Posted by: Craig Woolheater on May 14th, 2007
Scientists studying phenomena believe creature exists; many questions surround Bigfoot sightings
Do you think there is an apelike creature, Bigfoot or sasquatch, living in the forests of the Northwest? What do you make of the 15-inch footprints that have been found all over and by the hundreds, if not the thousands? What do you think of the 1967 Patterson-Gimlin film of a so-called Bigfoot walking in Northern California? Are all the purported sightings of Bigfoot just hoaxes or simply misidentifications?
Did you know there are bona fide, Ph.D.-bearing scientists studying the Bigfoot phenomena who are convinced there really is such a creature? Were you aware that one of those researchers taught for 30 years at Washington State University until his retirement in 1998 and another currently teaches at Idaho State University?
Are those enough questions for now?
Actually, probably not, for this is a subject with lots of questions – and hardly any answers. But the questions are fascinating, and the new prospects for answers are astounding.
So, a few more questions: Have you ever heard of Bigfoot sightings in North Idaho? Did you know that one of the hottest areas for recent, as well as older, Sasquatch records is the part of the Blue Mountains that straddles the Washington-Oregon border just outside Walla Walla? Were you aware that documented sightings of Sasquatch in the West date back to 1811?
Let’s stop with the questions, and I’ll begin to answer a few of the historical ones.
I’ll skip all the Native American “legends” that relate to sasquatch except to point out that the term “sasquatch” comes from the Salish family of languages used by tribes in the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia, to describe a Bigfootlike beast.
The name “Bigfoot” was coined by a reporter to portray the source of some huge tracks found near Bluff Creek, Calif., in 1958.
In 1811, a 14-inch footprint was observed near Jasper, Alberta. In 1840, a missionary to the original inhabitants of the Spokane area wrote home concerning a problem with hairy giants that were stealing salmon. In 1893, Theodore Roosevelt published a story of a sasquatchlike creature told to him by an “old mountain hunter in Idaho.” And in 1925, the Oregonian newspaper reported on a group of miners who had been attacked by stone-hurling sasquatchlike animals at their cabin near Ape Canyon on the flank of Mount St. Helens.
All these reports predate – from 147 years to 33 years – the Bigfoot hoopla that started in 1958 with the Bluff Creek footprints.
When I was a teenager, the 16 mm Patterson-Gimlin film purporting to show a walking female Bigfoot was touring the Northwest, and I attended one of the showings. At the time, many people were calling the creature a “man in a monkey suit.”
In 2002, someone confessed to being the “woman in a monkey suit,” but her assertion failed to hold up. Recent evaluations of the film have found no evidence of a hoax. Certain anatomical details of the creature are too odd, yet real, to have been faked.
Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization
Books by experts on sasquatch
“Bigfoot Sasquatch: Evidence,” Grover S. Krantz, Ph.D., deceased physical anthropologist from Washington State University, 1999.
“North America’s Great Ape: The Sasquatch,” John A. Bindernagel, Ph.D., wildlife biologist actively researching sasquatch in British Columbia for more than 30 years, 1998.
“Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science,” Jeff Meldrum, Ph.D., physical anthropologist at Idaho State University, 2006.
“Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us,” John Willison Green, a journalist reporting on sasquatch evidence for 50 years, 2006.Stephen Lindsay
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, WA
This article, the first in a three part series, has some inaccuracies in it.
You can read the second part here on Cryptomundo at Sasquatch CSI.
You can read the third part here on Cryptomundo at Sasquatch Sightings Abound.
The reference to a confession by the “woman in a monkey suit” is an apparent mis-labeling of an Ivan Marx photo, as reported here on Cryptomundo by Loren Coleman.
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.