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Meldrum Makes Call On Bigfoot Track Find

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on September 14th, 2011

It was a little over a year ago when the Siltanen brothers found the footprints. Checking for bear bait on a Monday morning, it wasn’t bear tracks they found in the freshly plowed field. In fact, they weren’t sure what they found.

“We found about 75 of these footprints,” Robert Siltanen said. “My brother had plowed the field Friday and seeded it Sunday. We found the footprints on Monday morning.”

Siltanen said the prints measured 4 inches wide and 11½ inches long, with a 42-inch stride from heel to toe.

“There have been (Bigfoot) sightings in the (Kettle River/Automba) area,” Siltanen said, adding that he knew of at least three more-recent ones and recalled people in high school talking about Bigfoot sightings. “So we started snooping around, and we called all the neighbor ladies to see if they’d seen anything.”

The really strange part, Siltanen said, was the fact that the footprints seemed to appear 60 feet from the outer edge of the field, then continue toward the woods. There were no prints leading onto the field.

“Who the heck knows,” he added. “It’s one of those unexplained situations.”

He made casts of the footprints using plaster of Paris, which are displayed in an old shoebox. The prints are quite different: The left one looks almost deformed, with the smaller toes practically stacked on top of each other.

The brothers, who are the third generation in their family to farm their land in Kettle River, said they also hear strange noises early in the morning, sometimes a scream, other times a low moan.

Robert Siltanen imitated the moan.

Roger Siltanen laughed.

“It was hell walking to the deer stand after that,” Roger Siltanen said. “I don’t know how I would react to seeing one.”

Robert Siltanen said a man named Jim Hebb from a Minnesota Bigfoot organization came and looked at the prints three weeks later and guessed they could belong to a juvenile Bigfoot.

However, in a response to viewing photographs of the footprint casts together and compared to Robert Siltanen’s bare foot, Idaho State University professor Jeff Meldrum said the prints look very human.

Meldrum, an anatomy professor whose specialty is primate and human locomotion and the adaptation of the foot for walking on ground, is well-known as an expert on reported Bigfoot casts. He initially became interested in doing serious research on the legendary North American ape after seeing about 35 to 45 clear prints in the ground in 1996.

“My forte is footprint evidence,” said the professor, who also published a book, “Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science,” in 2006. In endorsing the book, noted primatologist Jane Goodall said, “Jeff Meldrum’s book ‘Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science’ brings a much-needed level of scientific analysis to the Sasquatch — or Bigfoot — debate.”

Although his recent film and television credits include Monster Qwest and National Geographic programs, the Idaho State University professor has not worked with the “Finding Bigfoot” television cast … at least not directly.

“They did send some prints after they found the first Georgia footprints,” Meldrum said. “But I couldn’t get back to them in time. I concluded they were bear tracks. One of the hosts raved about those tracks, that they were some of the best he’d seen.

“It’s unfortunate,” he added. “You get these amateur ‘experts’ making silly pronouncements, and the skeptics use it as ammunition to discredit all the evidence that comes to light.”

On the subject of Sasquatch and footprints, Meldrum said the more-credible Bigfoot prints have several things in common:

•They exhibit a flat, archless foot that shows a greater degree of flexibility in the mid-foot.

•They have a much greater width and length than a human foot.

•The toes tend to be more squarely aligned; there’s less of an angle from the big toe to the little toe. There’s also less of a size difference between the big toe and the smaller toes, although the big toe is still bigger than the rest.

Meldrum has no trouble making the call on the Siltanen casts on the basis of two photographs.

“The photo of the man [Robert Siltanen] with the cast is the most telling,” Meldrum said. “There are so many resemblances [between his foot and the print] … I’d be surprised if it’s not his foot or someone closely related to him.”

Robert and Roger Siltanen both insist the footprints were not their own.

“We might (stretch the truth), but we wouldn’t do this,” Roger Siltanen said. “It’s still a mystery if they (Bigfoot creatures) are really out there or if it’s someone that’s had too much to drink … or it’s an elaborate hoax.”

Expert discredits Kettle River brothers’ Bigfoot footprint find
By: Jana Peterson, Duluth News Tribune, August 27, 2011

About Craig Woolheater
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.


9 Responses to “Meldrum Makes Call On Bigfoot Track Find”

  1. flame821 responds:

    He never should have posed with his foot compared to the casting. High arches, celtic toe and a marked decrease in toe length. It’s too close to be coincidental.

  2. Zabo responds:

    i think this comment say’s it all! the dude said “we might stretch the truth” and as far as the casting? you could chop robert’s left foot off. and it wouldn’t matter cause he has an exact duplicate of that foot in plaster! right? i don’t know about you, but i ain’t buying this story anytime soon. peace!

  3. lordoftheonionrings responds:

    When you are trying to pull off a hoax don’t include a picture as evidence that clearly shows that it is a hoax.

  4. DWA responds:

    Gotta go with the other comments here.

    When I saw the last picture, I thought IT’S HIS FOOT!

    The first photo said “badly pulled cast of a human foot” to me.

    If it looks human, folks, it’s because it is.

    That said, this is right on:

    “It’s unfortunate,” he added. “You get these amateur ‘experts’ making silly pronouncements, and the skeptics use it as ammunition to discredit all the evidence that comes to light.”

    One of the first indications that someone is unacquainted with sasquatch evidence is a statement that “there are so many hoaxes you just can’t be sure,” as if the wheat is hard to separate from the chaff. It isn’t.

  5. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Ditto on all 4 previous comments :(

  6. fuzzy responds:

    “Ditto”? Uh Oh!

  7. sasquatch responds:

    Yep, it just looks like his foot with the heel extended a little.
    EASY to do. Or as Meldrum said; maybe a close relative of his-
    like his slightly larger brother took their shoe off and made the print.
    I’ve NEVER seen a purported bigfoot track with such a high arch.
    I could make tracks like that all day long-my feet are quite similar.

  8. Carumba responds:

    In past posts, I have referred to a photo my brother has of a likely BF footprint he discovered on the side of a logging road near Mt. Katahdin, Maine while nosing around in a swampy area while on vacation. The width of that footprint is abnormally wide, especially so in the toe area; so I believe the print in this article is human because it is so humanly narrow. My guess is the inordinate width of a BF foot is to accommodate a lot of weight and to help agility, balance, and speed over uneven terrain.

  9. Navman responds:

    Interesting dig at Moneymaker and Co. from “Finding Bigfoot.” I’m not sure a Bigfoot would come within 100 miles of those folks with as much noise and commotion they make on the show.



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