I doubt if anyone knows for certain what Sasqutch is but it seems its quite close to humans and this is what may be causing some of the problems with analysing the DNA samples and making a distinctions. You suggest know that Saquatch is not man, I am not so sure about that as there already is a hugh variety of humans included in that genera from australian aboriginee to eskimo.

    I will mention for DWA there were reports of sasquatch having some technology and wearing clothes in former times

  66. Nominay responds:

    “I actually think sasquatch has in the past been captured and bodies and bits held. Still are in dusty museum backrooms or garage shelves.”

    As far as I’m concerned, it might as well have never happened, if it ever did. There’s nothing to account for what undoubtedly have been great stories. Very much full of drama and I love them all. But true or not, there’s nothing to defend these accounts from being written off as tall tales. I’ve seen the skulls at the Humboldt Museum. Mind you, I didn’t see them in person, but one of them does have a quarter underneath its chin. I held a quarter under my own chin in the mirror, and there was no difference in scale.

    “I doubt if anyone knows for certain what Sasqutch is but it seems its quite close to humans and this is what may be causing some of the problems with analysing the DNA samples and making a distinctions. You suggest know that Saquatch is not man, I am not so sure about that as there already is a hugh variety of humans included in that genera from australian aboriginee to eskimo. I will mention for DWA there were reports of sasquatch having some technology and wearing clothes in former times”

    I’m not one to cast endless speculations of Bigfoot. I understand it’s tempting and I don’t blame others for doing so. It does seem arrogant though when people think they’re “on to something” without any compelling evidence. Theories will stay theories. Maybe that’s why Nick has gone back to his blog. I have a few colorful opinions, but I base those on what we can gauge from things like footprints and videos that would be foolish and immature to explain away as a man in a suit. But there is one thing I’m pretty damn sure of, and that is that Bigfoot is not Homo Sapien Sapiens. There is not a single video where Bigfoot rents an apartment, withdraws money from an ATM, or stops by the cleaners. The aboriginee or eskimo could pass a crash course in these situations, then again, their physiques are so distinctive from Bigfoot a blind man could tell the difference. If you want to define man as Homo, cool, it’s a big family but almost extinct. Type while you can!



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