Wildlife Biologist Weighs In On Bigfoot

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 15th, 2006

Regarding the MN tracks that Loren reported on earlier here on Cryptomundo, now a retired DNR wildlife biologist weighs in on the subject.

Wildlife biologists, however, seem to agree that such creatures live only in myth.

“No such thing exists,” said retired Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Jim Schneeweis of Grand Rapids. “If there were all these Bigfeet running around, sooner or later somebody would have found a dead one. The DNR has had cameras (in remote locations) for years. How come nobody’s ever got one on film?”

I guess he’s never seen nor heard of the Patterson/Gimlin film?

While wildlife biologists say that Bigfoot stories are not founded in scientific evidence, that does not seem to stop those who do believe such creatures exist. A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of reported sightings around the nation and entire Web sites devoted to the tracking of the creatures.

Schneeweis said that he was not aware of any sightings or other evidence reports of the existence of Sasquatch creatures out of the Grand Rapids office, but did say that he was aware of sighting reports in the Northome area in the past.

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, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.


28 Responses to “Wildlife Biologist Weighs In On Bigfoot”

  1. jjames2 responds:

    Craig, I think Schneeweis was specifically referring to DNR cameras when he said “How come nobody’s ever got one on film?” He was also apparently speaking specifically about Minnesota. Obviously, Patterson/Gimlin wasn’t on a DNR camera, nor was it in Minnesota, so there’s no reason he would reference it.

  2. Bennymac responds:

    I just did a search and found an interesting article (by Lynnel Sinclair and Lorne Olsen) about a few different reports of bigfoot encounters in the Grand Rapids area.

    Not much we can do about the Schneeweises of the world, and there are plenty of them out there.

  3. Illuvatar responds:

    Actually jjames he’s saying that “No such thing exists” He didn’t say no such thing exists in Minnesota. So there is reason to reference it.

  4. jjames2 responds:

    Illuvatar, again, why would a DNR employee from Minnesota reference a film shot 40 years ago in California when he’s specifically talking about recent reports of Bigfoot in Minnesota? Re-read the article.

    The article goes on to say, “Schneeweis said that he was not aware of any sightings or other evidence reports of the existence of Sasquatch creatures out of the Grand Rapids office, but did say that he was aware of sighting reports in the Northome area in the past.”

    Again, he’s speaking about Minnesota in particular. There’s no reason why one would assume that:

    a) he’s heard of/seen Patterson/Gimlin,
    b) if he has seen PG that he thinks it’s footage of a real Bigfoot, or
    c) he would reference it in his quotes even if he has seen it.

  5. Mausinn responds:

    I wouldn’t put to much creedence in an article such as this. First of all, why did they seek out a retired DNR biologist instead of an active one? Perhaps they could not find one that would say it doesn’t exist. Also Schneeweis’ use of the term “Bigfeet”. I have never seen anyone who is an authority in the field use this term, in fact it may have been either Loren or Craig that had a discussion over the proper grammatical use of the term Bigfeet. I may be mistaken there, but I do remember it being addressed by the community.
    For him to make such a statement as “No such thing exists”, and his obvious ignorance of the evidence offered by those who have been doing this for years such as the P/G film and various casts and sighting reports, either by choice or by fault, make me not take this man very seriously as an expert. Just because a certain field office has no reports, and no pictures, does that automatically exclude all other reports and evidence?
    Reading this article, the next thing I expected to read was that all the reports came from folks who were experiencing either mass hysteria or mass hypnosis. To be sure, some of the reports and physical evidence is fake and obviously a hoax, anyone remember the Sonoma incident? However, to exclude all evidence but your own is irresponsible and foolhardy, not to mention egotisticle.

  6. inspector71 responds:

    yes most science is based on facts, although we have never experienced a black hole science swears they exist.alas the scientist, understood nothing till there was nothing left to understand.

  7. Porkchop responds:

    Speaking of things not in MN…

    In reference to the comment about finding a dead BF, generally speaking, unless shot by poachers, elephants (perhaps this is specific to Asia) are not found dead either.

    Elephants presumably have the same instinct as dogs and wish to die alone, so they find a river in which to expire, and the moving water carries the body downriver.

    When people find Elephant boneyards they are generally finding an eddy in a river that has gone dry. (for better info, check out To the Elephant Graveyard, by Tarquin Hall)

    The bones have to be somewhere, and I’m not saying BFs drop their dead in Lake Itasca, but theres one reason why a dead BF is hard to come by. If elephants can effectively hide millenia of corpses…

  8. Craig Woolheater responds:

    jjames2,

    I think you are arguing semantics here. None of us know what Schneeweis meant when he was quoted, we have to go on what is in print.

    While he is talking about the DNR’s cameras, he says “How come nobody’s ever got one on film?” He doesn’t state just in MN, so it could mean at all, not just on the MN DNR cameras.

  9. jjames2 responds:

    Craig, that’s ultimately my point, though. While it appears to me he’s specifically referring to MN, you’re assuming he means everywhere. Your assumption led to the editorial comment of “I guess he’s never seen nor heard of the Patterson/Gimlin film?”

    I just don’t see why that comment was necessary.

  10. Craig Woolheater responds:

    Apparently, it appears one way to you, that he is specifically referring to MN, while to me it appears that he is asking why nobody has one on film…ever.

    I felt it was necessary because that was my perception of his comments. When writing the original entry, I took his comments and added my commentary.

    That’s the way we do things around these here parts…

  11. Chymo responds:

    “In reference to the comment about finding a dead BF, generally speaking, unless shot by poachers, elephants (perhaps this is specific to Asia) are not found dead either.”

    This is incorrect. Stories of the ‘elephant’s graveyard’ are just stories.

    Many elephant carcasses from animals who have died of old age or disease litter the plains of Africa, & other elephants often scatter the bones & appear to ‘mourn’ them. This has been filmed. I’ve also seen it myself.

    In Asia, we have less space, but the same things occur.

  12. harleyb responds:

    Maybe one reason of not finding deceased bigfoot corpses is because they have a really long life expectancy, after all they don’t eat all this junkfood crap that humans do.

    That still prolly wouldn’t explain, or maybe bigfoot are smart enough to move their dead away as to not leave evidence, could happen.

  13. DWA responds:

    Non-news item.

    Somebody like this wouldn’t believe a film of a cougar in MN if you showed him that either. He’s old school.

    I’d like to know how many current wildlife biologists would say what he did.

  14. furryfinger responds:

    grand rapids, MI? they don’t even have woods, i have seen a bobcat monkey in the zoo get over the rail and scare some people

  15. planettom responds:

    On finding dead animals in the wild…well I don’t know much about elephant deaths. I have heard people state that finding a dead bear in the woods is very rare. I’ve heard statements that even afer a bear is apparently shot, possibly mortally, it runs off, people follow, no bear is found. Does that mean the bear never existed?

  16. mauka responds:

    Sounds like a smart man, when it comes to mammals that already are well, in the text books. But he brings up a good point, why has there been no credible videos in such a long time?

  17. DWA responds:

    Well, Mauka, It’s a kind of point, but not really that good a point.

    Here’s the reason for no credible video lately: Patterson/Gimlin was and remains the only sustained sasquatch expedition ever. Those two men, on horseback, traveled much farther for a much more extended time (and on a better conveyance for the task at hand) than anyone else has, before or since.

    If you don’t do what they did, you can’t (OK, probably won’t) get what they got. Sasquatch are not only rarer than pretty much anything else out there. They’re smarter, too. A lot smarter.

  18. scmarlowe responds:

    Craig, similar things were said before the discovery of the Mountain Gorilla 100 years ago. And again with the Bonobo and yet again with the Bili Ape.

    This guy should have a professional discussion with Jane Goodall — who is on the record in a broadcast on NPR that she believes the animal is real — albeit from a romantic’s point of view.

  19. crgintx responds:

    Very few wildlife biologists, modern or not, are going to against mainstream scientific thought. I think that scientist are approaching it from the wrong angle, the hairy wildmen reported around the world aren’t wildlife at all but actually another species of homonid. If this homonid has a bigger brain than other primates like chimps and gorillas, it could easily avoid even the most skilled hunters. We know that primates have enough intelligence to learn sign language, these homonids could actually have their own distinct culture and language. One of the most telling signs that these creatures are real is that hunting dogs will often refuse to track them. These homonids might be ancient predators of canids. If I were a modern domesticated canine, I wouldn’t want to track a 200kg+ omnivorous homonid either.

    Carlos in Austin,TX

  20. twblack responds:

    Hey guys he is entilted to his opinion even if we do not agree with it. There are a lot of people who had never believed in BF until a 1st sighting. And they say WOW I thought it was not-real or just a myth.

  21. stompy responds:

    they didn’t believe in HOGZILLA either

  22. cor2879 responds:

    “One of the most telling signs that these creatures are real is that hunting dogs will often refuse to track them. These homonids might be ancient predators of canids.”

    That’s an interesting hypothesis. Especially since I have heard before that bigfoot have been blamed for killing animals such as dogs and deer for food (interestingly enough they seem to tear out the liver only and leave the rest).

  23. scmarlowe responds:

    Cor, the dog issue is a good one. On our November Field Study, I asked one of the reporters to bring her hunting dog. This dog isn’t afraid to take on a 12 foot alligator, boor, or big cat — Linda has seen it do so as she lives in a remote area.

    During the Field Study, the dog became highly agitated and wouldn’t leave Linda’s side one evening. The odd behavior culminated with the animal (dog) jumping up on the dinner table in the mess tent — something it has never done before or since. It shook like a leaf that night.

    From a BHPs point of view, a dog isn’t a pet — it’s a wolf. And, yes, I have seen evidence that BHPs prefer sweet meats and obtain them in a way that we would consider unpleasant.

  24. scmarlowe responds:

    harleyb,

    “Maybe one reason of not finding deceased bigfoot corpses is because they have a really long life expectancy, after all they don’t eat all this junkfood crap that humans do.”

    Possible, but not very likely. Eating raw meat and veggies as well as barefoot bipedal locomotion through forests, swamps, and so forth would suggest that these animal foster a large number of parasites — specifically bacteria, worms and fungii that would likely reduce their life expectancy.

    To some degree, they could develop a higher resistance than we, but not in all cases and since they seem to forage in our garbage and exposed areas, they would also pick up new pathogens to which they have no resistance.

    Remember the effects of smallpox on American Indians in the 18th century?

  25. Sergio responds:

    I know several wildlife biologists personally who would differ with this guy.

    I think Mr. Woolheater’s speaker at his TBRC exhibit in July features a wildlife biologist, Alton Higgins, who based on his own experiences, has a different take on the subject.

    Dr. John Bindernagel also seems to have a different viewpoint.

  26. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning bigfoot bloggers…

    Interesting comments regarding large dog behavior around sasquatch scent…I’ve had similar experiences with Rottweilers and Weimeraners…normally aggresive herding/hunting dogs terrified and trembling…during Class B incidents…

    Regarding the Nebraska photo….I’ve been involved in animal/canine rescue for decades…the photo appears to be an emaciated, injured and probably abandoned or lost, Presa Canario or Fila Brasielera….(personal protection dogs)…the same breeds which savagely killed the young woman in the Bay area several years ago…a breed I refuse to rescue…I’ve posted extensively on these breeds on the Yahoo Rottweiler/Weimeraner Rescue boards I moderated….

    Craig…I’m getting you a new shirt…I give it to you this Fall in Jefferson….LOL

    seeing is believing…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  27. springheeledjack responds:

    Ultimately, it’s a moot point. Either you believe or you don’t, and for the hardcore, there’s no changing minds. The real point, is many people don’t want to believe in things like this, whether there is evidence or not (and now someone is going to argue with me about what constitutes evidence…and then I am going to have to go off on a tangent about narrow minded avenues of “science” and its perpetrators…).

    As for me, even though everyone likes to think we have this world mapped out because of satellites and millions upon billions of people stomping around, the truth is that we’ve got hundreds of thousands of acres of ground no one ever hikes across and we don’t have our eyes on every patch of woods and weeds, no matter what the skeptics like to say (and for god’s sake, don’t even get me started on the water!).

    Nuff said

    …oh, and Bigfoot said to say “hi” too…

  28. shumway10973 responds:

    I do know that an older gentleman here in California claimed he was the big foot people here saw throughout the 50’s and 60’s (at least). When he “came forth” to tell this to a news crew, my dad’s uncle told us a story about how 50 gallon barrels (full) of diesel was thrown against a tree and the impact busted them right up. “I’ld like to know how he achieved that one,” my dad’s uncle chuckled. How many animals have there been that people have reported, but the officials or experts deny their existance until someone captures one (usually the last or last of a few)?




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